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Wednesday, November 10, 2010


One of the greatest single achievements of lyricism is the album Aenima, written pretty much (I believe) by the lead singer Maynard James Keenan of the band Tool. The bassist, Adam Jones has written and animated most if not all of their videos using innovative time lapse and makeup techniques, having also worked special effects on several large scale, high budget, special effects intensive movies such as the Abyss, and some other stuff, I can't recall.

Now, Derrida in Dissemination compares writing to a drug and the act of reading being metaphorically similar to ingestion, and the result being psychotropic delirium (with any luck).

Now, sans interpretation, Tool does an exceptional job delivering this motif in the video Stinkfist.

Now that you've had time to soak that up and let it digest for a second, take a time to think about the violence of the imagery, the uniformity of color, the incapacity to maintain physical integrity. The sucking of characters on machines, the relationship of the characters to the machines, the *dependency* of the characters on the machines.

We're drawing a comparison between drugs and something else that is necessarily drug-like, and our relationship to it is no less than a power struggle thats ends with one of us being utterly reduced to the other.

Maynard, like most prophets wants to scare us and inspire us and songs of this nature can often tell us as much about the human condition, the post-human condition, and hyper-realism as the aesthetic impulse of both, as our favorite works of science fiction and experimental forms of expression.

Here the desire to feel anything at all costs because we are constantly being inundated by hyperbolic images of a consumer culture that is trying to sell us ideal states in the form of packaged products is being criticized with a really well designed and packaged products.

All I can really say about that is, I'm sure glad that I live in a culture that produces such products... That's good stuff.

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