Washed, Printed, Bound & Erased

In French there is an odd common expression that I never quite got right as it obviously states one thing and its radical contrary at the same time: »On n'a pas tous les jours vingts ans« (»one doesn't turn twenty every day«). Twenty What/What »twenty«?

»It’s curious we could believe that the need to express ourselves, to leave a trace in this world, is a powerful force; and everywhere, in general, it isn’t enough. What works best, what pushes people with the greatest violence to go beyond themselves, is still the most straight and basic need of money.« (Michel Houellebecq, »The Map and the Territory«, Sept. 2010)

Let’s see: »To you I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition.« (Woody Allen) – When we do what we have done so far, do we follow, prevent, react, accompany, stop, enlighten, translate or swallow? Subject or Object (anal or oral)? Are we a »support« (in other words a »stand«) or are we, as a counter-effect (a matter of fact), backed and sustained ourselves? – A desire to »take part«, play role(s), be active daily, an eye & ear-watcher (scrutiny), some audio-mind-feet gastric principle (an active principle in all cases).

»My first literary endeavor was called ??The Autobiography of a Wolf??, written after reading ??The Biography of a Grizzly??. In the end this poor old bear, his health failing, deserted by his mate, goes to a valley he knows is full of poison gas.« (William S. Burroughs, »The Adding Machine«). All right Bill – Twenty years that’s quite some chapter in life, especially given the fact that those twenty years are what we usually see as our very first twenty years. The age of what? – another French expression I always liked very much (18th century, Vivant Denon, Gamiani, Mirabeau, ??): »Les affronts du temps« (»The affronts of time»).
Of course many people do think that »It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion« (Joseph Goebbels). Or when dogma dressed up and is now commonly agreed (suffered, stuck in your ass), as the »product« – Karl Marx: »There is no art history«. Anyway, we did what we did, we still do it, art is a daily practice. But what if we now admitted the fact that whatever the album, the event, the book, the season, we never ceased to actually keep a line, a direction, some propositions? A review, an essay, a report, a chronicle ?? all this remains a text. A text you read, not a record you listen to, a show you experience, a DVD you watch, but a text you read. Normally this text you do read opens something twisted or suspect inside you (that’s just you now). It shouldn’t solve any question or problem but set more uncertainty, raise a compulsive need for free associations. To a given piece of music you always »oppose« another piece of music. Just like you sharpen diamonds with other diamonds. It’ll take five minutes, three seconds, twenty-one years or seven lives, we have time – »Tradition is the illusion of permanence.« (Woody Allen). Yes ?? those sorts of things.

Personally I never felt at ease with birthday celebrations past the age of 14. I always thought you should celebrate the years of incapacity, of non-autonomy, up to the day you can fly on your own. Simply because the counter, the calendar, the watch, doesn’t say anything about density, experience or internal paths (like most people who were forced during childhood to take music lessons never comment on their capacity to play at all but hold in your face as some goal the amount of years they »did« piano, guitar or flute ??). I see twenty years of skug magazine as a fair basis to start thinking further, hear deeper, see through. »The narrator is the observer posted on the scene by the author, and he feels very uncomfortable in this role because he cannot explain his presence to himself.« (William S. Burroughs, »Jack Kerouac«) – Should we just go to Next?

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Noël Akchoté




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