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Return of the Knave
Drink It Black
Saturday, 28 February 2004
Stout
Commercial was a dirty word for so long, not because the multitudes were wrong about Dark Side of the Moon or Bat Out of Hell but because there is a certain saccharine sentiment that weaves its way through artful endeavour, subverting it to some anticipated response. It's what makes Titanic so big. The panel of Channel Nine audience voting this the best film of the century shows commercial mindlessness in all its ignobility. There are greater works in every respect.

What careless concern could buy into Michael Bolton's desecration of soul classics or Celine Dion's hideous vapidity. The same kind I'd wager.

My god, there are compilations from decades ago that sound as if they were named to fit in the church fetes and bargain bins of the future; the titles just screamed "Crap"!
No doubt it was helped along by advertising on TV, by positioning in the record bar, by use in an ad or show. Maybe you got it reduced with potting mix and wire cutters.

The 'moon in June' mannerisms are irksome across the board. Art based on marketing and demographic is missed opportunity when there is real talent producing work that can also have the potential for mass appeal.

It's conceivable that parts of the underground are extreme purely to distance themselves from the puerile and the plain. And there's also the part reaction/part creation that fuels the best of the fringe. Art, no matter how outlandish, needs raw material and that might be the fateful trip to the Myer Emporium when you were six rendered unrecognizable by events and fancies of the intervening years. In a strange way pap culture is apposite; dark invention demands disaffection.

Posted by berko_wills at 1:16 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 4 March 2004 1:28 PM EADT
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