by carl wilson

EMP 3: Supremes (Beyond Good & Evil)

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Love Child's pioneers, the Supremes: See link to Matos's EMP paper, below.

I don't think I've met Ali Marcus but I appreciate what she said about my EMP paper. She really got it, which compels me to answer her kinda surprising inference - "that Wilson is a person who, when asked if human nature is basically good or basically bad, would choose the latter." No, if I had to guess, I'd say good and bad only exist as bounded human concepts - that "nature" is indifferent to both - and that if you step back from a human paradigm, neither word is meaningful. Ali says, "To believe that a primal, innate, subconscious force within us is there because of repression and therefore is fundamentally negative, is not something I am capable of." Contra Freud, maybe, our repressed subconscious forces aren't necessarily evil; I think we can be as afraid of positive drives - such as empathy - as we are of impulses to violence or lust. (Later: Er, not that lust, or even violence, is negative in every circumstance.) Repression is a survival mechanism run rampant, ignorant of the realities of our lives; if it worked better, social order - fascist or utopian - would be totalizing. Instead we are disruptive, for good and ill. It's not that what's repressed is the real truth of the world; it is just a jumble of displaced pieces of the puzzle, fitting and misfit. Or that's my current feeling, anyway.

Ali also has a set of other reports from EMP that cover much of the action I'd have blogged if I'd managed it. Elsewhere online, so far, you can read Michaelangelo Matos' remarkable Love Child paper (which brought people to tears), and others I missed in person by Josh on righteous fundamentalist toonz, Nate on '70s white soul-rock, and Maria on figure-skating music. Part 4 - highlights from my notes - tomorrow.

In Depth | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, May 03 at 1:30 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

COMMENTS

Repression is definitely a creative driver. But then, so is alcohol. So is travel. So are a million other pursuits that don't involve being told what is right or wrong, good, bad or insignificant. Less repressed people are generally more open to new points of view. Spurts of musical creativity always accompany a freer mindset. There will always be Celines on both sides. To me, the critic's more significant role is to identify and advocate music that expands our understanding of being human.

Posted by Half on May 3, 2006 3:16 PM

 

 

"I think we can be as afraid of positive drives - such as empathy - as we are of impulses to violence"

I hadn't thought about this, and it definitely makes sense alongside your Celine thoughts. And I see what you mean about repression itself not being a negative force. I actually do think that repression is negative though, and I am aware that this is probably more a function of my robust Id than of any kind of larger insight...

Posted by Ali Marcus on May 3, 2006 11:05 AM

 

 

"Contra Freud, maybe, our repressed subconscious forces aren't necessarily evil; I think we can be as afraid of positive drives - such as empathy - as we are of impulses to violence or lust. Repression is a survival mechanism run rampant, ignorant of the reality of our lives; if it worked better, social order - fascist or utopian - would be totalizing."

I think your quote above kind of summarizes Jung's notion of the shadow. Jung said that much of the shadow is pure gold, but people are often as afraid to confront those repressed golden parts of their being as they are the more self-serving negative aspects.

Posted by j-lon on May 3, 2006 1:45 AM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson