Friday, January 30, 2009

Perigo versus Zappa

  "Insult someone's politics and risk being called a fool; insult someone's music, and you become an enemy."

 It's funny because it's true...only it's not funny anymore...

 I've already addressed where and why I think Lindsay Perigo is wrong in his musical crusade, but I've always thought that I agree more than I disagree with him. But this will not do:

Frank died in 1993 of prostate cancer at the age of fifty-two.
Good to know prostate cancer can have an upside: the removal of musical cancer.

 Perigo, sorry to tell you, the music lives on. The only cancer I see here is in your true colors. This is, however, bloggable as an "object lesson" on how musical matters have taken on a troubled status in the Objectivist culture.
 The "Frank" in question is Frank Zappa, a musician and composer whose career has spanned decades and styles, from rock to doowop to jazz to classical to atonal Varesian pomowankery. 
Thank you, Frank Zappa. 
 Thank you, not for your stranger obsessions, but for your fearlessness in exploring your interests on your own terms. For standing up to censorship and freedom of thought, even if it's sometimes thought I can't comprehend or support. 
 But what I really want to say is: thank you for "Peaches en Regalia."
I used to put this one on a tape with two other songs, "Lido Shuffle" by Boz Scaggs and "Beck's Bolero" by Jeff Beck. First "Peaches, then "Lido," then "Bolero." Those three songs, in THAT order, would turn me around in a depression or simply set me off to the sky in a good mood. When I was too depressed one time, and these songs DIDN'T work, I think that made me sadder than whatever it was I was depressed about. (I don't think ANY piece of music would have helped that day.)
The day I need Perigo to dictate to me what music sends me to the "total height" is the day I shoot myself. But after his Zappa cancer comment, well, he just undercuts his own claim that he stands for musical censorship. No, he's not calling for censorship...or the initiation of force. He can't, he's "Objectivist...". But WOULD he, if he COULD? You can feel that pressure building up behind that "damn"...His methods of berating people who "don't get it" would make Werner Erhard proud. When you celebrate a man's death from cancer, not Hitler, not Hussein, but Frank Zappa? The only answer to THAT is to spit at his feet and walk away, lest I break my own conviction against the initiation of force. But I am not Perigo, I do not wish his death. May he live many more healthy years, knowing that I'd rather listen to "Peaches en Regalia."

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