[Jandek] Privacy and goodwill
Gavin at Arkhonia
gavin at arkhonia.co.uk
Sun Nov 22 18:32:28 PST 2009
> Get the fuck over yourselves. All of you.
I make music sporadically, and have released a few things; one track I recorded
in 2001 seems to have a small life of its own, and I get occasional emails
(average about one every 6 months) from people who say things like 'it is one of
the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard', which is very kind; even
though I cannot and do not agree with them, it's nice for them to say so. My own
name is not attached to it, and one or two reviews called me and my collaborator
'mysterious', which is just nonsense. I kind of like getting these emails, but
find it difficult to respond, and so usually don't, and would not be happy if
one of these people phoned me at home or turned up on my doorstep, for any
reason; I'm long out of the habit of answering the door or the phone, to
friends, never mind strangers, because, really, I like my privacy, and I want to
be left alone.
For anyone who might care, I suppose you could follow a trail from the track to
who made it, where I live, where I work, my telephone number, a myriad of email
addresses that I might be contactable at, (all this information is online), and
ultimately knock on my door if nearby. Julian Cope describes in Head On some
Japanese fans appearing on his doorstep, and, upon seeing his successful
attempts at DIY, being disappointed that he wasn't as acid-fried as the cover of
Fried made him seem, and that he can put a shelf onto a wall straight; he was
courteous, but ultimately, what did these people want from him, and what right
did they have to berate his successes at home improvement?
> Respect Corwood's wishes. But at the same time, we are not his caretakers.
The defensiveness that people have shown here, as Nate points out, are often
people who happen to have some sort of either prolonged correspondence or
personal contact with Corwood, and all they are really doing is protecting a
person that they see as kind of a friend. They're not defending the mystery or
the mystique of an opaque and attractive idea. In some ways it's quite the opposite.
Most of the posters on this list seem basically good-spirited and intelligent,
and personal contact with Corwood is not an arcane and reverent ritual - dumb
and vacuous celebrities with little talent other than the corporate sponsorship
that puts them all over popular media are *way* more aloof, and cultivate a far
greater sense of inadvertent self-mythologising than Sterling Smith does when
Jandek isn't performing; and I remember Nate's past posts 'tracking down
Jandek', and being as infuriated at his arrogance as he was at Jonathan's. But,
assuming that Corwood is more than aware of this list, and might occasionally
read some of it, he was probably very aware of Nate's pursuit - yet Nate saw his
error in judgement, judged himself accordingly, and is now in correspondence
with Corwood. That's a very giving, and forgiving, response from his former
I was irked by the conversation transcript because it had the aura of a secret
recording, and that's likewise an invasion of privacy - yeah the chat is
fascinating, but he was out having a drink, and probably didn't imagine that
what he was saying could have been so 'inspirational', might even have enjoyed
the luxury of being informed that what he said was going to be used verbatim as
some sort of musician's edict, and maybe prepare...but there are people on this
list who have almost certainly had much more involved, prolonged, direct and
personal contact, but have decided that the insights that this gives them to the
work itself was for their eyes or ears alone, because Jandek has become
something different to them through this contact.
And that's what Nate is defending I think, and he forgives Jonathan in the same
way that he was forgiven himself; the unfolding Jandek saga seems to embody an
enormous amount of reciprocated goodwill, and that could always end through
these kinds of attempts at exposure, and that would be a great shame.
> Still, it's never a bad a idea to take a step back, breathe deep, and accept
> that people are gonna do what people are gonna do. It's the internet, and it
> sort of brings out people's bad side.
Jandek existed before the internet, and Jandek has never depended upon the
internet. Maybe that's why.
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