[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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