Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Isn't this massive oscillating pro-/anti- Rebecca Black hysteria nowt more than a classic case of Freud's "narcissism of small difference"?

The conditions of music production are now thoroughly auto-erotic. Increasingly, rich kids make tunes for their own plutocratic class. The culture industry is riven with nepotism and glutted with narcissistic vanity projects. Internet technology allows us all to make the art we want, but only a tiny minority of us has the societal, promotional resources necessary to break into viral, bankable territory.

With this in mind, why is it not okay for Black to be gifted a recording session by her parents, which she then uses to record a self-regarding song celebrating her Hannah Montana lifestyle, but it's fine and dandy for Florence and the Machine to make a living (enabled by a private education and media contacts) out of a corresponding little-girl-lost, consumer fantasy aesthetic? (See also Little Boots, Lily Allen, the Mumford + friends network, etc.)

So maybe this is the nerve being trodden on. It's not that "Friday" is an anomalous "worst record ever". There's no anomaly here. This is the buried reality suddenly becoming garishly visible.

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