Friday, April 8, 2011

Island hopping for a Friday

By Barry Johnson

The Cleveland Orchestra's critic-in-residence program caught the attention of Arts Dispatch, but what about the overall effect of its annual 3-week residency in Miami?  David Fleshler of the South Florida Classical Review gives a fair assessment of the positives and negatives. Positives: They play great, teach college students and play for schools. Negatives: They play conservative repertory and may drain philanthropic money out of Miami, money that might have gone into re-establishing a professional orchestra in Miami.

Let's be clear: Arts Dispatch doesn't claim to be hip. On the other hand: Arts Dispatch doesn't want to be square, either. And that's why we like articles like this "defense of hipsterism."  Hey, we want something to aspire to!

Is this little essay-let/screed anti-hipster? I'm not sure: HTMLGiant puzzles me that way sometime. I get the whole irony v. authenticity thing confused -- like, can something be authentically ironic? Or is irony ever-receding from authenticity, an image in a mirror in an image in a mirror in an image in a mirror in an image in a mirror... you get the point.

Yes, we are in a sort of metaphysical frame of mind this morning: "There is no necessity for me to be me and for the other to be them, it just is." That's from another short essay by Peter Thompson on the Verso Books blog, which is always provocative, one way or another. Thompson argues that I am always "island hopping" from the self I am now to the self I want to be, from the self to the other, from the subjective to the objective, and that until we understand that, we misunderstand all human endeavor.  OK. Got it. I'll try to carry that with me to the next island.

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