Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When the borders are open

There is great opportunity in disruption. You know that, surely. But it can be hard to feel it when you're living it, when treasured institutions and traditions are crumbling, when every change starts to feel like a loss.

I came across this favorite passage from a splendid book (Air Guitar, by Dave Hickey) describing how things felt to him in the late 1960s. It seemed worth sharing (and the book is certainly worth reading):

We had grown up with the myth of the open range, with that unreflective, visceral cowboy hatred for fences, and, just for that moment, the fences were down. The institutions that strung them were in disgrace, and the borders were open: the president was a crook; the generals were losers; corporate culture was in disarray; and the universities were irrelevant. So there was a sense of making it up as you went along, with new rules in a new place, where , if you wished, you could bring your Deleuze and your Stratocaster, too. And there was plenty of sleazy fame to go around -- except that, back then, it was still the colossal joke that Warhol intended it to be, still marketing and not yet a religion.
– Dave Hickey
From the essay “Magazine Writer”
in Air Guitar (p116)

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