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This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

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Showing results by Mark Costello only

Say it loud
I'm black and I'm proud
Say it loud
I'm black and I'm proud!

Except that halfway through the infectious funk, the crew-cuts realize what they're saying: Jesus christ, 'I'm proud to be black' fer chrissakes, like when you're in the porno store, you know, and you get lost or something and you find yourself in the men's part, you know? not the part for men the part about men, Jesus, and you get the hell outta there. And so they hum/mumble the suppressed parts

Say it loud
I'm mmm hum proud
Say it loud
Mum hum hum proud!

on Irish kids in Boston singing "black" songs

—p.4 by Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

[...] In Gary's neighborhood, property values are actually falling.

In another sense, of course, the streets surrounding RJam's soundproof studio are the costliest real estate in Boston. At least two young men died as downpayments within a week of today's recording session. [...]

on RJam's studio in Boston

—p.7 by Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

[...] 'Education,' Chief Justice Warren wrote in Brown

... is the very foundation of good citizenship. Today it is the principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him adjust to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. . . . To separate Negro children from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.

—p.14 by Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

[...] It's way too easy for the pale to hurry across the deck, past the thick, light-wobbling window, and not once hear rap as anything but the weird anthemic march of one Other'd nation, marginalized and yet trapped in our own metropolitan center, a nation that cannot secede and may not assimilate and is thus driven still deeper inside, evincing all the brute anger and resentment we'd legitimate as political were it not anger with nothing visible else to it, no positive diode, none of the King-like 'vision' we've come to expect from any change that does not yield rubble. As an ever more conservative body politic and media audience, We are being conditioned, in an equation both sides of which may be unconscious, to see today's urban black world not as a demimonde shadowing but more and more as a cancer metastasizing inside our own, our few glimpses of anything like a 'real black world' coming just in statistics and mix radio and political shibboleths [...]

—p.40 by David Foster Wallace, Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

...when a big-jowled Dixiecrat Senator leans into the microphones to ask, mock-incredulous: 'Now, Mr. Costello, isn't it in fact the case that you once cowrote and also authored a book published under the title Significant Wrap-per, in which you argued that Mr. Brown's habit of saying "Huh" and "Smokin' " and "Give it here" and "GoodGod" (pronounced as if it were one word) was not, in your opinion, ee-sen-shul to the cold dead heavy funk as practiced and popularized by my fellow native son of Georgia, Mr. Brown. In fact,' the Dixiecrat waxes prosecutorially, 'isn't it true that you stated in the pages of this alleged book that you considered the .guitarwork of Bobby Byrd, and not the individual named James Brown at all, to be the essence of that music we call "James Brown"?'

At which point Mr. Costello, eyes on the prize of a cushy lifetime judicial appointment, squirms and offers smally: 'Yes.'

Now the Dixiecrat Senator bears down: 'And what's all this I hear about you leaving phone messages on the machine of a Jamaican drug kingpin's front company back in 1989?'

footnote 38. so ridiculous but pretty funny (the phone messages thing referring to an earlier incident from chapter 1)

—p.92 by Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

Rap, under close scrutiny, becomes 'critic-heavy'—a unique pop opportunity for the application of Marxist & poststructural principles to the cultural production, not just reception, of texts, lyrics, art [...]. Rap is the self-conscious–self-consciousness loop academic feminists and deconstructionists drool over—and often the loop's right there on the music's surface, less to be rooted out truffle-like by the eager interpreter than the result of much such rooting by the rapper himself. But so rap, in its love of the overtly complex, often usurps the ('serious') outside critic's hallowed interpretive function: little wonder few licensed determiners of seriousness seem much disposed to take rap seriously. Just don't be duped by their rationale. Especially today, the unsubtle does not necessarily mean the simple or crude.

—p.98 by David Foster Wallace, Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

[...] He had served only one day when he was told that an anonymous 'well-dressed Negro' had paid the $178 fine. King protested; he wanted to stay jailed. The Albany police chief refused, explaining that since King's fine had now been paid, it would be illegal to keep him behind bars. The 'well-dressed Negro' was a fiction invented by segregationist police as an excuse to release King, whose stature grew with each day jailed. The well-dressed-Negro ploy would be one of the few strategies effective against nonviolent protest, getting civil rights leaders off the streets overnight without allowing them the symbolic martyrdom of a well-publicized prison term.

—p.102 by Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

Yr. staff posits that the rapper's is a Scene that has accepted—yea, reveres—the up-to-date values and symbols of a Supply Side prosperity, while rejecting, with a scorn not hard to fathom, what seem to remain the 'rules' for how the Marginal are supposed to improve their lot therein: viz., by studying hard, denying themselves, working hard, being patient, keeping that upper lip stiff in the face of what look like retractions of the last 'great society's' promises to them, denying themselves, working hard and slowly at the restricted number and salary of jobs available in/to their community; waiting, patiently, for the lucre of billion-dollar corporate tax breaks and Wall Street monté to trickle their way. We posit that, for serious rap, these Protestant patience- and work-ethic rules, the really nostalgia-crazed parts of Supply Side, just don't reconcile with the carrots, the enforced and rein-forced images of worth-now as wealth-now, of freedom as just power, of power as just the inclination and firepower to get what you decide you have coming to you. The Real American Way, no? ... Entitlement has always had a two-word response for Impediment.

(entitlement is the title of chapter 1; impediment, chapter 2)

—p.126 by David Foster Wallace, Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

Another pretty simple answer, from outside the window: even the best of rap has no 'vision' of anything beyond present discontent less because it's a black music than because it's a distinctively young one. Ours is a generation (late- or post-Boom) divorced from Time: we're taught to look to the 'innocent past' for signposts to value; to see the present as little more than a compendium of evils and past fuckups we have to borrow a couple trillion from the Japanese and throw an innocent-past party to forget; to see the future as a vague fairyland where the consequences of our dire present will by political wand-waving 'all work out,' or else as the grim, cinereous end-of-the-month day when the Visa charges we've been using to pay off our AmEx finally come due. And the time banditry has got to be specifically worse for the urban black young, since the only real 'past' that might summon its political pavlovs is that of a civil rights movement no one under 30 can recall, of a King and an X both murdered at rhetorical zenith, before the movements their words fashioned had barely begun transit. Because the past can be considered altered, falsified (for whites by Reagan, for blacks by the whites who ran the past) induction doesn't apply, and so no imaginative future can exist: at best it'll be more of the same. Today even the _fresh_est black music is no longer an 'escape' from the very conditions and tight borders that make it possible as music, or even an expression--since rap is, in the best and worst ways, just a mirror.

—p.127 by David Foster Wallace, Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

[...] A music that collapses the distinction between homage and infringement, signal and rule--shit, Self and Other--in the ripoff that is sampling can't but be 'original' in how it plunders and mangles and re-uses; for a signal without rules is also without precedent, just as 'stealing' means nothing when nothing can be owned. [...]

this is so DFW i am dying

—p.128 by David Foster Wallace, Mark Costello 6 years, 7 months ago

Showing results by Mark Costello only