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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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25

Notes on Trap

Numbness, nihilism, cruelty, ambient anxiety

5
terms
7
notes

by Jesse McCarthy. holy shit

, n. (None). Notes on Trap. In , n. n+1 Issue 32: Bad Faith. n+1 Foundation, Inc, pp. 25-52

a Lacanian term (following the linguistics of Saussure); really just another signifier (i.e., something that organises discursive structures) but one which stops the slippage of the signified under the signifier and fixes meaning, thereby forming a stable symbolic order. i don't really know tbh. a platonic ideal of a concept like "freedom" or "health"?

27

a master signifier in falling bills, floating, liquid, pouring down on bitches in the proverbial rain

—p.27 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago

a master signifier in falling bills, floating, liquid, pouring down on bitches in the proverbial rain

—p.27 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago

(noun) a brief moment of emotional excitement; shudder thrill

28

the cold frisson of Franklin morbidly displacing the erotic potential of sexual attraction

—p.28 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago

the cold frisson of Franklin morbidly displacing the erotic potential of sexual attraction

—p.28 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago
29

Trap is the only music that sounds like what living in contemporary America feels like. It is the soundtrack of the dissocialized subject that neoliberalism made. It is the funeral music that the Reagan revolution deserves.

holy shit

—p.29 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago

Trap is the only music that sounds like what living in contemporary America feels like. It is the soundtrack of the dissocialized subject that neoliberalism made. It is the funeral music that the Reagan revolution deserves.

holy shit

—p.29 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago
32

CONSIDER THE VOICE OF Meek Mill. The inscription of dreams and nightmares in the grain. Its breathlessness, always on the verge of shrill hoarseness, gasping for air, as if the torrent of words can’t come fast enough — as if there might not be enough time to say the things that need to be said. Every syllable eked out through grit, the cold facts of North Philly firing through a monochromatic hollow, like a crack in a bell.

damn

—p.32 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago

CONSIDER THE VOICE OF Meek Mill. The inscription of dreams and nightmares in the grain. Its breathlessness, always on the verge of shrill hoarseness, gasping for air, as if the torrent of words can’t come fast enough — as if there might not be enough time to say the things that need to be said. Every syllable eked out through grit, the cold facts of North Philly firing through a monochromatic hollow, like a crack in a bell.

damn

—p.32 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago
35

TRAP IS A FORM OF soft power that takes the resources of the black underclass (raw talent, charisma, endurance, persistence, improvisation, dexterity, adaptability, beauty) and uses them to change the attitudes, behaviors, and preferences of others, usually by making them admit they desire and admire those same things and will pay good money to share vicariously in even a collateral showering from below. This allows the trap artist to transition from an environment where raw hard power dominates and life is nasty, brutal, and short to the world of celebrity, the Valhalla of excess, lucre, influence, fame — the only transparently and sincerely valued site of belonging in our culture. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that insofar as you’re interested in having a good time, there’s probably never been a sound so perfectly suited to having every kind of fun disallowed in conservative America.

—p.35 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago

TRAP IS A FORM OF soft power that takes the resources of the black underclass (raw talent, charisma, endurance, persistence, improvisation, dexterity, adaptability, beauty) and uses them to change the attitudes, behaviors, and preferences of others, usually by making them admit they desire and admire those same things and will pay good money to share vicariously in even a collateral showering from below. This allows the trap artist to transition from an environment where raw hard power dominates and life is nasty, brutal, and short to the world of celebrity, the Valhalla of excess, lucre, influence, fame — the only transparently and sincerely valued site of belonging in our culture. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that insofar as you’re interested in having a good time, there’s probably never been a sound so perfectly suited to having every kind of fun disallowed in conservative America.

—p.35 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago
35

IMAGINE A PEOPLE enthralled, gleefully internalizing the world of pure capital flow, of infinite negative freedom (continuously replenished through frictionless browsing), thrilled at the possibilities (in fact necessity) of self-commodification, the value in the network of one’s body, the harvesting of others. Imagine communities saturated in the vocabulary of cynical postrevolutionary blaxploitation, corporate bourgeois triumphalism, and also the devastation of crack, a schizophrenic cultural script in which black success was projected as the corporate mogul status achieved by Oprah or Jay-Z even as an angst-ridden black middle class propped up on predatory credit loans, gutted by the whims of financial speculation and lack of labor protections, slipped backward into the abyss of the prison archipelago where the majority poor remained. Imagine, then, the colonization of space, time, and most importantly cultural capital by the socially mediated system of images called the internet. Imagine finally a vast supply of cheap guns flooding neighborhoods already struggling to stay alive. What would the music of such a convergence sound like?

—p.35 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago

IMAGINE A PEOPLE enthralled, gleefully internalizing the world of pure capital flow, of infinite negative freedom (continuously replenished through frictionless browsing), thrilled at the possibilities (in fact necessity) of self-commodification, the value in the network of one’s body, the harvesting of others. Imagine communities saturated in the vocabulary of cynical postrevolutionary blaxploitation, corporate bourgeois triumphalism, and also the devastation of crack, a schizophrenic cultural script in which black success was projected as the corporate mogul status achieved by Oprah or Jay-Z even as an angst-ridden black middle class propped up on predatory credit loans, gutted by the whims of financial speculation and lack of labor protections, slipped backward into the abyss of the prison archipelago where the majority poor remained. Imagine, then, the colonization of space, time, and most importantly cultural capital by the socially mediated system of images called the internet. Imagine finally a vast supply of cheap guns flooding neighborhoods already struggling to stay alive. What would the music of such a convergence sound like?

—p.35 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago
36

A SOCIAL LIFE STRICTLY ORGANIZED around encounters facilitated by the transactional service economy is almost by definition emotionally vacant. Hence the outsize importance of the latest black music (trap) in selling everything: Sweetgreen salads prepped and chopp’d by the majority minority for minimum wage, real estate roll-outs, various leisure objects with energetic connotations, the tastefulness of certain social gatherings. In the city of the mobile user and their memes, signs, processed and recoded desires, the desperate energy and beauty produced by the attempt to escape the narcocarceral jaws of death becomes a necessary raw fuel, a lubricant for soothing, or rather perfecting, the point of sale.

—p.36 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago

A SOCIAL LIFE STRICTLY ORGANIZED around encounters facilitated by the transactional service economy is almost by definition emotionally vacant. Hence the outsize importance of the latest black music (trap) in selling everything: Sweetgreen salads prepped and chopp’d by the majority minority for minimum wage, real estate roll-outs, various leisure objects with energetic connotations, the tastefulness of certain social gatherings. In the city of the mobile user and their memes, signs, processed and recoded desires, the desperate energy and beauty produced by the attempt to escape the narcocarceral jaws of death becomes a necessary raw fuel, a lubricant for soothing, or rather perfecting, the point of sale.

—p.36 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago

(noun) a rhetorical or literary figure in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order, in the same or a modified form; e.g. ‘Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.’.

38

An attitude might be expressed with just a shift in emphasis, a teasing chiasmus: “Raindrop, drop top” (“Bad and Boujee”).

—p.38 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago

An attitude might be expressed with just a shift in emphasis, a teasing chiasmus: “Raindrop, drop top” (“Bad and Boujee”).

—p.38 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago
40

TRAP IS INVESTED in a mode of dirty realism. It is likely the only literature that will capture the structure of feeling of the period in which it was produced, and it is certainly the only American literature of any kind that can truly claim to have a popular following across all races and classes. Points of reference are recyclable but relatable, titillating yet boring, trivial and très chic — much like cable television. Sports, movies, comedy, drugs, Scarface, reality TV, food, trash education, bad housing: the fusion core of endless momentum that radiates out from an efficient capitalist order distributing itself across a crumbling and degraded social fabric, all the while reproducing and even amplifying the underlying class, racial, and sexual tensions that are riven through it.

—p.40 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago

TRAP IS INVESTED in a mode of dirty realism. It is likely the only literature that will capture the structure of feeling of the period in which it was produced, and it is certainly the only American literature of any kind that can truly claim to have a popular following across all races and classes. Points of reference are recyclable but relatable, titillating yet boring, trivial and très chic — much like cable television. Sports, movies, comedy, drugs, Scarface, reality TV, food, trash education, bad housing: the fusion core of endless momentum that radiates out from an efficient capitalist order distributing itself across a crumbling and degraded social fabric, all the while reproducing and even amplifying the underlying class, racial, and sexual tensions that are riven through it.

—p.40 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago

disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way

43

The boundaries he pushes are only partly for our benefit; his chameleon love affair with the frisson of the louche

—p.43 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago

The boundaries he pushes are only partly for our benefit; his chameleon love affair with the frisson of the louche

—p.43 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago

(noun) the mind in its hypothetical primary blank or empty state before receiving outside impressions / (noun) something existing in its original pristine state (philosophy)

47

Could we begin our conversation over again, at a tabula rasa of black creative freedom

—p.47 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago

Could we begin our conversation over again, at a tabula rasa of black creative freedom

—p.47 by n+1
notable
1 year, 2 months ago
49

The peculiar condition of being ceaselessly co-opted for another’s profit could arguably point to an impasse, to despair. But here’s the counter: the force of our vernacular culture formed under slavery is the connection born principally in music, but also in the Word, in all of its manifold uses, that believes in its own power. That self-authorizes and liberates from within. This excessive and exceptional relation is misunderstood, often intentionally. Black culture isn’t “magic” because of some deistic proximity of black people to the universe. Slavers had their cargo dance on deck to keep them limber for the auction block. The magic was born out of a unique historical and material experience in world history, one that no other group of people underwent and survived for so long and in such intimate proximity to the main engines of modernity.

saving this less for the thesis and more for the turns of phrase (esp the subject)

—p.49 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago

The peculiar condition of being ceaselessly co-opted for another’s profit could arguably point to an impasse, to despair. But here’s the counter: the force of our vernacular culture formed under slavery is the connection born principally in music, but also in the Word, in all of its manifold uses, that believes in its own power. That self-authorizes and liberates from within. This excessive and exceptional relation is misunderstood, often intentionally. Black culture isn’t “magic” because of some deistic proximity of black people to the universe. Slavers had their cargo dance on deck to keep them limber for the auction block. The magic was born out of a unique historical and material experience in world history, one that no other group of people underwent and survived for so long and in such intimate proximity to the main engines of modernity.

saving this less for the thesis and more for the turns of phrase (esp the subject)

—p.49 by n+1 1 year, 2 months ago