31 July 2009

Dada language

The thing I like least about Dada is the nonsense language. Sure, I get that it's a response to the journalistic language of the time, where the ideals of Western civilisation were lauded while an entire generation was being slaughtered and maimed.

However, I don't believe Dada-style nonsense language is a valid response. Apparently, Hans Arp would liberally sprinkle his conversation with nonsense words. That must have been exceedingly tiresome. Yes, Marie Osmond doing Hugo Ball's Karawane is funny, and Brian Eno made great use of a Kurt Schwitters recording, but the Dada assault on language simply wasn't very effective.

In fact, the manipulative use of language is even more of a concern now than in 1916 or thereabouts, given the sophisticated techniques that can now be deployed by the instruments of control (and that are by no means limited to language).

Look at the way the Americans have redefined 'freedom' to mean the ability of multinational corporations to make a profit. And when their Department of Defence got hassled after announcing it had a psychological warfare unit inserting propaganda into various news media, they said 'oops, you're right, we shouldn't have told anyone about it'.

Let's face it, they may have sophisticated techniques, but the people using them are still incompetent plonkers. It's not that hard to see through their tricks.

Therefore, the Common-Sense Nihilist Party's education policy is to teach philosophy in primary school. After that, the little bastards can sort themselves out.

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