Monday, March 13, 2006

For Foxxxylove-"Trapped in a closet."

3quarksdaily is a curious blog. It's typical post is on semantics, string theory and such. But today's post is far more interesting, as it deals with pedophilia, urination, hip-hop, and the artist known as R. Kelly.

This post will appeal only to one person in the world, my dear foxxylove, who should avoid sending her bazillion readers on this journey as the thrust of the argument avoids any popular appeal.

It begins delightfully enough with a "slam" against R & B "my sister has a soft spot for R&B, but it always struck me as the honey dripper bullshit that Chuck D once proclaimed it to be. I took it that if you appreciated the crisp diction and streety rawness of hip hop you were honor bound, as it were, to thumb your nose at R&B and the endless sloppy crooning of it all. "

That and "fuck the PO-lice" are the two comments that Chuck D will be remembered for.

But then something inexplicable happens:

"That was before I saw Trapped in the Closet, which broke me down and rearranged me as a man. There is no way to describe Trapped in the Closet properly. ItÂ’s a long R&B song. ItÂ’s some kind of opera/soap opera/TV drama. It bears some vague genetic resemblance to the Hip Hoperas of the brilliant Prince Paul from a few years back. ItÂ’s sort of like a music video."

I must confess my only previous knowledge of "In the Closet" is the brilliant South Park send up, so Quarks comments stunned me. But don't worry if you were waitinging anxiously to hear about the syntaxical moment found in R& B wait no further:

"Indeed, it was while watching Trapped in the Closet for the eighth or ninth time [that he comes to the belief that] basically, that semantics gets you nowhere. Meaning comes out of the arrangement of words, not out of the individual meanings of individual words. There's a perfectly respectable school for this type of meaning holism among philosophers of language, but it somehow seemed more impressive coming from someone who'd gotten there solely in long, dark nights labors with impenetrable sentences in Tacitus that suddenly revealed themselves as if in a magical flash. Syntax is like that, he said, like some weird kind of magic with language."

Oh, there is much more, go read.

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