Bop Gun

Jeg tror jeg bruker Wikipedia hver dag. Noen ganger er det småting jeg skal sjekke, som et årstall, andre ganger er jeg på jakt etter forbindelser, som musikere som har spilt på plater jeg muligens ikke har hørt om. Det er ikke alltid jeg stoler på Wikipedia, men det er et godt utgangspunkt for videre nettsøk, og for videre lesning. Og så er det noen ganger jeg finner perler. En slik fant jeg i går. I forbindelse med mine disco-forelesninger skal jeg i neste uke diskutere likheter og forskjeller på funk og disco, og en sentral aktør er George Clinton. I går hørte jeg så på platen Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome (fra 1977), med, blant annet, låten “Bop Gun (Endangered Species)”:

“The Placebo Syndrome” synes å være Clintons metafor for disco, og det fakes the funk, der funken altså blir “the real thing.” Som Peter Shapiro skriver i Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco:

“Compare this to the third great synth record of 1977 (‘I Feel Love’, Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans Europe Express’), Parliament’s Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome, a comic book funk fantasy that pits Star Child (‘the protector of the pleasure principle’) in a battle to the death with Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk. The album is densely populated with all manner of synth squiggles and, on ‘Flash Light’, a preposterously funky Moog bassline that was made by stacking notes on top of each other, creating a springy sound of profound depth. Star Child’s principal weapon in this battle in the ‘zone of zero funkativity’ is the ‘Bop Gun’, which features the lyrics, ‘Turn me loose, we shall overcome’. The reference to the civil rights struggle was unmissable: the ‘Bop Gun’ was Parliament mastermind George Clinton’s metaphor for the life-affirming power of dancing in the face of the pleasure-denying, sexless Puritans and the charlatan ‘urge overkill’-peddlers who ran America. In Clinton’s hands, the machine and gospel tradition not only marched hand in hand, but the two fused to become a weapon – anything but Summer’s submission. The album’s textures and scenario screamed ‘science fiction’, but the album was all about ‘realness’ – dig that title! – where true black music struggled against ‘the Placebo Syndrome’ which was faking the funk.”

Alt dette gir mening, og passer også godt inn i Parliaments større konseptuelle prosjekt. Men så var det altså jeg leste Wikipedia-siden for “Bop Gun (Endangered Species).” Og hele siste avsnittet er fantastisk:

“Often unacknowledged is the degree of influence that the song had on the trajectory of French philosopher Jacques Derrida’s critical work. In 2011, Jürgen Schpengelheimer presented a paper at the ‘New Directions in Critical Theory’ conference, organized around the theme of ‘Singularity: Transdisciplinary Explorations in Language, Culture, and Theory’, in which Schpengelheimer, perhaps best-known as the cousin of Sylviane Agacinski, the woman with whom Derrida had a long-standing extra-martial affair, presented heretofore unpublished diary entries by the late Derrida reflecting upon the ‘bop gun’ within Bataille’s concept of non-consensual mysticism. Although it is commonly known that Derrida had a high regard for the ‘spontaneity, improvisation and unmediated expression’ of jazz, it is often overlooked by many recipients of his critical work that he privately was also fond of these aspects within George Clinton’s catalog as well. Essentially, Derrida’s assertion read the ‘bop gun’ as a potential cryptographic algorithm within Nichomachean ethics, locating pleasure as the energeia that provides an apodictic reversal between the entelechy of potentiality and actuality, thereby rendering Sir Nose’s ‘zone of zero funkativity’ into a veritable aporia.”

Den nevnte konferanse er det linket til, men jeg kan ikke finne noe program, og når jeg googler Jürgen Schpengelheimer får jeg opp ett – 1 – treff, og det er nettopp overnevnte side. Hvis han har holdt et akademisk paper og det bare finnes ett treff i google, vel, det er som om han ikke eksisterer. Er det hele fake? Som Bootsy Collins sier, på “The Pinocchio Theory,” fra albumet Ahh … the Name Is Bootsy, Baby! (fra 1977; spilt inn i 1976): “You fake the funk, your nose got to grow.”

Samtidig kan jeg ikke helt dy meg for å tenke at det er noen poenger her. “Zone of zero funkativity” som apori gir mening, enten Derrida nå skulle ha tenkte det eller ei. Og når jeg så for meg Derrida på disco for en stund siden, kan jeg vel også få forestille meg en funky Derrida for et lite øyeblikk.

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Bop Gun”

  1. steinskog Says:

    Update: Nå finnes Jürgen Schpengelheimer (med eller uten hermetegn) også på facebook. Om enn hans data synes rimelig fiktive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: