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Elder Ones, "From Untruth," and a Threat Called New York: An Essay

Arian Bagheri Pour Fallah By

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This is the exclusive reason explaining developing countries outside of global and political arrangements, developing countries whose lackluster and/or sheer lack of a prevalent creative enterprise (which is considered secondary to economic impulses on the basis of which development is at large defined today) is both undeniable and explicably identifiable, as in the case of those at their forefront, e.g. China, where out of modernity's many ethos only its mercantile incentives have been adopted, thanks to Friedman and other gurus of free trade, where figures like Zhao Liang are few and far between—which is why an ethnography of the modern world, of America, is of man as we know him, and in no way limited to the territory as such. China, the future home of capital or not, is for this reason, no more than a dead ringer of America, of the modern, moral world, where immorality tends to shock the outside observer but rarely incite any fundamental questions about its frame of reference.

More concerningly, ravages of truths and facts in current political air have slowly defaced the need for hermeneutics, in fields that most require it, and this is uniquely the germ of notions, ethnic origin, as well as biologic parallelisms on which the new appeal of the Right rests. It would be easy and just about as dangerous, for a truly radical Left, and not the neoliberal Left, to play the same cards. For power has grown immune to spooks, and Fordism discreetly a means to regiment spooks. The propensity to hold symbols accountable, as with Geertz, is no less improbable today than looking for and/or insisting on perils of ideology. On the other end, it is imperative for queries on man to move away from ends and estates altogether, which is why and in which sense this study bears the label essay with no addition and/or mention of economic anthropology or urban studies, both of which may very well have been present/absent as sous rature and in a subtitle, that is, in the strict sense of essais, from Montaigne to Leiris, resisting authentications, convictions, and validations of institutional study, of preservation.

Preservation, as in the developing world where it is deemed unlimited and absolute, is synonymous with erasure of creative endeavors en masse, whose uselessness has been known ever since Schopenhauer. In the same degree, for any protest it remains existential not to relent, and a jazz divorced from both punk and academic normalities, a jazz invested instead in free improvisation's natural capacity to upset, can do just that. Kidambi's heterodox disposition is, in this regard, measurably successful, for the output seldom falls into the trap of reinstituting mores, that which the bulk of new folk music, A Hawk And A Hacksaw et al, occasions. Moreover, the societal contour of protest, often undermining Self and solitude of the Self, here is not altogether imposing. In the ending to the title-track, a deflection of a theme introduced earlier partakes enough of this contrast to retrospect an other New Yorker not alien to the question, namely Angelo Badalamenti , whose suspension of melancholy in the face of the jubilant is one of the rarest achievements in contemporary incidental music. And if one were to get passed the metaphoric reasoning ("modernity") for use of electronics, here and now, the overlap of pre/modern could refine protest and its intimate link with preservation, put forth in the opener—"Eat the rich or die starving." What is the plight but to make certain in rallying for the ethnic, the just, and the true, clenched fists do not hide prayer for the hand that feeds.
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