Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, April 25, 2004


I wrote the other night on April 20 about the rhetorical influence of the talented and lively (and literally Fascist) poet F. T. Marinetti on 20th century modernist arts. Reading his stuff again today, I came across "The Pleasure of Being Booed," dated 1911-1915, shortly after his initial Futurist manifesto. It is, but naturally, another list of rules:

"1. We Futurists, above all, teach authors to *despise the audience* and especially to despise first-night audiences . . .

"2. We especially teach *a horror of the immediate success* that normally crowns dull and mediocre works. . . .

"3. Authors should have no preoccupation except *an absolute innovative originality*. . . ."

Marinetti -- he's the secret rhetorical wellspring for 20th century avant-gardism and manifestoism. These rules read like the "crazy uncle" who tells all the family's suppressed secrets.


On Thursday night I posted on how music makes people feel good. Last night we had friends over for dinner, and when it was time to put the baby to bed, our five-year-old friend played some soothing piano music to help calm the baby so he would sleep. The sweet music may have helped do the trick (the baby went down without a fuss), though I nervously asked our friend to play verrrry quietly.

The pianist had had no lessons. His mother, a good pianist with years of training, told me the five-year-old had told her, "I just play what I feel."

Music makes me feel good. Once more with feeling.


My friend Nick Griffin wrote me on Friday:

"Who sings that song "Alone Again, Naturally"?  I thought I saw on the web Gilbert O'Sullivan. Was there a '70s singer named that as opposed to the Pirates of Penzance composers?

"I heard that song this morning in a coffee shop.  Man, it's great."

John replies:

Great song! Yes, it's Gilbert O'Sullivan, whose real name, I learned at this web site, was Raymond Edward O'Sullivan. He was born in 1946 in Ireland, and he also sang the lovely song "Clair," which was about his manager's daughter.

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