Thursday, 26 July 2007

By which I do not Mean; or, How to Turn a Dissertation into a Book As I struggle to finish the Wharton chapter without any of the books I requested through Interlibrary Loan—including The Ethnography of Manners, recommended by Luther; Edith Wharton's "Evolutionary Conception": Darwinian Allegory in Her Major Novels, which any fool can see's essential; and the unexpurgated letters of Edith Wharton, which unlike their cleanly brethren, don't gloss over her racist taxonomies—so as I struggle to finish that in light of all I lack, I can't help but look for ways to elongate, by means of utilizing a protracted lengthening of prolongment if need be (and it be), my current chapter. Luckily, today I chanced by accident upon a monograph which shows me exactly and precisely what I must not do if I hope to finish this chapter (and I do). What I must not do is define my terms in the affirmative, because as everyone knows (and they do), everyone else has preconceived notions of what words mean—especially when they refer to concepts instead of things—which means that if I wish to be precise to an exact degree, I must specify both what my words mean and what they decidedly don't. In order to make this relevant, I will replace the actual name of the monograph I chance upon with one under more frequent discussion in the present moment of the now, i.e. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: The print market in which [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows] appears may be described as an "open" system. By this I do not mean that it is a self-regulating totality that sustains some essential character through the sort of homeostasis that is characteristic of, for example, many biological systems. The print market is a system of production and consumption in which no one can control or guarantee the meanings that sweep through its texts. It is open to seismic shifts and dislocations ... The market for [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows] isn't analogously biological but geological, a fine distinction of precision which takes the better part of three whole entire paragraphs to draw. To think that all this time I've been arguing affirmatively! I could've been done, finished and completed by now had I but begun by demonstrating everything my every claim was not. If only I believed in a next life, this would all have been worthwhile.
If I Were Lawyer You Would Meet Me in Court and We Would Yell Words Things you did not know about the name that you have stolen of Acephalous include that it belongs to band that no less than Metal Review said that of their album Divine Purity that it is "45 minutes of blackened, brutal melodeath"? I knew that there was a band named "Acephalous," but I was not aware that I had stolen their name, nor that they play "blackened, brutal melodeath." Did you know Acephalous whose name you use combines what Ultimate Metal called "old Sacramentum meets Alf Svensson era At The Gates coupled with an accessible flare more common to the newer wave of death metal and deathcore acts"? You may as well be speaking another language. Did you know Metal Fan reviewed the album to say "Heugelijk nieuws van onze zuiderburen: de Belgische undergroundscène zit de laatste tijd behoorlijk in de lift. Een lift die qua spooksferen niet onderdoet voor de lift uit Stephen King's Overlook en qua bruutheid voor de lift van Dick Maas. Nu toko's als Shiver Records en Rotten To The Core behoorlijk uitpakken is het oogstseizoen van verdienstelijke Belgische metal in volle gang. Hoe mooi is dat?!" Now you are speaking another language. Care to get to the point? True metal fans do not appreciate the thievery which you have done to this deathcore group which their furiously riffing style. You take their original name but do not say so anywhere on your website. You should be shamed of yourself for stealing on the reputation of the band who played Divine Purity. If I were lawyer you would meet me in court and we would yell words. I feel a little guilty laughing at someone who, in the end, reveals himself to be a non-native speaker whose (infrequent) grammatical sentences are borrowed from the English portions the blog on Acephalous' Myspace. But then I read the reviews written on Acephalous' Myspace and remember: Mockery can be mighty entertaining. The unintentionally humorous bits of my anonymous correspondent's email are entertaining enough; however, the actual reviews of Divine Purity are infinitely more so. Witness the faux-intellectuality of the modern metalhead: Thus it should not be surprising that Acephalous' main method of attack is based around relentless counterpoint tremolo picked riffing. And it is here where the band is clearly the most comfortable as the melodies and combinations that result therein are greatly satisfying. Thus the result of the pretension of this review is therein greatly satisfying indeed. Then there's the undergraduate-essayist-cum-music-reviewer: Beginning a review with a definition can be cliché, but in the case of Belgium's Acephalous, it's too interesting to pass up. From the American Heritage Dictionary, via, acephalous means: Biology Headless or lacking a clearly defined head: acephalous worms. Having no leader. See? Very interesting. Indeed! But my favorite review comes from "FYU": I'm a bit ashamed to admit it but until now I never had heard of this band before. So when I got this album in the mail and looked at the drawing...

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