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Author Topic: TSS - All things Child is father ......  (Read 30132 times)
Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #75 on: July 25, 2015, 10:48:50 PM »

I would like to respond in depth to your post but before I do, I need to clear up this confusion. You note the following:

I think, if anything, you're the one speculating on our collaborator's intentions and forcing their supposed perspective unto the album.

Since you were responding here to a lengthy passage in which I said nothing of Van Dyke Parks, and since you do not provide an example of my speculations, I am curious what you believe my speculation to be?
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Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard
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« Reply #76 on: July 26, 2015, 12:27:42 PM »

I would like to respond in depth to your post but before I do, I need to clear up this confusion. You note the following:

I think, if anything, you're the one speculating on our collaborator's intentions and forcing their supposed perspective unto the album.

Since you were responding here to a lengthy passage in which I said nothing of Van Dyke Parks, and since you do not provide an example of my speculations, I am curious what you believe my speculation to be?

Because you're bringing VDP's supposed anti-transcontinentalism to your analysis of SMiLE. For myself, I didnt think twice about Wordsworth being quoted on the album. For you, it's a major point of contention because the collaborator supposedly didnt want to incorporate anything British into his work. You said this: "Okay, but to be honest, this just speaks to our differences in approach because I'm not particularly interested in speculating as to why Hitchcock uses lots of green. From a scholarly perspective, the artist's intention really doesn't matter - what matters is what the text does (this by the way is important because it is in moving from artist's intention to what the text does where we go from speculative to analytical)."

So I was bringing up the fact that *you* and not I, seem to be focusing on the artist's intent and not what the music/lyrics themselves do. Who cares whether it's British or American in origin? The quote is very thought-provoking. I think it's the best actual title on the whole album--it certainly got my attention. Even without verse lyrics, the chorus/title are so strong that it already got my mind racing on what the meaning could be, and it works great either with the other life/innocence tracks or as a part of some greater Americana theme that bridges the album together. The fact that it's British when much other references are strictly American is worth bringing up but all the same I dont see why it's worth focusing on, much less saying CIFOTM doesnt belong on the album. Again, it's very easy to attribute a meaning to this--it reflects a British perspective on America. The Child has surpassed the Man. Britain was now the lesser power and largely dependent on American might for protection in the Cold War when previously England has the largest empire in the world and America was but an offshoot of that. This is a very simple interpretation that doesnt require too much thought, research or forced reaching into VDP's political views. It's there, it works, and the track itself could have possibly been the best song on the album had it been finished. End of story.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 12:34:18 PM by Mujan, B@st@rd Son of a Blue Wizard » Logged

Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #77 on: July 26, 2015, 08:19:08 PM »

I would like to respond in depth to your post but before I do, I need to clear up this confusion. You note the following:

I think, if anything, you're the one speculating on our collaborator's intentions and forcing their supposed perspective unto the album.

Since you were responding here to a lengthy passage in which I said nothing of Van Dyke Parks, and since you do not provide an example of my speculations, I am curious what you believe my speculation to be?

Because you're bringing VDP's supposed anti-transcontinentalism to your analysis of SMiLE. For myself, I didnt think twice about Wordsworth being quoted on the album. For you, it's a major point of contention because the collaborator supposedly didnt want to incorporate anything British into his work. You said this: "Okay, but to be honest, this just speaks to our differences in approach because I'm not particularly interested in speculating as to why Hitchcock uses lots of green. From a scholarly perspective, the artist's intention really doesn't matter - what matters is what the text does (this by the way is important because it is in moving from artist's intention to what the text does where we go from speculative to analytical)."

Nothing that I have said constitutes speculation on any level. I have noted 3 facts:

Fact 1: Van Dyke Parks opposes transcontinentalism (this is not "supposed" as you falsely attribute it - it's a fact)
Fact 2: Van Dyke Parks opposes cultural appropriation
Fact 3: There is a song on Smile with the same title as a British poem

And my conclusion (not "analysis" as you put it -- what these terms mean is crucial) is that these facts are contradictory. Now, if you can explain to me how this, on any level, represents a speculation, please let me know.

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So I was bringing up the fact that *you* and not I, seem to be focusing on the artist's intent and not what the music/lyrics themselves do.

Well, again, in spite of what you say above, I'm not attempting to make an analysis here. That being said, my main point is not to say anything about the artist's intention on Smile. I did devote one sentence to the subject when I stated that the lyrics on Smile belong to a particular literary tradition and that this serves to reaffirm Parks's self-positioning as a kind of postcolonial American author. But I only started talking about that after you began questioning the facts that I brought up above and it is certainly not my main point nor is it my focus. One need know nothing about Van Dyke Parks's intentions in order to come to the conclusions I have. I don't believe it's particularly useful or at all interesting to figure out what Van Dyke Parks was intending with Smile or certain songs (as you have done repeatedly with your assumptions about what Child could have been about), that does not mean I am not interested in the things that Van Dyke Parks has to say. In other words, it would be interesting if Hitchcock made some claim about never wanting to make a film about psychopaths and then directed Psycho but that does not necessarily mean that I would do a reading of Psycho to come to some conclusions about what Hitchcock was intending with the film. Again, the distinction here is crucial.

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Who cares whether it's British or American in origin?

In this case, I do. You might as well ask Van Dyke Parks why he cares so much that Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton played their version of blues music.

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The quote is very thought-provoking.

I agree. I'm not sure what your point here is though.

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The fact that it's British when much other references are strictly American is worth bringing up but all the same I dont see why it's worth focusing on, much less saying CIFOTM doesnt belong on the album.

You are now conflating the statements made by two different posters. I've certainly never suggested that the song doesn't belong on the album.

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Again, it's very easy to attribute a meaning to this--it reflects a British perspective on America. The Child has surpassed the Man. Britain was now the lesser power and largely dependent on American might for protection in the Cold War when previously England has the largest empire in the world and America was but an offshoot of that. This is a very simple interpretation that doesnt require too much thought, research or forced reaching into VDP's political views.

You call this interpretation but it's not - it's a groundless assumption based on exactly zero evidence.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 08:37:42 PM by Chocolate Shake Man » Logged
Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard
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« Reply #78 on: July 26, 2015, 10:05:22 PM »

I would like to respond in depth to your post but before I do, I need to clear up this confusion. You note the following:

I think, if anything, you're the one speculating on our collaborator's intentions and forcing their supposed perspective unto the album.

Since you were responding here to a lengthy passage in which I said nothing of Van Dyke Parks, and since you do not provide an example of my speculations, I am curious what you believe my speculation to be?

Because you're bringing VDP's supposed anti-transcontinentalism to your analysis of SMiLE. For myself, I didnt think twice about Wordsworth being quoted on the album. For you, it's a major point of contention because the collaborator supposedly didnt want to incorporate anything British into his work. You said this: "Okay, but to be honest, this just speaks to our differences in approach because I'm not particularly interested in speculating as to why Hitchcock uses lots of green. From a scholarly perspective, the artist's intention really doesn't matter - what matters is what the text does (this by the way is important because it is in moving from artist's intention to what the text does where we go from speculative to analytical)."

Nothing that I have said constitutes speculation on any level. I have noted 3 facts:

Fact 1: Van Dyke Parks opposes transcontinentalism (this is not "supposed" as you falsely attribute it - it's a fact)
Fact 2: Van Dyke Parks opposes cultural appropriation
Fact 3: There is a song on Smile with the same title as a British poem

And my conclusion (not "analysis" as you put it -- what these terms mean is crucial) is that these facts are contradictory. Now, if you can explain to me how this, on any level, represents a speculation, please let me know.

Ok again, it feels like you're splitting hairs here. Analysis...conclusion...the conclusion of your analysis...whatever. And again, you're ignoring the fact that this wasnt VDP's album, this was BRIAN'S album first and foremost. Even VDP says he was just a hired hand. I know its not a bastion of journalistic integrity but if we believe the wiki article, Brian came up with the title/reference. Again, the fact that there's this lone reference to English literature is worth noting but not this all-important point of contention I think.

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Quote
So I was bringing up the fact that *you* and not I, seem to be focusing on the artist's intent and not what the music/lyrics themselves do.

Well, again, in spite of what you say above, I'm not attempting to make an analysis here. That being said, my main point is not to say anything about the artist's intention on Smile. I did devote one sentence to the subject when I stated that the lyrics on Smile belong to a particular literary tradition and that this serves to reaffirm Parks's self-positioning as a kind of postcolonial American author. But I only started talking about that after you began questioning the facts that I brought up above and it is certainly not my main point nor is it my focus. One need know nothing about Van Dyke Parks's intentions in order to come to the conclusions I have. I don't believe it's particularly useful or at all interesting to figure out what Van Dyke Parks was intending with Smile or certain songs (as you have done repeatedly with your assumptions about what Child could have been about), that does not mean I am not interested in the things that Van Dyke Parks has to say. In other words, it would be interesting if Hitchcock made some claim about never wanting to make a film about psychopaths and then directed Psycho but that does not necessarily mean that I would do a reading of Psycho to come to some conclusions about what Hitchcock was intending with the film. Again, the distinction here is crucial.

What's the point of talking about the album at all if we're just gonna trade factoids and not discuss them (be it speculation, analysis, conclusions or whatever) in any way? This is art, our two artists clearly had high, grandiose intentions about it. Im sorry you dont think thats interesting or useful but I do. I guess Im the opposite as you. Sticking with Vertigo, I see the film itself as very inviting of various interpretations. I find new conclusions to draw literally every time I watch it, and my understanding of it has aged and gotten more complex as I myself have grown and gotten more worldly. I think *that* is interesting. How art grows with you, means something new not only to every person but to every new listen/viewing. I myself wouldnt find it particularly useful if Hitchcock was a liberal or believer in aryan supremacy or anti-transcontinental or anything. I might use that info to look for new hidden messages in the film for curiosity's sake but ultimately my own unique interpretation is what it is and is just as valid.

Honestly I really dont understand what you're trying to say. Maybe these distinctions are crucial to you but Im not picking up your meaning.

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Who cares whether it's British or American in origin?

In this case, I do. You might as well ask Van Dyke Parks why he cares so much that Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton played their version of blues music.

But again, I thought you didnt care about the artist's intent? I dont know, on the one hand you're saying you're interested in what the author has to say but then you're saying its irrelevant. I feel like we're going in circles, both of us LOL

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Quote
The quote is very thought-provoking.

I agree. I'm not sure what your point here is though.

Because for Brian at least, I think that was the primary endgame. If you're to be believed, for VDP it was primarily about asserting a distinctly American message. But you keep forgetting this was Brian's show and ultimately he who called the shots. I think he wanted to express a lot of different ideas and concepts on this album. Religion, nature (the elements), astrology, zen riddles, and this quote really struck a chord with him at the time, made him think, and he wanted to do something with it on this album. You're continuously ignoring Brian's role in all this. VDP's perspective and intentions are certainly important to take note of (or...arent they? what did we decide on, I seriously have lost track) but Brian's would have taken precedence and I dont think his were as narrow in subject matter as that.

You know what? Im skipping the conclusion, analysis, speculation and going full-tinfoil. VDP walked off the project in protest to the use of this British poetry in his Americana-rama. You heard it here first.

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The fact that it's British when much other references are strictly American is worth bringing up but all the same I dont see why it's worth focusing on, much less saying CIFOTM doesnt belong on the album.

You are now conflating the statements made by two different posters. I've certainly never suggested that the song doesn't belong on the album.

I didnt mean to accuse you of saying that. I referred to MrV by name earlier.

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Quote
Again, it's very easy to attribute a meaning to this--it reflects a British perspective on America. The Child has surpassed the Man. Britain was now the lesser power and largely dependent on American might for protection in the Cold War when previously England has the largest empire in the world and America was but an offshoot of that. This is a very simple interpretation that doesnt require too much thought, research or forced reaching into VDP's political views.

You call this interpretation but it's not - it's a groundless assumption based on exactly zero evidence.
[/quote]

Umm, no. Thats my personal interpretation of this song. Assumption? Isnt all artistic interpretation an assumption by this definition? Zero evidence? Im working that quote into the greater theme of Americana and specifically the lyrics of the two songs CIFOTM is almost always placed between. I mean...how much evidence do I really need before my assumption is granted the rank of interpretation? Do I need a signed letter by VDP and Brian? Or wait...did we agree that the artist's intent/views dont matter? Ive honestly lost track by this point and am not even sure what we're talking about anymore.

Why dont you give me a clear cut definition as you see it of conclusions vs interpretations vs analyses vs speculations. A clear set of rules for applying outside quotes/intent of the artist? Cuz Im not sure what you expect of me. Are we just stating facts and leaving it at that? Well, maybe thats all youd care to do but for myself I enjoy analysis/speculation if you dont. So if thats the case, why not accept that and lets move on.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 10:15:49 PM by Mujan, B@st@rd Son of a Blue Wizard » Logged

Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
[
Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #79 on: July 26, 2015, 11:06:49 PM »

Because you're bringing VDP's supposed anti-transcontinentalism to your analysis of SMiLE.

I never made an analysis of SMiLE. SMiLE is an unfinished album -- I made reference to one song. And I wasn't even doing an analysis of that song. I was saying how the title was at odds with Van Dyke's statement.

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For myself, I didnt think twice about Wordsworth being quoted on the album. For you, it's a major point of contention because the collaborator supposedly didnt want to incorporate anything British into his work.

No. It's neither a major nor minor point of contention. And I have never said that Parks "didn't want to incorporate anything British into his work." Obviously he did want to, or else we wouldn't have the title. And as I noted in my first post on the subject, Parks has delved outside of the continent elsewhere. His first record has Donovan cover on it. So I'm curious how Parks might explain the dichotomy - or perhaps even explain how one form of cultural appropriation is seemingly unacceptable while another isn't. Or, for that matter, how does he square his past comments about The Beatles with his contemporary work with Ringo? I suppose I could have used any of these examples, but we happen to be in the Child Is the Father of the Man thread.

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Ok again, it feels like you're splitting hairs here. Analysis...conclusion...the conclusion of your analysis...whatever.

These are different terms and the difference is crucial, not splitting hairs.

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And again, you're ignoring the fact that this wasnt VDP's album, this was BRIAN'S album first and foremost. Even VDP says he was just a hired hand. I know its not a bastion of journalistic integrity but if we believe the wiki article, Brian came up with the title/reference. Again, the fact that there's this lone reference to English literature is worth noting but not this all-important point of contention I think.

I've never ignored this. Check out this quote of mine from earlier in the discussion:

Quote
However, as you note, the title may very well have come from Brian and not Parks.

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What's the point of talking about the album at all if we're just gonna trade factoids and not discuss them (be it speculation, analysis, conclusions or whatever) in any way? This is art, our two artists clearly had high, grandiose intentions about it. Im sorry you dont think thats interesting or useful but I do. I guess Im the opposite as you.

Yes, and this is a point with which I raised above when I suggested that "this just speaks to our differences in approach." Again, lumping in speculation with analysis is a mistake. To me, if a work is eliciting speculation then it is not really a great piece of art. It may be very entertaining - like I suggested in other posts, a mystery novel, a TV show like Lost or The Twilight Zone, maybe a Hitchcock film might count. I like all of these things but high art they are not. And I agree there is an element of Smile that appeals to people who go in for stuff like that - people like reconstructing what they speculate could have been the final track order in the 60s, etc. I have done all of this too but I don't particularly find it serious. Like I said, it's great fodder for message boards, and I wouldn't be here if I didn't like fodder, but it's not exactly something that's going on in music departments. Again, I'm not putting a value on this really -- I think both have a value and I enjoy both. I have never said we should avoid analyzing the album and, in fact, in this thread I gave several examples of what I think might make for an excellent analysis of the material. And speculation is great fun but I'm just not sure I see it working in terms of the issue that I raised.

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Sticking with Vertigo, I see the film itself as very inviting of various interpretations. I find new conclusions to draw literally every time I watch it, and my understanding of it has aged and gotten more complex as I myself have grown and gotten more worldly. I think *that* is interesting. How art grows with you, means something new not only to every person but to every new listen/viewing. I myself wouldnt find it particularly useful if Hitchcock was a liberal or believer in aryan supremacy or anti-transcontinental or anything. I might use that info to look for new hidden messages in the film for curiosity's sake but ultimately my own unique interpretation is what it is and is just as valid.

Absolutely - couldn't agree with you more.

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But again, I thought you didnt care about the artist's intent? I dont know, on the one hand you're saying you're interested in what the author has to say but then you're saying its irrelevant. I feel like we're going in circles, both of us LOL

Because again, these terms have meanings. Artist's intent has nothing to do with an artist's opinions. The long form of artist's intent is "what were the artist's intentions when making this piece of art." That's different from asking, "I wonder what this artist's opinions were on such and such issue." You make the excellent point above that when watching Vertigo what's important is your interpretation. I agree and so would most scholars. You don't watch Vertigo to try and figure out what Hitchcock was trying to achieve - you watch Vertigo and you realize it has a certain effect on you and has certain meanings to you whether Hitchcock meant it or not. So an analysis of Vertigo would be to examine what kind of work the film is doing, not what kind of thing Hitchcock had in mind (the latter is for film historians not film analysts). That being said, if Hitchcock ever made statements that appeared to be in opposition to his actions, it might be worth talking about.

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Because for Brian at least, I think that was the primary endgame. If you're to be believed, for VDP it was primarily about asserting a distinctly American message. But you keep forgetting this was Brian's show and ultimately he who called the shots. I think he wanted to express a lot of different ideas and concepts on this album. Religion, nature (the elements), astrology, zen riddles, and this quote really struck a chord with him at the time, made him think, and he wanted to do something with it on this album. You're continuously ignoring Brian's role in all this. VDP's perspective and intentions are certainly important to take note of (or...arent they? what did we decide on, I seriously have lost track) but Brian's would have taken precedence and I dont think his were as narrow in subject matter as that.

I haven't forgotten Brian's perspective. I just haven't foregrounded it for this particular discussion. Like I noted above, I was quite willing to drop this entirely with the point that Brian could have been the one to come up with the title. At a certain point in the thread I became interested in other parts of the discussion.

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Umm, no. Thats my personal interpretation of this song.

No, it's not and I think to some degree you are misunderstanding what an interpretation is. Here, you're telling me what the song could have been about if it had lyrics. An interpretation of the song would be looking at the lyrics and telling me what it means (or, for that matter, listening to the music and telling me what it means, but you have not done that here either) We have no lyrics. We do have a title. An interpretation of the title could lead to several possibilities:

1. The reproduction and cycle of humanity.
2. A man learns more from his child than a child learns from his or her father
3. A man's knowledge is build in his childhood

Outside of those three options, I'm not sure I can think of other interpretations though there may be a few more. But that's what an interpretation is. You are essentially looking at something and answering the question, "what does this mean?" On a more basic level, an interpretation of Back to the Future could be:

1. The story of a kid trying to get back home after travelling to the past
2. The story of a kid who goes back in time to make sure his parents get together
3. The story of a kid who goes back in time to teach his father how to be brave
4. The differences in two time periods

And so on. But with all this you can see how the phrase "Child is the Father of the Man" does not mean that Britain became more dependant on America. Maybe if the song had lyrics, there might be something there that could lead one to make such an interpretation but the title alone does not allow for that.

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Assumption? Isnt all artistic interpretation an assumption by this definition?

No. What am I assuming when I interpret the phrase "Child is the Father of the Man" to mean "a man learns more from his child than a child learns from his or her father"?

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Zero evidence? Im working that quote into the greater theme of Americana and specifically the lyrics of the two songs CIFOTM is almost always placed between. I mean...how much evidence do I really need before my assumption is granted the rank of interpretation?

One doesn't need evidence to make an interpretation.

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Why dont you give me a clear cut definition as you see it of conclusions vs interpretations vs analyses vs speculations. A clear set of rules for applying outside quotes/intent of the artist? Cuz Im not sure what you expect of me. Are we just stating facts and leaving it at that? Well, maybe thats all youd care to do but for myself I enjoy analysis/speculation if you dont. So if thats the case, why not accept that and lets move on.

Conclusion: Something you reach after making an observation or a series of observations. One can reach a conclusion after taking a sip of tea, and one can reach a conclusion after performing an analysis.
Interpretation: What you think something means
Analysis: Given what a piece of art means, what you argue that piece of art doing in meaning that.
Speculation: Filling in an absence or lack with your guess

And again, to illustrate the difference between interpretation and speculation here given these definitions:

Interpretation: Lost is about a group of people trying to find their way back home and they seem to be building to revealing a big mystery.
Speculation: They're all on a spaceship.

What I was basically looking for from you was more of this interesting discussion on speculation vs. analysis. As far as my Van Dyke Parks point, I would be interested in seeing how other people read his comment about transcontinentalism or how might cultural appropriation be appropriate under some circumstances but not others, or if people have read more or talked more to VDP to genuinely understand his stance on this issue, etc. There's quite a bit to discuss on that front I think.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 11:13:13 PM by Chocolate Shake Man » Logged
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« Reply #80 on: July 27, 2015, 06:38:07 PM »

Because you're bringing VDP's supposed anti-transcontinentalism to your analysis of SMiLE.

I never made an analysis of SMiLE. SMiLE is an unfinished album -- I made reference to one song. And I wasn't even doing an analysis of that song. I was saying how the title was at odds with Van Dyke's statement.

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For myself, I didnt think twice about Wordsworth being quoted on the album. For you, it's a major point of contention because the collaborator supposedly didnt want to incorporate anything British into his work.

No. It's neither a major nor minor point of contention. And I have never said that Parks "didn't want to incorporate anything British into his work." Obviously he did want to, or else we wouldn't have the title. And as I noted in my first post on the subject, Parks has delved outside of the continent elsewhere. His first record has Donovan cover on it. So I'm curious how Parks might explain the dichotomy - or perhaps even explain how one form of cultural appropriation is seemingly unacceptable while another isn't. Or, for that matter, how does he square his past comments about The Beatles with his contemporary work with Ringo? I suppose I could have used any of these examples, but we happen to be in the Child Is the Father of the Man thread.

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Ok again, it feels like you're splitting hairs here. Analysis...conclusion...the conclusion of your analysis...whatever.

These are different terms and the difference is crucial, not splitting hairs.

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And again, you're ignoring the fact that this wasnt VDP's album, this was BRIAN'S album first and foremost. Even VDP says he was just a hired hand. I know its not a bastion of journalistic integrity but if we believe the wiki article, Brian came up with the title/reference. Again, the fact that there's this lone reference to English literature is worth noting but not this all-important point of contention I think.

I've never ignored this. Check out this quote of mine from earlier in the discussion:

Quote
However, as you note, the title may very well have come from Brian and not Parks.

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What's the point of talking about the album at all if we're just gonna trade factoids and not discuss them (be it speculation, analysis, conclusions or whatever) in any way? This is art, our two artists clearly had high, grandiose intentions about it. Im sorry you dont think thats interesting or useful but I do. I guess Im the opposite as you.

Yes, and this is a point with which I raised above when I suggested that "this just speaks to our differences in approach." Again, lumping in speculation with analysis is a mistake. To me, if a work is eliciting speculation then it is not really a great piece of art. It may be very entertaining - like I suggested in other posts, a mystery novel, a TV show like Lost or The Twilight Zone, maybe a Hitchcock film might count. I like all of these things but high art they are not. And I agree there is an element of Smile that appeals to people who go in for stuff like that - people like reconstructing what they speculate could have been the final track order in the 60s, etc. I have done all of this too but I don't particularly find it serious. Like I said, it's great fodder for message boards, and I wouldn't be here if I didn't like fodder, but it's not exactly something that's going on in music departments. Again, I'm not putting a value on this really -- I think both have a value and I enjoy both. I have never said we should avoid analyzing the album and, in fact, in this thread I gave several examples of what I think might make for an excellent analysis of the material. And speculation is great fun but I'm just not sure I see it working in terms of the issue that I raised.

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Sticking with Vertigo, I see the film itself as very inviting of various interpretations. I find new conclusions to draw literally every time I watch it, and my understanding of it has aged and gotten more complex as I myself have grown and gotten more worldly. I think *that* is interesting. How art grows with you, means something new not only to every person but to every new listen/viewing. I myself wouldnt find it particularly useful if Hitchcock was a liberal or believer in aryan supremacy or anti-transcontinental or anything. I might use that info to look for new hidden messages in the film for curiosity's sake but ultimately my own unique interpretation is what it is and is just as valid.

Absolutely - couldn't agree with you more.

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But again, I thought you didnt care about the artist's intent? I dont know, on the one hand you're saying you're interested in what the author has to say but then you're saying its irrelevant. I feel like we're going in circles, both of us LOL

Because again, these terms have meanings. Artist's intent has nothing to do with an artist's opinions. The long form of artist's intent is "what were the artist's intentions when making this piece of art." That's different from asking, "I wonder what this artist's opinions were on such and such issue." You make the excellent point above that when watching Vertigo what's important is your interpretation. I agree and so would most scholars. You don't watch Vertigo to try and figure out what Hitchcock was trying to achieve - you watch Vertigo and you realize it has a certain effect on you and has certain meanings to you whether Hitchcock meant it or not. So an analysis of Vertigo would be to examine what kind of work the film is doing, not what kind of thing Hitchcock had in mind (the latter is for film historians not film analysts). That being said, if Hitchcock ever made statements that appeared to be in opposition to his actions, it might be worth talking about.

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Because for Brian at least, I think that was the primary endgame. If you're to be believed, for VDP it was primarily about asserting a distinctly American message. But you keep forgetting this was Brian's show and ultimately he who called the shots. I think he wanted to express a lot of different ideas and concepts on this album. Religion, nature (the elements), astrology, zen riddles, and this quote really struck a chord with him at the time, made him think, and he wanted to do something with it on this album. You're continuously ignoring Brian's role in all this. VDP's perspective and intentions are certainly important to take note of (or...arent they? what did we decide on, I seriously have lost track) but Brian's would have taken precedence and I dont think his were as narrow in subject matter as that.

I haven't forgotten Brian's perspective. I just haven't foregrounded it for this particular discussion. Like I noted above, I was quite willing to drop this entirely with the point that Brian could have been the one to come up with the title. At a certain point in the thread I became interested in other parts of the discussion.

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Umm, no. Thats my personal interpretation of this song.

No, it's not and I think to some degree you are misunderstanding what an interpretation is. Here, you're telling me what the song could have been about if it had lyrics. An interpretation of the song would be looking at the lyrics and telling me what it means (or, for that matter, listening to the music and telling me what it means, but you have not done that here either) We have no lyrics. We do have a title. An interpretation of the title could lead to several possibilities:

1. The reproduction and cycle of humanity.
2. A man learns more from his child than a child learns from his or her father
3. A man's knowledge is build in his childhood

Outside of those three options, I'm not sure I can think of other interpretations though there may be a few more. But that's what an interpretation is. You are essentially looking at something and answering the question, "what does this mean?" On a more basic level, an interpretation of Back to the Future could be:

1. The story of a kid trying to get back home after travelling to the past
2. The story of a kid who goes back in time to make sure his parents get together
3. The story of a kid who goes back in time to teach his father how to be brave
4. The differences in two time periods

And so on. But with all this you can see how the phrase "Child is the Father of the Man" does not mean that Britain became more dependant on America. Maybe if the song had lyrics, there might be something there that could lead one to make such an interpretation but the title alone does not allow for that.

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Assumption? Isnt all artistic interpretation an assumption by this definition?

No. What am I assuming when I interpret the phrase "Child is the Father of the Man" to mean "a man learns more from his child than a child learns from his or her father"?

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Zero evidence? Im working that quote into the greater theme of Americana and specifically the lyrics of the two songs CIFOTM is almost always placed between. I mean...how much evidence do I really need before my assumption is granted the rank of interpretation?

One doesn't need evidence to make an interpretation.

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Why dont you give me a clear cut definition as you see it of conclusions vs interpretations vs analyses vs speculations. A clear set of rules for applying outside quotes/intent of the artist? Cuz Im not sure what you expect of me. Are we just stating facts and leaving it at that? Well, maybe thats all youd care to do but for myself I enjoy analysis/speculation if you dont. So if thats the case, why not accept that and lets move on.

Conclusion: Something you reach after making an observation or a series of observations. One can reach a conclusion after taking a sip of tea, and one can reach a conclusion after performing an analysis.
Interpretation: What you think something means
Analysis: Given what a piece of art means, what you argue that piece of art doing in meaning that.
Speculation: Filling in an absence or lack with your guess

And again, to illustrate the difference between interpretation and speculation here given these definitions:

Interpretation: Lost is about a group of people trying to find their way back home and they seem to be building to revealing a big mystery.
Speculation: They're all on a spaceship.

What I was basically looking for from you was more of this interesting discussion on speculation vs. analysis. As far as my Van Dyke Parks point, I would be interested in seeing how other people read his comment about transcontinentalism or how might cultural appropriation be appropriate under some circumstances but not others, or if people have read more or talked more to VDP to genuinely understand his stance on this issue, etc. There's quite a bit to discuss on that front I think.



Well, Ive long since lost the plot as well as interest in this back and forth (no offense to you personally) so Im just gonna respond specifically to a few points and otherwise agree to disagree and move on. In any case, I agree theres a discussion to be had about VDP's apparent inconsistency on transcontinentalism. Someone specifically invested in this ought to ask him about it. Dont reference SMiLE specifically and you might just make his day by doing so.

Anyway, I just want to say I dont think it's fair to dismiss my reading of CIFOTM as "not really an interpretation" just because Im trying to reconcile it with the lyrics/themes of the rest of the album. This wasnt your typical pre-66 rock album where the songs were all separate. The songs on SMiLE are very interconnected and this is provable not just with knowledge of the recording process (like how Worms and Cabin briefly exchanged choruses, Heroes stole Worms chorus, etc) but just listening to the music itself without any preconceived notions. So taking in Wonderful and Surfs Up (mostly) as well as the rest of the album into my understanding (or speculation or w/e) of CIFOTM is totally within reason. At least it is to me.
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Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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