Friday, December 23, 2011

Re-post from 2009: A Buffoon Empiricist Manifesto

[This was originally posted on Lower End Spasm on 21 May 2009, in response to a debate which is now too old, dead, and settled (we won, lol) to be worth recounting... a few months ago Alex Bok Bok, Lower End Spasm proprietor, took the blog down to concentrate on Night Slugs, and I think I can safely say I've moved on too... but people keep asking to see this - for their uni dissertations, of all things - so here it is.]

Buffoon Empiricism is a response to the terrible perseverance and proliferation of information and music online. Everyone can access everything, all of the time. Every message board post has a download inside. Every riposte has another riposte. Club music has become more of a spectacle than ever in the last five years; regarded, consumed and critiqued from a metaphorical and physical distance.

FWD>> is now being streamed live around the world from Curtain Road.

We admire the futurist beauty of being able to smash great distances with technology, underground music seeping up through the global soil. We admire the fact that you can listen to one of London's most seminal club nights as it happens in your bedroom.

We admire all of this, but we'd prefer to admire it from the dancefloor of Plastic People.

RSI hurts. Dancing heals.

The Ten Commandments of Buffoon Empiricism

1) Thou shalt go to raves.

2) Thou shalt dance.

3) Thou shalt flash thy lighter.

4) Thou shalt give some serious thought to trying socaerobics.

5) Thou shalt invent ridiculous new skanks in funky dances (and in IKEA), if only to annoy the purists (and IKEA). Thou shalt put videos of yourself doing these skanks on the internets, but only if you've first performed them in a rave, or the food hall of a Swedish furniture store.

6) Thou shalt aim for a 35% reduction in the time you spend on internet message boards by 2012.

7) Thou shalt feel free to document the music you hear and the things you see in new and interesting ways. Tweeting from raves is okay.

8) Thou shalt also feel free not to document the music you hear and the things you see. Someone else probably is, in any case.

9) Thou shalt be justifiably proud of the long tradition of buffoonery that precedes you. Don't worry, you don't have to wear the jester's hat.

10) Thou may have other gods besides buffoon empiricism – theoretical gods, rational gods, scientific gods, gods with throats of fire and hair made of twine. Buffoon empiricism is not a jealous or vengeful god.


Post script: DANCE OR GET EATEN BY TIGERS, a rather silly piece I wrote for the New Statesman in 2010 on a very much related subject.


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