Tuesday, March 26, 2019

About high/low

I was startled today to see a copy of the Modern Review Mark 2 – the glossy, vapid Burchill/Raven relaunch from 1997, rather than the scrappy, wonderful collaboration between Burchill and Landesman and Young and York – selling for over £100 on Amazon, and the psychic shock propelled me back to the days when seeing Roland Barthes and Bart Simpson on the same bill was still something subversive and beautiful.

Now everyone’s doing it, the latest example being modern celebrity culture with moody 19th-century proto-existentialism. But under the egalitarian veneer, there’s a hint at what we’re expected to know or not know. In the Twitter profile, Kim Kardashian is just Kim Kardashian, while we need to have it explained to us that Søren Kierkegaard is a philosopher.

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