Sunday, January 25, 2009

Keeping America Cosmic (Two Year Anniversary)

Well, would you look at the time! I just realized Cosmic American Blog has been churning out the goods for at least a full two years now. That's right, we posted our first post exactly two years ago today. True, that first post wasn't much (take a look if you choose). But in no time at all we quickly set a standard that I think has made many a self-respecting amateur music/film/video game/politics/shark masturbation blogger jealous. So I decided to take this moment to reflect on what I know has been an essential part of my daily life, and what I imagine has been a crucial part of yours, by compiling a list of some of my all-time favorite Cosmic American Blog discussions. Note that these are not necessarily my all-time favorite Cosmic American Blog posts, but rather, these are the posts that I feel generated the most interesting, thoughtful commentary, for one reason or another. It seems our most fruitful debates tended to revolve around the peculiarities of artistic taste, the urge to evaluate art in a more rational, scientific manner, what constitutes art, etc. So eat my entrails Aristotle. In the end, I just want to thank all our fans out there for making the magic happen. Keep on rockin' in the free world!

Sracso Eht (February 26, 2007)

Yoggoth: "I'm not very impressed with the Oscars myself. All the talk surrounding them sounds suspiciously like english grad student nonsense. Eddie Murphy deserves an Oscar? Yeah, in the same way that Aphra Behn is a great writer. The idea that it matters who wins best picture is as silly as the idea that writing ecocriticism helps the environment. In terms of national competitions I'd put it below the superbowl but above the PGA tournament in cultural importance."

When The Janitor Picks The 200 Greatest Albums of All Time (March 7, 2007)

Yoggoth: "I mentioned A Love Supreme before and it still amuses me to no end that it ended up on a list with the Titanic sdtrk. Not only is it like putting Girls Gone Wild 3 on a movie list, it's like putting it right after L'Age d'Or!"

Towards A General Theory Of Artistic Taste (March 10, 2007);
Re: Towards A General Theory Of Artistic Taste (March 10, 2007)*

*Herr Zrbo makes his first appearance!

Yoggoth: "Concerning information theory-- At some point we're going to have robot friends. My theory can help us make those robot friends better!"

Wish They Were There
(March 13, 2007)

Yoggoth: "Gentlemen, I think it's okay to admit that England and America have the best taste in rock. We could let France and Germany do the electronic music list. Japan could do the 'Music with no Discernable Melody' list. Or just throw Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, and Scandanavia into a catch-all Other category. I'm imagining some kind of awe inspiring Death Noise Bossa Nova list but it would probably just end up with a bunch of odd lounge singers."

Have I Found...The "Ultimate List"? (March 15, 2007)

Little Earl: "To me, the point of a list like this is to give people who have just walked out of a cave and have almost no knowledge of popular music a good roadmap of what they need to hear first if they want to get a reasonable idea of what the best and most important rock music is. Thus the artists need to be ranked by some combination of influential/unique/just plain good. Given that criteria, I think it's easier to point out where this list is weird. The question is: would the caveman/idiot child get a good idea of rock history/great music from this list?"

The Rock Band Is Dead (July 19, 2007)

Yoggoth: "Another problem is the audience. Almost every show I see in the Bay Area features a bored looking, mid-20's crowd that doesn't dance and hardly even sways to the beat. I feel embarrassed to be the one guy jumping up and down, and no one should feel embarrassed for jumping at a rock concert. So many people just stand there and take pictures on their cell phones or record the music on their mp3 players. WHY would you want a recording or picture when you don't even enjoy yourself while you're there?? The mass rock audience has seemingly embraced a culture of death and nostalgia and I want none of it!"

Election '08: Who's Actually Going To Win? (August 4, 2007)

Yoggoth: "As for Bush being fascist, well maybe in a really wimpy way. All of the things he's done may be bad, but let's face it, none of them affect our nice California lives all that much."

Roger Ebert vs. Video Games: Round II (August 9, 2007)

Herr Zrbo: "It's going to sound silly, but I keep thinking of 'Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door', not only was the art style fantastic, I could load up that game just to stare at some of the different worlds (art direction/ cinematography), but by the end of the game I had a genuine emotional response and actually shed a few tears (yes, I'm admitting a mario game made me cry). Does that qualify as art? If something elicits an emotional response does that make it art? Doesn't that mean if someone is emotionally effected by 'Daddy Day Camp' then that film qualifies as art? I'm confusing myself here."

The Indie Wars (August 22, 2007)

Little Earl: "The real story here is that, as far as I can tell, indie rock has pretty much broken into the mainstream over the past few years, and yet that hasn't felt very exciting. When grunge broke through, I was barely paying attention personally, but at least in retrospect it seems like it was a little more gratifying. Now it's more like, 'Wow, Modest Mouse went to Number One, but's that's mostly because the rest of popular music has been so bad.' "

Department Of Pathetic Indignation -- Music Snobs 'R' Us
(November 13, 2007)

Little Earl: "I'm not exactly 'worried' or 'not worried' that I don't like too much of the music that's out right now. I'm pretty happy downloading obscure older music until the end of time. But I guess it's a pretty artistically conservative position to take. I just don't believe in being charitable to music that's not very good just because it happens to be new."

The Two-Pronged Movie Review System Attack (January 30, 2008)

Yoggoth: "To quote Wittgenstein, 'What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.' Those things worth giving stars to are the things we cannot speak about, for the things you cannot speak about are often the only things worth discussing."

Lament Of A Gamer (February 18, 2008)

Herr Zrbo: "So in the end you've got this sort of bizarre hybridization of art and sports. It's not really one or the other. I mean, it's nearly impossible to take out either the sport element or the art element and still have an easily recognizable video game. Does this melding of two completely different forms of expression disqualify video games from ever being a full art form?"


Herr Zrbo said...

Ahhh, the memories! Funny re-reading the article that I first responded too (General Theory of Artistic Taste), it's hard to believe it's been almost two years since I started posting here.

Some of those old posts have given me a few ideas for some new ones.

And the very first post of the blog, very zen.

Peter Matthew Reed said...

Massive congratulations to you all!