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29 July, 2010

Dis Co Nectid

Fieldwork can be disorienting, even for the practiced. You go to look over a place, and you need to immerse yourself in it, watch every step and focus on your surroundings Now (musing or mulling only on your surroundings decades or centuries Ago). Any scientist for hire (or archaeostitute, in lingua del Putzi) also knows that feeling of being thrust into some landscape bizarre and unfamiliar, a milieu too new, on the hook to report, locals squinting on in amused disgust. Disconnected.

The band Fear, whose album was one of the few reliably obtainable punk recordings outside of big cities, and who not surprisingly hailed from LA, plus a frontman who was cast in other roles as well, including an episode of the crappy but popular CHiPs, a weekly examination of CA motorcycle cops, women who are hot, and men who are bad...but I digress, making too many connections for this entry...
Anyway, Fear had a song called Disconnected, sung "Dis! Co Neck! Ted!" Some sort of commentary on postmodernist angst, maybe, but mainly it sounded off~kilter and fun, like hitting the ground running after jumping off a wobbly merry-go-round.

Nectid is a word I think I just made up, meaning "of or displaying the quality of the non-genetically selected class of nectar-producing or nectar-consuming life forms." Nectar, of course, being from the Greek (sayeth the word geek) for "death defying." What defies death better than an exudation, and excretion in fact, that ensures it's species will live on while feeding "others?"

Alternate tacked-on finale for that last paragraph (again, excuse the -connection shouldering the Dis aside): "Linguistically, words sometimes defy death by changing meaning, which usually involves some time in a liminal state, when the novel use is signaled by 'quotations.' I have now ended every sentence in this paragraph with so-called 'quotes.' "

If you happen to be lucky enough for long enough fieldwork in some place long enough to transcend the otherness--especially one of those places you return to over and over--then what happens? You slam ass back into the family fold like some feral invader. Disrupting their routine, twitching at every impingement of city life, disconnected.

Disco was an important historical force, enabling CHiPs, electronic claps, a new generation of roller skate technology, the fledgeling Chinese plastic industry, and in so doing, unleashed yet another Decline of western "civilization." It was also a farce of historical proportions, but we can all be thankful because without that, punk could never have reacted to the point of getting deals on major record levels and selling out, and without that, all the other punk bands would have been robbed of a prime lyrical topic.

But another riff like that, and I may as well write the next "Connections" script. I wonder if that narrator is still alive?

Dis. Is now a verb. Maybe it's properly spelled "Diss," but I could give a shit. Not even gonna look it up. Thus do I dis linguistic convention. [Keep in mind, I did look up "Nectid," and went with the 1937 Websters Unabridged for etymology, so yeah,I pick my battles.]

Co. Companies, and more to the point Corporations of the postmodern ilk disconnect more prolifically than people even a generation or two back could have imagined. Globalism pertains to a few rich humans; the vast rest of us are disconnected from our ancestors and their places, from the earth and all its natural sustenance, and from each other in all but superficial ways. The biggest transnationals make a point of separating: workers who might otherwise unite, resources from their ecologies, money from the masses, freedom from choice (which is delimited to a few realms of consumer decisions, not governance), and on down the line.

Neck. A fine part of the body, as long as it remains connected to the rest.

Ted. Long ago, as an alive young man, the least of the Kennedy Brothers, butt of jokes, suspect of drunk-driving drowning. Recently, the most influential Kennedy in terms of the law of the land (it helps to have a few more decades to work with), adored and abjectly hated (not fun, but indicative of iconic status), and suspect of liberalism.

1 comment:

  1. His name's James Burke, and he is indeed still kicking. I always loved that guy's stuff.