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[personal profile] imomus
I've plummeted back to Berlin amidst some oddities and ironies. Firstly, although there are dirty blankets of snow on the ground here and the temperatures are consistently several degrees below zero, Berlin feels a lot warmer than Osaka. People here heat their houses, and even when you go out you experience the cold only as a dry, sharp pang on your face and some slithery ice and snow underfoot. The Japanese thing of getting cold deep in your bones, of dreading the trip to the bathroom, just doesn't apply here. I'm wearing my samurai chanchanko top purely for the pose factor:



The second irony is that I hurried home from Japan this week to deliver an address entitled "Love of Blogging" to a seminar at the Freie Universität here in Berlin. Organised by Miya Yoshida, the seminar was umbrella-titled Tag the World: Collective Work and the Notion of the Amateur in the Age of the WWW. You can see my half-hour slot in this uStream video (scroll forward to 02:32:00 -- yes, two hours in -- and kill the annoying ads). As I began by pointing out, my love of blogging has largely come to an end, and I'm seeking other forms of expression, including much older, less amateur ones like ink-and-paper.

[Error: unknown template video]

My other engagement this week is an interview I'm recording on Friday with BBC Radio 2 about Jacques Brel (it's transmitted later in the year). The irony here is that I've felt increasingly distant from Jacques Brel (who nevertheless helped finance my Japanese trip, God bless him, via the fees for the Brel Barbican concerts) and would feel much more comfortable talking about the new film about Serge Gainsbourg, who sort of replaced Brel in my personal pantheon of heroes circa 1987.

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Gainsbourg: vie héroïque (Being Serge Gainsbourg) is a new biopic by Joann Sfar starring ringer Eric Elmosnino as Serge, Philippe Katerine as Boris Vian and Lucy Gordon (who sadly committed suicide recently) as Jane Birkin. It's great to see Katerine (a friend, fellow Gainsbourg fanatic, and fellow Kahimi Karie collaborator when I lived in Paris in the mid-90s) singing alongside the uncannily-good, spectrally-accurate Elmosnino. Interview me about the hook-nosed tender pervert instead, BBC!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 11:01 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That talk of yours was all over the place. [/anonymous critic you must battle against]

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imomus.livejournal.com
Probably because my brain is all over the place.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 11:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oracolodeifont.livejournal.com
Yesterday night I was invited to dinner at some friend's house. Imagine my delight when I read your name on the buzzer next to theirs!

things

Date: 2010-01-21 11:30 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
hello Momus, just wanted to say I like the relationship you have with Hisae.

Re: things

Date: 2010-01-21 12:41 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Well, we've learned from this blog that Hisae likes to play with Momus's nipples, while Momus likes to cum on Hisae's face. Perhaps TMI is another good reason for you to give up blogging, Momus?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meeni-milk.livejournal.com
That 'cold deep into your bones' thing i can relate to, my house in leeds is ridiculous, single glazing, the food in the FRIDGE froze not to mention water in the sink, plus the dread of the shower...Oh and the fact the antique heating system doesn't reach all the way up to my attic room. I like the outfit though! i think i should invest...

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 11:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meeni-milk.livejournal.com
it got to minus 18 celcius the other week....

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 11:44 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This whole opting-out-of-web-2.0 is about status, isn't it? There was a moment in the noughties when basically no one except the old fans was interested in your music. No newspaper or even music mag was reviewing it. You basically had to be messageboarding and blogging to have any kind of dialogue or feedback at all. Now you seem a bit better positioned. You've had books published; through the sheer fact of your survival as a cultural producer, you've gained some sort of elder statesman role. But there's no status involved in being on the web. Anyone can do it, and there's no barrier between you the producer and the "consumers" - on a blog comment section, you're all the same. Publishing books is different. You get to be "elite" again. The divisions between producers and consumers are redrawn again. But then again, look what you're doing: you're retreating into an "old" positioning. The move is retro, dare I say even necro-retro.Your education was all about dead white males, and now you want to be one yourself.

best wishes
yet another anonymous critic you must battle against

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I, for one, am glad you are finally leaving the Internet and quitting this blog. It is misogynist, stalinist, anti-semitic, sophistical crap.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 01:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imomus.livejournal.com
You're a nutter, my entire life revolves around women, Jews and the New Left. I'm going to hang your statement next to Dennis Cooper's:

"That'll be a real loss when Momus stops his blog. One of the best blogs there ever has been."

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 04:57 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
it's like in spinal tap, when the record label says "we can't use your album cover idea because it's sexist..." and one the band members responds, "well what's wrong with sexy?"

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's pronounced fat-ick, not fate-ick.

po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to

Date: 2010-01-21 01:36 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
British v. American sounds, maybe? I expect Nick to pronounce linguistic terms as his father might, seeing as the latter has a PhD in linguistics.

Re: po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to

Date: 2010-01-21 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imomus.livejournal.com
No, the first commenter seems to be right, I mispronounced it. It should be fætɪk, to rhyme with "static".

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Momus, what do you make of Jaron Lanier's ideas?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/15/books/15book.html

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imomus.livejournal.com
Yes-No-Yes-No-Yes-No is pretty much how I respond to the summary in that article. Didn't like the anti-collectivist, anti-communist framing, or the pro-copyright stance. Did agree on the "culture of anon sadism" and that “pop culture has entered into a nostalgic malaise”.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm sure these issues wouldn't feel like issues if blogging felt like it was going somewhere. For the new, that's getting comments and feedback at all. Feeling the warm paranoia of knowing others are scrutinising your thoughts. For the seasoned, maybe it's getting creative contracts.

Either way - does factual, formulated communication necessarily increase understanding; and does understanding even benefit the world? Perhaps, like the meditating with their mantra, we reach a point where silence benefits us more.

I blogged fiction for while and then stopped. I sometimes look back at missed opportunities. If I had had comments I'd have written more, but that is out of one's hands. I liked the immediacy of being on the spot. Sitting alone with all the time in the world, like self-consciousness, seems to turn it into pain more than a pleasure.

I agree that people comment more when they disagree with something. Maybe the silence is a compliment.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You don't have to have comments, you know. Of the dozen or so blogs I read, at least half don't have the comment function.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Nothing wrong with a spot of anon sadism when it comes to you, Momus! Surely a smug, supremely self-confident know-it-all like yourself can take a bit of of gentle cyber-ribbing? I think you're right to put a gun to the head of Sick Opera, you've been largely repeating yourself for at least the past couple of years.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
and yet you read it everyday and spend precious seconds of your miserable little life commenting on it! what's that say about you? go out and do something worthwhile.

Free Momus!?!

Date: 2010-01-21 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jdcasten.livejournal.com
Blogs can give you an audience… FAME (even for just 15 people)… and help one practice their writing craft on a stage… but I’d think that, beyond editors, it could be MONEY that makes a difference for the quality one’s writing. There are armatures that are better than professionals at various crafts: but is it the money that makes writers better, or just that the market elects the better writers for us to see?

Momus… are you moving towards print (and I imagine online paid journalism) for money (to make a living), or to better polish your writing craft? (Maybe both or something else?) Are you tired of working for free… the daily rigor… maybe you’ve accomplished as much as you can outside the money market… but what I may really be getting at… will I still be able to appreciate Momus for free?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
AS AN ANON SADIST I CLAIM VICTORY
I AND MY ANON SADIST COLLEAGUES HAVE MANAGED TO HOUND MOMUS OFF THE NET
VICTORY VICTORY VICTORY VICTORY

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imomus.livejournal.com
I just have to flick one radio button on my prefs page to banish all Anon Sadists forever. They're here because I don't believe in cutting down the conversation to points of view I agree with, and because a lot of the non-sadistic Anons make valuable points.

I am -- I stress -- not "leaving the net". I am simply bringing this particular blog to a happy ending on Feb 10th. It's completion of a particular project rather than failure, rejection, despair, disgust or other flouncy, dramatic, tabloidy sentiments.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] milky-eyes.livejournal.com
wow... the truth comes out...

the true brute threat... smashing the anons or all comments in one click...

what a over-confidate repetitive thug... huh.


so, you're leaving the net I hear,,, moving to siberia w Hisae and shacking up with a sexy young eskimo... learnign all 35 words for snow and writing a book about it from the perspective of each of the 35 different words for snow...

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cap-scaleman.livejournal.com
Blogging got boring at the moment NicePimmelKarl left us.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Momus, you seem to have attracted some pretty nasty readers. I'd say you're better off without the blog.

Fan Blog for Gainsbourg

Date: 2010-01-21 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Welcome home! Glad to stumble across your blog and to hear you're excited about the Gainsbourg film. Just wanted to let you know that because I've been coming across so many people all over the world who are interested in it, I started an international fan blog to cover all of the news updates, release info, photos, videos, etc. Hope you'll check it out if you're interested in the film:) Cheers!

Adam - http://gainsbourgfilm.blogspot.com

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] obliterati.livejournal.com
You were away when Berlin got the worst of it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-21 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
it's a good idea to keep moving along and trying to change as an artist. the one's with the most integrity always do, with little regard for the fallout or future results; it's part of being an independent mind/thinker, etc.

about the internet, as a late genxer i see web 3.0 being about people being offline much much more than they are online. perhaps emailing once a week, or looking up some reference, or something. it's plateaued interpersonally somehow. scaling back now is just the right time too, when it's all becoming so grossly commercial -- more so than it's ever been.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] largu.livejournal.com
The Gainsbourg biopic may be well good since Joann Sfar is wildly imaginative and someone which I immediately label as very French for no apparent reason.
So you've been saying that you will stop bloging for a while now. Honestly I've always imagined you as my favourite writer who never wrote a book, and now when you finally have made a book (which I'm yet to read) I don't know what to make of it. Should I consider you as a writer? I'd love to have some continuity in this rather one sided relationship called the internet. If you are going of somewhere, just hint the direction OK?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 01:32 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I agree that the comments have gotten nastier lately. A shame, because the comments have often been as interesting as the blog entries here over the years.

Nothing elitist about giving up a demanding daily blog - it must be exhausting sometimes. It is hard enough to write research papers for publication, which you don't have to work on every single day. I can't imagine having to produce a daily essay for years on end, with photos and humor sufficient to keep people coming back.

One thing about the web though - it allows those of us closer to your own age to keep up. The older you get, the harder it is to know about/locate the small magazines, small press books, and the like. So much of that circulates by word of mouth. Absent good blogs, one might never know.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 05:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] subalpine.livejournal.com
this is off-topic (and you've probably answered it before..)
but to buy a copy of The Book of Scotlands in the u.s., should i ask my bookshop to order an import copy for me? or will it be published here at some later date?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imomus.livejournal.com
Although it's not being published anywhere other than Germany, I was told it would pop up sooner or later on Amazons which aren't Amazon.de. This doesn't seem to have been the case, so as far as I know the only way to get The Book of Scotlands, if your local bookshop doesn't have it (and it probably doesn't) is via Sternberg's website (http://www.sternberg-press.com/index.php?pageId=1242&l=en&bookId=137&sort=year%20DESC,month%20DESC) (click "order") or via Amazon.de (http://www.amazon.de/Solution-11-167-Book-Scotlands-Momus/dp/1933128550/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1250084364&sr=8-1), who will deliver worldwide.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lord-whimsy.livejournal.com
Dig the lighting in this shot.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Interesting. Your picture of yourself reminds me powerfully of the Shofixti race in the video game Star Control 2.

Image (http://s271.photobucket.com/albums/jj152/analogmoz/?action=view&current=shofixti-sitting.gif)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-01-22 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am commenting on my own inability to embed an image. My shame is boundless, yet still not enough to learn the correct manner in which to fix the problem.

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