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STUPID UNDERGROUNDS - MANN
Loud - Page 37

differance, neither absent nor present but the constitutive space (and time) between them. Disruption of control is a reaction to a control grounded on its own disruption. Behind the record company, the government. Behind the government, Satan, or the extraterrestrial. There is always some crime, some transgression, something deeper and more primordial than the forms of control one manages to discover. The absolute is out there, down there, indicated by the very fact that one can disrupt "this" level of control, or "this" one. No matter how deeply one penetrates, absolute control lies deeper. Subliminal transmission demands it.

Loud

[31] There is a certain justice to giving the task for discovering the silent forms of control to those whose primary mode of operation is enormous volume. The trajectory from loud rock music to even louder industrial music (Boyd Rice/Non plays too loud even for much of the stupid club scene) to experiments in subliminal sound is continuous. There is, in a certain sense, no difference, no line between sound so loud it is all one can hear and sound so deep and pervasive it cannot be heard at all. Loud is critical. Or perhaps we should put the same matter differently: if we have taken "critical" to imply a certain distance, a certain non-identity with the object, loud proceeds, as the stupid underground always proceeds, in the opposite direction. Rock music, after all nothing more than the prattle of a banal hybridization of capital and adolescent (male) fantasy, becomes, in "intensity," at the most extreme volume, the stupid reduction of that constructed reality, the limit of its tolerability. Critical then not through distance but, as we have seen, through proximity, through what would appear to be the most uncritical embrace. Here again Zizek is helpful: "Although functioning as a support for the totalitarian order, fantasy is then at the same time the leftover of the real that enables us to 'pull ourselves out,' to preserve a kind of distance from the socio-symbolic network. When we become crazed in our obsession with idiotic enjoyment, even totalitarian manipulation cannot reach us" (128). Zizek's example here is precisely popular music, the inane ditty that anchors the fantasy, that runs endlessly in one's head; what one wishes to add here is the criterion of force, of intensity, of sound so loud that, even

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