Monday, June 08, 2009

The Death of Satire, Pt. ∞

With even the porn industry falling on *ahem* hard times, is there no corner of the global economy that isn't suffering? (Aside from the booming Armed & Racist sector, that is.) Well, according to no less a reputable source than TIME Magazine, DJ instructional classes & schools are packed to the gills - with Wall Street refugees and prospectless business school grads.

Sound like the setup to a vaguely familiar joke? That's because the inimitable Ian Svenonius already indelibly linked DJ culture to trade-oriented finance in his typically ingenious essay, "The Mix-Master Race":
The DJ-as-artist echoes the new role of the bourgeois as stockbroker/trader; designator of worth and handler of commodities. With the exportation of industrialism the third world and the new role of the imperialist as loan shark/investor, the grooming of the DJ as high priest/star-artist of the culture is a necessary part of ensuring the culture's aggrandization of the broker and the subsequent denigration of the actual manufacturer.

...The ruling class in the USA no longer produces, but merely moves money through stocks and speculation; they are the designators of worth. The DJ is their star. A preposterous poseur, once an adjunct to wedding parties, he is now exalted, featured in advertisements and lavished with wealth and fame. Like the rulers on Wall Street, he has no actual talent except to play with other people's labor. His talent is his impeccable taste and his ability to turn junk into gold, like his stockbroking masters.
Certainly, the most horrifying thing about the TIME article is the glimpse it offers into the snarled mindset of former Masters of the Universe, boldly underlining Svenonius' link between Wall Street and the wheels of steel. Witness, for example, the driving motivation of one Bay Area DJ:
You can control everyone.
Yowza. If that doesn't sound like the coke-fueled glee of conspiratorial stockbrokers out for a drink after a day working on Canary Wharf, I don't know what does. Even more disturbing, though, are the words of Ms. Koma Gandy. A textbook example of a financial crisis casualty, Gandy is a Harvard undergrad with an MBA from Georgetown University who used to manage hedge funds and now dreams of getting booties moving on the dancefloor. But the Wizard of Oz allusion she makes to describe her fascination with DJ culture could just as easily be used to describe the deluded faith in self-interested voodoo that blew all that hot air up the economy's ass over the past decade:
You go out to this party and the deejay is this mysterious entity behind a wall, where all this magic happened. I've always wanted to see how the magic was constructed.
These are the people who were handling our money: starry-eyed and conceited, overgrown children just desperate to be showered in whatever fairy dust was being blown around the VIP booth. And yet we still wonder exactly how we got into this mess in the first place?

No comments: