Here are some upcoming topics:
* Cult films/cult records
* Books/films you "had to see in high school"
Here's something I wrote down on a receipt in the subway the other day (no shit). Additions to the receipt-manuscript are in brackets:
If the materialist subject cannot be said to be adequately represented by the transitory and socially-determined fashions (intellectual, religious, or otherwise) of the day---say, if we were Greeks, we would wear Togas instead of tight jeans [Therefore our fashion cannot be said to say anything about us without relating it to a moment and its cultural field. It seems for a moment that there is nothing to "anchor" us to ourselves as existing in some metaphysical personhood; ie: our feelings of identity would be illusory and merely/entirely historically contingent.
Thus the terror of the elementary school alternative-history version of World War II: "If we had lost to the Nazis, we would all be speaking German right now." But, see, would that really be US? I mean, the same US? So my 8-year-old thinking ran.]
However, THE CANON comes to the rescue, presenting itself as a function of what would be true for this subject at any time, and so regardless of time. Sophocles is always great because of who I essentially am. So, when we say that some [work of] art is timeless, we mean this over and against the concerns of any given (historical) present concerns--ie: the particular determinations of the subject beholden to the ephemera of history.
Thus, the canon (understood in this way) is both oriented towards a set of "pasts" [with their own determinations] and constitutes a kind of permanent avant-garde in advance of its future appropriation. One would always be a Shakespeare fan, even if we dressed in metallic future-suits and ate food in pill-form: [the classic work is "outside of time" not in some mystical/bourgeois way but so that the subject might be as well.]