Friday, August 06, 2010

on this deity (slight return)

Dorian Cope has relaunched her On This Deity site! I say now what I said when she did the beta version:

This is what I find most encouraging about the writing trades: they allow mediocre people who are patient and industrious to revise their stupidity, to edit themselves into something like intelligence.
- Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut observed a truth there that all of us who write recognise.

Dorian Cope, however, is one of those people who can do it without so much of the revision and editing, she can just lay it out off the top of her head. Look what happens when she's interrupted on her way somewhere by a randomer who asks her about the MC5.

Dorian is the wife of the indefatigable Julian Cope. As he releases an album more than once a year and has written a swathe of effervescent groundbreaking scholarly books on history and music, it must take a mighty intellect and a bold character to keep up with him at close quarters, let alone to encourage, inspire and criticise as he creates. Dorian does all that and more, so it's long past time that she started publishing stuff herself.

Her On This Deity site marks anniversaries of events in history. And not the history of kings and presidents but the other history, the history of dissent and rebellion. It's got the classic Cope mix of vision, fresh interpretation and an understanding of music as central cultural force and key part of radical history.

Each post is an illuminating piece, but there's a powerful composite message too. As we see that these events have gone on - every day, all around the world, year in year out for centuries - so we realise that the daring, imaginative, revolutionary perspective isn't a wacky sideshow or something reserved for mighty superheroes like Mandela, but that it's something that binds us in the millions and, most importantly, is as real and possible a force for change now as any time in the past.

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