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The Music Column

Music and the Tooth Dentist

As my many devoted readers have already noticed and let me know, though I do love good music, it’s hard to convey the intensity of that devotion.  So it occurred to me to write about abject rather than exalted musical experiences.  They’re easier to deal with, yet also productive, particularly as the experience of ugly is an inversion of the beautiful.  I am also aware that a dentist is not properly called a “tooth dentist,” yet I find somehow that this redundant solecism is valuable in marking a certain cultural void.

But before we approach the realm of the tooth dentist, let’s pull back a little to the larger picture.  I have found that in waiting rooms such as car dealerships and at the offices of medical doctors, where the sheep gather as one, the singular sensation is the Big Screen, and most of what we hear is a lot of noise and gabble.  What we see is pretty ugly as well, and everything we see is an expression of political mandates—allegories of equality, diversity, and identity.  The news, the weather, and discussion are all problematized and predetermined.  There will be no chance for an old movie—that would be too dated and insufficiently pious about contemporary taboos.  I do realize that film today is about noise, violence, and nudity, but I want to see people dressed up or even just dressed, smoking.  And there is much else to say,...

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