Tjebbe van Tijen via Chello on Sun, 8 Sep 2013 20:50:40 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-nl] Loud Music Festvals & Karl Marx: Silencing The Masses with "Illusory Happiness"

Loud Music Festvals & Karl Marx: Silencing The Masses with "Illusory Happiness"

[ the emblem art image can be found at: ]

SILENCING THE MASSES... after being bombarded with images and videos, on television and the internet of the ubiquitous summer outdoor pop-festivals with their booming sounds, also next to my own house last week (GayPride Amsterdam street music stages for three days), this is how I hear, see and appreciate this phenomenon.

It is almost a marxist piece of 'emblem art' what is shown here with a tempting contradiction between 'pictura' and 'nomenclatura' (picture and text heading):


(Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" / "Religion is the opium of the people"). The full quotation from Karl Marx has more levels of meaning to it though:

"Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions."
Karl Marx, "Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right" (Zur Kritik des Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie"; MEGA I, 1, pp 607-608).

Loud music as "illusionary happiness", mass euphoria triggered by music performed with such a deafening sound level that most listeners equip themselves with earplugs. Loud music both as escape and enslavement, a drug that gives temporary relief by synchronised release of electronic sound and bodily energy.

The pleasure of jointly escaping from social constraints for a day or so has developed into consumerist mass rallies for those who are supposed to be 'just listeners' without a voice of their own (2): THE SILENT MASSES.

(1) "Gay Pride 2013 Amsterdam Proud and Too Loud: unplug your sound "We live here and want to be respected also"

"Stop Festival-Geluid-Terreur in Amsterdamse Parken"

(2) at best replicating the song lines of others....
* Verspreid via nettime-nl. Commercieel gebruik niet
* toegestaan zonder toestemming. <nettime-nl> is een
* open en ongemodereerde mailinglist over net-kritiek.
* Meer info, archief & anderstalige edities:
* Contact: Menno Grootveld (