The Figurality of Noise and the Silence of the Death Drive
Given all the popular cultural possibilities that young people engage in: going to movies, sports, dress, playing video games, surfing the Net … all take a backseat when it comes to the music scene. Why is this so? From a Lacanian viewpoint there can only be one answer: Music is the pivotal place where the voice exceeds the word so as to transgress and go beyond the Law. This is where the drive meets desire, where excessive jouissance meets logos, excess or “surplus enjoyment” meets satisfaction rather than metonymic deprivation. To unravel and support this general claim regarding music, in this chapter the death drive, and in the next chapter the phenomena of lethal affective pleasure Lacan identified as jouissance are described. Jouis-sense, or enjoyment-in-meaning, was Lacan’s neologism for the moment when meaning is eclipsed, inverting into the excesses of a consuming self-enjoyment. In music, the glimpses and attempts at a pre-symbolic agency unbridled by the Law of castration are opened up for singers, as well as their fans. In the contemporary music scene such transgression against und beyond the Law is staged across a number of registers offering unconscious fantasies that directly cope with the de-Oedipalization of postmodernity with its paedomorphic extension of youth cultures well into their late twenties and early thirties. Some forms, as we shall see, submit to the Law of the signifier (especially Pop music and Boys Bands as we develop it in chapter 10).
KeywordsPopular Music Symbolic Order Youth Culture Virtual Body Death Drive
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