If you’re thinking of helping top bloggers come up with amusing gangsta rap parodies of popular marketing slogans, maybe Enculturation can help you understand the medium. It gives me immense pleasure to dismiss this lengthy, footnoteful, carefully written article as wank. One paragraph on the music (which straddles the postmodern and the modern, you’ll be delighted to learn), a billion paragraphs on the lyrics, a reference to Walter Benjamin writing in 1969 (30 years after his death!), more equivocation than you can shake a stick at, and no evidence whatsoever that the author has listened to hip-hop with anything other than handkerchief-to-nose academic disdain.

The magazine which this comes from is running a music special, revelling in blurbs like: “This essay attempts to open up a conversation between a theory of reading and a theory of listening by explicating Roland Barthes’ essay “Listening” and the music of Tortoise”. And let me swiftly say that I have no problem at all with the Roland Barthes component of that sentence. Needless to say I will read it all with due care in case some nugget of insight can be panned up from the sump, but I’m not holding my breath, especially not where Tortoise are involved.

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