Mudcat Café message #2597636 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119547   Message #2597636
Posted By: GUEST,Shimrod
26-Mar-09 - 07:16 AM
Thread Name: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
Subject: RE: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
"Such criteria however, is just a theory, just as The Folk Process is just a theory. As theories they remain fluid, but somehow they have been seized upon by the Folk Faithful who assume that because they have once enjoyed a degree of academic sanction that they must, therefore, be objectively true. Thus does a theory become a theology - a theology which accounts for much of the reactions we have seen in this thread, by the non-academic folk-faithful carrying the dead weight of redundant theory around with them as if it was fact if only to justify that what they're doing is, therefore, Real Folk Music. We used to see reasoning like that from WAV, who, for all his qualifications in the field of anthropology believed that the only way forward for humanity was the implementation of Ethnic Cleansing. I see similar ideas afoot here, where what is, after all, merely personal taste must be then be justified, indeed sanctified, with respect of what has become the Holy Law of the 1954 Definition - and woe betide the heretic who dares suggest otherwise."

What utter specious nonsense!

As a scientist I know that all theories are provisional and can be replaced by alternative, more comprehensive theories with greater explanatory power. I have not, to date, seen any such comprehensive, alternative theory emerge from the Folk World. All I've encountered are Dave Harker's outrageous and mischievous proposition that the wicked Middle Classes stole the Workers' Music (a view endlessly expounded by WLD until he left this forum) and an endless stream of people who demand that 'experts' should admit their particular favourite form(s) of contemporary music to the Folk Canon - and, presumably, take some sort of responsibility for such decisions (?) To this latter group my view has always been - Go away, make your own decisions, and take responsibility for them!

As for bringing 'Ethnic Cleansing' and 'heretic hunting' into this discussion, that is really, really beneath contempt! Those of us who happen to believe that the 1954 definition has great explanatory power (in spite of its age - it is, in fact, younger than me!) have no desire to dictate what other people listen to and no power to enforce anything even if we wanted to. Disagreeing with an alternative point of view is NOT the same as heresy hunting.