Re: [rumori] gifts

From: Steev Hise (
Date: Wed May 08 2002 - 02:15:30 PDT

on Tue, 7 May 2002 The Evolution Control Committee told me:

>of marketing, or the lack thereof: We normally buy things after some desire
>has been instilled within it (often by advertising, but beyond those mass
>efforts, even just something that we know we legitimately want).

Sometimes it's hard even to know the difference. As Guy Debord
once said, "The spectator does not find what he desires; he
desires what he finds."

I have observed, definitely, what you speak of, Mark, especially
when purchasing mass culture like CDs or movies or books. If I
work myself up to buying something because i've heard all this
stuff about how great it is and thought a lot about it, then I
usually give it way more of a chance, or rather, give myself more
chances to like it, in an amount that's proportional to what I
paid for it. This can backfire too, where the thing sucks and you
hate it even more for how much you spent for it (some of the best
examples of this, for me, are various substandard Tzadik
releases, bought because of some misguided trust in John Zorn's
curatorial prowess (hah!), and always overpriced). and there are
many counterexamples also: Some of my favorite CDs ever are ones
that were just given to me that I'd never heard of and didn't
have any expectations about. (This was one of the main ideas
behind my Record Store project, to purposely bring about that
experience in more people...)

> People are suspect of free things. That's probably intentional.

hmm, whose intention? (God's?) anyway, maybe so, but it's not
neccesarily natural. and it's also a function of the relationship
you have with the giver. if a good friend gives you something for
free, you don't suspect it. if a total stranger does, you usually

btw, one thing Hyde talks about in that book a lot is the way
that gifts create bonds and reinforce relationships, as opposed
to commodity exchange, where both parties can remain unattached,
free of any bond once the transaction is complete. So if you
don't want a relationship with someone, don't accept a gift. keep
them at a distance by insisting that you pay them. this is
something we all implicitly understand already.

>I often don't bring up my more mundane job ties simply because
>I don't want people to define me from them, and usually it's
>your job that defines you in some way. If had no art
>inclinations and met someone else in a bar that also didn't,
>chances are talking about your jobs would be one of the first
>topics to come up --

good points, but i wasn't talking about first impressions. i'm
talking about people you know for years, have many many
conversations with, go to shows with, collaborate with... and how
they make a living never comes up.... i think that's rather

making a living is a fact of life, and if you consistently deny
that that exists, you're not being totally honest with yourself
or others, wouldn't you say? also i think it's healthy to
compare notes so that people don't feel like they're the only one
who lives a certain way, or so that people can get ideas about
how to improve their situation. If everyone secretly hates their
crappy mcjob but pretends to be a self-sufficient artstar when
they're with their artfriends, who are also pretending and
secretly hating, then nobody gets any better and everyone's
secretly miserable.... not healthy at all...

on the other hand, sometimes it's said that the three things one
should never talk about are religion, politics, and money...


Steev Hise, Curator
*Recycled Culture:
*Watching power flow:
*Democratic sound collage generator:
" is not an e-Pearl Harbor we must be concerned about but an
e-Reichstag Fire."
                -Wayne Madsen, "Code Red - A Red Herring"

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