Thursday, July 07, 2005

Don't worry Kyoko

In this week's New Yorker there's a story about the Navy's training soldiers to resist "noise stress" torture by preparing them with a continuous loop of a Yoko Ono record. According to the article, this is typically reported to be the "most gruelling" part of the training. Yoko is already an easy target for jokes, and yes, her listening to her music is kind of like being tortured, as it is emulates unsettling gutteral/semiotic/abject sounds (like babies crying relentlessly, or people burning alive -- some of her songs seemed to designed to evoke ground zero at Hiroshima). But Yoko wasn't out to entertain people; she was out to subject them to visceral, disturbing sensual experience, and this proves yet again how successful she was, and how in many ways she remains underrated as an artist. Her association with Lennon assures that her work will always be remembered but rarely taken seriously.

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