"Doesn't this book at least partly fall into the 'academy is doomed/betrayed' genre (albeit way off on its own wing) vis-à-vis 'closing of the american mind'/'tenured radicals'? Certainly one of the questions it persistently seems to be asking is: 'what is college/knowledge for?' Obviously I think Frank Kogan's answer is a bit different from Allan Bloom's. Isn't it also about restoring the grand ambitions and claims for self of ‘60s rock-crit culture/counterculture: refusing to settle for a specialist niche, whether ivory-tower cultstud thinkage or leisure-industry enablage? (I am somewhat projecting my own dreams and hungers onto it for sure.)"
—Mark Sinker, author of if. . . . (BFI Film Classics) and The Rise and Sprawl of Horrible Noise
If you’re after no more than backstage dish or a judgment on whether some song is “good” or “bad,” then look elsewhere. From the Rolling Stones to the New York Dolls, from Mariah Carey to the Ying Yang Twins, through hip-hop, Europop, disco, and metal, Kogan insists on the hard questions: Our popular music is born in flight, chased by fear, and heading toward unattainable glory, he says. Why is this so? What fears, contagions, divisions are we ignoring that our music cannot?
Remember, says Kogan, this is about you, too. Keep your mind alive, your hairstyle in flux, and your tongue sharpened. Whether you’re a gutterpunk or a cultstud geek, you’re a bigger part of the story than you realize. It’s your ideas that you're hearing on the radio, it's your song that gets sung.
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