During after hours at a lounge in Los Angeles, DJ Spooky is performing a set with a somewhat relaxed tone considering the venue. Within the musical performance are many samples of children cartoon characters speaking, songs from the last ten years that were, in their heyday, quite popular, and generally youthful sounds, all laid over some very sophisticated bass lines and percussion.
Following the set, DJ Spooky makes his way over to the bar to order another gin and soda. On is way there, Judith Jack Halberstam impedes on his path to converse. She tells him how much she enjoyed the set and would love to speak more about it. Once Spooky retrieves more fuel from the bar, he ventures back to Judith’s table to further discuss her thoughts.
Judith immediately begins the conversation with how exactly Spooky goes about preparing for a set, and more specifically, how he goes about choosing his aforementioned sample clips. He has no problem delving right into his passion for a wide variety of musical genres. He says MF Doom and Tupac are some of his favorite rappers, but he still loves to listen to some Waka Flaka Flame because everyone loves to party.
As he goes through his elaborate, likely well-rehearsed, explanation, Judith notices how well spoken and articulate Spooky is. After some more specific questions about music taste, she asks him a very philosophical question: “You seem quite well-learned and intelligent, articulate and well-spoken. Do you think you reflect that in your music, or are you simply just trying to have a good time with something you love to do?” Almost insulted, DJ Spooky quickly responds: “The Former. Absolutely”
He describes the theory behind way he makes the music he does. “My music isn’t just what sounds cool to me at the moment. Whatever music I’m making at any given time most accurately represents where my thoughts are in relation to the rest of the world. I grew up listening to a lot of catchy, albeit corny, music when I was very young. Even though those songs aren’t as popular anymore, they still are successful in creating a specific feeling within an audience member. With that method in mind, I still have very deeply rooted concepts I’m always trying to stress to my audience. It just may not sound like that on the surface.”
Judith, overly joyous to hear his response as though Spooky just gave her a series of personal compliments, leaned in and asked what looked like was going to be a world-changing question. “So you say you like to use allusions to slightly older material to help convey a point? Would you say that method is even more successful than alluding to more modern material?”
“Absolutely!” he responded. Judith had that same expression on her face; looking like Spooky just complimented everything about her.
Question: If the “idiot”, as DJ Spooky says, is someone who for example is so consumed in social media that their complete knowledge consists of what exists on those media, what is considered to be a “non-idiotic” way to consume knowledge of social culture?