or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Tucked into a Slate.com piece about Paris Hilton's mildly catchy new single and the upcoming flood of pop-diva albums is this sentence:

But she hasn't forgotten the kids: Tucked alongside the "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" pastiches and saloon ballads is a thumping club track called "Still Dirrty."

Now, "pastiche" is an Anglicization--from, obviously, the French--of the Italian "pasticcio", which is work of art (a song, a painting, what have you) made of bits of other works of art. In English, the word has two meanings: this original one, in which those appropriated bits form the body of the work, and a second one, in which the original art is used to furnish the elements of an imitation of a style. Okay, that isn't as clear as I meant it to be, so let's try this: a pastiche can be either the literal assembly of parts of other artworks or a new artwork inspired by, and possibly parodying, parts of others. (Predictably, there's also a metaphorical use that is synonymous with "hodgepodge".)

However, a pastiche is not simply a parody. You can't have a pastiche of a single song.


The article also contains this sentence:

It's a veritable perfect storm of pop—never before has the public faced so concentrated an assault of melisma and décolletage—and it's bound to be bloody: In a market this glutted, someone's record is going to flop.

while another Slate.com article published a day earlier contains this one:

It's a perfect storm out there, each crisis feeding into the others yet at the same time laden with unique origins and features, demanding unique approaches and solutions.

It just might be time to retire that "perfect storm" metaphor.


Blogger Bright Beak said...

There are a plethora of overused, tired, and worn-out clichés that have very great need to be retired as well.


Sunday, July 16, 2006 3:18:00 PM  

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