Editor's Note

November/December 2021

Tasha Hefford

The connection is at a place where our personal realities, that may make us feel so othered or displaced, can be recognized as still being human and worthy.”

Fatemeh Ghayedi, Arezoo: Intimacy and Iran

I hate the part of me that has become disciplined. I notice it more these days. It’s in how I structure my days, even the days supposedly given to leisure. I notice it when a friend’s schedule doesn’t fit mine and the waywardness of other people is less beautiful than it is distressing. When I listen to new music my first thought is not, “am I enjoying this?” but rather, “how would I categorize this?” If I’m going out, I want to be there by a certain time and I’ll start to stress out if I’m not. I clench my jaw. I check the time. I start fucking with my split-ends. What magic am I denying myself by living so meticulously? Why do I feel, in a world that, without fail, automates and compartmentalizes my time, like I have to do the same for myself? Efficiency is so inescapable that it has become a cliché. We laugh about it. We say this is life under capitalism. And yet, sometimes I worry that, regardless of our ironic self-awareness, the more we joke about it, the more we lose grace to it. 

I know I’m being sentimental. I’ll be blunt. Once I started pulling at this thread I found myself interrogating a whole bunch of other processes. In particular — art, music, and it’s criticism. This stuff wants to be slippery. Despite the ways in which we will try and structure everything, the music we write and listen to exists outside of objective ranking systems or categories. Genres aren’t dead, they’re simply becoming less disciplined. Genre is subject to passions and irregularities and ugliness and fragility; and, as long as a community for something exists, the genre exists. In his interview with Chain Whip, writer Tate Kaufman concludes, “Endless threads to pull at, to tip the balance, dangling like golden chains on a chandelier. It’s hard to tell how deliberately each gem has been plucked from the bunch, if there’s an overarching narrative, or rather the clumping of emotionally magnetized vignettes.” It reminds me that the space between music, and the person listening to it, is a rowdy bridge to write. In Katherine Chamber’s interview with playwright Rhiannon Collett, she explains, “I like the humanity of it all, I guess. I’m a really big fan of things that are really physical, and also really rough, and vulnerable, where mistakes can be made, and it’s just messy.” And look, even if Discorder is home to “media journalism” it’s in the spirit of what I believe good criticism to be: undisciplined. Kinda personal. The stuff people keep coming back to. Or never will again. Endless threads to pull at. Is there a better metric than that?  

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