preface
A few words at the outset about what follows. I used to play drums. I
don’t anymore—or, at least, I don’t play professionally. When I used to
play, I also wrote songs. I am grateful that the well-known, and now
rather tired, drummer joke—What’s the last thing a drummer ever says
to his or her bandmates? How about working on one of my songs!—
was never inflicted on me (at least, not to my face). When we per-
formed, our sets were always a mix of covers and originals. Originals
had to be used judiciously because of the problem of ‘‘audience.’’
Would they work?
In many respects, this book confronts the same dilemma. Will it
work? The issue here is not about the adolescent dilemma of ‘‘orig-
inality.’’ It is about audience. In this book, I find myself deliberately
trying to mix and sample a variety of academic discourses that don’t
characteristically engage one another, and the risk taken is that of
incomprehension. Why? Because discourses are also always already
audiences, and if the history of rock and roll has taught us anything, it
is that audiences don’t always ‘‘get it.’’ Undaunted, I will simply hope
for the best.
Case in point: sexist language (whether deliberate or not). It has
become common practice over the years to mark one’s solidarity with
those who find it offensive by following examples of sexist language
(for example, ‘‘man’’ or the masculine pronoun used as pseudo-generic
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