Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Advanced Genius Theory by Jason Hartley



Why I read it: An interesting concept.

Summary: The author and a friend create a subjective system of classifying everyone and everything based on achievement over long periods of time, sunglasses and leather jackets. Mostly it's about Lou Reed.

My Thoughts: So you're not into Lou Reed. Do you know why?

According to the author, the theory of Advancement states that Advanced artists go through a phase of general acceptance, or Overtness, but then move into realms we cannot yet understand. We're listening to Prince sing in 1985 while he's partying in 1999. During this period, since we can't understand why Advanced artists are thinking about what they're thinking about, we think they've "lost it." In reality, they've just moved beyond the sensory capabilities of regular humans. You lost Lou Reed after "Walk on the Wild Side." But in reality, he's even better today at what he does than any of us could imagine.

The problem with this theory is its subjectiveness. But the author knows that. And he knows to that his presentation of the theory and the way he thinks about it is flawed. In other words, in regard to many artists, he may be talked off the ledge that straddles Advancement and lifelong Overtness. Case in point? Through 250 pages, he does not recognize a single woman as being Advanced. And he recognizes the lack of recognition. He argues against Madonna and Patty Smyth, but says that Britney Spears may get there someday. But that's about it. He even states that perhaps Advancement is just a male thing. There could be no greater backwards statement. But he's working it out. Advancement is just a theory, not a proven scientific fact.

Be ready to read about music if you pick up this book. The author spends about 60% of the book on the topic, mostly because it's what he knows best, and because the theory works well with people in that industry (sunglasses, leather jackets...).

If this book had a subtitle, it might be Two Guys, a Theory and a Pizza Place. Another would be The Lou Reed Story. The great thing is that as the theory is a living. breathing, changing thing, it's right here on Blogspot:

http://advancedtheory.blogspot.com/

Check it out.

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