Re: unperson I knew

Tantacrul, as Martin Keary styles himself, is a composer, musician, and video essayist who does not suffer fools gladly.  

He started out on YouTube with a couple of essays on the subject of the horrible UIs in music-notation software, kind of a niche subject to be sure but entertaining as hell if you have the slightest interest in it.  He's done a devastating takedown of the awful Thoughty2 and his very dumb explainer about why modern pop music is OBJECTIVELY WORSE than it used to be.  (Spoiler:  It really isn't.)  He's made his own explainer on how the music in Star Wars movie is getting OBJECTIVELY WORSE and why.  (Spoiler:  It really is.)

Like most people with any real talent, he's even better when he's talking about things that he likes than he is when he's tearing things down.  His essay on the Cardiacs is the best single introduction to that brilliant doomed band that exists.   All the scorn he heaps on Sibelius (the program) is offset by his praise for Reason (the program).

And he recently made this video:  A deep and insightful long-form appreciation of his (and my) favorite 20th-century composer, Dmitri Shostakovich.  

Artists, like everyone else, were bent into grotesques by having to navigate the terrifying landscape of Stalinism (when they weren't being dispossessed, tortured, or shot).  To a great extent Shostakovich's ability to compose music his entire adult life and die in bed were a product of compromises that he made with the world that he'd been born into.  He made great art, but he had to pay for it by making mediocre art.  He was forced into humiliating positions and did what he needed to do to survive.

His life story also ended up not being his own to tell, either.  There is great controversy over what Shostakovich was actually thinking and intending at key points in his life, especially because third parties have been messing with the historical evidence.  He remains a political pawn in death.

Now.  As you will see, the constraints that the fear of censorship and the threat of unpersonhood force upon the artist, and the cowardly, callous, dimwitted indifference-bordering-on-hostility of censors to anything with any actual meaning, is something that has great resonance for Tantacrul.  He is not shy about it.  

It's hard to know what YouTube should be doing.  I don't think it's this, but I also don't have a better idea.


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