The Advanced Genius Theory: Are They Out of Their Minds or Ahead of Their Time?
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Let the debate begin...
The Advanced Genius Theory, hatched by Jason Hartley and Britt Bergman over pizza, began as a means to explain why icons such as Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Sting seem to go from artistic brilliance in their early careers to "losing it" as they grow older. The Theory proposes that they don’t actually lose it, but rather, their work simply advances beyond our comprehension. The ramifications and departures of this argument are limitless, and so are the examples worth considering, such as George Lucas’s Jar Jar Binks, Stanley Kubrick’s fascination with coffee commercials, and the last few decades of Paul McCartney’s career. With equal doses of humor and philosophy, theorist Jason Hartley examines music, literature, sports, politics, and the very meaning of taste, presenting an entirely new way to appreciate the pop culture we love . . . and sometimes think we hate. The Advanced Genius Theory is a manifesto that takes on the least understood work by the most celebrated figures of our time.
the ways the Ramones set themselves apart was by sticking exclusively to incredibly fast, incredibly short songs, which they played one after another with little more than a “one-two-three-four!” between songs. That sounds easy, but to pull it off, you have to practice the set—all the songs, in order, with count-offs between songs—beforehand. A lot of bands practice their songs in whatever order they feel like and then come up with set lists right before they go on, but that doesn’t work if you
to everyone else’s and therefore should not be questioned. You can’t give that kind of power to an artist with just a few years’ worth of greatness, no matter how great that greatness was. For example, John Lennon would not have qualified had he stopped making music after the Beatles broke up because they weren’t together long enough. Without his solo work it would still have been tempting to call him Advanced just for marrying Yoko Ono, but that would have been wrong. A pillar of the Advanced
a little, as it was when they stopped being just another band and became “The Beatles.” For our purposes, this is the period when they embraced Overt weirdness, dressing in leather, hanging out with avant-garde painters, and getting their famous haircuts, which had previously been reserved for female German art students and their androgynous boyfriends. This is also the period where Stu Sutcliffe made one of the all-time Overt decisions: he left the band because he wanted to be an artist, not a
I’ve found is his comment that Brando was truly ashamed to be an actor. They didn’t work together, which is too bad, because they might have made something that we all could have been ashamed of. Chapter Thirteen Steve Martin: Advancement Is Not Pretty Steve Martin’s story is an old story, a story you’ve probably heard before. It was never easy for him: he was born a middle-class white child… When Steve Martin was five years old, his father moved the family to California because he
were interested in protecting their own legacies. The few athletes who have gone out on top didn’t do it because they were worried about their place in history: Barry Sanders retired early, but he was more interested in protecting his body than his legacy. He could have broken the all-time rushing yardage record, but he decided that it wasn’t worth it to endanger his future health for a team as lousy as the Detroit Lions. Sandy Koufax, an Advanced Jewish athlete who wouldn’t pitch in a World