Radiohead are mentioned in a ‘New Statesman’ article on Curtis White’s book ‘The Middle Mind: why Americans don’t think for themselves’: The highway of despair. Oprah Winfrey and J K Rowling are the villains; Radiohead are the cultural revolutionaries. The latest howl of rage against capitalist culture and American mediocrity exemplifies the sentimental, self-indulgent non-thinking it sets out to attack.
Elsewhere in review: “With the public safely elided, it is a straight fight between capitalism and its stooges and cultural revolutionaries such as Radiohead. ‘In these inspired moments of Mahlerian sweetness the band rises above the shit of our shared condition. (What else does Mahler try to do, in symphony after symphony, but dramatise this shared desire?)’ Right, and Wagner is heavy metal. Radiohead, it should be said, are not with Rupert Murdoch. They are with EMI. ‘We are obliged to create our art though international mega-corporations,’ White imagines them explaining themselves, adding that maybe they are self-indulgent – ‘But hey, some folks are.’ A genuine radical would have paused to wonder whether being ‘obliged’ to pocket millions might make their sweetness part of the shit.”
The Curtis White book has an entire chapter on Radiohead – mostly in defense of Kid A, and the artistic risks that the band took while making it. The full article will be published in ‘New Statesman’ on February 23rd [thanks Alex & Jonathan]