The Advanced Genius Theory: Are They Out of Their Minds or Ahead of Their Time? [NOOK Book]

Overview

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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 ...
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The Advanced Genius Theory: Are They Out of Their Minds or Ahead of Their Time?

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

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Admittedly, the Advanced Theory had unpretentious beginnings: Jason Hartley and Britt Bergman invented the concept in 1990 at a Columbia, South Carolina, Pizza Hut. From those fast-food ruminations, however, grew a great hypothesis, perhaps best expressed by Chuck Klosterman, who wrote the foreword for this book: "When a genius does something that appears idiotic, it does not necessarily mean he suddenly sucks. What it might mean is that he's doing something you cannot understand, because he has Advanced beyond you." With that insight, you can take the great leap forward into this provocative and (let's admit it) extremely entertaining paperback original. Editor's recommendation.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Fans of any art form or entertainment-especially music-have seen at least one beloved favorite's youthful brilliance, with time, turn to embarrassing self-parody. What pop culture writer Hartley proposes is that their genius hasn't faded-it's just outstripped the public's ability to appreciate. Though it can feel a bit tongue-in-cheek, Hartley gently advances his "Advanced Genius Theory" with rigor, enthusiasm, and a game sense of (re-)discovery. Eschewing the snide critical distance that many fans take for granted, Hartley gives the artist in question the benefit of the doubt: if we accept that Lou Reed, for example, was a musical genius in his youth, are we even qualified to say he's lost his brilliance as he's gotten older? (Regarding George Lucas, Hartley submits: "The fact is, Jar Jar Binks is no better or worse than Chewbacca. Just ask your dad.") Defining his terms clearly ("Advanced" geniuses must have alienated their original fans and lost much of their popularity), he proceeds through key aspects and examples of his theory, including the ideas of "Overt" achievement and "Irritants," the "most advanced musicians of all time" (Bob Dylan and Lou Reed), and the Advanced success story of Steve Martin. Though it should ignite many debates over whether your current favorite is Overt or Advanced, it also shows that, in either case, there's more pleasure to be found when one keeps an open mind.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher
“Advancement is a profoundly optimistic way to experience art, and that’s what makes it difficult to accept; it requires a flexible mind, a certain kind of intellectual humility, and a willingness to disregard what initially seems obvious. But once you let your mind slide in the advanced direction, it can never slide back. Not totally. Things will always sound a little different … and a little better.” —From the Foreword by Chuck Klosterman

“Advancement scholars do not foster a spirit of inquiry. It's really just a way for Advancement proponents to appreciate shitty music by people they consider to be nonshitty. It allows you to engage with Lou Reed's music from the 1980s, but not the Hooters or the Outfield [not true! I love ‘And We Danced.’–JH]. This entire theory is shackled by a Heisenbergian principle of self-consciousness.” —Rob Sheffield

"Hartley gently advances his "Advanced Genius Theory" with rigor, enthusiasm, and a game sense of (re-)discovery. Eschewing the snide critical distance that many fans take for granted, Hartley gives the artist in question the benefit of the doubt."—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439117484
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 5/18/2010
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,136,437
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Jason Hartley is a writer, musician, and online marketer. He holds a BA in English from the University of South Carolina. He has worked professionally as a dancer and choreographer, and has studied at the American Dance Festival, Dance Space, Inc., and Movement Research. He has written for Esquire, Spin.com, and VH-1's Best Week Ever blog. Since 2004, Jason has maintained his own website, Advanced Theory Blog. Originally from South Carolina, he now lives in Georgia.

Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven previous books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; Killing Yourself to Live; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, and The Onion A.V. Club. He currently serves as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine and writes about sports and popular culture for ESPN.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Introduction 1

A Few Words About the Structure of the Book 13

Chapter 1 Falling Out of Love 15

Chapter 2 Stages of Advancement 33

Chapter 3 Advanced Musicians 55

Chapter 4 The Most Advanced Musicians Ever 68

Chapter 5 The Second Tier 91

Chapter 6 Who Was the Most Advanced Beatle? 111

Chapter 7 The Curious Cases of Sting and Bono 121

Chapter 8 On the Bubble 131

Chapter 9 The Stage and Mostly Screen 149

Chapter 10 "A" Is for Advanced: Orson Welles 154

Chapter 11 Overt Riders, Overt Bulls 162

Chapter 12 Marlon Brando: The Third Fat Man 174

Chapter 13 Steve Martin: Advancement Is Not Pretty 184

Chapter 14 Fine Artists, but Are They Advanced? 190

Chapter 15 Writers 201

Chapter 16 Advancement and the 2000 Presidential Election 208

Chapter 17 The Advanced World of Sports 213

Chapter 18 What Might Have Been and What Might Yet Be 229

Chapter 19 The Advanced State of Mind, or How to Like Everything 240

Acknowledgments 253

Index 255

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2011

    Semi-review Weii

    I've finished reading the sample just now, and although it may read as if the author simply found something interesting to ponder in his free time it is highly entertaining to see where his mind has taken him. I am assuming the rest of the novel will be just as thought provoking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great read! Challenges your thinking...

    This is a must read if your looking for conversation and/or love music!

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  • Posted September 28, 2010

    Recommended - A Great Read - Thought-Provoking and Funny

    This is an extremely well-written, thought-provoking book that is laugh-out-loud funny at times! It is interesting on many different levels and makes some excellent points about the nature of criticism---what qualifies someone to be a critic and how we judge popular culture. Most of the book is about music, but the theory is especially fascinating when it is applied to politics and sports. I think this would be a great choice for book clubs as it provides lots of fodder for discussion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not as trendy and superficial as it looks. Entertaining and thought provoking. One can apply it to one's own preferences. Easy-reading.

    This is an entertaining and interesting theory with much behind it. I find that the Rolling Stones' "Harlem Shuffle" and their earlier "Hot Stuff" could apply to the expensive radioactive uranium tiles that were originally used extensively in some Manhattan Harlem buildings on floors and bathrooms that were removed by contractors revovating. So, that would make the Rolling Stones "Advanced?" I can listen to D. Harry's (Blondie's) "Union City Blue's" a zillion times--what is that song about--math set theory/union, mining operations in Mexico near a large city, Mexican damsel discussing boyfriend, etc. That makes Blondie "Advanced?" Hard-core dance Reggae is great, but Reggae artist songs such as B. Marley's "Kaya," Freddy Mc Gregor's "Works of Jah," and U Brown's "Tu Sheng Peng" are in any way similar to Blondie's "Rapture," or Sting's "The Bed's too Big Without You?" The author states that Reggae was the inspiration, but those songs are not close to rap or reggae. The B-52s and David Bowie are great, but where did Bowie or the B-52s cave in--as their latest releases are cultural communication pieces. The Beach Boys' "[Lets] Do it Again" does not sound phony, its quite beachy. Much of all of this is cultural; and, as it is with reader-response criticism--what one sees is what one knows and visa-versa. And, once it leaves the artist, what the artist's original intent is/was, may not matter or be significant... This "Advanced Genious Theory" book discusses in detail "Advanced Genious" as the artist's (writers, musicians, etc.) ability to communicate a culture/different culture(s) to many people's satisfaction and whether the artist can continue to do so without failure. I love writer Thomas Pynchon, and have read many of his books, but JG Ballard is also quite great, though the author does not mention Ballard. Marlon Brando was a great actor, but so was Klaus Kinski (such as in W. Herzog's, "The Wrath of God"), though the author does not mention Klaus Kinski. The author does not seem to come up with many Advanced women, though I would say that Blondie, (Diana Ross and the Supremes, ABBA, though before my time), Ofra Haza, Sade (mentioned), Barbara Striesand, and others could be said to be "Advanced." Then, there was that rapper TuPac with "How do you want it, how do you need it" song that was so "Advanced" who would want to listen to it as it describes the low self-esteem beyond-ghetto guy making it rich with 100s of N words and all. Andy Warhol could not help his socialite "Advanced" friend except putting her in the "Factory Girl" film, but this I did not see menioned in the Warhol section of the book. Not mentioned is Marlene Dietrich... Yet, one can listen to a wonderful J.S. Bach piece or a spiritual and wonder what this book is really about. Many of the so-called "Advanced" do seem to sometimes mention "Advanced" people in their works such as E. John's "Rocket Man."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

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    Posted June 14, 2013

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