Spence Green

التكرار يعلم الحمار

I work at Lilt. In addition to computers and languages, my interests include travel, running, and scuba diving. more...

More With Less

with one comment

An unattributed byline about Kurt Cobain in a recent GQ issue caught my attention for its terse description of a complex person.

A man of chronic contradictions, Kurt Cobain exuded an energy that was both savage and artistic. When Nirvana readied to play Saturday Night Live on January 11, 1992, Nevermind had reached Billboard’s number one spot, and the music world waited to meet its new 24-year-old star. He wore a Flipper T-shirt under a mold-colored cardigan and hair he’d dyed the night before with strawberry Kool-Aid. He also blew the shit out of the room with a 1965 Fender Jaguar the color of a Doberman and introduced us to a new status quo for cultural icons. Glamorous, dirty, quiet, and loud—Cobain would be dead in two years. And we’re still trying to figure him out.

The selective use of adjectives makes this article work: “savage”, “mold-colored”, “glamorous, dirty, quiet, and loud.” This is Seattle, and the apathetic movement that it spawned. Using an expletive makes the writer vulnerable to the reader’s contempt, but in this case, it seems to resonate against the grinding hum of the brown Fender. Here, the writer has sketched a book-length subject in 114 words.

Here’s the SNL performance.

Written by Spence

December 2nd, 2007 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Composition

One Response to 'More With Less'

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  1. Dear Spence Green,

    Thanks very much for you kind words about my short piece on Kurt. Writing so little after learning so much was no easy task, but I’m glad a bit of that strange short life came across.


    Cole Louison


    29 May 09 at 10:20

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