Who'd have thought? To me, the name implies the squared-off tubular metal of chairs in an HMO doctor's waiting room--clinical, yet a bit dingy and frayed around the edges. Something one does because one ought, rather than because one wants to.
But lo and behold, this stuff is interesting! Last night I read about the ways children are socialized into thinking, talking, and behaving about food in Italian and American families ("Socializing Taste," Ochs, Pontecorvo, and Fasulo, Ethnos 61, 1/2:7-46, 1996). The Americans, not surprisingly, come across quite badly, stressing moral reasons and attempting to 'contract' with their kids to eat vegetables, while the Italians chose to treat their children as people and to talk primarily about the pleasures of food with them.
And just now I read an even more engrossing article by Carol Cohn about language use amongst the people (mostly men) who worked in nuclear war strategy in the Reagan years. Not surprisingly, their language is distinctly gendered (how can it not be, talking about missiles and "penetration aids"?!?), but it also works on themes of male childbearing, religion, and domestic metaphors ("pat the missile," "silos," etc.). She also discusses her experience learning that jargon, and the way it makes expressing certain things (like peace) impossible. That citation, for anyone who's interested (and has JStor access) is "Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals," Signs, 12/4: 687-718, 1987.
Next I have an article about teaching a magic trick.
As for what this all has to do with music...well, we'll see--but for the moment, I'm having a ball...um...a blast?...er....