- Paperback: 192 pages
- Published: 11/3/15
- IBSN: 9781617754098
- e-IBSN: 9781617754258
- Genre: Art/Music/Pop Culture
An uproarious new essay collection from Washington, DC’s, infamous cult music hero and satirist.
“While putting a copy of this book on your nightstand would be a sign of good taste, who cares about good taste? Are you willing to be seen reading a book titled Censorship Now!!’ in public? If so, your skin might burn with funny glances from squares, scolds and looky-loos. But on the inside, you’ll feel your brain throbbing as it swells to accommodate some hilarious, absurd and radical new strategies on how to live in our ridiculous world.”
“Svenonius’ new book is Censorship Now!!, and the title alone shows just how provocative the author can be. A collection of essays previously published by Vice, Jacobin, and others, it sets up numerous enemies—both real and straw—for Svenonius to knock down. . . . It’s all couched in a style that’s part anarchist tirade, part postmodern critique, and part punk-rock snottiness—yet it’s addictively ridiculous.”
“Censor it all. Film, TV, music, politics, books, news, art—censor all of it. That’s the guiding principle of local radical punk Ian Svenonius’ latest essay collection, Censorship Now!!”
—Washington City Paper, Critics’ Pick
Named a Favorite Book of 2015 by Jason Diamond at Vol. 1 Brooklyn
“Gonzo ecstasy for those who have come to know Svenonius’s self-aware political meditations. . . . And though the essays Svenonius writes are not themselves unclear, the process of talking about what he’s written involves discussions that some might find uncomfortable. His books make more sense the more you dissect them. So keep them in your back pocket and read them, one word at a time.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books
“A new collection of essays by everyone’s favorite supercilious rock theorist . . . Svenonius has always been the smartest kid in the room. . . . In print, Svenonius is like that curmudgeonly pal that you adore because, even while his insight quivers between humor, paranoia, and antisocial ire, he never dispels your fascination in how he gets there.”
“Ian Svenonius is best known as the frontman of bands like the Make-Up and Nation of Ulysses, but he’s also a brilliant cultural critic with a talent for coming up with the hottest takes you’ll ever read. In this collection, Svenonius makes compelling arguments in favor of censorship and hoarding books and records, amid polemics against Apple and Ikea, the yuppification of indie rock, and the shaving of pubic hair.”
—Buzzfeed, 21 Great Books About Music from 2015
“The essays in Censorship Now!! are equally packed with modest proposals and mock-revolutionary rhetoric, but there are grains of truth in pieces like ‘The Historic Role Of Sugar In Empire Building’ and ‘Heathers Revisited: The Nerd’s Fight For Niceness’—they’re just buried somewhere between tongue and cheek.”
—The A.V. Club
“Censorship Now!! simultaneously deals in the heated rhetoric of insurgent calls to action, the seductive broad strokes of propaganda, and the clever winking of surrealist humor. Often when I’m really convinced Svenonius has gone off a paranoid deep end, the next sentence hits back with knowingly-hilarious exaggeration or profoundly spot-on analysis, realigning my perspective and making me wonder again. . . . It’s fitting that a book whose intentions are ambiguous begins with a call to censor art and ends by letting art do the talking.”
“Ian Svenonius, former Sassiest Boy in America and frontman for legendary D.C. bands Nation of Ulysses and the Make-Up . . . [has a] new essay collection, Censorship Now, [which] is wild with subject matter, including Ikea, Marion Barry, Christian pornography, hoarding, tipping in restaurants, and, yes, the role of sugar in empire-building . . .”
“Svenonius has the scholarly chops, unique subcultural vantage, and reputation to be a new kind of public intellectual—an earthy alternative to university discourse, matching its brainy detachment with D.C. punk’s searching, media-aware sensibility.”
—Baltimore City Paper
“Svenonius’s third book is a collection of essays, featuring distinctive takes on all sorts of matters cultural and political. (You can read one at The New Republic.) As the title suggests, there’s a contrarian streak here, which befits a guy who’s been challenging expectations since the mid-1980s.”
—Vol. 1 Brooklyn, included in November 2015 Books Preview
“Put Svenonius on the syllabus. . . . Ian F. Svenonius is a refreshing voice amidst the irony-addled sad-sack defeatism of postmodernity.”
“Svenonius’ true might with these written words is in his eloquence, his persuasive elucidation of his arguments and his convincing invocation of history as backing evidence.”
“Svenonius uses fiery rhetoric and grand historical examples to, in many ways, point out not just the absurdity of our modern culture but to place the capitalist norms that we take as quotidian truths in a historical and moral context. Like his music, his writing seems written with some kind of tongue in some sort of general cheek area.”
“Twist yer melon with a series of essays by Ian F. Svenonius, America’s punk Barthes. The musician’s eponymous slice proposes a code where industrialised artists of all types declare their agenda and responsibility for the cause of futurekind . . . New Year Resolutions cometh, are we up for that?”
“You might know Ian Svenonius from his music—Nation of Ulysses, the Make Up, Chain & the Gang or his show Soft Focus or perhaps his earlier book Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group—but once encountered, he leaves an impression.”
—The Big Takeover
“A thought-provoking collection of essays. . . . In a utopian world where we all followed Svenonius’ lead by banning all uninspired, toothless, and just plain bad art, you would still find plenty of copies of Censorship Now!! lying around.”
—The Couch Sessions
Praise for Ian F. Svenonius:
“Svenonius has walked the walk . . . Even today—as the frontman of Chain & the Gang and the host of the online talk show Soft Focus—he remains cool, cryptic, and impeccably dressed, a mod magician with a trick always lurking up his tailored sleeve.”
—The A.V. Club
“Like its author, Supernatural Strategies is part tongue-in-cheek, part deadly serious—a satire of rock’s consumerist origins but also a thoughtful treatise on what it means to devote yourself to a collective.”
THIS PAGE IS FOR THE REGULAR PAPERBACK EDITION OF CENSORSHIP NOW!! by IAN F. SVENONIUS; CLICK [HERE] FOR INFORMATION ON THE LIMITED SIGNED AND INDIVIDUALLY NUMBERED HARDCOVER EDITION.
Ian F. Svenonius’s new collection of sixteen essays and stories, entitled Censorship Now!!, is reorganizing people’s ideas about censorship, Ikea, documentary filmmaking, the Berlin Wall, the film Heathers, the twist, the frug, the mashed potato, shaving one’s body, Apple, Inc., Nordic functionalism, the supposed benevolence of the Wikipedia, hoarding, college rock, the origins of the Internet, and more. It’s an underground smash which has been met with a horrified gasp in all respectable quarters and gog-eyed enthusiasm in artist garrets the world over.
Read an interview with Ian F. Svenonius at Vanyaland.
IAN F. SVENONIUS is the author of the underground best sellers Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group and The Psychic Soviet. He was also the host of VBS.tv’s Soft Focus, a different breed of chat show, where he interviewed Mark E. Smith, Genesis P. Orridge, Chan Marshall, Ian MacKaye, and others. As a musician he has created twenty-one albums and countless singles in various rock ’n’ roll combos (Chain & the Gang, Weird War, The Make-Up, The Nation of Ulysses, etc.). He lives in Washington, DC. His essay collection, Censorship Now!!, is his latest work.