According to preRomantic poet William Blake, taking his cue from ancient Greek ‘psychology’ (based on the elements of earth, wind, fire, and water), contempory Western society is out of tune with the Universe because the air, its ‘spirit’, succumbs to the domination of sexless Reason, known as the Age of the Enlightenment.
Jump ahead in time a bit, and Marshall McLuhan expands on William Blake’s ‘psychology’: McLuhan concludes that with the invention of mass-producing printing press, the sensual concentration is on the eye – the new technology creates a media that focuses on structuring a consumer-oriented here-and-now.
Says McLuhan, then along comes the Electronic Age – the telegraph, the telephone, the television – everything moves fast – the ear is back, but there’s still no connection with the past, and everybody and everything gets blown away; there’s no time left for you and there’s no time left for me.
However, argued it can be that up jumps a bunch of contemporary artists who rebel against the status quo – not in the manner of Romantic print-media writers because straight-line Reason’s been shattered, and broken to bits. Rather the artists rally against those who control contemporary culture, and they attempt to seize Big Brother’s ‘deconstructive’ electronic weapons for themselves.
The artist find himself in oxymoronic times where he tries to be a trusted daddy, a Shakespeare in the bowling alley – atrempting to gain immortality:
There’s a lonely crowd outside walking on the quick-moving city streets; everybody knows they’re a disposable pawn in a Big Man’s game:
Everything’s mixed-up confusion; evolutionists spar withm evangelists on the Big Screen of the Apes; Tweeter and the Monkey Man shoot it out on television; and down in the Valley of Sponsors lives the Jolly Green Giant:
Everyone’s watching the rocknroll picture-show, and arrows are flying everywhere; poor Cock Robin’s found dead under his piano; somebody’s gotta take the fall:
The builder of the song lyrics provides Louise (by the way, she’s lost her box of rain) with a bridge to babble on:
Ah, yes, the artist shows no fear, blown away as he is by the idiot winds of the New Age, as he ponders where all ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ of Baudelaire have gone:
Alexandre Dumas, junior, writes a French romantic novel about Camille, a courtesan (who wears a red camellia flower when unavailable for sex), who falls in love with Armand Duval; his father convinces her that she must be reasonable and leave his son for the sake of the family’s reputation; Armand thinks she’s run off with another man.
Now it’s modern times with no direction home, conformity rules – standing up against authority is no longer valued; over are the days of draftees rebelling against President Kennedy’s command not to ask what your country can do for you – you’re like John Brown who goes off to war, asking what you can do for your country:
It’s all over now, Baby Blue:
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