Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Philosophical Self Indulgence

While I do have a few irons in the fire regarding our current societal predicament, I must confess that I am suffering a bit of overload trying to sort through the antics of the new administration and as a result, have been bleeding different thoughts over into different posts. That being said, I sought the solace of music; my type of music. Music that many of my conservative friends also teethed on and music that would cause many to wonder how we ever became conservatives at all.

The truthful answer is, we were always conservatives - even in our rebellious teen years - but we just didn't realize it. We were the ones who suddenly discovered that our parents and their entire generation were morons who would destroy the planet, along with us. We learned this from a juvenile perspective derived from the deep lyrics of the musicians we worshipped. Listening to the message became very important in the late sixties and throughout the seventies, and the composers became ever so much more artful in the delivery of that message.

I still seek refuge in those compositions - as I did today - simply because of the beauty of the music, but my interpretation of the lyrics has changed even as I now question whether my youthful understanding was skewed. Perhaps - as the video age has progressed - the artists themselves have reconsidered their original intent or, just maybe, they were spot on all along? It may well have been we consumers who read too much into the meaning.

Anyone familiar with the band YES, and their scathing yet brilliant condemnation of war in The Gates Of Delirium from the album Relayer may see where I am going with this line of thought. It was one of the most remarkable compositions in the modern rock age, and while the track does get a bit shrill at times, every bit of it is absolutely pertinent to the entire piece. But the message is perfectly completed with the last movement, titled Soon. As I watched the video seen here, of an aging band performing with the majesty of an orchestra - something that was formerly done by one man with incredible technological and keyboard mastery - I was struck by the societal importance of music and the meaning it has for us all. Watch this beauty:

The reason this struck me as it did was simply because I realized that the band members may have had a completely generic message to send as opposed to one of a subversive nature. In other words, maybe all they were trying to convey was the futility of war in general without being necessarily anti-war.

Which leads me back to my conservative roots. Those who accuse conservatives of being "war mongers" are just as guilty as conservatives who accuse all liberals of being "pacifists". It can be argued effectively that no one wants war, therefore, everyone is anti-war. The music speaks for itself. The difference is that conservatives understand the occassional necessity and subsequently support the need for warfare, whereas modern liberals still cling to a notion derived from musical icons from their youth that tells them that war is just bad.

Again, war can never be defended as something good, but neither can bad-tasting medicine to a child. It is only when people achieve adulthood that they realize that life is not all about candy and play.

Thank God that we developed the means to record forever the works of those who provide us with art that enables us to make these contemplations. Also thank God that the artists mature just like the rest of us.

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