The Kink’s “Money and Corruption” and “I’m Your Man” – Mr. Flash as Political Huckster

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“Oh God how I love this land” (Mr. Flash)

Why does that sentiment sound familiar?

“Money & Corruption” and “I’m Your Man” are another great highlight of the Kink’s rock opera “Preservation, Act 2” wherein we see that the people were swindled by the political savvy of the deceitful and greedy Mr. Flash. Continue reading

The Kinks and the Confession of Mr. Flash

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I always loved The Kinks non-critically acclaimed “Preservation” albums, acts 1 and 2. The two songs “Flash’s Dream (The Final Elbow)” and “Flash’s Confession,” toward the end of “Act 2” were thematically and musically a high point. Ray’s singing is amazing as usual, and I believe he is not given the credit of being one of the greatest rock singers of all time. Brother Dave’s guitar is also wonderfully prominent in the “Confession.”

The video posted below by Gerard van Calcar was well done with some appropriate images, and thankfully he combined both songs parts together. Continue reading

“Normal Person” by Arcade Fire and the “status” of normalhood

First things first: Another great song by Arcade Fire. I think it is one of their best more “traditional” type rock songs, vocally and musically.

Lyrically, I think it is, along with many of the songs on Reflektor, a song dealing with “collisions” happening in our society. I think the collision in this song is of people groups engaged in “culture war” battles that occur regarding who is entitled to the “status” of being considered “normal.” Continue reading

Mississippi/Babylon – Bob Dylan’s “Mississippi”

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The song “Mississippi” seems to me to be a Bob Dylan take on “Babylon” which seemed appropriate to follow my last post of an Emmylou Harris song. Unfortunately I could not post the music version I like the most which is on “Tell Tale Signs” (the Bootleg Series vol. 8, disc 1). But this is a decent live version anyway. I only included part of the lyrics that seem most straightforward concerning a “Babylonian captivity” type of existence (I don’t know if I should call it a “life“.)

I especially like Dylan’s “punch line” ‘…stayed in Mississippi a day too long‘ which seems to capture the captivating qualities of “Babylon” and our own susceptibility thereto. Continue reading

“Time in Babylon” by Emmylou Harris – (Are we “Doin’ time in Babylon”?)

A song written by Jill Cunnliff, Daryl Hall, and Emmylou Harris. (Video by “Heritage Church”)

Five-lane highway danger zone
SUV and a speaker phone
You need that chrome to get you home
Doin’ time in Babyion
Cluster mansion on the hill
Another day in Pleasantville
You don’t like it take a pill
Doin’ time in Babyion Continue reading

Soren Kierkegaard on “equality in loving” which is the love that can change the world – “Works of Love” 9 (preferential love, part 2)

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In this post we will consider Kierkegaard’s positive view of the duty of loving our neighbor. Continue reading

“Manifest Propensity” Explained

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“Manifest Destiny”

This painting (circa 1872) by John Gast called American Progress, is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west. Here Columbia, a personification of the United States, leads civilization westward with American settlers, stringing telegraph wire as she sweeps west; she holds a school book. The different stages of economic activity of the pioneers are highlighted and, especially, the changing forms of transportation.

The purpose of this post is to explain why this blog is called “Manifest Propensity.” I have said a few things in this regard, but have never offered a full explanation. The name comes from two sources. The first source you may have guessed due to the verbal similarity. Continue reading

“Here Comes the Flood” by Peter Gabriel – On the judgments of God and the hope of Easter

I have always loved this song, and consider it one of Peter Gabriel’s best ones. It was the last cut on his first solo album after he left Genesis in the mid 1970’s. I believe the song provides the basis for a meaningful meditation on the subject of hope in today’s world. So have a listen to “Here Comes the Flood” and then I will consider the hopeful meaningfulness I find in the song. I find the song extremely complex and filled with rich imagery, which of course makes it difficult to know exactly what Peter Gabriel may have had in mind especially regarding a precise “story line.” But I hope that what I offer will be generally harmonious to what he may have been saying in his wonderfully poignant song.

Continue reading