I heard this old classic by the Kinks the other day, so when I saw the special segment on the Oscar’s last night that honored all the famous persons affiliated with Hollywood this song naturally popped into my mind. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest rock songs ever.
I believe that the song beautifully deconstructs the romanticist hopes our culture places in what Robert Bellah called “expressive individualism,” by revealing the avoided but painfully obvious reality that the “Celluloid Heroes” that “never really die” are not real persons. But our cultural narrative of expressive individualism is strong, making our nihilistic faith almost necessary. Thus we buy into the hope that we can transcend death through such achievements. Our cultural narrative is quite persuasive, supported by a propagandizing consumerism wherein “Image is everything” and “Nike” rule. This ensures that our religious allegiance is almost a foregone conclusion. Continue reading →
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 →