“Hatred (A Duet)” by the Kinks: What is the ultimate kink? (With help from Frederick Buechner’s “On the Road With the Archangel”)

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Sometimes I am amazed when I repeatedly stumble upon similar profound thoughts in unexpected places. One recent example is my stumbling yesterday upon the song “Hatred (A Duet)” by the Kinks, and then today something that Frederick Buechner wrote in his novel “On the Road With the Archangel.” Continue reading

The Oscars and “Celluloid Heroes” – “God Save the Kinks!”

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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.

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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

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

“If life’s for livin’ what’s livin’ for…” – A simple question from the Kinks

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“If life’s for livin’ what’s livin’ for…”

A simple question, or is it?

Do they know the answer in Oklahoma, USA?

“All life we work but work is a bore,

   if life’s for livin’ what’s livin’ for?”

A beautiful song by the Kinks, that begs for an answer!

Comments, questions?

BMC @ Manifest Propensity, 2013

“20th Century Man” by The Kinks – On the loss of individual freedom

One of the greatest rock songs of all time, and as relevant as ever for the “21st Century Man.” I think the photos in the youtube video were very well done and assist in demonstrating the enduring political and societal relevance of the song for the “Western” world. The acoustic blues/rock music with the melancholic interlude in the middle have served the song well to prevent it sounding stereotypically time-bound.

BMC @ Manifest Propensity, 2013.