72

Songs of Longing for New Year’s Day

Edward Curtin

Like many people, when the New Year rolls around, I think of turning over a new leaf. The problem with doing that, especially in New England, is that it’s hard to find one. Nothing grows in this cold climate at this time of year, except old habits. You can turn them over but they’re still aged without a bit of green newness anywhere.

Do people fly south in the winter time to find new leaves, only to find their old selves when they get there? Is that what leaving gets you? Is that why winter in Florida resembles a geriatric ward, a place for reminiscing and Auld Lang Syne?

Stuck in old habits and wanting to throw off the old for the new, we tend to do strange things like buy new clothes, get a haircut, or resolve to form new habits that we think are good for us. But these resolutions, as the word implies, are a re-solving of what we resolved to make new last New Year’s.

So many solutions to so many old habits over so many years are still habits. And we end up being stuck in a double-bind of our own making, anchored in the past.

Habits, by definition, are what hold us back in our conditions.

Yet little else is so settled, least of all our lives, and this we sense. We may be stuck, but time passes and we will die chained to our routines unless we change. So we reach for new beginnings every chance we can get: New Year’s and birthdays being the most popular – arbitrary constructs used to propel us into what we think will be new lives.

New is easier said than done, of course. How to change? Change to what? Do we really want to change, or are all these habitual resolutions our solutions to the threat that real change entails? If we truly changed, could we change the world? And if we don’t, will we have a world to change?

New Year’s brings to mind what everyone knows: that the years come and go, they turn, we get older; we seek at every age to be transformed into new people – somehow freed from something, some inexpressible lonely burden, some guilty sense that time will devour us before we make amends.

The desire for transformation is universal. So too is the often unacknowledged awareness, that like the years that pass, we too shall “pass” – to use that evasive euphemism.

Doesn’t anyone fail or die anymore? Or is that for the poor and out-of-sight, the disappeared victims of oppressive injustice and violence? Is it that the conquerors pass and others fail?

“Don’t wait too long,” sang Frank Sinatra fifty years ago when he was struggling with aging and the thought of being over the hill, his end coming. “Why must the moments go by with such haste? Don’t wait too long.”

Much has been written about Frank, and rightly so. These commentaries have been elicited by the universally acknowledged genius of his singing, especially for his gift of soulfully expressing the deepest human emotions of love and loss and longing.

I would suggest that Frank Sinatra, and in particular his great album, September of My Years, be requisite listening for anyone interested in real change for the New Year.

In the midst of the revelry and fireworks, the old year and the new, the resolutions and irresolutions, looking back and looking forward – here is Sinatra singing of the deepest core of the year’s turning – human loneliness. And how, despite it, to love and connect. How to embrace seeming contradiction. How to change.

I never met Sinatra, but he was my mentor in this process, one that has no ending. It’s transformative work. Ephemeral, yet realer than real.

When I was young, he taught me to be old. Now that I’m old, he’s taught me to be young. How? By listening to the singing, the words that fly from his mouth come from the heart’s desires, the hunger of the soul. They pierce to the core of all our longings for change within permanence. He didn’t write the words, but he had a genius for articulating them.

As Bob Dylan said of Sinatra, “Right from the beginning, he was there with the truth of things in his voice.”

In his voice, yes. I am not speaking of the man about whom so much has been written, good and bad. I am not speaking of his politics or his personal life. I never knew the man, just the voice. That’s enough. From his voice comes truth of a very deep nature.

Listen, you older folks.

“When the wind was green at the start of the spring….”

“When I was seventeen….”

“I know how it feels to have wings on your heels ….”

Youngsters, listen.

“When you’re all alone, all the children grown, and like starlings flown away, it gets lonely early, doesn’t it, every single endless day.”

“Once upon a time….”

Everyone, listen. Connect.

Perhaps only songs can change us. Arguments so often seem to fall on deaf ears. Could it be that songs are the expression in sound of the dual nature of our New Year’s longings for newness amidst the old?

John Berger, a master political writer no matter what his ostensible subject matter – a portrait, a landscape, a singing performance – put it perfectly shortly before he died in an article in Harper’s magazine.

A song, as distinct from the bodies it takes over, is unfixed in time and place. A song narrates a past experience. While it is being sung it fills the present. Stories do the same. But songs have another dimension, which is uniquely theirs. A song fills the present while it hopes to reach a listening ear in some future somewhere. It leans forward, farther and farther. Without the persistence of this hope, songs would not exist. Songs lean forward.”

So lean forward and listen. It’s a new year. There is hope. If we change.

SUPPORT OFFGUARDIAN

If you enjoy OffG's content, please help us make our monthly fund-raising goal and keep the site alive.

For other ways to donate, including direct-transfer bank details click HERE.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

72 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 2, 2020 12:32 PM

What I felt but didn’t write in my first comment but see in other comments since is the recognition of music as the provider of a conditioned identity reinforcement. I accept consciousness as expansion to an ever widening embrace from an initial self-limiting differentiation. But that is because perhaps my bubble identity-worlview was broken and unable to reform in the old-wine bottle paradigm. So in many ways I have embraced music as a direct language of the Soul of a stillness in motional expression – even through the lenses and filters of cultural differentiations that had a specific meaning at their time of birthing that is then lost to or mainstreamed as a new ‘establishment’ of culturally be-lived identity. And thus becomes the new fake of artifice that is ‘followed in’ as an identity provider rather than expanded and opened in as a new expression. Seeking expression of who we… Read more »

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 2, 2020 12:53 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

…in many ways I have embraced music as a direct language of the Soul of a stillness in motional expression…

https://youtu.be/SSq5XvVTRWI

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 2, 2020 3:51 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

In the freedom to accept and align with that which truly moves me and put what does not resonate true, behind me. Perhaps that is our deepest freedom and one that is always active. It remains up to you where you go to get your sense of self and world or meaning from. But you can choose to play it as if someone else made you or defined you in absurdity and grievance, both. However, the ability to divide and define stillness as interval, period. or ‘space between’ is the basis of the rhythmic interchange of energy in motion or e-motion. The cultural over-layering of ritually assigned and accepted meanings masks the shamanic gesture of invoking and embodying the ‘spirits’ that underlie appearances so as to restore balance or harmony to the troubled, the alienated, or the dispossessed. But where once the forms were one with the calling, they became… Read more »

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 3, 2020 9:21 AM
Reply to  Brian Steere

If I poke it, will more come out? It’s making me into a bad, bad boy.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 3, 2020 12:03 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Not at all. You are making up a story and acting it out as if it is real. You give me all the meaning I have for you – and you act out as if it is true – and you have your reward. I don’t accept it, but I accept your behaviour in a public forum as an example to illuminate for the recognising of more clarity as to HOW human beings give their power away for self-gratifying scripts that put down in order to seem powerful, wise or witty. You may not be interested – but this is a public forum. I don’t write private letters here – but to a wider interest – in the full understanding that no one HAS to read or respond to anything I write. If you choose to respond – under the assertion that “I make you do it” – then you… Read more »

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 8, 2020 4:08 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

I’ll take that as a “yes”.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 8, 2020 4:46 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

“Ask and you shall receive”.

But also – only a real question will receive in the measure in its kind.
Anything else is only pretending to relate as a form of false wit-ness and false with-ness. Such is the weaponisation of the word for private agenda.

If you (effectively) ask to be deceived – then I cant convince you of any other outcome. You’ve already set your reward – even Jesus has to knock. Because your true will is Wholy – no matter how you hide it.

When you desire the true of relationship – it will no longer be false-flagged by the identifications of your own thinking.

All that is hidden shall be revealed – unto your willingness to receive.
In the mean while – your giving sets your measure.

As far as I can see, Jesus sent you.
Why else would you be knocking on my door?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 9, 2020 4:51 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

As far as I can see, Jesus sent you. Why else would you be knocking on my door? I have read one of your screeds and skimmed another. That’s it. Sum total. They made me think I’d been condemned to heaven, sitting next to the harp & syrup section for all eternity. Every now and then I nearly repetitive strain my finger while fast scrolling through yet another forthpouring to get to the fresh air below it. Like our cat, right now keeping an endless vigil by the skirting board where it believes a mouse–that occasionally makes a fleeting appearance to taunt it–to be, I sometimes make a reflex pounce to relieve the boredom. That’s it, too. Cats will play pounce on anything that moves fast, just to enliven their day. Moi aussi. When one of your missives takes over 40 minutes to scroll flat out (45.7 km/h) up the… Read more »

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 9, 2020 7:10 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

You are welcome to your sarcasm. It entertains you. I understand. If your reality doesn’t entertain you – well – you just cant help it. And your devil gets the better of you. However, a fake world of fake communication and fake relationships is the willingness to agree to be separate – except in shifting alliance of polarised identity. If you choose to engage with me – I take there to be a real relationship behind the sarcastic masking wit – and give my response to the true of you – not the twit. You said you asked me a question – but if you look again – you see the same tactics the MSM use – smear packaged as IF a question. Can you engage in conversation without your devil getting the better of you? Is a world in which the devil doesn’t get the better of you too… Read more »

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 9, 2020 11:37 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

I write to what lies beneath as the framing of the perceptions and responses that are ‘made real’ by emotional investment… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

OK. Condescension is your “mask” (or whatever word you choose to pompous it up). I told you the trivial truth about the effect of your meaningless (Freddie Ayer, q.v.) verbal blancmange on me and I suggested you ignore me if I occasionally throw up on even just seeing one of your Greggs-sized vat full of it. Do what you like, I do. Shlomo ahlaykhu.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 10, 2020 12:52 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

I regard you as equally worthy of living and loving life – and no less free to make your own choices regarding the merits or otherwise of ideas than myself. I write to the theme in ideas – not to the person in attempt to get liked. That doesn’t mean I disregard or demean the personal – but I see the persona as a masking displacement or distortion – as in ‘through a glass darkly’. As in invested ‘identity’ with the mask. I sense that you are ‘seeing’ personal intentions or motivation in me that are not there and reach for the first stone. If I was to couch and qualify the ideas that I use so as to fit in with your idea of personal correctness – then there would be more words – But more to the point they would become mainstream mind. I don’t write to what… Read more »

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 12, 2020 12:37 AM
Reply to  Brian Steere

If I was

“If I were…” Subjunctive mood when the ‘if’ precedes an untrue statement or wishful thinking.

…to couch and qualify the ideas that I use so as to fit in with your idea of personal correctness –

Like that.

then there would be more words

Crikey.

Gall
Gall
Jan 1, 2020 8:18 PM

Frankie was not only a great singer but an excellent actor as well. His most memorable performance was as Major Bennett Marco in the Manchurian Candidate where he brought Condon’s character to life.

Anyway Happy New Year Ed.

BigB
BigB
Jan 2, 2020 12:01 PM
Reply to  Gall

And best mates with Johnny Rosseli and Sam Giancana: pillars of the American community. And there was *that* Lady …as in the President, the Lady, the Mob, and the Godfather. Which along with the Hollywood Icon is an archetypal iconography of the past or the future? Looking forward, or looking back?

Great voice though.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 2, 2020 1:09 PM
Reply to  BigB

Great voice though.

My problem listening to him.

Jesus said, “Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.”

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 2, 2020 2:50 PM
Reply to  BigB

Voice and acting ability apart, he was admittedly a bit of a shit. It was a part in “From Here To Eternity” that rescued his career. From one story I read, the director said he cast Sinatra because he didn’t want to wake up with a horse’s head beside him! Sinatra was helped immensely in that movie by Montgomery Clift’s advice – only later to throw Clift out of a party when Clift, who was gay, made a pass at another guy.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 1, 2020 5:29 PM

The Song that is in your heart is who you are. If you find and are found in a resonance that reflects the true of you, it is not IN the form – but written in your heart. The heart that can be substituted for by emotional reactivity is who you are not. In covering over who we are is the fear and pain of loss and longing that seeks outside itself from a sense of lack, deprivation and denial. The song in our heart can be lost to grievance and affected hates of dissociation and judgemental rejections. As if joy lies in getting rid of the hated. As if joy lies in victory rather than wholeness and self-separation rather than communioned expression. Music and song offer transmutation of negative or conflicted self. Pain of madness into the yearning of love’s Call and Answer. Unless the bids are singing now… Read more »

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 1, 2020 9:07 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

Sinatra and the crooners don’t really sing, but if people enjoy it, well and good.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 2, 2020 12:36 PM

Ooo, get Pavarotti.

P.S. Ed Bernays was Caruso’s press agent and wet nurse.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 2, 2020 2:52 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

That did make me laugh Robbo. I wonder what RLS makes of Bobby Zimmerman?

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 2, 2020 10:43 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Another non-singer. I think Tom Waits ‘sings’ Dylan the best.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 3, 2020 7:55 AM

By your scare quotes around ‘Tom Waits’, I assume you are saying that Waits is also a non-singer. So who do you class as an actual singer?

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 3, 2020 7:56 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Sorry – I meant the scare quotes around ‘sings’ after Tom Waits.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 4, 2020 5:46 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Tom is a groaner, with magnificent delivery of a growling type of part song part recitation. I loves him. A ‘real’ singer”? Bjorling, Pavarotti, Ferrier, Paul Rogers, Joan Sutherland, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Callas before she neglected her art, and numerous others. One who pours their soul out in their performances.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 11, 2020 8:17 AM

Tom [Waits] is a groaner, with magnificent delivery of a growling type of part song part recitation. [Emphases added]

Do you mean, like https://youtu.be/Doz5w2W-jAY ?

Tom’s insights and reflections cannot be limited by nouns or inflections.

https://youtu.be/rLtZKkCIVmI

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 11, 2020 9:05 AM

Different genres require different standards. I once heard a street singer who actually had an operatic voice. She was trying to sing the blues. It was as excrutiating as listening to Dylan try to sing Don Giovanni.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 11, 2020 9:06 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Not that he ever did – I hasten to add. I daresay that is a horror that still awaits us!

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 12, 2020 5:44 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Different genres require different standards.

Different techniques. “There’s good music and there’s the other sort” — Duke Ellington, approximately.

I once heard a street singer who actually had an operatic voice. She was trying to sing the blues. It was as excrutiating as…

https://youtu.be/Ird4qnCdGFU
https://youtu.be/-mpsIQNFByw

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 12, 2020 6:35 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 11, 2020 8:31 AM
Reply to  George Mc

So who do you class as an actual singer?

A ‘real’ singer”? Bjorling, Pavarotti, Ferrier, Paul Rogers, Joan Sutherland, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Callas before she neglected her art, and numerous others. One who pours their soul out in their performances.

In https://youtu.be/5a0juQ0aeGI at exactly 59 seconds, a continuation on camera of a relationship that began offstage, M. le sarc might care to notice the little didactic gesture that Pavarotti makes with his right hand, his absolutely joyful, unselfish attentiveness for the next 45 seconds and the following gracious acknowledgement of a receptive pupil by a craft-commanding maestro. “Real” singing is technique but “great” singing lies in generosity of spirit. That’s where Pavarotti outshines Sinatra and Adams finds his voice.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 11, 2020 8:25 AM
Reply to  George Mc

I wonder what RLS makes of Bobby Zimmerman? Another non-singer. I think Tom Waits ‘sings’ Dylan the best. It’s a great day for Literature and for Bob when a Master of its original form is celebrated [with a Nobel prize]. Before epic tales and poems were ever written down, they migrated on the winds of the human voice and no voice is greater than Dylan’s. — Tom Waits With Dylan, so much has been said about him, it’s difficult so say anything about him that hasn’t already been said, and say it better. Suffice it to say Dylan is a planet to be explored. For a songwriter, Dylan is as essential as a hammer and nails and a saw are to a carpenter. I like my music with the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in – so the bootlegs I obtained in the Sixties and Seventies, where the… Read more »

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 12:33 AM
Reply to  Brian Steere

Rolling Stones _Heartbreaker_

MOU

norman widom
norman widom
Jan 1, 2020 4:34 PM

zimmerman would know all about the talmoodick tool that was sin atra no doubt old red eyes had a great pair of lungs but was he a product humane absolutely not he was a savage then again the movie music industries are and where prime nesting places of satan zion like tavistock beatles zimmerman was a project a bad actor his character called dylan had silly voice and songs written by a cohen. ms put up a parking lot mitchell knew what a con man dylan was. the worship of souless actors who’s work is scripted protocol project the first thing you should know is we and are people are everywhere nothing is left too chance communism is zionism no zion scripted communism and all the other ism’s actors casting spells musical hero always has a day of rekoyning for his dealings and trades with the devil did you ever… Read more »

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 1, 2020 5:36 PM
Reply to  norman widom

As a Punk Rock drummer I, for one, would rather have Satan directing the music scene as opposed to Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was not a Punk Rocker, and Christian music is pure unadulterated swill that pours out of speakers to make one vomit in disgust musically.

Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits was the first double album I purchased in youth. Saw him in concert once at the National Arts Center in Ottawa. All the old hippies smiled at me when I joined the lineup to get in.

Have fun in Christian servitude to the God on your fiat currency, Anti-SemiticBOY.

MOU

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 1, 2020 9:08 PM

Do you count Bach as ‘Christian music’? Papa Bach.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 1, 2020 10:02 PM

I would not know Bach if the SOB hit me in the face with a Grand or Steinway. Classical Music was never my listening choice except when I had this really old Experimental Psychology professor as an advisor for the thesis. He convinced me to listen to about four hours of Classical on the CBC one afternoon.

It was an assignment of sorts to see if I would like Classical Music. I absorbed the Classical Music lesson whilst I vacuumed & cleaned my entire basement so that I had something to do whilst I was being Classically Conditioned by my advisor.

Classical was never mentioned after that. He knew I was a Punk Rock drummer and more Ramones than Bach.

MOU

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 12:26 AM

ELO-Rollover Beethoven 1973 live

MOU

norman widom
norman widom
Jan 1, 2020 11:27 PM

your comments are straight outta babylonian talmud hell
init

you worship within the synagogue of satan
you are sayanim
so your reply is normalcy
obvious is it not
already.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 12:22 AM
Reply to  norman widom

Johnny Winter _Highway 61 Revisited_ 1976

MOU

nondimenticare
nondimenticare
Jan 1, 2020 6:46 PM
Reply to  norman widom

As a lifelong musician, one of the first ways that the scales fell from my eyes was to realize that the song is not the singer. Imperfect human beings can produce ineffable beauty. Then one comes to the ultimate realization that that is okay.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 2, 2020 2:57 PM
Reply to  norman widom

You know, every time I read one of your posts, Norm, I feel I’m on an LSD trip. Cohen wrote Dylan’s songs? Well – why not? Joni’s animosity against our Bobby was partly due to a late duet on stage where she couldn’t stand his foul breath, he knew it – and he deliberately blasted more of it at her!

Willem
Willem
Jan 1, 2020 4:18 PM

Turning back pages can at least be as important as turning pages over. Contemplate whether you made any mistakes in the past, and how you can prevent yourself from making similar mistakes in the future. Or remembering that what worked well in the past and what you therefore should try again. One can do this as a person, but also as society.

Actually the nice thing of getting older (as a person and as a society) is that your repertoire of pages can be increased, and in that way you find more opportunities to work out things for the better. Alanis Morissette sang about this (while she was still quite young, and I was too, or perhaps it was Glen Ballard, who was a bit older at the time), and of course plenty of others…

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GFW-WfuX2Dk

Anyway, what I wanted to say is this:

Happy New Year!

Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe
Jan 1, 2020 2:44 PM

Anomie, is a term some will say is being too ubiquitously used to describe a society left in spiritual despair. But it’s the best way of saying a culture lacking values, purpose, or ideals will eventually “emotionally breakdown.” We’re witnessing that now– psychologically we’re being manipulated to believe we can sustain an unsustainable way of life. A “speck” of the population thrives while most are borderline destitute. This provides the backdrop for decades of US imperialist wars giving rise to social upheaval on every continent. The world’s population is screaming out, they’ve had enough! The neoliberal experiment has been tested and has failed. In its wake it has left a colonized world of alienated souls skirmishing desperately to barely earn ends meet. No greater purpose is expected of these forlorn individuals other than physical survival. This is the end result of neoliberalism–a social Darwinist society where humans physically operate like… Read more »

anonymous bosch
anonymous bosch
Jan 1, 2020 5:08 PM

“All humanity is being transformed into an inanimate mechanism functioning for the sole purpose of providing pleasure for 0.000002 percent of the world’s population.” Fair enough, Charlotte, if you wish to believe that then who am I to say otherwise – other than, it is my belief that whilst this may be the agenda of “exceptionalist” corporate neo-liberalism, the heresy of our age, there are increasing numbers rising up against this amongst many nations of this world – it’s just that we are kept from hearing about this by the corporate-controlled media. This is why the internet is so crucial for those who refuse to subscribe to all this falsehood and deceit. Furthermore there is a differentiation to be made between “pleasure” and “happiness” for so many of the “pleasures” we chase after are often the direct route to human misery, that which we are presented with evidence of increasingly… Read more »

Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe
Jan 3, 2020 4:17 PM

I’ll agree with you on three points–it’s important to NOT believe the security state propaganda littering the mainstream media news, and yes of course there’s worker uprisings on every continent demonstrating how fed-up the world is with neoliberalism. And obviously, there’s a huge difference between pleasure and happiness. Capitalism is capable of providing the wealthy with great pleasure and comfort, but happiness is quite another story…… However, your statement which says: “Affording the desperate and dispossessed with the hope that through solidarity and courageous perseverance we can empower ourselves to bring about the changes we wish to see, in ourselves and in all that surrounds us, is the driving force for inner transformation, which is available to all – and it is this alone that the 0.000002 per cent fear the most.” The 0.000002 are not worried about the “transformational spirit” of the individual worker, they’re only frightened by solidarity… Read more »

BigB
BigB
Jan 1, 2020 1:36 PM

Happy New Decade, everyone! 2020: the “decade of hope and glory”? If we change? Ed Curtin and I seem to be on the same wavelength, with exactly the same resolution. To change or not to change: the dialectic of the old and the new? Like Ed: I question the lifelong commitment which is reduced to the “arbitrary constructs” of birthdays and New Year. Ed muses and poses the right questions, with the right sentiment, only to gloss over attending to his own rhetorical constructs without any answers. What do we have to change? Everything. Our whole relationship with everything. The whole genealogy, etiology, and exegesis of which is already extant. But, paradoxically, it is not yet current. That is: it remains a largely scholarly and academic exegesis confined to the fields such as Sociology (Ed’s own field), Social Anthropology, Political Economy …and the more recent nascent fields of Biophysical Economics,… Read more »

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 1, 2020 1:22 PM

Abject poverty encumbers life to the extent of stagnation, limbo, atrophy, and normlessness. Turning over a new leaf whilst immersed in poverty is counterproductive in that nothing ever changes qualitatively or quantitatively when discretionary income is the key determinant of change. New England wealth is likely excessive given the state & housing costs that would require one to be either independently wealthy or employed by the corporate sector as a technocrat. The materialist in New England likely hires refugees & illegal immigrants to clean their homes & mow their lawns whilst they enjoy freedom to be & learn to expand their goal seeking for more of what they already have. It is evident that we should all look at New England wealth as anti-social antagonism & posturing for status. Class consciousness is not on the list for the wealth extracting class that reside in New England and listen to Frank… Read more »

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 1, 2020 4:26 PM

My way!

MOU

BigB
BigB
Jan 2, 2020 12:27 PM

MOU: you forgot the President. That President – JFK. Who along with the Hollywood Icon (Sinatra); the Mob; the Moll (Judith Cambell Exner); the Godfather(s) (Roselli and Giancana); the FBI (Hoover – “There is no Mafia!”) …all intersect nicely. And form an unconscious iconography of archetypes of an American Dream (that you have to be asleep to believe in – Carlin) that Jung would have a field day with!

Looking forward, or looking back?

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 4:08 PM
Reply to  BigB

I’m one that is always crunching historicity in my quantum computing central nervous system. Freud likened dreams to ‘the royal road of consciousness’. The American dream is actually a nightmare of apocalyptic proportions set to become reality as soon as the NYSE crashes outright in Q1.

Looking forward is super easy if you are always fixated on the past like moi. It can be quite a drag crunching the past to get suitable calculus for the future.

I fully agree that Jung would have had a field day with contemporary thinking & prevailing attitudes towards consciousness in the west. He would pick no bone of contention with Eastern philosophy IMHO. His bias was always obvious from the get go when he was a protégé of Freud.

Vision quests are standard fare for metaphysicians like moi, eh.

Very best for new year, BigB.

Cheers, MOU

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 8:41 PM

Technically, Freud said ‘dreams are the royal road to the unconscious mind’ as opposed to pre-conscious, or conscious tripartite structure of mind.

MOU

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 1, 2020 11:24 AM

I choose to make only one New Years resolution… Too become more actively involved in fighting against the dire and cruel consequences of Neoliberalism as well as supporting Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and other whistle-blowers who shines a spotlight on the war crimes of our Govts. Regards this article, music is vitality and beauty and warmth and has kept me sane on many occasions Edward. Many times, it has touched my soul. And it helps to heal from painful experiences. On that note, my heart goes out to many Australians who have lost everything in the horrific bushfires, including family members. Entire towns literally wiped off the map, so many homes destroyed. There’s 3 songs I’d like to share that for me are pretty special and give me goosebumps: Engineers – ‘How do you say goodbye’? Hammock – ‘Now and not yet’ Whale Fall – ‘Rumi’ s nation’ No predictions… Read more »

Loverat
Loverat
Jan 1, 2020 3:01 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Gezzah

Nice sentiments.

My advice is do what you can. But take the time out to laugh about things. The things making me laugh this period are the send ups of Harry Potter films. Someone kindly posted here Stewart Lee , a stand-up comedian talking about the books. And the French and Saunders send up is good, without the swearing.

So many amusing things out there which recharge the batteries when you despair of the state of journalism and life today.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 1, 2020 9:50 PM
Reply to  Loverat

Agree Loverat. We can choose to wallow in gloom and despair at the state of the World, or we can take in All aspects of life, including the beauty of nature – even that of a single flower.
Laughter is vital for our mental wellbeing also.
Right now have the urge to watch some George Carlin clips, Cheers

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 1, 2020 9:16 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Just remember, Gezzah, that as others burn, and the bush explodess, Smoko our Pentecostal Friendly Fuhrer, is secretly ecstatic. The End Times that his hideous cult promises will propel him to Eternal Bliss, and we Ungodly to Eternal Damnation, have arrived. All his work and that of his ilk, over decades, to ensure that the climate apocalypse would not be averted, has not been in vain.

BigB
BigB
Jan 2, 2020 1:32 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

The SEP is holding a series of meetings to decide on post-Corbyn action and resistance to Johnson (details on WWSW). Julian is in court in February. And XR are planning their next move. They may have neoliberal roots: but the existing political parties are neoliberal root, branch, and trunk.

If anyone thinks a Sir Kier Sturmer led Labour party is the workers hope: God bless the Imbecile. And if I ever live to hear the chant “Oh, Sir Ki-er Starmer” …I swear I shall kill!

As for a song: how about a bit of Paulo …Rise …over love and over hate …through this Iron Sky that is fast becoming our minds …

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 2, 2020 10:02 PM
Reply to  BigB

I fully agree with your assessment on existing political parties being fully embedded in, and zombified by Neoliberalism B. Root and branch indeed. And we’re pretty much on the same page on this, and yes, understand that’s not a very popular sentiment here. Sobeit. It’s the truth. The Socialist Equality Party are having meetings here in Australia leading up to, and around the time of his extradition hearing. Regards what is happening in the World; imperialism, the economic crisis, Julian Assange, parliamentarism, the rape and pillage of this planet, the SEP get it right, and I’ve strongly agreed with their analysis for years, another reason I decided to join – so we do what we can do. As we both know, the shitstorm is coming. I’m wary of XR given their connections, but with the horrific bushfires here this week, and so much devastation, there’s protests next week here on… Read more »

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 1, 2020 10:42 AM

As a hopeless nostalgist, I recommend all of Sinatra’s Gordon Jenkins arranged albums: “Where Are You?”, “No-one Cares” (yes the titles sum them up), the above “September” album and “Ol’ Blue Eyed Is Back” (with the best ever version of “Send in the Clowns” as far as I’m concerned).

It’s a pity he never recorded “Try To Remember”. But on the “September” album there is a little gem called “I See It Now” with its eerie opening:

That year in Oakland High
When I was seventeen
The grass from there to San Jose
Was high and cool and green
I see it now

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 1, 2020 10:56 AM
Reply to  George Mc

You only have to hear the opening of the Jenkins arrangement of “Send in the Clowns” to realise how much we’ve lost in terms of inspirational craft: two ethereal sighs on high strings followed by a falling forlorn descent on a bassoon, then a hair raising blooming on high sustained strings and a tolling harp. When I first heard this at the age of about 11, I thought my head was going to explode with the beauty if it.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 1, 2020 10:58 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Sorry – I should have pointed out the contrast between this Jenkins arrangement and the usual perfunctory arpeggio accompaniment that introduces most versions.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 1, 2020 8:30 AM

In the midst of the revelry and fireworks, the old year and the new, the resolutions and irresolutions, looking back and looking forward – here is Sinatra singing of the deepest core of the year’s turning – human loneliness. And how, despite it, to love and connect. How to embrace seeming contradiction. How to change. And how he rendered those apprehensible. Firstly, two remarkable natural gifts: an almost complete absence of “off the breath”. When he sings it is almost pure vocal tone with hardly a hint of “breathiness”. Secondly, an extraordinary degree of nasal resonance that emphasizes the purity of that tone. But mostly an amazingly disciplined, learned technique, the result of hard thought and hard practice, partly to maximize those attributes, but mostly to deliver an unparalled command of phrasing, progression and cadence that enable the underlying meanings of the words and a carefully considered understanding of them… Read more »

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 1, 2020 8:43 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 1, 2020 8:54 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin
Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Jan 1, 2020 9:21 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

And of course there’s Tony Bennett, who Frank called ‘The singer’s singer’

Hugh O’Neill
Hugh O’Neill
Jan 1, 2020 7:40 AM

As I write, James Taylor is setting the timeless scene. I thought you might like that Jack Kennedy, when prevailed upon to sing at a family gathering, sang “September Song”. It was only 2 months before he died lending too much poignancy to those who remembered his choice of song. The Human soul is indeed expressed best in music. Music has powers beyond our ability to describe with mere words, and America has gifted us with some of the best. I raise a glass to the music that has been part of my life and for which I am eternally grateful.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Jan 1, 2020 5:46 AM

Thanks Edward.
Here’s a beautiful song, melodically and lyrically >
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=e5xkTyCPvks

SharonMarlowe
SharonMarlowe
Jan 1, 2020 5:42 AM

Happy New Year Off Guardian:) Excellent website! If you read Moon Of Alabama, MintPress News, Information Clearing House, and Off Guardian, then you actually read the truthful part of the Internet:)

kevin morris
kevin morris
Jan 1, 2020 1:15 PM
Reply to  SharonMarlowe

I used to enjoy information clearing house but became frustrated by the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘fifty cent army’ continually voting down comments that were even remotely critical of a party that is corrupt and which murders its own people for their organs.

Sadly, much of the ‘truthful part of the internet’ is as corrupt as the mainstream media- the only difference being that they end up in the pay of different masters.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 2, 2020 10:48 PM
Reply to  kevin morris

Falun Gong tripe.

kevin morris
kevin morris
Jan 4, 2020 2:38 PM

You clearly know very little, preferring to get your information from the CCP. The account of the brutal treatment meted out to Falun Gong by the CCP is actually very well documented. Prior to its condemnation by former leader Jiang Zemin, Falung Gong had been praised by the CCP as wholly positive in its effects. Indeed, many practitioners were party members and functionaries. If you really wished to enlighten yourself about the nature of Falun Gong and other qigong organisations, you would learn that their growth was actually praised and encouraged by the party from Mao onwards because of its positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Chinese society. Clearly, you have no desire to investigate the proceedings of the London China Tribunal, which heard evidence, much of it from Chinese doctors forced to do the killing, and which led directly to condemnation from the BMA, amongst others. The… Read more »

paul
paul
Jan 5, 2020 10:59 PM
Reply to  kevin morris

The Gongers are a weird anti social fringe cult, a cross between the Moonies and the Scientologists and Jim Jones, that alienates children from their families to carry out their brainwashing.

The Chinese are suspicious of these weirdos with good reason. Millions died in episodes like the Taiping Rebellion. They are seen as easily manipulated cannon fodder for the latest CIA/ NED intrigues.

kevin morris
kevin morris
Jan 6, 2020 9:09 AM
Reply to  paul

Predictable fifty cent army response!