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Friday, November 03, 2006 

My Three Prodigal Sons

In the beginning...

This post is a eulogy of sorts. The particular persons eulogized are not dead, but in many ways they are dead to me. These three individuals are the guys who make up the rock band Rush. I discovered them in 1976 when I was 16-years old and at a critical point in my life. Their music, more especially the brilliant lyrics and most especially the content of the lyrics, held enough sanity to tide me over until I could find my philosophical and spiritual "legs".

Regrettably, one's heroes almost inevitably let you down. So it is in this case.

For about 10 years the boys cranked out album after album of first-rate stuff. I didn't know the phrase at the time, but I've since learned that they were considered Progressive Rock. If you're as ignorant now as I was then, Progressive Rock is characterized generally by long compositions, complex music, more intellectual themes (Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology are common), and series of related songs that tell a particular story or make a particular point or entire albums dedicated to a theme.

I found this to be a welcome break from the typical rock song topics of drinkin', smokin', tokin', and screwin'. It was different and Rush did it better than anybody.

Suddenly, in the early- to mid-eighties came a couple of albums that I dubbed "The Bad Attitude" albums: Grace Under Pressure and Power Windows. I wrote them off with the thought that "they can't all be winners". Little did I know then that they time would come when I would consider those albums as "not too bad". Despite this I continued buying their albums.

In 2004 the boys went on their 30th anniversary tour, which I caught in Dallas, making it the 4th time I had seen them in concert. Why would I go? Why would I keep buying albums that I would listen to once or twice then throw in the back seat for the next three years? Blind faith. I was convinced that nobody who could put out albums like 2112, Fly By Night, Caress of Steel, Moving Pictures, Signals, etc, could possibly stay in a slump forever.

Well, faith is often a dangerous thing to have, as it was in this case. The slump was not a slump. It was, in fact, the new reality. Long gone are the upbeat and encouraging songs of the past, songs about the sanctity of individual rights, the evils of collectivism and coercive egalitarianism, self-discipline, the battle between emotion and reason (with a favorable outcome no less), etc. These were replaced by the tiredest of rock music cliches done moderately well. Exalting topics gave way to hackneyed themes which essentially were: nuclear weapons are bad, big business is bad, patriotism is bad, nationalism is bad, multiculturalism is good, globalism is good, a nation's flag is just a rag, internationalism is good, etc, ad nauseum. Best of all, after producing one of the most brilliant works ever to laud reason, now the boys are playing up mysticism. It's a good thing I'm not the suicidal type.

The take home lesson here: they've sucked for twice as long as they were awesome.

I decided to give their newer stuff one more try. I dug the latter CDs out from under my car seat, out of my closet, and I even found a couple in my garage at the bottom of a milk crate filled with leaking oil bottles. I thought, perhaps, that they might be an acquired taste, so I have played them for weeks continuously as I've driven about in my car. Tragically, my plan backfired. The more I played them, the more they annoyed and angered me.



The famous Starman
(described by Neil Peart
as the abstract man
against the collective)

Stewing about this at work, I had a couple of thoughts about the subject that rhymed in head. Since my job consists mostly of two things, waiting for something terrible to happen and praying that it doesn't, I set to jotting my thoughts down. In about 45 minutes I had whipped out the poem/song below, which I think is fairly good for 45 minutes work. If you ever come across somebody using it, let me know so I can sue them.

Ahem,

Requiem for Rush

I always wanted to be
A player in a band
But I play no instruments
And can't sing worth a damn

But things aren't as tragic
As they might seem to be
Neil's and the boy's magic
Performed it all for me

I journeyed with Geddy
To the Fountain of Lamneth
The mountain views were heady
And snatched away my breath

Alex and his guitars
Sent me into space
Pounding metal pulsars
Praised the human race

Neil's percussion is ever
Making the music ignite
Lyrics always so clever
His content's erudite

After eleven good years
We said, "What the hell?"
'Twas the album always feared
Would shatter the sacred spell

It's been over twenty years
I'll have to face the facts
They jumped the shark in '85
And they're never coming back

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About me

  • I'm dostrick
  • From Texas, United States
  • The All Seeing Eye. A symbol of the Enlightenment and I like to think one day it will be a symbol of me. *** Middle-aged juvenile delinquent. *** Meyers-Briggs INTP if you follow that. *** My primary interests are in history, philosophy, languages, and literature. All the things that guarantee you'll never get a well-paying job.
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You can't run as a phony patriot and then claim your victory is a mandate for surrender.

--Ann Coulter--


If you kill them, they’re martyrs. If you lock them up, they’re martyrs. So kill them.

--Allahpundit--


The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow.

--Ayn Rand--


There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world.

--Thomas Jefferson--


For everyone but America the free world is mostly a free ride.

--Mark Steyn--


The fact is that political stupidity is a special kind of stupidity, not well correlated with intelligence, or with other varieties of stupidity. At the higher levels of the intelligentsia, the correlation may actually be inverse: the more brilliant you are, the stupider your politics. Albert Einstein seems to have thought well of Stalin; Hitlerism got its start in the universities.

--John Derbyshire--


One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

--Robert A. Heinlein--


An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile--hoping it will eat him last.

--Winston Churchill--


One day, our grandchildren may ask us what we did when Islamic fascism threatened the free world. Some of us will say we were preoccupied with fighting that threat wherever possible; others will be able to say they fought carbon dioxide emissions. One of us will look bad.

--Dennis Prager--


Nothing could be more jolting and discordant with the vision of today's intellectuals than the fact that it was businessmen, devout religious leaders and Western imperialists who together destroyed slavery around the world. And if it doesn't fit their vision, it is the same to them as if it never happened.

--Thomas Sowell--


It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.

--Calvin Coolidge--


It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.

--Samuel Adams--


The flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.

--Thomas Jefferson--


All government is an ugly necessity.

--G. K. Chesterton--


America learned the hard way: it's the world of September 10th that's really crazy.

--Mark Steyn


Public schools are forbidden from mentioning religion not because of the Constitution, but because public schools are the Left's madrassas.

--Ann Coulter--


We expect nothing from the MSM. It never disappoints us.

--Joe Guzzardi--


The world will not greet you with open arms, but with a clenched fist.

--Barry Goldwater--


Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.

--Benjamin Rush--


Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like a fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

--George Washington--


It should be the highest ambition of every American...to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.

--George Washington--


"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

--C. S. Lewis--


Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggy" until you can find a rock.

--Unknown--


"They must cast off the European skin, never to resume it. They must look forward to their posterity rather than backward to their ancestors."

--John Quincy Adams--


I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

-€”Benjamin Franklin--


There is nothing a nonconformist hates more than another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the existing standards of nonconformity.

--Unknown--


Male White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (W.A.S.P.) oppression must end.

--ER--


[I]n Her Majesty's northern Dominion the public health system is such an article of faith that no private hospitals are permitted: Canada’s private health care system is called 'America'.

--Mark Steyn--


When I sell out, this is where the blogads will go. Please remember, it's not for me. It's for the children.

--ER--


Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

--Theodore Roosevelt--


It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

--Unknown--


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.

-- G. K. Chesterton--


"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."

--Robert Frost--


A formula that makes religion and politics easy to understand: (Islam - Allah = Communism)

--Unknown--


It seems amazing that no Continental politician is willing to get to grips with the real crisis facing Europe in the 21st century: the lack of Europeans.

--Mark Steyn--

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