Tuesday, March 31, 2009

good morning

Funkadelic - America Eats its Young Were I asked to score a movie in which the opening montage involved a family busily getting up, getting dressed, getting off to school, to work, to life, leaping into the intricate clockwork of life, I would have "You Hit The Nail on the Head" as the soundtrack

The opening instrumental minutes are shockingly busy and fully composed moments, it is as tight as Philip Glass's ass building up a torrent of activity, interweaving, melody struggling to be heard against the grind and then suddenly, at around the 3 minute mark, it plateaus with a harmonica-centered lopey strut - everyone is off to school, work, to their own peculiar grind.

Funkadelic has a way of capturing an Appolonian picture of life tightly contained in a seemingly Dionysian orgy of sloppy excess. The disco chant that comprises most of the lyrics:
Just because you win the fight
Don't make you right
Just because you give
Don't make you good
puts the whole notion of Socratic truth and Christian salvation under the spotlight (or maybe flashlight) . Doing it all correctly, following the plan, running with the groove doesn't intrinsicly mean anything. Social systems are ways to get along, not ways to thrive, but you first need to get a long to truly thrive, or perhaps by thriving we get along because our uniqiue thriving feeds back into the system, turning the soil. I am tempted say I am projecting all this into something as purposely stupid as Funkadelic can be, but isn't that part of the game? Is George Clintion the Falstaff of the Shaespearian tragedy of the 70s? Is he laughing at my hair and glasses?

Now I'm wishing I'd worked up a 33 1/3 proposal about this album, but then not even the more salable Maggot Brain proposal made the final cut. So it goes.

My wife and I were talking about a documentary about the Jesse Lee Childrens Home, an orphanage in Alaska where her father grew up, and how in the documentary one resident regales life there as : well, we put in a garden and grew cabbage and had dogs and chickens but the dogs ate the chickens and the garden was about half-a-acre but we planted more stuff and then it was a full acre and... its the kind of story that makes you pull your hair out, GET ON WITH IT! and yet, this detail is this guys life, not only his but a generation of people, the actual survival.

I can talk for 20 minutes about my iPhone or my philosophy 101 ruminations on Funkadelic, or about having these ruminations while listening to Funkadelic on my iPhone, but 5 minutes of the actual details of survival seems excruciating until it is put into a higher context to make it interesting. I want to build a cathedral of understanding while missing the real story in the bricks. Thankfully Funkadelic is around to call bullshit on all that once in a while.

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