Thursday, May 21, 2009

Standing by...

Two nights ago, I downloaded fifty songs by Ben E. King. 


That is about all I have to say right about that.

Sometimes people poke fun, make jest of my musical tastes. But you know what? Just because I might want to listen to C.W. McCall sing Convoy, or listen to the Archies sing Sugar, Sugar at least once a month, I am not a lesser person.

And yes, I am fully aware that both of these musical acts are not entirely "real." Yes there is a physical song, even a physical album that could be purchases, and even a string of ones and zeroes that make up our MP3s, but the actual people that wrote these songs were complete fictions. 

The Archies, of course were comic book characters. C.W. McCall was a fictional truck driver popular during the days of CB radio. Convoy was actually the jingle for a bread company commercial.

Metatext and metafictions aside, let me elaborate on how the world truly stays in orbit and how all of us do not dissolve into a realm of entropy.

Do you remember the video for A-Ha's Take on Me? Well, if you don't brief synopsis. A young woman sits in an all night diner reading a comic book. The hero of the book magically winks at her from the a panel in the paper. And a hand reaches out from the page and draws her into the comic book. The real world has been drawn (no pun intended) into a the world of a comic book. All courtesy of a song. A-Ha does not have a real comic book, but they are a real band. 

In contrast, the Archies, represent a polarity of musical and comic book reason. The Archies have real existence in comic books, yet their musical representation in the concrete realm of Riverdale will never cross to the realm of three-dimensions. Archie, Jughead, Veronica, and Betty exist purely in the realm of comics; real people are not pulled into their realm. However, through a song, they have asserted a real physical entity into the physical world making them a real band manifest on the pop charts of the 1960s.

The simple balance of the cosmic order rests upon these too entities. During the late 60s and through the 70s there were years of unrest. And why? Because the cartoon world of the Archies had dominated for too long leading to LSD, war, hippies, Woodstock, Altamont, Nixon, Watergate, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. All of this lead to the 80s and the virtual and cultural dead time of Reagan. When A-Ha appeared, they balanced the scale. However, because the counterweights had been absent for so long, we are still awaiting true equilibrium to appear. 

If A-Ha had not appeared at that point in time. Who knows what might have appeared? I firmly believe it would have been entropy...or...some combination of beastial entity fused from the dark dreams of Eddie Money's attempts to sell albums on QVC, the sweat of Morton Downy Jr. after a long day's broadcast, Senator Bob Packwood's dirty hands, and the bastard love child of Nancy Reagan holding a Carebear.

To make the comparison of Yin and Yang, is too simple, and I believe the comparison to be much to trite. I like to think of it more like the alchemical balance between lead and gold. The transmutations take precision, time, effort, and an understanding of arcane symbols. The Archies and A-Ha both understand that moving picture and the still caption can capture the soul...and that the sound, the circle of fifths can create celestial harmonies.

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