Monday, July 1, 2013

A Preamble to More Sound and Fury - Knights of Cydonia

"Come ride with me through the veins of history
I'll show you how God falls asleep on the job"
- Muse, Knights of Cydonia
 (Don't watch that just yet!)

A long time ago, i defended the self-indulgent nihilism of adolescent rebellion in the 1990s thusly:
"Throughout its endless creation of macabre illusions, that angsty 90s teen fringe remained open to the possibility of tearing down the old ones. There was a dogged final resistance in it: if action is denied us, thought can at least remain free. If we are powerless and passive, let us at least be decorously, flamboyantly so. If we can't stick it to the man, let's stick it to ourselves. Anything is better than chanting along with the commercials."
Here is an echo of that sentiment.

Knights of Cydonia is best interpreted through three presentations: once as the song itself, the second as the music video, and the third, again, as only the song.

Listen to the song. Let it drive you, uplift you, let yourself hope.


Now watch the music video.
Let yourself feel like a fool. Feel yourself ridiculed by the seven-billion-strong ape tribe in its commercialization, amalgamation and dilution of virtue and independence. Be Don Quixote.

Take a break. Feel the burn. Feel the shame. Let your happiness grow loathsome to you, and your reason and your virtue also.

Now listen to the song a third time. And fight.
Remember that it is the action which creates its own value, independent of success. Get ready to tilt at some windmills, and laugh as Howard Roark did at his own banishment. Be Don Quixote.
We are dreamers. We are creators. We are our own gods, and we are wide awake. We are overblown and self-indulgent, learned fools and idiot savants. We break ourselves against the wall of human stupidity. We hold no hope of success and even our attempts will be defiled, that they may be ridiculed the better.

But we do not surrender.

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