Ten Years After [What?]

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity[?]

Ten Years After, I’d Love to Change the World, 1971

Could a song with opening lines like that ever reach the “Top 40” of popular music, USA style in this, the Age of the Panopticon? Since the question is of course, rhetorical, shut up. I ask, but don’t give a hoot what the hell you think. One must do one’s best to stay within the boundaries of discourse, American style. Thus my small contribution to the cause.

And since the question was rhetorical, it can only have one possible correct answer: of course not. Especially as one of the titans of the “entertainment industry,” David Geffen, is a rather outspoken “fairy” himself, and could very likely squash like a bug any musical group daring to stray into such territory. Such is the world we live in, with the masses fed pablum poured down the food trough by someone who seventy-five years ago would have been seen as a deviant (by “liberals”) or as a degenerate (by “conservatives.”)

So it goes.

In any event, I suppose what fascinated me enough to hold my attention for the maximum anything is capable of these days (about six and a half minutes) were the following:

  • This seems to be an interesting example of that  quote I will now proceed to mangle about the heart understanding things the head knows not. Obviously the song’s author had been completely and fully indoctrinated in the peace, love and “grooviness” of a 1960s mentality, and equally obviously some inchoate, unspoken bit of his subconscious mind was gagging about the whole thing.
    • The result being the confusion palpable in the lyrics, which of course makes the song interesting, far more interesting than the tedious dogmatic nonsense of other songs of that era
    • And might serve as some kind of strange footnote to the idea that a small group of the ideologically pure and sure can often rout a far larger though far less committed group
  • That at some point the “dykes and fairies” realized that the road to power requires they cease being “freaks and hairies.” And to their credit they have grabbed and achieved power on a massive scale via that route. Certainly to a point few in 1971 would have credited.
  • And perhaps most amusingly of all, the Wikipedia entry about the song hyperlinked in the block quote. The first two lines are mentioned nowhere, by whomever it was wrote the entry. No, the furthest the anonymous soul dared go is to declare “irony” in the chorus. To which I say nonsense. I think the song’s confusion is both genuine and rather depressing.

Still, one of those songs I’ll stumble across on the ol’ external HD every six months or so and givve a listen to.


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