“Love of the Common Man” (Todd Rundgren)

What could “turn your head [or ‘world’] around”? It might consist in a professor jumping from their “ivory tower” and joining the masses. (Don’t bet on it.) Our narrator has faith, serves as an intermediary, and knows the mutual imbrication of theory/praxis. Even though the rabble will “catch you” when you descend, they’re purely receptive even when they express their “love”—a requirement for our future constitution. As long as it’s “easy,” everyone can reorient their vision(s). But be advised: just don’t talk “through your hat,” even if you’ve been “living in your pockets.” (Why the latter is seen solely as poverty and linked up with ill-advised attempts at intellectualism is curious, unless you’re a Gramscian.) Pie in the eye. No more living for you today, common man; there’s leadership to (endlessly?) listen to.


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“Breakaway” (Kelly Clarkson)

Watching the Foundation for a Better Life’s commercial featuring this trax—a stitched-together series of royalty-free videos, it seems—one probably wouldn’t assume that it’s related to Philip Anshustz, notorious contributor to and advocate for causes aimed at defeating Kyoto Protocol compliance, overturning LGBT rights in Colorado, and an intelligent design think tank (the Discovery Institute). “Focused on our commonalities, not the beliefs that divide us,” the Foundation aims to “share [positive] values.” But it also tiptoes ever so gently onto the ground of Antonio Gramsci’s “good sense,” claiming that even though “people are basically good,” they need a “simple reminder.” Clarkson’s video, comes at this same point from the opposite direction, positing one’s younger self as the avatar of complete faith in the realization of emancipation. The difficulty is figuring out who the oppressors are. Willingly deaf parents ignoring the pleas of a youngster? Exurban/Suburban isolation and a temperate climate? Record company execs and rejection ad infinitum? Don’t be misled, because it’s not about being a victim. Saying “goodbye” to “make a change”—considering business propositions—is the “risk” to be taken in a world that rewards entrepreneurial moxie. Libertarian domination.


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