Atonal Discorporation

Mundane day. Didn’t seem as low today as yesterday morning but then I didn’t have to spend a protracted period walking in park this morning. 

The gym was nicely sparse and the weight bouncers were quite demure and away. The educationalists were in fewness so overall the atmosphere of harassment, intimidation, and cacophony was almost absent. The listening was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” podcast from their recent series on The Great War. This one was about the music.

Sadly it was not the music I wanted to hear talked about. In fact, the episode wasn’t really about music; it was about angst.

It started out talking about the difference in classical music across the war. The theme was an increasing flavor of depression and hopelessness. What it actually was they didn’t talk about and that was that classical music died during the war. Not sure of all the details but there is a strong correlation between the demise of classical music and the demise of aristocracy. All I know is that the classical music pre-war was bearable – Elgar had his moments of brilliance – but after the war had become trash noise. Much of it is worse than automobile trash music of today. Both are horrible but the latter is less horrible than the former, like the difference between curable and incurable cancer, I suppose.

Anyway, what the war did was to knock the foundation out from under classical music. Financially and emotionally. And it stayed that way until about the time of John Williams when it was too late to restart a dead engine.

They also talked about popular music. It also suffered. Started out bearable, especially the anti-war songs, but quickly turned to rotten slime mold. Not as bad as the classical but plenty bad in itself. And it mostly sounded like it was being played on instruments made of tin. Of course my attitude towards popular music is at odds with the boggerate. Other than the folk music of the ’50’s and ’60’s, I consider almost all of Amerikan popular music to be compost bin. Maybe some of the swing of the ’40’s was catchy but its equivalent  during and after The Great war was tinny and clunky. 

But this did put me in mind of steampunk. Perhaps the period of TR was the best? We still were learning new things and had a hold-over of Whewellian science that things new and absolute were yet to be discovered. And the planet was our oyster, and the universe by extension. And the terrorism of religion was either endurable or settle-able with chemical explosives. We were much better at enduring nuisances in those days, probably due to the absence of central heating (and cooling) and indoor plumbing. If one has to trudge to the privy middle of night the annoyance of evangelism is either easy to take or easy to dispose of. 

Somehow all that ended by The Great War. The question is why and how?

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