Posts Tagged Rush

Anthem

I endured another rendition of Australia’s insipid national anthem, sung prior to the start of last Saturday’s Grand Final, and reflected on the fact that anthems are supposed to be stirring pieces of music, exhorting us all to stand together to defeat the common enemy, or some such jingoistic nonsense. Unfortunately Australia’s anthem encourages somnolence rather than action, a fact that is compounded by its archaic lyrics. “Our home is girt by sea.” Girt by sea? When was the last time anyone ever used the word “girt”? Since it is in the national anthem perhaps we should try and bring it back into the current vernacular? Just in case you are interested my house is girt by forest, while the neighbour’s house is girt by paddocks. I can see a massive “girt” revival on the horizon.

Unfortunately countries that have anthems with stirring tunes tend to have stirring lyrics as well, perhaps a bit too stirring. “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt“ translates as „Germany, Germany above all, above all in the world“. And we all know the trouble that caused.

The French aren’t much better:

Aux armes, citoyens,     To arms, citizens,

Formez vos bataillons,  Form your battalions,

Marchons, marchons!    Let’s march, let’s march!

Qu’un sang impur           Let impure blood

Abreuve nos sillons!       Water our furrows!

The Spanish appear to have the ideal solution. No lyrics at all. Admittedly the melody could do with a bit of work but you can stand at that soccer match enjoying the tune, while feeling proud to be Spanish, and girding your loins for the coming battle knowing that you don’t have to rhythmically open and close your mouth in order to mask the embarrassment of not knowing the words to your national anthem.

Dr. F. Bunny

“Better the pride that resides in a citizen of the world

Than the pride that divides when a colourful rag is unfurled”

(Rush, Territories, from the album “Power Windows”).

 

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Take Me Out To The Ball Game

“All the world’s indeed a stage….” So sang Rush in their song, “Limelight.” I would disagree. All the world appears to be a baseball diamond. I know that looks to have come out of left field but it’s a whole new ball game and, if you let me touch base, I will explain.

The important thing is to cover all the bases and watch out for curve balls. A good rhubarb, no matter how colourful, will get you nowhere, so don’t be caught off base and stop grandstanding. You need to play hardball with the heavy hitters. How else can you hit a home run and join the big league?

It’s clear, right off the bat that you may have to pinch hit. You might even be a switch-hitter but don’t be a screwball. Remember that it ain’t over till it’s over. Step up to the plate, get a mitt and get in the game, play ball and, whatever you do, don’t strike out.

Dr. F. Bunny

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Planet of the Apes

There I was watching my favourite movie (the original with Charlton Heston of course) thinking (not for the first time) that this is an allegorical tale of church versus state. For those not familiar with the story it centres on an astronaut (Taylor) who lands on a planet far in the future, a planet that is ruled by apes. The planet’s human population is primitive and mute. The arrival of our intelligent talking astronaut threatens the religious beliefs of the apes, who have been taught that only they are created in God’s image. Dr. Zaius, an orang-utan who is both Minister of Science and Chief Defender of the Faith (no conflict there) realises the threat and does what he can to dispose of Taylor. However, Taylor’s cause is championed by two chimpanzee scientists, more interested in the truth than politics, and claim, under threat of prosecution for heresy that an intelligent civilization existed before the apes. They help Taylor escape and show him their diggings in an ancient cave. The cave holds a human doll that talks. Rather than acknowledge this as proof Dr. Zaius orders the cave to be sealed, while Taylor escapes and finally finds his own proof. He is, in fact, back on Earth.

This is not a new story, religion rejecting science. While religion refuses to believe scientific evidence it expects us to believe in a doctrine for which there is no evidence at all. Dr. Zaius knows Taylor and the chimpanzees are right but cannot acknowledge this fact because it will bring his civilization crashing down around him and so he must suppress the information and expunge it from the records, for the greater good. Heretics like Galileo and Copernicus faced similar opposition. Fortunately for us they continued to pursue the truth. As science reveals more and more religious inaccuracies religious support will continue to fall, but not without protest and quite possibly violence. People always fear the unknown.

Religion provides a warm blanket to protect us from the unknown. It guides us, leads us and tells us what to do. I understand why the excellent book, “Life of Pi” claimed it would make us believe in God (and religion). Life with God (and religion) is much simpler and less stressful than life without. To choose a life without God means to believe that death really is the end. It also means that we all have to take responsibility for our own actions and develop our own moral compass by which to live. This is difficult and requires careful thought and consideration, but I still prefer this route to the one where every bend and cross road is lit with preplaced signs instructing us which way to turn.

Dr. F. Bunny

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill.
I will choose a path that’s clear.
I will choose freewill.

(Rush – Freewill)

 

 

 

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