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Rocking the Culture

7 3 15

“Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.” – Jacob Bronowski in Science and Human Values

I offer the following with apologies for anything in it that might offend some music lovers.

In 1955, when I returned from service in Korea and was reconnecting with family and friends, I was led down cellar steps by an adolescent nephew of mine to see his prize possession: a set of drums. After he took his position among the percussive hardware around him, my nephew’s hands and feet fell into a well-oiled routine as he hammered a salvo of Rock-and-Roll beats that hit me like the blast of a grenade. A devilish fire blazed in his face as he thundered away at his drums. Suddenly wishing I were somewhere else, I took my nephew’s pounding clatter with stoic endurance. I’d be polite – but I wanted to say: What’s gotten into you?

I had heard such music in the movie “Blackboard Jungle.” It was sickening to watch slumming teens on the street unexpectedly burst into “Rock Around the Clock,” as though sacked and possessed by demons. It was a scene that belonged in Dante’s Inferno. If it was presented as an antidote for juvenile delinquency (presumably a moral of the story), then I’d rather take a trip Through the Looking Glass, where, like Alice, I’d have a chance to fight the absurd.

I enjoy popular music, depending on its musicality, a........

© American Thinker

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