Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Ars Vitae III: Rush's 2112 - Life Under Wahabbi Rule?

With the general downfall of album oriented rock as a successful money-spinner, the grandiose concept albums that are now Sunday Morning rock show classics are no longer being made and released in large numbers. This comes as no surprise. Getting into a CD like The Wall, Court of The Crimson King, or 2112 doesn't always appeal to a wide audience.

2112 never got the acclaim it really deserved for two reasons. Rush played hard rock at that point in their careers. The sort of music that would headline The Castle Donnington Festival, but would never make the playlist for an AM station. Like drinking everclear straight, without chaser, early Rush was not for the faint-of-heart.

Secondly, the album's feature track, "2112 Overture", ran for over 10 minutes, and told a Science Fiction story about a dystopic future. The concept was a potent witch's brew of Ayn Rand's novel Anthem and the popular Science Fiction involving star travel beyond the Earth.

The Earth was ruled by a despotic Temple of Syrinx that stifled all originality, thought and creativity for the sake of equality for all of mankind. The main character is a musical and artistic version of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, who discovers an old guitar. The character figures out how to play and decides to introduce his discovery to The Priests of Syrinx.

The priests at the temple revile this discovery. Like the wise men in Rand's novel, they rebuke the discoverer and tell him to leave and never bring any new discoveries back. This is, of course, done in the name of equality.

So why is any of this story relevant? With Communism utterly discredited, who in the modern world of today would be stupid enough to step on all music, flair and creativity, in the name of equality and brother love?

The answer lies in the woebegotten Middle East. The teachings of radical Islam often parallel the attitudes of the characters in Rand's novels and Rush's Heavy Metal Sci-Fi. Leaders such as Osauma Bin Ladin and Ayatollah Khomeni made the call for constant sacrifice and drudgery a centerpiece of their religious teachings and philosophy.

The Templars of Syrinx call musical instruments "Foolish Toys" and claim that they helped destroy the previous people on Earth. Ayatollah Khomeni so distrusted mirth and casual happiness, that he made it illegal for anyone in Iran to display a picture of him laughing or smiling.

In Rush Drummer and Song-Writer Niel Peart's dark future and in Modern Wahabbiism, suffering is seen as the proper role of modern humanity. Sacrifice gets held up as the ideal measure of devotion. Nowhere in either vision, are people encouraged to engage in the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere is there room for any hope of Earthly joy or pleasure.

Thus, Rush's "2112 Overture" may have accurately predicted what life would hold in store for the benighted millions that fall under the sway of radical Islam like that preached by Mullah Omar. This does not have to be the future.

Niel Peart may yet be proven wrong and I'm sure he would be much happier that way. This is why our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to make sure "2112" and Anthem both remain the stuff of literary fantasy.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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