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Roger Scruton - The Tyranny of Pop Music

 

A discourse on how vacuous banal pop music kills humanity, and how, in contrast, our ancestors listened to music.

 

There's nothing wrong with judging music, and in so doing, oppose political correctness.

 

Our civilisation was made by music but to hear it, one has to clear the air of noise.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I watched the Scruton/Wagner video for a second time with a friend a couple days ago. As I've been thinking about these things for decades, there wasn't much new for me, but I do very much admire the way he makes it appear so easy to talk about things he discusses.

 

My friend thought the way he explained musical language, towards the end of the video, was very interesting, but up until that point, he felt he was being too over analytical. I just emailed him to say that I'm watching the video again now, for a third time, so that eventually, everything Scruton says will just become so second nature that it'll be possible to say and do the things he talked about, without having to do all that analytical discoursing, which I know is off-putting. At the end of the day, it's about doing the things he talked about, so it doesn't feel like time's arduously passing. Easier said than done... 

 

The topics he covered are a lot to take in, but they hold a lot of insights to the nature of what the cabal's agenda is, and how love can overcome power. So it's really a kind of self-empowerment video.

 

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17 minutes ago, RobSS said:

The topics he covered are a lot to take in, but they hold a lot of insights to the nature of what the cabal's agenda is, and how love can overcome power. So it's really a kind of self-empowerment video.

 

This concepts outlined in this video appear to be consolidating where my journey has thus far taken me. The timing of this video is perfect.

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2 minutes ago, JJ73 said:

 

This concepts outlined in this video appear to be consolidating where my journey has thus far taken me. The timing of this video is perfect.

 

That's good to hear. I'd be interested in hearing more about your journey and how you arrived at Scruton.

 

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3 hours ago, RobSS said:

Roger Scruton died not long ago, but before he passed away, he gave an interview that skirts around some of the things that I've been thinking about for many decades.

 

Can you expand on that? What issues raised in the clip are you seeing as redemptive within our time?

 

From a conspiratorial perspective we have the problem that it isn't necessarily that many of us don't know what the right way is but rather that there are bad actors who are deliberately inverting things constantly in order to throw society off balance

 

Those bad actors have set about achieving their aims with a ruthless precision and they have bought up all the media so that they largely control the space within which perceptions are formed; except its not just perceptions that are formed in that space for example scruton laments the dullness of pop music but the appreciation of music can be taught almost as if a person is like an instrument that can be tuned to a finer pitch

 

The film historian peter biskind quoted someone as once lamenting that with the arrival of the blockbuster movie in hollywood it eclipsed film as an art form. It was likened to food as the quote was ''when mcdonalds came to town people forgot what good cooking tasted like''

 

Orwell saw this coming as in his novel '1984' winston listens from his lovenest to a 'prole' outside whistling a tune as she hangs up her washing to dry and the tune is a formulaic pop song created by a machine

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3 hours ago, RobSS said:

 

That's good to hear. I'd be interested in hearing more about your journey and how you arrived at Scruton.

 

 

Well, here is the thing. I don't know. I have been looking through my internet history. I was looking at a totally unrelated Wikipedia page, about Fender guitars. I then type "Roger Scruton" into google. I  wasn't looking at anything which would have led me to do that, so it must have been a sudden flash of inspiration. This is not unusual for me at all. Often names pop up into my brain and I go searching for them. That then took me to his Wikipedia page. What is unusual is that you are discussing RS within the remit of seeing a way through this. With regards to my journey, I would rather not discuss that on a public forum.

 

As an aside, I have been shortlisted for a job which involves posting up Covid signage 😂  I didn't know that was the role. I simply sent my CV to a local agency and they said they would send me back details of available jobs in my area.

Edited by JJ73
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1 minute ago, JJ73 said:

 

Well, here is the thing. I don't know. I have been looking through my internet history. I was looking at a totally unrelated Wikipedia page, about Fender guitars. I then type "Roger Scruton" into google. I  wasn't looking at anything which would have led me to do that, so it must have been a sudden flash of inspiration. This is not unusual for me at all. Often names pop up into my brain and I go searching for them. That then took me to his Wikipedia page. What is unusual is that you are discussing RS within the remit of seeing a way through this. With regards to my journey, I would rather not discuss that on a public forum.

 

Thanks for explaining how you came across Roger Scruton, and I respect your decision that you don't want to discuss your journey on a public forum. I hope you can understand my reluctance to discuss my journey regarding seeing a way through this. It's a real dilemma because if everyone withdraws from sharing a personal revelation, then we've all lost the battle, and evil forces will take advantage of humanity's lack of spiritual revelation, and impose its own reality on us, which it's already doing in quite startling ways. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Macnamara said:

 

Can you expand on that? What issues raised in the clip are you seeing as redemptive within our time?

 

From a conspiratorial perspective we have the problem that it isn't necessarily that many of us don't know what the right way is but rather that there are bad actors who are deliberately inverting things constantly in order to throw society off balance

 

Those bad actors have set about achieving their aims with a ruthless precision and they have bought up all the media so that they largely control the space within which perceptions are formed; except its not just perceptions that are formed in that space for example scruton laments the dullness of pop music but the appreciation of music can be taught almost as if a person is like an instrument that can be tuned to a finer pitch

 

The film historian peter biskind quoted someone as once lamenting that with the arrival of the blockbuster movie in hollywood it eclipsed film as an art form. It was likened to food as the quote was ''when mcdonalds came to town people forgot what good cooking tasted like''

 

Orwell saw this coming as in his novel '1984' winston listens from his lovenest to a 'prole' outside whistling a tune as she hangs up her washing to dry and the tune is a formulaic pop song created by a machine

 

In the interview, one salient point that Roger Scruton made was that he believes that despite all of Wagner's outstanding philosophical observations, the area that he most excelled in was music.

 

I'm going to focus on Wagner's last music drama that Scruton analysed, which is "Parsifal". There are two parallel things i try to keep in mind when thinking about the essence of Parsifal... who is he, and what does he have to offer than can be of benefit to others?

 

There are two main driving principles in the world... one has renounced love in order to gain power and control over the rest of us, and the other is creative, and is about renouncing power in order to experience love and freedom.

 

Most people are between the two principles, but are finding that the power principle is beginning to assert itself far too much for comfort.

 

The power principle seeks to empower itself through the hoarding of spiritual knowledge and keeping it secret, in order to have control over the masses.

 

The love principle seeks to share spiritual knowledge so everyone can enjoy life to their full potential.

 

One is a concealment of what it is to be human, and the other is a revelation of what it is to be human.

 

So bearing that in mind, it's important that Parsifal shares knowledge that can make people feel self-empowered.

 

So that leaves the other question... who is Parsifal?

 

One thing is for sure, he's certainly not the Redeemer, the Messiah or a Messiah, but he is an Everyman figure. I won't go into the story of his background as a wild boy, his experiences in the black magician's fortress, and his wanderings through world looking for the Grail king in order to heal his wound because if anyone's genuinely interested, there are summaries all over the Internet.

 

Basically, Parsifal, as per the story, is an Everyman figure, a nomad, who opens a timeless portal, in the form of the Holy Grail, through which Jesus Christ can make his presence known in the world, defeat the evil powers in the hidden realm, and in so doing, begin the task of putting the world to rights, and healing humanity, so that the world can be restored to paradise. In so doing, Jesus Christ fulfils his own prophecies.

 

Roger Scruton, who is not a Christian but a humanist, said that Parsifal is a Christian work, and I've discovered nothing in the work that goes against Jesus Christ's teachings. If anything, it fulfils them. The question is, does the music, in and of itself, have the power to make time become space? That hasn't been tested or even discussed much in the public realm, in terms of it being a possible reality, with respect specifically to Wagner's work, in our world. The music drama is certainly about that, but my honest opinion is that, even after several decades of studying and learning the role from a singer's perspective, I personally can't rule it out.

 

Wagner built his very own theatre in Bavaria, the Bayreuth Festival House, for the work to be performed in. He didn't want the work performed anywhere else in Germany or the world. He didn't regard the work as mere entertainment, or just another music drama, or opera. He regarded the music drama, "Parsifal", as a "Stage consecration festival play", or a "Festival play for the consecration of a stage", depending on how you translate what he wrote from the German, which was a "Bühnenweihfestspeil".

 

There's a large part of me that says not to talk about this openly, but on the other hand, a part of me also says that if this has been divinely ordained, then it needs to come out. It's the same dilemma Jesus Christ must've faced when he was preparing to go public with his message. His message changed the world.

 

O. E. Bernhardt (1875-1941), a German, Christian mystic, writing in the 1920's and '30's, wrote:

 

The world

 

If now from some part of the great Creation in dire distress, suffering and ardent appeals rise to the Creator, then a Servant of the Vessel is sent forth as a bearer of this Love to intervene helpingly in the spiritual need. What floats merely as a myth and a legend in the Work of Creation then enters Creation as a living reality. Such missions, however, do not often occur. Each time they are accompanied by incisive changes and great upheavals.

 

When I first came across than text in the mid- to late 1990's, I was astounded because it confirmed intuitions I'd already had, but hadn't seen written about anywhere, since the early to mid-1980's.

 

Christ once said he had many things yet say, but he told his disciples they would not be able to bear it. He said that if he didn't go away (death through the crucifixion), he would not be able to send the helper, but when he does go away, and when the helper he sends arrives, then that one will show the way back to him.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, RobSS said:

There are two main driving principles in the world... one has renounced love in order to gain power and control over the rest of us, and the other is creative, and is about renouncing power in order to experience love and freedom.

 

I think we have to consider the existence of a third which is those who renounce their own personal power in order to allow others to have control over them. These people are not creative and in fact by reducing freedom they will also reduce the creativity in the world

 

6 minutes ago, RobSS said:

One thing is for sure, he's certainly not the Redeemer, the Messiah or a Messiah, but he is an Everyman figure.

 

Sure, he is the fool embarking on the journey.....a journey that any of us can take

 

6 minutes ago, RobSS said:

Roger Scruton, who is not a Christian but a humanist, said that Parsifal is a Christian work

 

well i'm not sure it is as simple as that. I think it has older roots in celtic mythology and in the cauldron of plenty.

 

The medieval writings on the matter could represent a christian slant on those older myths however exoteric christianity wasn't the only game in town and bubbling away beneath the surface was an occult river out of which was springing rosicrucianism, freemasonry and so on. When mehmed the conqueror invaded constantinople he forced many byzantine greek-romans in to flight and as they dispersed into europe they took all their books and writings with them and that knowledge then fed into the renaissance.

 

6 minutes ago, RobSS said:

The question is, does the music have the power to make time become space?

 

If all matter is energy vibrating then everything is frequency which means that music has power. So perhaps the question is what potentially transformative effect can music have on consciousness, even over the expanse of time?

 

6 minutes ago, RobSS said:

He regarded the music drama, "Parsifal", as a "Stage consecration festival play" or a "Festival play for the consecration of a stage", depending on how you translate what he wrote from the German, which was a "Bühnenweihfestspeil".

 

So for him he was involved in a sacred process in which he was performing a magical rite towards the transformation of human consciousness

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24 minutes ago, Macnamara said:

 

I think we have to consider the existence of a third which is those who renounce their own personal power in order to allow others to have control over them. These people are not creative and in fact by reducing freedom they will also reduce the creativity in the world

 

This third that mention is part of that group that's in the middle, which I mentioned.

 

24 minutes ago, Macnamara said:

 

Sure, he is the fool embarking on the journey.....a journey that any of us can take

 

Yes, an Everyman figure.

 

24 minutes ago, Macnamara said:

 

well i'm not sure it is as simple as that. I think it has older roots in celtic mythology and in the cauldron of plenty.

 

The medieval writings on the matter could represent a christian slant on those older myths however exoteric christianity wasn't the only game in town and bubbling away beneath the surface was an occult river out of which was springing rosicrucianism, freemasonry and so on. When mehmed the conqueror invaded constantinople he forced many byzantine greek-romans in to flight and as they dispersed into europe they took all their books and writings with them and that knowledge then fed into the renaissance.

 

I was referring to Wagner's distillation of the medieval mythology. If there's anything there that goes against Jesus Christian, I'd like to know what that is. I agree it's not a simple subject. As Carl Jung once wrote, “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.” - C.G. Jung

 

24 minutes ago, Macnamara said:

 

If all matter is energy vibrating then everything is frequency which means that music has power. So perhaps the question is what potentially transformative effect can music have on consciousness, even over the expanse of time?

 

I agree that's a good question.

 

24 minutes ago, Macnamara said:

 

So for him he was involved in a sacred process in which he was performing a magical rite towards the transformation of human consciousness

 

The word "magical" is tricky and could lead to misunderstanding. It's not a magical rite in the sense of invoking magic for selfish ends, which is the realm of black magicians and occultists.

 

In Wagner's libretto, the wisest Grail knight, Gurnemanz, who recognises Parsifal for the first time, as a man, since he's first encounter with Parsifal as a boy, says, "He is not one of the Brothers". Parsifal is a complete outsider.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, RobSS said:

I respect your decision that you don't want to discuss your journey on a public forum. I hope you can understand my reluctance to discuss my journey regarding seeing a way through this.

 

Of course.

 

44 minutes ago, RobSS said:

It's a real dilemma because if everyone withdraws from sharing a personal revelation, then we've all lost the battle


It's not a dilemma at all.  You had previously stated you can see a way through this but yet it needs me and others to share publicly what up until now has remained private? I don't know you at all and I'm not implying at all you are not trustworthy. I would give you the benefit of the doubt that you are. Why does my private journey have to be written out here publicly?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, RobSS said:

This third that mention is part of that group that's in the middle, which I mentioned.

 

that group of people who are willingly renouncing their own personal power to hand over control to the elites are the engine house of the group that is aspiring to power because without anyone willing to go along with their schemes their schemes would fail. We have to see them as a distinct principle

 

4 minutes ago, RobSS said:

The word "magical" is tricky and could lead to misunderstanding.

 

Causing change in accordance with will

 

4 minutes ago, RobSS said:

In Wagner's libretto, the wisest Grail knight, Gurnemanz, who recognises Parsifal for the first time, as a man, since he's first encounter with Parsifal as a boy, says, "He is not one of the Brothers". Parsifal is a complete outsider.

 

he wasn't born a knight

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15 minutes ago, JJ73 said:

 

Of course.

 


It's not a dilemma at all.  You had previously stated you can see a way through this but yet it needs me and others to share publicly what up until now has remained private? I don't know you at all and I'm not implying at all you are not trustworthy. I would give you the benefit of the doubt that you are. Why does my private journey have to be written out here publicly?

 

 

True, your journey doesn't need to be written out here at all, and I wasn't trying to persuade you to do so. When I wrote that humanity needs to reveal itself, I didn't intend to make anyone feel like they're not doing enough. I was speaking about my own reality, and should've made that clearer. I'm happy to explore the legacy of Wagner, etc. and taking personal responsibility for that. I can't do anything on my own and nothing can be forced. Things can only be allowed.

 

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I must just add, Roger is an endlessly fascinating man. I have watched a couple of his debates today. One with Jordan Peterson and I am midway through another with Douglas Murray. I wish Roger was still here with us.

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Below is a video of the entire music drama, Parsifal, beginning with the Prelude to Act I that Roger Scruton talked about in the above video, Wagner and Philosophy. During the intro, two young squires lie in a forest clearing, early in the morning, dressed in scarlet tunics (to the right of the stage).

 

The stage action starts at 13' 30. During this first Act, the serenity of the forest is disturbed when a boy suddenly shoots dead a majestic swan with his bow and arrow that was flying over the lake where the king, Amfortas, was taking a bath in order find relief from the wound in his side that will never heal. Amfortas is the guardian of the Holy Grail. In sunnier days, he was also the guardian of the Holy Spear. Holy messengers brought these two relics to Amfortas's father, Titurel, so he could protect his kingdom from heathens and savage foes. The Holy Spear was the same Spear that a Roman soldier used to wound Christ as he was hanging on the Cross. The Holy Grail has blood from Christ's wound.

 

One day, Amfortas left the Grail castle with the Spear. He was seduced by a beautiful woman. During his seduction, Klingsor appeared and, in its unguarded moment, he seized the Spear. As he fled, Klingsor wounded the king in his side, inflicting a wound that will never heal. Klingsor castrated himself in order to learn the black arts. As knights of the Grail go in search of the stolen Spear, Klingsor hopes to seduce all the Grail knights, so that he can march in and seize the Grail for himself and have ultimate power in the world. Amfortas went to his desecrated sanctuary, and prayed, imploring a sign of salvation. A blessed radiance then came upon the Grail; a holy dream-vision now clearly addressed him in brightly shining characters: "Through compassion made wise, the pure Fool. Wait for him, the appointed one."

 

Amfortas is being carried from the lake, where he was having a bath. Gurnemanz reprimands the boy for killing the swan. The boy doesn't even know his own name. A wildly dressed woman with dishevelled hair, full of leaves and bracken, and a snakeskin girdle, appears. Her eyes are dark and piercing, sometimes flashing wildly, more often fixed and staring. The squires believe she is a witch, but Gurnemanz says that she has sanctuary, like the wild beasts in the forest. The woman tells Gurnemanz that the boy's mother is dead. After questioning the boy further, Gurnemanz suspected he may be the 'innocent Fool' mentioned in the prophecy. Gurnemanz takes the boy to the Grail castle, where 'time becomes space', to show him the ceremony of Amfortas uncovering the Grail. After the ceremony, Gurnemanz asks the boy if he understood what he saw. The boy shakes his head in ignorance. Gurnemanz rebukes him again for killing the swan, and roughly turns him away.

 

Act II starts at 01:39:20, and begins with the black magician, Klingsor, with the Holy Spear. He awakens Kundry from her sleep. In his black mirror, he sees a handsome boy approaching. He instructs Kundry to seduce him, and she obeys. As Parsifal enters Klingsor's castle, he encounters the flower maidens. They fail to seduce him. Kundry appears as a paragon of beauty. She gets to work seducing him, but her kiss awakens Parsifal's memory of Amfortas's suffering that he witnessed the ceremony in Act I. Kundry and Parsifal have a huge argument. In desperation, when she realises she can't seduce him, Kundry calls upon Klingsor. Klingsor hurls the Holy Spear at Parsifal to kill him, but it hovers above his head. Parsifal takes the Holy Spear. Kundry curses him, and tells Parsifal that he will never find his way back to the Grail castle, and Amfortas. Klingsor's kingdom collapses in ruin, and Parsifal begins his many years of wandering through the world, in search of Amfortas. 

 

Act III starts at 02:44:25, and begins with a Prelude, similar two Act I, but describes the Parsifal's arduous wanderings through the world. The stage action begins on the morning of Good Friday, with the wisest knight of Grail, Gurnemanz, recognising Parsifal wandering alone, through the forest. It's the first time Gurnemanz has seen Parsifal since Parsifal was a boy in Act I. Parsifal is now a mature man. Parsifal goes on to heal the King with the Holy Spear. The once lost Holy Spear is restored to the Grail and the Redeemer, is redeemed. 

 

This video was a recording of a staging in the house that Wagner specially built for the staging of Parsifal, the Bayreuth Festival House, in Bavaria. The theatre has special acoustics designed for his music dramas. Unusually, the orchestra is under a canopy and cannot be seen by the audience, so all the focus of the audience is what's happening on stage. This production was filmed in 1981, and was directed by Richard Wagner's grandson, Wolfgang Wagner, so this is the real thing!

 

 

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