Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jesus and Jim Morrison, Doors and Ladders

Yesterday I made the only half-ironic comment that Christianity is not intended to be a religion, but the cure for religion. First, I don't want to get into a distracting debate over "which religion is best," so let us just say that this can be true of most any truly orthodox religion, properly understood and practiced. However, it is quite consciously and explicitly true of Christianity.

This was one of the central points in Gil Bailie's Violence Unveiled. It is not possible for me to do justice to the richness and depth of Bailie's argument (for one thing, it's been about a decade since I read it), but he draws out the anthropological implications of Christianity, demonstrating how it has shaped the Western mind and soul -- and the world -- and helped to mitigate the damaging effects of mankind's innate religiosity. To quote Bailie, "cultures have forever commemorated some form of sacred violence at their origins and considered it a sacred duty to reenact it in times of change." In fact,

"History is the relentless chronicle of violence that it is because when cultures fall apart they fall into violence, and when they revive themselves they do so violently. Primitive religion is the institution that remembers the reviving violence mythologically and ritually reenacts its spellbinding climax. Primitive religion grants one form of violence a moral monopoly, endowing it with enough power and prestige to preempt other forms of violence and restore order. The famous distinction between 'sacred' and 'profane' is born as the culture glorifies the decisive violence (sacred) that brought an episode of chaotic violence (profane) to an end and made warriors worshippers."

However, "the logic of sacred violence is nowhere expressed more succintly nor repudiated more completely than in the New Testament," which "reproduces the myths and mechanisms of primitive religion only to explode them, reveal their perversities, and declare allegiance to the Victim of them."

Again, a full explanation of Bailie's ideas will have to await a later post. But looked at in this way, we can immediately understand how the clash between Christendom and Islam is not fundamentally a clash of religions, but a clash between primordial religion and the cure for it. Again, the primordial, default religion of mankind is human sacrifice, which the Islamists enact in the most transparent manner. The Palestinians, for example, glorify human sacrifice in away not seen since the Aztec.

But so too do supposedly "irreligious," secular people revert to mankind's default religion and worship sacred violence. This was obviously true of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, both of which ran on innocent human blood, on the mesmerizing spectacle of sacred violence. This is because it is not possible for human beings to not be religious. If you are not properly religious, then I guarantee that your mind has simply reverted to mythology.

For example, at this moment, sacred violence is being enacted by leftists in France. As David Horowitz has exhaustively chronicled, violence has always been central to the left. It is an inherently destructive and violent movement that either covertly or overtly worships violence. This explains everything from why they idealize monsters such as Arafat, Castro, and Hugo Chavez, to why they wear Che Guevara t-shirts. Here again, I don't want to dwell on something so obvious, but move on to my main point.

The other day, as I usually do, I stopped off at a used record store after work, which is my way of "decompressing." In this case, I picked up a Doors compilation. It's not that I'm a big fan or anything. Rather, it was a frivolous exercise in pure nostalgia. A guilty pleasure. Frankly, their first album in particular brings me right back to when I was 11 years old, which happened to be an especially idyllic time for me. I am not the least bit interested in the mythology that came to envelop Jim Morrison, what with his juvenile poetry and pathetic alcoholism. Rather, I place them in the same category as the Monkees, Donovan, Herman's Hermits, Lovin' Spoonful, and other acts I enjoyed as an eleven year-old. (Although, to be fair, I wouldn't place the Doors in the same lofty category as the Monkees.)

As I have noted before, something happened to culture in general and music in particular right around that time. For one thing, instead of simply being a form of background entertainment, music quite obviously came to the foreground and literally became the sacrament of a new form of religion.

But in keeping with our theme, it was actually a very old form of religion -- the form of religion that Christianity is here to rescue us from -- and Jim Morrison became one of its archetypal prophets. It is possible that he is the most heavily mythologized of all rock stars, surpassing even Elvis in this regard, since Elvis was never a part of the counter culture, at least after he entered the army in 1958.

In the past, I have discussed the appalling ordeal of reading the liner notes of historically important CDs, which always dissect the music from a drearily leftist viewpoint. Therefore, as you might expect, a Doors collection will be the worst violator in this regard.

In fact, there are two sets of liner notes, and I think you'll agree that they are quite instructive. The first set is by an author of some apparent renown, T.C. Boyle. My intimate acquaintance with literature tails off rather sharply after writers such as Joyce, Henry Miller, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Mann, Faulkner, Hesse, Chandler, et al, so I have no idea whether this man is regarded as a genius or a complete hack. But based upon these liner notes and the many literary awards he has received, he certainly appears to be the latter.

Remember the other day, when I mentioned that being only 11 years old in 1967 is probably what saved me from being swallowed up by the cultural changes at the time, and that if I had been a bit older, I wasn't sure if I would have escaped? Well, Boyle was a bit older. He doesn't say exactly how old, but he descibes himself as a "sexually starved young man," for whom the Doors first album was clearly a kind of religious experience. He even talks about the photos of Morrison "in all his posing glory, a pose I've emulated a thousand times since..." He says, "NASA didn't take us to outer space -- the Doors did."

Again, religion. But what type of religion? A commenter mentioned the other day that the 1960s generation was the first to actually -- and tragically, because it meant that the reality principle was compromised -- vanquish their parents in the ancient oedipal struggle. Boyle writes that until he heard The End -- in which Morrison murders his father and "f***s" (such poetry!) his mother -- "I never knew how much I hated my parents.... That they should have given birth to me? Oh fuck."

Already we see all the elements of the anti-religious religion of the left: the valorization of sex, violence, and meaninglessness, the narcissistic giving birth to oneself, the assault on tradition -- it's all there. To suggest, as some commenters have, that this cultural shift was trivial, strikes me as quite myopic. For example, there is no hint of this in Sinatra's classic Capitol albums of the 1950s, which represent a particular high water mark in American culture. And if someone makes a dopey comment about sex only being discovered in the 1960s, let us just stipulate that they do not have ears to hear, and move on.

Boyle writes of another Doors song, that it spoke of "all the shit of the wrong war, the bad war, the war that makes America the enemy." It is "there for us to feel in our veins, that bass, that thump, redeem me, motherfucker" [emphasis mine; likewise, below].

So, this new redemptive religion of the left is a peaceful, non-violent one, right?

Er, no. Boyle writes of the song Five to One, "This is the anthem, us against them.... Just quote it. Just remember those sacred words. Hate. Mindfuck. Revolution."

Okay. Now we have the holy trinity of the psychological left: Hate. Mindfuck. Revolution. At least he's honest.

"I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the Doors spoke to me in a secret, outrageous, never-before-spoken way. We shared the same aesthetic. The same politics.... This is where art twisted in your heart and your brain till you didn't know who you were and couldn't begin to imagine it."

(To paraphrase a Van der Leunism, "don't get in my way, I'm writing as bad as I can!")

"These songs saved me. They preserved me. For better or worse, they stuck in me like darts from hell, or maybe heaven, and made me who I was then and who I am now. And what do I have to say about that? I say Hallelujah! ....I say, Mother, I want to -- Oh, yeah."

Oh yeah! Where's my Grammy for best liner notes of 2003?!

So the purpose of art is not to communcate transcendent meaning or to reveal the noetic light shining through the aesthetic form. No. Good art pierces you with darts from hell and twists in your heart and brain until you don't know who you are and can't begin to imagine it. In short, it is nihilistic to the core. It is anti-art.

I think I'll skip the second set of liner notes by antiquated FM deejay Jim Ladd. Well, maybe just a taste. He too is at pains to emphasize that this is not just music, but religion, by godlessness! It "speaks to something primal, something ancient," and is "the same thing shamans have been doing for thousands of years. But how many holy men can recount that experience as well as the Doors?"

Ahem. He's obviously never heard of the Monkees.

He says that "when you close your eyes this music will perform its magic; all you have to do is listen." Thus, another key component of primitive religiosity, which is to say, magic. Later he adds, this is "primal stuff.... This is pagan sex. Dance-on-fire sex. Sex without shame or even forethought. This is sex with a backbeat. Pleasure in a poem. Lust in a guitar lick. A Vox orgasm.... This is about cutting the cord of conscious thought and letting go. It's about awareness. Sex. Death. Rebirth. Life." (This is about a guy who is obviously angling for a Boyle Prize in bombastic prose.)

In another implicit knock on the poor Monkees, Ladd writes, "no one could ever mistake The Doors for one of those prefab boy bands." Which is insanely ironic, since The Doors are the greatest example of what you might call "postfab" (i.e., postfabricated) mythologizing the rock world has ever known. I mean, please: "Turn up the volume, then turn out the lights. You don't want anything to distract you from what you are about to see. Just let your mind go where the music takes you, let the magic come inside you, and don't be afraid to let go of everything you have been told."

Now, as I said, this is all postfab mythologizing of the most crass sort. Just to show you what I mean -- and how quickly the past can pass into myth -- I have before me the Rolling Stone Record Guide. Specifically, I have the first edition, from 1979, and a newer edition, from 1992. The differences in the way the Doors are regarded are quite instructive.

The earlier edition summarizes the band's contribution with the following wise words: "The Doors take their place in pop history as the progenitors of a whole wave of teenybopper anti-icons, the genuine precursors of Alice Cooper and Kiss." They were simply "more shrewdly marketed than Tommy James and the Shondells [or] the Guess Who, but not necessarily better." The review concludes with a question and answer: "Is this the most overrated group in rock history? Only a truly terminal case of arrested adolescence can hold out against such a judgment for very long."

As I said, wise words.

But what has happened in the interim, since which time the cultural left has come in with its horizontal wrecking ball and proceeded to turn the world of values upside down?

The new edition reflects the subsequent mythologizing of the Doors -- and the edenic "sacred time" of the 1960s -- which is simply a reflection of the cultural left's inevitable descent into myth and magic as a replacement for our Judeo-Christian tradition. Now the Doors romantically embody such things as "the threat and promise of Indian burial grounds and natural mysteries -- and the ocean, surging deep into oblivion and release." The cultural memory of the left has now transformed Morrison into "the prototype of the rocker in desperate search of transcendence through self-destruction..., hurling himself fascinated toward death." He is an "erotic politician.... preoccupied with urge, rebellion, and release."

Which is all true. But is it a good thing?

Not really. For one thing, it spoiled my ability to innocently enjoy a mindless nostalgia trip back to 1967.

Oh well. There's always the Monkees.


River Cocytus said...


'This is where art twisted in your heart and your brain till you didn't know who you were and couldn't begin to imagine it.'

This is the goal of many artists nowadays - and something that is perhaps irredeemable. When I was at Urbana '03, (Christian convention for Intervarsity) there was a whole bunch of seminars for artistic folks. Now, being a man of all trades I attended some.

To see how absolutely wounded these kids were was unfathomable to me. Art was to me joy, freedom, truth, beauty. Why all the sadness, regret and bitterness?

It brings my mind to DeviantArt - which is perhaps the final expression of this path - while I enjoy the free publishing (and there is a lot of excellent art on the site from some very sharp artists) there is an element to the site that encourages precisely the art 'twisted in your heart and your brain till you didn't know who you were and couldn't begin to imagine it.'

It is sick, disturbing, titillating, and mind-searing. It is what Van described as the light created in the darkening network by tearing the wires and creating fire and sparks in this destruction.

One day it runs out of things to consume and its creator consumes itself.

This is they say, A sin unto death.

River Cocytus said...

PS - I just hope I don't buy a Huey Louis and The News CD in 15 years only to find my memories polluted with the claptrap of a bunch of permolescents...

Petey said...

Two things: 1) the Satanic Eucharist, and 2) "you are what you eat."

River Cocytus said...


wv: mapleagd...

Anonymous said...

Bob, You brilliantly articualte what we feel but can never say.

Gagdad Bob said...

You can say it. With attribution, of course. And a link.

maineman said...

Lots of fun today, Bob. And thought provoking as usual.

"Promise of Indian burial grounds . . . twisted . . . heart" . . . not knowing who you are.

Talk about twisting the knife. And it leads right into self-mutilation as "body art", following up on River's comment.

Anyway, I credit Oliver Stone for major progress in my own psychotherapy. After I saw the movie on the Doors in the early 90's, I was so struck by my nostalgic attachment to that fat, drunk (dead?) pig in a French bathtub that it was just a matter of time before the scales started to fall from my eyes like dominoes, or maybe like dead fish.

Speaking of mixed metaphores, do I really remember something from yesterday's comment section about sheep dipped in tripe?

literati said...

For a healthy dose of troll-food, read T.C Boyle's "The Tortilla Curtain."

The protagonist in the novel reminds me of GDB. No really, its uncanny.

This main character even lives around where GDB does, has the wife and son, etc.

MizzE said...

"But what has happened in the interim, since which time the cultural left has come in with its horizontal wrecking ball and proceeded to turn the world of values upside down?"

Speaking of topsy turveydom. The wrecking ball is swinging and making a loud, soul killing noise at Fort Riley, Kansas.

will said...

I dunno - I guess the argument could be made that Lizard King was the most natural, in a manner of speaking, most honest endpoint of a music that is naturally Dionysian. You know, extra thick on the pagan sex, romantically self-destructive, swirly mooded pubescent narcissism.

Maybe 3,000 years ago, Morrison could really have been a youth of a thousand summers, a real ganymede. But that blueprint is SO out of date. The attempted reversal back in the primal fire now must result in plain self-destruction, not in some Phoenix-like rebirth from the ashes.

We all go through our necessary Dionysian period - it's called "college". But then we ideally sublimate the pagan fires, to an extent anyway, and we move on - because for the past 2500 years or so, there has been a place to move on to.

Chris said...

On the opposite end of the musical spectrum is Christian Rock, which ain't bad.

Check out songs like "They Don't Serve Breakfast in Hell" by the Jars of Clay.

Or, "He Reigns" by (I think) Audio Adrenaline.

Built around generic pop stylings, nevertheless the vocals are delivered with great verve and do sometimes hit the sweet spot and will raise the hairs on the forearm.

Air-1 and K-Love are ubiquitous on the radio dial. Check 'em out.

walt said...

Ha-ha, another reason I enjoy it here: Petey takes some poor fool's "heartfelt wish," and ELEVATES IT!

NoMo said...

Being 14 years old in 1967 without the benefit of a mentally healthy and supportive family, the music of the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Buffalo Springfield, etc. etc., fully occupied a huge empty space within me and fleshed-out, however falsely, my idealism.

A number of Bob’s statements and references in today’s post help me understand even further, that what occurred within me, and I believe many others, was nothing less than a form of possession. I’m not necessarily speaking in terms of demonic here (although the Manson family and others of that ilk come to mind), but of the profound and lasting influence of the nihilistic world view. For me, this “possession”, even after being flushed away by what I can only describe as an act of God, left remnants that are most aptly described by Bob’s term “mind parasites”.

I don’t think anyone should downplay the impact of those pivotal times. Whether or not one believes that it was the Adversary who actually orchestrated the cultural shift, he clearly capitalized on it. I have to wonder if the mentality of the left of today isn't actually disordered in a deeper way than previously.

Lisa said...

Heh, The Monkees! Brings back the memories. Of course I was not alive to appreciate them in their hey-day or is hay-day?! But...being the coon that I am even at a young age, I was a rather strange kid. I know not much of a shock. So, anyways, in the early 80s around 6th or 7th grade, I used to go over to my friends house, who were twins, and we would be in the basement and pretend we were the Monkees! Ha Ha! We used to play the record really loud and rock out as a Monkees airband! It was the same year they reunited so we also got to go the reunion concert, which was the 2nd live concert I had ever been to after the Beach Boys. Man, we were such dorks! ;)

On a sad note though, I met up with the twins a little over 10 years ago. They had turned into bitter raging alcoholics. They were only shells of their former selves. It was too depressing and I never contacted them again. At least I still have funny memories though.

juliec said...

I didn't really discover the Doors until about 1994, when I was in college. They were amusing to listen to - I still have some Doors in my itunes playlist, in fact - but I always thought there was a vast amount of petty emptiness about the man. When I saw the movie, I wasn't impressed by his depth, I was depressed by him. So much talent, wasted on a drugged out, drunken slob who was horrible to his family and had no business coming near anything female. The thought that people actually worship that fool, even today? Just wow.

Gagdad Bob said...

I've heard good things about Jars of Clay, but I'm just not intrigued by explicitly Christian rock. Rather, I prefer rock that is Christian, even if it is unaware of the fact -- i.e., truly about liberation. Examples are too numerous to mention, but prime Who comes to mind, e.g. Live at Leeds or Who's Next, or the Clash. Just ignore the lyrics and enjoy the power. And frankly I can even enjoy the Doors on this level, for the fact is, most any science, philosophy, or art form can be Christianized if your mind already is. Transcendence is everywhere, and easily subsumes the lower.

Anonymous said...

So you also know about the Two 1960s.

The first 1960s was the 1960s of the space program, New Frontier, early James Bond flicks, early Beatles, and what's now called "retro-glam".

Then, as Bill from Eject! Eject! Eject! put it, "Sauron finally got hold of The Ring around 1968" and the Second 1960s began. (You use The Doors as the transition; I prefer "Sauron got The Ring".)

The Second 1960s, i.e. THE SIXTIES (TM). The only 1960s anyone remembers, where all that was before imploded into "DOPE IS GROOVY!", "GET OUT OF VIETNAM!", and screwing in the mud at Woodstock.

juliec said...

Lisa, funny, there's that syncoonicity again. The Monkees were still shown on TV when I was a kid, and while I don't remember imitating them quite so much, their theme song immediately begins to play in my brain whenever I see/ hear their name.

I also was friends with twins, who I lost track of for a decade then saw again. They weren't alcoholics, but they were adultolescents, convinced of conspiracies and seeing evil everywhere but where it actually is. We didn't stay in touch for very long.

walt said...

A few years ago I had a business in California, and one customer had been a Sax player for the Doors. He had moved recently out of LA, and was enjoying the country life. Seemed like a decent fellow, and certainly was no worshipper of Jim Morrison.

cosanostradamus said...

I was 16 when the first Doors album was released, with the expected impact on my young and impressionable self. I ate up all their albums, even up through American Prayer. I still like a good Doors song, but in small doses. Thankfully there was another Morrison (Van) who came along and helped keep me upright, and that's a lifelong love.

Sorry, I couldn't stand the Monkees. I give myself 2 demerits. But my wife loved them so maybe I get one back. The Turtles though. I could get behind that.

Nomo, I had a very different experience with Buffalo Springfield . ;-) I still consider them the best Americanadian rock band ever. A couple of their members did indeed became full-fledged idiots later on (Stills, Crosby), but others grew up (Young, Furay, Messina). Without the Springfield, we never would have had Prairie Wind or Pickin' Up the Pieces. In terms of sheer talent, they had it in spades.

NoMo said...

"...if your mind already is..." (GB)


robinstarfish said...

Moto 404
from higher education
sky is the limit
In honor of Sky Pony, who graduates from college this Saturday. Coongratulations!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Back in the late 80's - early 90's my "group" got very into the Doors. I couldn't stand them and my least favorite song to the point of loathing was the End. They couldn't understand how I could dislike such an *awesome* song so much. My reply was standard, "They call it the End because everytime I hear it I wish it would". I was somewhat of an outsider to the group, needless to say. Never really pondered why I disliked it so much but your post today rang alot of bells.

Monkee's rule! Been playing them for my 10 yr old and she's now the new generation of fan.

wv: hymaywv: hy man yew vertical?

MizzE said...

Gagdad Bob said:

. . ."most any science, philosophy, or art form can be Christianized if your mind already is. Transcendence is everywhere, and easily subsumes the lower."

I completely agree Bob - like the other Ralph-coon said: "Though we travel the world to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."

I found many beautiful things during my month in the Middle East, but my Gregorian soul could never find the beauty in the 5x a day calls of the muezzins over the loudspeakers on every minaret of every mosque. Today I used that experience and my experience of transcendence to highlight
a grave mistake I think the U.S. Army is making by
blasting that call all over Fort Riley, Kansas. I hope
my fellow coons will make time to read my post and leave your more enlightened perspectives. JulieC left a very thoughtful one.

hoarhey said...

Well, he got the mindfuck part right.
These last few posts down memory lane have given me a renewed gratitude for that natural brake in my psyche which kept me from going over the edge into the abyss with the whack jobs. Even at my worst, there was a limit to where I was willing to go. It seems that throughout my life, I’ve had a natural affinity for what might be called educated innocence.
I never understood why some people (lack of their own identity?) were able to get so totally into the messages and culture conveyed by certain bands and have their lives transformed (wrecked) by the message of a total stranger given on a piece of vinyl. (Doors, Grateful Dead, etc.)
It reminds me of an early chapter in my life and of an easy choice.
It was during the aftermath of the 60’s when young people were still running on the fumes.
Three brothers from a nearby city were visiting their divorced father (our neighbor) for the summer vacation from school. We spent that time, along with other neighbor kids, roaming the fields and forests, swimming in the creek, building rafts, forts, and just being kids living free in the country.
The next summer, the oldest of the three brothers decided to stay in the city with his mother while the youngest brothers came again to visit. One day, while I was mowing my parents lawn, the oldest brother drove up the lane with some of his buddies from town, In A Gadda Da Vida, blaring from the car stereo. He had a glazed look in his eye as he made his pitch and proceeded to bring me into the plan where I was to be their gardener and also their pimp.
They wanted me to grow and tend their dope for them while they would bring alcohol and other drugs with which to party and also to ply the neighbor girls into having sex. I could tell he had given it much thought and was almost salivating with anticipation, but this reality was so foreign to me that I didn’t even know how to respond at first. In the end, I politely turned him down.
Looking back, it was obvious that he had stayed in town due to the fact that he had been corrupted by music and his chosen culture and wanted to have his “fun”.
My guess is that the guy is probably dead by now, or teaching at a university.
To me, it is a perfect illustration of the general differences between the “sophisticated” elite of the (corrupted) coastal cities and their resultant media messages, in contrast with the (relatively innocent) “backwoods wasteland” known as flyover country.

I thought that the following statement was pertinent to the mindset of many in the mainstream media and the base sentimentality for those “heady“ days of the 1960‘s.

Is this the most overrated period in history? Where lost lambs followed their own interpretations of twisted shepherds? Slapping on the shackles and calling it freedom?
“Only a truly terminal case of arrested adolescence can hold out against such a judgment for very long."

………………Chris Matthews anyone?

NoMo said...

Cosa - Of course you are right on Buffalo Springfield - they should not have been included in my example.

As always (almost), I bow to your musical expertise.


juliec said...

Off today's topic but apropos recent posts, Protein Wisdom has a great article up today expanding on an Orson Scott Card article about the global warming pushers. It's long, but well worth the read.

Teri said...

1) To understand anything that took place in the late 60s, it's important to be on the same drugs they were. Suddenly it will make sense. Luckily, with Jim Morrison, you just have to get really stinking blotto drunk. And he did more than one performance too drunk to stand. My husband saw him once where he had to sit on stage for the entire show.
2) I think those Annie Leibowitz pictures have a lot more to do with the Jim Morrison myth than anything else. It's a nice glamorous job they did on him, sort of like some of those Janis Joplin pictures. And plus, he was a poet! And a drunk! Doesn't that make him God-like??
3) I am a little surprised that you could mention Jim and not talk about him exposing himself on stage. Gee that was sure a blow at SOMETHING (although we were never quite sure exactly what.)

Gagdad Bob said...

Re best Americanadian band, what about the Band? Overrated perhaps? They certainly had a unique aesthetic.

River Cocytus said...

btw, just from a dude doing some bit mapping,

Binary 111 = 7.

Gagdad Bob said...

Re the Monkees, they are truly a victim of reverse racism! For example, the Temptations are great, but they didn't write any songs or play any instruments. But their songs were written by some of the best songwriters of the day, e.g., Holland-Dozier-Holland, Smokey Robinson, Barrett Strong, etc., and they obviously had the finest musicians in Detroit backing them, the legendary Funk Brothers.

Well, it's the same with the Monkees. They used some of the finest songwriters of the era, e.g., NIlsson, Carol King, Neil Diamond, and others (in fact, Michael Nesmith was an outstanding songwriter, and one of the unsung pioneers of country rock), plus the best session players in LA, such as Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, and Hal Blaine. And Mickey Dolenz had a fine voice for the material. So what's the difference between them and the Temptations? I mean, they weren't the Beatles, but a little respect is in order. Hey, it's not easy to make innocent and fluffy bubblegum psychedelia on the order of Words or Pleasant Valley Sunday. What a concept -- "bubblegum psychedelia."

hoarhey said...

I was into bubblegum at the time.
The psychedelia came MUCH later.

Jamie Irons said...


When one is in a certain frame of mind, even if one despises Jim Morrison as much as I do, and one finds The Doors to be the most tedious group of nonentities until the arrival of the Kos Kidz, as I do, still, one can amuse oneself by singing at the top of one's lungs (but out of earshot of any responsible authority) what is perhaps the silliest song ever written, "Light My Fire"...

You know that I would be untrue,
You know that I would be a liar-ahh,
If I were to say to you
Girl, we couldn't get much higher-ahh...


Jamie Irons

Gagdad Bob said...

As a matter of fact, I found myself doing just that while listening to the CD while lifting weights. In fact, Dupree uses their music in his exotic dance act. ("Touch Me" is the show-stopper. Or so he says.)

walt said...

To me, the classic line from The Doors was:

"We want the world, and we want it now.
Now??? NOWWWW!!!"

Van said...

Jamie Irons,
That and
Keep your eyes on the road
And your hands up on the wheeee-ul

I don't know how it is now, but in the '80's, if your band played anywhere near a Marine base, and you didn't know any of The Doors, AC/DC or Scorpions... your lives were in peril.

I had a short term friend when I was 15, moved to a new neighborhood - he idolized the Doors & wanted to be just like Jim Morrison (I think he got his wish in his mid-twenties), played their live album over and over... bored me to tears. But those two? Oh yeah.

I used to love watching the monkeys... especially the opening when they rode the bed down the street. My friends & I would crack up at that. Hey, I was what, between 6 & 8? The Monkees, Batman (old enough to get the Hero part, young enough to completely miss the campiness), Combat!, Star Trek... ok, straying a bit.

We had a 16 yr old Cousin from Northern Calif come down and stay with us (translation: Her parents pleaded for a place to kick her out to for a bit) in '67 or '68.

She wore beads, had the boyfrend who made jewlry, brought The Beatles & some some Jefferson Airplane type band... can't remember the name, and whispers about 'pot'.

All that really stuck at the time, was that she was a very cute girl, which meant that everything she liked needed to be made fun of.


wv:rokwj - Rock Oui-ji?

Smoov said...

I was 5 in 1967.

i wonder if there are any genuinely young 'Coons? Is coondom the province of the middle-aged? Does one have to live for some time before this place makes sense?

There are plenty of devout young Christians, but not a lot of youngsters here, or so it seems.

Van said...

River? You're not ranching grey hairs yet, are you?

Van said...


juliec said...

I may be wrong, but I think River is currently the youngest regular commenter.

Van said...

Lisa says she doesn't need training wheels on here Walk'n Roll Pilates shoes anymore, but I don't think she's middle-aged yet... are you Lisa?(he asks in his best Eddie Haskle 'Honest, I'm not trying to start trouble' voice)

wv:fuwbebu - hmm that doesn't bode well.

wv#2:sxqrub - not looking better

dicentra63 said...

I'd like to second juliec's recommendation of that Protein Wisdom article.

It's about someone who utters the phrase "the fallacy of requiring proof" without irony or embarrassment.

will said...

Smoov, I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

Trix Rabbit said...

It was a great post (as usual) until a wave of nausea overcame me when you mentioned Jim Ladd.
I remember that sanctimonious cretin when he was first on KLOS and then later on the ever tedious KMET.
He always believed he was something special because he was friends with Roger Waters.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Van. Actually I was just thinking "Shut up the f up Smoov!" ha ha! Birthday is next week and this year I am feeling my age. The Ipod has been playing tricks, I'm finding that I have little to no tolerance for bands such as Rage, Tool, Propain, and find more pleasure from Muddy Waters, Miles Davis, Taj Mahal, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, etc. So, today, I realized that yes, it is official, I am no longer a kid. I would like to think that at 36 I will still be a tad shy of middleage. Are 30s still the new 20s? Wouldn't mind a do-over! I think Julie is also a few years younger.

I must admit that my dark side still loves the Doors....Plus what woman could resist Jim Morrison without a shirt in the young hot years without the vomit...

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows

Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light
Or just another lost angel...City of Night
City of Night, City of Night, City of Night, woo, c'mon

L.A. Woman, L.A. Woman
L.A. Woman Sunday afternoon
L.A. Woman Sunday afternoon
L.A. Woman Sunday afternoon
Drive thru your suburbs
Into your blues, into your blues, yeah
Into your blue-blue Blues
Into your blues, ohh, yeah

I see your hair is burnin'
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar
Drivin' down your freeways
Midnite alleys roam
Cops in cars, the topless bars
Never saw a woman...
So alone, so alone
So alone, so alone

Motel Money Murder Madness
Let's change the mood from glad to sadness

Mr. Mojo Risin', Mr. Mojo Risin'
Mr. Mojo Risin', Mr. Mojo Risin'
Got to keep on risin'
Mr. Mojo Risin', Mr. Mojo Risin'
Mojo Risin', gotta Mojo Risin'
Mr. Mojo Risin', gotta keep on risin'
Risin', risin'
Gone risin', risin'
I'm gone risin', risin'
I gotta risin', risin'
Well, risin', risin'
I gotta, wooo, yeah, risin'
Woah, ohh yeah

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows

Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light
Or just another lost angel...City of Night
City of Night, City of Night, City of Night, woah, c'mon

L.A. Woman, L.A. Woman
L.A. Woman, your my woman
Little L.A. Woman, Little L.A. Woman
L.A. L.A. Woman Woman
L.A. Woman c'mon

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, Jim Ladd is truly a tedious load. There were some good underground FM deejays back in the day, but he wasn't one of them.

jwm said...

Ah, thanks, Lisa. I knew there was still one Doors song I could still put on my favorites list.
The Doors actually played a gig at my high school gym. It was summer '67; I was fourteen or fifteen. I was going to go, but it cost more than I was willing to spend. One of many missed opportunities. I went down there and sat out behind the gym and listened for free. It didn't sound like much, though, and I didn't stay long. Later on, some of my friends said that the lead singer drunker than shit. During the school year, rumor had it that he barfed on stage.
On an (only slighlty) off-topic note. There used to be a crappy psychedelic poster making the rounds then. It was a picture of a nude guy and girl embracing, and they were all surrounded by waves of trippy looking colors. It had some wavy looking script that said, "Light my fire". I figured that's what it must be like to be high. The next school year, 67/68, That poster was on one of the bulletin boards on the wall of my health ed. class. It was surrounded by pasted-on sugar cubes, and it had "LSD" in big crooked letters top center above the poster.
They didn't call it high school for nothin'.


Anonymous said...

Snagged that puppy!
Have it framed.


NoMo said...

"C'est Si Bon!" - Be sure to check out Ann Coulter this week for a kick.

Shabtai Zisel said...

"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."

Who knows what lurks in the hearts of wise elders?

The 7th Degree Bi-Cosmic Hermeticist and First Deputy in Charge of Doctrinal Enforcement: Will and The Divine MizzE who is Forever Young.

Joan of Argghh! said...

I know someone who went to see the Monkees, and Jimi Hendrix was the opening act for them.

Blew his mind, set him on the road to higher revelation, or so he said.

Fortunately, I had a vision and a calling about my music since I was seventeen; a vertical endowment that kept me away from the rot. A true mission of music as worship, as work, as prayer, as healing, as life.

So I missed out, if you want to call it that.

It still feels wrong to sing anything that wouldn't edify the spirit... except maybe the right kind of blues.


Jacob C. said...

Pleasant Valley Sunday? Did you have to mention that song? I don't know who wrote it, but when I first really listened to it and realized what the lyrics were saying, it turned me off the Monkees for about a year or so. In case you don't recall, it's like a catchier version of that repugnant Pete Seeger thing about the little boxes on the hillside.

Jacob C. said...

River: Why do you think they call it DeviantArt?

MizzE said...

May 9th

Three-chord propaganda: Not all aged rock icons followed Rolling Stone's script in the magazine's 40th anniversary issue

By Zev Chafets in the Jewish World Review


Wenner is a leftist and a man of parts — cultural commissar, social director and master marketer. He and his magazine are largely responsible for transforming rock 'n' roll, in the late '60s, into "rock."

CGHill said...

"Pleasant Valley Sunday": music, Carole King; lyrics, Gerry Goffin.

Gagdad Bob said...

Pleasant Valley Sunday is really just about spiritual numbness and mindless conformity. Imagine they're singing about leftists, and you'll be fine.

jwm said...

re: deleted post
That was me.

Did you see the 1967 psychedelic Monkees poster that had the text:
"We took the last train to Clarksville and now we're the believers?"


terrence said...

Hoarhey said "My guess is that the guy is probably dead by now, or teaching at a university."

Is there a diffrence, especially with respect to "arts"? Perhaps you were being emphatic.

USS Ben said...

"In fact, Dupree uses their music in his exotic dance act. ("Touch Me" is the show-stopper. Or so he says.)"

Please! Don't give Skully any ideas!

walt said...

Speaking of tunes, today's posts certainly had a different "tone."

jwm said...

"...I'm gonna love you
'till the stars fall from the sky for you and I."

Even when I was a teenager that grammar set my teeth on edge. It's like scraping a filling with a cold fork.


walt said...

A couple of quotes from the Rolling Stone article, linked just a little ways up the dial by MizzE:

Paul McCartney gives it a shot: "It would be great if people with differences in the world today would realize that there are no differences — it's an energy field, dude."

Ringo Starr added his observation that the environment seems to be "turning into a toilet." His remedy? "All you've got to do is choose love. That's how I live it now … I can feed the birds in my garden. I can't feed them all."

Musicians become spokesmen for science. Oh, dear.

coonkit said...

Hello Everyone

I was reading the comments here and noticed one about the relative youth of coons. This actually spurred me to create my first Blogger account.

I am a coon
I have unknowingly been one for most of my life I've been reading this blog for months
I'm 23 years old.
Do I qualify as one of the kits?

I am fortunate enough to have a coon for a father. In fact, my Dad pointed this blog out to me, in shock, because he had found a spiritual twin in Gagdad Bob. I think Future Leader will be an interesting person to talk to in a few years as I can attest that being brought up a coon has some surprising spiritual consequences.

Thanks for being here and making yourselves known.

Oh, bye the bye, I agree with Gagdad on the Christian Rock thing. I had some bad experiences with a self-rightious attitude that seems prevalent in teenagers of that stripe...clean pot on the outside, dirty within...

cosanostradamus said...

gagdad said

"Re best Americanadian band, what about the Band? Overrated perhaps? They certainly had a unique aesthetic."

Been out all day...

The Band is right up there too, big fan, especially during the Big Pink era. And much more longevity. Springfield shone brighter but burned out fast.

The Last Dance was one of the best rock concert films ever done.

MizzE said...

Walt, yea those guys can really set off the wince-o-meter, particularly when they're not singing.

On the other hand, my man, in a turn-the-force, pleased this coon:

Q: "Do you worry about global warming?"

Dylan: "Where's the global warming? Its freezing in here."

Anyway, just finished tomorrow's blog entry. It's short, it's sweet, it's a letter to Dylan and whatever else is given to me to say in the tween time.

walt said...

Coonkit inquired -

"I'm 23 years old.
Do I qualify as one of the kits?"

I'm not sure, but I think Applications are handled by Cousin Dupree. (Try to catch him between one of his, uh, "sessions.")

late convert said...

The Band?

I recently bought their "Greatest Hits" CD (a bit of a misnomer, that) in a moment of nostalgia.

After I listened to it, I sorta wished I hadn't.

jwm said...

Late Convert.
Don't feel bad. I bought In A Gadda Da Vida.


Smoov said...

Man I feel great tonight. Stage II mezzanine financing about to click in a week. Looking at potential deals with B****g, Air I****, Air F***** and several major industry aggregators.

Not too long now and it's a lifetime of slack for me.

Blind Faith: In the presence of the Lord. Seems perfect right now.

Van said...




[in a different font it actually looks like two glasses clinking... cheers anyway!]

Van said...


I started reading your earlier post at lunch... nearly got ill. Not your post of course, but the subject.

The intent to do what an accepted calculation of 'correctness' dictates, no matter what common sense must be telling them, maybe even purposefully in the face of what common sense is telling them...

It is chilling.

Skully said...

Coongrats Smoov!
Those are some big deals!

I couldn't agree more.
Although I liked Ringo in Caveman.
But there wasn't very many words in that one. :^)

Skully said...

Yer never too young to be a Coon.
All it takes is a passion for Truth, Beauty and Good, until it becomes yer nature, and supernature.
Not to say it's easy. In fact, it's very hard.
But the rewards are worth it.

River Cocytus said...

Coonkit - mah momma is a coon, and I'm only 24.

How do I know? How often does a Christian Woman tell ya:

'Son, Democracy is like sex. When its good, its really good, and when it's bad, its still good.'

I only made it on the list out of sheer persevering temerity. Or 'Spet' for short.

PS to coons, I'm going to be taking some KJV verses and making text art out of them. You will see what that means soon enough!

NoMo said...

Smoov - Maybe with a little Cream on top?

"I'm so glad, I'm so glad
I'm glad, I'm glad, I'm glad"

Cheers to your success!

Van said...

I've been kind of dwelling on todays post all day, a good'n Gagdad.

"History is the relentless chronicle of violence that it is because when cultures fall apart they fall into violence, and when they revive themselves they do so violently. Primitive religion is the institution that remembers the reviving violence mythologically and ritually reenacts its spellbinding climax."

I haven't gotten Gil Bailie's Violence Unveiled yet, not quite ready, but have savored a few of his articles... and they do send the forehead swirling.

I may have it wrong yet, but it seems to me that what the current crop of our media darling sacrificers seem to thrive upon, especially the celebrity sinnedNseen the light, sinnedNseen again (Spears, Baldwin, Hilton... blah blah blah), is a chance to continue the process. Another guilty scapegoat, falling for us so that we can all get up and do it again - "maybe I, or even You, can be the victim next time!" You can almost see it dripping from the coverage of them, from Kennedy's to Billary to Baldwin and all points in between. The Tabloids require it for their existence.

They Love someone who is guilty, shamed and repentent - a spate of pain first, and shame, then - viola! all clean and darling again! - they thrive upon it. This is not just a leftist thing, though they've made it their central method for existing and gaining power, but the Right plays along as well, as with Nixon, Jimmy Swaggart and so on.

Have you noticed that the person who proclaims their innocence (unless it's done with a wink and a nod to scam The Man, hello OJ), is absolutely Savaged?! The Hotel lady some years back (Helmsly?), Michael Milken, Martha Stewart....

I've wondered if what really ticks them all off about those who credibly claim innocence in general, and probably Christianity in particular (and I think this is part of what Bailie gets at?), is that they, as was Jesus, are innocent, and as such, utterly and horribly inadequate as their idea of a scapegoat - their scapegoat needs to have some taint of guilt, in order to serve as... what, a spiritual-psychological standin? for the participants... but there's nothing you can grab onto there for yourself, to serve your participation in, and indulgence in, the fall, rise and indulge again cycle, if the scapegoat is innocent, is good, is true. The entire process is just, well, blown to Hell!

The whole repetitious ritual of sacrifice requires participation in guilt (hmm ever read any part of the tax code? There is no one person in the entire country that isn't in violation of some part of it - sorry, tangent capitalist twinge there). If I'm getting the gist of him, what really intrigues me about Bailie, having seen only small but tantalizing pieces of his writing, is that he expands on this, and also seems to tie in Envy, as a necessary part of the cycle? (I wonder if false words, which I see as a source for 'evil', that require pretense, and spur envy... oh I'll have to break down soon, and buy his book instead of the stray article here and there).

Without that co-conspiracy between scapegoat and crowd, the curtain's dropped, and the jig is up, and in seeing the truth of it, enables you to free yourself from it as well? As Baile says in an article about René Girard "Jesus had said: "I see Satan falling like lightning." To see Satan is to see him fall, for he is the prince of darkness, and "Satan's first trick is to convince us that he does not exist." If we see Satan falling, it is because we can see him, and if we see him, it means he is falling."

In Truth, the Truth will set you free....

Wo - head nodded & snapped back up there, sorry for rambling, I think I actually sleep-typed a little there... G'Night.

juliec said...

Smoov, congrats!

NoMo said...

Walking / talking in your sleep, Van. You're defintely on to something.

I once was chastised here for suggesting that all else but Christianity is legalism. That is, religion constructed of requirements that must be fulfilled for redemption. Enough said for now.

I cant' wait for more of Bob 'n Bailie.

Anonymous said...

Violence is central to the left---perhaps so.

Who gave us the American war against Vietnam and the current one against Iraq?

Who are the most strident supporters of the Pentagon death machine?

Christianity became an inevitable vector of violence towards all others when it was coopted by the Roman state--a "holy" empire being the ultimate oxymoron.

Twinkle Toes said...

What is the Truth? We are happy. We live in God.The Great One is our very being. We inhere in the blissful,forceful being of the starry god, the wonder, the mystery, the Person of Love. All of us inhere in the Great One, the wonderful lord, the marvellous starry person, the delight of being. All of us live in that. That is our situation now. It is all a moment of infinite delight.

God is the cosmos. God is the Truth of it, the substance of it, the condition of it. God always stands in place as pure delight, as love, as radiant being.

oracle said...

Ah yes,
It wouldn't be OC without the infestation of the late nite morons.

River Cocytus said...

Man, gotta tell you, its tough bein' the King. You leave for a couple thou' and people are still all over your case.

Even so, Maranatha...

Anonymous - speaking of the ritualized violence - Vietnam? Replayed 1000 times in the left mind.
Twinkles - 'For they shall not marry nor be given in marriage in Heaven.' (Tell me we're not talking about another place.)

walt said...

Smoov -

I predict, based on personal experience, that when the deals are passed and the slack arrives, you will feel truly wealthy. (Included in it: that it was your heart's intention.)

Chloe Cumming said...

On the possibly defunct age question... I'm 26, which erm... isn't middle aged. And my 1C dosage has become a daily thing just lately.

I think possibly at this stage I feel more at home absorbing than joining in. Perhaps I quite enjoy coming here and feeling undereducated, or miseducated, and reading words that eludicate my understanding of the world... but in terms so alien to my stupid education that I still feel a little caught in the middle. Or at least, I'm finding my feet. I suppose I'm only caught in the middle in terms of articulating these things for myself... I'm increasingly clear about where my loyalties lie. In the context of my secular relativist education, it's quite a relief to know there are people who wouldn't have much time for my 'faking it'...

Interesting that DeviantArt should come up. It would be fascinating to explore visual art world fallacies in more depth here (I'm a painter)... often the conservative voices in the debate don't quite do the thing justice, even though hearts are in the right place. It's so rare to find articulate voices speaking for the spiritual purpose/s of art without being new age and clumsy and doing sparkly airbrushed dolphins or faux psychedelic naffness and missing the point entirely.

All the sixties stuff is deeply interesting to me as a person born in 1980, I've done the thing where I fall in love with the sixties through recognising something of the tangible 'spirit' of the time in joyous music, and feeling a bit miffed that I wasn't born... then gradually noticing how much general twittishness and smugness emanated from that time and has lingered... this is a rich vein of tangled stuff. These posts are helping me to disentangle. It affects us all... and nostalgia isn't limited to people who actually experienced the thing, possibly.

Always thought the Doors were overrated though, even before I noted that Jim Morrison was a twit.

Van said...

Cloe Cumming, you might me interested in taking a look through Art Renewal Center, it has a vast online museum of art, and a number of excellent essays as well.

Van said...

NoMo said "Walking / talking in your sleep, Van. You're defintely on to something."
Thanks NoMo... I think part of what I was trying to say I only dreamed I typed... but....

"I once was chastised here for suggesting that...."

Who's dreaming now? Everyone knows there's no disagreement among the racoons of OC! Sheesh!


Chloe Cumming said...

Hi Van,

Thank you, I am familiar with the ARC site. The online museum is wonderful, very extensive collection of old master paintings with high quality reproductions. I am very grateful for that resource.

And I agree with much of their professed philosophy... but for me, the photorealist art their members produce, though highly skilled and admirable, isn't quite where it's at... but that's another discussion.

Van said...

Chloe Cumming said "...but for me, the photorealist art their members produce, though highly skilled and admirable, isn't quite where it's at... but that's another discussion."

I kind of guessed that after looking at your site, but thought I'd give it a shot. Obviously skilled, but obviously not 'photo-realist'!


In particular the 'Fat Lady' at the top... gave me a case of the shivvers. It would be fascinating to hear what you see as the purpose (or purposes?) of art? But as you say, that's probably a whole other discussion.

River Cocytus said...

I am a fan of the Dutch Masters, who painted what I would call 'beyond-realism', wherein more was said in the painting than a photograph could say.

There is also something to be said of the Japanese wood-cuts, the symbolic art of stained-glass ... photo-realism is beautiful but not the entirety of what Art is. Photo-realism can entice one to become obsessed with the details; the 'realism' of surfaces, and miss the deeper symbolism beneath. The all-to-fleshly response to this is to remove ALL 'realism' and do naked abstraction; which in most cases (IMO) is worthless, because the abstraction without the substance is more or less meaningless. That is, trying to communicate meaning without words? Its very, very personal.

A painting? It needs to speak to many levels at once. This is why I dislike abstract art. I don't mind surreal art (though some of it is more than a bit disturbing.)

That is how I think of the Art.

Susannah said...

Never listened to the Doors. I had a thoroughly evangelical (though somewhat ecumenical) upbringing.

I listened to Steve Taylor, though, in the 90's:

"I get weary
Lord, I don't understand
How does a seed get strangled in the heart of a man
Then the music covers like an evening mist
Like a watch still ticking on a dead man's wrist
Tick away"

(Jim Morrison's Grave)

However, I watched the Monkees in reruns on t.v. They are inextricably tangled up with Gilligan's Island and the Brady Bunch in my mind. That cozy afternoon descent into passivity during which we decompressed after school. Also, Tom & Jerry, possibly the most violent cartoon known to childhood.

I'll confess to knowing next to nothing about art (although my sis is an artist), but I do know I'd never hang anything perverse or depressing on my walls. Probably I am a lowbrow, but I try to check my aesthetics against the admonition to think about things "good, lovely, pure, true"--not that everything true (factual) is necessarily good lovely or pure. It can be whimsical, somber, realistic, fanciful, passionate...but not perverse.

Teri said...

I guess the other thing you have to keep in mind about the mid-60s is that we somehow had this idea that music would change the world. Yes, if you could just get them to listen to Eve of Destruction, the truth would set them free. I remember that Light My Fire poster. Not true psychedilia. You might go here for that. I think this was supposed to change the world too and could be why we have to wear glasses now.

Susannah said...

Oh and those liner notes...

Bo-ring! It's a wonder those guys don't put themselves to sleep.

I always encounter the same element in leftwing screeds. It is all so boring! Same old talking points, over, and over...they can't even find a new way to word things. And it's always so preachy.

How can they stand to listen to themselves?