Dead Crow: Prologue update

INTRODUCTION: Having launched the video production of Dead Crow: Prologue last October, followed by a brief performance tour of the West Kootenay, it occurred to me that the last time I’d posted the text for the poem was in 2012. The poem has undergone many changes since then, while retaining the integrity of the original piece. It should be noted that in the interests of continuity the interpolated verses of Dead Crow’s various names was not used for the live show. On the page, these one-line verses act as a kind of counterpoint voice, shifting from Dead Crow’s speech to that of a narrator’s voice listing off his many names in an almost incantatory manner.

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Sean Arthur Joyce as Dead Crow. Photo by Kim Walker.

Dead Crow: Prologue (Exile) 

“You want my name? Which one? I’m known by many names: Dead Crow. Jackdaw crook. Split-tongued muse. Dark rook in a bleak rain. What’s in a name? Only millennia of lives lived. I’ve been here so long I’m starting to look human. Time has filed down my voice with a rasp.”

“Emperor of the Crossroads, I nest over the forked path. You think I care about spells, incantations, alchemy? These are just artifacts of what I already know. My only interest in bones is to pick them clean. Blood-cloaked loner on a trail of fingerbones—that’s me. Black as the womb before star seeds snap life into being. Black as the feathers that fly straight from the eye of God.”

Dead Crow. Shadow eater. Blackfeather acrobat. Walks with a slight limp.

“Stare into my left eye—I dare you! See what happens. Reality here moves like mercury, not iron. In my realm, stones on the beach are black embers, barely cooled. Leaves raven-sheeny in red moonlight. That sound you hear is not wind but souls drifting past. Wind a deft pianist and every leaf another key. I’ve given up flying because thought is faster. If I only need to go short distances—hell, the walk will do me good.”

Dead Crow. Charcoal sunfire. Bleak prophet. Speaks with a slitted grin.

“In my realm, thought translates directly into reality. Karma stops lying on its ass in front of the TV all day. Equal forces are met with equal and instant reactions. You think you hate your enemy and want him dead, and CAAW!—he’s dead. You wonder one summer afternoon why grass isn’t orange instead of green, and before your eyes the entire landscape turns Mandarin Impressionist. You think something hurtful about the person you love and she cries. Suddenly loving becomes much, much simpler. Then again, maybe not.” 

Dead Crow. World sculptor. Michelangelo of tongues. Sings in a broken key.

“Once I was white as the Arctic Circle, pristine as sunlight on a wall. Once, my world was green and full of flowers, just like this one—meadows alive with birdsong, streams flowing mountain crystal. Then one day Skunk came by. “Be careful, Crow,” she said. “Be proud of your thought magic and all the wonderful things it makes. But be careful.” It was then I began to realize—I was a god!”

Dead Crow. Stone render. Planet furnace. Semen of dusky angels.

“Every day, Skunk would come by and warn me, “Be careful.” At first, I just laughed her off. But gradually my patience flaked away like mica. Finally one day, when Skunk came into my sight, I exploded—a total eclipse of rage. I envisioned my world engulfed in flame and it was so—every living thing charred black. Now I was Dead Crow, King of Shadows.”

Dead Crow. Black curtain slasher. Hell-delver. Well of constant sorrow.

“Dawn Bringers and World Seeders that they are, the Makers sensed a great threat. With power like that I could black out an entire galaxy. In the past, only the coiling, bottomless throats of black holes could do that. Something had to be done. But I’m nobody’s fool. A simple frontal attack would never work on me. Trickery would have to be employed. So the Council of Gods invited me to a banquet as guest of honour. “A tribute to your genius,” they said. Damn my vanity!”

Dead Crow. Galaxy burner. Star furnace. Last among godly equals.

“But, Oh—I was a brilliant sight—feathers white-hot, a prime specimen of White Crow clan. Goddesses purred over me, stroking my plumage into light. Gods praised me for my mental powers, to turn an entire world black like that. Their singers sang me songs. Poets composed epic verses—all to commemorate Dead Crow’s great deed. I confess, I let myself get sloppy with wine, dancing on the table, answering song with song, poem with poem, joke with joke. Did they butter me up!”

Dead Crow. White star blossom. Snowfire bard. Master of song shards.

“Next thing I knew, the Makers set a mirror on the table with liquid surface still as a pond. “What will I see?” I asked. “The truth of yourself,” they said. But—Oh gods! What I saw—! My beautiful white feathers—black as coal in the belly of rock! Black as the world my thought had consumed! Desperately I turned to stare into a silver platter, hoping it wasn’t so. But no! I was black, black, BLACK!”

Dead Crow. Black matter king. Brokenwing god. Messenger of tears.

“What have you done to me?” I screamed. “We’ve shown you the truth of yourself,” said the Makers. “But I only used the power you gave me,” I protested. “How was I supposed to know how dangerous it could be?” But the party was over and they were in no mood for discussion. Said they had a job for me. Made me step up to the mirror again. Sober now, my every step quivered. A weird incantation was uttered. Found myself being pulled inside the mirror in a slurry of atoms. Thought I was being torn apart, yet I felt no pain.”

Dead Crow. Dark mirror diver. Blank slate diviner. Voice of all regrets in one.

“When my vision cleared I had to check all my parts. Found myself on a completely unfamiliar world. Gradually I realized this was the place they call Earth. “But WHY?” I begged. “Why take me from my home?” To my shock, my lovely singing voice—once the pride of White Crow clan—rasped horribly. I tried to sing once or twice more but it was no use. I’m not ashamed to say I wept. Lifting on an updraft, I slid over forests and fields. Time weighed like the sun on my wings. My guts felt a terrible sense of millennia washing over me. Didn’t know how long I could take it. Decided to smash myself into the highest crag I could find—just get it over with. Then there was that voice again—the Makers. “You must not die, Crow. You are our Watcher, and this is now your home.” “But for how long, how LONG?” I demanded. But too late.” 

Dead Crow. Earth wanderer. World watcher. Quintessence of loneliness.

“You can imagine the comedown—from Sovereign of Shades, Alchemist of Secrets, Magi of Creation—to a lowly carrion eater. From a thousand languages to a hinge’s rusty growl. And in this galactic backwater! Worst of all, a scavenger kicked around by Humans, who shit their own nests. Prisoner and warder in one—freedom a distant, torturing dream.”

Dead Crow.Crab Nebula outlaw. Dog star wild card. Cassiopeia’s Twilight Angel.

“I’ve seen a helluva lot over the millennia. I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two in in 40,000 years. 1 You want me to start coughing up the secrets? Fine. The Book of Secrets is bound in crow feathers. You want all the arcane equations? Hyperspace, wormholes, time travel? Listen—I’ve seen the universe spread in every direction like strings of pearls. Every pearl another world, another dimension skating sideways across time. Past, present and future the nexus of thought. And every thought another world budding on the World Tree.”

Dead Crow. Stormcloud dancer. Dimension-bender. Shaman incognito.

“My time has ended. Yours is just beginning. You want evolution? Give me somebody who can think before they act. Give me poets who translate straight from Earth’s core. Her signs and wonders are not in vain. Her secrets are ours. You think this world is everything there is? We see the stars from the bottom of a well. This reality we signed on for—this world order? We can agree it has failed and sign off. Make up a new one.”

Dead Crow grins that long-beaked grin that has been the envy of every great smart-ass since the dawn of Time.

“But then again, I could be lying. Why not find out for yourself?”

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David Bowie One Year On: Blackstar Rising

INTRODUCTION: Anniversaries are often significant, painful milestones for the grieving, especially the first anniversary following the death of someone special. As I wrote last year when Bowie died, I was broadsided—shocked even—by the intensity of my grief. Once again on January 10th—the first anniversary of his death—I felt a profound sadness at his loss, a melancholy creeping in and suffusing my day, prompting this prose poem, Blackstar Rising.

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Bowie circa mid-1990s. Photo Mayayoshi Sukita.

In the poem I refer to the fact that Bowie was an avid reader and was known to carry a suitcase of books with him during his tours. By one estimate he ended up with a library of some 45,000 books. This is one reason for his brilliance—reversing the principle of ‘garbage in, garbage out,’ it’s ‘brilliance in, brilliance out.’ And it’s one reason why so many current celebrities seem to create such paper-thin work: they clearly don’t read much. All part of the general ‘dumbing down’ that’s occurred over the past several decades. It’s a shame Bowie had no interest in writing his autobiography, but then you get a pretty good idea of his thinking by listening to his interviews over the years. Most celebrity interviews are vacuous at worst, merely entertaining at best. Not so with Bowie. His wide-ranging interests—as I write, “from Crowley to Nietzsche, Blake to Jeff Beck, English music hall to Broadway”—would have made any interviewer’s job a rare treat. (Another example would be Jeff Martin of The Tea Party, whom I interviewed for this blog in 2011: https://chameleonfire1.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/jeff-martin-the-erudite-rock-star/)

Modern celebrities would do well to learn by Bowie’s example, not just in the importance of a wide and deep reading habit, but also in his handling of fame with such gentlemanly grace, “speaking softly in Oxford shoes.” To his credit, he avoided the cockfighting arena of social media, something the President-elect of the United States could learn from. But then, for all his cultivation of media images of himself, Bowie doesn’t seem to have been much of a narcissist. For him, it was all theatre—a total immersion in art. It’s as he says in the newly released BBC documentary The Last Five Years (before the lawyers got it removed from YouTube), “You get into this so you can express yourself as a way of discovering how you relate to the society you live in.” (Not an exact quote.) What began in the ’60s as an adolescent urge for fame had clearly matured into a realization of his real motive—the artist’s unstoppable urge to create. Despite the offhand callousness of youth and the excess of the Seventies, Bowie had the grace to age well. He seemed as much committed to becoming a better person as a better artist. By all accounts he’d come a long way from the days of firing the Spiders from Mars on the final night of a tour with no prior warning. “Aging is an extraordinary process whereby you become the person you always should have been,” he said later in life.

And like a slow-motion supernova, radiating as much light as the Sun during a brief lifespan, David Bowie shone brilliantly before collapsing like a Blackstar to mortality.

Blackstar Rising

Sean Arthur Joyce

Our Jean Genie, our Rebel Rebel, our Major Tom, our Aladdin Sane, our Thin White Duke. Andromedan[1] astronaut, marooned alien, rock star boy. Outside chance in a million whose pen struck stardust. Dragging your suitcase library from Station to Station.

Wild-Eyed Boy, Wild as the Wind. Walking the streets of Supermen, demigods and half-wits. Speaking softly in Oxford shoes. From Crowley to Nietzsche, Blake to Jeff Beck, English music hall to Broadway. You strike fire from ashes, turn junkyard mutts to Diamond Dogs.

Brixton shapeshifter, flame-haired Coyote, heart too weak to resist love. O you who loved All the Madmen crammed in their German Expressionist garrets. O you, who loved the fey boys straining on their chairs for a better look at Ziggy.

And all the silver screen refugees you paroled for a day. Rule Britannia and all its bastard empires permanently out of bounds. The Man Who Sold the World a gravedigger on Wall Street. Ashes to Ashes you will never be—

Blackstar rising—the event of event horizon. Memory of moisture in the blood-dust of Mars and always, always Loving the Alien. Man of many masks—in the end you became transparent, clear as arctic air. A leaf pulling nourishment from the sun, lungs thinning to smoke.

You saw the Beast for what it was, early on, and named it Fame—that scruffy Lucifer “crouching in its overalls,” fixing us in its hypnotic stare. Beelzebub who puts a world under its spell, mistaking the ‘selfie’ for the soul.

Master of Alchemy, Heathen priest, exile from Tir ná Nog.[2] The Cracked Actor rewriting his lines: “Forget that I’m sixty cause you just got paid.” Picture of Dorian Gray—beautiful to the last, exquisitely laboured breath of song. Your heart mothwings faltering on a windowpane.

No Ché Guevara slumped over a smoking barrel in a Detroit hovel could bribe Time, “whose trick is you and me,” endlessly born and dying, born and dying. This—a life lived—your only lesson, Fantastic Voyageur. To burn and burn and burn to the last scrap of wick.

© 2017 Sean Arthur Joyce

[1] According to Wikipedia, “The Andromeda Galaxy… is a spiral galaxy approximately 780 kiloparsecs (2.5 million light-years) from Earth. It is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way and was often referred to as the Great Andromeda Nebula in older texts.”

[2] Tir ná Nog is the mythological Land of Eternal Youth of Irish mythological lore.

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The New Prog Masters Part 1: The Inheritors

“Why, why do we suffer each race to believe/ That no race has been grander.” —Genesis, Time Table, from Foxtrot

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One of Prog Rock’s godfathers: Steve Hackett. Courtesy Wikimedia.

As Mark Twain once quipped, “Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” It’s a statement that applies equally to modern Prog Rock. Okay, so I’ve been living under a rock when it comes to the current state of Prog Rock, or Progressive Music as Steve Hackett and others prefer to call it. With the devolving of radio—once the margin zone where new and innovative artists were launched—into demographically programmed commerce, it’s tough for anyone beyond global celebrities to get any attention. Possibly our best equivalent to college radio now (besides those few college stations still on air) is YouTube. It’s the positive side of Google algorithms—once it sees that you’ve been listening to the classic Prog acts it puts newer Prog bands into your search results. This has introduced me to a whole stable of bands continuing the grand tradition—The Flower Kings, Haken, Unitopia, Transatlantic, Magic Pie, Riverside, et al.

Like it or not, aging tends to make you something of a traditionalist. Pound for pound, the ’70s produced more classic albums than any era before or since. It truly was the Golden Era of Prog. But there are clear inheritors of the tradition. With a caveat: while there are some exceptional instrumentalists out there now, unique voices like Jon Anderson, Peter Gabriel and Greg Lake don’t exactly grow on trees. So allow me to make up for my ignorance and the oversight of mainstream media by recommending a list of recent Prog albums that could very well earn the status of classics in years to come.

  1. The Flower Kings: Flower Power, Banks of Eden and Desolation Rose. Having been immersed in this band in recent weeks, it’s tough to choose only one album as a potential classic. Their closest musical counterpart in the Prog canon would clearly be Genesis, although their vocals at times reach the soaring heights of Yes. Bandleader and guitarist Roine Stolt has even performed with Steve Hackett on his Genesis Revisisted tours. Stolt maintains a seemingly superhuman work schedule, contributing not only to solo efforts by other band members but also performing with the ‘Prog supergroup’ Transatlantic. And it’s Stolt’s guitar stylings that both connect the Kings to Genesis and carve out his own sonic niche.
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Roine Stolt, guitarist and brainchild behind The Flower Kings. Courtesy Wikimedia.

As to picking the cream of their crop, several epic tracks that predate Banks of Eden and Desolation Rose are a no-brainer for any Prog fan: Stardust We Are (from the album of the same name), The Truth Will Set You Free (from Unfold the Future), and of course the entire Garden of Dreams suite that comprises Flower Power. On these earlier albums the grand scope of these marathon compositions echoes epic classics like Supper’s Ready, with the same dizzying shifts of mood, rhythm, and eccentric phrasing. Space Revolver is an excellent example of this, its complex structure nevertheless as seamless as Pink Floyd’s multifaceted classic Dark Side of the Moon, with electronic flourishes reminiscent of that timeless album. Like so much of the best Prog, it’s a challenging listen, impossible to take in at one sitting.

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The Flower Kings’ 2013 album Banks of Eden. Courtesy band website.

Even the compositional trajectory of The Flower Kings subtly mimics that of Genesis, from the epic-length tracks of Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot to the more song-oriented works found on later classics such as Selling England by the Pound and A Trick of the Tail. (Hopefully they avoid imitating the descent of Genesis into the Phil Collins Pop Band.) The Kings’ most recent albums, Banks of Eden (2012) and Desolation Rose (2013), have reached an ideal synthesis of Prog transcendentalism with tight, focused songwriting. Gone are most of the meandering tempo shifts, replaced by a crispness and concision riding a muscular rhythm section. This remedies a weakness seen all too often on earlier albums, which were padded out to well over an hour with songs or instrumental rambles that were competently executed but ultimately forgettable. The trend began with Paradox Hotel, which employs a similar technique of powerfully tight numbers, but only occasionally mints a gem (such as the title track), whereas Banks of Eden and Desolation Rose are consistent throughout. Masterful stuff. http://www.flowerkings.se/discography.php

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    Norway’s Magic Pie: inheritors of the Prog Rock tradition. Courtesy band website.

    Magic Pie: The Suffering Joy. Over the course of their 10-year career to date, Norway’s Magic Pie have released four powerful albums, including The Suffering Joy—my pick for an instant Prog classic and winner of the Best of the Year album for 2011 at the Sea of Tranquility readers’ poll. Eirikur Hauksson’s lead vocals are rich and expressive, the lyrics of lead opus A Life’s Work gripping us instantly with its philosophical ruminations, grappling with questions that have plagued philosophers since Plato. As a writer, this is precisely what made me more of a Yes fan than a Bad Company fan, more a Gentle Giant fan than a Foghat fan, although I also loved the blues-based hard rock of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Magic Pie’s lockstep polyrhythms—a staple of Prog—are laced with just enough crunching guitar to keep the proceedings from descending into Prog jazz, my least favourite offshoot of the genre. As with many of their contemporaries in the field, the guitars tend more toward hard rock or metal than folk or classical, as with classic acts Yes and Genesis. Magic Pie’s first two albums Motions of Desire and Circus of Life are also worthy compositions, demonstrating consistent growth and musical complexity. http://www.magicpie.net

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    Haken performing at the 2014 Ino Rock Festival. Courtesy Wikimedia.

     

    Haken: The Mountain. Haken is another modern Prog outfit that favours a heavy metal edge to their guitar sound but these guys are no mere Marshall stack riffers. Thankfully, current Prog bands are savvy enough to dispense with the demonic growl that passes for vocals in Death Metal or Thrash in favour of singers who can actually sing. As with Magic Pie, vocals alternate between the resonant clarity of Haken’s Ross Jennings and harmonies in the choruses and bridges. With the range of tonal colourings available to keyboardists these days, it’s no surprise that Haken’s range is broad—from piano stylings to classic Moog-like tones. The Mountain maintains the Prog tradition of following the thread of a theme all the way through the album while not necessarily being a ‘concept’ album. (Concept albums require an intimate familiarity with the literary sources that inspire them, a literacy few musicians seem to have.) However, when it comes to the Fathers of Prog, Haken are no ignoramuses. They demonstrate their vocal dexterity on songs like The Cockroach King, which employs Gentle Giant-style multi-layered polyphonics—likely an homage to songs like Knots on Octopus. This technique crops up again later in Somebody but is integrated seamlessly enough to avoid seeming gimmicky. Because It’s There exhibits a classical choral structure to the opening vocals. Still, compared to The Flower Kings, these guys are definitely heavier, erring occasionally on the side of metal bombast where the Kings sometimes err on the side of jazzy noodling. I found Haken’s albums Visions and Aquarius equally compelling, but perhaps not as fully integrated a musical statement as The Mountain. http://www.hakenmusic.com/music

            CONTINUED WITH PART TWO: The New Prog Masters: All About the Music

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The Blues Comeback of 2016-17

In a year that many will be all too happy to see the back of with so many tragic losses in the music world, the blues seems to have made something of a comeback. Surprising everyone, the Rolling Stones released Blue and Lonesome, their first new album in over a decade and first ever all-blues album. For my money, it’s the strongest album they’ve done since Exile on Main Street and Goat’s Head Soup. The muse only seems to grant artists a limited number of classic originals, so few of their recent studio albums have been particularly memorable. And the further the Stones stray from their blues roots, the more lost they seem. The closest Mick and the boys got to the kind of raw vitality heard on Blue and Lonesome was their mid-90s venture Stripped. A sideways take on the ‘unplugged’ trend of the day, the set breathed new life into their old classics, including rare oddities like The Spider and the Fly, probably not performed since it was originally recorded 30 years earlier in 1965. With their global stature, let’s hope the new album will provide a trickle-down effect that helps all blues artists.

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John Mayall at the Royal Blues Pub, Nelson BC 2011. Photo Sean Arthur Joyce

Of course, the blues remains a perennial and vital genre of music. But its heydays seem mostly in the past now as the greats leave us, most recently B.B. King. With a few notable exceptions like Porter Davis, Derek Trucks and Joe Bonamassa, younger musicians seem more intent on creating New Folk or Alt Folk than in exploring the blues. As the Boomers have reached senior citizen status, the music that underpinned a generation of astonishing music is fading with them. The sheer range of genres the blues has influenced is breathtaking—from the early rock ’n roll of Elvis and Chuck Berry through the English blues scene of the mid-60s with Alexis Korner and the ever-durable John Mayall, boogie rockers the likes of Savoy Brown and Foghat, and even hard rock pioneers Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. I find it strange that so many young black artists have chosen to pursue gangsta rap or vapid pop music. It’s as if they’ve lost touch with their own roots—the gospel, soul, funk and blues that spurred the greatest musical revolution in history.

Music promoter extraordinaire Frank Roszak seems intent on countering this faltering trend, with a massive stable of blues artists from across North America. Since I published my review of Holly & Jon’s Shufflin’ the Blues, Roszak contacted me and has been sending me review copies of the bands he represents. It’s refreshing to know that so many musicians see the blues as their life path. Again, however, most of the artists in Roszak’s stable seem to be in the 40-plus age bracket, even 50-plus. And most of them, interestingly, seem to be white, in contrast to the original blues greats. Many of them are paying reverential tribute to their blues heroes, like Derrick Procell’s shout-outs to the legendary Howlin’ Wolf on Why I Choose to Sing the Blues. The CD sticker that reads ‘New Blues, Old Souls’ sums it up. Let’s face it: no one could ever replace the growlin’ baritone of the Wolf. But Procell and collaborator Terry Abrahamson stay true to the spirit of the legend. At times Procell’s voice and groove reminds me of Seventies era Steve Winwood. The arrangements are superb, and original songs like The Eyes of Mississippi  and The Wolf Will Howl Again have the potential to become New Blues standards in their own right.  (http://www.derrickprocell.com/aboutderrick.html)

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Lisa Biales has released a joyful, stirring new blues album.

Just out is Lisa Biales’ album The Beat of My Heart, inspired in part by her mother Alberta Robert’s pressing of the song Crying Over You in 1947. Biales doesn’t have the typical blues-mama voice steeped in whiskey and cigarettes—it’s a little too pristine for that—but she nails the good-time spirit of the blues, propelled by groovin’ horns and gospel choruses. This is a solid, joyful blues album that could easily capture for Biales the career in music her mother was unable to pursue. At times Lisa’s voice reminds me of the crystal clarity of Holly Hyatt on Shufflin’ the Blues. It’s a deeply personal effort and a powerful life journey for Biales, from finding the 78 of her mother’s record to making her own album in Studio City, California with Grammy Award winning producer Tony Braunagel. http://www.lisabiales.com

Jack Mack and the Heart Attack Horns—another Roszak stablemate—has released Back to the Shack, another album that reads like a tribute to the greats, with elements of country blues and soul confidently delivered. The album features a guest spot with the legendary Mike Finnigan, a keyboard player who may not be a household name but who’s played with the greats as far back as Jimi Hendrix. The band was discovered in 1981 by Glenn Frey of the Eagles, who generously helped arrange their first recording. Back to the Shack lists as inspiration a Who’s Who of Blues and Soul, including James Brown, B.B. King, Solomon Burke, Otis Redding and “so many others.” Singer Mark Campbell’s vocals clearly recall these greats with a fluency and ease that seems effortless. http://www.jackmack.com

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Canada’s own Smoke Wagon Blues Band are based in Hamilton, Ontario, featuring Corey Luck on vocals and harp. Courtesy band website.

We Canadians can rock ’n roll or shuffle the blues with the best of them, as the Smoke Wagon Blues Band’s new album Cigar Store proves. Once again this is blues to boogie to, built on the unbreakable chassis of Hammond organ, sax, blues harp and guitar. Fronted by vocalist and harp blower Corey Lueck, often the band’s original compositions explore historical themes, a penchant shared by many Canadian artists, from Colin James and Colin Linden in the blues to Bruce Cockburn, James Keelaghan and Stephen Fearing in folk. Driven by Lueck’s harp groove, Hoodoo Woman is a standout track that pays tribute to Junior Wells’ Hoodoo Man Blues while carving out its own niche. There aren’t many of the original blues harp masters still standing so it’s a joy to hear Lueck blowing up a storm. He and Jagger on Blue and Lonesome are breathing fire into a revered tradition of blues harp masters. Bravo! http://www.smokewagonbluesband.com

Like the Smoke Wagon Blues Band, Mississippi Heat on Cab Driving Man serve up their blues with Chicago flair. But with a genuine blues mama—Inetta Visor—handling vocals, you can hear echoes of Big Mama Thornton or Sister Rosetta Tharpe. It came as a shock to me that Mississippi Heat have been around for 25 years, led by blues harp player extraordinaire Pierre Lacocque. The fact that I’d never heard of them is perhaps indicative of the fact that the blues has lost much of its prominence in the public mind. That, combined with the advent of the million-channel universe made possible by the Internet, makes it much harder for accomplished veterans like this to rise above the crowd. The playing is consistently excellent throughout. This band would heat up any room with bodies in motion. http://mississippiheat.net

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Mississippi Heat are 25 year veterans of the American blues scene. Photo by Yvan Couillard, courtesy band website.

One of the greatest discoveries of the albums Roszak has sent me is the new Reverend Freakchild release Preachin’ Blues, a selection of stripped down blues classics including In My Time of Dyin’, Preachin’ Blues and Grinnin’ in Your Face. The Reverend is digging deep, performing solo acoustic Delta blues on National resonator guitar and harmonica. Here’s the thing: when I first put this album on, I could have sworn it was a black man’s voice, but it isn’t. This is one white dude with soul. Reverend Freakchild’s loose, conversational performances eerily echo the originals he’s quoting: Son House, Blind Lemon Johnson, and the Reverend Gary Davis. This is how it all started, folks—a lone guy on the front porch beatin’ the devil out of his guitar. Although his harp work is more reminiscent of Bob Dylan than Junior Wells, it melds seamlessly with his metal resonator. Consistent with the eclecticism of 21st century spirituality, his ‘preaching’ is more “philosophical investigation” than Bible-thumping, yearning for the light even as he acknowledges that, “death is part of life.” A more true-blue blues message would be hard to find. http://www.www-reverendfreakchild.org/bio/

 

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Review: ‘Forgotten’ documentary disappointing

“The act of uprooting children and sending them, alone, across the ocean to work in a strange land… must be regarded as one of the most Draconian measures in the entire history of children in English-speaking society. Its impact on the life of a sensitive child—even one who was placed in reasonable circumstances—is difficult to measure, sometimes even difficult to imagine.” —Kenneth Bagnell, The Little Immigrants[1]

The real reason poor British children were brought to Canada—to work. From the image on the 2010 Canada Post stamp. Image: Library and Archives Canada

The real reason poor British children were brought to Canada—to work. From the image on the 2010 Canada Post stamp. Image: Library and Archives Canada

  1. Digging Deep vs. Going Shallow

Competent but shallow—a kind of Coles Notes version of the history of the British Home Children in Canada. That’s how I would describe Forgotten, the new documentary directed by Eleanor McGrath. Like a capable actor, she hits all her marks and gets her lines right—hitting all the essential points of this shameful chapter in Canadian history—but never manages to fully connect with the emotional core of the issue. In fact, at times, she seems to deliberately pull back from the raw emotion lurking just beneath the surface.

'Laying the Children's Ghosts' cover. Courtesy Hagios Press.

‘Laying the Children’s Ghosts’ cover. Courtesy Hagios Press.

What’s telling here—and in the 7 years of research I did for my own book on the subject, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest[2]—is just how close to the surface that woundedness is for many British Home Children and their descendants. Often the same is true of war veterans—it’s well known that trauma changes neural circuitry in the brain, so the emotions associated with a traumatic event are easily triggered when the memory is recalled, even a half-century later. For me the single most powerful moment of Forgotten is when an elderly gentleman is recalling his arrival at his Canadian host’s farm. “The sense of loneliness…” he begins, but grief chokes off the rest of his sentence. Yet even here, McGrath quickly cuts to the next scene, as if afraid to linger in the full potency of that moment.

Certainly not all of the Home Children were badly treated, and McGrath seems to focus heavily on the positive experiences in her interviews. To her credit, she includes an interview clip from one such individual, Harry Thompson, who admits that while he was one of the lucky ones, many of the rest were treated “like slaves.” Another poignant moment in the film comes with the interview of Peterborough Home Children advocate Ivy Sucee, whose father was a ‘Barnardo boy.’ (Barnardo’s, founded by Dr. Thomas J. Barnardo, was responsible for sending to Canada some 30,000 of the 100,000 total child immigrants.) She tells the story of him being forced to sleep in the barn and having to go out in pre-dawn darkness to dig vegetables to feed himself. This was far from an uncommon experience for these children.

Child emigration was a poor solution to the poverty created by the Industrial Revolution. Image public domain

Child emigration was a poor solution to the poverty created by the Industrial Revolution. Image public domain

Also to her credit, McGrath interviews Home Children descendants who note the lingering sense of loss due to the separation from their families of origin. Many only discovered their Home Child connections in late middle age, by which time family members in Britain had passed away, robbing Canadian descendants of the potential to reconnect. Even among those who did learn the story before Home Child parents or grandparents died, some seemed to suffer an emotional hollowing out. In this regard, Sandra Joyce’s story of a father who gradually became more and more distant carries a deep tragic resonance. A common theme amongst descendants is that their Home Children parents seemed incapable of expressing affection or love, a legacy of being treated as servants at best, beasts of burden at worst.

McGrath also makes no mention of the Home Children who suffered sexual abuse. Just this week while I was selling books at a local Christmas craft fair, I had an elderly woman come up to me and confess that her uncle had been a ‘Barnardo boy’ who was molested and subsequently molested her as a girl. Multiply that across the 100,000 original Home Children sent to Canada and their four million descendants and I’m willing to bet you’ll find a lot more such incidents. But the deep shame that comes with sexual abuse has kept them mostly silent. In Children’s Ghosts I wrote about two such scandals, one at the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School on Vancouver Island[3] and another with Barnardo’s former Canadian superintendent of operations Alfred Owen,[4] both quickly hushed up by perpetrators and government alike.

To be fair to McGrath, she is not a Home Child descendant, so connecting with these emotional legacies may be difficult. Her interest was sparked by an encounter with the aging Fegan’s distribution home building at 295 George Street, Toronto that had been slated for demolition. (Fegan’s was one of the many child emigration agencies in Britain that brought children to Canada.) Still, it’s the filmmaker’s job to use their creative and empathic powers to connect with emotions that may be foreign to them. She gets close to this with Home Children interviewees who speak of the pain of being stigmatized as children, called “street rats,” and “gutter rats.” Yet she misses a golden opportunity to give an in-depth picture of what it would have been like for a Home Child living and working on a Canadian farm. There’s no shortage of primary source material for these experiences—most notably Phyllis Harrison’s excellent The Home Children,[5] composed entirely of the words of the Home Children themselves.

  1. The Value of Apology

Although McGrath in her recent TV Ontario (TVO) interview with Steve Paikin[6] claims to take no position on an official government apology to the Home Children, she loads up the final reel of Forgotten with those who say they don’t want one. If she was truly striving for a balanced narrative that allows viewers to make up their own minds, she should have interviewed equally those who are for an apology. And instead of only interviewing MP Phil McColeman, who sees no need for an official apology, a balanced approach calls for equal face time with MP Alex Atamanenko, who championed an apology motion in Parliament before his retirement, or with his successor, Richard Cannings, who brought the motion forward as one of his first acts as a newly elected MP this spring. McGrath also avoids mentioning that two of her interviewees, Lori Oschefsky and Sandra Joyce, are circulating apology petitions. As Oschefsky aptly points out in the film, “Britain was the richest country in the Empire. They should have cared for these children in their own country.”

And where is McGrath’s research into the responses to the British and Australian official government apologies in 2009 and 2010? In Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest, I wrote of the reaction of Marjorie (Arnison) Skidmore, who was sent to Canada with the Fairbridge Farm Schools program: “When Patricia and her mother attended Prime Minister (Gordon) Brown’s apology in London, a reporter asked Marjorie where she felt she belonged. In recent years she had become close to her English relatives, rebuilding family ties that had been lost. ‘She had to think abut it,’ Patricia recalls, ‘and with determination said, ‘I belong in Canada with my children.’ It took her 73 years to be able to say that and it was Brown’s apology I believe that allowed her to move forward in this way, and accept her past.’”[7] Skidmore is just one of many Home Children who felt a sense of closure as a result of an official apology.

Early group of girls at Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School in Duncan, BC. Courtesy Ron Smith / Fairbridge Chapel Society

Early group of girls at Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School in Duncan, BC. Courtesy Ron Smith / Fairbridge Chapel Society

This isn’t rocket science, it’s a basic principle of human psychology. “Apology is not just a social nicety,” writes Beverly Engel in Psychology Today.[8] “It is an important ritual, a way of showing respect and empathy for the wronged person. … While an apology cannot undo harmful past actions, if done sincerely and effectively, it can undo the negative effects of those actions.”[9] It’s also a founding principle of restorative justice programs, which treat crime not with punishment but with restitution between perpetrators and victims, starting with an apology.[10]

In psychological terms, what you don’t feel, you can’t heal. Most victims of trauma or abuse had to repress their feelings as children in order to survive psychologically. Thus, the work of recovery is facilitated by bringing long-repressed feelings back to consciousness, so that they may be fully integrated in a healthy way. In Children’s Ghosts, I wrote about the science of epigenetics, first established in cross-generational studies of Holocaust families[11] and now being extended to First Nations survivors of residential schools.[12] These studies have established that the expression of the gene is impacted by social environment, so that PTSD victims transmit symptoms to their children who were not exposed to the original trauma.

By pretending an apology has no effect, we merely fall into the trap of perpetuating the misguided Victorian ethos of, “We don’t talk about feelings here. Just suck it up and get over it.” This was the very ethos that justified everything from the slave trade to child labour. With any such justification, the essential question is: Who benefits? In Children’s Ghosts I write that in the case of child migration, it was quite clearly the architects of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, who offloaded the costs of their pursuit of profit on society. And from an epigenetic standpoint, the ‘No Talk, No Feel Rule’ merely perpetuates the effects of trauma down the generations.

First group of Fairbridge boys on a farm school still forming, 1936. Photo courtesy Ron Smith / Fairbridge Chapel Society

First group of Fairbridge boys on a farm school still forming, 1936. Note how young some of the boys are. Photo courtesy Ron Smith / Fairbridge Chapel Society

So why is it okay to offer an official apology to Native residential school survivors, or the survivors of Japanese-Canadian war internment camps, but not Home Children families? This year Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even apologized for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, when a boatload of Sikh immigrants were turned away from Canada.[13] Why the double standard?

Sadly, the no apology ‘consensus’ implied by Forgotten reinforces the status quo. MP Richard Cannings recently sent to me the response of the Parliamentary Secretary to his apology motion.[14] It reads, in part: “It is generally agreed that their living and working conditions were poorly supervised in Canada, leaving the children vulnerable to abuse and prejudice. It is only right that Canadians remember the Home Children/Child Migrants and the contribution they and their descendants have made to the development of our country.” But then, as if saying, “We think we’ve done enough on this issue,” the statement points to the Canadian government declaration of 2010 as the ‘Year of the Home Child,’ the unveiling of a Canada Post stamp the same year, the installation of commemorative plaques at the former receiving home in Stratford, Ontario, and historic sites and museums at Grosse Isle, Quebec and Pier 21 in Halifax. “Library and Archives Canada,” it continues, “has worked in cooperation with Home Children stakeholder groups to make key archival information available to former Home Children and their descendants,” and that is certainly a strong mark in their favour. In addition, “The Canadian Museum of History and Telefilm Canada have also worked to document the history of the child migrant movement in Canada,” and some years ago the CBC produced a documentary.

What McGrath does get right is the fact that no child in a Canadian school should grow to adulthood ignorant of this important aspect of our history. Something that affects 1 in 10 Canadians cannot be consigned to the dustbin of history. But if all we learn of this or any history is ‘just the facts,’ stripped of context and impact, then our understanding of it remains shallow. And the possibility of learning to avoid the mistakes and crimes of history is lost. If that’s how history continues to be taught, no wonder kids hate it. Surely we can do better.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Kenneth Bagnell, The Little Immigrants: The Orphans Who Came to Canada, Macmillan Canada, Toronto, 1980, p. 242.

[2] Sean Arthur Joyce, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Canada’s Home Children in the West, Hagios Press, Regina, 2014.

[3] Sean Arthur Joyce, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Canada’s Home Children in the West, Hagios Press, Regina, 2014, p. 252.

[4] Sean Arthur Joyce, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Canada’s Home Children in the West, Hagios Press, Regina, 2014, pp. 142–43.

[5] Phyllis Harrison, editor, The Home Children: Their Personal Stories, Watson & Dwyer Publishing, Winnipeg, 1979, out of print but available through abebooks.com.

[6] http://tvo.org/blog/current-affairs/bringing-forgotten-british-home-children-out-of-the-shadows

[7] Sean Arthur Joyce, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Canada’s Home Children in the West, Hagios Press, Regina, 2014, p. 273.

[8] Beverly Engel, ‘The Power of Apology,’ Psychology Today, July 1, 2002, https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200207/the-power-apology

[9] See also Benjamin Ho, ‘A Theory of Apologies,’ Stanford Business School thesis, 2005: “Beyond the use of apologies in daily interpersonal interactions, apologies appear in organizational design, political reputations, legal litigation, international relations, corporate governance, and beyond.” http://web.stanford.edu/group/peg/Papers%20for%20call/ho-apologies-mar2005-draft.pdf

[10] According to the Centre for Justice and Reconciliation: The foundational principles of restorative justice have been summarized as follows: 1) Crime causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm; 2) the people most affected by the crime should be able to participate in its resolution; 3) the responsibility of the government is to maintain order and of the community to build peace. http://restorativejustice.org/restorative-justice/about-restorative-justice/tutorial-intro-to-restorative-justice/lesson-1-what-is-restorative-justice/

[11] Charles Portney, ‘Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma: An Introduction for the Clinician,’ 2003; Melissa C. Kahane-Nissenbaum, ‘Exploring Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma in Third Generation Holocaust Survivors,’ 2011, Scholarly Commons; Margaret McNay, ‘Absent Memory, Family Secrets, Narrative Inheritance,’ 2009, University of Western Ontario.

[12] To cite only one such study: Bombay, Matheson, and Anisman, ‘Intergenerational Trauma: Convergence of Multiple Processes among First Nations peoples in Canada,’ Carleton University Institute of Neuroscience / Department of Psychology.

[13] ‘Justin Trudeau apologizes in House for 1914 Komagata Maru incident, CBC News, May 18, 2016, http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/komagata-maru-live-apology-1.3587827

[14] Private email to the author, December 2, 2016, with attachment, Parliamentary response to Private Members Bill M-51, available upon request.

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Shattered Hallelujah: Tribute to Leonard Cohen

Shattered Hallelujah

 

Darkness closes its fist

over the season, November rain

clamps down the sky, the day

awash in night’s wreckage.

Summer’s cumulus gone, clouds

prick my bones with steely fingers,

a flute straining for music.

 

One by one, the great voices

leave us—Bowie,[1] Cohen,[2] Emerson,[3]

Squire[4]—shards spun

from the wheel of light,

setting the mind’s borealis aflame.

 

When shadows are hip deep,

do we keep walking? Or learn

to swim, eyeless in the depths?

If we befriend grief, will it leave

a bread crumb trail out of the forest?

 

How will we sing when we can only

cry? O voices of the holy word,

the holy song, strike flint in my marrow,

lend your breath to a starving flame,

warm away the moisture

that creeps beneath the skin.

 

Teach us again the shattered Hallelujah,

that we may fling its broken body

in the face of remorseless gods

and starless nights.

 

©2016 Sean Arthur Joyce

 

[1] David Bowie, musician, actor, artist, 1947–2016.

[2] Leonard Cohen, poet, musician, 1934–2016.

[3] Keith Emerson, keyboard player/composer for Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1944–2016.

[4] Chris Squire, bass player & founding member of the band Yes, 1948–2015.

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Trumplandia: The Shadow’s Ascendancy

“An enemy is like a treasure found in my house, won without labour of mine; I must cherish him, for he is a helper in the way of Enlightenment.”[1] —Santi-Deva

“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.” —George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw. Courtesy Wikipedia.

George Bernard Shaw. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Art has its reasons that reason doesn’t fully comprehend. I’m sure someone has said that somewhere, or if they haven’t, they should have. (The actual quote has to do with the heart, the famous Woody Allen quip.) With the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency, the great irony is that this living embodiment of the human shadow may well act as catalyst for some truly revolutionary art and—let’s hope—social change. The decades-long hegemony of postmodernism and obfuscation in art and literature may well be given a much-needed kick in the ass. This is the final nail in the coffin of the hoary adage that politics has no place in art—a notion undoubtedly perpetuated by the economic elites themselves, for obvious reasons.

As Dan Piepenbring of the Paris Review wrote the day after the election: “The creative impulse is such a fragile thing, but we have to create now. We owe it to ourselves to do the work. I want to encourage you. If you aspire to write, put aside all the niceties and sureties about what art should be and write something that makes the scales fall from our eyes. Forget the tired axioms about showing and telling, about sense of place—any possible obstruction—and write to destroy complacency, to rattle people, to help people, first and foremost yourself. Lodge your ideas like glass shards in the minds of everyone who would have you believe there’s no hope.” (italics mine)

Despite the shock and horror now being voiced around the world, Trump’s election shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise, given the state of America’s body politic and corrupted electoral system. Donna Luca, Board President of Nation of Change, put it astutely: “Some of our friends and colleagues were utterly shocked by the election results last night. We only wish that we were. In fact, we have anticipated all too well that the actions of the DNC—most poignantly cheating Bernie Sanders out of the nomination—would position Trump as the ‘anti establishment’ candidate running against the ultimate establishment candidate in an election year like this one. … the DNC has played the ultimate game of chicken with voters—and lost.”

From a Jungian and depth psychology perspective, Trump’s rise to power is predictable. ‘Between the ideal and the real falls a shadow’—sometimes a very long and deep one. Jung wrote of the ‘shadow’ side of the human psyche, all those qualities and fears we consciously or unconsciously repress. The more the shadow is repressed—at either the individual or national level—the more it takes over. He argued that the way to balance is through integration of the shadow, which can simply mean bringing it to consciousness, acknowledging it as a fundamental part of our psyche. By now this has been tested out over the past century and is now a well-established principle in psychology. From this perspective, the worst monsters of history—the Hitlers, Stalins and Idi Amins—are those whose shadow is most deeply suppressed in the unconscious. (Of course, they’re probably also psychopaths, and psychopathy is a whole other discussion.) Unable to acknowledge that they possess any such dark, potentially evil qualities, they set themselves up for a kind of reflex reaction—the shadow kicking back powerfully. Hence the phenomenon of the most self-righteous religious leaders leading some of the bloodiest crusades and jihads of history.

Sam Keen.

Sam Keen.

As Sam Keen writes in the anthology Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of the Human Shadow: “From the unconscious residue of our hostility, we create a target; from our private demons, we conjure a public enemy. …Our best hope of survival is to change the way we think about enemies and warfare. Instead of being hypnotized by the enemy we need to begin looking at the eyes with which we see the enemy. …we need to examine in detail how we manufacture the image of the enemy, how we create surplus evil, how we turn the world into a killing ground. …We need to become conscious of what Carl Jung called ‘the shadow.’”[2] (italics mine)

And so we have the spectacle of American self-image, which claims the moral high ground as the ‘cowboys in the white hats’ riding to the rescue, while at the same time maintaining more armed garrisons around the world than any power since the Roman empire. A so-called bastion of democracy that has no compunction about using its covert intelligence agencies to depose democratically elected governments in foreign nations in the most bloody manner imaginable. None of this is news. A so-called just society that continues to unjustly imprison political prisoners designated ‘terrorists’ and even to torture them in defiance of international standards and treaties of justice. You get the point. It’s a textbook case of shadow repression erupting into the light, big time. As Keen writes: “We so need to be heroic, to be on the side of God, to eliminate evil, to clean up the world, to be victorious over death, that we visit destruction and death on all who stand in the way of our heroic historical destiny.”[3]

Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders.

If at any time during the presidential regimes of the past 40 years or so Americans had been willing to own up to this shadow, things might have been different. If the Democrats had allowed the democratic process to play out without interference and outright fraud in the primaries, we might have had Bernie Sanders as president instead of Donald Trump.  Guantanamo Bay would long since have been permanently shut down. “(I)f the United States government were willing to take a more open and honest stance with respect to its actual power needs and ambitions,” writes Jerome Bernstein in Meeting the Shadow, “and if it had been willing to face the arguments that some aspects of that power stance might be inconsistent with its own professed ideology and traditions, a significant portion of the unconscious power shadow could have been redeemed…”[4]

For awhile during the Vietnam era it looked as if this might be a genuine possibility. The nightly newscasts of bombing raids on civilian villages, the photojournalism laying bare its atrocities—all were a slap in the collective face, a wake-up call for the American shadow. Even the military—both officers and the rank and file—realized the travesty of that war. Find a copy of the documentary Sir, No Sir to watch, the best description yet of why the U.S. government was forced to abandon that conflict. Simply put, the chain of command dissented and finally broke down. The corresponding protest movement at home added the necessary civilian dissent needed to reach the critical mass for pulling out. But then came the knee-jerk conservative backlash, historical revisionism and corporate free-for-all that led us to where we are now. An era when the richest billionaires can literally buy the presidency, set policy and resist the will and needs of the majority of the American people.

If indeed the Trump vote, as with the Brexit vote, was a ‘protest vote’ against the elites, it only serves to underline how thoroughly broken are our electoral systems. Clearly there’s an appetite for change, at least among the 99 percent. But just as clearly, the mechanisms for change are seriously lacking. Electoral reform must be Priority One before anything else can change. Social advocacy groups will need to hone their strategic skills, targeting Republicans who are ‘soft’ Trumpites when it comes time to pass bills through Congress.

A young Carl Jung. Courtesy Wikimedia.

A young Carl Jung. Courtesy Wikimedia.

But the spiritual and psychological dimension can’t continue to be neglected if we’re ever to see meaningful change. “If we desire peace,” writes Keen in Meeting the Shadow, “each of us must begin to demythologize the enemy; cease politicizing psychological events; re-own our shadows; make an intricate study of the myriad ways in which we disown, deny, and project our selfishness, cruelty, greed, and so on onto others; be conscious of how we have unconsciously created a warrior psyche and have perpetuated warfare in its many modes.”[5]

George Bernard Shaw got it right in one: “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” Thomas Merton added another layer to this truism when he said: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” As the Paris Review editor quoted at the beginning of this essay noted, the best antidote to the despair of looming Trumplandia is to create, and to cast off the shackles of hidebound tradition in the service of the human spirit. George Orwell once said that he wrote best when he was angered by injustice. Indeed, in his 1946 essay Why I Write, he gave that as his raison d’être for writing. His allegories managed to seamlessly blend political satire with escapism, to achieve what Merton spoke of in taking us out of the world while simultaneously sharpening our view of its often bitter realities.

From a Jungian perspective, the psyche is always in search of balance, and often our artists feel this urge more keenly than most. They are after all our pioneers of the human spirit, going where few dare and casting illumination on the heart of darkness. As the late psychotherapist John Weir Perry put it, “even if we fail to acknowledge our predicament in a conscious way, the psyche does register its recognition of it on deeper levels, and makes moves to generate new possibilities of outlook and ways of living that might allow our survival.”

[1] Quoted in Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature, edited by Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Los Angeles, 1991, p. 194.

[2] Sam Keen, ‘The Enemy Maker,’ from Meeting the Shadow, ibid., p. 198.

[3] Sam Keen, ‘The Enemy Maker,’ from Meeting the Shadow, ibid., pp. 201, 202.

[4] Jerome S. Bernstein, ‘The U.S.-Soviet Mirror,’ from Meeting the Shadow, ibid., p. 216.

[5] Sam Keen, ‘The Enemy Maker,’ from Meeting the Shadow, ibid., pp. 201, 202.

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