Thursday, May 05, 2011

Fools and Pilgrims

Nothing since Graceland comes near to excellence until now. Go thee, purchase his new album So Beautiful or So What. For sheer heart-rending poignancy, The Rewrite. Best call-and-response preachin' - Getting Ready for Christmas. Hands down best answer to his (long time ago now) nihilistic song, The Boxer, Questions for the Angels.

Go! Get thee hence, hear, and respond in faith to this prophetic aging voice. Hey! Aren't they the best kind, after all?

7 comments:

Aramis said...

Ath, in the video "the making of..." Paul comments that he is not religious though he realized that a number of his songs have God in them. Isn't that one of our problems today, we don't see ourselves as "religious" or that we want to deny being religious?

Athos said...

It leaves one in the position of not knowing who to believe or when, it's true. Dissembling, euphemism, and using language to pass along feeling tone rather than attempting to communicate truth are the tools of any that want to make a buck and play it safe. I always had that trouble with Walker Percy; he would say that an openness exists that novelists cannot employ. I know that Tolkien said LOTR is a thoroughly Catholic piece of fiction, but I could never figure out how.

Simon, otoh, strays too far, in my opinion, if he claims that he is "not religious." He had better be careful or he will begin believing the true, good, and beautiful he is expressing! Let's hope ...

Athos said...

Oh, also: time was that if we heard someone say that they weren't "religious" and we -as good little Girardians - would have said, "Excellent! He's not very sacrificial ...." :O) Cheers

Aramis said...

An author, like a text not knowing itself by refusing to take on the religious responsibility of his efforts is likened to this quote from Gil in Violence Unveiled: "his renunciation of sacrifice was accompanied by no heightened sense of moral and religious responsibility. To dispense with sacrificial systems without accepting greater moral and religious responsibility is to follow Cain down a dark road."

Athos said...

Well, I hear you taking Simon to task for hypocrisy, bro Aramis. It reminds me of the way Leonard Cohen manipulatively wrote lyrics about our Lord's crucifixion for vvery unworthy motives.

If Simon is being so hypocritical, manipulative, insincere, and/or denying of our utter dependence on God for ontology, soteriology, (and on and on), then I can only say he is in trouble. and I am an extremely poor discerner of music and lyrics, which is probably true.

Aramis said...

Not so, dear Ath, my point is not to take exception with Paul's words and music, but with his "denial" of what he and all of us are - religious beings - in one form or another. It is a shame that we have watered down and even "made dirty" the wonderment of our humanness by denying our religiousness. I like Paul Simon and generally find his music uplifting and challenging in a good sense.

Athos said...

Yes, and as you say, my point is not to take exception with Paul's words and music, but with his "denial" of what he and all of us are - religious beings....

It is the near-psychosis of denying our religious nature as human beings, on the one hand, and then writing lyrics like this:

Questions for the angels
Who believes in angels?
Fools do
Fools and pilgrims all over the world ...

Questions for the angels
Who believes in angels?
I do
Fools and pilgrims all over the world


Now - how can he possibly squirm his way out of that? or is he speaking for all the religious-denying denizens of nihilistic post-modernity?