"Oh-oh-oh It rots. Oh-oh-oh It Rots. Oh-oh-oh It rots."
I've been obsessed with Sufjan Stevens for the past two months --- ever since I had watched the spectacular gay love story "God's own Country" - looking up the end credit song I discovered "The Days" By British Musician Patrick Wolf -
Which later led to watching, "Call me by your name" which was ultimately a disappointment to me. The only part I found really interesting was the end scene. How many of us have had a "Staring in the fireplace crying moment?" *raises hand*
"Visions of Gideon" is yet another masterpiece of the song writing art.
Song of my favorite music that I've discovered has been via movie end credits "Brazil" by Kate Bush (From Terry Gilliam's "Brazil"), "Who will take your dreams away?" by Marianne Faithfull (The City of Lost Children by Jean Paul Jeunet), "Lost boys Calling" (By Roger Waters on The Movie "The Legend of 19oo"), etc.
Thanks to Youtube's new "Autoplay" feature I was led to "John My Beloved" by Sufjan, which led to a the film of "Carrie and Lowell" which I played over and over and over again - and later to "The Age of Adz" album and this song --- which has been like finding A Golden Tablet.
"And what about you ? and What about me? Are We The Lost of Lost?"
I've listened to it several hundred times since i discovered it on youtube, even now I am have it on Loop in the background while I write this article. it has already played 3 times :p
I have been transfixed by the cover art as well --- the image I find myself unable to look away - at first i thought that the art was by Sufjan . It wasn't the until the other night that I looked up The Album, and discovered that the Art is by artist "Prophet Royal Robertson" - a schizophrenic black outsider artist from Louisiana who was the inspiration for much of the album - and whose character and ailments spoke to Steven's own struggle with an undisclosed nervous ailment during the time he began working on this album (Lyme's Disease perhaps?) ---
And also the two having a contentious relationship with their own Christianity, from their upbringing and how they have negotiated the religion on their own terms and recreated it as artists and original thinkers.
the Album was released in 2o1o, when my struggle with Lyme's Disease really began which also exacerbated my lifelong struggle with Bipolar Disorder.
"This is The Age of Adz - Eternal Living."
I think that it is an even greater credit to Sufjan's genius that he is able to, through great alacrity and magnanimity, to build a sort of portrait of miniature by using other people's (or states or cities) stories as a vehicle to tell his own.
"The Age of Adz" is a monument in miniature to me. Akin Beethoven's "Gros Fuge" or "Revolution No. 9" by The Beatles.
It redefines music. there is no going back after listening to this piece --- it is so huge - a solid wall of sound. All encompassing. All consuming - it transition from manic delirium to graceful quiet "Come closer" lyrics ---
"And When I die, And When I die - I'll Rot / And when I live, and When I live - I'll Give it all I got."
This song is probably the piece on the album that most appropriates words of Robertson's own painting and poetry, and also speaks to Robertson's particular life --- was he a mystic? or a misogynistic madmen? A sign painter? or all the above.
Robertson was a self - described prophet who believed that God had brought him into this world to usher in to a new age. His art was more a sort of catharsis, a compulsion -- it seemed to keep him from imploding entirely. He believed that his adulterating Wife was the trigger for the End of The World.
Perhaps, in a way that Sufjan's music practice works for him.
After having 11 children with a women who left him for another man , Robertson's latent mental fragility seemed to be triggered into a full blown psychosis / delusion but that he was still able to function nominally ---
"I'm sorry if I seem Self effacing / consumed by selfish thoughts/ it's only that I still love you deeply / it's all the love i got."
"Prophet Royal Robertson. Wikipedia: "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Robertson."
"There's not a Sprig of Grass that shoots uninteresting to me."
Author of the most important document since the Magna Carta, inventor, Archaeologist, architect, Pedagogue, two term president, bibliophile, revolutionary who experienced hand to hand combat, stood up to the Empire of Britain, the first viticulturist in The Colonies ("You can't grow no grapes here! and even if you could, you can't make no wine here"), botanist, horticulturist, arborist, scientific farmer, diplomat, interior designer, lover of many women, entrepreneur, philosopher, creator of the architectural scheme of the capital, Founder of The University of Virginia
All this is null and void because he inherited several hundred slaves from his father, didn't free then in a time when no one freed slaves (and to do so would lower one to being a social pariah, cast off from society --- could you imagine going from being a multi millionaire to skid row bum in a second because of a philosophical stance?), and because he fell very much in love with a slave named Sally Hemmings who he sired a boatload of children with ---
"Seek First to Understand."
Slavery was (and is) an inexcusable and unforgivable evil and a great blight upon The Great American Experiment. But to dismiss a human being because he or she or they weren't perfect is to dismiss human beings and humanity in entirety.
I might be accused of justifying, minimizing, etc. Maybe so. But I find that many of the arguments for and against historical figures (and modern day scapegoats) to be the ignorant ravings of people who are disastisfied with their lives and are seeking someone or something to project their own inadequacies upon.
The quickest and most effective way to achieve all of one's hopes and dreams, All one's greatest aspirations is to imagine one's self in another human beings shoes. Imagine what it would feel, taste like, smell like, sound like, look like to be another person. What would it be like for them given all the variables and circumstances that have gone to make up the sum toto : what a person is?
That people are otherwise bored with their uneventful lives. The Torches and Pitchfork bearers are people on the far left and the far right and everywhere in between. They are ignorant, unskooled, and unwilling oafish people unwilling to broaden their minds and horizons, and the only way that they can wrap their heads around an ubermensch is by not only cutting-him-down-to-size but by reducing him to a pile of rubble.
How sad, and how unfortunate for our young people, to see greatness eroded. and thus, any optimism the potential of living life, even a great life, and for an optimism a hope in something better - still imperfect. (Utopia is an illusion) - but something to aspire to.
A Race to The Bottom.
Do we wish to see our children have their legs cut out from beneath them as we have allowed our legs to be cut out from beneath us, can we never reconcile that our Progeny might stand higher than us? or even our Neighbor?
Yes, let's all cut each other down, and shoot all idols full of holes, so there aint nothing to believe in, nothing to aspire to, no goodness left --- just burn it all down and dance naked in the smoldering ashes.
"Sex , Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll --- the only thing I aspire to, and the only thing I will allow anyone else to aspire to."
Kody J. Bosch
Atlas Design Co.
Roxbury Live-Work-Research Community
The Roxbury Home Store
The Art of Power, By Jon Meachem
Mastery, By Robert Greene
The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson/ Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin, by Walter Isaacson
An Idea that we have been playing around with here this past month at Atlas Design Co. Administration --- with the advent of more materials all the time. Seemingly, the development of materials is happening at an exponential rate --- Buildings no longer have to follow the program of a weight bearing skeleton clothed in some kind of skin.
The future of buildings is wide open, when they can be of any shape or any material , all the old rules are dead dead dead. Go hog wilde!
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