Monday, May 17, 2010

Industrial Landscape, Industrial Decay, Jazz

Fly me to the Moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words
Take my hand
In other words
Kiss me

“Fly Me to the Moon,” Bart Howard

If you do a Google image search for the words industrial landscape the first page of results looks like this:

Kind of bleak.

If you do a Google image search for the words industrial decay the first page of results looks like this:

Looks pretty similar. Abandoned railroad tracks. Dilapidated factories. No people.

The whole concept of the industrial landscape in the Western modern world has become synonomous with the breakdown of industry, not with all the benefits industry can deliver a culture.

Just about a hundred years ago this was what people considered a statement about the industrial revolution:

The old city in the background. Massive steel girders riveted together into a huge structure in the foreground. The gentry and the working class both present. It’s a different kind of look for their world, but people saw the industrial world as a world of life.


Both of those Google image result pages for industrial landscape and industrial decay do not show any people at all. The breakdown of industry is seen as a world in itself. The world. In that world, what place is there for gentry or workers?

In the context of Jungian alchemy there is a kind of inter-locked pair of axioms, neither coming first but both dependent on the other. I mean the beliefs:

What is outside us we take into us and what is inside us we put outside us.


In the context of the entertainment business, a movie that has come to symbolize change and, specifically, change from the old to the new is, “The Jazz Singer.” In 1927 that movie was released and became a sensation because it was the first ‘talkie’—the first movie release with a real soundtrack. And every studio had to upgrade and follow suit. The days of the silent movie were dead and gone almost instantly.

Jazz, even Hollywood jazz, was perceived as modern and driving the future.


Last Friday I told a story about an aspiring jazz singer I knew (not Lena Park!) and her contempt for Stevie Nicks pop songs. In the context of that post I was siding with Stevie and I embedded a great Stevie Nicks performance.

Since jazz has disappeared from public consciousness—along with industry and any industrial landscape not blighted—here is a jazz performance that kind of makes it clear why someone might regard a pop performance as kind of trivial. Embedding is prohibited but the image-link clicks through:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Sexy As The Dead Bridges”

Adventure’s Waiting Just Ahead

In Shanghai We’re All Dramatic Chipmunks

Squirrels Of Chaos And Delight

Squirrels And The Lost Mountains Of Tibet

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