Independence Day 2020 Thematic Images for the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack: "Romantic 'Total Revolution': The Democracy of Soul & The Goddess of Liberty"
(Concering the GS's previous musical essay for the Summer Solstice celebration.) Given that America's Independence Day follows on the heels of the Summer Solstice, the Fourth of July celebration naturally partakes of high summer festivities. As stated on a typical Federal Holiday website: "Independence Day is commonly associated with barbecues, picnics, concerts, carnivals, parades, and fireworks."
"In fireworks are released, all the explosive pyrotechnics of a dream. The inflammable desires, dampened by day under the cold water of consciousness, are ignited at night by the libertarian matches of sleep, and burst fourth in showers of shimmering incandescence. These imaginary displays provide a temporary relief." —Kenneth Anger
The Bruce Springsteen song, “4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)," is not only appropriate here but also harks back to the GS' previous musical essay series, "May Day Carnivalesque," about carnival and carnivalesque.
click to acess the "May Day Carnivalesque" page
Actually, the previous musical essay series "May Day Carnivalesque (with its emphasis on how the premodern public festivals for May Day "misrule" increasingly, through rituals of "social inversion" of hierarchies, took on a political edge, leading to instances of popular insurrection) served as an appropriate lead-in to this current Independence Day musical essay series and its theme of "Total Revolution." Thus, the following important statement from the "May Day Carnivalesque" epilogue presented last week will find its way into this current musical essay series for Independence Day: "The popularity of the term carnivalesque and its approach to carnival owes much to the influence of Bakhtin, whose exuberant descriptions of the festive life of the Middle Ages have led scholars to explore how popular culture might work as a force for political change."
"America is a tune. It must be sung together."
Some astute observers of our nation have put forth the idea that America really is a democratic "experiment." To read some visionary quotations about what America really is, click here
Thematic Images (Memes) for Democracy and Nature
Then as to scenery (giving my own thought and feeling) while I know the standard claim is that Yosemite, Niagara falls, the upper Yellowstone and the like, afford the greatest natural shows, I am not so sure but the Prairies and Plains, while less stunning at first sight, last longer, fill the esthetic sense fuller, precede all the rest, and make North America’s characteristic landscape. Indeed through the whole of this journey, with all its shows and varieties, what most impress’d me, and will longest remain with me, are these same prairies. Day after day, and night after night, to my eyes, to all my senses—the esthetic one most of all—they silently and broadly unfolded. Even their simplest statistics are sublime. ~Walt Whitman, "America’s Characteristic Landscape" (1879)
The fact of our alien origins is written large upon our landscape; we have been doing our best to remake it, and have largely succeeded, and meanwhile it has been equally remaking us. ~Thomas King Whipple, Study Out the Land (1943)
It has been posited that 19th-century American Romantic landscape painting, by way of the New York Hudson River School (as in the paintings above), influenced the French Romantic Alexis de Tocqueville's imagination of America and its democracy, since the Hudson River School dated from the 1820s, which, five years before Tocqueville arrived in the United States and ten years before his Democracy in America was published, had come into being to great critical and popular acclaim. The school had started with the Hudson River region in New York, but eventually extended in time and space all the way to California and the 1870s. The time period in which the school's artists were active was a time of momentous social, political, and economic change in American history, and the work of the Hudson River School artists represents part of the process of the national self-conceptualization taking place in those years. It is for this reason that the landscape paintings of the Hudson River School lay claim to an important place in American art history and in the American cultural consciousness. These landscapes of the Romantic Imagination, then, represent the undeniable place that Nature has and continues to occupy in the American imagination and its ongoing re-visioning socio-political institutions.
Therefore, this information substantiates the GS's argument about the vital interelationship between art and poltics in the Romantic Movement (e.g., Schiller and Blake and the new conceptions of "beauty and the sublime"); namely, that the "Romantic Total Revolution" aesetheticized politics and politicized art, and thus constructed a poltical ideology/theory that offerred a different -- more primary and more essential -- course of social change than the strictly "political" French Revolutiion, which failed to bring about the liberation it promised.
For excerpts from the book, Gardens of Democracy,click here
For related topic, "Garden in the Mind," on May Day Carnivalesque page, click here
Thematic Images of the American Revolution & Its Social Context
Blake's "Glad Day" or "Albion's Dance" of "Total Revolution"
"If I can't dance I don't want to be in your revolution." --Emma Goldman, Anarchist (1869-1940)
"America! With Peace and Freedom blest."
The illustration: Allegorical figure of America as a young woman surrounded by shield with eagle, globe, and books as Apollo with a lyre points to the Temple of Fame. (In the both the European and American imagination, America was pictured as female.)
Thematic Images of America as Native Princess Tejana & Indian Goddess Columbia
Thematic Images of the Goddess of Liberty, Liberty Staff/Pole & Liberty Cap
Thematic Images of the Statue of Liberty
Thematic Images of the Angel of Liberty
Thematic Images of the Goddess of Democracy
After centuries, the Goddess of Liberty/Democracy has reappeared, from Tiananmen Square in Beijing to Portsmouth Square in San Francisco.
Thematic Images of the Great Seals of America
Thematic Images of Goddess of Liberty Coins
Thematic Images for George Washington's Angelic Vision of America's Destiny
Anthony Sherman, who was supposedly present with George Washington’s army at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777, overheard Washington tell an officer that an angel had revealed a prophetic vision of America to him. (This may or may not be a true story.)
Thematic Images for 1960's "Romantic Total Revolution"
Thematic Images About "Democracy"
Lyrics to song "Bomb the World" (M. Franti)
To return to the "Programs & Playlists" page, click here