Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Night Music


I'm chagrined to admit that I never heard of this song, and - even worse - knew nothing of the iconic Leonard Cohen, until our oldest granddaughter did an ensemble dance to it in competition a couple of years ago.  It was somebody else's smooth-voiced cover - there are many and I never did find out whose - not Cohen's gravelly bass.

Knowing her dance studio as I do, I'm sure the more obviously suggestive verses weren't included - as indeed, they weren't included in Cohen's original studio recording.  The strange thing about this song is the coupling of two concepts - religious ecstasy and sexual gratification - that seem totally disconnected in modern culture.

It wasn't always so.  If I have the history right, back before the Old Testament Jews abandoned human sacrifice and tried their experiment with monotheism, they were not much different ethnically or culturally from the rest of their Canaanite neighbors.  At least in some parts of the Mediterranean basin - and I think this includes Canaan - sex, fertility and procreation were integral with nature and the earth, even if not specifically coupled with goddess based religion

Somehow, when the sky daemon replaced earth daemons, sex became dirty and sinful, goddesses became whores, and, thanks in no small part to the rabid misogynist Saul of Tarsus, whole civilizations became puritanical.  Or at least such was their claim.

That legacy haunts us today.  You see it in the insane objections to insurance coverage of birth control [which was never a problem until it became part of Obamacare], gender-dependent double standards of morality, and the Republican war on women.

Still, whatever our views on religion or lust, in the privacy of our own homes, we can experience a  hallelujah moment - and, for now at least - no matter how cold and broken, make our own decisions as to what that means.


1 comment:

janiceadcock said...

Sing it, Brother and let the lovers of real freedom say amen!