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April 10, 2007

Literature and History: Eagleton soars once more

"...emerges a 'superstructure' - certain forms of law and politics, a certain kind of state, whose essential function is to legitimate the power of the social class which owns the means of economic production. But the superstructure contains more than this: it also consists of certain "definite forms of social consciousness" (political, religious, ethical, aesthetic and so on), which is what Marxism designates as ideology."

As I had said about Keesey's introduction, this, too, falls into the category that can easily be used to evaluate and critique popular culture. By Eagleton identifying these items, specifically, my attention, one more, turned to music. Obviously, some strong connections can be made to Rap and Hip-Hop, but it is not exclusive to that. Punk music is a bastion of socio-historic study. A group such as Bad Religion, in name alone, begins touching on these issues. Their songs are hard driven and their lyrics are equally biting, satiric, accusatory, etc.

Unfortunately, my music defense doesn't hold too much water when we start getting into that kind of top-40 claptrap music you hear on lite-rock stations. They do have themes, but pretty much every song involves love in one form or another. Don't get me wrong, it is a wonderful topic which should be openly discussed and at great length, but it is also a tired subject for music.

Essentially, the socio-historic criticism is the ability to push people's boundaries and invade their personal space. If one can say/write/do something that causes someone else to question their own beliefs, well, then it has been a victory for the day. Note that it doesn't mean it is aimed to completely and totally change people, because you can't change someone if they don't want to change in the first place, but instead it should open people's eyes and make them a little more awake and conscious of their surroundings.

At least, that's what it means to me.

Posted by KevinMcGinnis at April 10, 2007 7:39 AM


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