Tales of Banal Symbolism in American Music and Culture

Having been born and bred in Africa, Kenya in particular, I have known or thought it wise to perceive the talented and outstanding personalities from foreign lands especially America as extremely wise, witty, clever and authentic. I say this because this is the one of the few countries where the greatest men once lived. America represents liberty, freedom of thought and prosperity to the subconscious minds of many all over the world thanks to its rich history full of valiance and industry.

But generations pass and the wisdom of the forefathers become scripturised in the manner I see common in to-day’s world. World history is full of once-great nations that later sunk into oblivion as generations come and go where the succeeding generations become shallow in knowledge and wisdom. The same can be said of some of the most influential nations in the modern world both in the East and the West.

Some of the civilizations that were once strong and successful but later fell under the wrath of decadence today are only remembered as achievements of the past whose failure is looked at with much regret. In such situations there is a preceding generation of completely brave men and women who form the strong and fair system. In the case of America, the one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence saw the rise of great people in all fields from politics to philosophy to industry and finance. One of the industrialists I have come to admire lately is Andrew Carnegie. He was a good description of what an authentic and insightful man looks like.

But the current generation in America is hard to understand. By this I mean the popular thought leaders in all branches of knowledge and art. Many people in other places in the world up to these individuals as role models. I have seen musicians and other artists imitate these idols here in Africa without second thought about their character and authenticity. In fact some of these people who happen to be world-wide celebrities are so much worshipped so that you might think they are enlightened gods. They range from Bishops, musicians, actors and business moguls. Others are criminals even.

What the ordinary man is not able to see is the dreamness of all this phenomena. Humanity is just playing games on itself. These renown individuals flash symbols that even themselves don’t understand what they mean. Though subliminal methods of communication among the wise has been in existence for thousands of years, I propound that we are the most ignorant and shallow generation in mind and thought. 

Parrots can sing songs of illumination and the perfect enlightenment all day but that is not virtue enough for the real Awakening that remains to be above all forms and labels. 

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