Friday, 6 November 2009
News, Views and Music Issue 46 (Top Five): Why The Kinks' Preservation Is Pertinent To Current Politics
♫ And so we turn to our latest top five. And, come the middle of next year, it might well be the most crucial top five of all for British readers: the fight between the Conservatives led by David ‘Bully Boy’ Cameron on the one hand and Gordon ‘Labour Of Loathe’ Brown on the other. What a choice my fellow readers: between the useless party in power and the evil dictatorship that’s set to follow from the Conservatives; it’s a choice between them losing their heads or them losing their hearts. However, we’ve been here before of course: in times of trouble where better to turn than Ray Davies and his spot of fortune-telling with ‘Preservation’ the triple-album rock opera that seems to make more sense with every passing listen. In the (moody) blue corner: Mr Brown, sorry Mr Black, a bland and soppy figure secretly up to evil shenanigans in an effort to stay in power and in the (blood) red corner Mr Cameron, sorry Mr Flash, a wide boy con artist who’s talked his way into power and is interested only in himself. And, in his election manifesto (what he has of one) promises to make life even harder for those who have nothing – and easier for those who have. Wonderful. I tell you, I can’t wait to hear that Cameron has developed a disability that means he can’t stand at the next election – then he’ll know just how it feels jumping through the billion hoops of the welfare system. Yes there’s no doubting it, Ray Davies must have bought a time machine in 1973 and travelled to see us in 2009 (hello, Ray, if you’re reading this in 1973 – well, you never know):
1) Money And Corruption/I Am Your Man: We start our journey through the town of ‘Preservation’ with this charming little ditty from Mr Bown, sorry Mr Black. After a dissatisfied rioting chorus of people ‘having to ask them cap in them hand’ (who’ve obviously been through the Labour ‘New Deal’ programme) and ‘work all day, we sweat and we slave to keep the wealthy fat’ in walks Mr Black, sorry Brown, sorry no got it right the first time with his promises of what he can deliver (with help from a ‘five year plan’). Witness the line: ‘we will nationalise the wealthy companies’ – surely a reference to the banks – although ‘no shirking of responsibilities’ sounds more like The Conservatives (or The Nazi Party, both had pretty similar slogans now that I think about it).
2) Here Comes Dave, sorry, Flash: ‘There’s no way that you can win, you must obey his every whim, or else he’s going to do you in’ , need I say more? Well, OK, I will: ‘He will smile at you, be a friend top you, then he’s gonna screw you just like that”. And who could forget that line of annoyance that will, sadly, be rather true in a year’s or so’ time: ‘There’s not a lot that you can do, so just sit back and take his abuse’. Grrrr.
3) When A Solution Comes: This one features Mr Colourless in his attic, plotting on how to get people out of the fix he’s got them in – basically by telling us that things are going to get harder but its for our own good, even though the mess is entirely his fault in the first place. This song’s spot-on line: ‘They’re all going to feel the bite and there’s gonna be a revolution’. Of course the gas chamber-filled imagery of the song is further than labour would ever go in real life. Err, isn’t it? (The whole Big Brother thing came true after all). Not entirely co-incidentally, the track segues into ‘Money Talks’.
4) He’s Evil: Well, OK so this is Mr Black’s party political broadcast against Mr Flash but it sounds spot on as far as we’re concerned. ‘He’s got style, personality – but he’s the devil in reality, ‘He’s got wit, he’s got charm, but when he gets rough he’ll break your arm’, ‘Wicked smile, decadent grin’, add in a lack of actual policies and you’re talking about a body double here. Most worrying line award: ‘Once you’re in there’ll be no getting out, so look out!’ After 10 years of Thatcher I have a nasty feeling that might be true as well. We have been warned.
5) Flash’s Confession: Alright, so this bit really is in the future but I can’t wait to hear Cameron say sorry: ‘I opened up my body and looked inside and I’m everything that I once despised...I can’t believe that my time has come for confessing all the evil and the wrong that I’ve done, the reckoning’s come and now I’m just a no one...’
See you next week (if we’re not arrested!) (or our laptop’s stopped working again!)