Jan 6, 2016

All Tomorrow’s Parties

via Western Spring

I was reminded recently of a song I became familiar with when I was a student sharing a house with a group of other students during the mid-1970’s. We lived at 122 Pinnox Street, in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent and my housemates were typical of ‘Hippie’ students at that time and we listened to an eclectic mix of music. I remember that house in particular because at the time, the tiny rear garden backed onto an enormous ‘slag tip’, which rose like a mountain behind the house, of broken dishes, cups and plates, the waste product of the ‘Potteries’. The ‘slag tip’ is now gone, but the memory of it remains with me.
 
The song of which I was reminded, ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’, was by a cult band which did not last long and which was promoted by Andy Warhol during the mid to late 60s, the Velvet Underground.

Written by band member Lou Reed, this track was striking musically and featured a female German singer named Christa Päffgen, that Warhol had introduced to the rest of the band, and who sang under the stage name, Nico.

Having been reminded of the song, I revisited it on YouTube and found to my amusement that the words can be explained as a metaphor for the current state of British nationalism.

The words refer to a ‘poor girl’, representing our movement, or more specifically, those of a nationalist persuasion who currently remain un-aligned and who sit confused and idle, not knowing which way to go, and what she shall wear at “All Tomorrow’s Parties”. And these title words can be interpreted as representing both; the nationalist political parties that perennially spring up and make futile attempts to gain electoral traction; and the elections they intend participating in – and in respect of which they are vexed, not knowing which ‘dress’ to wear.

Shall they present themselves honestly at the hustings, “when midnight comes around”; as “Thursday’s child” – as children of Thor; or shall they “turn once more to ‘Sunday’s clown’ — a sanitised ‘cultural nationalism’, and reap nothing but bitter disappointment — “and cry behind the door”.

In making our choice, we nationalists have all too often allowed ‘Thursday’s child’ to assume the default position of ‘Sundays’ clown’, a default position demanded of us by the constraints of electoral politics – through the pressure of the media and ‘public opinion’; and in doing so, we have found ourselves wearing, “a blackened shroud, a hand-me-down gown, of rags and silks, a costume, fit for one who sits and cries, for all tomorrow’s parties”.


“All Tomorrow’s Parties”
And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow’s parties
A hand-me-down dress from who knows where
To all tomorrow’s parties
And where will she go and what shall she do
When midnight comes around
She’ll turn once more to Sunday’s clown
And cry behind the door
And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow’s parties
Why silks and linens of yesterday’s gowns
To all tomorrow’s parties
And what will she do with Thursday’s rags
When Monday comes around
She’ll turn once more to Sunday’s clown
And cry behind the door
And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow’s parties
For Thursday’s child is Sunday’s clown
For whom none will go mourning
A blackened shroud, a hand-me-down gown
Of rags and silks, a costume
Fit for one who sits and cries
For all tomorrow’s parties
[Written by Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground & Nico 1966]

‘All Tomorrows Parties” was not of course intended to convey the message that I have outlined above, this music was typical of the 1960s and later, in that its purpose was to make the younger generation of that time, decadent, cynical and depressed.

Not wishing to end on a depressing note therefore, I was inspired to look at another of Lou Reed’s song, this time from a later album entitled, ‘Berlin’, a song entitled, ‘Men of Good Fortune’ and here I found another which can be interpreted as a metaphor for our time.

The song begins by highlighting the disparity of fates between ‘Men of Good Fortune’ — those born into wealth and privilege, and those like most of us — of ‘Poor beginnings’.

“Men of good fortune, often cause empires to fall”, the song begins, “While men of poor beginnings often can’t do anything at all”. And here Reed addresses the sense of impotence that so many feel, that we lack the wherewithal needed to make any significant impact upon the life of our nation.

Reed is of course addressing here, the individual and personal ambitions that men have, we should not and don’t expect him to encompass a wider, less prosaic, more altruistic thought trajectory of any more fundamental significance than that, however our interpretation of his words shall. And in this respect, I draw your attention to the alliteration in verse three:

“Men of good fortune
very often can’t do a thing
While men of poor beginnings
often can do anything

Here we see an assertion that is analogous to our situation. Well intentioned ‘Men of good fortune’ are often made impotent by their bourgeois mentality and the constraints of their position in society, while ‘Men of poor beginnings’, men who have nothing to lose and a driving will to achieve, can often do anything we set our minds to. Herein lies the kernel of hope for the future that we must focus our attention upon.

In verse six Reed focuses on money, with the truism, “It takes money to make money they say”, and having stated that, he returns to the familiar refrain from most songs of that era, “it makes no difference to me … I just don’t care at all”, but we must ignore this, and in the next two verses a second kernel of truth is inadvertently provided for the inspiration of those who are discerning:

“Men of good fortune
often wish that they could die
While men of poor beginnings
want what they have and to get it they’ll die
All those great things
that life has to give
they wanna have money and live”.

And herein lies the key to our predicament that will unlock the constraints holding us back.

We ‘Men of poor beginnings’, must as I have often urged, focus our efforts on acquiring the wherewithal needed to ‘cause empires to fall’ – to bring down the rotten edifice of our current corrupt governments, and to build something new and wholesome in their place. And the most important factor here is the acquisition of ‘money’. Not for money’s sake or in order to gratify our own personal greed, but because, as I have often said, ‘money is power’ in our modern society and if we can create a nationalist movement with ‘money’, we will have a nationalist movement with ‘power’.


“Men Of Good Fortune”
Men of good fortune
often cause empires to fall
While men of poor beginnings
often can’t do anything at all
The rich son waits for his father to die
the poor just drink and cry
And me, I just don’t care at all
Men of good fortune
very often can’t do a thing
While men of poor beginnings
often can do anything
At heart they try to act like a man
handle things the best way they can
They have no rich, daddy to fall back on
Men of good fortune
often cause empires to fall
While men of poor beginnings
often can’t do anything at all
It takes money to make money they say
look at the Fords, but didn’t they start that way
Anyway, it makes no difference to me
Men of good fortune
often wish that they could die
While men of poor beginnings
want what they have and to get it they’ll die
All those great things
that life has to give
they wanna have money and live
But me, I just don’t care at all
Men of good fortune
men of poor beginnings
Men of good fortune
men of poor beginnings
Men of good fortune
men of poor beginnings
Men of good fortune
men of poor beginnings
[By Lou Reed, Berlin 1973]

We “wanna have money”, so our people can live, and while we cannot rely upon ‘Men of good fortune’ to come to our aid, if we are determined enough and “want what they have” badly enough to be prepared to die in the service of our people, or at least devote our lives to the acquisition of the Six Prerequisites, then nothing can stand in our way!

“… Men of poor beginnings often can do anything”.

No comments:

Post a Comment