Let us go then, you and I
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table . . .
Like a patient etherized upon a table. That line comes from T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. And that image of the unconscious patient pretty much sums up the state of things today. Our society, our culture is so anesthetized, so “comfortably numb,” as Pink Floyd put it, we no can react to violations of sensibility.
Our values have been so totally corrupted, co-opted, co-whathaveyou, we, as a society, no longer have a culture, and thus have no sense of outrage when our values have been tromped on.
Last Sunday’s Superbowl was our annual Feast of the Money God. The purpose is no longer a celebration of sport, but rather a celebration of Commerce and branding. The highlight of the spectacle is no longer the athleticism or the excitement of the game, but the TV commercials–commercials that cost millions.
Post Superbowl all I’ve been seeing on TV are the folks on the Today show, and the wieners on Entertainment tonight, talking about the Radio Shack commercial that including salutes to a number of 80s icons, like Alf and Mary Lou Rettin, etc. Cute, yeah. I get it. Commentators pick their favorites. Blah, blah.
And yet I have heard very little commentary on the Chrysler Commercial that Bob Dylan appeared in. Bob Dylan? Isn’t he supposed to be above all that? I remember when Dylan went electric. He was almost killed by his fans. The press was relentless. Music critics accused him of “selling out.”
And now here in the 21st Century, he appears in a two-minute commercial for a car company, and not even that good a car company.
Where is the sense of outrage? There apparently no longer is anything we hold sacred. Anything for a buck is the slogan we live by now. The patient isn’t etherized on the table. He’s dead.