Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 08:32:28 -0400 From: mike nerlien firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln O'Brien <email@example.com>
Thanks for understanding too!!
From: Vaughn Mitchell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I am pleased to have come across your RUSH page on the web. It sparks me to find yet
another person who is aware of the musical and lyical genius of this group. Truly, RUSH is
one of the world's premier intelligent bands! You may also be interested in the works of
Dave Mustaine (with his band MEGADAETH) and Chuck Shuldiner (DEATH) especially
Death's two latest releases "Individual Though Patterns" and
"Symbolic". These bands are heavy metal and death metal respectively, so if you
do not enjoy that type of music, you may wish merely to read the lyrics. Attatched is a short story of mine heavily influenced by
the album Symbolic and by Michael Moorcock and Roger Zelazny's works. One version is txt
in case you don't have MS Word'97. Spead the word of RUSH!
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 21:04:27 -0800
From: "G. Gerig" <GerigG@hotmail.com>
Subject: More on Ayn Rand's influence
No offense intended, but attempting to interpret Peart's lyrics without a basic understanding of Rand's philosophy (Objectivism,) is an exercise in hit-or-miss speculation. I won't pretend to speak for Mr. Peart, but thanks to his "tip," I've been able to study Rand's philosophy for over 15 years. Here's my take:
"Territories" is more precisely a commentary on nationalism and racism, rather than "imperialism." Peart, I think can be safely said, is first and foremost an unwavering opponent of collectivism, and this song is primarily a statement against the nationalist and (by allusion) racist forms of collectivism. Imperialism is really beside the point.
The entire Apollo/Dionysis - heart/mind - reason/love conflict in "Hemispheres" is taken from Rand's nonfiction collection "The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution," in which she uses Apollo and Dionysis to represent the conflicting philosophies of, respectively, Aristotle and Plato, and by extension the dichotomy (which she held to be false) between body and mind. Rand held that mind and body are an integrated whole ("a single, perfect sphere",) not constantly warring opposites, which is the view held by nearly every other philosophy. She also held that there can be no such thing as a "collective human consciousness."
"The Trees," which is my single favorite Rush tune both musically and
lyrically, seems to trip up everyone - myself included. My first thought back in the
fall/winter of 1978/79 (as a wee lad of 16,) was that it was a stinging satire of the
destructiveness of militant feminism (!) To this day I still get environmentalists who
think it's a stinging protest
against logging (I kid you not.) So what is "The Trees" really about?
"The Trees" is a stinging satire - of the evil of EGALATARIANISM and the
inevitable result thereof. This could be any form of egalatarianism: militant feminism,
unionism, welfare statism/socialism, environmentalism, animal "rights",
"outcome-based education", etc. ad nauseam. The real key to this song is
in its last two lines: "...for they passed a Noble law/And the trees are all kept
equal - by hatchet, axe, and saw..." This is not a suggestion - it's a statement of
egalatarianism's inevitable dead-end: destruction. It's an incredibly eloquent Aesop's Fable of sorts, the moral of which is: "Egalitarianism lifts no one, and destroys everyone. It is evil."
For "Red Barchetta" you've got it backwards - it's a commentary on
Big-Brother statism (of which environmentalism is one form,) and its effect on the
automobile - or more precisely on what the automobile symbolizes. And what, according to
Peart, does the automobile symbolize? When USA Networks' "Night Flights" ran the
"Exit...Stage Left" concert video back in the early 80's, the songs were
interspersed with comments by the band members. Since I don't own that video, I don't know
if those comments are part of the program or were added exclusively for Night
Flights, but I remember Neil's comments on "Red Barchetta". He said specifically that the automobile symbolizes: sexuality and freedom. Not affluence. Here, again, is a continuation of a consistent theme: A statement against the trampling of individual freedom by collectivism - in this case a totalitarian state enforcing its environmentalistic
"Motor Law". (It's amazing - and depressing - how early that futuristic projection has approached reality.)
On "2112", the earlier Email nailed it: it's a sci-fi-tinged takeoff on Rand's brilliant novelette "Anthem." That book says more in just over 100 pages than most other authors manage to say in an entire career. The sci-fi trappings are just that - they are not essential to the story or its moral: individualism vs. a stifling collectivism.
The evaluations of "Manhattan Project" and "Nobody's Hero" are
accurate. As to the debate of Peart's position on religion, I would say that
"Freewill", "Roll The Bones", "Ghost of a Chance", "The
Big Wheel" clearly establish him as an atheist (those lyrics all closely echo Ayn
Rand's view on the supernatural, and her philosophy is solidly
atheistic.) Peart actually speaks at some length on his attitude toward religion in his book "The Masked Rider." If I remember correctly, he is atheistic, and says that his nutshell statement of belief is that "Life is my religion" (paraphrased).
If you're interested in Rand's philosophy, her own novels are not only an excellent
introduction to it, they're excellent literature. For a more structured presentation of
her philosophy from the ground up, try Leonard Peikoff's book "Objectivism: The
Philosophy of Ayn Rand." Neil's article in a recent issue (Sept '97, I think) of the
magazine "Liberty" is very enlightening as to his political/philosophical beliefs - he distances himself from the official
Objectivist organizations and expresses reservations about certain aspects of her political stands, but cites Rand's novel "The Fountainhead" as a major intellectual and artistic influence.
P.S. - Is that "UMD" as in U. of Minnesota-Duluth? The love of my
life was from there - her name is Nina...mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
P.P.S. - Please excuse the encyclopedic length of this...
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 09:06:31 -0400
Subject: Use of RUSH in social studies class
Hey there. I wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I did an oral report on one of Rush's songs in history last year, and you might want to add it to your page. We were studying the Holocaust, and as I listened to the words of "Red Sector A" I realized that's what it's all about. And if not directly pointed at the Holocaust, then definitely some other time of death camps. Think about it...I'd love to see it mentioned on your page. It feels good when I see that I can make a difference. :)
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 1996 23:53:01 -0400 From: Jeff email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Your interpretation of 2112 is off the mark. The song, which is similiar to the book "Anthem" by Ayn Rand, is about the individual against a collective totalitarian society. Seeking life in other planets? That is not what Neil had in mind writing the song. He only uses science fiction as the tool to deliver his message. Rand was a big infulence on Peart (I don't know if she still is), but when he wrote 2112 she was. If you get the chance, read "Anthem" its a short book. Subject: P.S. Neil stated in an interview he was agnostic. But he also added that he was romantic enough to want it to be true. I think he really is an atheist, but hold his agnosticism because of his romanticism. Subject: P.S.S. Sorry about this, but I just wanted to say that I think using Rush and their music is a great idea. It was in social studies that I first heard Rush and 2112. I really enjoyed when my teacher did that -he didn't only use Rush. Unfortunatly, good lyrics are hard to come by in today's music. Thank you.
Date: Sat, 12 Oct 1996 11:08:36 +0000 From: John Emmons
To: email@example.com Subject: Rush in the classroom Hi, I really loved your article in ASOF. I'm a Senior in High School, and a big Rush fan as well, and I'm hoping to become an English/Literature teacher, and I have always marveled how bands, especially Rush have used such great Literary references in their songs, and how those songs can be used to help teach children. I remember my excitment at discovering that Xanadu was very closely related to Coleridge's Kubla Khan...I thought it would be great if my teacher had know that as well, because the students would see that this literature is important to study. That the material doesn't just apply to then, but to now as well. Since I'm a musician as well, I suppose that I find such links important, but I think that music and art are what reflect the time and people of that age, and obviously if a group is reflecting on another work or literature, it must still have a message for us today. In fact all great works of art hae a message for us, whether it be a musical, visual, or literal message. I'm glad that someone else thinks that music is important in pointing out a certain situation in our day and age, or a reference to another work. I hope that someday I'll be able ot teach and use music and other forms of art to help illustrate that art and music isn't just a form of entertainment, but something which should make a message about life, or the times, and why the past isn't in the past, but it is still relevant to us and our time now. Thanks again for the article, I hope that I'll see more in ASOF on how to present the music in the classroom. Maria
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