The Inauguration

As I ponder the forthcoming American presidential inauguration, I’m reminded of Leonard Cohen’s 1992 song “The Future”. Cohen sees a future where value has been lost, where all we have is a free market of taste.

Cohen wonders aloud if dangerous valuation is preferable to a world where right/wrong or true/false have lost their meaning.

 

_____________________________________________________________

Give me back my broken night
My mirrored room, my secret life
It’s lonely here
There’s no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
Over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby
That’s an order!

Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that’s left
And stuff it up the hole
In your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
I’ve seen the future, brother
It is murder.

Things are going to slide in all directions
Won’t be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul
When they said repent REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent REPENT
I wonder what they meant

You don’t know me from the wind
You never will, you never did
I’m the little Jew
Who wrote the bible
I’ve seen the nations rise and fall
I’ve heard their stories, heard them all
But love’s the only engine of survival
Your servant here, he has been told
To say it clear, to say it cold:
It’s over, it ain’t going
Any further
And now the wheels of heaven stop
You feel the devil’s riding crop
Get ready for the future
It is murder.

Things are going to slide in all directions
Won’t be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul
When they said repent REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent REPENT
I wonder what they meant

There’ll be the breaking of the ancient western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There’ll be phantoms
There’ll be fires on the road
And the white man dancing
You’ll see a woman hanging upside down
Her features covered by her fallen gown
And all the lousy little poets coming round
Tryin’ to sound like Charlie Manson
And the white man dancin’

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
Give me Christ
Or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don’t like children anyhow
I’ve seen the future, baby:
It is murder.

Things are going to slide in all directions
Won’t be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul
When they said repent REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent REPENT
I wonder what they meant

_________________________________________________________________

Good luck to us all.

 

 

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