Since we had such an interesting discussion about the preference for fantasy and artifice to actual knowledge in huge swaths of the U.S.—and how this is why we’re still talking about torture and why everyone feels comfortable pretending that the ACORN sting discovered anything but some employees were willing to play along with an obvious prank—I thought the perfect song for the Genius Ten this week would actually be one written 36 years ago.
Well, whether he intended to or not, he aptly predicted the trend that reactionary America would run towards. The song is about a man who has constructed a fantasy world in his fancy new home (the song is peppered comically with real estate terms), and he builds his life out of avoiding the world and worshiping his perfectly submissive female companion, an inflatable doll. Not that far off from what really happened, as huge numbers of white, middle class Americans bought exurban McMansions in sidewalk-free neighborhoods, and joined churches that preached, among other fantasies, a doctrine of female submission. And it’s all garish and loud, from the mega-churches to the houses that completely overwhelm the lot, leaving about 2 feet of grass working more as a symbol of a moat than a proper yard. It makes 70s-style camp seem modest in its mission to satirize with hyperbole.
Anyway, here’s the Genius Ten. Leave yours in comments.
Original song: “In Every Dream Home A Heartache” by Roxy Music
1) “Big Brother”—David Bowie
2) “Drugs”—Talking Heads
3) “At Home He’s A Tourist”—Gang of Four
4) “Ex-Lion Tamer”—Wire
6) “Theme for Great Cities”—Simple Minds
7) “She Cracked”—The Modern Lovers
8) “Midnight Man”—Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
9) “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”—Gary Numan
10) “Warm Leatherette”—The Normal
Videos below the fold. This week, I mostly took pictures of classic cocktails and pole dancers dressed in gym clothes, and so I must admit that my snoozing cats were overlooked.