Happy Nation Live

Her gothic frau-frock… the flaming urns…
an exalted figure makes a strutting entry –
like a fascist rally of some sort…

It makes one wonder.
How beautiful was Lucifer when he used music to rally the angels to join his movement? What gimmicks did Nero use to produce a tyrannic spectacle? How powerful was the fervor of a Nazi rally? What drives people to lose their individuality in mass events like pop concerts or New-Age cult celebrations?
I am not saying that Ace of Base are sinister or evil—in fact I like this song for it’s message, and I love this band for their music. I especially enjoy the beauty of the singers. (I am dazzled by Linn’s flashing wristwatch at 1:19 !) I  But if you step back and analyze the use of light, color, rhythm and media spectacle to enhance the crowd’s collective hysteria, you begin to appreciate these frightful words from the prophet Ezekiel:

You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.

You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.

By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within,
And you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the fiery stones.

Ezekiel 28:12-16 KJV

Meanwhile impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare; and this impersonal pushing is being consciously acceler­ated by representatives of commercial and political organizations who have developed a number of new tech­niques for manipulating, in the interest of some minor­ity, the thoughts and feelings of the masses. The tech­niques of manipulation will be discussed in later chapters. For the moment let us confine our attention to those impersonal forces which are now making the world so extremely unsafe for democracy, so very in­hospitable to individual freedom. What are these forces?

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

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