"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Alan Myers Dead at Age 58

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Who is Alan Myers, you’re probably asking.

Myers was the drummer of the iconic punk group Devo, which I’ll admit openly was a major musical and philosophical influence on me throughout my teen years.

The group was ignored by ‘serious’ musicians and listeners as an oddity and a joke, but that was the listener’s loss. Devo’s music engaged some quite profound issues, and the band members are all deep thinkers.

For example, the song “It’s a Beautiful World” is a focused commentary on the constant failure of humanity to achieve greatness.  The closing images take you through one of the 1960/1970 nuclear survival videos in cartoon form, which powerfully underlines the message.

Likewise, Jocko Homo was a commentary on humanity, and creation vs evolution (long before that debate was popular).

They tell us that
We lost our tails
Evolving up
From little snails
I say it’s all
Just wind in sails
Are we not men?
We are DEVO! ….

god made man
but he used the monkey to do it
apes in the plan
we’re all here to prove it
i can walk like an ape
talk like an ape
do what a monkey do
god made man
but a monkey supplied the glue

The band members are outstanding musicians. I read an interview with Mark Mothersbaugh where the interviewer pointed out that Devo’s deconstructed music required a high degree of competence in all forms of music. You had to be able to play, before you could deconstruct the music to its fundamental components.

To a quick look, the music is silly and trite, and the videos hilarious.  That was a part of the message and the deconstruction that surrounded some serious questions, like consumerism – Freedom of Choice is another topic that I’ve preached a number of sermons around (without ever directly referencing Devo’s influence on my theology).  I guess I’m out of the Devo closet now.

In ancient Rome there was a poem

About a dog who found two bones

He picked at one He licked the other

He went in circles He dropped dead

Freedom of choice Is what you got Freedom of choice!

Last one, as a homework assignment – one that I still find disturbing as it deals with some fundamental questions about our ability to create false realities, Peek-a-Boo:

the way that we weren’t is what we’ll become
so please pay attention while i show you some
of what’s about to happen

peek-a-boo!
i know what you do
cause i do it too

laugh if you want to or say you don’t care
if you cannot see it you think it’s not there
it doesn’t work that way

Devo released an album last year, Something for Everybody, which demonstrated their ability to continue to offer commentary on cultural realities.  The song, Human Rocket, provides a profound perspective into the mind of a suicide bomber:

I am a human rocket on a mission of destruction
I’ve been locked and loaded and ready for the confirmation
I am a human missile guided by a secret perfection
That commands my full conviction and wills me on my way

Large parts of the experience will go by unnoticed
We are all distracted by the lights and sounds of everything and nothing
Do you remember the breath you took when they let you off the hook?
And sent you swimming away back into your cell?

I am a human rocket on a mission of reduction
I’ve been cocked and loaded since the dawn of time
I am a human missile guided by a secret voice
That commands my every thought and deed and wills me on my righteous way

Alan Myers – we’re all Devo. RIP.

 

 

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Written by sameo416

June 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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