We are just a combination of definite chemical compounds living in the ever-expanding universe and when we realise that the main concept of consciousness that we are so proud of, maybe irreverent in the comparison with some other yet undiscovered species. But this intense existential crisis can become a great hindrance in our way of self-realization. Thus, Music was created in order to hitch up us to the great symphony of the cosmos.Taste of music can manifest the psychological situation of the listener. The same way, unscientific and repetitive music can hurt the stability of human mind more gruesomely than anything.
The bad taste in music can make our judgmental capacity less and less logical and can convert us into a sheep of the providers . That is an easier way to get profitable for a them. It’s unfortunate that the modern entertainment industry is nothing but the horrific representation of this idea, where the place of true talents are rare to see and mass-produced content rules our capacity to intake artistic creations.
But, if you look hard enough, you can find trace amount of truly talented artists that warns us about the avaricious practices with their creations. This article is about a piece of art manifesting the same idea. It’s about the song ‘Hotel California‘ by the band Eagles.
‘Hotel California‘, released in the December of 1976, won the Grammy award for the best album that year. The song named same as the title is one of the most iconic soft rock songs of all time and stays as a prominent milestone in the evolution of music.
Here the singer sings a story of losing his true self in a poetic manner. The song portrays the sheer effect of greed in the business of art and how it uses its charm and enslave our mind in order to convert us into a pure consumer of plastic feelings.
Mirage of Ethics
in the song, we see the narrator is on a highway having a comfortable ride when he found a Building, in front of which a woman is standing holding a lamp. That hotel in the desert here signifies the great dreamland of luxury, the birthplace of modern fantasy, California, the center of the mainstream culture of the world. Here narrator identifies himself as an artist wanting to make a fortune like everyone else in the Dreamy-world of art. But, the confusion rises there when he can’t decide the nature of the place.
…There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
“This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”
It clearly shows our modern dilemma of finding something that is worth a try or can be avoidable.The glamour of the life we all desired pulls us to to the situations sometimes where we don’t want to participate .This is same for the artist who wants to establish his identity in the map of international creativie credibility. Just like the lust of shiny things works for animals like cats, they use to run blindly towards the goal of being more and more prosperous. So, in order to establish a true factory of mechanical feelings providers have to generate a mirage of ethics so that, consumers as well as creators get stuck in the labyrinth of logic and slowly becomes inactive towards critical thinking.
Absence of Counter Culture
In the history of artistic creation, there’s always a parallel growth between culture and counterculture. The mainstream of art is produced for the demand of the majority. It sometimes deviated from its creative pathway in order to impress the mass and become profitable in a continuous manner. Despite that, it shows us a detailed picture of the history of humanity and the intellectual evolution.
On the other hand, counter-culture acts as an alternative form of the artistic impression for the people who refuses the mainstream art and show interest in out of the box experiments with the art which can be too risky to handle for the mass producers.
Throughout the majority of the history, the equilibrium between both sides of art provided a stable environment of philosophical nourishment.
On the historical year 1969 when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin took the small step on the floor of the Moon that turned out to be one of the largest step for the whole mankind, the glory of the counterculture was at it’s fullest. The ongoing peace rally demanding the return of the soldiers from the Vietnam War was one of the main contributors to the outburst of the counterculture movement.
During the historic Woodstock music festival between 15-18 August, the glorious fate of the counterculture movement was written. After that, the rate of inclusion of the counterculture and mainstream music began to grow day by day. Professionals are started to capitalize the whole concept of alternative arts and tried to enforce their strategical monopoly to the consumers. Modern art, mainly music is now the ugly representation of this. Eagles understood the cruelty of the system and felt the quicksand of the new trend as early as 1976. This we get to see in the line :
So I called up the Captain,
“Please bring me my wine”
He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine”
Absence of Individuality
In today’s busy life, where our brain has uncountable tasks to perform, we keenly seek the slightest bit of symmetry to calm our mind. So, during our leisure time, we don’t get the urge to identify and analyze a whole new and different kind of track. So the provider started to deliver us same type of tune with the familiar type of lyrics in order to make our sense of judgment as weak as possible so that it will be easy to consume. While songs from previous decades used to have one or two ‘Hooks‘, today, because of the ever lowering of the human attention span, producers began to add multiple hooks in order to get more and more attention than their competitors. This monstrous practice demolished the entire concept of musical richness and individuality.
Factory of Talent
It’s a lot of work to find a talented person who can sing and it’s equally hard to groom and endorse the talent. But the risk of the public rejection was a continuous fear to the corporates. So, in solution of that, they just cut the chance of rejection as they use to endorse a familiar face (majorly from some TV show), at a very young age ( longer the time of activity longer the profit) and they just repeatedly endorse their works till a point that the continuous repetition makes our brain to be habituated with their works and by simple conformational bias, we are forced to consume their works instead of organically growing likes to certain works. Swiftly the whole system of entertainment industry plucked out the chance of their loss and literally brainwash us by giving us a medicare taste of entertainment as a whole. Despite this morass of the establishment, some of the true artists always try their best to contribute pure arts as entertainment to the mass.
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast
In this line, we can clearly see how the artist is showing us the presence of the parasitic institution called the ‘industry of entertainment’ is sucking the glory out of the art and the artist is doing his best to prevent that but it’s not enough to destabilize the establishment.
Liberation from the Factory
Apart from this song, there are multiple landmark compositions present which manifest the same idea of breaking the shackles of this robotic manufactory called art. Songs like ‘Saul to Squeeze’ by Red Hot Chilly Paper, ‘Sound of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel are also a piece of art conveying this message. But our song ends with a cloud of confusion as our protagonist was noted that he is unable to leave the life he had chosen, the life of a performer.
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! “
So, at this phase, the artist used to accept their fate and try to live life as a performer performing unwillingly in front of a brainwashed audience.
The menacing labyrinth of the establishment reminds us one of the important parts of the Holy Bible, where Jesus of Nazareth after returning to his home, saw a Synagogue, in front of it there was a full busy market.
Angrily, he took a whip and started beating the merchants with it and overthrew the moneybags and tables of money lenders. He started shouting,
“My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:12-13)
This shows us a great way out of this ever extending crisis. As every form of art is one way or another is the lust of knowing the ultimate form of creation’ which is none other than the pathway of finding the creator of the whole Cosmos.
So, at first to be a genuine artist we have to separate our creativity from our greed as both will not be able to act simultaneously. That’s the only way to find the answer to the life. That’s the way to find the door of the Hotel California.