'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Hierarchy Of Human Needs

Some years ago I went out with a very talented jazz singer - who had a rather snotty attitude towards rock & roll, as jazz singers do. I would try to convince her, unsuccessfully, that rock & roll's great achievement is to encapsulate, in miniature, profound & complex truths about the human condition by means of the shallow and simple 3-minute song. She never believed me. The truth of this proposition was brought home last night - Maslow's hierarchy of human needs has its most perfect expression in Mary Chapin Carpenter's interpretation of Lucinda Williams' Passionate Kisses.
While listening to the song it struck me that Williams is using the conceit of a spurious but all-encompassing science (if management theory can be so dignified) to allow her words to express profoundly felt truths. A Metaphysical Poet would probably recognise & approve of this approach. Then again, it may just be the Me Generation throwing its toys out of the pram. Feel free to disagree in the comments . . .


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