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Friday, 17 April 2009

"New Ways To Dream"

The endless fascination with the Romanovs and the glittering world prior to WWI, I think goes beyond the immediate draw of the tragic and beautiful family to something deep within us that harks back to another era - a Golden Age. Of course, that Golden Age never really was. In the late 19th Century, they dreamed of Camelot; and who knows what they dreamed in the Dark Ages, but undoubtedly, it was of a better time before that. Perhaps that longing is really a seeking for our true selves - that part of us, buried within us, which seems to come from a past, and that is at the very core of our being: the belief that the world can be kind, good, noble and all that is finest in us. We're so used to projecting our views of everything onto the world, that maybe we dream of an ideal past that is really a dream of a return to our own true nature.

That having been said, it seems often that the lure of the past is of an age of respect and chivalry and good manners; the age of people taking time over projects and producing beautiful results - not the rushed, busy-business, not the rat race, not the throw-away society that the Industrial Revolution spawned.

It seems to me that the most fascinating things are happening right now. Groaning from almost 2 centuries of industrialisation and people becoming little more than cogs in the wheel, there is a huge desire to return to Nature, to real values, to be free of the packaged fruits and perfect EU-acceptable bananas and the gloss and sham of music, literature and art of the past few decades. Without wishing to jump on the bandwagon of the hugely deserved success of Susan Boyle, who performed so genuinely and incredibly, hasn't she arrived at just the right time? Sick of the surfeit of counterfeit nonsense and hype and plastic and sham, people have been longing for reality again. Out steps a true talent - someone singing from the heart; no hype, no fake-tan, no million dollar dress or a host of sexy dancers - just a true talent, and it was as though everyone in that audience, and everyone watching at home gasped a great collective whoop of joy! At last, we are free of the superficiality. The fact that her performance coincides with loss of faith in hypocritical governments or greedy banks, is significant. People can only be conned so far before there is a backlash because we are all so much more wonderful than we are led to believe most of the time. We don't have to fit the bill, look a particular way, be controlled, be made-to-measure, be told how to live in order to succeed.

The Golden Age, is the age of people being true to themselves and therefore true to one another. I think Susan Boyle has succeeded in doing what that wonderful line from 'Sunset Boulevard' expresses, she has quite unintentionally 'taught the world new ways to dream.'

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