So this post tries to make a typical pop song important to one’s own (your own) reality.

What is that big idea she had? To this day, you must still ask yourself. You may think that surely it had something to do with freedom and equality, but what that left for each of you was a bunch of deep questions and no answers. For both of you, it may have always seemed to be the sad, sad truth of the dirty low down as Boz Scaggs sang it, but surely this song wasn’t the final answer.

“Baby” was into school days running round and you yourself were ito wasting your own time, but you thought you could restrain yourself. You thought that if you could maintain such self-restraint, then “baby” could likewise do the same. Unfortunately you missed out on the big idea.

Regardless of such wondering of what was who, she had the big idea of the most important thing, and you were left in a condition where you had to deal with your own loneliness. The who and the what seemed to diverge.

You recognized your own pride, but given her dismissal of your own passion, you recognized that her pride too was nowhere near what was in either of your best interest. For whatever reason you refused to follow that big idea to which she seemed to be so attached.

Call it the sense of your own self or pride—whatever it was—it was surely your own thumos that trumped your interest, and you couldn’t accede to what she considered to be the big idea. In fact, in the break up you may have even used the word dignity in defense of yourself.

But as Boz Scaggs says, it’s—

Nothing you can’t handle, nothing you ain’t got
Put the money on the table and drive it off the lot
Turn on that ol’ lovelight and turn a maybe to a yes
Same old schoolboy game got you into this mess
Hey son, better get on back to town
Face the sad ol’ truth, the dirty lowdown

In the past you may have made a big haggle over yourself for not being hip enough to handle another’s idiosyncrasies. But after this big break up you went back to town for more meaning and abuse of that selfsame meaning.

After all, in a democracy of free and equal individuals, love relationships become complicated. Boz Scaggs offers an indifference born of being burned which can open you to a wide array of sexual experiences. In so many words he says, “Don’t touch me! I’m hot”—which in its indifference can strangely find others equally indifferent.

If you might think this Boz Scaggs’ way is the most intelligent way to go, then you must also admit that it also leads to continued loneliness.

It is similar to the self recognition of the exaggerated bombast of the typical Texan in his talk of ultimate independence—you too might seek to be loved for who you are, let alone seek love from those whom in you own snobbery think they are worthy of your own love—but you aren’t as good as you think you are. The Texan thinks he ought to be loved for simply being himself and since frontier conditions haven’t existed for at least 100 years, this passion for recognition of specialness, can manifest itself in dangerous and unproductive ways (but at least Texas has football as a way to give the love of special recognition its due).

You may think you have it all for yourself, but you have doubts about its self suffieciency—let alone its sustainability. Rather than playing the cool guy (refrigerator cool) of Boz Scaggs, you might be willing to love another, but in such expressions you always seem to get burned. So you wonder.

Consequently you play the cucumber cool of Boz Scaggs. With this coolness, you can travel to the dirty low down, but in that low down you can also associate with those whom hold a level of moral clarity which pertains to their relative truth. But usually (in an American context) that relative truth pertains to a faith in the one true Christian God. Remember, you always have Thomas Aquinas too—regarding reason and revelation, this man and his writings are a truly a divine gift (I say this not knowing much of divine gifts).

Still, at the end of the day perhaps the dirty low down opens you to the truth ordinarily denied to those at who at the heights of so called moral clarity can’t see due to a fundamental blindness.

Given this fact you may come to acknowledge that the true division is not between (even before Rome) Athens and Jerusalem but between those who think that the two cities are eternally and fundamentally alternatives, and those who think they can in some way be reconciled.

So I was speaking of the wonderful pop music of Boz Scaggs, let me throw another song from the ’70s just for the sake (similar to Boz Scaggs) and to show a thumotic defense against the devolution in terms of the trashiness of pop music, i.e. The Carpenters .

Man, I can’t believe I am that cheesy!

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Articles by John Presnall

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