Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Daft Punk Story

The Daft Punk Story: As an electronic music duo from Paris, France, Daft Punk has certainly pushed the limits of the electronica genre to new heights. Thomas Bangalter and Guy Christo have taken elements of older electronic groups such as Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, and given them a wholly postmodern feel. Like Kraftwerk, Daft Punk sees an explicit connection between electronic music and robots. As a result, Bangalter and Christo frequently dress as robots in their music videos and during live performances. The atmosphere that stems from such antics is very conducive to the deliberate nature of their music. In fact, most of Daft Punk's songs follow a pattern of progression and regression that seeks to invigorate the technologically-oriented minds of their fan base. For instance, the song "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," which is on display in the above video, has a musical score littered with crescendos, decrescendos, and repetition symbols. In short, it is this kind of musical notation that defines the electronic genre today.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Christianity and Communism

Christianity and Communism: One of Christianity's major tenets emphasizes the inherent sacredness and equality of a community. Whenever people gather in the name of Christ, He is present. This divine sacrality merits attention insofar as Christians comprehend the full implications of what they worship. Take the archetypal image of the Last Supper, for example. It highlights equality in a communal setting, as God Himself is effectively on the same level as His disciples. And in doing so, it lends itself to an ideology like communism, which understands the civic virtue of a community in a more secular, albeit atheistic, fashion. An image of the Soviet Politburo could just as easily be superimposed over the Last Supper. Given that Christianity is fundamentally antagonistic toward socio-economic hierarchies, it is essentially analogous to the classless society that communism endorses. In fact, Christianity, as an agent of inversion, seeks to level all hierarchical orders that inevitably rise from social constructions of knowledge like gender, race, and class. The True Levellers, who assumed their name from a passage in Acts of the Apostles, were a prominent social group during the English Civil War that called for a leveling of the property distinctions in England, which they perceived as the root of all class consciousness. This kind of thinking found its way into separatist Christian sects such as the Pilgrims. When they conceived of their Plymouth Colony in America through the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrims understood the necessity for equalizing social conditions among members in their community. The dire circumstances that befell them in early America forced the Pilgrims to put aside their petty differences and bind together in a collective effort to survive. The problem is, of course, communism ceases to function as a workable ideology in a society driven largely by notions of private property and individualism.