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Commemorating Independence Day, The Fourth of July 2022


America's 246th Birthday

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Imagi-Nation Flag

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Thematic Images for the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack:


"Romantic 'Total Revolution':

The Democracy of Soul & The Goddess of Liberty"

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The celebration of the national holiday of the 4th of July has many features of Carnival. As stated on a typical Federal Holiday website: "Independence Day is commonly associated with barbecues, picnics, concerts, carnivals, parades, and fireworks." Therefore, this musical essay series for Independence Day logically follows the previous musical essay series "May Day Carnivalesque" in the sense of (a) continuing the theme of "carnivalesque" carnival of festivities, (b) popular culture's potential  for social change,  and (c) sharing the revolutionary theme of the "world turned upside down."  

 

Actually, the previous two series of musical essays, "Beltane/May Day" (with its emphasis on how the premodern public festivals for May Day "misrule" increasingly, through rituals of "social inversion" of hierarchies, took on a political edge, leading to instances  of popular insurrection) and "May Day Carnivalesque," served as appropriate lead-ins to this current "Independence Day" musical essay series, with its theme of "Total Revolution." Thus, the following important statement from the "May Day Carnivalesque Epilogue" will find its way into this current musical essay series for Independence Day: "The popularity of the term carnivalesque and its approach to carnival owes much to the influence of Bakhtin, whose exuberant descriptions of the festive life of the Middle Ages--"carnivalesque"--have led scholars to explore how popular culture might work as a force for political change."  

"In fireworks are released, all the explosive pyrotechnics of a dream. The inflammable desires, dampened by day under the cold water of consciousness, are ignited at night by the libertarian matches of sleep, and burst fourth in showers of shimmering incandescence. These imaginary displays provide a temporary relief." —Kenneth Anger

 

The Bruce Springsteen song, “4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)," is not only appropriate here but also harks back to the GS' previous musical essay series, "May Day Carnivalesque," about carnival and carnivalesque. (There is a premodern notion about the significance of Carnivalthat life is one long carnival. As the popular rock song goes: "Life is a carnival.")

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click on meme to access the "May Day Carnivalesque" webpage.

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The question behind the "Independence Day" Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack: 

WHAT IS AMERICA?

America has been described as a "democratic experiment." Some astute observers of our nation have ventured to describe America as an "idea," a "conversation," and a "dream." However, the GS likes to conceive of America as a "tune." To read some visionary quotations about what America really is, click on link below.

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Thematic Images of the Imagination of America,

from 16th to the 19th Centuries 

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"America" (The Four Continents series, Zucchi 1777)

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Four Parts of the World series - America (Giordano, 17th c.)

Africa America (One of a series on the Four Continents, London, T. Hinton 1808).jpg

"Africa and America" (The Four Continents series, Hinton 1808)

Apollo and the Continents - The Personification of the American Continent (Tiepolo 1752-30

The Personification of the American Continent (Giovanni Tiepolo, ca. 1752)

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Miss America - Four Continents (Monkman, 2012)

Thematic Images of America as American and  African Amerindians