(End of) the golden age

End of the golden age

The time's out of joint, and so am I

Even climate change has screwed up

Global warming's making me sh-sh-shiver

 

End of the golden age

I write on an electronic page

Nothing's as it seems

Science is merely another belief

Countered by holy writ, papal bull and tribal chief

All use modern media

To get medieval ideas to ya

 

Back to the future

Back to the eighties

That's where the States is

Reagan resurrected as Palin

It's a re-Ron but it's not Monty Python

Snake-oil salesmanship

Tax cuts for the haves

Loans for the have-nots -

Oh no, remember where that got us?

No cars then, at least not with insurance

You could get on your bike and find a job

But it won't pay off your student loan

The better positions depend on who you've known

Like it always has done

 

End of the golden age

Like the Ruins of Athens

The Waste Land

New Orleans

Pyongyang

 

End of the idea of equality

Though we've still got more than most have

We still mainly care how much the Jones have

Not how little the bones have

Left of flesh to cover them

Flies traverse rib cage peaks and troughs

We won't even give to the Irish

Unless it's at a good rate of interest

We're such good friends, you see

 

End of the golden age

Unless you've a hoard of it

Under the floorboards in Switzerland

Peaks and troughs

Like the Alps

Strong currency, weak currency

Which is currently best?

Weak's good for exporters

So say reporters

The pound pounded and Buffetted by Soros

Glorious traditions undermined by one man

Empires and states go cap in hand

To win the favours of magnates

Who need no votes

From those without cash

So save up and splash out

On boats

Moats

Electrified gates

Pay the rates they set

Pay your tithes

Serfs tied to a bank account

Beneath the tall proud castle

On its Northern Rock

 

End of the golden age

The post-war baby boom is bust

It wasn't just Brown who brought it down

It wasn't Blair

But now who cares about the party?

We have the Big Society

On our own as winter approaches

Light my fire? - No, light your own

Live off the fat of the land

Grow your own

Hope it's not a tumour

I heard a rumour on the grapevine

You've been drinking more wine

And why not?

What else have you got?

Where can you go?

You can't drive through the snow

The wheels are getting stuck

They're closing down Heathrow

 

End of the golden age

It shall not weary them

Kids will die while still young men

Not off with their heads

Just off their heads

Always crashing in the same uninsured car

Only useful for war

And there is no war

No more war, remember?

And so there can never be

Another baby boom

Well, it can't happen here...

 

Golden age

Comes to all of us

The baby boomers boomed

Loony tunes like 'Hope I die before I get old'

But sadly for the next lot

We renegades reneged

We lost the plot

Who will pay for it?

Who will make a fuss of obsolete us?

The young, I guess

Gerontocracy

Over democracy

It works for me

Respect your elders

Did we?

Will they?

We'll see...

 

Age

Help the aged

Help them to the end

Help them to end it all

It's the end

End of

The golden

Age

◄ What about Macca (Part 2)

Bloody students? ►

Comments

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Lynn Dye

Wed 15th Dec 2010 15:27

I enjoyed this, Tony, and think a poem with so much to say needs to be longer than most. Well written

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Antonionioni

Tue 14th Dec 2010 12:00

Many thanks everyone for comments! Sorry I'm late to reply because my home laptop is being repaired (hopefully).

To address one or two points raised - nothing can be truly known with absolute certainty, I certainly accept that, Banksy. I think we agree pretty much.

Dave B - yes, I agree with your points, much of the Bible does contain historical fact within it, although of course the perspective is not objective but nationalistic and from a particular faith's viewpoint (the Old Testament, I have in mind, but the same is true of the New Testament.) Therefore the Bible as history is comparable to, say a Shakespeare historical drama in that it isn't totally fact, it just contains some fact.


Steve - I wouldn't be as rude as to side with Nietzsche and say God is dead, but he does seem to have retired. After all he stopped speaking directly to his chosen people, after speaking to them regularly, two to three thousand years ago!

Chris - many thanks - you have made a number of observations which I appreciate and can't disagree with, LOL.

Ray - good point - does Jones refer to the Dow Jones? It COULD do...Ah, the usual pretentious stance of the 'artist'... I'll be honest and say i didn't think of that, i was thinking of keeping up with the Jones's, but it certainly could have that echo as well.

Andy - thanks for your comments!


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Ray Miller

Mon 13th Dec 2010 19:32

It seems a long poem to read, more so than to hear, perhaps. After a while you know what to expect next.Still, lot of nice lines, Reagan resurrected as Palin etc.So in the fifth verse are you referring to the Dow Jones or the Jones's?

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Chris Co

Mon 13th Dec 2010 18:44

I have to disagree myself with a few voices on here that have commented....subjectivity being king and all that. First of all I think it is a brilliant poem Tony and one of if not your best...it's excellent!!!

Also I personally do not think it overly long at all. I think it is a fantastic peice and I for one am glad that it says all that it does.

I saw Tony perform this and believe me the science reference comes across as obviously ironic. In fact I think it is fairly obvious on the page that this is ironic...but maybe that is because I know Tony?

Science is merely another belief...

Tony knows that's not the case, but he is also playing with a little nuance in reference to the word belief and the idea of truth.

Anyone who knows the scientific method knows the fundamental difference between belief and science.
It does not matter if science is wrong, which from time to time it is. Science derives from the foundation of saying;

We propose, we evidence and we substantiate the best possible explanation and fit when it comes to facts and truth. But it also comes with the key caveat/proviso that anything that is evidenced in future as a better explanation and fit will supersede current thought.

This is known as paradigm shift.

Belief and faith are radically different in that they are unshakeable and blindly hold on to a set position irrespective of anything else. Faith and belief not only ignore emerging evidence they have absolutely no requirement for it!

I think Tony's target here, that of this orthodoxy is entirely reasonable. In fact to all people with logical independent minds it is more than reasonable. This is not an attack on religious people- it is an attack on organised religion that causes so much misery and medals in science and creates its own pseudoscience.

Throughout the poem we have ripe and justifiable targets and a real and independent voice shines through.

The repetition of the line
'end of the golden age'

works really well and I really like the broad brush strokes and subjects that are swept across with ire, contempt and at times resignated irony.

I hope to hear you perform this the whole way through next time Tony as I was really enjoying it on the night.

Chris

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Steve Regan

Mon 13th Dec 2010 17:10

Great aural poem, Antonionioni. Bleak in tone for bleak times with plenty of political and (a few) religious barbs. Liked these lines ... All use modern media

To get medieval ideas to ya"

Though for "medieval ideas" I read "enduring truths".

Hey, God ain't finished with us yet!

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Dave Bradley

Mon 13th Dec 2010 10:02

I have to respectfully disagree with Antonionioni on one point (while enjoying the poem). The historic claims/facts that religions contain can be weighed for their historical worth in the same way as any other historical facts or claims. Why not? As just one example (there are countless)the evidence for the existence and brutal paranoid character of Herod can be weighed in the same way as the evidence for the massacre of the innocents at Bethlehem.

Regarding science, a friend was telling me a couple of weeks ago that an academic was recently telling him of a number of young students who had dropped their courses and/or hit mental health problems because they'd tried to wrap their minds around the quantum world. What goes on 'down there' is - as Banksy says - so so counter-intuitive, that it is mind-blowing.

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Andy N

Mon 13th Dec 2010 08:13

good to finally see the end of this piece, tone.. (i was at the open mike night he tried this, folks - it was one of those nights and i am surprised a reference to red fords didn't make into the final draft off this page - lol) - i think Banksy maybe right as i think too it's probably too long also but there is a lot of excellent ideas in it...

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Banksy

Mon 13th Dec 2010 08:09

agreed - it is our best knowledge (as you say) At That Time - but always subject to later change,which does rather beg the question of whether it is "knowledge" at all. Many aspects of science are well-proven & indisputable, but many (eg parts of quantum mechanics) are no more than ideas - totally unproven and quite possibly, unprovable. B

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Antonionioni

Sun 12th Dec 2010 23:37

Thanks guys - will you believe me if I say that there is irony in here re 'science is just another belief'? This mantra of our age really annoys the f*** out of me because as any scientist knows, science is not a belief but our best knowledge at the time. We can legitimately believe in that but with the fundamental difference from faith that our current belief can be proved wrong by later, better evidence. Faith on the other hand is unshakeable by evidence because it does not rely on evidence. It exists apart from evidence, except for the evidence that is not scientific evidence but religious evidence, which is a different category of evidence, not based on observable proof.

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Banksy

Sun 12th Dec 2010 23:31

BTW - this isn't about you, is it ?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA7xEE7zmoY

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Banksy

Sun 12th Dec 2010 20:50

Dear Mr Antioinioninionioi - to be blunt I think it's over-long, though there's some v good stuff in there.I'm consciously trying not to keep contradicting the stuff that John Aikman says but IMHO your "science is just another belief" idea is not risible at all - you have the right to express your views, and, as a consultant scientist for 35 years, I happen to agree with you. Science can explain most of the universe & is pragmatically very useful - it can predict outcomes, benefit mankind, feed us, heal us etc etc. But science is predicated on one approach only - logic - and there are indeed times (eg particle physics, quantum theory & relativity) where logic simply flies out the window and science does indeed degenerate to the point where we asked to believe things that our all-encompassing scientific tool- logic - says are just impossible... & science is then reduced to a belief system no better & no worse than religion. We may overcome these gaps in our knowledge in time, but so far logic does nothing to show us that we will & it may well be that there is no "logical" or "scientific" way to bridge these gaps in our understanding. B

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John Aikman

Sun 12th Dec 2010 18:50

I'm sorry but I think you are mistaking 'weather' for 'climate' and the idea that 'science is just another belief' is risible...it is far, far more profound than that, unless that was your point?...in which case I am sorry I misinterpreted you.

Nihilism is not an end in itself.

Fun though.

Goodstuff!

:-)

Jx

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Francis Barker

Sun 12th Dec 2010 18:14

'Science is merely another belief' - this is so true a lot of the time. Let's hope the Age doesn't end on 21.12.2012 like some think. As you say, the Golden Age, if it ever was one, is long gone now. Nice.

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Antonionioni

Sun 12th Dec 2010 17:50

Hello Philipos - many thanks. I tried to read this is an open mic contest and ran out of time, LOL

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Philipos

Sun 12th Dec 2010 17:47

Hi Antonionioni - who's been a busy lad then - I like the rhythms and could see this as an open mike entry - did you plan it that way - well done

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