The Old Revolution

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Geoffrey
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The Old Revolution

Post by Geoffrey » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:17 pm

A beggar is a poor person. I know this is splitting atoms, but instead of "the hand of your beggar is burdoned down with money" wouldn't it have been more correct to call him an ex-beggar? After all, the moment all that money touched his hand it changed ownership, and the guy became wealthy. A beggar with money in his hand is a contradiction in terms. He WAS a beggar, past, not present tense. You cannot say: "The stomach of the hungry man is heavy with food".
holydove
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Re: The Old Revolution

Post by holydove » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:26 pm

Maybe the beggar is not begging for money - he is begging for something else and got money instead, so he is "burdened" with it, because that's not what he really wants.
GinaDCG
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Re: The Old Revolution

Post by GinaDCG » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:30 pm

The beggars I know are never Ex Beggers. They would always like more money you may offer them.

I take my responsibility to give to all who need rather seriously, but how to respond to beggers who are just going to abuse your charity? I take a suggestion from a friend who lives in Chicago and give away McDonalds coupons. They have no black market value and they can only be used for food. I only handed out a couple in downtown Charleston and word must have got around, because now the usual beggars hands are retracted when they see me coming ;-)
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hydriot
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Re: The Old Revolution

Post by hydriot » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:28 pm

GinaDCG wrote:I take a suggestion from a friend who lives in Chicago and give away McDonalds coupons. They have no black market value and they can only be used for food. I only handed out a couple in downtown Charleston and word must have got around, because now the usual beggars hands are retracted when they see me coming ;-)
Of course. They weren't BurgerKing coupons. Even beggars have standards.
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
holydove
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Re: The Old Revolution

Post by holydove » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:04 am

At the risk of being viewed as "harping" on the issue, I'd like to clarify what I meant; I think the beggar might be begging for love/nurturing/human contact, rather than money; but the narrator is not able to give him/her love, he is only able to offer the "beggar" material things, so those things have become a "burden" because they are not an adeaquate replacement for love.

When I first heard the song, I thought this line was a reference to greed & hypocrisy (like GinaDCG has said), but I now think this other interpretation is a possibility. The song can be interpreted on a political or personal level, or both. On the political level, the greed/hypocrisy interpretation works; on the personal/spiritual level, I think the "money instead of love" interpretation works. (Neither one is right or wrong, just different possibilities).

While we're here, I'd like to bring up another question (I know it's been discussed to some degree before, but I wonder what people might be thinking now): What is the furnace? Is it the torturous (though creative & transformative) hell-fires of the narrator's mind? Is it the alchemical furnace that extracts the purest essence out of the whole mess? Perhaps the mind (with its creative/spiritual heat) IS the alchemical furnace, if you use it in that way. There are spiritual/religious philosophies which speak of the "heat" that is created when spiritual transformation takes place as a result of spiritual practice. There are other possible interpretations for "furnace", but in the context of the song, I'm thinking this might make some kind of sense. Any other ideas?
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lizzytysh
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Re: The Old Revolution

Post by lizzytysh » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:35 am

I love your explanation, Seadove. My preference by far.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Geoffrey
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Re: The Old Revolution

Post by Geoffrey » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:58 am

holydove asked:
>What is the furnace? Is it the torturous (though creative & transformative) hell-fires of the narrator's mind? Is it the alchemical furnace that extracts the purest essence out of the whole mess? Perhaps the mind (with its creative/spiritual heat) IS the alchemical furnace, if you use it in that way. There are spiritual/religious philosophies which speak of the "heat" that is created when spiritual transformation takes place as a result of spiritual practice. There are other possible interpretations for "furnace", but in the context of the song, I'm thinking this might make some kind of sense. Any other ideas?


In a recent Newsweek article I read: 'In one year 43 million tons of dust falls onto America, and 12 of those millions are people.' That made me think that 'Into this furnace I ask you now to venture' is simply a reference to cremation, though that is against the Jewish laws. A little piece of Leonard will never find its way into your vacuum cleaner bag.
holydove
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Re: The Old Revolution

Post by holydove » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:11 am

GEOFFREY, you are very funny, thanks for the laugh - I certainly hope I will not find ashes of Leonard in my vaccuum cleaner, mainly because I want him to live forever (as you can infer, I don't have a really great grip on reality)! But if I ever do come into contact with ashes (or pieces of Leonard in any other form), be it in my vaccum cleaner or anywhere else, I will remove them from my vaccuum cleaner (or wherever) and place them on my shrine, where they belong!

Actually, I once read that dust is constantly falling from everything, including people. That's why we are "stardust" - our bodies are formed from "cosmic dust" that comes from stars, planets, rocks, etc., from outer space. So, according to that theory, a person would not have to be dead in order to shed dust. (So maybe we CAN somehow find & collect Leonard's "dust", & do with it as we please (OMG, isn't this getting a bit grotesque - just look at the thoughts you have triggered - & imagine if Leonard ever reads this!)

Long ago, when I interpreted Old Revolution on a political level, I thought the furnace might be a reference to the famous ovens of the Nazis (which I think is similar to your cremation theory). And that's still possible, but I now lean more towards the "internal furnace" interpretation. Both interpretations could make sense, but they would arise from very different angles of approach to the song. . .

LIZZY, thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed my little input. (By the way, my name is holydove, not seadove - I only mention this because there is a forum member named seadove, & I don't want him/her to be disturbed by the mix-up - as for me, it doesn't matter - you can call me whatever you like!)
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