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What foresight Malvina Reynolds had when she composed this song is over 50 years ago.

In the 60s, this was a protest song about the development of suburbia and associated conformist middle-class attitudes reflected in the United States. It refers to suburban tract housing as “little boxes” of different colors “all made out of ticky-tacky“, and which “all look just the same.” “Ticky-tacky” is a reference to the shoddy material used in the construction of housing of that time.Unknown-1

I can remembering singing this song when I was in the Brownies, here in the Shire, 30 years ago.   It sounds like a children’s song and to be honest 30 years ago when accompanying Brown Owl on her guitar, singing our little hearts out we did not understand what we were really singing about.  It was a catchy tune with simple words to remember.

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,1
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

Malvina Reynolds

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There is no doubt that this was a view of a conformist and homogenized American society that was being portrayed in the song.  Not only did Malvina Reynolds demonstrate a baby-boomer era societals need to maintain uniformity with each other, but also to base success on material and superficial things.  Everyone  seeking the same progressions (doctors, lawyers, business executives) and living in identical houses. This is exactly what we see now in 2015, even more so here in the United Kingdom.

images-2As far as our values are concerned, religious affiliation is dwindling (which my expressive view is a good thing as it is indeed a control mechanism – however, this has also affected peoples decision making).   Being a “good person” isn’t as important as being a rich person. Morality is changing dramatically as people put money and power over being virtuous. Individuals will behave the way they need to, to reach their desired outcome; societies perception of success.  We have indeed been reduced to mere cogs in the machines… look around us at the automated, redundant, cliche, monotonous and generic society that has been built up around us. Conformity becomes us, abit like ‘Toys R Us’

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This is, in my humble opinion, ticky-tacky.    Until our society begins to appreciate the diverse reality of “success”, like being happy, accomplishing dreams, and being a generous and caring human being, the cookie-cutter hold, these invisible values that our Government keep on barking about, those that if you ask any citizen here in the United Kingdom about, they would look at you as though you have totally lost the plot, and they would have to actually think about what you have asked them –  Mind control in its blandest form, creating predictable, simple people, with simple problems, too trapped in a maze of sameness to ever look upwards or outwards, too concentrated on the tiny problems of fitting in and making it up the corporate ladder to do much questioning of the system. Too worried about keeping up with the Jones’ to question why we’re here, what it means, and why things ended up this way.images

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” – Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1929)“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” – Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1929)

So., with this in mind., I am trying to understand the middle east crisis which is raising its ugly head once again, and is ever prevalent on our news and in the mind of the masses.

The difference between the West and East is that the West has developed science, which is objective in spirit, critical in method. Its pursuit tends to lay stress on the independence of judgment—hence, a sturdy individualism and a fierce nationalism. The drive behind science is the desire to subdue nature. Through science and its application the West has acquired enormous power over the materials and forces of nature and has built up a civilisation characterised by an economy of abundance, an ideology of unlimited progress and a fear complex which urges it ever onward to unceasing effort and sleepless vigilance (Remaining in the box)

Therefore , the concept of the supremacy of law is bound up with the ideas of equality and liberty. Equality before the law is incompatible with privilege, whether based on creed, caste, hereditary position or wealth. Liberties inhere in persona—the rights which an individual holds.  TheEastern holders of persona, so far as state and society were are are concerned, as a  collective village, the occupational fraternity, the family; the individual was merged in the group. Under the influence of Western law and the stress of modern socio-economic forces the individual has become emancipated. Society becomes an integration of individuals instead of being a community of communities.

Morris., talks extensively about the effects of the west on eastern philosophies on his You Tube Channel, link here.

This is an excellent video regarding the creation of the refugees.

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Shine

Twig, 2015

Sources

Malvina Reynolds (Online) Accessed http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/MALVINA/mr094.htm

Propaganda

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