The Charioteer

"The charioteer of the human soul drives a pair of steeds, and one of the horses is beautiful, good, and formed of such elements, whereas the makeup of the other one is quite the opposite." -Phaedrus

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Location: Duquesne University, United States

A Blog For All and None. Consider it my narrative history of ideas. A place primarily to share and obtain feedback to my thoughts through my graduate career in philosophy. For philosophy is simply "thoughts that have been thought out."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"The Power of One"




I will forever stand behind my claim that European progressive power metal is (with a touch of irony) some of the most intelligent music ever produced, save symphonic orchestration. I continue to be astounded by the brilliance in both the musicianship and song writing in some of the European (primarily German) brands of metal, which is far from the concept most Americans tend to have when they think of the genre of heavy metal.

Take for example Sonata Arctica's epic piece "The Power of One," off their 2001 album Silence. I have heard the song many times, but it wasn't until I found this video that put the song with clips from Schindler's List that it occurred to me to read the song's lyrics. In fact, the song is an entire philosophy against domination, slavery, and mastership -- racial, national, or any other kind. This idea of the "one," and its particular power, expresses, as Tony Kakko writes, that "we are all the same." Though this idea has a limit in how far it should be extended, for Kakko, it is accurate and suitable for emphasis at least when dealing with the situation of domination. There must be a degree where we are all the same in order to combat attempts for a race or nation to place themselves above any other race or nation. Kakko writes:

"In the world that we live on, the lies said and done
They can well overrun
the power of one."

There is another interesting theme in the song, that of blindness. The song indicates blindness as a blessing, indeed, "the hope of mankind." It is a bit strange since usually it is blindness that gets the blame for the atrocities of history. Here, though, I think it is a interesting epistemological point of how one might think they can see unblemished the way things are and fool themselves into further thinking they are superior to others. It is a question of being aware of our blindness that is the hope of mankind.

I always wondered about the line after, "no one was born to be a servant or a slave," namely, "who can tell me the color of the rain." This is an astounding physical example of how were are inept in describing the color of the rain (or water in general) which indicates blindness most of all.

In the beginning there is this line:
"I saw the colors too bright, not knowing that I was blind."

Finally at the end, there is a switch:
"I need to believe.
There's more than the eye can see
All colors of rainbow."

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