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The Plutarchs

The Synchronicity Wavelength.jpg

The Synchronicity Wavelength

The PlutarchsEcho Cain
00:00 / 02:28

Genre:
Ambient Spoken Word

Instruments Used:

Vocals

Acoustic Guitar

Electric Organ

Djembe

Lyrics:

 

My hat brim floats in space.

I was banished here in the summer of ’84, when the White Horses roamed free within the bounds of the Sea of Barren Souls.

It came as no surprise to me; I was known for my elaborate larceny of the Oracle’s key.

I had stepped, cautiously, through the well-guarded corridors and twisting staircases of the tower.

The whole edifice smelled exceedingly of morning dew borne unto a sunbeam and the fog of the dawn.

The walls seemed to pulse and shake under the weight of every step I took.

Was the building responding? I- I was bereft of all good reason and so continued the climb, towards the key.

Crying children were locked inside each brick. Demons in the floorboards! My heart beat in rhythm to the drums coming from above me and polytonic clusters of sound crinkled my ears’ flesh! Eviscerating my sanity in one sharp blow.

I screamed in an outburst of uncontrollable pain. They ran, ran from me.

How could I not? How could I not have realized?

My bones split as the fists and batons of the Plutarchs played my tendons like the snapped strings of an untended guitar; I collapsed.

Trials, prisons. Then, the proposition.

Choose to leave; or stay imprisoned for an indefinite period.

They gave me a Solar Sail and suit at the very least.

I would be charting the Xelvian Galaxy, by myself, forever.

My body atrophied; I lost any semblance of reasonable thought.

I began to just exist.

I am the universe

And my hat brim floats in space.

Analysis:

    

       The composition of this song is primarily a combination of distorted organ and acoustic guitar. (Along with the poetic vocals; the focal point of the piece). The instruments respond to the story being told, weaving in drums at one point, disharmonic/unstructured music at another, and structural riffs on the acoustic guitar for most of the song. The riffs heard throughout sound similar but are actually quite different in pitch. This shows how cycles can change, calling back to their previous forms. The cycle is an aspect of the spiral, and it is this replacing of one cycle with another (or perhaps a deepening of cycles as one descends deeper into the spiral) that is seen within the context of the poetry.

       The lyrics speak about a thief who attempts to steal a key at the top of a tower who is thwarted through an acute psychosis related to climbing the tower. The thief is then beat senseless by the titular “Plutarchs”, sentenced to prison or exile, and chooses exile to float in space for eternity. Every piece of this poem is metaphorical, so let’s talk about the framework I used to construct it.

       Within the context of critical studies, social class is a uniting factor between many of the disciplines. There is a fascination in the study for understanding why some people have power and others do not. The social caste systems that exist throughout human society are constructed as pyramid-like hierarchies. The social pyramid is what the tower represents; it appears easy to climb until one gets to the top. If the person doesn’t “fit” in this high-status world, they are swiftly dropkicked into oblivion. The thief, in this case, is me. I am a number of things that could be called either altern or subaltern (Check out the work of Antonio Gramsci if you don’t know these words). I often have felt out of place in social situations that I pass into. I have, for almost my entire life, passed as a cis-, het- white man. However, turns out none of this is true. I am better defined as an agender, non-binary, demi-pansexual Jewish European. Ergo, I can go somewhat up the tower, but then the disconnect between my class and the perception/expectation of me becomes too great. My true nature is revealed and I scream, visible and shameful. I was not even out when I wrote this song, so that moment of revealing my true nature was even more meaningful at the time.

       So who are the “Plutarchs”? They are those who are at the top of the social class. The word itself doesn’t refer to the philosopher, Plutarch; the word is new. It means money-ruler, which defines our corporate overlords quite well, if I do say so myself. Ultimately, these people always beat the marginalized, and so they beat the thief. The thief who aspired to be like them… The thief is put in their place via a binary choice between two bad outcomes. Prison or exile? Suffering or endless nothing? This is the choice that is often given to subaltern individuals in society. I think a lot of Queer people right now are choosing exile; I certainly did. I lived out on a commune called The Homestead that was filled with queer people! It was beautiful and a great model for how society should truly function, but it was nonetheless escapism. I was in exile from all the frat guys and the sorority girls who would surely be making good money through their high society connections. I, though happy, was exiled from normal society. I think this gives us an understanding of the world that is unique. Those of us who are exiled can see the world for how it is because we’re less invested in its human machinations. We have the ability to see the whole universe and a greater ability to enact change in our own lives. However, we have to take our exile and show the hegemony that they are exiled too, from us. We have to show how isolated we all are. I think COVID-19 really made this clear to a lot of people, so I hope more people can come together. I hope that there are no more thieves and no more keys, as they are both constructs, concepts to string us along while the status quo keeps on trucking.

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