The Big Buckle Ritual

Country songs were once about a mythical place in the forest where young rural people went to dance and court.

This quaint theme harkens back to an antiquated (ideal) society, where strife is a fading memory of something that happened before friday night, and the mass of working men were concerned with little more than the shaking hips of a blue-eyed farm girl underneath the moonlight. Where the sirens of country legends, heard in the night air, paid a sophisticated lyrical respect to those that came before.

One man who saw this quality in rural culture was Henry Ford, who put large sums of money into the tradition of square dancing. Ford correctly perceived that the CIA’s flanking of America with jazz and modern art as an attack. He believed that square dancing was an organic way to accommodate the grassroots morality necessary to fortify the confused life-traveller against debased tidal waves of heroin, ragtime, and Expressionism. This is likely also how the term “square” became an insult in these circles – nothing with them happens organically, but with money and manipulation.

This positive communal ritual of square dancing had to be suppressed and made unfashionable in the media in order to isolate, individualize, and break the brains of unsuspecting citizens. To operate financial manipulation they require a broken, confused society of people who view tradition with a pastiche contempt, enough so to weaken social and familial bonds. Many 20th century (and ongoing) cultural ‘revolutions’ work to bridge the gap between organic demand and monopolised Madison-Avenue-lifestyle ‘options’, and culture becomes a fake clone of itself, a thing cooked up in marketing boardrooms.

Community dance-ritual tried a few times to rear its ugly head again from within the fake and asexual world of marketing, such as the advent of ‘slam dancing’ and ‘mosh pits’ in the heavy metal scene. While moshing was a bizarre hustle of discontent and anger, it had an effect as a sort of bonding performance-art. There was an attempt to water-down this ritual with similar but oppositional genres such as ‘emo’, which is really just insincere country music for urbanites. But this fakery was countered with even faker and more truly Postmodern rainbow-flag metal chicanery like Brojob and Crunkcore. Eventually even this boardroom surrogate identity was deemed too problematic as controllers moved into the final phase of ‘here is your culture’. Endless variations of mumble rap and twerky autotune nothingness.

However. Somewhere far removed from all this chaos, hidden in the wilderness like lost tribes of Pygmies, there remains to this day young rural folk out dancing in the moonlight to the ancient rhythms. And as the looming final battlefields reduce everything to ash, they will still be dancing as the fires wane, far removed in the deep forest.

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