Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Dame Kate Bush CBE

The singer Kate Bush has been appointed Commander of the most excellent order of the British Empire in the New Years Honours List of 2013; she attended the ceremony at Windsor Castle and was presented with her medal personally by the Queen, see: http://www.nme.com/news/kate-bush/69666#I8F3sloGI4wwMu0q.99. Kate commented to the press: "I feel incredibly thrilled to receive this honour which I share with my family, friends and fellow musicians and everybody who has been such an important part of it all. Now I've got something special to put on top of the Christmas tree." I feel enormously dismayed by this news story; has Kate Bush turned coat?

Kate Bush is one of the most talented singer-songwriters in the world and she has been one of the most influential musicians on my own life; she was also my first ever celebrity crush... when I was about four years old I think. I've related the story several times about the unforgettable childhood memory I have of when I first saw the video of her song Cloudbusting in the cinema, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF813vmbcQY. It haunted and consumed me for many years, and I had no idea why. It was a very long time later that I discovered that the track is a ballad about the life and works of Wilhelm Reich. It features Donald Sutherland playing Reich, and it's very unusual for a famous cinematic actor to star in a music video. Wilhelm Reich was a maverick scientist who developed radical ideas about life, energy, UFO's, psychology and human sexuality. He was ridiculed and rejected by the academic community and persecuted by the government. He was eventually put in prison where he died; see here for more details: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/programme-36-podcast-peter-robbins.html. As I listened more carefully to Kate Bush's music I understood that she is a deeply nonconformist and unique thinker. She's not an overt political radical like John Lennon, Bob Dylan and many other musical acts, but her subversion takes on a more subtle and mystical form; she's more akin to Pink Floyd or The KLF. This kind of rebellion is no less important than the more conventional kind; in fact it's an essential ingredient without which the other forms of rebellion would flounder, and indeed those who reject it have. Kate shuns publicity and gives very few interviews; she guards her personal life fiercely, but it didn't surprise me to learn that she was once a member of a local UFO club which operated near where she lives. This is why when I see her curtsy before the Habsburg harridan it feels like a betrayal. Why didn't she refuse, like the famous poet Benjamin Zephaniah, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Zephaniah? Am I overreacting? Am I being too hard on Kate Bush? Possibly. It could be that Kate doesn't understand exactly what she's done... I hope so anyway.  

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice post Ben, my missus loves Kate Bush. Yes an intriguing singer she is. I'd like to think she has not gone as far down the rabbit hole as us thus accepting this award she is genuinely thrilled or maybe she is doing it for all the folk who have helped her in her career. I know any award given to an individual is a bit of a farce as so many help in the background whatever profession.
Must say I personally would not accept any award...but then I don't think any one would offer :-)

Xylomet said...

Hi Ben. It is a difficult one this, on the one hand t seems against the very non conformest essence of this wonderful woman and her expression, however the fact that such a reviled institute as the monarchy can offer an award to it's very antithesis shows the power of Kate Bush's legacy and aura. Perhaps it is up for debate but I also think that Kate still seems the fragile and gentle creature that was insecure all those years ago and maybe it is self recognition she has accepted rather than an arbitrary object. Thanks for the artical Ben

Mark Devlin said...

Unfortunately. my studies of the music industry show this to be the latest in a pattern of well-established artists being 'recruited' by the establishment at a certain point on their career.

Kate's CBE came late in her career and relatively recently, and it's interesting that her comeback concert of last week in Hammersmith featured enough occult symbology to keep Vigilant Citizen busy for a week, with the stage also adorned by a model aeroplane spraying dry ice everywhere. The normalisation of chemtrails in popular culture continues - and especially ironic in this case given the 'Cloudbusting' video and its addressing of weather modification techniques.

We saw a similar pattern with U2, who started out a seemingly genuine band making meaningful political statements in their songs, but we all know what a sell-out treacherous cunt Bono later turned out to be.

I love Kate's music and wonderfully esoteric vibe, so it was a big disappointment to see her subjugate herself to Sweaty Betty. So I don't think it's an over-reaction, Ben. I think it raises questions about whether Kate's long been an establishment asset just waiting for the right time to step up to the agenda, or whether she's just been made an offer she can't refuse at this late stage.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Cheers, Anon. I definitely wouldn't either. Some other people have also refused, like Benjamin Zephaniah the famous poet. It could be she just doesn't grasp what it means.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...
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Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

You're welcome, X. Having deeply admired Kate Bush for a long time it seems incongruous to see her with the Windsor Reptilian like that. Maybe I just had an idealized image of her. Hope not.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

It is very sad, Mark. Of course she has been inactive for many years ans recently made a comeback with a new album and a tour. So it could be a career move and publicity stunt for her. But I have to question her integrity, something I feel uncomfortable doing. I like to believe there are people out there I admire who won't let us down.

Xylomet said...
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Xylomet said...
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Xylomet said...
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Xylomet said...

THIRD TIME LUCKY POSTING! Hi all. As stated, Kate Bush mania has culminated all of a sudden with a very articulated narrative, arrangement and orchestrated build up. I believe that Kate is and was a very fragile individual not mentally but in the sense that she possibly thrives in close knit familiarity, she was very shy and insecure except when performing. I don't think this has changed. She has avoided the spotlight and endeared deep privacy in her life for many years, in such time who are we to know what personal changes have occurred in her life that have molded the latest incarnation or indeed what influences. Kate comes from a comfortable 'Middle Class' background but her creativity did not, that said, in order for creativity to become pure it must venture outside of these parameters otherwise it is liable to become trapped within these parameters. It is interesting that Stephen Fry narrated over one of her recent songs another individual truly 'Middle Class' -Well to do and a unashamed institutionalist, this is interesting as it seems Kate had small circle of friends within her even smaller private and personal life. The comments regarding Kate's 'recruitment' may well be plausable due to Kate being somewhat of an 'Institution' herself 'ressurected' as it were as a 'National Treasure'. How much Kate would be aware of this is debatable although as a person who is fully in contral of her creative process it is somewhat difficult to hold to this view strongly. Whatever the current situation all I know is that back in the 70's-80's Kate was tapping into the unconscious well of pure creativity and that is evident to anyone regardless of current discourse. Has Kate Bush let us down? Possibly but isn't this the story of even some of the most spiritual, creative individuals?! We tend to root most of our dialogue within the realm of the phenomenal world and forget that the depths of the Noumenal must also be rooted and nourished firmly, this relates to our creative spirit which is called the Mystery, Kate certainly had this, If we merely indulge creative Ideas whilst neglecting its root cause we loose sight of this innate Mystery, Expression alone eventually thwarts Ideas, Functions alone thwart innate potentials and perhaps this is what we see here. Nevertheless Kate's musical legacy is not up for manipulation, it was a creative moment in temporal time when Kate was a fee spirit that present conditions cannot manipulate though there seems to be a repackaging of her music and her which contradicts this but the fact is we all in our deluded states inhabit the consciousness of this ambivilent inverted mind that in one way inhibits us and in another potentially our creative key to freedom and unabridged, pure expression. THANKS FOR THE DISCUSSION

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the above X has got me reflecting on my own journey and how I have been manipulated by society, the media education etc. Art at school was discouraged for science I was OK at art and enjoyed it but thought I would be sensible and did the sciences.....was a mistake in hindsight. Ironic that the Middle Classes a bastion of English Society is being directly attacked by the cabal/NWO ....in their over educated smugness they aid their own demise. I can verbose after a University Education with the best of 'em.....it got me no where though ....as I was comprehensive school educated not private school. My roots are most certainly blue collar something I am proud of.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

I've updated this article to give information about the famous poet Benjamin Zephaniah who refused the OBE out of principle when it was offered.