Let’s face it: given that dragons have, so far as we know, all been slain, there isn’t a whole lot left for knights to do. And given that there aren’t a whole lot of functional tasks left for royalty, there are basically symbolic actions for them to perform, such as participating in parades and making unusual hand gestures that are interpreted as waving.
So knights: not a whole lot of call for defense of the realm.
Queens: not much more to do than being royalty.
One thing that has been occurring in Great Britain for nearly 100 years is that the person wearing the crown celebrates the new year with honors—or honours—during which time people who are otherwise known as “commoners” get elevated in rank.
Some people become knights.
Nowadays, it seems, defending the realm of Great Britain is all about financial defense. Sir Paul McCartney is probably not going to be called upon to draw his sword. Chances are, it is more about how he’s helped out the Chancellor of the Exchequer over the past many years.
Let’s face it: when it comes to popular music, the Brits have clearly been doing a better job of coming up with new acts, and sustaining old ones, than any other country on earth, at least from the standpoint of their having achieved popularity and/or visibility. That is, based on statistics alone there are probably Chinese analogues of the Beatles and the Stones, though those of us in the west don’t know about them.
It’s very hard for me to prepare for something like this because I collect non-stop, discover new things every day, and take music very seriously. I hate the technological rip-offs that pass for music formats these days, and go back to vinyl to hear a good record because the sound is always so much fuller. I don’t even like listening to music in the car.
This is a review for Oasis fans. I’ve found over the years that it’s impossible to convince anyone of Oasis’ ability to be anything more than loudmouthed musical thieves. Never mind the fact that very traits that prompt accolades from fans and critics alike for equally derivative bands like Sloan, Spoon, and even my beloved Elliott Smith are all cited as evidence that the Gallaghers et al. are nothing more than Beatle worshipping dipshits with great hair and big amps. So, the rest of you can click away, we’re going to revel in our fandom for a bit.
Most artists (and yes I know Noel Gallagher doesn’t consider himself an artist) have periods of inspiration followed by terms of mediocrity or creative drought. Perhps the energy of having created greatness leaves them depleted and withered for a spell. Or maybe they simply got lucky with a couple great pieces and then the luck ran out? Most will tell you that Oasis peaked with 1995’s What’s the Story Morning Glory—a truer testament to Britain’s domination over pop culture in the mid-90s than flannel wearing Cobain worshippers would have you believe—and there’s an argument to be made there. But I think that argument rests mainly on the band’s position as pop culture icons, especially in Britain, and the fact that they not only beat the sophomore slump in which so many bands slog but for a brief moment made the premise seem silly. Morning Glory established the band once and for all as the dominant British lords of pop music and banished their rivals Blur to the college rock ghetto until they too rose up to hypnotize America with “Song #2,” which oddly sounded more like Nirvana than the Kinks, but I digress.