Roger Scruton on Elvis Presley

“Although I argue vehemently against modern pop music, on grounds of its musical incompetence, verbal impoverishment and general morbidity, narcissism and salaciousness; although I fiercely object to disco dancing as a sacrilege against the human form and a collective rejection of civilised courtship; although I defend reels, minuets, galliards, sarabands and (as limiting cases) waltzes and polkas as the only ways in which ordinary humanity should dare to put its sexual nature on festive display, and although I regard the 12-bar blues and the flattened subdominant seventh as the lowest forms of vulgarity in music, I find rock’n’roll in general, and Elvis in particular, irresistible, and would happily dance away the night to it. I cannot explain the thrill of delight with which I hear the first bars of Jailhouse Rock or the eagerness with which I at once search the vicinity for a partner: but there it is, appalling proof that, despite all my efforts, I am human.”

[tehgraun]

14 thoughts on “Roger Scruton on Elvis Presley”

  1. My favourite contemporary philosopher likes my least favourite (and the most overrated) pop star ever.
    Today is going to be a tough one.

  2. Funnier and more insightful than anything Scruton is ever likely to write.

    “What the unthinking man would think if he thought.” Didn’t somebody say that of Scruton years ago? And is the tool still playing at Lord of the Manor somewhere?

  3. I will, as an unapologetic cultural reactionary,rise,at least in part, to Scrutons defense.My own view is that anyone who cans call a prize Pig “Peter Singer”,and then turn him into sausage,possessesat least a touch of genius.Having read anumber of Scrutons books-Kant, Modern Philosophy,etc. with profit,( ihave not read most of his political writing ,with the exception of his very good dictionary of Political thought), Iwill say that this is man deserves far better than being subjected to sophomoric insults by someone nmed “cliche Guevara”.

  4. Actually he’s playing Lord of the Manor in two places at once; Wiltshire and Rappahannock, VA!
    http://www.timescommunity.com/site/tab4.cfm?newsid=18708096&BRD=2553&PAG=461&dept_id=506087&rfi=6
    As to the ‘unthinking man’ I think that may refer to this kind of sentiment (possibly described as both witty and insightful, even lambent, by some of us):
    ‘Traditionally, conservatism is rightly suspicious of thinking, because thinking on the whole leads to wrong conclusions, unless you think very, very hard and you get back to the point you started at.’

    Say no to sophomoric insults!

  5. I cannot explain the thrill of delight with which I hear the first bars of Jailhouse Rock or the eagerness with which I at once search the vicinity for a partner: but there it is, appalling proof that, despite all my efforts, I am A KNOBHEAD ”

  6. Anybody notice the quotation marks?

    I’m affriad I can neither take credit for “matchless wit and insight” nor “sophomoric insults”.

    I do wonder if Joseph would have been so rude, if he’d known whose words i was repeating?

  7. First of all, I must castigate “Cliche Guevara” by making such an ugly joke (ostensibly, his screen name). Pity the fool who makes use of such an ugly play on words. I doubt you’re ignorant as to who Guevara really was, and that makes you all the more accountable and therefore, more guilty. And the play on words involving the sac of skin in a man’s lower body area is not funny at all. Pity the fool who makes such a play on words.

    I must castigate any and every soul who evidences such hatred and vitriol when they speak of Scruton. Scruton may have confused the daylights out of you, but I’d pick him over you in music criticism even if I hadn’t read your critical essays on music or aesthetics.

    And to “Cliche Guevara”, what in God’s name do you mean by your ignorant play on words (involving a man’s lower body area) and your question about quotation marks?

    Ugh.

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