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Why History Matters

NOM Song of the Week: Temples of Syrinx

This week's song is dedicated to Jeffrey Nielsen, former adjunct professor of Philosphy at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  The song comes from my favorite rock band and one of their best albums, 2112.  The first side (I still remember when big black discs contained music on both sides)  is taken up entirely by the title track, which is based loosely on Ayn Rand's short novel AnthemThe story told by 2112 is about a man living in a future religious totalitarian state who finds an ancient musical instrument (a guitar).  He realizes the potential for his musical discovery to bring great pleasure to his society and so takes it to the governing priests, naively thinking that they, too, will see its utility and beauty and desire to make it available to the people they govern.  But the priests are interested only in their own power and control over the people.  Things end badly for the tragic hero.  Anyway, I just can't help but see parallels between the priests of the "Temples of Syrinx" and the folks who run BYU.

... "The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every Federation city. I have always been awed by them, to think that every single facet of every life is regulated and directed from within! Our books, our music, our work and play are all looked after by the benevolent wisdom of the priests..."

We've taken care of everything
The words you hear, the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes.
It's one for all and all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why.
We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.
Look around at this world we've made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh, what a nice, contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand.
We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.

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