And I will speak to Perses the naked truth:
there was never one kind of strife. Indeed on this earth
two kinds exist. The one is praised by her friends,
the other found blameworthy. These two are not of one mind.
The one - so harsh – fosters evil war and the fray of battle.
No man loves this oppressive Strife, but compulsion
and divine will grant her a share of honor.
The other one is black Night’s elder daughter;
the son of Kronos, who dwells on ethereal heights,
planted her in the roots of the earth and among men.
She is much better, and she stirs even the shiftless on to work.
A man will long for work when he sees a man of wealth
who rushes with zeal to plow and plant
and husband his homestead. One neighbor envies another
Who hastens to his riches. This strife is good for mortals.”
(If you read the rest of my article, I promise I’ll give you a full record’s worth of 60s psych from New Zealand!)
Two facts: (1) Hesiod’s Works and Days was one of the most important foundations of ancient Greece’s Ethics and Religion, (2) the Greeks were really good at stuff. Now I’ve always resented the typical male who most values “getting shit done”. I say there’s a reason it’s called shit - most accomplishments are completely useless and vain in the long run….Castles made of sand, baby….Plus, a lot of unassumingly modest people are much more worthwhile than your resume-saavy star. At the same time, I do like talented people more often than not and lazy people are boring. So I guess I’ll choose to sympathize with Hesiod here and say that I like that kind of jealousy that makes people work hard.
It makes sense to me that Hesiod says that a neighbor rather than a king makes people envious. I just can’t comprehend some peoples’ greatness enough to envy them. I’ve accepted that I’m not good enough to be president, so I don’t lose any sleep over what those greats do. I gotta compete with people in my own ballpark.
Ray Mercer’s from New Zealand but he’s a neighbor of mine since he’s the sort of person I wouldn’t mind being like a few years from now. As you read this Ray is holding his breath waiting to see if the town of Wellington will elect him as mayor. He’s an expert guitar luthier. He restores classic cars. He’s led many environmental campaigns. I hear he’s a real good cook too.
OK, maybe you’re not jealous of a mayoral candidate of a moderately sized town in northern New Zealand, but I bet you wish you had played lead guitar in a kick ass late-60s psych band. The Dedikation released a few singles and a full length. One of their songs went to number two on the national charts. Ray’s not a songwriter, so all the songs on this LP are covers. He’s not exactly a shredder either, but his tone is great – sometimes phased and fuzzy, sometimes jangly, sometimes impressively heavy. The record was released in ’69, but it seems like flower power hadn’t yet gained full momentum in New Zealand. That’s a good thing though, we get full-out psych mixed with some remnants of the early 60s: songs about “a dance that can’t be beat” and other stuff like that. Best wishes to all.
Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David, Smith and Jones | Here Comes Jane | Be A Woman | Bare Footin' | Roly | Season Of The Witch | Wait For Me Mary-Anne | Travelling Circus | Pretender | Ruby Tuesday | Reach Out | Mr. Dieingly Sad