November 18, 2021

To Whom Do We Bend the Knee?

Alan McClure

None at All, 2020

Living in a time of increasing fragmentation, kettled into ever smaller, more exclusive groups, we seem forgetful of shared mythologies and cultural touchstones. I find myself envious of religious communities, agnostic though I am – their communal songs and sense of connection and purpose. Brief investigation, though, reminds me that the image of an ultimate authority is at the root of much that plagues us, invoked by those in positions of undeserved power and used to justify the most heinous atrocities and inequalities in society. This song dreams of a democratised pantheon, one with touchable human roots, which, instead of presenting an impossible ideal, celebrates all that makes us what we are. Animistic, capricious, in need of help – there is no room for the notion of infallibility in a world which is crumbling as a result of our mistakes. If we are to be saved, we must do the saving.