This month of The Boogie Knights of the Round Table (BKotRT) has frequently mentioned the Man, but no post so far has been devoted specifically to the Man. It’s time to remedy that because understanding the Man is important for understanding the world of BKotRT. First off, it must be known that the Man is not a man. He’s not a he.
Instead, the Man is a perverse system perpetuated by cabal of powerful individuals occupying diverse positions in society. The Man includes politicans, businessmen, CEOs, advertising execs, preachers, professors, and more. Those who comprise the Man hold to a variety of creeds and opinions, but they are unified around a common goal shaped by a common belief.
In short, the Man understands that a divided people are more easily manipulated and subjugated. Consequently, while the Man may use fine words and deliver noble-sounding platitudes, he is always selective about his audience. The Man twists words to create a pervasive worldview built around two interpretive lenses: tribe and class. To the middle class, he warns about the threat of the swelling lower class and the rapacious greed of the upper class. To the black man, he talks about the endemic racism of the white man. To the environmentalists, he talks about the crushing burden of population growth, especially in the so-called Third World, and in the Third World he talks about the dangers of imperialism.
When a new idea or form of expression becomes popular, the Man works to turn transform it from popular to populist, which is just another way of fomenting division. Popular is genuinely of the people. Populism is catch-phrases and fads turned into marketable political merchandise. Thus, society goes from Waylon Jennings to Luke Bryan. Hip hop goes from Kurtis Blow to The Black Eyed Peas. Punk goes from The Ramones to Nirvana, and gets relabeled “alternative” along the way.
The heroes of BKotRT stand against the Man, striving to keep their art pure. They stand for the man on the street not the Man on Wall Street. During this eternal struggle, the heroes must remain alert. The Man does not tolerate opposition for long, and the dangers are real. Just ask Federico García Lorca, assuming you can find whatever dark hole the Man dragged him into.
Stay strong, and play loud!