Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Bash...meaning of an emasculated Milky Way

Jim Macdonald jsmacdonaldjr@yahoo.com
Sun, 20 Oct 2002 17:23:32 -0700 (PDT)

I think the meaning is fairly straightforward.

"The Milky Way is emasculated" seems to mean simply that it's blocked by all the air
pollution of the city.  It's vigor, it's strength is blocked by exhaust fumes (it's
been castrated, in a sense), and one might add light pollution and everything else
which chops off the strength and virility of the great Milky Way.

I never knew that the Milky Way band was visible until I was 19 years old and went
West for the first time.  Even in the Ohio countryside where I grew up, it wasn't
visible at night because of the air pollution.  But, when you see it for the first
time, it's an awesome experience, and you begin to wonder what about the city lights
and mountains of concrete has been lost, has always been missing without even
knowing it's gone.

"Emasculated" is a male metaphor, and typically the sky in most mythologies is seen
as male whereas anything earthly is female.  The union of the female earth to the
male sky has been torn apart by the dirty air, the sky's strength blocked by it.  (I
think that's what they mean).

And, I think the metaphor is very apt, if a little unclear at first.  "Concrete" is
probably my favorite song on the Redneck Wonderland album in part because I can
relate very well to much of the loss in considering industrialized culture.

I can't speak for the band, but that's my best guess what they mean.

Jim Macdonald

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