Elvis a cultural obsession essay

Greil Marcus was one of the writers who changed all that. A Secret History of the Twentieth Century stands as his major work, one that suggested startling parallels between punk rock and the modernist avant- garde. His earlier Mystery Train:

Scuffed boots, Elvis a cultural obsession essay, and drum on the movie set in the s, portraying county fairs the way they were thirty years before Saint Curled Lip The 'religious' veneration of Elvis, dead.

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This aspect of Elvis in recent pop culture is often discussed, though usually only to condescend under an air of wonder. Yet often the forms of Elvis worship follow Catholic forms in much more recognizable and specific ways than Protestant ones. There are saint's relics, for example, and legends of sightings, miracles including healings and conversionscrying statues, revered relics many in disputeimages of the saint central to popular performances, processions, etc.

And according to those who take Elvis impersonators seriously, even the most inept performance is said to be able to generate the aura of the King's transcendent power, at least in certain moments of it that transcend all the myriad ways in which the performer is clearly just a pretender: Elvis's worshippers appear to be 'crossing' strains of religious worship even as Elvis mixed racial and gender identities.

Revered for showing his humanity and demonstrating to us that the American Dream is really about Excess, Elvis has since the opening of Graceland in been turned into that Dream's martyred Saint of the pursuit of this Dream, its ideals and its costs.

Dylan and Elvis’ Affect on Culture Essay

His followers seem to think that his life and death can redeem them from their own excesses, or make their own lives be about something other than endless consumption. We can pray and make offerings to him to be relieved of our own pain and losses from following that Dream.

The aura of Catholicism in Elvis worship rites is especially intriguing because the majority of Elvis' most passionate followers are or were Protestant, including evangelical or fundamentalist Protestant. Through Elvis and forms of Catholic veneration they may be creating a set of rites to compensate for the lack they feel both within their own material lives and within their spiritual ones.

They do this by borrowing profusely from Catholicism, an imitation and reinvention of Catholicism. The need for a mediator a saint to pray to to protect us from powerful earthly and cosmic forces, with candles to light and prayers songs to say and sing in his honor?

If so, what corrupt worldly forces are seen by Elvis worshipers to be responsible for his martyrdom? That very Dream of material success that he followed so passionately? One of the names for costumes used by Elvis impersonators, the Nail King of Spades, obviously refers to the decoration materials and patterns used.

But could it also be taken to be a strange kind of reference to martyrdom, crucifixion's nails?

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Allusions to crucifixion and martyrdom are never much disguised in the rites of Elvis worship. Can you see what this is made of? Check out the bottle-cap too. Aloha from Hawaiifor example, in which he performs his role with vacant eyes, as if sleepwalking through his boredom.

Dying, Elvis freed himself from becoming his own impersonation. Here's something even more outrageous. Elvis impersonation is not just about getting to wear bad sunglasses and dye your hair black, or even about being able to get a laugh by doing a country-hokum voice "thankyu-very-much".

Elvis impersonation is also about body language, about moving with 'soul' as well as sexualityabout losing or at least loosening up work-ethic proper body posture and stiffness.

It's therefore about acting less 'white' and more 'black' in posture, movement, gestures.

Elvis a cultural obsession essay

This body language may be taken seriously by some fans but it is a joke to everyone else, especially to black folks not that they spend alot of time thinking about Elvis, except as another form of white folks' sad and comic craziness.

But you can't really think seriously about Elvis impersonators without raising the question of what role 'race' plays in all of this.

Read Dylan and Elvis’ Affect on Culture free essay and over 88, other research documents. Dylan and Elvis’ Affect on Culture. Mike L. H-A Professor M The ’s and ’s were a time of great change in the United States. How a cultural obsession for dead girls gave rise to the difficult woman Sadaf Ahsan: We’ve seen trauma act as a catalyst for male anti-heroes, but for the new breed of anti-heroines, trauma. This biography of Elvis post-mortem is a stimulating time capsule of 80's/early 90's alternative culture in all permutations relevant to the guiding theme - the appropriation and reinvention of Elvis' plombier-nemours.com: Greil Marcus.

Elvis impersonators can be thought of as a form of poetic justice: Do Elvis impersonators foreground Elvis' borrowing from black culture, or do they try to erase it?

Or is it really a very contemporary form of whites-in-blackface: Elvis and his early Sun Studios band certainly acknowledged his sources in both black and white musical culture. Elvis "'just jumped up, all full of nervous energy, and started playing this song.Elvis career slowly developed and changed through many types of genres, Greil states, “The cultural range of his music has expanded to the point where it includes not only the hits of the day, but also patriotic recitals, pure country gospel, and really dirty blues ” (Marcus, , p).

Due to cultural appropriation, Elvis Presley is widely regarded as being the “King of Rock and Roll,” despite the fact that his music was heavily influenced by black artists who never received credit for their contributions to the art form. Even Elvis, though, is overshadowed by Jackson's career.

First, with the possible exception of Prince and Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson simply had more raw talent as a performer than any of his. How a cultural obsession for dead girls gave rise to the difficult woman Sadaf Ahsan: We’ve seen trauma act as a catalyst for male anti-heroes, but for the new breed of anti-heroines, trauma.

Elvis a cultural obsession essay

In life, Elvis Presley went from childhood poverty to stardom, from world fame to dissipation and early death. As Greil Marcus shows, Presley's journey after death takes him even further, pushing him beyond his own frontiers to merge with the American public consciousness - and the American subconscious.

Annual Book and Essay Award, Shelby County Historical Commission (Memphis, TN), How a white take on black sounds revolutionized race relations In Race, Rock, and Elvis, Michael T.

Bertrand contends that popular music, specifically Elvis's brand of .

Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession by Greil Marcus