The Children of Darkness: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Children of Darkness: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen

Had Leonard Cohen’s fans understood that he was a culture warrior, it’s unlikely that he would have achieved the pinnacle of popularity as a pop star, for they would have been greatly offended. Leonard Cohen was politically incorrect, but his followers lacked the cultural context that gave depth and meaning to his work.

Early on he foresaw the inevitable outcome of the movement set off by the orgiastic, self-indulgent ’60s, when giving birth first becomes a “choice” rather than a blessing.

The age of lust is giving birth, and both the parents ask
The nurse to tell them fairy tales on both sides of the glass.
And now the infant with his cord is hauled in like a kite,
And one eye filled with blueprints, one eye filled with night.

That was the beginning. The parents needed fairy tales to strengthen their resolve to abort their babies. It’s not human yet. It can’t feel pain. Their children were not to have such nice compunctions. They’d become soulless, materialistic creatures, denying any transcendent basis for morality. Look at them: they are rioting and looting in cities all over America today. See their hate-filled faces as they destroy cars and shops and beat up on the helpless and the homeless.

The children of darkness don’t need to be lulled with fairy in order to kill their children. It’s my body and I can do with it what I want! Just stick a scalpel in its head and get rid of it, doctor! Cohen had seen the future.

Destroy another fetus now
We don’t like children anyhow
I’ve seen the future, baby:
It is murder

Like the prophets of old, Cohen’s warnings didn’t meet with much success. In the beginning, Cohen did his work subversively.

Field Commander Cohen, he was our most important spy.
Wounded in the line of duty,
Parachuting acid into diplomatic cocktail parties,
Urging Fidel Castro to abandon fields and castles.

There is a hole in our culture, Cohen told us in many of his songs, and it’s growing larger as we continue to lose touch with our traditions. The children of darkness will embrace any religion not their own. Their own religion, their own culture, the values of their ancestors — these they’ve been taught to hate.

Many of Cohen’s songs are actually prayers, addressed to a woman on one level, but to God on another in the manner of The Song of Songs.

For what’s left of our religion
I lift my voice and pray.

Prayer and subversion weren’t enough, though. Most of his fans didn’t have a clue about the meaning of his lyrics. So Cohen, the guerrilla warrior, decided to out himself in “First We Take Manhattan.”

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within.
I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

Cohen often portrayed the war against Western culture in terms that evoked the Holocaust. In “The Master Song,” the Master is identified with the Nazis.

He was just a numberless man in a chair
Who’d just come back from the war.

Just! The banality of evil. The identification is so smooth and low-keyed, you could miss it.

The culture created by the children of darkness was seductive, but the remnants of our civilization were being lined up to board the trains that would take them to the extermination camps. And Cohen was one of them.

I’d really like to live beside you, baby
I love your body and your spirit and your clothes
But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those.

With amazing prescience, Cohen warns about the consequences of this Holocaust.

There’ll be the breaking of the ancient
western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There’ll be phantoms
There’ll be fires on the road
and the white man dancing

In the end, Cohen’s prophecy has fallen on deaf ears. Our culture is no more, but its ghost has a message for us: a new conclusion we’d not dreamed of.

I see the Ghost of Culture
With numbers on his wrist
Salute some new conclusion
Which all of us have missed

The “new conclusion” is hinted at in “Nevermind,” which describes the end of a civilizational war. The Nazis had wanted to exterminate the Jews, but thought to create a museum that would retain a record of their lives. A museum filled with civilizational artifacts. The victors might view it as we view ancient Mayan or Egyptian artifacts. I saw an exhibit of these things years ago in Montreal. It was chilling beyond words.

In “Nevermind,” the victory is “complete.” Artifacts of the vanquished civilization are collected, history is rewritten by the victor.

The story’s told
With facts and lies
You own the world
So nevermind

Hand drums give the song a Middle Eastern flavor. In the background, a woman is heard eerily chanting something in Arabic. Sometimes it sounds like “salam ‘ala salam.” Discussion boards have offered various translations, including “peace upon peace.” This refrain doesn’t appear in the original poem, and Cohen seems to have added it at a later time. Many versions of the song delete this refrain altogether — it’s too disturbing to contemplate.

But the poem as printed in Cohen’s Book of Longing, published in 2006, contains this last stanza which he omitted from the song:

No man can see
The vast design
Or who will be
The last of his kind.

While I can’t say what was in Leonard Cohen’s mind when he recorded “Nevermind in 2014, there is a civilizational war going on now between Islam and the West. Victory will go to the side that is fighting for something it fervently believes in, something worth of dying for.

“Steer Your Way” was released only a couple of weeks ago. In this song, Cohen beats up on himself because he was “never equal to the task” he’d set for himself. We’re losing the war year by year, month by month, day by day, thought by thought.

They whisper still, the ancient stones
The blunted mountains weep
As he died to make men holy
Let us die to make things cheap
And say the Mea Culpa which you’ve probably forgot
Year by year
Month by month
Day by day
Thought by thought

Turn on your televisions. Watch the children of darkness as they indulge in frenzies of looting, shrieking, and destruction. The presidential candidate who promised them free things lost the election. And that’s a tragedy. It must not be allowed to stand.

The children of the night have no values or morals or traditions they think worth saving. Except maybe the absolute right to murder their children. Wanting only free things, they are useful idiots who, in the end, will lose their freedom.

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