THEMES AND CONCERNS OF MODERNITY

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5. The basic claim in this course is that popular culture is not just “junk culture.” Rather, popular culture includes rich and diverse forms of expression that are commercialized to be sure. Yet popular culture texts can sometimes reveal powerful truths and key experiences about our lives that we disregard at our peril.
In this question, you are to consider this argument while focusing on how the lyrics and sound of U2’s ‘Where the streets have no name’ (released in 1987 on the disc, Joshua Tree) address the themes and concerns of modernity, as recounted by David Harvey in his chapter section, ‘Modernity and Modernism’ from The Condition of Postmodernity (1989).
U2, ‘Where the streets have no name,’ from the disc, Joshua Tree (1987)
I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
That hold me inside
I want to reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name

I want to feel sunlight on my face
I see the dust cloud disappear
Without a trace
I want to take shelter from the poison rain
Where the streets have no name

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
We’re still building
Then burning down love
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It’s all I can do

The city’s aflood
And our love turns to rust
We’re beaten and blown by the wind
Trampled in dust
I’ll show you a place
High on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
We’re still building
Then burning down love
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It’s all I can do
Our love turns to rust
We’re beaten and blown by the wind
Blown by the wind
Oh, and I see love
See our love turn to rust
We’re beaten and blown by the wind
Blown by the wind
Oh, when I go there
I go there with you
It’s all I can do
draw mainly from lecture slides and article outside sources are allowed
can use anything from Bill Osgerby. Youth Media. Routledge: New York, 2004
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