Lou Reed – Last Great American Whale

Yes, he talked more than sang. But he had lots to say. Here, Reed seems to be using a whale to show how humans tend to recklessly destroy natural beauty, and even life. The song might veer into hating people as much as bemoaning what they do. It offers no hope for redemption – even when the whale fights back and liberates Native Americans, it is then shot dead by a redneck.

Reed suggests at the end this happens because of majority rule – the notion in a democracy that 50 percent plus one of votes/support carries the day. Yet what about when this simple majority are also full of simple people that don’t pay adequate attention to important concerns beyond their interests?

However, it is argued minority rights are still protected by other institutions and mechanisms, such as the law and constitutions, fair elections, a free press and the judicial branch.


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