Superconductor: Background

“Superconductor” expands on a similar theme [as “The Spirit of Radio”], but more directly portrays the entertainment industry as deceptive. The song describes pop celebrities as “packaged” and targeted to certain segments of the market; their aim is to “orchestrate illusions” and manipulate reactions.” The chorus captures the distraction and mesmerization that mass culture putatively engenders, as we are invited to “watch [the pop star’s] every move and the pop star stares back, “hoping you’ll believe/designing to deceive.” I have found no evidence that Peart ever read [Theodor] Adorno [German-born philosopher who saw mass culture strangling individuality] (and he would not have to, since the basic points of the mass-culture critique have circulated so widely), but I found it intriguing that Rush mentions dancing as part of the deception (“A strong and simple beat/That you can dance to”), echoing Adorno’s equation of social conformity with dancing to popular songs’ repetitive rhythms.—Chris McDonald, Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class

Record companies know which buttons to push to elicit the required schoolgirl maudlin sentimentality, the same pre-teen leather-jacket, pseudo-rebellious swagger.—Carol Selby Price and Robert Price, Mystic Rhythms

This song is about pop music icons who target markets, orchestrate illusions, and manipulate reactions on and off the stage. “That’s Entertainment” refers to a film on musicals.—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

More about “Superconductor”

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~ by rvkeeper on January 11, 2011.

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