The Better Angels of Our Nature - Debut album
The Better Angels of Our Nature:
This title was borrowed from the book of the same name by Steve Pinker.
Pinker argues that despite public and media perceptions, violence in the world in all its forms is in steady decline. The book documents declining violence across time and geography. This paints a picture of massive declines in violence of all forms, from war, to improved treatment of children. He highlights the role of nation-state monopolies on force, of commerce (making "other people become more valuable alive than dead"), of increased literacy and communication (promoting empathy), as well as a rise in a rational problem-solving orientation as possible causes of this decline in violence. He notes that, paradoxically, our impression of violence has not tracked this decline, perhaps because of increased communication, and that further decline is not inevitable, but is contingent on forces harnessing our better motivations such as empathy and increases in reason.
The opening lines from the song This Circus Life were borrowed, and revised slightly, from Ray Bradbury’s 1962 novel ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’.
The book tells the story of two 13-year-old best friends and their nightmarish experience with a traveling circus that comes to their Midwestern town. In dealing with the macabre characters from the circus, the boys learn how to combat fear. The Ringmaster is the mysterious ‘Mr. Dark’, who seemingly wields the power to grant the citizens secret desires. In reality, Dark is a malevolent being who, like the carnival, lives off the life-force of those they enslave. The novel conveys the theme that the power people, objects, and ideas have over you depends on the power you instil in them with your own mind.
These images are used with the kind permission of Laurie Asprey.
Laurie was born in 1934 in Salford. During the 1960’s he moved to London to pursue a career in acting and appeared in numerous films and TV dramas including Department S, The Wednesday Play and the Champions. He then pursued a career as a Photographer and captured images of some of the world’s most iconic musicians including John Lennon, Bob Marley and the Rolling Stones. The images used on the front and back cover are from collections Laurie took in the 1960’s and 1970’s of working class children playing amongst the slums.
All songs written by Charlie Mear.
Produced by Dan Wilde.