When you think critically about your world, there is often a longing, I’ve found, to sum it all up in one piece. To discover what particle physicists call Grand Unified Theory, or, “Theory of Everything.”
Singer-songwriter Sven Curth‘s song and video “Levittown 1951” is the the closest thing I’ve seen or heard to a summary of the post-war economy in the United States – basically, the last 75 years or so in a nutshell. Curth’s song rollicks through the proliferation of fast food restaurants, tract housing, the conflation of television with cyclical consumption, the demigods of sports, and the declination of the American male.
Curth’s narrative lyrics and toe-tappin’, finger-picking guitar set to this montage of classic Americana images unifies the evolution of the car culture and the money-market system with the ephemera of culture. The song shies from indicting the military-industrial complex, but it doesn’t need to. There’s no side-choosing here, no political agenda. Levittown speaks with a rocking-chair-on-the-front-porch honesty and doesn’t shy from what the thinking person is compelled to examine. Levittown tells the story of What Is.