Transcendentalism Pop Culture Project CArol Flores


“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
-Walden, Henry David Thoreau

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American Rock band led by Anthony Kiedis. Although the group has been making music since 1983, they released their 11th album in June 2016. This album has 13 tracks that have elements of funk and rock. The music videos for this album show elements of the transcendentalist tenet of nonconformity. Also the band members themselves do not conform to the normal things we see in society.

The music videos from "Sick Love" and "Go Robot" stand out the most. In "Sick Love" many colors are clashing and many bizarre elements. For example, as the girl in the video brushes her teeth all her teeth fall out, and she walks around with a heart on her head. For an animated music video, it is very graphic. For example, a person gets shredded in a meat grinder, and the blended body is used to fill a star on the walk of fame. Also, when the two characters in the video are kissing, the girl becomes a giant black widow and rips off the man's head. This example shows nonconformity because it is very rare to see a music video so graphic and so strange to the eye. In the music video "Go Robot" the lead singer, Anthony Kiedis walks in the streets of the city to get to a club, wearing only white paint and a covering over his private area. If you don't think that's different, then I don't know what is! These examples show transcendentalism because this band dares to be different.

What Anthony wore in the music video of Go Robot.
Scenes from the Sick Love music video.


“Live your life. Do your work. Then take your hat.” -"Conscience”, Henry David Thoreau

Pink is an American singer-songwriter who is known for many songs. Such as, "Just Give Me A Reason," "Perfect," "Raise Your Glass" and "So What." The song "so what" is about Pink expressing that it's ok that her and her husband split because she is still a rock star. This song was released in 2008.

The song "so what," begins with Pink saying that she has a new attitude, since her and her husband split. The lyrics go on to say, "So what, I'm still a rockstar, I got my rock moves and I don't want you tonight." This shows that she only needs herself to rely on and no one else. The lyrics also say, "And guess what? I'm having more fun, now that we're done!" This connects to the Thoreau quote because it says, "Live your life," because after ending it with her husband Pink realized that she didn't need him, and that it was her life to live and that she only has to rely on herself to have fun.

Importance of Nature

“In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life is always a child.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Avatar The Last Airbender is a tv show that aired in 2005 and ended in 2008. This television show was about a boy named Aang who was an air bender (the last one) and the Avatar. His goal in the show was to master all four elements (water, air, earth, fire). Also, a movie was made about the show in 2010. This show/movie connects with the transcendentalist tenet of the importance of nature, because the how is about all the elements.

In the show there are different tribes. Each tribe has individuals who have the ability to bend the elements. Katara can bend water, and Zuko bends fire, Toph bends earth, and Aang learns to master the four elements. That is why this show has a lot to do with the importance of nature. In the show Katara uses her water bending to heal. This connects to the Emerson quote, because this quote talks about nature as a healing and rejuvenating thing. Emerson says, "a man casts off his years." As you can see Avatar The Last Airbender's theme revolves nature and the power of it, and this is why it relates to this tenet.

Favoring Intuition Over Reason

“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string” - “Self Reliance”, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Letters to Juliet is a movie that came out in 2010. It is about a woman named Sophie who visits Verona with her fiancee. During their time in Verona they grow apart, while Sophie goes on adventures with an elderly woman named Claire and her son. Sophie slowly finds herself falling in love with Charlie. When she goes back to her home in the U.S she realizes she is in love with Charlie and ends things with her fiancee to go back to Verona and tell Charlie.

The final scene in the movie really reflects the tenet of intuition over reason. Someone using their head would not end an engagement to travel across the ocean to blindly confess their love to someone without knowing the end result. Sophie goes with her gut and ends up telling Charlie she loves him and he loves her back. The movie ends with them kissing on the floor because he tried climbing the balcony where she was, but fell. This movie also shows intuition over reason because the whole plot is about Sophie and Charlie looking for Claire's long lost love through out Europe. They did not know where he was, but looked through every house that belonged to a 'Lorenzo Bartolini.' They finally found the right Lorenzo at the last possible house. Claire, Charlie, and Sophie followed their gut by choosing to not give up on their search, and Claire got to be reunited with the love of her life.


“That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.” - “Journals 1856,” Henry David Thoreau

Colbie Caillat's song "Try" from 2014 connects to the tenet of simplified life because it talks about not having to try or change. Colbie Caillat is an American singer-songwriter who became famous through myspace.

Her song try connects to the tenet of simplified life, because the music video has women taking their make up off, and the lyrics say, "you don't have to try so hard, you don't have to give it all away." Sometimes make-up can be viewed as over the top, and she is saying that makeup is not a necessity to be beautiful. The song says, "Take your make-up off. Let your hair down. Take a breath. Look into the mirror, at yourself." These lyrics show that being simple can still mean you're beautiful. Also if less time is spent on making yourself beautiful then there is more time to do the simple things that bring joy into your life.


Created with images by ChrisA1995 - "Nature" • Magnascan - "peas pod pea pod" • andreaisasi - "Climbers" • .Elisa. - "nature" • - "thelastairbender_06" • evitaochel - "house home small" • jus10h - "Watermark Showcase 1/16/2013 #38"

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