“Taming of the New” is the 12th track from the Friends of Design’s eponymous debut album.
Its title is a dubious play on Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”, a comedy we know featured occasionally in Tailorite reading as, not merely a piece of Elizabethan misogynist fun, but also a coded piece of 16th century (AD) Christian/English Kabbalah.
Petruchio’s methods for taming the rebellious Kate, read by today’s standards, are a case of clearly unfunny domestic abuse. They include starvation, restriction of social interaction and physical humiliation. Ultimately he gains total mind control of his wife, to the extent that her very perception of the sun or moon is in complete submission to his:
PETRUCHIO: I say it is the moon.
KATHARINA: I know it is the moon.
PETRUCHIO: Nay, then you lie: it is the blessed sun.
KATHARINA: Then, God be bless’d, it is the blessed sun:
But sun it is not, when you say it is not;
And the moon changes even as your mind.
What you will have it named, even that it is;
And so it shall be so for Katharina.
(Taming of the Shrew, Act 4, Scene 5)
We know that the Tailor read the wife and husband of the English Bard’s comedy in precisely the same fashion as he read the Law of martial relations delivered by the Arab Prophet:
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in their sleeping places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. (Qur’an, 4:34)
He considered the wife/Kate to be a “potentially immanent plane of symbolic receptivity/reading”: the husband is always the Nur of Prophecy, the Light of Divine Gnosis while the feminine within us is our “darkened mirror”, our perception of the world, our reading of the world. When married/polished/disciplined into obedience to the husband, our feminine perception of the world perceives the Truth of God’s Love in all signs within her mental framework.
And while this process of polishing is sometimes difficult, uncomfortable and, when enunciated and considered with a literal reading, obscene and awful, it is, in essence, innocuous and Loving. At the end of the play, Kate and Petruchio are harmonious, at peace, in Love, because the process of “Taming” is born out of Love, moving through Love, becoming Love. And it is a farce, not a tragedy, because we trust in the Lover who authors the farce in Love: we know that Love would never write us a tragedy, so we ignore these dips into bad taste and instead laugh (Sara’s laugh) where, with any other human author, we would immediately call the cops.