band performed a selection of songs from their 1968 albumrnThe Village Green Preservation Society and their then-forthcomingrnrock opera Preservation. Songs such as “SalvationrnRoad”:rnHear me brothers, hear me sistersrnCitizens and comrades, hear my songrnThe old life’s dead, the order’s changingrnIt’s time for all of us to move alongrnGot no time to live a life with old worn-out traditionsrnSwallowed my pride, changed my waysrnAnd found a new religion . ..rnGoodbye youth, goodbye dreamsrnThe good times and the friends I used to knowrnGoodbye freedom, hello fearrnA brave new worid has suddenly appeared . . .rnAnd we’ll all join handsrnAnd we’ll all march alongrnAnd we’ll all mark time as we gornYes, we’ll all walk alongrnAnd we’ll all sing a songrnAs we walk down Salvation RoadrnThe European Economic Community survived the affront.rnBy the 1980’s, the band was increasingly concerned that, inrnDave Davies’ words, “there’s no England now.” With 1989rncame the anti-Thatcher, anti-EC U.K. jive, an angry albumrnbearing a burning Union Jack on its cover. Artistically speaking,rnit wasn’t one of the group’s better efforts, but it was unmistakablyrnshot through with Ray and Dave’s anger at the directionrntheir countrv was taking. (Well, almost unmistakably. Onerntrack, “Down All the Days to 1992,” was adopted by somernirony-challenged EC bureaucrats as the European Commission’srnunofficial theme song.) hi 1992 itself, the Kinks performedrnat Fete d’Humanite, a communist-sponsored anti-Europeanrnfestival in Paris. By this time, Ray was also writingrnX-Ray, half memoir and half science fiction, a book that positsrna totalitarian worid in which all nations have merged into a singlerncorporation, in which “a country called England” is only arnfading memory.rnBut such visions, like those oi Muswell Hillbillies, are affectations,rnexaggerations. A man like Davies, able to discern beautyrneven in a dirty, crowded train station, need never search longrnfor small signs of vitality. “They’re trying to build a computerizedrncommunity,” he sang in “Muswell Hillbilly.” “But they’llrnnever make a zombie out of me.” So far, he’s right.rnIn the Botanical Gardens, Washington, D.C.rnby Ruth Moosernhi the Botanical Gardensrnwater is forced uprnto fall anywherernwithin the blue tiled pool.rnBut the Banyon Tree is restrained,rnglobed with wire and kept aloof.rnTourists go in rowsrnmaintain polite distance,rna shared warmth of place, time.rnOne carries a teddy bearrnin her pink backpackrnwhile the child reachesrnup to feel rain that has foundrna crack in the glassrnand ticks in like a thiefrnfrom the worid outside.rnA three-piece-suited sonrncomes to call for his fatherrnv’ho’s been waiting on the benchrnthumbing the Post. My real estaternagent strolls leisurely byrnadmiring plants. A pigeonrncomes after, then a cousin,rnbut I don’t know her. Red heartedrnCaladiums nod to the paisleyrnskirt of my favorite grade schoolrnteacher. She hasn’t aged a minute.rnHer brief ease of burgundy leatherrnbulges with papers to grade; somernare mine in math. Nothing hasrnchanged. I still can’t addrnup my life and get itrnright.rn20/CHRONICLESrnrnrn