Thursday, 3 July 2008

Genius: there's no other word for it - Part XXI

Ian Curtis was a profoundly gifted chap (although the other members of Joy Division, who became New Order, after his death, are no mugs, either), and the beauty of this song is evidence of that, I think.


20 comments:

Stephany said...

ugh I can't remember if I left a comment, excuse the double if it happens:

I like this.

Radagast said...

Not to everybody's tastes, I suppose, but one needs to read between the lines, sometimes. What do you think the song's about?

Matt

Stephany said...

relationships, with others and with one's self. inner struggles, self-exposure, trust of self; wanting to expose true self to another, facing self to do so. asking to be accepted as fragile, asking for acceptance while exposed, and to take the words literally: asking someone 'don't walk away'; and it's also something a person can ask of themself. 'don't walk away'...from who they are, as an effort to remain true to self.

It's actually a simple concept, this song. But that depends on how a person hears it.

Stephany said...

What do you think it's about Matt?

Radagast said...

Well, I don't think I'd argue with any of the things that you mentioned (pointless, because it's Curtis's song, not mine, so I have no idea what it's about, in truth). Being the person I am, I'd have summed it up with a single word, "depression," and then explained what I meant by that!

Matt

Stephany said...

depression is also what i felt when i heard it; going back to my part of the comment using the words from the lyrics 'don't walk away'...from self.

Basically saying, don't walk away from self as a result of depression, meaning don't completely lose yourself as a result of it.

Though when depressed, we cannot or might not be that able to not walk away--we drift away, and in the back of our minds somewhere I feel we tell our selves, 'don't leave' (walk away forever).

Radagast said...

We have no choice but to leave, though, sometimes, because we are indoctrinated to believe that certain possibilities are not acceptable. As such, certain responses/solutions, which we might legitimately resort to, are denied.

Hmmm. It's a difficult concept to explain without a few sketches, to make a odd points. On a simplistic level, suppose you've been indoctrinated to believe that eggs are evil. One day, years later, still believing eggs to be evil, one is ordered to make an omelette. Questioning authority is one such evil egg, and leads to all sorts of thoroughly unpleasant stuff, I think.

Incidentally, what do you mean by "self," such that one should avoid walking away from it?

Matt

Stephany said...

self = myself=me.
as in, if i walk away from me, i'd be dead.

after being told my entire life to be quiet, some days omelette's are easy to make.

Radagast said...

OK. So "self" is not the whole of you - it can't be, if you may walk away from it. That is, it must be divisible, or severable. So, if it's not too abstract a question, what is "self," (ie, how is it characterized), and/or what is the part that walks away?

Matt

Stephany said...

Life in and of itself is abstract, thoughts are, definitions are, to define "self" is to define an abstract thought one has taken on as a defintion of who they "are"; and to be able to walk away from the "whole" self, means something has been locked away, possibly to prevent pain or due to fear, fear of bad or good. If "I" walk away from "me" I no longer exist.

Stephany said...

"I'd have summed it up with a single word, "depression," and then explained what I meant by that!"

OK, explain. LOL

Radagast said...

Hmmm. Life is, on one level, merely an accumulation of experiences. The extent to which one perceives that one has had a "good," or "bad," life probably depends upon the extent to which one understands these things, I would maintain. That is, an unsolved problem has a habit of coming back, time and again. Now, suppose that one's unsolved problems are life problems? One is constantly thrust into situations that one doesn't know how to deal with, and one has nobody that one can turn to. One lives, then, constantly outside one's comfort zone, wondering why, when one has played by the rules, one keeps being thrown curveballs.

That's one way of putting it. Suppose, then, that one starts to solve a few of these "life problems"? Life becomes easier, and one's perception of one's own experiences changes.

In answer to your question, and with reference to our friend, Plato, life (and probably depression), IS about balance. I don't know whose idea the video for Atmosphere was, but it's noted here, too, with priest-like figures being clad in black and white, with a negative or positive insignia. Every proposition has a counterproposition - that is the fundamental principle of dialectic, and the closer one gets to the Truth, the more it looks as if one is involved in a nitpicking exercize, because one descends to a level of detail that most don't bother with.

Depression, then, is a problem, or series of problems, for which one has no answers. A Proposition, which impacts one negatively, and no counterproposition to counteract it, and bring things back in one's favour.

Which gives rise to another problem - why would anybody want to leave one out on a limb like that: disadvantaged, with nobody to help? I'm not sure that really explains my position, but problems are rarely solved on the first pass, although it is important to provide oneself with a starting point, when problem-solving - a point of reference, as it were.

Matt

Stephany said...

Once again, you bring so many points of logic together to define something most people (like myself)have a hard time explaining or even thinking! Thank you!

I did like the negative/positive theme, it really says a lot, and I am often not able to express what I feel (as when watching this video/hearing the music/reading the lyrics)in words if that makes sense.

I suppose it is why music, words and visuals work for me!

Radagast said...

Well, my Legal History professor, Anton Schutz, once suggested that when one was trying to put a point across, it was a good idea to say the same thing, many times, in subtley different ways. A music video, provided the musician(s) have had input in its production, is very good medium. One has the lyrics; one has the music; and one has the visuals, which all ought to be saying the same thing - if their source is the same mind, that has to be true.

Of course, where a song is written for the artist(s) who perform it, and the video is produced by somebody completely different, again, in isolation, then the message is going to be at least a little bit confused. I suppose that's why I like live performances; and "Biko" is a very good example of that. Gabriel wrote the song, sings it, and the visual is all about him, and the way he interprets the song. And it's a convincing and very powerful performance, too.

Matt

Stephany said...

Well, yes. It is because he is singing from his soul. It's pure.

Radagast said...

He evidently thought a lot of Biko - he tells us why, when he introduces the song, of course. Biko would probably have thought a lot of Gabriel, too.

Matt

Radagast said...

As an afterthought, if one wishes to view the dialectic methodology as the "natural" approach to dispute resolution, then Gabriel's song is his response to Biko's death. There's a quiet fury, there, which is every bit as powerful as the manner of Biko's death.

And there were more people joining Gabriel's voice, in the stadium alone, than supported Biko's killers. That's a given.

Matt

Radagast said...

And as a further afterthought, one needs to consider one thing: if Biko was a man of peace, as Gabriel declares (and I've heard and read nothing to the contrary), then what does that say about the people responsible for his death, and the administration that appointed them? Why would anybody want to kill a person who was peaceful? Because one is thoroughly violent, and peace is the complete antithesis of one's own belief system? Fuck people who conduct violent acts, in secret, or otherwise.

Matt

Stephany said...

Yes, they certainly did silence his voice; which was their goal.But they didn't understand his voice was in fact not silenced: it gained momentum.

Radagast said...

And what lengths they went to, to silence him - forbidding him from leaving a limited geographical area; forbidding him from speaking to more than one person, at a time; forbidding him from speaking in public. All of which just caused a lot of people to think "what is he saying, that frightens them so much?" when his message appeared to be a positive one. I suppose "positive," for an enslaved people, meant "negative," for the slavers.

Matt