Friday, May 20, 2011

Wayne’s memifying over at the 70s blog, spinning off the recent last song before you die/world ends thing and pointing to the amount of Soul/Soul-influenced stuff in there

Now no doubt there are some ultra-avantistas who will insist on listening to Bartok or Xasthur or whatever as some final confirmation of their impregnable rejection of sentiment/the ”human” but I’d be getting fairly “soulful” myself I have to say. What you would want, or at least what I’d want confirmed to me, a confirmation that’s required periodically in life itself not just at its final stages is the sense that somehow all this has been worth it, that despite the dullness, the boredom, the confusion, the alienation, the doubts there were moments of intensity and beauty, of understanding, sympathy and joy that redeemed the whole, the feeling that your deepest needs had been met, even if only briefly.

I’d have this song partly because while hell may be other people, so too is heaven and at base the question of how meaningful any two people can be for each other haunts life. Partly because the child is father to the man and it’s always slightly shocking and embarrassing to find how little you’ve changed, how superficially experience has altered you on the deeper levels (sure, you’ve wised up and know how to play the game better now, but there’s still that bitter, tiring distance between you and your performance) because life is unfathomable and painful and you need to be consoled and you need to have the possibility of a reprieve held out to you. Because perhaps the most admirable of all qualities are compassion and quiet fortitude.

What you’d want I guess at the final moment is something that expressed the fullness, the multidimensionality, something that caught up the specific time and place of your being in the world, something connected to region, roots, class, that talked of home and work, that spoke to your fear and hope, your dreams of flight, your faltering courage, your willingness to try, the importance of finding a peer group, of drawing close to what’s most vital to you. If you’ve never felt trapped in your life, by circumstance of birth, by character, by lack of opportunity, if you’ve never surveyed the seemingly insurmountable distance between yourself and the self you want to be, the place you want to occupy, socially, interpersonally and your current life-world, never really known dismay, failure, depleted spirits and battered ego, the fear that this is all you are ever going to get, then this song will mean nothing to you.

But to be honest I can’t think of a song that better captures that intermediate stage between
ecstasy and despair, triumph and defeat, resignation and assertion that most of us inhabit most of our lives. It wants to live but deeply understands the desire to die.

It’s a really obvious choice but it says everything to me, and not just about my life. Oh, plus, I’d have the video, one of the most beautiful ever made, playing on a fifty foot screen.

We could watch it together, if you like.



oh yes

Ed said...

"The Video you have requested is not available" aargh, so what was it?