Exploring "Join The Dots"

Started by SueC, August 06, 2019, 14:28:23

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Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on January 25, 2020, 16:59:03I've taken those lyrics from genius.com, which also has the following citation from Robert Smith:  "When we started Bloodflowers in Christmas 1998, we wanted hard electro pop and did a handful of tracks, including Coming Up and Possession, that used loops and synth bass. We sat around taking various kinds of drugs, thinking, 'This is the future!' Suddenly in 1999, I had a road to Damascus moment. I thought, 'This is f*cking awful, this isn't The Cure.' I wrote Out Of This World and decided, 'This is what I want to do', because that song had more emotion than the six tracks we'd recorded up until that point. So we binned the other stuff - it's hard to kill six songs, because you're halfway there, but it was a decision that had to be made. The others thought I'd lost it, but coming back I proved them wrong!"

Interestingly, I've read other comments by the author which give a slightly different take; e.g. where he thinks Possession was a really good song.  I don't think Robert Smith is always a reliable witness - and few of us probably are, and we're liable to change our minds and our moods.  So, sometimes quite contradictory things are said.

Sometimes there are mis-quotes and misunderstanding too. And Robert Smith changing his mind, as well.

I guess he thought "Posession" was good enough to put it on "Join the dots"! Otherwise he'd just left it in the vault where it was. Same goes for "Coming Up", which ended up on some versions of the album.

Anyway, this is interesting, because I'm kinda looking back on the "Bloodflowers" period now.  :smth023
It doesn't touch me at all...

SueC

Just in postscript to the following post where this sort of stuff was discussed earlier in this thread, here's a Crikey article that popped up again today: https://www.crikey.com.au/2020/01/24/environment-lsd-psychedelics/

It's a bit over-simplified, but interesting anyway.  And I had to laugh at this reader's comment:

QuoteDog's Breakfast
February 1, 2020 at 5:14 pm

"Hofmann's conviction that psychedelics bring users closer to nature is a trippers' trope that's easy to dismiss as woozy utopianism."

Ha yeah, except it isn't. 50 years later and the medical and scientific community are just opening their eyes.

I've often thought a major dose to the world's water supplies would solve most of our political problems, and consequently all other issues.

This 'otherness' and disconnectedness from each other and the world around us might be called a personal bubble. ScoMo is a perfect manifestation of this personal bubbledom, nothing getting in, nothing coming out and no concept or recognition or connection with any other.

This is actually my politics, I am less left or right than I am connected, wholly and always. All other states of mind are juvenile steps towards the fulfillment of the promise of adulthood. The bodies grow but the mind stays in this pupae stage, and due to the lack of connection with the other they never understand their unrealized state.

Sad.

Like I said in the original post, I have no personal experiences of this sort to contribute except an already atypical brain.  :lol:
SueC is time travelling

SueC

OMG IT'S A DANGLEBERRY

When 4:13 Dream arrived in the mail, I started another thread and got so immersed in it I forgot that there were two tracks left to go after Coming Up.

What is a dangleberry?  Well, we'll start with the Australian expression "dag" which literally is a shitty bit of wool on a sheep's bottom, but which is also used affectionately in this country to tease a person who tells "daggy" jokes, wears "daggy" clothes, or does other "daggy" things.  When I explained that to some Americans once, they laughed and said, "Oh, a bit like a dangleberry!" - that's for the literal meaning of "dag" and not its symbolic application - you could say that a dangleberry is a specific subset/potential component of a dag - and I'm using it symbolically here to refer to a bit I left dangling months ago and will now be tidying up. :angel

Two versions of Signal To Noise first - a track that was new to me when I got this CD set.

...and which I will be attending to shortly in this thread...
SueC is time travelling

MAtT

Hi Sue, just back-reading some of this thread. On the How Beautiful You Are lyrics you commented on a while ago, you may already be aware of this now, but they are based on a poem called 'The eyes of the poor' by Baudelaire:

https://aplaceforpeace.wordpress.com/2009/09/12/the-eyes-of-the-poor-by-charles-baudelaire/

As you see, they don't quite include the "no one ever knows or loves another" you find jarring at the end. I've always taken it to imply that to love someone completely is to understand them completely, and it's that which is impossible.
Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

Hullo @MAtT:) 

Thank you for the link and also your own take.  I remember your comments on journalling on another thread where you were doing a recount of a mix tape.  :cool  Nice to "see" you here.

It's interesting to look at the differences between the original story and the re-telling.  That could be someone's project!  ;)
SueC is time travelling

MAtT

 :cool

And it's great to see your analysis and opinions. Keep up the good work!

 :smth023

Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

Thank you, @MAtT! :)  It's occasionally nerve-wracking to write like this, because I'm well aware that a) I'm a recent Cure fan and don't have a lot of the back story, and b) this stuff means a lot to a lot of people and here I am opining through my own particular prism of experience, which I guess is all that any of us can do, but still it can be awkward, and c) I'm really just journalling in public, and sometimes that's a bit like you're on a nude beach, instead of in your own bathroom.  :1f633:

But generally, I'm enjoying the process because writing about it makes you look at it in so much more detail than not writing about it, and having skin in the game is the difference between being fully there versus just coasting along.

If you want to chime in with this stuff here in any way no matter how tiny or enormous, you're most welcome.  The vista really starts to expand when there's more than one pair of eyes to look through!  :cool
SueC is time travelling

MAtT

Hi Sue,

I don't think you need to have been a fan for a long time to have insight into the songs generally, though there are a (very) few cases where it helps to know some of the backstory to their influences and context in the history of the band.

Personally I've probably thought about the meaning of the lyrics less than I might have over the years. I love the music and the lyrical flow, neither of which necessitate any insight into what Mr Smith is waxing lyrical about! (I mean, I'm also a big Cocteau Twins fan, and many of their songs are sung in a made-up nonsense language!)

But it's really interesting to see your takes on them.

Which albums have you reviewed so far? I've read through Kiss Me and some of Join The Dots, but have you done any others? (I know, I know, there's a search facility!). If not I'll look forward to my faves: Pornography, Faith, and Seventeen Seconds...
Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

Quote from: MAtT on June 25, 2020, 20:31:07Personally I've probably thought about the meaning of the lyrics less than I might have over the years. I love the music and the lyrical flow, neither of which necessitate any insight into what Mr Smith is waxing lyrical about!

Ah, so you look at it more like Brett does! :cool  I can do that when songs are sung in a language I can't understand, but not when things are sung in English - then I can't ignore them... and if I can't decipher some of the lyrics, it bugs me until I can...


Quote(I mean, I'm also a big Cocteau Twins fan, and many of their songs are sung in a made-up nonsense language!)

Do you like The Jabberwocky:)


QuoteWhich albums have you reviewed so far? I've read through Kiss Me and some of Join The Dots, but have you done any others? (I know, I know, there's a search facility!). If not I'll look forward to my faves: Pornography, Faith, and Seventeen Seconds...

Well, there's just the B-sides thread here, and the other one I started when I got 4:13 Dream in the mail after that, and now I'm up to the current new arrivals at our house, KMKMKM and The Head On The Door.  I wasn't on this forum when I first listened to various others we have, of which my favourite is Bloodflowers, that's the first Cure album I listened to start to finish and my jaw just hit the ground... it narrowly pips Disintegration for me.  We also have and like The Top and Wild Mood Swings, but aren't hugely fond of Japanese Whispers, although it has some good stuff on it too.  Brett had Bloodflowers, Paris, Show and a Best-Of when we met, and we have Trilogy and the most recent live films from 2018 (plus other stuff on YT).

So we've not looked at the ultra-early stuff yet, other than what we've heard live and on the B-sides.  I think I'm going to get Wish next and maybe the self-titled, which by the way Brett had been interested in after Bloodflowers but decided not to get after previewing it.  And then maybe an excursion to the more distant archaeological strata... :angel

I'm definitely going to keep writing about "new" things coming into my mailbox; I'm not sure if I'm going to back-track to the things I listened to earlier.  Who knows.  One might always get hit by a truck or struck by lightning etc.  :)
SueC is time travelling

MAtT

QuoteDo you like The Jabberwocky?

Ha! Yes, but I've not read it in an age!

I'll look forward to more analysis from you  :)
Cure anomalies on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/infov0y

Twitter: https://twitter.com/infovoy_v2

Blog on free will and consciousness: http://informationvoyeur.wordpress.com/

SueC

A while back, I noticed that this thread had a dangleberry, and promised to attend to it shortly.

Ahem, "shortly" turned out to be four weeks later.  :angel  But here goes.  There's two versions of Signal to Noise back-to-back on CD-4 of Join the Dots - acoustic and not.  I know absolutely nothing about the historical context for this song and I usually make a point of not looking for my first play-through, hence I'll not know if something is based on some poem or book or other thing until I either start digging, or someone points it out to me, like @MAtT telling me Baudelaire inspired a lyric I find pretty problematic.  But now I'm going to have to get the Join the Dots set physically from another room (just when I've gotten extra comfortable with the laptop, isn't it always the way?), because I'd like to know what year it was from and what album if any it was associated with.

...ah, OK, B-side of Cut Here, post-Bloodflowers and apparently not leftovers from that.  I'm not sure which version I prefer; it's one of those songs I find musically OK but not "ooooh-aaaah" and that's true for both versions.  Here's the acoustic.


Let's have a look at the lyrics.

SIGNAL TO NOISE

Nothing I do makes much sense
Say you don't really get me anymore
I wonder if you ever did... if you ever did at all?
Nothing I want means a lot
Say you don't understand me like before
I'm not sure if you ever did... if you ever did at all?

Nothing I think has a point
Say you don't quite believe me anymore
I wonder if you ever did... if you ever did at all?

Gets hard to guess the best way through
The thing to do if none of this is true
I wish I knew how to undo
The doubt I hide inside
I grew in you...

The knot I hide inside I tied in you...

Nothing I am shows the way
Say you don't seem to know me like before
I'm not sure if you ever did... if you ever did at all?

No nothing I do makes much sense
Say you don't really get me anymore
I wonder if you ever did... if you ever did at all?

Gets hard to guess the best way through
The thing to do if none of this is true
I wish I knew how to undo
The knot I tied in you...
When more or less the yes and no
Is all for show it isn't really so...
Look high and low where did we go?
You moved too fast or maybe I just moved too slow?

There's so much noise...
All the signal seems to fade away
Too much noise...

Or could be this is how it always sounds
With nothing left?


...not sure if this is "official" - I always read it "so" not "say" as it made more sense to me, but anyway...

This is a relationship-in-trouble song - friends, romantic partners, even family, it could apply to any of those because the principles are pretty similar, though if I had to guess it's probably about a partner, because of the knots tied etc, and because of the exclusivity that often goes with / is expected in a romantic relationship.  (At an outside chance, you could read this as a response to an audience complaint, which would give a different twist to the ending, but I won't follow that possibility up in this post.)

Astute idea here:  The doubt I hide inside, I grew in you... The knot I hide inside I tied in you...    ...the problem with sweeping things under the carpet is that you can end up falling over the lumps you make that way...

Today, I mainly want to unpick one thing that instantly jumped out at me here - and it's something I've noticed with Cure songs like this before, especially the early ones.  The narrator has a bit of a me-focus, and doesn't spend nearly as much time attempting to see things from the partner's (/other's) perspective as he spends saying what things are like from his perspective - at least in his thinking-out-loud in this song.  And then, apparently before spending the same amount of time considering the other person's perspective, walking a mile in their shoes and applying some empathy, he seems to be drawing conclusions and making decisions about the situation, rather prematurely.  It's "you don't understand me" without the "do I understand you?" and that's not effective for overcoming a relationship impasse.  This is a really, really common problem with couple conflicts/miscommunication (as well as general conflict and miscommunication) - and if you don't address it, you can end up splitting up with partner after partner because you're always going to hit this wall and then end it (or else stagnate unhappily), rather than work out how to get over that wall, into a more understanding, truly mutual relationship.

Family of origin dysfunction has forced me to really look at this issue, so I tend to notice it, and lots of other stuff, that appears in people's poems and songs about relationships.  I think it's useful to think about these things critically, and that's certainly the only reason I've managed to find myself in a stable, very happy partnership of 13 years, despite of family history, and I think it's important to be open about the stuff you find challenging, and the things you have learnt.  Let's have these conversations, as couples and as communities.

In a way it's brave to put yourself out there on this topic, whether you write songs or prose or agree to talk to a newspaper etc.  We're none of us perfect, we're none of us finished learning, and we're bound to expose some of our own flaws that way - but that's the point, isn't it, to normalise all of this instead of hiding it away, or airbrushing it all - to say, "We all have flaws, here you go, here's some of mine I may or may not be aware of yet, but that is the reality, unlike the glossy social-media spin etc."  The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can also start to work on it - and the sooner we can learn compassion for the self as well as other people.  The point of looking critically at public pieces and conversations around relationships isn't to show people up, but to develop our skill set and to help make our life experiences more positive.

Signal to Noise actually reminded me thematically of a song Mike Scott wrote in the early 80s, called The Thrill Is Gone.  Let's have a listen, and then compare lyrics:


THE THRILL IS GONE

I'm too tired to deceive you
We can't pretend there's nothing wrong
Who'll be the first to say it?
That the thrill is gone
And we never get it back...

When we talk of old acquaintance and
Speak like two strangers all day long
The only four words that I hear
Are "the thrill is gone"
And we never get it back...

When evening falls magenta
And goodnight hangs on and on
I won't need to go to sleep and dream to tell me
That the thrill is gone
And we never get it back...


Another impasse, but more from a "we" perspective.  What this song describes, of course, is the end of the honeymoon phase, when the rose-tinted glasses come off and the hormonal rollercoaster plummets back to earth.  But here's the thing, much of that stuff is just biology - a bit of hoodwinking so you'll propagate your DNA.  It collides with psychology because once you're down from reproductive-hormone-Cloud-Nine, you start to actually notice that you're looking at a human being with flaws, not some perfect deity who can do no wrong and with whom you're going to have a stratospheric ever-after, goodbye real world, I never loved you anyway, it was all too hard.

And a mature relationship isn't blind interaction between two projections, but a deep-dive of two human beings actually getting to know each other for real, and learning to love for real, and in my book, that has to be mutually respectful, and it has to be egalitarian; and by the way, I think sex actually has a lot more potential when it's not this thing that has you by the throat, but when it's an actual choice - when you've got the steering wheel yourself instead of just crashing through the undergrowth.

Here's another song on this general topic:


RAGS

Everything is rags
And there's nobody to blame but me
And it would be so easy
If there was no one to hurt but me
But now everything that I do
Comin' out of me
Will just tear through you
In and out of you
Up and down your life
Like a curse
Cast by the only son of rags
Who would wrap you up
In all the finest tatters
But he wanted nothin' more
My loved one
Than to wrap you up in joy
But it never be with me
- you and I are like
Two worlds
Not meant to collide
Death to each other
In the unravelling of time
So how do you...
How do you like it?
What kind of dream
Would you call it -
To have one foot in Eden
One foot in Hell
To be always numb
Plagued by demons
Summoned by Angels
At the same time
Endlessly
But I will burn me
Right out of this place
I will lay you down to sleep
So when you wake
I'll be gone
And You
Will remember
Nothing
You
Will remember
Nothing


Notice that this writer is putting his own hand up when it comes to responsibility, which is refreshing, but of course can be a trap too if done to excess.  It's a relationship-in-trouble song, with an interesting little fantasy at the end, good luck with that.  Let's all go watch The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, now!  ;)


Imagine life where humans were like hydra, just budding off the next generation asexually in their armpits, no need for all this perilous interaction.  What would our songs look like?  :lol:

♦ ♥ ♦

In postscript, let's have a look at what another writer has done with the metaphor of signal to noise.  This is Peter Gabriel's take, and it looks like a pretty mature one to me - basically, if the noise bothers you, then you make sure you signal, and do it clearly...


SIGNAL TO NOISE

You know the way that things go
When what you fight for starts to fall
And in that fuzzy picture
The writing stands out on the wall
So clearly on the wall

Send out the signals deep and loud

And in this place, can you reassure me
With a touch, a smile while the cradle's burning
All the while the world is turning to noise
Oh the more that it's surrounding us
The more that it destroys
Turn up the signal
Wipe out the noise

Send out the signals deep and loud

Man I'm losing sound and sight
Of all those who can tell me wrong from right
When all things beautiful and bright
Sink in the night
Yet there's still something in my heart
That can find a way
To make a start
To turn up the signal
Wipe out the noise

Wipe out the noise
Wipe out the noise
You know that's it
You know that's it
You know that's it
Receive and transmit
Receive and transmit
Receive and transmit

SueC is time travelling

SueC

For some reason, I was under the mistaken impression that there was only one song to go on CD-4, and that this song was a remix of Just Like Heaven.  This is partly due to this being a dangleberry I forgot about and I'm actually listening to other parts of the back catalogue just now and writing about that on a separate thread.

So, I woke up with stuff already laid out in my head to write about a song I actually don't need to write about here, and already mentioned briefly when I looked at CD-2.  Oh no!  :lol:  But I'm going to say it anyway.  This is actually one of my least favourite Cure songs; it's just too saccharine for my personal taste, which of course doesn't objectively make it "bad" - I simply have the same reaction to it as I have to pavlova, or icing, which makes me go blergh.  Some people would be happy to have pavlova, or indeed icing, as main course, but that has never been me, nor will it be.

I can occasionally enjoy a slice of well-made pavlova with fruit and cream (gotta have the cream! :yum:) if I've had a nutritionally sound main course, as a sort of add-on, and that's also probably why I'm fine hearing Just Like Heaven as part of a live performance, where it's in context and not part of a river of glucose syrup, which I definitely couldn't stomach.  But this is one of the swag of Cure radio songs which rather put me off this band when I was a teenager - not knowing that there were also far more nutritious offerings hidden away.

I've said it before and will say it again, that there's nothing objectively wrong with the lyrics, or with the idea of publicly celebrating a person you love - this is a very fine thing, and it's especially nice to hear that from Y-chromosome-bearing individuals, as quite a proportion of them (especially from our generation and before; the young'uns seem to be doing better) appear to have difficulty expressing such "soft" emotions... particularly if they come from the lands of the stiff upper lips.  It's good role modelling for people to see you don't need to be constrained by ridiculous gender stereotypes on what you should feel and think and how you should be (isn't it, @MAtT ;)), and it's good for mental/emotional health when people are encouraged to feel and express their emotions rather than disconnect from them, and shown examples of how-to.  So I'm all for that.

Interestingly, my response to the words on the page isn't blergh; so it must be something about the manner of presenting it, and the type of music it's wrapped in, which by the way is undoubtedly a good fit for the lyrics.  It's just a visceral reaction, like to anything overly sugary for me.  I've used sugar as an analogy here but in brain terms, I wonder if there's actual similarities in processing the respective blerghs for me.

OK, let's broaden the view.  In Perth, there's a radio station called KYFM, which some of us refer to pejoratively as KY-Jelly-FM.  (What's KY-Jelly?  Over here, that's foreplay in a tube.  ;)  :evil:  It's not strictly necessary if you approach things, ahem, properly... excepting of course if you're ill, or the glands you've got that make your own product are acting up. :angel)

Anyway, there's a reason for calling it KY-Jelly-FM, because that station specialises in producing a continuous sickly stream of mostly harebrained "romantic" music that makes people like Brett and me cringe, and rush to turn it off, or attempt to break the world land speed record in order to put distance between our ears and the piped saccharine, or else, and this is Brett adding a comment, we end up in a diabetic coma;  and he points out that another moniker he indeed frequently heard for KY-Jelly-FM amongst his erstwhile office colleagues (with whom he went to see a Cure concert) was Coma-FM.

KY-Jelly-FM does have Just Like Heaven on its playlist, but on this radio station, that represents the top bracket of offerings.  KY-Jelly-FM specialises in giving airtime to the dysfunctional, and the melodramatic, and the mostly hormonal, and the rose-tinted, and the obliviously honeymooning, and anything that sounds like pink marshmallows.  "Iiiiiiiiii-aiiiiiii-aiiiiiii will always love yooooooooooouuuuuuu-hoooooo-hoooooo!" yowled from this station several times a day, when we were unfortunate enough to have to bear witness to it.   Likewise, "Everything I doooooo, I doooooo it for yooooooooooouuuuuuu..."

OMG, where's my bucket?  ...are you borrowing it at the moment, @Ulrich? (Perhaps to milk your new goat into? :angel)  I need to find my bucket, to circumvent unnecessary house cleaning, and to recycle the nutrients to the fruit trees outside.



If I were to enter one of the darkest circles of hell, where I was forced to listen for weeks on end to a radio station like this, if I survived that form of torture, then I'd be giving special accolades to Just Like Heaven in comparison with most of the rest of the playlist.  I mean, it's like a piece of well-made pavlova, with some actual fruit on it and generous amounts of cream, compared with aisle after aisle after aisle of plastic bags containing artificially coloured and flavoured boiled lollies, all of which feature high-fructose corn syrup as their main ingredient and are just total empty calories, and will clog up your liver as an added bonus.

We're all different people, so different things make us reach for the proverbial bucket.  As we know from our 80s thread here, @Ulrich loses his stomach contents if he's forced to listen to John Farnham, who, by the way, also featured heavily in the KY-Jelly-FM playlist back in the day when it was unavoidable for us to notice - and also (from my perspective) represented the top bracket of the lamentable range on offer there.  At least Farnham isn't propagating totally dysfunctional versions of romantic love in his body of work (which, as we know from our 80s thread, Brett would forever banish were he the ruler of this world) - he actually has a reasonably balanced view on stuff like this, although of course some of his songs are dreadfully 80s, complete with fake handclaps.

The most vomit-inducing aspect of KY-Jelly-FM to me, besides the nature of much of the music, and the general low quality of the lyrics represented, is the predictability with which the artists who are howling about how they're going to love their wonderful, perfect romantic interest forever are onto the next wonderful, perfect romantic interest they're going to love forever a year later (if they can manage it that long).  It's like a revolving door of self-deception; like the Groundhog Day of the emotional three-year-old.  Please, please, please, take a step back, take a deep breath, and start using your brain, instead of just being this simple stimulus-response machine.  Because there's actually such a big difference between the thing you're describing in the throes of your hyperventilating vocalisations, and what love is.  It would pay to consult the Oxford Dictionary and a few philosophical texts before writing your next song...

Of course, I'm being slightly unfair here, considering that most of us mere mortals will go through very dysfunctional ideas on love in our short journeys through space and time, and will probably always have vestiges of dysfunctionality no matter how hard we try to overcome that, and none of us ever become completely enlightened beings - but I do think it's so, so important to want to learn and progress, instead of wallowing in a quagmire for the rest of our days.  The problem is that a station like KY-Jelly-FM helps to perpetuate the quagmire, by crystallising the very worst of the immature and dysfunctional stages of various people's journeys, and offering them up as an existential template for their general audience.  And thus the cycle repeats.

And isn't it funny how often all of that also tends to go with music I dislike for musical reasons?  It's like, you're never going to find scintillating prose in formulaic Mills&Boon (AKA Bilge&Swoon) - everything is dumbed down - not just the concepts, but also the verbal expressions in which they are couched - not just the contents, but also the container.  And there's something about our capitalist system, I strongly suspect, which actually promotes this kind of Prolefeed, whether in music or in trashy magazines or trashy novels or the bilge that makes up most of commercial television or indeed most of commercial anything - because you've got to anaesthetise the masses so that they'll go along with your programme, instead of learning to think for themselves and deciding that there's better ways to live...

Next time, the Just Say Yes remix.  ;)
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Hm... I always found that "Just like heaven" was one of the most beautiful (pop) songs ever! When I hear Simon play that bass intro, it's sheer heaven for me! (And the energy he oozes when he plays it live!!)  :happy

(I could live without the remix though... as is the case with most re-mixes in the world.)
It doesn't touch me at all...

SueC

Hmmm. Isn't "beautiful pop song" an oxymoron?  :evil: :angel :winking_tongue

PS:  The permissible fermented fruit dosage for a goat is lower than for a cow, by the way. :)

PPS:  Part of me prefers the remix, because at least it's different to the high-rotation radio song that was inflicted on me countless times in public places for over three decades - that and Friday I'm In Love are the two Cure songs I'm most allergic to, in part for that reason (also there's a couple of others I actually loathe  :1f62b:).  On the other hand, it doesn't matter how often I hear Plainsong or Watching Me Fall or The Loudest Sound or If Only Tonight We Could Sleep or Like Cockatoos or Fascination Street or Fear of Ghosts or Chain of Flowers or Lullaby or Babble or A Japanese Dream or Jupiter Crash or From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea or The Kiss or Harold and Joe or The Big Hand or Letter to Elise or dozens of other things, I don't get sick of those, if anything they grow on me further.  Sort of like a good cheese will improve with age!  :yum:
SueC is time travelling

SueC

Without further ado, back to the track list and so, Just Say Yes.  I first came across it on the "Best Of" (which by the way it's really not, no matter if the record company deigned to call it that - it excludes so many gems in favour of more lightweight material) - and I liked that track from the go-get; it rates highly on the naughtiness scale.  It's the kind of song you can bounce around like kangaroos to, chasing each other around the dinner table.  This does happen at our house, especially when we're cold or want to wake up or just need some incidental exercise - although we don't usually do this to music - but that's why we related to it.

I was going to post that particular version first, to compare it to the remix on Join The Dots, when we discovered that there's actually a clip for this, and spent the next ten minutes laughing and freeze-framing.  I also discovered that the high-pitched vocalisations in this song are not actually courtesy of Robert Smith - although I had always assumed they were, since I wouldn't put it past him, even if he had to cross his legs really hard and breathe helium to do it.  :angel

This clip is very like animal feeding time at the zoo - and just look at all that surreptitious and not-so-surreptitious instrument swapping.  :lol:  I had to freeze-frame several times to read the label on the bottle the girl is holding up at intervals; initial guesses at blurry frames included "Goat Bile" and "Edit Me" but a later shot showed it was just "Eat Me"...  (Brett said, "Aha, Alice in Wonderland!")


If one was going to examine the main premise of this song's lyrics, I imagine one could have a lot of fun setting up two debating teams to discuss the affirmative case versus the negative case.  But what are we saying yes to?  Broccoli?  (Excellent - we need some decent F&V promotions in the service of public health!  Just don't overcook it!)  Bungee jumping?  Neoliberalism?  Colonic irrigation?  Wife swapping?  A frontal lobotomy?

Each to their own with what they want to say yes to - always remembering, of course, that due to the finite nature of life (plus the potentially fatal consequences of some of the yes options) every yes to one thing is automatically a no to something else (or in the worst-case scenario to everything else).  But rather than overcomplicate this post with philosophical meanderings, I'll just tell you what I would say if I was on the affirmative team for "Just say yes!" as a concept.

I'd say that negativity is a widespread affliction, and that many people are very narrow in how they live and what ideas they will consider; that this is part of what breeds a hatred of difference in the population, which in turn unleashes disrespect, behaviours like ostracising, bullying, belittling and other forms of abuse, plus hate crimes including rape and murder, and also war.

I'd tell you that the Germans have this saying, "Was der Bauer nicht kennt, frisst er nicht!" - which roughly translates to, "What the farmer doesn't know, he won't eat!" but since the word used for "eating" here is the form usually applied to (non-human) animals (people "essen" but general animals "fressen"), this comment is much more acidic than the rough translation suggests, and ascribes both poor table manners and non-human status to these farmers/peasants.

But don't you all know people like that, who only eat within a really narrow (and usually, ironically, also unhealthy) comfort zone?  I've got a relative who will only eat stodge and junk food, and only Western stodge and junk food, at that.  You can poach pears in white wine with cinnamon bark thrown in, and make a chocolate sauce only from cream, dark chocolate, vanilla essence and brandy for pouring over the pears, and she'll screw up her face and eat hesitatingly and upon finishing, she'll say, "The chocolate sauce was OK, but you can leave out the pears for me next time!" - and the same person will eat unlimited amounts of supermarket cinnamon doughnuts - the sugary Australian ring things fried in industrial grease, mind you, not the European less-sugary creations containing good-quality jam with actual fruit in it.

You'll hand her an apple fresh off a tree, and she'll screw up her face even more.  "Yeeech, no."  You don't even try her on fresh celery from your garden (she only has supermarket celery, which she keeps for weeks until it's rubbery and tastes evil).  Once I made sushi.  "What's that???"  ...well, smoked salmon and cucumber in the centre, rice around that, wrapped in seaweed.  "Seaweed???  Blergh!!"  What's wrong with seaweed?  It's very like spinach, just from the ocean.  "Blerghhhh!!!"  Would you like to try some wasabi?  :evil:


Here comes the aeroplane! :angel

I met someone else once who wouldn't eat sushi; in his case, because he hated the Japanese, each and every one of them, blanket hatred, though he'd never actually met one.  I wonder does he also refuse to travel in Toyotas?  He certainly won't be reading Murakami.  :rofl

So many Anglo-Celtic Australians will eat fast food hamburgers by the dozen, but turn up their noses at things like tabbouleh, or chargrilled octopus, or harira, or a properly made Spaghetti Bolognese (it's been "naturalised" - and massacred - into flaccid overboiled spaghetti covered in some sort of fried-up mince and onion, with or without tomatoes, celery and carrots, no red wine, no garden herbs or mushrooms and smoked ham, let alone chicken liver... Madonna mia...), or pizza without pineapple...

Because I came from a rather unadventurous family background, I had to expand my culinary range later, and this is where the "Just say yes!" concept came in handy.  I had, for a long time, a disgust reaction at the thought of eating raw fish, which by the way I still have at the thought of eating wiggly witchetty grubs, despite of the fact that they are supposed to taste delicious...


The way I overcame my ick at the idea of raw fish is entirely due to the efforts of a former work colleague who went to the trouble of going fishing before work one day, and then prepared sashimi from their catch to offer around the staffroom on a platter at morning recess.  Because I knew this person and knew they were meticulous, I gave myself a push.  I remember blanking my mind and just suspending prejudice, and then I found good sashimi tastes very much like good cold-smoked fish, just without the smoke.  Since we don't have the nasty tapeworm here that can be transmitted via raw fish - not an ordinary tapeworm, by the way, but one that digs through various organs and causes all sorts of damage - I wasn't dealing with a health risk, just ickiness.  And since that time, I've not blinked at eating sashimi (in the no-tapeworm zone anyway).

I think in the right cultural context, I could probably do the same for witchetty grubs - although I've got to tell you, I'd really prefer the ash-baked versions of them, conceptually.  If I could bring myself to eat a live one, then - well, I even used to bite the heads off gummy bears as a kid to provide the poor things with a relatively quick demise...

Getting out of our comfort zones can be good for us, and give us more common ground with others not from our own cultural background.  One thing I really love about Australia is its multiculturalism; especially in Sydney (where nobody asked me, "Where do you come from?" and therefore, I had to refer nobody to the famous library book Where Did I Come From?)... :angel





If any of you are from a cultural minority group and get asked that stupid question in the country / backwater where you're living, you can turn the tables by employing this little strategy.  :-D   Just to clarify:  I never have a problem with people's genuine and respectful interest in a person's background - I love finding out about different countries and cultures too.  I have a problem with loaded questions from people who imply they have a greater right to breathe and take up space than you do - and that's what a lot of bigoted Aussies do with that question - just ask immigrants, or indeed the SBS who ran a programme called Go Back Where You Came From - refugees cop it especially here:


But back to multiculturalism.  One fabulous thing about living in this country (or the non-Angloceltic enclaves in this country, anyway) is that you get to meet so many people from all over the world who are very happy to share their traditions with you.  The Australian mainstream has had a tendency towards white supremacy, and particularly, Anglo supremacy, and has a long history of immigrant-bashing, and indigenous-bashing.  Those sorts of people (also found disproportionately in our current Australian government) are forever screaming for immigrants to integrate, but I've spoken to lots of immigrants, and we all have in common that the majority of our friendly social interactions are with other immigrants, because that's who actually invites us to their house, and is nice to us, and doesn't talk down to us.  The calls to integrate are frequently synonymous with obliterating your own cultural traditions and languages, to become a faux Anglo/Aussie Aussie Oy Oy Oy.  And this from people who usually don't speak any languages other than English, and are insular to the point of imbecility.

I hasten to add, not all Anglo-Australians are like this, and it's not just Anglo-Australians who are, either.  I'm married to an Anglo-Australian, who's one of the most respectful people I know and who is really interested in other cultures and other ways of doing things.  Also, I have close friends who at least visually and accent-wise pass for Australian mainstream, and they're lovely people.  I think sociopathy happens in any cultural group, and they're forever targeting the "not-us" no matter where they live.  So here, immigrants get targeted by Ocker Aussie sociopaths and ignoramuses, and in Germany you'd be targeted by German sociopaths and ignoramuses, etc etc.

So anyway, one of the best things socially about living in Australia is ready access to non-mainstream cultural groups from all over the world who are happy to share their traditions with people who are genuinely interested.  Diversity is the lifeblood of the biosphere; and I find it's the same with culture.  There's so many different ways to look at things, to do things, to eat, to tell stories, to make music, to think; it's such a richness, such an expanding process.  I love to hear the sounds of other languages even if I can't understand them one bit; I watch the Japanese news sometimes just because it gives me a kick how they smile at each other, and bow, and how their intonation is so supercharged with energy and enthusiasm, and how you can catch words like Herikoputā, which actually sounds so much like helicopter. :)

So when you can have a cultural experience - just say yes!  ;)

Ding.  That was the sound of the bell, and this was an unscripted speech that just fell out, or it might have been tidier, and more multifaceted.

I'm not doing the rebuttal for the concept of "Just say yes!" - I'm sure you can imagine all sorts of arguments and jokes for that side - but I will wrap up now, and post the remix from Join The Dots:


The aspects of the remix I don't like:  The bleepy electronic sounds and "dancy" overtones.  Aspects I like:  The rather amped-up guitar here.  Can I live without it?  Yes, but then people can live without all sorts of things, and this is only a remix!  :winking_tongue

Last track, next time.  (Are we still awake?  :angel)
SueC is time travelling