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Stop Making Sense (1984) Director: Jonathan Demme

As far as engaging oneself in the day-to-day routine of life, I have been somewhat lacking in recent times, struggling to find my rhythm and place in a modern society, one which depending on your socio-economic perspective is either becoming more sickly grey and deadening or more shiny bright and loaded with forced optimism. ‘Oh Derek, you are truly such an Irish shaped barrel full of mirth monkeys aren’t you?’, you might say at this point and I would sort of agree with your sarcastic yet brilliant clinical analysis of my state of mind before punching you in the face so hard. Of course, this would assume I would possess the nerve to do so. I don’t. Which is why I’m writing a blog and not organising a violent rebellion¬† against our oppressors on a national and international level.

No, instead I attempt to be sensitive, profound, ‘unique (!)’ by making facile pop culture connections as when I compared a sentimental late 70’s ballad by Art Garfunkel from a half forgotten children’s animated film about talking rabbits with a cover version by one time rock insurrectionists Manic Street Preachers from the mid 1990’s. Wow! Dangerous thoughts! I turned the world on its axis there! Cultural, political theorists, philosophers of these modern times were shitting in their tenured, middle class brogues.

‘Ah, come on now Derek, what the fuck has any of this to do with what you are posting there, you dozy Mick bastard?!’, one of you reading this might utter at this point and I would shout you down in an immature act of obvious misdirection like an everyday act of political cowardice. Well this song is about life isn’t it? It is, isn’t it? Once a lifetime? Yeah,the title and what he’s singing there are somehow about existence and so forth, no? Letting the days go by, water flowing underground…..uh, yeah man that says it all right?

Except no it doesn’t! Explain yourself! Explain yourself fake intellectual, phony commentator, pretentious twat! Ok , so it’s like this yeah? The song is a continuous, exhilarating flow of panic, anxiety and enquiry into the existence of self and existence itself and David Byrne‘s performance in Demme’s brilliant concert film embodies the song in physical form; a suburban white male’s stream of consciousness exorcised through wildly flailing convulsions. Awkward dance music for awkward people.

And that as they say is all he wrote.

 

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