Dr. Faustus in 2016: Twisted Lyrics

“I Took a Pill in Ibiza” by Mike Posner from At Night, Alone.:

Looking for Meaning…

Song Interpretation:

I am so busy with research, but I cannot get this song out of my head. Nor, can I think of anything else until I unburden my mind of this flexing metaphor. There’s not time for a lyrical breakdown, but I’ll return to expound.

Philosophical Bend:

I feel Faustus lurking. Once one knows too much, they can never go back. Posner says, “You don’t wanna be high like me, never really knowing why, like me. You don’t wanna step off that roller coaster and be alone. You don’t wanna ride the bus like this, never knowing who to trust like this…” University and individual research presents more, and often conflicting, information as to what a person learned during their childhood and adolescence. Learning can enlighten the mind, but one must lose their innocent understanding in the process.

Sure, he’s referring to singing and his life devotion to music. Same concept applies to diverse artistic expression. High Philosophical Art questions and prods at reality, consciousness, meaning, and purpose. What happens when the “rules” are really figments meant to ensure group delusion? Philosophy demonstrates subjective and objective truth, reaching for but rarely attaining universal implication. Break that down:

nothing is real, nothing is true

amounts to feels, what can one do?

Well…once you kneel, then you must stew.

{read that last line in a deep baritone, just for snickers}

Posner’s chorus:  “All I know are sad songs…” – When one has searched for knowledge, toyed around with epistemology, learned to bend fact to one’s purpose, innocence is lost. Not sexual innocence, deeper than that – fundamental understanding. All that is left of personal experience is “sad songs” or a seriously hollow existence. Philosophically, there is a sense of false comfort that cushions the harshness of reality for those who accept “belief” or conform to society. Once one “knows” the rampant delusions, meaning is lost.

Man, the meaning…it has to come back. See…I feel that we can create meaning. Mount up, Artists. Lady World, she needs creative spin.

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Really…?

My MacBook, Archimedes, ate all my categories. And now it is self-selecting for this post. {gnashing of teeth} Trying to fix, hope it works.

ARGH…now…duplicity.

 

Essay: On Popular Culture

{Graduate Studies; originally written for History 557 Fall 2014}

Popular Culture is a vast, nearly limitless scope but may be categorized initially by high culture or public culture. There is an elite audience of learned intellectuals who critique and address the meaning of the performance, and there is the popular audience of the people en masse who came to be entertained, to laugh, cry, or scream. The historical importance of each branch of Popular Culture is significant, lower classes are often overlooked; historian Peter Burke defined the people: “We decided we would study the history of the excluded, the dominated, the subordinate groups and classes (whom we refuse to call ‘the masses’) and not only their standard of living but their culture as well.1” Both sub-cultures merging together would be transcendental yet chaotic; best to let them breathe separately, the better to research and study. Popular Culture should be as important as any other aspect of culture; however, the field is viewed as distrustful and unstable. The value of Popular Culture is the current views of the everyday people are taken into consideration via the items people purchase, watch, play, and consume. The marketing industry is surely keen as to what people are gobbling up next which effects the product demands of business.

The downfall of popular opinion and preferences is that the mass populace is not always educated; they hold no credit to represent the opinion of such a broad subject. Lawrence Levine notes the creators and receptors of folklore, offering that the scholars are to create artistic works for the populace to enjoy. He quotes Ellison who said: “the void of faceless faces, of soundless voices, lying outside of history.2” Literary critics earned esteemed opinions as they study and interpret pieces of art literally and metaphorically. They look deeper than the text to reveal messages and implications stimulated through sensory thought. The opinions of the learned community would greatly vary from that of the mass populace.

Asa Briggs brings to attention the importance and possible danger of such a fascination for leisure activities that encompass Popular Culture; Briggs said: “the input from current popular culture itself, sometimes exciting, often disturbing. {…} the history of leisure3” (Briggs 40). Leisure can be a problem when one has too much of a good thing. American consumers want more and new products/entertainment. American economics and financial struggle appear staggering, yet compared to a football player’s salary they seem as peanuts.

Works Cited

Briggs, Asa. “What is the History of Popular Culture?” History Today 35, no. 12

(December 1985): 39-45. Accessed September 4, 2014. APUS Online Library.

Burke, Peter. “What is the History of Popular Culture?” History Today 35, no. 12

(December 1985): 39-45. Accessed September 4, 2014. APUS Online Library.

Levine, Lawrence. “The Folklore of industrial society: Popular Culture and its

Audiences.” American Historical Review 97, no. 5 (December 1992): 1369-

  1. Accessed September 4, 2014. APUS Online Library.

1 Burke, Peter. “What is the History of Popular Culture?” History Today 35, no. 12

(December 1985): 40. Accessed September 4, 2014. APUS Online Library.

2 Levine, Lawrence. “The Folklore of industrial society: Popular Culture and its

Audiences.” American Historical Review 97, no. 5 (December 1992): 1365. Accessed September 4, 2014. APUS Online Library.

3 Briggs, Asa. “What is the History of Popular Culture?” History Today 35, no. 12

(December 1985): 40. Accessed September 4, 2014. APUS Online Library.

Picture c/o:  http://doobious.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/pop-culture.jpg

Current Song Obsession: Sia’s “Elastic Heart”

Sia’s words shake me, resonating personal truth. I’d love to post a video of her piece, but I can’t seem to get my wordpress video to upload one. Words are way more important to me, so I’m thankful for the lyrics being on the Internet — age is a signifier here, lol…anyone who sat next to their tape recorder rewinding pausing rewinding to figure out the words can relate. However, I’ve noticed recently that a few modern pieces suggest a different direction to me before I look up the words. Often the lyrics lose meaning when I can see them and note my perspective was way off.

Sia’s song makes more sense now that I’ve seen the lyrics. Upon reading the words I achieved my ah-ha! moment. Many thanks to Sia for her creative genius and modern approach to the theatrics of music. Also kudos for the inclusion of interpretive dance – the first time I heard “Elastic Heart” was on television during one of my husband’s late night shows. Beautiful performance! There are postings revealing the meaning behind Sia’s song, but before I read any of them, I want to get my subjective interpretation down in efforts to dislodge the song from my mind.

Elastic Heart

“And another one bites the dust
Oh why can I not conquer love
And I might have thought that we were one
Wanted to fight this war without weapons…”

Relationships refuse to follow stable systems, and the one we recognize as our celestial match or soulmate fail to live up to the constructs inside our personal designs. The horror of mistaking someone as a contender for one’s heart is disarming.

“And I wanted it, I wanted it bad
But there were so many red flags
Now another one bites the dust
Yeah let’s be clear, I’ll trust no one…”

Consciously one sees the tragic flaw in the relationship, that the “one” is not who one thought him to be as he fails to match up to the image subjectively created in the mind. Warnings abound that he is not the “one” and one is left feeling nobody should be trusted…How to ever trust again? No, only fools follow.

“You did not break me
I’m still fighting for peace…”

One is not broken by the reality and must continue searching for the soulmate created my one’s imagination. The journey for contentment must continue.

“I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart
But your blade it might be too sharp
I’m like a rubberband until you pull too hard
I may snap and I move fast
But you won’t see me fall apart
‘Cos I’ve got an elastic heart…”

The struggle for love is a life-long obsession, and one must develop impregnable resiliences in self-defense. A constitution strong enough to repel sharp words, insults, and feelings. A heart that is not fleshy and wet with emotion but resilient and able to snap back like nothing shook their soul. A plastic manufactured thing, created to withstand outside attacks and shortcomings. Advancement from the natural in which reality failed to live up to the ideals of a transhumanistic spirit.

“And I will stay up through the night
Let’s be clear, won’t close my eyes
And I know that I can survive
I’ll walk through fire to save my life…”

One might have been foolish enough in the past to rest safely next to their intended, but no longer will one place the value of life on another. One will do anything to continue life’s journey, no obstacle will conquer the will.

“And I want it, I want my life so bad
I’m doing everything I can
Then another one bites the dust
It’s hard to lose a chosen one…”

One refuses to settle, but every attempt made is thwarted. Love is gone. The ideal and the real did not match up. Deep pain to realize reality, one’s delusion shattered.