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Author Topic: A journey to the brink of madness  (Read 36941 times)

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rva

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #75 on: July 27, 2006, 09:24:45 PM »

8:00--  It's time.  Me and Starship have been through so much together, I almost feel lost without them.  Starship made me brought out a lot in me.  The highs and lows of this day have been an amazing experience.  How can I return to my regular life? Is this what Stockholm Syndrome is like?  Should I go an extra five minutes just to preserve these feelings?

I close iTunes, not without a surprising pang of regret.  But it's almost immediately overwhelmed by a massive feeling of relief and empowerment.  Holy crap, I feel good.  

I think I'm just going to not listen to anything for awhile.
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Jonathan

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #76 on: July 27, 2006, 09:30:33 PM »

Well done. You're a stronger man than I.
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slow-dog

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #77 on: July 27, 2006, 09:52:54 PM »

If I were really cruel, I'd call you up in the middle of the night, blasting this song.
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rva

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #78 on: July 27, 2006, 09:52:56 PM »

Prologue--  So, I've been chilling out for an hour now and gathering my thoughts about this little escapade.

About the song:  I think there's a lot of truth in what Foolsgold said.  I notice that my co-workers were able to take a good forty-five minutes of it.  Granted, they had other things going on and generally don't pay attention to music.  And yes, they did escape for a few minutes several times as they went to their offices to "check e-mail."  Still and all, they seemed not to be tremendously bothered.  At worst it was an annoyance for them.  I know I can't listen to "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone" even once without pitching a hissy, even if it's only one of those internal psycho hissies that make people look at you weird.

And there's some good sentiment to it.  I believe the lyrics are somewhat protesting that music has been corrupted by commercialization and "corporation games."  But the tone is more of gentle chiding and nostalgia than anger.  If anything, there's some cockeyed optimism.  After all, Starship's still rocking, still showing you a good time.  Rock and Roll built this city, yes.  All of our cities.  And if we let it, it'll build still more.  And who can say how glorious these new cities might be?  They might even have hovercars and shit.

It's important to note that the use of the word "we."  A cynic might think that Starship's just bragging on themselves, but I really think it's meant to include the listener. "We" are a rock community.  "We" built this city, not those corporate assholes.  It's an acknowledgement, but also wake up call.  We've lost the rock, and we need to get it back.  Don't you remember how good it used to be?  We did that.  Only we can get it back!

Well, that's the intent anyway (or so I believe).  In practice, the song fails because Grace Slick sounds like she IS actually mad.  And the rest of the group appears to be pretty indifferent to selling out, or even rock in general given the craptastic pop nature of the song itself.  The noble intent of including the listener in the song backfires.  "WE built this city?  No man, don't even try to include me in your weak-ass shit." This city sucks and so do you.

I think it's hard to write a good anthem; to really bridge the gap between singer and audience.  Which is why we end up with so many artsy-fartsy musicians singing self-indulgent songs about their misery and breakups.  They think it's edgy because it's personal, but actually rambling on about yourself is probably the easiest and safest social tactic.

Bernie Taupin writes a lot of cheesy, horrible, commercial, pandering shit.  But maybe that's also why he also writes some insanely great stuff.  He doesn't self censor.
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Ella Minnow Pea

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #79 on: July 27, 2006, 10:18:58 PM »

What a day. Thanks, rva, for this experience. May you never have to hear "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone" in exchange for this 12 hour dedication to "the worst song ever".
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rva

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #80 on: July 27, 2006, 10:20:50 PM »

About the experiment in general:

Yeah, maybe it's Stockholm Syndrome or whatever but looking back there are some things that were good about this.  For one thing, now I'm like "oooooh, I haven't listened to one of MY songs in ten hours.  The first song I play better be AWESOME."  And I'm almost kind of immobilized.  And that's just a stupid pressure to put on yourself.

Honestly, I think many of us on this board are sometimes guilty of taking music to seriously.  I've said that before, I know.  The beauty of enjoying music is that it's cheap, it's always available, and generally does no harm.  But there's still something reassuring about knowing that hey, if my music's taken away I can survive.  Obviously my co-workers didn't care overly much.  They just take it as it comes.  If they feel like singing along to Starship, they do.  It's fun.  If they don't, they turn it off.  They don't get like, offended by bad music like I sometimes do.

CR's thread talks about what song we'd pick if we had to listen to it for 24 hours.  My advice is, pick a song you don't like.  I've discovered that I actually like "We Built This City" more now than I did yesterday.  Because it has some attachment to my life now whereas before it had none.  

If you pick an awesome song that you love just on its merits or that you're already attached to, you'll ruin it.  It might spare you some of the discomfort I experienced, but I think it will still be a wholly unpleasant time while you're going through it.  But what's worse is that when it's all over, that song will be forever categorized in your mind as "that song I listened to for twelve hours" instead of what it is now, which is hopefully something a lot better.

And yes, playing a song very loud over a prolonged period of time would be an extremely effective torture method.  I think we all grasp this instinctively, but you have to get a little taste to truly appreciate it.  For me, I had stuff to work on and the internet and people I could talk to.  I tried to use those things as a crutch as little as possible but knowing they were there helps on a fundamental level.  The wierd thing is, that was also the worst part.  Knowing there was really no reason I couldn't just escape anytime I wanted.  I'm listening to "We Built This City" because I put it on, not because it's on some work loop and I *can't* forget that.  Makes it difficult to tune out.

But blasting the song would accomplish that same feat.  And the song got into my brain pretty good after six hours.  I also didn't go long enough to experience sleep deprivation.  Give me a week of that with no computer, even in a reasonably comfortable room and I think I'd start to crack.  Possibly sooner.  Before today, I would have given myself at least a month.
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rva

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #81 on: July 27, 2006, 10:23:26 PM »

So anyways... I think I'm gonna take it easy tonight as I'm still very much enjoying the silence.  

But I've thought about what I want to do tomorrow.  I'm gonna listen to the radio. ;)
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monkey neck

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #82 on: July 27, 2006, 10:31:33 PM »

Quote from: "rva"
1:00--  I am listening to the San Francisco version.  Something's seemed a bit off this whole time and I finally realize that's what it is.  I don't remember what was said in Washington DC, but it was different.   We probably got the NY version.

Apparently there were no less than SIX different versions of this song, for various major media markets.  What happened if you lived in Podunk?  Tough crap.  Rock n' Roll don't build no podunks.


Oh yeah, now I remember that was the most annoying part of the most annoying song ever!  Dayton's Z93 had their own little blurb in there, if I remember correctly.  But that was a long time ago.  But I agree with Blender...worst song ever.
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Cockney Rebel

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #83 on: July 27, 2006, 10:36:34 PM »

Quote from: "rva"
But I've thought about what I want to do tomorrow.  I'm gonna listen to the radio. ;)


May I suggest one of those oldies stations.... you never know what might crop up on their playlist?!

RVA, thank you for perking up the R-Ville boards with this hysterical thread. We deffo need more of this kind of silliness
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monkey neck

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #84 on: July 27, 2006, 10:42:34 PM »

Agreed.  Well done, RVA.  You sick bastage.
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foolsgold

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #85 on: July 28, 2006, 08:54:26 AM »

RVA, I know things are good for you right now, but you've put your mind, body and soul through an awful lot yesterday.  If you start experiencing any of these symptoms of PTSD, please seek the advice of a trained professional: general restlessness, insomnia, aggressiveness, depression, dissociation, emotional detachment, or nightmares. A potential symptom is the memory loss about an aspect of the traumatic event. Amplification of other underlying psychological conditions may also occur.

It might be a gas for R-Ville to do some sort of musical challenge once a month or two for the zine.  Maybe not a challenge involving those levels of self abuse but something fun a few of us could write about.  Maybe a week without music, frequent stops in the record store without purchasing anything.  I dunno, just blueskying.
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rva

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #86 on: July 28, 2006, 10:02:26 AM »

Who's the jackass that left "We Built This City" as a message on my workphone?  I know it was one of you. :lol
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Kwyjibo

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #87 on: July 28, 2006, 10:53:16 AM »

Quote from: "foolsgold"
It might be a gas for R-Ville to do some sort of musical challenge once a month or two for the zine.  Maybe not a challenge involving those levels of self abuse but something fun a few of us could write about.  Maybe a week without music, frequent stops in the record store without purchasing anything.  I dunno, just blueskying.

I like it.

Someone bet me once that I couldn't go a month without buying a CD.  It was not easy.  Bitch never paid up either.
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whigsgeek

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #88 on: July 28, 2006, 11:00:04 AM »

Quote from: "foolsgold"
It might be a gas for R-Ville to do some sort of musical challenge once a month or two for the zine.  Maybe not a challenge involving those levels of self abuse but something fun a few of us could write about.  Maybe a week without music, frequent stops in the record store without purchasing anything.  I dunno, just blueskying.


I'm in.
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slow-dog

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A journey to the brink of madness
« Reply #89 on: July 28, 2006, 11:07:53 AM »

Quote from: "rva"
Who's the jackass that left "We Built This City" as a message on my workphone?  I know it was one of you. :lol


Here's your favorite radio station, in your favorite radio city
The city by the bay, the city that rocks, the city that never sleeps

Muahahahahahahaha.  I was a little worried after reading some of your posts last night that it was going to cause some kind of horrible flashback.  Well, also kind of hoping.......
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