Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Better Tomorrow

Josh writes:

Wait, wait -- I've got one! Ah, "Life in the Future" week is over. Well, too bad -- I finally came up with a hopeful statement of a brighter future, as an antidote to the doom and gloom that comprised most of the submissions. That statement is the song "Welcome to my Life" by Simple Plan. Oh yes.

Hope shines out from this tune in two ways: First of all, consider the actual meaning of the lyrics themselves:

To be hurt
To feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you're down
To feel like you've been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one's there to save you
No you don't know what it's like
Welcome to my life

Now, since there's not a single human being on the planet who hasn't experienced these things, the only logical conclusion we can draw is that this tortured individual is talking to an emotionless robot in the distant future, explaining the pain of human existence to some unfeeling automaton in the way only a whining self-obsessed teenager can. The song is in fact a stirring vision of a bright and technologically-advanced future, where servitor androids are on call to do our every bidding as we live our lives in pampered utopian comfort.

The second way this song inspires hope is by showing how "depressing" songs have got more and more feeble as history progresses, as life becomes more rosy and less conducive to soul-crushing expressions of pain. A few hundred years ago all you had were folk songs about people being slaughtered in battle, catching the plague or dying for their unrequited love. Why, even a few decades ago, you got lyrics the likes of:
Two lovers entwined
pass me by
And heaven knows I'm miserable now

In a different (notably, less mature and more single) stage of my life, that would have killed me stone fucking dead. But today, you look for a musical interpretation of a soul in pain and all you get are songs that can be summed up in two words as "Waaah! *sniffle*"

Life is, if not good, then better.

Later that day, Josh would download the video for Splendid's cover of the Pet Shop Boys' "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk", and realize everything he just wrote is lies. But they were amusing lies, so that's OK.

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