Monday, December 22, 2008

Secret, special childhood places

"Coming down off the nova somewhere near the boiled egg that is the Royal Albert Hall, we watch Paul's sun crossed with John's star and hold ice cream hands. Someone slipped on a cassette as the one you wanted left with someone else but somehow it was cool because as the music filled the shadows, you heard a sound that was a million miles away from fakery and a step away from your heart.

Just like it always did, this sound puts the swagger back into your step, the rush into your blood but somehow, and i don't know how, they had become deeper, wider, soulful, better at their craft, inspired by so many things like a word that is tilting who knows where, and the applause they always knew was theirs but waited so impatiently to receive. Words cut you from all angles, backed up by a monumental sound that rises high, high, and high to crash against your rocks and then changes, majestically and magically to soothe the wounds inside.

As you are dragged inside on this trip abandon, you hear a council estate singing its heart out, you hear the clink of loose change that is never enough to buy what you need, boredom and poverty, hours spent with a burnt out guitar, dirty pubs and cracked up pavements, violence and love, all rolled into one, and now all this.

At the end you flip over and start again because now you are not isolated. They have gone to work so that you can go home. High above the day turns pink and you feel your feet lift above the ground as new roads open in front of you. In this town the jury is always rigged but the people know. They always know the truth. Believe. Belief. Beyond. Their morning glory.

-P.H in the summer of '95-"

This is on the CD sleeves of one of my favorite albums.

Well.. I don't really have favorite albums. I like lots of individual songs, and then there was one band (Oasis) that I somehow became obsessed with. Never really felt that way about any other band. And I would say I got obsessed cuz of my sister, but it's not true, she just introduced them to me, and then they became mine. I almost feel competitive, it's like the kind of jealous love that says no, only *I* have that secret special connection with them. And I guess in reality it doesn't really matter or make sense... and it seems a little adolescent to have that reaction... but does it really matter if it's mature or not. If something feels true and close to your heart then that's the way it is.

And why? Because there are so many things in this world that have been cheapened by cynicism and media attention, and mockery and there are so many things you have to stop believing in when you grow up, no more magical mystery kingdoms, no more neverlands, no more secret gardens, no more jumping into holes that take you to wonderland. All those beautiful places where you could believe in love and adventure and find friends that get you. And somehow... british literature and music and folklore seems to have preserved that - (or maybe just for me, because my childhood fantasies mostly came from british children's literature) ... but... they have an homage to Peter Pan who refuses to grow up in Never neverland in the middle of Hyde Park. They have a gate marked to go to Hogwarts at their train station, they have Baker St covered in Sherlock Holmes references and Abbey Rd with the Beatles. They were home to the Beatles, to John Lennon, to the guy who wrote Imagine. It's where "Beethoven's Medal" was written. It's a country which is as romantic as it is cynical. As magical as it is oppressive and imperialist. And I don't know how they manage to be both. They are obsessed with elitism and class, but at the same time have an amazingly rich working class culture. And I am so glad, that the americans resent them, and treat them like a step parent, because I want all that romance to be safe from the cynical overly commercial politically correct cheap glare of the american media.

Oasis... and the Beatles, and Peter Pan represent to me that special secret intimate place, the secret garden I can go to when I want to believe in romance and adventure and magic and beauty and truth and heartfelt passion far away from the harsh glare of cynical "reality".

And I guess the thing about Oasis and the Beatles IS that they don't apologize for being romantic and idealistic and they come from working class backgrounds. There is something to be said for people who are sincere and idealistic *after* they have seen and experienced things that should make people too mature to be idealistic, rather than someone who is idealistic due to naivete. And that's worthy of some respect. I want to be that. I want to be a romantic and not lose touch with my true selfness... which I know I can do in secret. I just want to be able to do it without being self conscious or worrying about seeming silly or cheesy or melodramatic.. without apologizing for it. But at the same time keeping it light.. without taking myself overly seriously. Is that contradictory? Who knows?

Ok so I re-read this, and I realize I romanticise them Brits like it was my homeland away from home... I hate to be such a cheesy, stereotypical example of post-colonial identity... but I swear, it's special-er than that dammit! I like the WORKING CLASS, not the uppity weirdos that colonized our country! THAT, my friend, is a very important difference!


Casey said...

This is some good stuff.

Thakki Patang said...

Yeah, it is..