Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pink Floyd- The Wall

Pink Floyd- The Wall

Harping Conscience: So, if it isn’t the great Curator at work on yet another of his diabolical reviews!
The Curator: Excuse me- but I don’t have any change. Shoo.
HC: Enough with your misanthropic dilly-dallying! I don’t want your bloody change! I know who you are, and I know what you’re about, bub!
TC: Psychic then, is it? Then you’ll know what finger I’m offering you without me even having to extend it. People like you could save me a lot of effort!
HC: Blast you, you fiend! Insult me as you will, but I want to know what intrigue of the page you’re conjuring today, oh-so-mighty Sacred Cow slayer!
TC: You really want to know then, is it?
HC: By Jove I not only want to know- I damned well demand it!
TC: All right- it’s one of my least-favorite albums of all time. One I truly think should be hated in proportion to its legend- and thus let me begin by saying that this album should warrant an infinity symbol next to its title to fully express my disgust- nay, rage- at the ongoing status of “classic” attached to this wretch.

HC: Damn you man! Enough with this preamble and muddle- to the meat then, to the meat! WHAT album are you slandering this time, you desiccated child of Baal?
TC: It’s Pink Floyd- The Wall.
HC: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TC: I can always count on you guys from the Prog debate rooms to react with such grace and proportion.

HC: This time you’ve gone too far, Mr. Curator! First the Baby Jesus and all forms of religious expression merit the vile swift slaughter of your rhetorical cutting blade; then your merciless attack on short people and Keith Emerson!
TC: I hardly think an “and” is warranted when discussing my loathing of the two, but go on.
HC: Your supercilious hauteur and lacerating wit may fool the frauds and pimps who lurk in the post-modern bowels of wicked Gotham, but I, sir, am a true American- from Kansas!
TC: How very fitting. This is your own “Song for America” then, is it?
HC: You, you, you...nihilist!
TC: Slay me with your scorn like rapiers slashed ‘cross the brutal twilight, Cicero.
HC: ...stop it! Admittedly, you were close to the mark with Tormato, and very few could disagree that Jethro Tull’s later oeuvre was somewhat...dispirited.
TC: In other news, Dick Cheney is evil and the current Pope a Nazi ass-clown. Your point, Jayhawk?

HC: My “point”, sir, is that your lugubrious musings and overheated writing style mark you as an attention whore of the first rank, and that you are clearly out for ratings!
TC: Hmmmm, “attention whore”...well, I do have a Stickam account...
HC: Aha!
TC: ...but that’s only for the underage tittie shows in the chat rooms. No, you glowering buffoon, you’ll have to do better than that to convict a man who rejects all of society’s stifling morality for the crime of impiety. I’d pack a lunch if I were you.
HC: Well let’s start with this- malignant narcissism!
TC: Great. I was hoping we could shift the discussion back to Roger Waters.
HC: Oh aren’t you the basher of all received wisdom and destroyer of all tradition!
TC: If only I had that power; ‘twould be bad news indeed for the likes of you, William Jennings Moron. Alas, I have only my sorrow that an abortion like The Wall is afforded status of a classic album...when it isn’t even a GOOD one!

HC: Defend that statement, perfidious one!
TC: So I shall. This is why I like the format of the Socratic dialogue; I can construct all the straw men I want, and then merrily traipse through the text lighting bonfires of allusion and scorn. Watch the corn puppets burn, Jayhawk! But The Floyd has done me one better; they conjured themselves as the very image of the corporate rock band, one of almost inhuman detachment from their fans, the general public, and the notion that just perhaps every notion Roger Waters scribbled on a cocktail napkin at his exclusive London club was not the greatest idea ever hatched from the febrile brain of rock creation.
HC: You merely use impressive-sounding verbiage to hide the fact that your arguments are pure vitriol, your diatribes expressions of the most infernal prejudices with no rational backing!
TC: And you use exclamation points like they were being rationed for Noah’s Flood. Can’t you PRIC guys ever just settle down and learn to laugh a little?
HC: PRIC? What manner of abbreviated enmity be this, blasphemer!
TC: PRIC- the Progressive Rock-Industrial Complex. The guys over at certain boards who sit around in darkened rooms declaring which band is Prog, which band is not; which music is “classic”, and which music fit for the potash pile. Hidebound and of an arch-conservatism fit enough to make a Hapsburg wince, the Prog-Industrial Complex thinks everything fittingly obscure is “indispensable”, that any record that was printed in a run of under 1000 copies and bartered at a trade fair in Shrewsbury, 1967 is “classic”. They, like Sisyphus, elevate the rocks at the order of the gods- but unlike Camus’s hero, they do so not to lower their Olympian tormentors, but rather to appease and placate them!

HC: What in the name of Greg Lake’s Persian Rug are you talking about???
TC: The PRIC is to blame for the obstinate refusal of Prog to question its roots, the “classic” era and the “monster” bands; like the Bolsheviks in the years before Stalin, they had a chance to study the recent past and learn from the mistakes. Instead, they shoehorned fact through the obscurantist funnel of ideology, and found a “theory” to account for everything but their own blindness!
HC: And this relates to Prog how, precisely?
TC: For their sorrowing shaded intellects, the Old Bolshies- and all of Russia- were rewarded with the titanic evil of Stalin. By refusing to question why certain bands are revered to such egregious extent, the PRIC allows the general public to continue to think of Prog as nothing but these “holy grail” bands, and thus strangles in its cradle a music that I have great and long-cherished love for.
HC: So, your central point here is...
TC: ...that Rick Wakeman is as bad as Stalin.

HC: Surely you will burn in Hell, sir, for your flippancy and detachment.
TC: Yawn.
HC: You’ve the insouciance of a sleep-walking child killer, you poltroon.
TC: Ah, but your insult fails to find fertile ground in which to flower in full bloom of enmity! There’s nothing “cowardly” about me, Jayhawk. I write my reviews, post them, sign my own name, offer my own Email address in the links section for any and all who wish to discuss things with me. So far, I’ve received a death threat from a Jew-hating Yes fan and an unrealized offer of a CD from some Christian dude- who apparently lost his nerve at the final moment of doing.

HC: Hardly representative of true Prog fans, sir.
TC: Right-O you are, my man. The Christian dude had guts, up to a point, and commands my respect. The PRIC star chamber who continues to not question the music of Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull, et al, and then wonders why Prog is the most despised form of music in the known world...this is their bounty, their baby, their atrocity. I’m trying to save Prog by forcing people to actually think about this form of rock that is- note the bitter irony- most thought provoking. The PRHOI is triage for a sick genre that needs to have some limbs lopped off, by hatchet, axe, and saw.
HC: You’re sick. Truly, reprehensibly sick. You speak in the language of Prog to belch your calumny and scorn upon it, the methodology of a psychopath!
TC: Save your bluster, oh pontificating one, and let me get back to the point of this dialogue. An album elicits hatred in me to the proportion in which it is held in popular, vacuous esteem. Very few albums are as incomprehensibly loved as The Wall; its an FM radio staple, for god’s sakes! And what is the charm? Has any man ever announced his hatred for women in such a blatant and coruscating fashion- and what’s worse, tuneless!- than Roger Waters on half the tracks of this “classic”? This is not a record- it’s a Rorschach Test on vinyl, and I propose we identify and sterilize future Sado-sexual killers based on their ability to tap their feet during “Mother”!

HC: Are you quite finished?
TC: Hardly! Allow me to show you the meaning of the word “loathing”, you pestering gnat of a naïf: If this album were a novel, it could only be by Norman Mailer; bloated, self-important to an almost parodic extreme, void of humor, ensanguined with platitude, mistaking pure vulgarity for the edgy realism of the true poet, a malaise-inducing torpor of meretricious insight and vertigo-inducing head-shaking; disorganized, rife with 70’s-era archaisms, grindingly dull, intellectually vapid, portentous in a way only a rather-dim school boy could find amusing, and possessor of perhaps the most grimly ironic lyric in the history of rock music: “We don’t need no education”! Hurrah, Waters, you defender of lost causes- and how much do you want to bet he thought he was being “clever” with that, eh?
HC: But what about the classic tracks?
TC: Both of them in the midst of an 81-minute onslaught of interminable boredom, you mean- those “classic” tracks?
HC: "Comfortably Numb" is a brilliant song!
TC: Anthem to all high school paint-sniffers for thirty years now, I can’t argue with you there.
HC: How dark is the world in which you live, Mr. Curator?
TC: Only as light-stingy as the reflection of the popular culture continues to be, my insensate and deceived friend.

HC: There is no hope for you. I only laugh and find solace that no one takes you seriously, and that your ravings are consigned to a dark corner of the Internet where no one will ever read them.
TC: ...Alone, on my mountaintop, with only Truth and Justice- and Good Taste- to keep me warm and alive- like someone else the world once despised in unity of morals and blundering blockheadedness- looking down at the optimists, the buoyant and bright, dancing to the dirge of modernity and kicking up a dust-storm atop civilization’s grave; if you think this is punishment, then please, I beg of you- punish me more.
HC: Heartless and evil- you I pity, sir.
TC: Shouldn’t you be protesting an AIDS-victim’s funeral somewhere, or something?
HC: Good day, sir.
TC: Good riddance, fool. - TR

1 comment:

  1. I don't own The Wall, but as far as classic rock concept albums go, I didn't think it was that bad, actually. It's not really "progressive" anyway, so I fear you are wasting some of your bile on it.

    Sure, it's self-important and pretentious. Yes, Watters thinks his every scribbled whim is pure gold. And for cryin' out loud, how many times do we need to rehash the same two themes--losing one's Dad in WWII and you band leader going completely stark raving mad? Man, they just printed money from those two sob stories!

    But I would argue that the redeeming factor to any Post-Syd Floyd is Gilmour. He's certainly not a "prog" guitarist. But he is one of the tastiest second-generation Limey bluesmen ever. His playing totally breathed life into Watter's bloated concepts.