Monday, April 12, 2010

BEDA 12: (Nothing But) Flowers

This is a song by the Talking Heads that is featured at the beginning of Clerks 2 as Randal and Dante drive to work. It's an odd song, I think. Odd enough to catch my attention and make me download three Talking Heads albums. Of course, while they take up space on my iPod, I only listen to the track that got me interested in them in the first place.
Here are some of the lyrics, used without permission. Hopefully whoever owns the rights to them doesn't sue me.

"Once there were parking lots
Now it's a peaceful oasis
This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies
I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens"

"I dream of cherry pies,
Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries
This was a discount store,
Now it's turned into a cornfield
Don't leave me stranded here
I can't get used to this lifestyle"

Actually, just listen to the song.
Anyways, as you may or may not have been able to tell from the lyrics listed above, the song is about a future where the damage done by mankind to the world has been undone and, after civilization has fallen apart, the narrator of the song finds himself in a world covered in flowers.
And he hates it.
I think this song says a lot about our ability to romanticize the past. I've never heard someone long for Pizza Huts and Dairy Queens, but those are the things of our childhood. If we were to lose our civilization to any kind of future disaster, whether that be the gray ugliness of nuclear holocaust or to the beautiful re-emergence of nature, we would miss those things. It seems so strange to hear such a peaceful and upbeat song condemn nuts and berries while wishing for a microwave (perhaps with which to warm burritos) but it's a very honest song. It's honest, and like I said, it dwells in the past, going to the point of pleading in the final lines not to be left alone in a new life.
I like that and I understand that. It's easy to live in the past. Adjusting to the brand new cold reality of the future is difficult.
It's probably for the best that we don't have time machines. We'd never get anything done.

No comments:

Post a Comment