Another tainted nugget from the Bonnywood Archival Mines…
Hey, folks. Short and chemically sweet this time, just a video and a few words…
I’ve babbled about this song before, although I’m not sure if I’ve shared the actual video. In any case, I really like the brief lyrics, a statement about the working class bearing the burden of the indiscretions of the upper class. (Sound familiar? Sure it does. Of course, this age-old burden now smells like Cheetos.)
The song is part of the soundtrack for Giorgio Moroder’s 1984 “re-imagining” of Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 silent movie, “Metropolis”. Moroder basically added a then-modern score to an edited version of Lang’s much-longer original. (Some critics were not fond of Moroder’s tinkering, but when are all the critics happy? Never.) Both versions of the movie are captivating, albeit for somewhat different reasons. Seek them out, should you feel moved to do so.
A little over 24 hours ago, I was captive as well, for yet another reason. I had to undergo a semi-emergency root canal, and this song popped into mind during my incarceration in the Dental Chair of Death. I wasn’t sure why, but I loopily sang along anyway, much to the chagrin of the dentist and a cadre of technicians who kept advising me that this was no time for Broadway showtunes.
Having just reviewed this video before taking pen to paper, so to speak, I think I can see how I got from A to B during my adventure in dentistry. My thoughts, randomly arranged:
The grinding machinery at the beginning of the video speaks darkly of invasive dental drills, shrouded in a blurry fog induced by the giant harpoon of Comfortably Numb that the dentist rammed through my gumline and into my skull, possibly through the actual operating chair as well. I felt like a specimen pinned to somebody’s Victorian butterfly-collection in 1893.
The repeated clock images represent the endless eon I spent flat on my back while people did things with one of my orifices. (And did you notice one of the clocks is missing two numbers? I lost a few hours of time as well, somewhere in there.)
The spewing from the metal pipes is a stand-in for those damn water-squirters and mini-vacuums that were constantly stretching the limits of my lips, along with the hands of what I assumed to be the entire population of Cleburne, Texas, including the livestock. (Am I hearing the mooing or am I doing the mooing?)
The March of the Completely Dehumanized Workers is a symbol of my absolute fear of making my way to Exam Room Number 5, per the heinous instructions of the overly-chirpy tour guide named Barista or some such. (“Wait right here and the doctor will be with you in just a few minutes!” This statement is always a lie.)
The Worker’s City Below the Surface of the Earth reminded me of working for Verizon. This has nothing to do with root canals (well, perhaps figuratively) but is more a flashback to the bitterness I cannot release. In the video, we spend a lot of time in the Underground City. I spent a lot of time at Verizon. Coincidence?
The huge number of windows on the massive housing projects represent the various ways in which insurance providers can divert your claim in a manner that allows them to not pay for the work that you need done. (Me: “But it says right here in my policy that you pay 80% on a root canal.” Claims Dominatrix: “Yes, but not on Tuesdays and Thursdays or if the walls in the dentist office are painted beige.”)
In the fancy city for the rich, above ground, where they are doing all those odd calisthenics and running odd races, I’m that one guy who is gaily clapping for no apparent reason. That would be the death-spear narcotics hitting their zenith in my system. (“I feel pretty, oh so pretty…”)
The people actually running the races? That would not be me, because I don’t run unless something is chasing me, and even then I would have to think about it. But I probably would take off my shirt, just like all those pancake-faced actors are doing as they pretend that they know anything about athletics. Because it’s really hot in here. There are too many people in this little room and too many fingers in my big mouth. And cows. I still haven’t located the source of the mooing. Wait, are those walls beige or taupe?
That last title card in the video: “Other diversions were to be found in the Eternal Gardens of Pleasure” That would be the painkiller prescriptions that Barista handed me as I stumbled out the door. Blessed be. I’ll be singing showtunes once again, before too long, probably in the parking lot of my local pharmacy. I just hope that no one minds I’m not wearing a shirt. Or any degree of shame. (Suspicious Panhandler on the sidewalk leading to said pharmacy: “Say, buddy, you got any loose change? I need a operation.” Me/Patti LuPone: “I don’t have any cash on me. I gave it all to the dentist. But I do have a cow in my SUV, if you’re interested.”)
Previously published, modified somewhat for this post. Story behind the opening photo: Another tabletop at Miguel’s Mex Tex Café in Abilene, Texas…