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pianocraft
(grinning soul)
12/26/01 01:59 PM
The Futuristic Slang In "Diamond Dogs"  

It is common knowledge that much of the teenage vocabulary or nadsat in Burgess' A Clockwork Orange is of Russian origin. Some critcs suppose that propaganda has infiltrated teenage culture in this novel.

Please go here to read a brief article about the ingenious use of slang in Burgess' landmark novel.

But have you noticed the use of slang on Bowie's Diamond Dogs album? Much of it is derived from the French:

"Her face is sans feature"

"Mannequins with kill appeal"

"Sashay on the boardwalk"

"I smell the blood of Les Tricoteuse"

"A tres butch little number"

"There's a shop on the corner
selling papier mache"

In fact one of the earliest references to "dogs" in Bowie's work is in French: "ouvre le chien."

I don't know why there is so much French slang on the Diamond Dogs album, but possibly the sad, four-legged mutants needed to add a touch of elegance to their lives. Hence the furs, the jewelry and the French slang.




AdamModerator
(crash course raver)
12/26/01 09:13 PM
Just Another Future Song, Lonely Little Kitsch new [re: pianocraft]  

That was an interesting article. I noticed the use of slang in Diamond Dogs, but I have not read A Clockwork Orange. It also raises the question whether Bowie's use of French is incomprehensible, or whether it becomes clearer in the context of the song.

In reply to:

I don't know why there is so much French slang on the Diamond Dogs album, but possibly the sad, four-legged mutants needed to add a touch of elegance to their lives. Hence the furs, the jewelry and the French slang.


Perhaps it is not that they need the elegance, but rather they take on an alluring human form to attract (and deceive?) their potential partner. The Diamond Dogs are "mannequins with kill appeal". Glam rock taken to the extreme.

A young girl has been rescued (pulled out of the oxygen tent) and wants to return to life prior to the hollocaust. Despite her own (self imposed?) disfigurements (her silicon hump and her ten inch stump), she is unprotected and no longer streetwise against the new breed (crawling down the alley on your hands and knee, I'm sure you're not protected, for it's plain to see). Bowie warns "young girl, they call them the diamond dogs". Halloween Jack is probably one of the Dogs, wrecked up and paralysed and draped in sable furs, the real cool cat charms his hussy with a "ghost town approach".

I am what I play!

nigelp
(kook)
12/28/01 05:12 PM
Re: The Futuristic Slang In "Diamond Dogs" new [re: pianocraft]  

I know that this should be in the misheard lyrics post but I always heard the line as
I smell the blood of the tree-cutters

Tell them they can laugh at me

pianocraft
(grinning soul)
12/28/01 05:48 PM
Re: The Futuristic Slang In "Diamond Dogs" new [re: nigelp]  

Maybe "les tricoteuse" is slang for tree cutters. After all, don't the Diamond Dogs "hide behind trees?"

Maybe "papier mache" is slang for popular machete. Isn't the next line about "bullet-proof faces," indicating a weapons dealer?

Maybe "mannequin" is slang for kin to man, or related to man. Why else would the hunters be called mannequins?



JonnyManic
(wild eyed peoploid)
12/28/01 06:49 PM
Re: The Futuristic Slang In "Diamond Dogs" new [re: pianocraft]  

----
Maybe "les tricoteuse" is slang for tree cutters. After all, don't the Diamond Dogs "hide behind trees?"

Maybe "papier mache" is slang for popular machete. Isn't the next line about "bullet-proof faces," indicating a weapons dealer?

Maybe "mannequin" is slang for kin to man, or related to man. Why else would the hunters be called mannequins?
---

Oh dear...

"I wonder who you think you are
You damn well think you're God or something
God give life, God taketh it away, not you
I think you are the Devil itself"

Paris
(wild eyed peoploid)
12/28/01 06:53 PM
Re: Just Another Future Song, Lonely Little Kitsch new [re: Adam]  

Adam, you're so great at interpretation. Is it a natural gift, or because you have researached Bowie so extensively?

Such a small price to pay for such a large duffel bag of cocaine.

CDS
(grinning soul)
06/26/02 09:22 PM
Re: The Futuristic Slang In "Diamond Dogs" new [re: pianocraft]  

Les Trecouteses is French for Knitting Machines. Essentially, Bowie is spouting off more incomprehensible (at least to you and I) terms. It's Bowie acting like Bowie.

Anyway, the Oxygen Tent is necessary because the air is so hard to breathe in Hunger City that you need to take regular hits from "oxygen tents" to stay alive. There are oxygen bars in Japan, currently. Maybe we're not as far from the future as we think. :\

And yes, the song is, from what I've interpreted, the Halloween Jack warning his "hussy", or whatever. Har. He speaks of himself in the third person because he has such a humongous ego. He is the main character of Diamond Dogs, or so it would seem. I can write a more in-depth interpretation later tonight, but I doubt ANY of you would read it. None of you seem to have anything to say about my brilliant Aladdin Sane interpretation, so, why bother? :\



nigelp
(electric tomato)
06/27/02 02:39 AM
Re: The Futuristic Slang In "Diamond Dogs" new [re: CDS]  

In reply to:

Les Trecouteses is French for Knitting Machines


Les Trecouteses was also the name given to the women who would watch the guillotine executions while doing their knitting, refering to their lack of interest/respect towards the killing.
Which in conext to the song is not as incomprehensible as knitting machines

lege et lacrima

db
(wild eyed peoploid)
07/13/02 07:22 AM
Re: The Futuristic Slang In "Diamond Dogs" new [re: pianocraft]  

"ouvre le chien." ...
this, from All The Madmen acctually means, roughly translated, "Open the dog"
strange...huh?

We are thrown back on our words like mortals, only our senses are infinitely keener, and the detachment we know at some times will enflame us, carry us on waves of burning sea.
- Pandora


Glitterbot
(electric tomato)
07/13/02 02:30 PM
Re: Just Another Future Song, Lonely Little Kitsch new [re: Adam]  

In reply to:

Glam rock taken to the extreme.


This is exactly how I've interpreted it- this is like the death of glitter, now everything's crumbling and dirty and debauched, and the french words fit in perfectly.
And on another note, I think this album has it's flaws, but is really a masterpiece. It's now one of my favorites.

If you're not pissed off at this world, well then you're just not paying attention


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