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   >> Interpretation
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pianocraft
(grinning soul)
12/30/01 07:51 AM
Ziggy Is The Devil  

Make no mistake, every statement about Ziggy Stardust in the title song speaks to his evil. He is a spider, with the spider's ability to charm and lure. He will smile and lick you once you are caught in his trap.

Oh you poor Rock And Roll Suicides! Ziggy is the incarnation of Darkness and Dismay.


Lizz
(kook)
01/01/02 00:15 AM
Re: Ziggy Is The Devil new [re: pianocraft]  

spiders dont lure nor charm. they make icky sticky webs and then just wait until something stupid falls into them.

although the idea of anything that looks ilke david licking me is a nice warm idea.



pianocraft
(grinning soul)
01/01/02 07:25 AM
Re: Ziggy Is The Devil new [re: Lizz]  

That is not true, Lizz. There is much research about the deadly mating habits of the arachnid. The mating habits of Ziggy Stardust are lethal.

We read of one who is being lured when he says:

I smiled sadly for a love I could not obey

In fact, the entire pattern revealed in Lady Stardust is of people being lured and charmed out of the shadows by the one with "animal grace."



WildWind
(stardust savant)
01/01/02 03:33 PM
This needs to be moved to interpretation new [re: pianocraft]  

pianocraft, I thank you for leading me to an interpretation of Ziggy of which I’d never thought before. I reject your assertion that spider=evil, partially because I’m an arachnophile, but mostly because a spider luring its fly is no more evil than a lion stalking a wildebeest or any natural predator/prey relationship.

However, you lean in your second post toward an interpretation of spider as sexual predator, which is not unheard of in this culture and is certainly acceptable (cf. “Glass Spider” for another reference to spider as predator). You argue that Ziggy=spider=sexual predator, and it is from this argument that I continue.

It is important to note that the spider-as-sexual predator metaphor applies exclusively to the female. In fact, it comes primarily from the Black Widow spider, whose female consumes her prey post-mating. “Black Widow” is a common cultural term for a sexual predator, but it pretty much exclusively applies to women; I’ve never heard that term apply to a male sexual predator.

The interesting thing, however, is how the person/people referred to as the spider/predator/female changes throughout the album.

There are clearly suggestions of gender ambiguity early in the album (in “Moonage Daydream,” Ziggy refers to himself as a “bitch,” another term usually reserved for women), and it becomes explicit in “Lady Stardust.” Though the character is clearly a man (Lady Stardust sang his songs…), the narrator (who I believe is an early Ziggy fan seeing him live), refers to him as “Lady.” This lady lures “femme fatales” from “shadows” and represents “darkness and disgrace” as well as “dismay.” The narrator sees Ziggy as a predator and wistfully acknowledges that he can’t obey his love.

As Ziggy becomes more famous, however, two things happen: 1) he becomes more masculine, and 2) he begins to lose his power. In “Star” he talks about making a “wild mutation” that will lead to money and fame. He thinks about sending a photograph to his “honey” (gender ambiguous), but in “Hang Onto Yourself” he begins to sing about a “she” who wants his “money, not his honey.” He hangs on to the last vestiges of his power, however, as he declares “we’re the Spiders from Mars.” Here he still identifies himself as a spider.

The pivotal song “Ziggy Stardust” makes it clear that Ziggy is no longer a spider. He plays with the spiders but is not himself a spider. The talk about Ziggy being able to “lick ‘em by smiling” and “leave ‘em to hang” (in his web, perhaps?) is all in the past tense. Rather than being a spider he is now a fly – the spider’s prey.

“Suffragette City” completes the gender transformation. No longer gender ambiguous, his love interests are a “mellow-thighed chick” who “puts his spine out of place,” who “…” and then “…”. He rejects Henry in favor of “she,” the predator.

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” is the last thing he says before he is consumed. Through the last few songs of the album he has given up his power and been consumed by the band, by his fans, by the ambiguous “she.” All of those who have consumed him are symbols of spiders or femininity and therefore predators.

Basically, during the album Ziggy changes from spider to fly, from female to male and therefore from predator to prey.

WW

- So, what you're saying is that you manipulated me.
- Yes, exactly.


pianocraft
(grinning soul)
01/01/02 04:32 PM
Re: This needs to be moved to interpretation new [re: WildWind]  

WW, I appreciate your intelligent and thoughtful study of Ziggy Stardust. However, with all due respect, I strongy disagree with one of your main points. Let me clear up a little something first:

In reply to:

I reject your assertion that spider=evil


I don't believe the spider is evil, nor do I believe bats, snakes, wolves or ravens are evil. But all these animals can be used as literary emblems of evil. The point to Lizz was that yes, spiders do charm and lure to the death.

The point I disagree with is your odd idea that Ziggy transforms from spider to fly.


In reply to:

The pivotal song “Ziggy Stardust” makes it clear that Ziggy is no longer a spider


How so? Ziggy has already identified himself as a spider earlier on the album. To which you will reply:

In reply to:

Rather than being a spider he is now a fly – the spider’s prey.


There is no evidence that the speaker is calling Ziggy a fly. In fact, the line "leave em to hang" continues the spider imagery that Ziggy himself began in "Hang On To Yourself."


In reply to:

The talk about Ziggy being able to “lick ‘em by smiling” and “leave ‘em to hang” (in his web, perhaps?) is all in the past tense...


Duh. He's dead. All references to him in the title song are in the past tense. What does tense have to do with it? The fly reference is in the past tense. Using your logic, Ziggy is neither spider nor fly.

In reply to:

Basically, during the album Ziggy changes from spider to fly...


I don't believe your claim is supported by the lyrics.










moonspyke
(kook)
01/01/02 04:45 PM
Spiders are not evil new [re: WildWind]  

Brilliant WildWind. I agree with everything you stated.

Pianocraft: Spiders=charm and lure. In some ways i guess you are right, mostly about the lure thing. Charm i am not so sure of. Why do you say charm? what is charming that they do?

::Well christmas on a cracker Kathy, you sure got yourself into a pickle this time!::

Claude
(stardust savant)
01/01/02 04:51 PM
Re: Wild Mutation new [re: pianocraft]  



"I could make a transformation as a rock & roll star
So inviting - so enticing to play the part
I could play the wild mutation as a rock & roll star"



"Suck, baby, suck, give me your head"

pianocraft
(grinning soul)
01/01/02 05:00 PM
Re: Spiders are not evil new [re: moonspyke]  

The Black Widow uses sex appeal to attract a mate. Usually, after the second copulation, she cannibalizes her mate. So, in effect, she charms her mate to his death.





Atonalexpress
(stardust savant)
01/01/02 05:09 PM
Re: Ziggy Is The Devil new [re: pianocraft]  

Thanks for the discussion on all of this; it's fascinating reading.

The Atonal Express left the tonal world behind...
http://atonalexpress.com

Cisite
(wild eyed peoploid)
01/01/02 05:11 PM
Re: Ziggy Is The Devil new [re: pianocraft]  

Shouldn't this thread be in the Interpratation Forum ???

"Why Can't People Go Through life without Comparing their own to anyone elses ?"


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