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   >> Interpretation
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zigbot
(wild eyed peoploid)
08/04/03 02:01 PM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: eraserhead]  

LOL! That was a great lyric, Eraserhead. Could you imagine what some of DB's other lyrics would look like if, instead of his words, we inserted our interpretations? Funny stuff.

I agree with LaughingGnoome that parts of the fan's interpretation are off. I think Bowie himself seemed to hint at that when he responded saying he didn't want to say too much so that he could leave room for other interpretations. I read that comment as saying to the fan "you're right about SOME of it, but not ALL of it."

Interesting song, though, and it sounds rather fantastic from the snippet I've heard thus far.

Zigbot

LaughingGnoome
(crash course raver)
08/04/03 07:11 PM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: zigbot]  

Eraserhead i agree he made it obvious what the general topic of the song is about. But there is much space for further interpretation in the lyrics regardless, to try and determine more precisely what he means.

In reply to:

I read that comment as saying to the fan "you're right about SOME of it, but not ALL of it."


Or it could be Bowie saying, "Your wrong about all of it but i wont tell you because i am a good host" .

In reply to:

Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem.


Damn! There goes my whole interpretation right there!

In reply to:

First impression, I'd take the word star like superstar, not light in the sky.


Yep, but also, consider how tall the buildings were and Bowie living in New York. Then "I found a new star" might also mean finding a silver lining out of the 'cloud' of September 11th, because when the buildings were gone New Yorkers had a better view of the night sky. "I found a new star".



Weathers Grim Ice On The Cages
Me im Robin Hood and i Puff On My Cigarette
Panthers are Steaming Stalking Screaming

dukewhite
(cracked actor)
08/04/03 08:42 PM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: LaughingGnoome]  

In reply to:

when the buildings were gone New Yorkers had a better view of the night sky.



New Yorkers did NOT have a better view. No view of the sky will ever be the same or better since then...

Anyway, this thread has shed a new light on this song which I did not consider at first. I definately think he is referring to Osama and not a superstar or hero or celestial body. Our culture is so centered around sensationalism and violence that bin Laden was the most seen face on television for months, and was only recently eclipsed by Saddam, and Jacko for a bit right before the whole Iraq war thing. We are always watching some "Killer Star" whether it be OJ or Timothy McVeigh or the DC area sniper. Perhaps his "better way" refers to the fact that the easiest way to become instantly and eternally famous is to kil la bunch of people.

With this new interpretation, I like the song so much more, but still hate the production. I wish they'd just p[lay it like a normal rock song and not have all that ambient garbage in the background. It sort of worked on some of the Heathen songs, but not here.

Don't believe in yourself
Don't deceive with belief
Knowledge comes with death's release


LaughingGnoome
(crash course raver)
08/04/03 09:02 PM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: dukewhite]  

In reply to:

New Yorkers did NOT have a better view. No view of the sky will ever be the same or better since then...


Lemme put it like this, when the buildings were gone, New Yorkers could see more of the sky. Hence they had a better view of it.

Weathers Grim Ice On The Cages
Me im Robin Hood and i Puff On My Cigarette
Panthers are Steaming Stalking Screaming

dukewhite
(cracked actor)
08/04/03 10:12 PM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: LaughingGnoome]  

Not trying to nitpick here but it's not like anyone can see a single star anyway with all the light polution, WTC or no WTC. And there were those annoying columns of light for several months that even further illuminated the heavens.

But I do understand what you mean in theory. I just don't think Bowie meant that, cause he would know about these things, having been here.

Don't believe in yourself
Don't deceive with belief
Knowledge comes with death's release


zigbot
(wild eyed peoploid)
08/04/03 10:25 PM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: dukewhite]  

Interesting view. Someone else (perhaps on another message board) mentioned that the line about seeing Jesus on Nightline was a reference to bin Laden--either because he sees himself as God's chosen one, or because we--by watching him and making him a "star" for his behaviour--make him into a God-like star. You can become famous two ways these days--by doing something interesting/artistic/good, or by doing something deplorably evil.


Zigbot

soho_beatnik
(kook)
08/04/03 10:48 PM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: eraserhead]  

What a crack-up.

Was Bowie really that affected by the September 11 disaster?

Sure, it happened in the city that he lives in, and he performed at the Benefit concert...but *really* - it seems all to easy to write about the event.

Miss Anders... I didn't recognize you with your clothes on.

Starlite
(crash course raver)
08/04/03 11:16 PM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: soho_beatnik]  

I sort of agree. I also think that if it's about anyone, it's Saddam, not Bin Laden. Plus, why are we all assuming Bowie's writing this from his own point of view? Bowie likes to write in characters, and he especially songs like this--poppy, peppy beat, deceivingly happy, very catchy--for his most biting, cynical commentary.

I think this song can be seen as written from the point of view of Bush/the people pushing the war, and it's quite sarcastic. Here, I'll go through the lyrics again:

See a great white scar
Over Battery park
Then a flare glides over
But I won稚 look at that scar

Great white scar: where the two towers were, now an empty place, a literal scar from a wound.

Battery park, that just indicates the place. The flare could be a memorial, or fireworks, or anything--wasn't there talk of putting up holographic projections up there?

Oh, my nuclear baby
Oh, my idiot trance
All my idiot questions
Let痴 face the music and dance

This part I haven't really analized in depth; I concurr with what you all said on it anyway. Also, one mightthinkof the whole WTC incident as US' "nuclear baby," seeing as how it was born from the mess we ourselves created in the Middle East. I'm not sure on this though, and I'm not sure how "nuclear" is to be read here. (We did use to provide weapons to the Middle East... and we did set up the Taliban... maybe "nuclear" is figurative, but in any case.)

Don稚 ever say I知 ready, I知 ready, I知 ready
I never said I知 better, I知 better, I知 better
Don稚 ever say I知 ready, I知 ready, I知 ready
I never said I知 better, I知 better, I知 better than you


This is pretty plain as it.

All the corners of the buildings
Who but we remember these
The sidewalks and trees
I知 thinking now

Once again, more or less same as in the previous interpreatation--we, the Americans, remember the buildings that are not there anymore. However, I think here is where the song starts to get a bit... not sarcastic exactly, but acidic. It's a mock justification along the lines that the US goverment feeds us to continue the war: We are the ones who suffered, our people were killed, so we have to fight! Have to get revenge (on whoever)! Have to protect our freedom!

I got a better way
I discovered a star
I got a better way
Ready set go
I got a better way
A new killer star
I got a better way

This better way, and this new killer star, is Saddam Hussein. He's the better way to take our frustrations out. I've discovered a new star: I've found someone else to blame.
He's a New Killer, ie Nuclear star--this is a reference to the WMDs.

All my life in a comic
Like the way they did the bible
With the bubbles and action
The little details in color

Right, as I said before: taking a complex issue and reducing it to a comic. Bush's ridiculous insistance on speaking in comic-book terms of "good" and "evil."

First a horseback bomber
Just a small thin chance
Like seeing Jesus on Dateline
Let痴 face the music and dance

Once again, this part I can't really say much about. I'll accept that the horseback rider is Osama, being as he was the "first" who bombed us, and the first one we went to war again. I'm still working on the "like seeing Jesus on Dateline" line. It bothers me, but I've yet to come up with something that truly satisfies me on it.

Refrain, Etc.

All right, I think I just embarassed myself on this here, but in my justification, I wrote this up without thinking (not a good excuse), so... er.

Marc.
But I didn't throw up, and that's what's important.
--Glitterbot

dukewhite
(cracked actor)
08/04/03 11:23 PM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: soho_beatnik]  

In reply to:

Was Bowie really that affected by the September 11 disaster?

Sure, it happened in the city that he lives in, and he performed at the Benefit concert...but *really* - it seems all to easy to write about the event.



Yes, I am sure he was. No one in New York was not. It was totally different here than everywhere else because there was no avoiding it, one could not turn off hte TV, and the smell was omnipresent. the silence of the city, the experience....everything that made up teh fabric of everyday life was suddenly goen and replaced by strange surreal people and events. To assume that Bowie was immune to all this is insensitive and further proves the necessity of experiencing it first-hand to truly empathize.

And I do agree with Starlite that it might be from someone else's point of view, because demonization of a killer to garner support for punishment and retribution is definately something which happens all over, but I do not think that he wrote the entire song from this point of view. He likes to switch voices mid-song.

Don't believe in yourself
Don't deceive with belief
Knowledge comes with death's release


soho_beatnik
(kook)
08/05/03 00:11 AM
Re: Bowie can't write new [re: dukewhite]  

Hmmm. Because Australia is fast becoming another state of the US, I have to disagree that the event didn't permeate our existences. At school, we stopped to watch the news. We had prayers, and so on.

However, because Heathen was written before S11 and bore a doom-laden quality to it (doesn't all Bowie's music?) which paralleled the events, it can be argued that it's coincidence.

Actually, I agrree with you more than before. But to say we didn't empathise (when our Americanised media/culture/govt. gave us little choice) isn't right.

I'm sure the emotions and sensory aspects of the event and it's aftermath were much more real for you than they ever could be with cold little me, and that this memory could be shared by fellow Noo-Yawker Bowie.

Miss Anders... I didn't recognize you with your clothes on.


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