Wednesday 2 September 2015

Alternative Lyrics to Well Known Songs 41 - Old Oppressive Town

('Old Oppressive Town' is based on 'Hazard' by 'Richard Marx')

Cities can principally be used as centres of production & perspicacity or centres of consumption & comfort.  The former tends towards the masculine and the latter tends towards the feminine.

The character of a city is decided by the people living in it.  After all they are the ones that that built it and sustain it (repairs etc) with their energy.  If the inhabitants of a city are the kind of people that want to do things and go places then it will become masculine and will produce new things (tangible things like are produced in factories, or intangible things like are produced in research facilities), on the other hand if the inhabitants want to use the city as a form of escapism/security from their mundane everyday lives then it will become feminine.

Unfortunately as all of you are aware the centres of our cities are now meccas for consumption and comfort.  The High Street (or Main Street in the USA) is full of shops stocked with the latest goodies imported from third world countries.  Little in that high street shop contains anything that was manufactured from the home nation; and practically nothing that was sourced from that town or county.  If that city were more masculine then the shops would be factory-shops, like European cities used to be, where goods were both manufactured and sold.  This should be easier than ever as the technology to manufacture goods is getting cheaper and cheaper.  And now with the arrival of 3-D printers (both plastic, metal, and genetic printers) manufacturing goods in the same shop as they are sold should be easy as pie.  It would also mean that the goods could be custom made (but 3-D printers in factory-shops is a whole other topic, so I won't ramble on about it).

There are also shopping centres/malls in the heart of every medium and large city which are like theme parks for shopping.  They house the proverbial 'shopping experience' whereby people go and experience the pleasure of looking at the latest products, the latest goodies, which temporarily distract them from their lives.  Sometimes this comfort shopping, or worse still window shopping (just looking at goods), is used as a form of escapism. 

Escapism implies that they the shopper is trying using the shopping experience to escape from their own lives that they'd rather not live (albeit for a short period of time, roughly the same period of time as a heroin trip: about 2 hours ).  And it makes one wonder why they are trying to escape their own lives, what is it that is so insufferable that they go into a theme park for shoppers and ogle at the latest goodies in the shop aisle?

It's possibly the fact that their lives are, for want of a better phrase, messed-up.  "Messed up by what?" you say, "I don't know." I would reply.  I know enough about causes to know that reductionism isn't going to help you very much because it inevitably ends up with an absurd conclusion (like Marxism, or Satan, or 'not getting laid', or high interest rates, is responsible for all the problems in the world).  Just look around the internet for what people think is the cause of problem X, Y and Z, there's lots of whacked out theories out there.  The result of rejecting the reductionist approach and taking on a holistic outlook is that correlations and intuition/hunches become as valuable, or sometimes more valuable, than causes.

In a healthy city they would be making new products (either in the work place or at home or both) and thinking new thoughts.  These new products and thoughts would be things that they had made because they wanted to.  Because they wanted to express their own creative drive in it's unique way rather than conform to the norm, the expected way of living.

How one can remedy this feminisation of whole cities in our culture is beyond me.  But what I do know is that cities are made by the inhabitants, and they are sustained by inhabitants.  So based on that preposition one method of turning a feminine city back into a masculine one it by encouraging the inhabitants to express their own creative drive wherever and whenever the opportunity arises.  This way they will be producers rather than consumers and more masculine than feminine.  Whether that creative drive is expressed is in the workplace, or in the homestead, or in the environment doesn't matter, so long as it is expressed.  This will not only benefit the individual (who should feel more satisfied with their life) it should also benefit the community and ergo the city as a whole.

A note on the lyrics: the song is about a person who used the city in a feminine way - as a form of security, because he found the outside world too intimidating.  After a few years he found it's security to be oppressive and ended up moving back out into the countryside.  The song is framed within the context of the Nordic mythology.  It mentions Midgard (which is the 'middle world' where humans live), and Al-father (which is the 'All-Father', one of Odins many by-names).

Play the music video above and sing along using the alternative lyrics given below.

# Old Oppressive Town #
All-Father made me alive in that place called Midgard.
It was day and the whole place was alive with joy.
But then came night.
After midnight is when it started to get scary
The whole place changed from one of comfort to fear.
It gave me the frights.

I couldn't stand to face the fear.
I couldn't stand to feel the dark.
I needed comfort from those feelings.
That's when I saw this place called 'Town'.

I entered the Town some day or another.
It seemed like bliss and comfort from my former life.
That changed in time.
Routinely accused of breaking their laws.
The years flew passed and that's when it became clear to me
I could do no right.

"I swear I lived my life by your laws.
I swear I never did you wrong.
Despite this you're intent on judging me.
So I'll leave your old oppressive Town."

I think about my life gone by
and how I did me wrong.
I traded my Father's free life
for one of safety yet one of oppression.

"I swear I abided by all your laws.
I swear I never did you wrong.
Despite this you're intent on judging me.
So I'll leave your old oppressive Town."

[End of lyrics.]

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