But it is just a song.

Music doesn't make one do things. Rap doesn't create gang members nor metal, murderers. However, music is a powerful force in the human psyche. It uplifts, it drags down, it inspires, it confirms; it supports, it confronts.
Music has been part of revolution. Music has been part of maintaining the status quo.
Music makes a difference, but how much?

The Dayton shooter was in a band which was part of the pornogrind* scene.

People in the scene the shooter was involved in expressed shock that one of their own would do something like this.
One of them wrote:
"Part of the music is you want to figure out ways to portray people as being dehumanized as much as possible or, you know, degraded. And sexual dehumanization and objectification is a big way of doing that,” Ward said. “If for some reason the music he made or whatever, somehow did do that for him, I feel that it's an exception, not the rule when it comes to people making this music.”

“I feel it’s our responsibility to make it a point to let people know that, no, this is not what we actually stand for,” he added. “Our songs aren't prophecies, you know, like, they're not fucking, ominous fucking messages that are supposed to come true. They're just songs.”
But are they "just songs"?
Life is not binary, but where is the boundary between Just a Song and incitement?


*Misogynistic, death-obsessed, sexually violent extreme metal.
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Comments

  • I listen to a lot of extreme metal. Black, death, even a little grindcore (Bolt Thrower mainly). But the vast majority of grindcore and its various subgenres is irredeemable garbage, both because of being morally/ emotionally/ intellectually stunted and crushingly boring musically. Can it be blamed for this violence though? Can you blame the Beatles for the Manson murders? To do that we would have to do something probably impossible, which is prove that these people would not have committed the act without having heard this stuff.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited August 7
    Like "violent" video games, I tend to think artistic expressions like this are a case of a potential outlet for a disturbed mind, rather than a cause. As per Sir P above, not all players of shooting video games are real-life killers and I guess there are many people into, or in, misogynistic sexually-violent bands who never pick up a gun in real life.

    Of course, some sort of research might be good -- but I'm at work currently and not typing the name of that type of music into my search engine. :smile:
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Most people do not kill. This is the reason why music (film, television, books) does not turn most people into killers.
    However, music has an influence. That is what I am exploring here.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Yes Rock Around the Clock doesn’t cause anyone to rip out theatre seats any more. I find supposed sexy R’n’B music more likely to put me asleep than get me excited. What moves one person will not move another
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    I listen to a lot of extreme metal. Black, death, even a little grindcore (Bolt Thrower mainly). But the vast majority of grindcore and its various subgenres is irredeemable garbage, both because of being morally/ emotionally/ intellectually stunted and crushingly boring musically. Can it be blamed for this violence though? Can you blame the Beatles for the Manson murders? To do that we would have to do something probably impossible, which is prove that these people would not have committed the act without having heard this stuff.

    Apples and oranges, Sir P. The Beatles song that Manson blamed his killing on was about a playground slide as a metaphor for sex. It was not a whole genre about killing and maiming. Manson was reaaaaally reaching. Someone listening to a song glorifying violence then committing violence is in a quite different boat.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited August 7
    mousethief wrote: »
    I listen to a lot of extreme metal. Black, death, even a little grindcore (Bolt Thrower mainly). But the vast majority of grindcore and its various subgenres is irredeemable garbage, both because of being morally/ emotionally/ intellectually stunted and crushingly boring musically. Can it be blamed for this violence though? Can you blame the Beatles for the Manson murders? To do that we would have to do something probably impossible, which is prove that these people would not have committed the act without having heard this stuff.

    Apples and oranges, Sir P. The Beatles song that Manson blamed his killing on was about a playground slide as a metaphor for sex. It was not a whole genre about killing and maiming. Manson was reaaaaally reaching. Someone listening to a song glorifying violence then committing violence is in a quite different boat.

    Well, there was also Piggies, about how the titular mammals, generally regarded as a stand-in for rich assholes, needed a "damned good whacking".

    Though that's the only White Album song in Manson's canon that could remotely be viewed as advocating violence. The killers did write Death To Pigs at one of the murder sites, though "pigs" of course was also a common term of abuse in the counterculture.

    (Link is to a wikipedia analysis of Beatles songs that Manson claimed as inspiration.)
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    People's reaction to art is personal. I've heard it said that art is the interaction between the work and the person experiencing the work. Murderous impulses could be provoked by a work, but I feel like those amenable to such impulses are likely to find their feelings provoked by a whole range of things.

    That said, I'd like to lock up fans of boy bands.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    I listen to a lot of extreme metal. Black, death, even a little grindcore (Bolt Thrower mainly). But the vast majority of grindcore and its various subgenres is irredeemable garbage, both because of being morally/ emotionally/ intellectually stunted and crushingly boring musically. Can it be blamed for this violence though? Can you blame the Beatles for the Manson murders? To do that we would have to do something probably impossible, which is prove that these people would not have committed the act without having heard this stuff.

    Apples and oranges, Sir P. The Beatles song that Manson blamed his killing on was about a playground slide as a metaphor for sex. It was not a whole genre about killing and maiming. Manson was reaaaaally reaching. Someone listening to a song glorifying violence then committing violence is in a quite different boat.

    Well, there was also Piggies, about how the titular mammals, generally regarded as a stand-in for rich assholes, needed a "damned good whacking".

    Though that's the only White Album song in Manson's canon that could remotely be viewed as advocating violence. The killers did write Death To Pigs at one of the murder sites, though "pigs" of course was also a common term of abuse in the counterculture.

    (Link is to a wikipedia analysis of Beatles songs that Manson claimed as inspiration.)

    "Pigs" means "police" in the US. Which I am sure that George Harrison did NOT have in mind when he wrote Piggies.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Piggies is satire on greed, Manson did indeed get that part right. Not so much the race war bits.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    lilBuddha

    I think you are right to draw a distinction between music and other media. This may be just personal, but I find music moves me. The impact is more immediate, more visceral, makes emotional connections.

    So I suppose it may indeed stimulate unpleasant, dangerous, visceral responses. Literature and broadcasting may also do so, as may inflammatory rhetoric, but I'm not sure it gets under the skin in quite the same way.

    But as I say this is personal. Perhaps music works this way for some of us, whereas for others it's visual stimulus, or rhetorical impact, or broadcast media stimulating dark imagination?

    What to do about it? I'm not sure much can be done without going down censorship roads.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Songs are, as they say at Home, powerful stuff. How much of Ireland's history is encoded in songs? How much of its myth has been spread and maintained by songs?

    Think of how much fervour - sporting, patriotic, religious, sectarian, The Cause, whatever - is expressed in songs.

    Songs are our most intense response (with me and politics at the moment it's Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation).
  • When you look at men who go on shooting sprees, one of the things they most frequently have in common is a history of violence against women. This applies to all types of radicalisation, whether of the Islamic fundamentalist type, or the white nationalist type. Men who do this sort of thing (and mass shooters are pretty much all men) very often have a history of domestic violence and the like.

    So while I don’t think the song caused the violence, I can imagine that the sort of person who commits a mass shooting is the same sort of person who is attracted to music glorifying misogynistic violence.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Yes. I think "stimulating what is innate" is more likely than "planting a seed". But that's the old nature/nurture dynamic again. There may be a bit of both in play.
  • There is so much in esoteric lore that informs us on the power of the spoken word.

    For someone like myself, who has spent forty years studying the western esoteric tradition, the causal relationship between the repetition of a musical chant and the manifestation of the invocation is a matter of fact.

    This is one of the reasons why I am careful abut which verses I sing in some hymns. I feel like I am being hijacked into speaking energy into things I don't believe or agree with.

    As far as I'm concerned, there is incredible power in the sonic resonances of the right-hemispheric activity of music combined with the left hemispheric activity of speech.

    In the beginning was the Word.

    I take this quite literally.

    AFF

  • So while I don’t think the song caused the violence, I can imagine that the sort of person who commits a mass shooting is the same sort of person who is attracted to music glorifying misogynistic violence.

    I'm reminded of Ruby Wax's (of all people) comments about anger not being at all cathartic, but rather feeding on itself. That's my experience of it too - perhaps that's why the monks were always so keen to keep well away from it.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Yes. I think "stimulating what is innate" is more likely than "planting a seed". But that's the old nature/nurture dynamic again. There may be a bit of both in play.
    Sociopathy is an instructive example. It is an inborn trait and some people are going to bad things regardless of any outside influence. Others, raised with care and a positive upbringing, won't. Likely a spectrum like most things.
    Anti-social behavioural disorder is an extreme example, but we are all affected by outside stimuli than we like to admit. People in crowds do things they would never do on their own. The music scene the Dayton shooter belonged to is just another form of crowd.
    The shock expressed by other members is ignorant at best.
  • So while I don’t think the song caused the violence, I can imagine that the sort of person who commits a mass shooting is the same sort of person who is attracted to music glorifying misogynistic violence.

    I'm reminded of Ruby Wax's (of all people) comments about anger not being at all cathartic, but rather feeding on itself. That's my experience of it too - perhaps that's why the monks were always so keen to keep well away from it.

    I like to make the distinction between anger and wrath.

    Anger is an outburst that discharges energy mobilized in the face of a threat.

    Wrath is an indulgence that self perpetuates.

    Which IMO is why wrath is a sin and anger isn't.

    AFF
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    I like to make the distinction between anger and wrath.

    Anger is an outburst that discharges energy mobilized in the face of a threat.

    Wrath is an indulgence that self perpetuates.

    Which IMO is why wrath is a sin and anger isn't.

    AFF

    I don't think I agree with that. I know some people who are perpetually angry; perpetually having 'outbursts', sometimes irrational, about things and people that make them angry. They are draining, negative people who, in their constant state of angry-ness, cause quite a bit of damage, as they go through life exploding angrily all over the place, and the people around them. The energy they discharge is nasty, nasty stuff. And resolves nothing.

    Sometimes anger is justified and needs to be acknowledged, even affirmed. So I'm not saying it is, of itself, a bad or a sinful thing. But I'm thinking here of where anger is a state of mind that seems to have imprisoned the angry one, who goes around trying to envelope everyone else in their angry world!

    Wrath - might be kind of the same thing, but speaks to me more of a specific event, or situation. Eg, when someone who is usually in all things fairly placid expresses themselves angry over a particular thing that went wrong, or a situation that provoked their anger to that thing alone. Maybe like someone losing their temper, becoming wrathful, if they realise they have been patient over something, and then it's the last straw. I suppose one can be constantly full of wrath over everything and anything - but that can manifest itself in anger; which would make it possible that either could be sinful, depending on what's going on. But just my opinion, how I experience these terms.
  • Anselmina wrote: »
    I like to make the distinction between anger and wrath.

    Anger is an outburst that discharges energy mobilized in the face of a threat.

    Wrath is an indulgence that self perpetuates.

    Which IMO is why wrath is a sin and anger isn't.

    AFF

    I don't think I agree with that. I know some people who are perpetually angry; perpetually having 'outbursts', sometimes irrational, about things and people that make them angry. They are draining, negative people who, in their constant state of angry-ness, cause quite a bit of damage, as they go through life exploding angrily all over the place, and the people around them. The energy they discharge is nasty, nasty stuff. And resolves nothing.

    And you see I would classify those people as indulging themselves in the sin of wrath.

    I think our difference here is one of semantics. Which is fine.

    AFF
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    I also am a fan of some metal (Slipknots new stuff is great, also The Body - which is really dark). And yes, it engages me. Some of it is incredibly violent (the video for the new Slipknot song is horrendous). I don't think it makes me violent - for me it is cathartic, allows my anger and frustration to be expressed by others.

    However, I also think that music (and films, and other art) should connect to us at a deep and primal level. If it doesn't, it is poor music. I think that someone with an inate tendancy towards violence could find that some form of art can emphasise this, and make it more significant for a person, especially if they had anger problems (or similar - not MH problems, just poor control of their emotions).

    So I don't think it is ever to blame for violence. It can be a contributing factor, as can mental instability. But they are not the core of the problem. Neither of these remove personal responsibility. Some people choose to act violently without these triggers, some people listen to this music and never hurt a fly (I mean these people would make you a nice pait of booties).

    Having said that, there are aspects of metal music (and films and art) that are abusive, damaging, and seem to make hatred normal. I am not sure that these are ever going to be positive. I feel that they are probably engaged with by many people who are damaged.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    I also am a fan of some metal (Slipknots new stuff is great, also The Body - which is really dark). And yes, it engages me. Some of it is incredibly violent (the video for the new Slipknot song is horrendous). I don't think it makes me violent - for me it is cathartic, allows my anger and frustration to be expressed by others.
    I've a heavy bag I bought to use to release my anger. I no longer use it that way after reading how that actually makes anger worse.

  • The Body

    I saw them open for Alcest three years ago... I didn't realize they were metal; as I recall the stuff they played was more dark ambient.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Yes. I think "stimulating what is innate" is more likely than "planting a seed". But that's the old nature/nurture dynamic again. There may be a bit of both in play.
    Sociopathy is an instructive example. It is an inborn trait and some people are going to bad things regardless of any outside influence. Others, raised with care and a positive upbringing, won't. Likely a spectrum like most things.
    Anti-social behavioural disorder is an extreme example, but we are all affected by outside stimuli than we like to admit. People in crowds do things they would never do on their own. The music scene the Dayton shooter belonged to is just another form of crowd.
    The shock expressed by other members is ignorant at best.
    I think that is generally right, but I have some misgivings about the undue pressure it can put on parenting. No parent is perfect and seeking carefully, lovingly and positively, to correct bad behaviour in children (e.g. cruelty to siblings or other children) is quite a challenge, without a guarantee of a successful outcome. Children need to get cut a lot of slack as they grow towards greater personal responsibility, but not all are capable of learning the corrective lessons. Or really want to. Sociopathy in children can produce deceptive behaviour, not always easy to read.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    The Body

    I saw them open for Alcest three years ago... I didn't realize they were metal; as I recall the stuff they played was more dark ambient.

    Well the genres these days are rather confused. Listening to Nothing Stirs, it feels like dark metal. Or dark ambient metal. Or ambient dark metal. Or Drone Dark Ambient Metal. Or something.

    So the singer on that Kristin Hayter - I am not sure where she sits. It is raw, intense, passionate and art-house metal. Maybe.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited August 9
    Isn't "dark ambient" a kind of beer?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Isn't "dark ambient" a kind of beer?

    Sounds like a good description of Old Peculier.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    mousethief wrote: »
    Isn't "dark ambient" a kind of beer?

    You assume that "type of beer" and "genre of music" are distinct categories.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Isn't "dark ambient" a kind of beer?

    You assume that "type of beer" and "genre of music" are distinct categories.

    Doesn't seem an unreasonable assumption.
  • There could be overlap, like a Venn diagram. It's like those online quizzes where you have to guess if a name is a My Little Pony or a porn star.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    There could be overlap, like a Venn diagram. It's like those online quizzes where you have to guess if a name is a My Little Pony or a porn star.

    Steak House or Gay Bar?
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    There could be overlap, like a Venn diagram. It's like those online quizzes where you have to guess if a name is a My Little Pony or a porn star.

    Steak House or Gay Bar?
    OMG, some of those names are so random
  • stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    There could be overlap, like a Venn diagram. It's like those online quizzes where you have to guess if a name is a My Little Pony or a porn star.

    Steak House or Gay Bar?

    Those guys make a cute pair. What a fun youtuber.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    There could be overlap, like a Venn diagram. It's like those online quizzes where you have to guess if a name is a My Little Pony or a porn star.

    Steak House or Gay Bar?
    OMG, some of those names are so random

    If that's sarcasm meant to indicate that the names AREN'T random, but were rather chosen to fit the premise of the game, I'd actually say that they do tend to resemble the names of gay bars of my acquaintance.

    My hometown, for example, has hosted gay bars called The Roost, Boots And Saddles, and Buddy's, all of which could easily be the names of steak houses. There was also a low-profile lesbian bar called Shakespear's, which, while not really fitting the red-meat aura of the others, would probably lead to a lot of "steak house" answers, if placed in the context of the game.

    It might not work so well in the other direction, ie. our steak house names might not be mistaken for gay bars, though there was one place in the early 80s called Lucifer's, which a lot of people would probably guess is a gay bar.

    (And, yes, we also had gay bars with names like Flashback and Options, which don't really fit the bill.)
  • Steakhouses around here, either current or past, either one-off or chain: Ponderosa, The Keg, Black Angus, The Ram, Sirloin Inn, Ruth's Chris, The Blue Dolphin.

    Would any of these be mistaken for a gay bar?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Not really. Maybe The Ram, as a gay male bar with a rough ambience, since rams are male, and have sort of a macho image.

    But a duckduckgo on gay bars in Seattle reveals a place called Wildrose? The wildrose is the official flower of Alberta, a province famous for its beef industry("If it ain't Alberta, it ain't beef" was a marketing slogan for a while). k.d. lang campaigned against that same beef industry in the 90s, thus provoking a backlash against her that was at least partly homophobic in nature.

    And coincidentally, Wildrose was also the name of an upstart right-wing political party in Alberta. They endured an upset loss in 2011, at least partly because of anti-gay comments made by one of their candidates.

    All in all, yeah, I could easily see Wildrose being the name of a steak house in Alberta. It would be a perfect fit, really.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited August 12
    Here we go...

    Wild Rose Pizza And Steak House

    That's in Calgary.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Most people do not kill. This is the reason why music (film, television, books) does not turn most people into killers.
    However, music has an influence. That is what I am exploring here.

    I think there are aspects of desensitization and training here (and the same goes for films, video games, choice of language, and basically anything that people spend significant time doing). If you train yourself to think in a violent way, or spend all your time singing about women in a violent misogynistic way, it seems to me obvious that you are more likely to express those behaviours.

    Lex orandi, lex credendi.
  • What Leorning Cniht just said.

    Plus playing video games at home on a computer is different from playing them on a machine in an arcade*. The arcade is designed with limits: the place isn't open 24/7; you stand while playing most games; and you're done when you run out of quarters, tokens, and/or free games. Computer video games are often designed for long sessions of play. And you can play as long and as often as you want--ignoring real life, not eating or sleeping enough, skipping school/work, never going out, never interacting face to fact with other people.

    You might say it won't have a negative effect. Then, again, sponsors place ads online, on TV and radio, in print, on buses, etc., hoping that brief exposure will get you to buy their product. If you think of the actions and attitudes in a video game as a product...and players spend much more time exposed that "ad" for violence, etc. than with the other ads I mentioned...players are soaking that all up. Some people may be more susceptible than others, due to nature, nurture, particular game; but there's apt to be a negative effect on a lot of people, IMHO.


    *American usage: Place with arcade games (e.g. PacMan, Star Wars), pinball, etc.**

    **I saw recently that "arcade" is a shopping mall in UK Speak.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    I listen to a lot of extreme metal. Black, death, even a little grindcore (Bolt Thrower mainly). But the vast majority of grindcore and its various subgenres is irredeemable garbage, both because of being morally/ emotionally/ intellectually stunted and crushingly boring musically. Can it be blamed for this violence though? Can you blame the Beatles for the Manson murders? To do that we would have to do something probably impossible, which is prove that these people would not have committed the act without having heard this stuff.

    Apples and oranges, Sir P. The Beatles song that Manson blamed his killing on was about a playground slide as a metaphor for sex. It was not a whole genre about killing and maiming. Manson was reaaaaally reaching. Someone listening to a song glorifying violence then committing violence is in a quite different boat.

    Well, there was also Piggies, about how the titular mammals, generally regarded as a stand-in for rich assholes, needed a "damned good whacking".

    Though that's the only White Album song in Manson's canon that could remotely be viewed as advocating violence. The killers did write Death To Pigs at one of the murder sites, though "pigs" of course was also a common term of abuse in the counterculture.

    (Link is to a wikipedia analysis of Beatles songs that Manson claimed as inspiration.)

    "Pigs" means "police" in the US. Which I am sure that George Harrison did NOT have in mind when he wrote Piggies.

    I have read that George was inspired by the 1968 Democratic convention. Not sure how authoritative that is.
  • Also to ponder is what influence if any "Animal Farm" had on his writing of the song.
  • I play lots of video games, although my desktop is currently on the fritz. I don't like playing the first-person shooter games but that's because I like multiplayer so I can get into people's heads via the various voice apps around. Then I can twist them to my will. Muha muha muhahahahaha. Multiplayer games require fast reflexes and a good connection and processor. The only game that I could do OK on, as in not die almost immediately, is Planetside, a sci-fi shooter. That was fun for a while but then got boring. I played Fortnite for a bit too, and that was OK. I came second a couple of times by hiding for the whole game and letting the bad hombres kill each other off, but I never managed to actually shoot someone myself. I was too nervous and clunky with the controls. But I'm a sword and board guy with a medieval sensibility.

    I think a danger with violent video games, in addition to the ones mentioned above by GK and LC, is a poisonous culture that can develop around the games, where mostly boys egg each other on to compete, to cheat, to do anything to win where winning is the destruction, the humiliation of another player. These groups can be a breeding ground for all sorts of prejudice, and just for anti-social behavior within the game. It's toxic.

    In large multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft, these sorts of groups are a minority I think. That game, and another I play called Lord of the Rings online, have older player bases simply because they have been around so long. In LOTRO in particular, poor behavior is shut down very quickly by the community itself in my experience. These games are not shooters though. One game I played for a few years, Mortal Online, was a small multiplayer out of Sweden. It was a full-loot Player v Player game which meant that if someone killed you they got all the stuff you were carrying, and you wound up at a respawn point in your jocks. There was a big incentive to kill other players. The community in that game was just awful. There was one bloke I came across in a chat who was basically introducing fascist ideology to the others in the chat. He was smart too. I would object to something he said, he would let me speak, and then when I stopped he would continue as if I had said nothing. Scary stuff.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    I listen to a lot of extreme metal. Black, death, even a little grindcore (Bolt Thrower mainly). But the vast majority of grindcore and its various subgenres is irredeemable garbage, both because of being morally/ emotionally/ intellectually stunted and crushingly boring musically. Can it be blamed for this violence though? Can you blame the Beatles for the Manson murders? To do that we would have to do something probably impossible, which is prove that these people would not have committed the act without having heard this stuff.

    Apples and oranges, Sir P. The Beatles song that Manson blamed his killing on was about a playground slide as a metaphor for sex. It was not a whole genre about killing and maiming. Manson was reaaaaally reaching. Someone listening to a song glorifying violence then committing violence is in a quite different boat.

    Well, there was also Piggies, about how the titular mammals, generally regarded as a stand-in for rich assholes, needed a "damned good whacking".

    Though that's the only White Album song in Manson's canon that could remotely be viewed as advocating violence. The killers did write Death To Pigs at one of the murder sites, though "pigs" of course was also a common term of abuse in the counterculture.

    (Link is to a wikipedia analysis of Beatles songs that Manson claimed as inspiration.)

    "Pigs" means "police" in the US. Which I am sure that George Harrison did NOT have in mind when he wrote Piggies.

    I have read that George was inspired by the 1968 Democratic convention. Not sure how authoritative that is.

    It sounds to me he's describing rich people, rather than police. "...in their starched white shirts..." etc.

    Also, the history of the composition makes it seem unlikely that he was influenced by Chicago 68, since he apparently started writing the song in 1966. But I haven't yet read the whole history there.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Several years ago many of the pubs in my area banned the Theme From MASH (suicide is painless) from being played after a 9pm, or maybe it was 10pm. It was fine to play it before then but it was felt that with some people and alcohol it could lead to actual suicides. So yes it is just a song but add other things into the mix and you may have a problem
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    Several years ago many of the pubs in my area banned the Theme From MASH (suicide is painless) from being played after a 9pm, or maybe it was 10pm. It was fine to play it before then but it was felt that with some people and alcohol it could lead to actual suicides. So yes it is just a song but add other things into the mix and you may have a problem

    I'm surprised to hear that a pub in the UK(?) was playing the version of that song with lyrics. I remember being told in junior high school(Canada) that the song was about suicide, but I think I could count on one hand the number of times I'd heard the lyrics sung, and that's including the one time I watched the movie(in my late 30s and living in Korea, believe it or not).

    By the way, did you know those lyrics were written in five minutes, by a 14 year old?
  • stetson wrote: »
    I'm surprised to hear that a pub in the UK(?) was playing the version of that song with lyrics.

    It reached #1 in the UK singles chart in 1980. There was also a Manic Street Preachers cover in the 90s.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Several years ago many of the pubs in my area banned the Theme From MASH (suicide is painless) from being played after a 9pm, or maybe it was 10pm. It was fine to play it before then but it was felt that with some people and alcohol it could lead to actual suicides. So yes it is just a song but add other things into the mix and you may have a problem

    I'm surprised to hear that a pub in the UK(?) was playing the version of that song with lyrics. I remember being told in junior high school(Canada) that the song was about suicide, but I think I could count on one hand the number of times I'd heard the lyrics sung, and that's including the one time I watched the movie(in my late 30s and living in Korea, believe it or not).

    By the way, did you know those lyrics were written in five minutes, by a 14 year old?
    Many popular songs have stupid lyrics. What the lyrics say is often secondary to how they sound as sung and in combination with the music.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Several years ago many of the pubs in my area banned the Theme From MASH (suicide is painless) from being played after a 9pm, or maybe it was 10pm. It was fine to play it before then but it was felt that with some people and alcohol it could lead to actual suicides. So yes it is just a song but add other things into the mix and you may have a problem

    I'm surprised to hear that a pub in the UK(?) was playing the version of that song with lyrics. I remember being told in junior high school(Canada) that the song was about suicide, but I think I could count on one hand the number of times I'd heard the lyrics sung, and that's including the one time I watched the movie(in my late 30s and living in Korea, believe it or not).

    By the way, did you know those lyrics were written in five minutes, by a 14 year old?
    Many popular songs have stupid lyrics. What the lyrics say is often secondary to how they sound as sung and in combination with the music.

    For the record, contra Altman apparently, I actually don't find those lyrics to be stupid, though they are a little off-beat. When I mentioned their being written in five minutes by a kid, the point was that I was impressed by that.

    I gather from wiki there have been a lot of covers of the song, and I vaguely remember instrumentals on the radio, but nothing with the lyrics. (I'm guessing maybe they were too dark for Canadian radio play?)

  • The "MASH" TV series didn't use the lyrics, fortunately. Not that they're badly written--just depressing. Having to listen to them every week, for all the many years the show was on, would've been awful--and possibly dangerous.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    The lyrics are brillint, IMO. Yes, incredibly depressing, as is the film. And the series, in fact, in many aspects.

    And, I should point out the war it was all about.

    I was watching the Catch 22 series recently, and reminded of where MASH had some of its inspiration from.

    Lyrics - when one at their best - are poetry. The words, and the meaning, are critical. But also, the sound, the flow. And the combination with the music brngs it to another level.

    Which is probably why I can't write lyrics.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    I was watching the Catch 22 series recently, and reminded of where MASH had some of its inspiration from.

    Actually, there was a rivalry between the people making MASH and the people making the film version of Catch-22, for the obvious reason that whichever got released first would steal the thunder from the other. When it became evident that MASH was gonna win, that film's producers gloatingly put up a sign in their office saying CAUGHT-22.

    Possible that Altman and company were influenced by Joseph Heller's novel(which I haven't read, nor seen the film of). According to wiki, Altman didn't much care for the novel MASH.

    I believe this is where I read about the rivalry between the two camps of filmmakers.

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