Thursday, May 01, 2008

Roger Waters is as Vital As He Has Ever Been.

Now, can we agree? The Dark Side of the Moon is a fairly canonical key text in the annals of dickheadery. The album, from start to end, is a near-intolerable masterwork of dickheadery, an opus of onanism, a keystone in any evaluation of pretentious un-fun not-particularly-rockin' works of the Cee Twentieth.

Case in point: many albums are overblown and pompous, but not many albums are so obsessed with their own perceived cleverness as to feature a track named Time, whose thematic preoccupations revolve around the passage of said arguably-arbitrary constant and whose PERCUSSION IS MADE ENTIRELY OF TICKING CLOCKS. So the song is called Time - and there's clocks! (Another track, Money, does a similar trick - which is to say, the exact same thing - with cash registers. Cheers for that).

While other works by the Pink Floyds - led by their ringmaster of dondlehammers, a one mister Roger Waters - have continued to produce important advances in the field of dickheadery, few would disagree that the concentrated prism (if you will) of dorkwardliness is Dark Side. It serves as the crystalline triangle of pure gonkery through which all the group's works can be filtered as tangental works of doofism:

- Amused to Death: abysmally-titled bargain-bin staple featuring the almost-musical, nominally-thoughtful What God Wants (a resolutely tuneless romp in which the singer makes semi-coherent arguments against organised religion that are easily the equal of a twelve-year-old's scrawlings on his desk during maths).

- The Division Bell:
disappointingly listenable (well, just) maudlin crap about how communication between people is a different procedure nowadays. (If only there had been philosophical blogging back then, this tragedy may have been averted).

- Pulse
: unmitigated stupidity with approximately eight percent of the media on offer being remotely enjoyable; but containing a blinking red diode!

Point being, then, that just as Roger Waters' adherents tout his career trajectory in terms of musical value, I would suggest that the virtual same trajectory could be plotted along the axis of exactly how much Roger Waters was being a dickhead at the time:

- Dark Side
: musically beloved (due to mass hysteria); hugely dickheaded.

- The subsequent few records: quietly acknowledged as containing musical worth; keep the dondlehammer flag flyin' by containing the line "we're just two lost souls swimmin' in a fishbowl".

- Solo efforts: barely musical; dickheaded only in as much as they're not likeable.

But with his latest effort, Roger Waters is fucking BACK, baby. Playing a set that nobody has a word to say about, Waters lost his pig, didn't even have the decency to blame Homer Simpson, and then, even as his now-shredded faux-porcilith was plummeting, Obama-endorsing belly up (just stop and think of that! A rock festival hires a ridiculous prop and writes "OBAMA" on its belly; the thing plummets into a suburban household; what about that situation do you even need to change to make it into a live-action political cartoon?), WATERS, having explicitly been denied permission to do so, BLANKETS THE NEIGHBORHOOD IN FORTUNE COOKIE-SIZED "VOTE OBAMA" FLIERS. Residents could have been forgiven for thinking it was snowing; but no, this was just Roger Waters doing a good ol' leaflet drop. You know, like if you were in fucking Afghanistan or something.

Don't try and tell me this isn't a man sauntering confidently into his Golden Age. The Obama leaflet drop may have been Waters' very own Time Out of Mind.

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