Friday, March 30, 2012

Inside, Outside, Leave Me Alone

What does the video mean to you?

I had always found it a sad song, even when I didn't understand the context.  I saw Quadrophenia once long ago, but I was too young and too much in altered states to grasp the meaning.  Now I must get it through these windows into the innerwebz because I can't get my hands on a copy of the movie...

I've been an outsider many times in my life.  I was welcomed into quite a few tribes, but I could always feel my strangeness, even as those who welcomed me may have as well but did their best to not betray it.

But back to the video.  I discovered it awhile back on YouTube, and it struck me because I now have a son coming of age, and I remember the awkwardness of adolescence.  I love the old world faces on the train, btw.  Veddy veddy mid 20th Century Europe.

Btw, Roger Daltry has to be the greatest rock singer if for no other reason than the fact that he sang not one but two demented but excellent rock operas written by his eccentric but talented guitarist Pete Townsend.


Magpie said...

Love The Who.

The Mod scene was an interesting era. I don't remember it per se, I'm too young, but I remember the look back during the time of this film, and era of Mod Revival.

A very young Ray Winstone - one of my favourite actors - is in it.

And yeah... the awkwardness of adolescence... when a look from a girl could kill you, or put you on a higher cloud than drugs can... depending.

Ducky's here said...

There was a rumor that Criterion has picked up the rights and may issue the film.

It's very similar in tone to a lot of the British "kitchen sink" films of the 60's.

Loneliness of the Log Distance Runner

Billy Liar

Saturday Night,Sunday Morning

Z said...

I felt that outsider feeling living in France and Germany. As well as I did fit in, there was always a feeling that you weren't really from there. "Why should I care?" I did care. It's why I learned their languages, talked to them in their shops, etc.
I love the black/white of this video; textural, thick, really good.
You're right about Roger Daltry.
I'm a Robert Plant fan.

Jersey McJones said...

Oh, do I know that feeling! I moved around so much over the course of my life, I never knew where I really was. Oddly, I felt most comfortable and "at home" among foreigners. Not sure why.


Always On Watch said...

That one fellow in the video looks eerily like Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins).

Silverfiddle said...

I remember reading Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner in High School. I just went and read a quick summary, and I'm sure I didn't pick up on the deeper meaning back then. I may want to reread...

Z: I love the black and white as well. There is a color version out there, but I like this one better.

Ducky's here said...

z, I think the issue here is being alienated in your own country.

Britain thought it had gotten over that post war malaise but it hasn't.

Thatcherism brought it all back.
In film, of course:

Christopher Petit -- Radio On

available and one of the great neglected films of the 80's.

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: You're the one who lamented the lack on non-political posts, and then you go and politicize this one on music.

Some people just can't help being noxious...

Anonymous said...

It illustrates and explains so much, but I wouldn't dare tell you what. It would be no use. Things are too far gone now for that

Oddly reminiscent of The Graduate -- same theme but without Anna Maria Italiano. Also reminds of Darling.

Even more like Kafka.

But much much worse than even that.

Infinitely sad -- and sickening in every regard.

Hieronynous Bosch, here we come!

~ FreeThinke

Leticia said...

I have no doubt many of us felt like "outsiders" I kind of did in Germany, but definitely in high school in the states, which is why I hung out with those that loved metal like me. We banded together and decided to give the finger to the world. Not the best solution.

Even now, I am still into metal, I still wear the jeans and t-shirts, because I am who I am, the only difference is that I finally came to Christ who accepted me as I am.

My boys were looking at me weird the other day because I was playing Foghat, Nazareth, Skynrd, Floyd, Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.

Ducky's here said...

Didn't think it was about music but about film.

Fact is that the theme of alienation in British film has been alive for quite some time. I'd say that artistically it's when they're at their best.

Silverfiddle said...

Regardless, you get my point.

Ever read Orwell's "Such, Such were the Joys," or watch Pink Floyd's "The Wall?"

Tying alienation to one politician is ignorant and provocative. Thank you for poisoning an otherwise non-political topic.

Z said...

Ducky "z, I think the issue here is being alienated in your own country."
I think it's rather alienation wherever you make your home.

Leticia, I was watching Woodstock the other night with my stepson who couldn't believe I could hear the first twang of a guitar riff that opens a tune and knew the song and the artist! Fun, as he looked at his "Old stepmom" with different eyes! I'm not huge into metal but I love hard rock (and loathe when it's played too softly) among the 100 other genres of music I like (probably bad mariachi and any Hawaiian music is at the top of my 'no way' list. Sadly, most mariachi music is played badly>)

Silverfiddle said...

"Sadly, most mariachi music is played badly>)"

It is trite genre here in the US, trivialized and stereotypicalized.

Good mariachi is a beauty to behold, but it must come from the heart.

Z said...

SF, I agree..I have heard some really heart wrenchingly beautiful mariachi music. But NOT OFTEN. And, when it's bad, it's SO BAD :-)

Kid said...

The WHO is the real deal when it comes to music. I'll stack Jim Morrison up against Daltry though.

I love the Rock Opera Tommy.

I like most of there stuff a lot.

Silverfiddle said...

Kid: I agree. My comment about Dalty's singing has to do with the fact that much of the opera stuff was not your standard "yea yea yea" three chord pop stuff.

Tommy is an awesome experience. I watched it with the teens recently and they were impressed. So was I. I hadn't seen it in a long time, and it has held up well with time.

Jersey McJones said...

Leticia, I loooooooooooooooooooove your taste in music! Screw that high-brow crap! Gimme some old school hard rock and metal!!! Do you like Priest too???

These guys don't know what their missing.

I'm not a huge fan of the Who. I actually much prefer their later music to their earlier, more famous stuff, like "Tommy," which I always found a little corny. Daltry has a wonderful voice, though, and it vastly improved over the years. Townsend is interesting. Not my favorite, but I really like some of his compositions.

The Who had such a particular, peculiar, excited-drunk-teenagers-in-the-garage ad-lib style, but when they broke with it a little - "You Better, You Bet," "Join Together," "Love, Reign O'er Me," - they could just be amazing. Without Daltry's voice, however, I don't know if anyone would ever have heard of the others, let alone TV's flying out windows.

And someone compared them to the Doors??? WTF??? What a weird comparison. We're not talking apples and oranges here, we're talking apples and giant squid!


I think The Wall, and really all Pink Floyd music and film, captured everything you're talking about when it comes to the post-war English generations. Dark Side of the Moon is among the most popular albums ever recorded - ever - and it's not because of the poppy choruses! ;) The entire album is a sad psalm of England.


I have been feeling out of place and time here in America for most of my life. I think we're in that malaise, we've been there a long time, we need to recognize it and stop with the "love it or leave it," boring, conservative crap.


viburnum said...

JMJ: " I don't know if anyone would ever have heard of the others"

IDK about that, even if you discount Townshend who wrote most of the tunes, Moon would certainly have shown up somewhere, and Entwhistle is a veritable demigod among bass players.

Silverfiddle said...

John Entwistle is the greatest rock bassist ever.

The man was playing lead.

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: I don't think Kid was making a comparison, just springboarding off the conversation.

And without dragging politics out, I think government at all levels has stolen so much from us. It has gotten so big and so important that we inevitably must argue over it, instead of getting together and playing music, or cards, and not worrying about everybody's politics.

viburnum said...

Agreed on both points SF. And let's hope we don't get fooled again ;-)

Ducky's here said...

Jersey it wasn't unique to the English but it was certainly more overt and the theme entered the "popular" English cinema instead of being contained in "art" cinema as it was elsewhere.

America was a little late to the dance (as usual) until Five Easy Pieces .

The king of alienation though has to be Wim Wenders. It's too bad that Alice in the Cities is only available through Hulu Plus.
Some say it was a tune up for Paris, Texas but I think it's the better film.

Anonymous said...

The dance" you refer to, Ducky, was eloquently described by Poe in The Masque of the Red Death.

Funny how people can be dead and not know it simply because they are still capable of going through motions!

We never recovered from the Second World War. All the "joy" remembered from the immediate postwar period must have been an illusion. In truth the entire world has been busily reinventing and transforming itself for the past hundred years led by the Guiding Genius that gave us Auschwitz.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...



Russell Lynes


Text not available online unless you subscribe to Harper's.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Life is about the journey not the destination.

Anonymous said...

Heaven - Haven: A Nun Takes The Veil

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lilies blow.

And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

On This Island

Look, stranger, on this island now
The leaping light for your delight discovers,
Stand stable here
And silent be,
That through the channels of the ear
May wander like a river
The swaying sound of the sea.

Here at a small field's ending pause
Where the chalk wall falls to the foam and its tall ledges
Oppose the pluck
And knock of the tide,
And the shingle scrambles after the suck-
-ing surf, and a gull lodges
A moment on its sheer side.

Far off like floating seeds the ships
Diverge on urgent voluntary errands,
And this full view
Indeed may enter
And move in memory as now these clouds do,
That pass the harbour mirror
And all the summer through the water saunter.

~ W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

Submitted by FreeThinke

-FJ said...

I guess I got to the party too late...

Sting's 1st movie (Ace Face)

Anonymous said...

____________ Solitude __________

To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude, 'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled.

But midst the crowd, the hurry, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel and to possess,
And roam alone, the world's tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of splendour shrinking from distress!
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
If we were not, would seem to smile the less
Of all the flattered, followed, sought and sued;
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!

~ Lord Byron (1788-1824)

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

___________ The Boombox ___________

Nestled in a quiet glad so still
One could hear a fluttering sparrow’s wing,
Immersed in prayerful thought, I’d like to kill that
Squawking, howling, growling, thumping thing,
Engrossing –– eating up –– my sacred space,
Projecting Social Cancer at my head.
Overtaking prayer it chokes like mace.
Like mace it stings then stuns. My mind, well-fed,
Leaps to battle the Invading Force,
Usurping all my rights to meditate.
The minions of the militantly coarse
Idolize the fiends who violate
Our right to think and feel from deep within
Negating all that’s good with fearful din.

~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper, November 1996

Anonymous said...

Sting is a very gifted guy, FJ, but I liked him far and away the best when he narrated Prokofieff's "Peter and the Wolf" with Claudio Abbado conducting the orchestra.

They made a wonderful video of that performance with fantastic, whimsical puppets satirizing and caricaturing both Sting and Abbado -- as well as the various characters in the narrative.

As old as I am, I'll never cease to wonder why the greatest, most positive and encouraging achievements remain largely unknown and unappreciated while the worst kind of crap imaginable wins wide acclaim from the masses -- and the new breed of "modern" critics, and "educators" who would insist the Emperor was wearing a full suit of magnificently tailored clothes, even as he parades down Main Street freely dropping turds on the pavement while sporting a bobbing hard-on.

It would be risible, if only it weren't so pitiable.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Not too big on Sting but he makes a terrific cameo appearance in Radio On doing an Eddie Cochran number.

Just a terrific film.

Joe Conservative said...

Not to spoil the film, but in the end, Jimmy, the main protagonist rejects the Mods and the fashion du jour...

I've Had enough of discos
I've had enough of pills
I've had enough of street fights
I've seen my share of kills
I'm finished with the fashions
And acting like I'm tough
I'm bored with hate and passion
I've had enough of trying to...

[Echoing scream]

Love, reign o'er me.

ps - and I liked Sting best as Feyd Rautha

Anonymous said...

If you'd like to get way from depression, alienation, and stop reveling in desperation and degradation, try this:

Reminds me of the motto used by Arthur Murray back when he was teaching people how to dance in a hurry from his successful chain of dance studios -- back when Americans still knew how to live:


~ FreeThinke

Joe Conservative said...

I am the sea... a mixture of everything that pours into me.

Joe Conservative said...

ANd thanks for rhe nod towards redemption, FT.

Joe Conservative said...

Anyone up for some cloudbusting... anyone?

Anonymous said...


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there,
_____ of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there,
_____ a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there,
_____ for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where
_____ the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer,
_____ and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet's wings.
I will arise and go now,
_____ for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping
_____ with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway,
_____ or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

~ William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Submitted by FreeThinke

Joe Conservative said...

...but then, what virtues are exhorted these days?

The grail has been lost... and poor Tommy's followers will never be able to understand the answer to Sally Simpson's question... nor will his "followers" find satisfaction in putting on eyeshades, putting in earplugs and inserting corks.

Joe Conservative said...

'Scuze me while I go soak up some sun...

Joe Conservative said...

btw - Almost sounds like a "The Who" riff, duckmeister... ;)

Joe Conservative said...

Bwah! That's funny, FT!

Joe Conservative said... where did my oboe get off to? ;)

Anonymous said...

If you're truly interested in pursuing The Holy Grail, no one has gotten closer to finding it than Richard Wagner in his enormous music drama Parsifal.

Here's the "opening number," though Wagner would never have called it that.

It's very challenging -- like the search for the Object of Veneration, Itself -- but once you surrender to it, this world will never look quite the same to you ever again. You will have glimpsed Something far greater than yourself, and far better than this world for the music will transport you to The Great Beyond. A great stillness develops in you, as you listen and begin to drown yourself in the music. A sense of Peace comes over you, and the world we find so troubling recedes far into the distance, as you draw closer and closer to The Holy Spirit.

~ FreeThinke

viburnum said...

Joe: " ps - and I liked Sting best as Feyd Rautha "

Did someone mention actors chewing the scenery?

Anonymous said...

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

~ Robert Hayden (1913-1980)

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

____________ Picking Berries ____________

Parked beside a lane with lilies lined
Instinct drives us to the fragrant fields
Carrying buckets to our task resigned.
Keeping up with Nature’s bounty yields
In summer morning’s warm, erth-scented mist
Nostalgic sweet refreshment from the soil.
Gleefully we gather berries kissed
By sunshine, plump with rain before they spoil.
Edible, these gems that fill our pails
Remain, once tasted, as a lifelong treat.
Remembrance fond at “Realism” rails.
It knows behind our stated urge to eat,
Each one of us who picks collects delights
Stored to ease the future’s endless nights.

~ FreeThinke, The Sandpiper, June1996

KP said...

SF, what a great thread! There is going to be life after politics and it will be a good life.

<< I've been an outsider many times in my life. I was welcomed into quite a few tribes, but I could always feel my strangeness, even as those who welcomed me may have as well but did their best to not betray it. >>

I am convinced that almost all of us feel like outsiders much of the time. I think it is normal, albeit uncomfortable. It’s part of the human condition. Perhaps that is why we may become attached to things that make us feel okay (friends, family, politics, hobbies, careers, etc).

I have something for you. Taste some of Beirut doing "A Sunday Smile".

They are a really cool mix of Mexican/norteno, Italian funeral and French/francophone, blended with indie pop. Super unique, very entrancing. Waiting for them to play in SD sometime. I guarantee it will make you think.

Anonymous said...


Little things that no one needs ––
Little things to joke about ––
Little landscapes, done in beads.
Little morals, woven out,
Little wreaths of gilded grass,
Little brigs of whittled oak
Bottled painfully in glass;
These are made by lonely folk.

Lonely folk have lines of days
Long and faltering and thin;
Therefore –– little wax bouquets,
Prayers cut upon a pin,
Little maps of pinkish lands,
Little charts of curly seas,
Little plats of linen strands ––
Little verses, such as these.

~ Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

Submitted by FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

That was pretty awesome, KP!

I enjoy off the beaten path stuff like that. I'm going to have to look for more of their stuff.

Anonymous said...

"I am convinced that almost all of us feel like outsiders much of the time. I think it is normal, albeit uncomfortable. It’s part of the human condition."

That's exactly what all the poetry is about, KP –– coping with –– suffering with –– celebrating –– empathizing with –– making good creative use of Solitude –– Peace and Quiet –– Isolation –– Alienation –– Loneliness –– Anxiety –– Depression, etc.

In my never humble opinion there's too much Egoism in the modern world. Somehow we've got it into our heads that it's all about ME all the time.

Other people -- and especially the institutions of Industry, Employers in general, Government, even Lovers and Spouses exist primarily to serve "MY" needs. And when they "fail" me, I howl like a stuck pig, and throw a tantrum demanding MY "rights" and "COMPENSATION" for the "Community" to which I've never belonged and in which I've never felt the slightest interest.

Sorry, but the sources of wisdom from time immemorial have known that "Salvation" could only occur when we free ourselves from the bonds of Selfishness, and learn to become fully engaged and absorbed in the lives of those who need us -- and especially the WORKS -- of those who achieved things greater than we have ever dared dream of doing ourselves.

Only cultivating Curiosity and a growing capacity for experiencing Wonder and taking Delight in the achievements of Others could jog us out of the frustrating, enervating, infuriating and depressing RUT we -- as a society -- have fallen into.

Look UPWARD and OUTWARD as far beyond what you think you already know as possible.

If we're not GROWING, we are DYING.

With all the magnificent stuff there is to learn about and experience, there is no excuse for feeling bored or depressed.

Just because a bunch of assholes in Washington DC and the UN think their bowel movements have no odor, when in fact they are stinking up the entire world, does NOT mean that life is no good anymore.

Just for the record, KP, I think you are one of the people who LEAST needs to hear what I'm trying to say, but your statement inspired this response.

As they used to say on Madison Avenue, "All I can do is send up a flag -- and hope the people will salute it." ;-)

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Our lives are Swiss ––
So still –– so cool ––
Till some odd afternoon
The Alps neglect their curtains --
And we see –– farther on.

Italy stands the other side,
While like a guard between,
The solemn Alps ––
The Siren Alps ––
Forever intervene.

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Submitted by FreeThinke

-FJ said...

The Grail is Freud's "phallus" and Lacan's Objet la petit a...

The inherent conditionn of man forced to navigate the symbollic world in his vain attemptsto rejoin the All...

jez said...

strange to hear all the admiration for Daltry, I never got much out of him myself. I do think Townsend was most ingenious though.

Silverfiddle said...

After law and natural rights, The British Invasion is the greatest gift England has ever given us.

jez said...

You're very welcome. And thank *you* very much for gospel and R&B.

I'm finding ever more to enjoy in country these days but I don't know much about it, do you have anything to recommend? (apologies if that's an inaccurate stereotype, but you are called "silverfiddle" after all!)

Silverfiddle said...

Well... "country and Western" is a huge genre. If you are asking about contemporary country, I know very little about it.

I am a classic country guy, thanks to me sitting on my grand pappy's knee as a little tyke and listening to the oldies.

Bob Wills is still a giant here out west, although he's been dead over 30 years. His music is classified as Western Swing, because it's roots are in 1930's big band, but with guitars, steel guitars and fiddles.

I also love Waylon Jennings (RIP). He was Buddy Holly's bassist, and you can hear the influence in his music, although it is very redneck honky tonk.

Of course, Johnny Cash is the king...

KP said...

Hey, FT, you salty dawg!

I dig yer stuff.

"What is the real game?
It is a game in which the heart is entertained
The game in which you are entertained
It is the game you will win"

KP said...

SF, I am also a fan of Cash. On contemporary country, I do like Montgomery Gentry (Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry). Kentucky guys.

Silverfiddle said...

I've heard Montgomery Gentry and I like them. I'm not dissing modern music, just stating my preferences!

KP said...

In hear you, SF. Memories of sitting on grand pappy's knee rules. Who doesn't want a little bit more of that? A simpler, decluttered life.

jez said...

Thanks, I'll look into those old fellas -- Buddy Holly was great so I'll start with Jennings.

I have one of Cash's last albums, which is brilliant but you have to be in a pretty tough mood to take it. His discography's so big, any standouts in your opinions?

I realise that country is so huge that my question was almost stupid. So I'll explain what really whetted my country appetite was stumbling across Keith Richards moaning his way through some George Jones tunes while he was awaiting a drugs trial in the 70s: "say it's not you" is just the most gorgeous song. Also, I keep hearing bluegrass these days which is really good fun & a novelty to my ears.

Silverfiddle said...

No worries. I wasn't calling your question stupid...

Cash's later work, while very deep, is also depressing. His wheelhouse was probably mid 60's-mid 70's.

Old bluegrass is also excellent, which has its roots in the Scots-Irish immigrants who skipped over the eastern seaboard and settled in the Appalachian mountains.

This is where YouTube can be useful. You can search out all these songs and give a listen before buying anything.

Joe Conservative said...