Thursday, April 9, 2009

dr. buzzard - sunshower

dr. buzzard's original savannah band - sunshower

this is the original that M.I.A. sampled/interpolated. True to its title, it's a heavenly bright and smooth slice of latin-tinged sashay-disco. It makes me want to wash my clothes in Tide bleach and hang them on a clothesline. The chorus is sung by young persons, and if it doesn't melt your little heart, it's truly made of colder stuff than my own. Plus you can never go wrong with field recording / sound effects in your song, here, the sound of a fresh spring rain. The amazement we perpetually have for small children and animals is of course their innocence - it's an edenic innocence, where lack of knowledge means lack of guilt. We are constantly amazed to find the world populated by such guiltless creatures, in part because they remind us that our own psychological burdens are in part the result of the social contract, because we've agreed to be in society and not be unabomber beardos. They remind simply: I am not me, I once was otherwise, I have become this person over time, I could be otherwise again. 

Guilt is the price paid for civilization, and culture circulates around new ways of producing and relieving it. Most often, commercials work by relieving guilt: "indulge yourself!" they say. "you deserve it!" If you deserve it, you can't be guilty. The German word Schuld explains this, because Schuld means guilt and debt: if you are guilty of a crime then you are indebted to society and your punishment is your payment. Guilt also is a side effect of the American dream, and capitalism utilizes this. We Americans are taught that we can become anything we want, and effectively, we should become anything we want. We are at times caught under the auspices of a duty to constantly realize ourselves, and if we don't, it's possible to feel guilty about this - in effect, the experimental open spirit of America, once it becomes a kind of obligation, can overlap with a sort of pre-Hebraic notion of fate and fortune: in the book of Job, it's Jobs jerk-off friends who insist that if he suffers misfortune from God, it's because he deserves it somehow. 

Likewise, in a modern updated version, if you're not fully realizing yourself, then it's your own fault. This guilt can be a consumer guilt as well, of course, it's perhaps the root of one of the greatest drives to buy: to transform, to become, as in those cosmetic commercials that implore you to "discover your inner beauty!" An instance where the perverse inversions of advertising logic reach their greatest intensity: discover or realize your inner beauty by buying things that make you look nicer on the outside. Advertising is about myth-making and story-telling, this doesn't mean it has to lie, at least, it musn't lie anymore than we do all the time, to ourselves, to each other. 

1 comment:

Colin said...

Aww, it truly is the happiest song ever.

Think I like this version rather better than the remix...