Monday, 25 October 2010

Give Me Back my Fucking Toys

This song has been fucking with my mind for the past two weeks and especially throughout today. This time I'm going to post it first and then pontificate about it, because then there's the off-chance you'll actually listen to it. Aside from everything else, it's kind of short:


Lather was thirty years old today,
They took away all of his toys.
His mother sent newspaper clippings to him,
About his old friends who'd stopped being boys.

There was Harwitz E. Green, just turned thirty-three,
His leather chair waits at the bank.
And Seargent Dow Jones, twenty-seven years old,
Commanding his very own tank.

But Lather still finds it a nice thing to do,

To lie about nude in the sand,
Drawing pictures of mountains that look like bumps,
And thrashing the air with his hands.

But wait, oh Lather's productive you know,
He produces the finest of sound,
Putting drumsticks on either side of his nose,
Snorting the best licks in town,

But that's all over...

Lather was thirty years old today,
And Lather came foam from his tongue.
He looked at me eyes wide and plainly said,
Is it true that I'm no longer young?
And the children call him famous,
And the old men call him insane,
And sometimes he's so nameless,
That he hardly knows which game to play...
Which words to say...
And I should have told him, "No, you're not old."
And I should have let him go on...smiling...babywide. 


Onwards then. I'm suddenly less sure of what I wanted to say. Except that I get this; I don't know if I prefer the image of a 30-year-old man having his toys taken away or of him lying about nude in the sand - I understand the importance of this. So I don't really understand why I never live out this idea.

Walking around the campus today I suddenly had the image in my mind of me sitting down on the grass with a box of Duplo. If I actualised that, I'd be so proud of myself I'd probably burst.

I don't want to bore you too much with my vacillations about which subjects to continue studying in the university, but it's worthwhile making the general point that you can either do the sensible thing and study Business Administration or Law or Political Science, or you can go do something interesting and completely pointless like studying literature, or philosophy, or history, or maybe you're one of those weirdos who enjoy physics. So I'm taking philosophy, and discovering (to the surprise of none of my more faithful or recollective readers I'm sure) that I have absolutely no sense of humour about it at all. Secretly, I don't actually think of it as pointless, or irrelevant.

See, it appears to me, that grown-up children like myself have to make a choice at some point - am I going to be serious, or am I going to be alive? It may be necessary to spell out the subtext here, so just in case it is - people tell themselves they've grown out of their childish passions, but it's very obvious that in fact what they've done is died out of them, or, possibly, worse (or at least stupider) - are actively killing themselves out of them a little more each day.

But on the other hand, and as opposed to actual physical children, they can be serious people and devote their time to serious causes, and this really isn't something I take lightly, like most of my artistic heroes seem to (last case in point being the nonetheless very good Adventures of Baron Munchausen). So I think you really gotta do both. As serious a person as I may try to become (today I spoke for a while with a political "student cell" and considered participating in its activities, which felt a little bizarre), it shouldn't prevent me from devoting my time to something stupid. But really stupid this time. An equivalent of duplo or lying about nude in the sand that actually speaks to me. Finding it is my next mission in life. And yours too, for fuck's sake.