Friday, April 06, 2007

Notes on Fame's Elusiveness

With the surreptitious, muted roar of cars and abominable lashing of winds outside, it seems to me the perfect timing for delving into the psychology of the one and only Pete Doherty.
Having recently seen a devastatingly biased documentary about him, I am prone to comment and the sooner, indeed the better.
All the negativism that is showered upon him during the 60-minute film, is instantaneously transformed into Jesus-like praise in the eyes of his flocking fans.
Everything seems to be working in his favour: the ‘I don’t-give-a-fuck’ way in which he conveys himself; his patchy and rustling voice that abstains from any vocal tonality which could be borne of certain quality; as to the rest, well you’ll see…
In any case, what ails me most is the utter clichéd and trivial nature of his appeal.
What is he elevated to such high regard? The drugged-out image typical of a rockstar is all too familiar to us, so why is he so big?
The single, stinking truth finds its foundations insomuch that his image, his appeal is exceedingly well polished; so well in fact, that his worshippers view him as the best songwriter since Lennon.
His sporadic stance is definitely not his personal innovation because it dates back at least 40 or so years ago. Nothing new there then.
The crack, heroine, chain-smoking and all that goes with it, is curiously, not a product of his invention.
The famous, model girlfriend is anything but his own innovative characteristic, and yet he sweeps fame like dust on a genteel coffee-table.
Why is the case as such?
My thinking takes me on the idea of his commonness. He is a man among men and yet these men perceive him as a genius (the only one in contemporary pop-music culture in fact). He is still on the underground side rather than having disposed off quickly of his authenticity by becoming world famous. He is a star without shining too bright a shimmer, which prolongs his celebrity and makes his image sporadic yet elegantly consistent in the public eye.
He is only on the cover of the tabloids when the scandal he initiates is truly massive and deserving of such attention. This maximises the effect and sets out the pattern for the consequences to follow, without being overly exponent to a level which would crucify him in the eventual case. It is as though he really, in actual sense, disregards the effects of his actions but the media, the grand propagator itself, is, in reality, the true manipulator in this debacle of new-age fame. The media loves him and makes caustic use of his taunts but with a cunning method of regulation when it comes to his exposure.

In other words, he is a lean, mean, fame-engrossing machine.

Judging by his lyrics, he seems quite the less of a star but far more realistically, that of a daydreaming teenager, not lacking in sincerity and not appearing as vulgar as 50 Cent. His music does not differ terribly to any current band you can think of and coming back to the lyrics, well, the same goes for them.
He is somehow natural and authentic and from there, stems his unique magnetism.
He does not enforce upon himself the will to be a celebrity because the spotlight itself comes by a way of virtuous nature, on its very own to bless him with the merciless crest of fame.

But I am not here to denounce his talents. No, far from it in fact. But one can so easily recognise him as the man of the hour and yet, all seems so insufficient to cause his eventual downfall i.e. the saturation point for his celebrity persona. Sooner or later, however, people will move onto another Pete Doherty, and thus, time’s tide will indeed, swallow him.
And rather than being on the glorious cross of martyrdom as Lennon forever will be, he will instead be nailed to the invalid ‘charmlessness’ of the model-girlfriend who will naturally follow him.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Favourite

Do listen to Joy Division’s ‘Decades’ and who knows? You might just shed a tear or two.
I would personally recommend the live version which can be found on the album ‘Still’. Although Curtis’ vocals are a bit unclear and at times, even inaudible, the chorus part of ‘Where have they been?’ is a masterpiece of melancholic perfection.
There is so much depth and desperation in his voice, which cannot be sensed to such an extent on the studio version.

The music likewise, although straightforward is hitting all the right, beautiful notes with the background chords tuning up to the frequency of your imagination which corresponds to a battlefield scene where all action is in slow motion.

The lyrics serve hand in glove with the music and the chorus stands out as a peak-point of the song where you are ‘phantomed’ by the vision of an old, abandoned, industrial building in early 80s Manchester with a sinister ambience to surround you and dust to fill your nostrils leaving you breathless by the ‘coughing up’ of the cathartic level of emotion.
Somewhere in between, Curtis’ voice is continuously trembling to initiate a series of earthquakes that could potentially change the arrangement of the tectonic plates which make up your skull and crack open to reveal whatever is trapped inside; a volcano pouring sizzling lava of passionate nostalgia from your heart.
The exact ‘Where have they been?’ chorus chokingly resonating in your mind as you bring yourself to accept compassion and empathy as the narcissistic vortex of selflessness.

As you near the end of the song, the ‘dust’ in your nostrils is far too much for you to bear and so you are left at the open outside on the Siberian tundra to the pack of wolves which rip your insignificant flesh apart with only your angelic spirit surviving.

You find yourself crying. But for whom?
WWII is long over, and so is Joy Division.
For whom then are you crying?