What’s the worst that could happen?
September 12, 2017 5:00 PM   Subscribe

 
Plenty of people saw the wall their first time on acid and didn't turn into such menaces.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 5:10 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


All you have to do is see it through the eyes of a Russian, man...
posted by Laotic at 5:21 PM on September 12


!!!!!

IS THIS REAL
posted by latkes at 5:26 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Also, The Wall is a terrible movie. My daughter, 15 tomorrow, is really into listening to the Wall right now and my eyes keep rolling around in my head at how much Roger Waters is afraid of women.
posted by latkes at 5:27 PM on September 12 [33 favorites]


I'd like to request the timeline where Vlad insisted they go see Grease 2 while tripping balls, please.
posted by duffell at 5:29 PM on September 12 [29 favorites]


Now all the pieces fit and I absolutely understand everything.
posted by Oyéah at 5:34 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Well, that was really good.
posted by killdevil at 5:34 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Also, The Wall is a terrible movie. My daughter, 15 tomorrow, is really into listening to the Wall right now and my eyes keep rolling around in my head at how much Roger Waters is afraid of women.

THE EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COURT
IS INCONTROVERTIBLE
THERE'S NO NEED FOR THE JURY TO RETIRE
THE WAY YOU MADE THEM SUFFER YOUR EXQUISITE WIFE AND MOTHER
FILLS ME WITH THE URGE TO DEFECATE
SINCE, MY FRIEND, YOU HAVE REVEALED YOUR DEEPEST FEARS
I SENTENCE YOU TO BE EXPOSED BEFORE YOUR PEERS
posted by Sebmojo at 5:41 PM on September 12 [12 favorites]


wow
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:53 PM on September 12


Also, The Wall is a terrible movie. My daughter, 15 tomorrow, is really into listening to the Wall right now and my eyes keep rolling around in my head at how much Roger Waters is afraid of women.
--latkes

One of the fondest memories of my college love was seeing The Wall with friends at our university's student center and she began snickering during the scene in which Pink? sits among the debris of a room he has destroyed.

"He deserves it," she whispered.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 5:54 PM on September 12 [11 favorites]


Huh, I thought this post was ostensibly about Vladimir Putin, but apparently it was just a springboard for folks to take a shit on Roger Waters.

My bad.
posted by sutt at 6:08 PM on September 12 [15 favorites]


IS THIS REAL

No. But it's good.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:08 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


IS THIS REAL

There's this exchange in the comments:
In 1982, Putin was 30. That kid in the photo is not 30. Is this meant to be fiction? - brainwave

Before I answer that, as an author, I’m dying to know, did you read it? - freewayblogger

[...]

I now have. Good story. - brainwave

Thanks a lot… I know it’s a bit odd, but it feels so liberating to write about something besides putting signs on freeways. - freewayblogger

Very good story. But, you didn't say, is true? - Duster


Yes. Except for the part about Vladimir Putin. - freewayblogger
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:10 PM on September 12 [31 favorites]


idontbelieveyou.gif
posted by resurrexit at 6:26 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Yes. Except for the part about Vladimir Putin. - freewayblogger

Oh cool we needed more self mythologizing stories from old hippie dudes about how their time spent sleeping with people and getting high and listening to music was just super important in ways that nobody else could understand, that Putin stuff just got in the way.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:33 PM on September 12 [43 favorites]


Eh, I enjoy Pink Floyd and I especially enjoyed them and thought The Wall was insightful as a teen. The movie of The Wall is a pivotal aspect of this article, in specific it's "message", which, with time, I have come to regard as quite immature and misogynist, which is unsurprising given Roger Waters time period. I don't mean to shit on him or those who still enjoy his work, but the childish anti woman message of The Wall is pretty core to this piece.
posted by latkes at 6:34 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


I've been telling you fuckers this for years: IT'S ALL ROGER WATERS FAULT!!

Gotta say, tho, I'd have pegged Vlad as more of a "Peace Frog" guy.

Lately I've been looking for a new style icon and I'm more and more thinking it should be fat Jim Morrison.

I wish fucking Vlad had been eaten by some of the frog people I once encountered on acid.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:36 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Speaking of The Wall--based on this short clip (from the UK edition of The Voice), I would like to hear Cody Frost cover the entire album, her voice and singing style would be a great fit. Also, apropos of nothing, I adore her "look" in this clip.
posted by maxwelton at 6:40 PM on September 12


Speaking of The Wall-- leave it to Luther Wright
posted by ovvl at 7:00 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


...I thought the point of The Wall was that Pink was the baddie who did the wrongos.
posted by KChasm at 7:28 PM on September 12 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah, if at all possible, don't watch The Wall while tripping on acid - it's almost like the movie was made to deliberately fuck with you, it is not a good time.
posted by Veritron at 7:52 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


My partner performed in a version of the Wall, live on stage with Dave Gilmour. Somewhat antithetically it turns out that you did need a quite pricey private education to access this opportunity .
posted by biffa at 7:53 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


Wait, so this article is about neither Jim Morrison nor Vladimir Putin, but about Roger Waters instead?

See, this is why I read the comments first.
posted by yhbc at 8:24 PM on September 12 [12 favorites]


I can't deal with this shit right now, I am having a hard enough time figuring out what is real just reading the news
posted by bq at 8:32 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


Plenty of people saw the wall their first time on acid and didn't turn into such menaces.

Yes, but there's only a select few of us who saw it while on acid and busking the streets of Paris as an undercover KGB agent casing for a planned political assassination.

God, sometimes I look at Vlad and think "There, but for the Grace of God go I..."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:41 PM on September 12 [10 favorites]


I was puzzled by the line "I bought two sheets of blotter on Telegraph".
A google possibly points at Telegraph Avenue, would that be right?
posted by unliteral at 8:43 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Yeah, unliteral, Telegraph Avenue is like the main drag of Berkeley, CA, where all the hippies lived. Oh wait i thought the hippies lived in Haight-Ashbury. I don't know, I'm a punk. But yeah. Anyway I think all the rich people live there now.
posted by capnsue at 8:48 PM on September 12


Haight was the epicenter of cultural hippies (flower children), Berkeley was political hippies.
posted by rhizome at 8:58 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


No, the rich people in Berkeley don't live on Telegraph. Telegraph is a sad shell of what it once was—a few legacy headshops and (very good) record stores, but mostly empty storefronts, a few drab boutiques, and some restaurants full of undergrads swilling bad beer. Downtown Berkeley is much more vibrant. But once upon a time, yes, Telegraph (or maybe People's Park) would have been where one would go to buy acid.
posted by pleasant_confusion at 8:58 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Heh.

I might have heard about a guy that bought a sheet on Telegraph who might have given it to his Australian roommate at the time who might have mailed it to his sister in Melbourne. That sister might have mailed the half sheet left over a few months later to the first guy's roommate when he moved to Paris. Later, when roommate moved to Beirut, he may have mailed the now quarter sheet back to his sister in Melbourne who by this time was married with kids and didn't want it around so she mailed it to the original buyer who then lived in the Haight. That original guy might kinda aged out of the whole acid thing but carried around that quarter sheet to grad school, Med school, residency back and forth across the country and perhaps he ended up by random happenstance living in the same city as Original Australian roommate.

Minus a few doses traded at Burning Man, a few doses regretfully taken on camping trips, this original guy I know might have 4 tabs left sitting in an envelope in a file labeled "personal stuff" and he might be planning to give these 4 squares of paper, each marked with a tiny mushroom cloud, to his friend on his 50th birthday which is coming up, a full 30 years after they were originally purchased.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:54 PM on September 12 [46 favorites]


I thought that LSD had a really poor shelf life? Still working after more than 20 years?
posted by Meatbomb at 10:13 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Funny, I watched The Wall last night for some reason. I think it had been in my head since that ranking of pink floyd songs FPP a couple weeks back, where I thought it was dumb that the guy just bitched about royalties and said Animals was dumb. I dunno, there's good moments of it, the misogyny really stuck out for me this time, but maybe because I'm old and have been like married and shit forever, but a lot of the brooding seemed particularly dumb and selfish.

Anyway, yeah, this read like an old hippie reminiscing about backpacking through Europe 40 years ago and i dunno? Making a farcical story about how he got laid. I'm not really down with "humanizing" Putin.

Also, even with the obvious counter-factuals, spies don't tell people that they are spies. That's like rule #1. Even if they are super best bud astral plane travelers and stuff.

I've lived in San Francisco about 10 years, and I was reading this going "god, people from San Francisco have always been insufferable."
posted by lkc at 10:22 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I'm told that blotter shelf life varies a lot with the original quality of the acid and how well it's been stored. Even with the best storage, 30 years on it's almost certainly not what it once was, but then, so few among us are.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:31 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


The album by itself is 10x better than the movie, but it's by no means a PF masterpiece (not even top 5). Frankly, the "urge to defecate" bit and "One of My Turns" could very well be the only appearances of women in PF's oevure as far as I'm aware, but I haven't really thought about it until now and it's kind of weird because it might be pretty close to the truth.
posted by rhizome at 10:55 PM on September 12


Was secretly hoping that this wonderful shaggy dog story would find the narrator and Vlad, at the peak of their acid trip, work their way up to the rooftop of well-known fancy hotel, regale their conversation a la My Dinner with Andre, and just simply end with...

"And that's the story of Putin on The Ritz."
posted by billder at 10:58 PM on September 12 [30 favorites]


[fake]
posted by glonous keming at 11:38 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


my eyes keep rolling around in my head at how much Roger Waters is afraid of women.

God forbid that a man of 1979 publicly reflect on his personal experience coping with the dramatically changing gender roles of that time.
posted by fairmettle at 11:45 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


So, I thought the message of The Wall is about the horror of war and how it kills family members and loved ones and disrupts lives and casts children into a state where they don't have healthy emotional interactions with people anymore.

That's how Waters feels about his own life, and he's worked really really hard across decades to make personal progress on those fronts. I suspect many of the albums in the Pink Floyd catalog, along with being insightful social commentary and brilliant pieces of music, are also Waters working through his shit in various ways.

It's obvious that The Wall is this, including the album and the film and the concert presentations across the decades. The most recent version of the live presentation is the one that I saw in person and it was deeply moving in a way I wasn't expecting.

I first encountered The Wall (album) when it was released in 1979, and it grabbed me deeply and I listened to nothing else for probably 3-4 months before I started to burn out on it. I was a troubled, bullied gay kid who felt the world was full of negative messages about me and negative attitudes and actions toward me. I don't think I was wrong, actually. I was bullied a LOT as a kid, and went through a lot of difficult emotional circumstances because how the majority of the world worked didn't jibe with how I felt it should work. It was an instructional and cathartic experience in my life to have The Wall come along right at the beginning of my adolescence. It's an album I haven't been far away from for nearly 40 years.

The movie.... is not something I feel compelled to take in often, not even regularly, not even frequently. I saw it a couple of times when it came out in the theater, and both times I was left with a really dark, black mood for days afterward. After it came out on VHS I bought a copy, but I only watched it once or twice. I saw it once on an Omnimax screen with additional laser elements projected over the film stoned out of my mind, but meh. It is just a movie that affects me badly.

I'm quite fond of Waters' work in general. Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking is a fascinating study in long-form music that is basically classical in structure. Radio K.A.O.S was one of the strangest tours I've ever seen, and the album has the song Home which I love so so so so much. Amused To Death is brilliant end to end, and it is one of the best recorded albums I have ever heard.

I have not yet heard Is This The Life We Really Want?.
posted by hippybear at 1:05 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


Metafilter: Yes, except for the part about Vladimir Putin.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:37 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


I AM CONVINCED BY THIS
WOKE UP SHEEPLE
posted by chavenet at 3:09 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I might have heard about a guy that bought a sheet on Telegraph who might have given it to his Australian roommate at the time who might have mailed it to his sister in Melbourne....

This is the best Flat Stanley story ever.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:06 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


I got to know an old school hippie when I was at Cal who showed me how he always kept a 10-strip in his wallet "just in case" and every once in a while I think back and wonder...in case of what?
posted by juv3nal at 5:21 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


You never know when you'll need to be paranoid and also have too many things in your hands, how did all this stuff get in your hands, what do you do with your hands
posted by middleclasstool at 5:48 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Having seen the video of Putin singing Blueberry Hill, my skepticism about this story kicked in around the fourth paragraph.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:11 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


So, I thought the message of The Wall is about the horror of war and how it kills family members and loved ones and disrupts lives and casts children into a state where they don't have healthy emotional interactions with people anymore.

I'm sure that that was the intention, but it got overwhelmed by Waters' egotism. I still like The Wall quite a lot, but I was seriously disappointed in The Final Cut, in no small part because it was really a Roger Waters solo album with a few contributions by his soon-to-be-former bandmates; I was not at all surprised when he did an interview not long after he left the band declaring that there was no Floyd without him. (When he did his huge The Wall concert in Berlin, he invited a bunch of celebrities, but not his former bandmates.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:33 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


FWIW I saw Roger when he came through on this latest tour and it was amazing. Yeah, he has a lot of blind spots, as do we all. I don't refer to the PF discography when looking for anything other than existentialist jams or good uses of foley in a musical setting.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:39 AM on September 13


I'm sure that that was the intention, but it got overwhelmed by Waters' egotism.

Which was precisely the point of the whole damn thing.
posted by sutt at 6:42 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


So, there's essentially two types of Floyd fans : those who prefer the 1967-1973 material, and then there's everyone else. If you prefer their older stuff, you probably have owned at least one bootleg (or several, or hundreds), you have strong opinions about Atom Heart Mother (with orchestra or sans), you have at least one Syd Barrett bad trip story committed to memory, and chances are, you probably don't love The Wall.

You can probably guess what camp I fall into.

Don't get me wrong, it's got some great songs on it. But by that point, the band wasn't really collaborating a whole lot anymore, as Roger had completely taken over the band. Rick Wright wasn't even a full member of the band anymore, and musically speaking, they weren't terribly adventurous anymore. The movie I think hasn't aged very well -- it comes off as something written for a different generation. I mean, oh, poor widdle rich privileged rock star, must be so terrible having everybody love you and want to sleep with you and give you money. Yeah, life really sucks. Also, isn't there a scene where he freaks out and threatens to beat up a groupie with his guitar? Yeah I'm pretty sure I remember that.

I would love it if the three remaining band members got back together and did a bunch of their early psychedelic stuff, but I kinda doubt that will ever happen, especially now that Rick is gone. As it is, I skipped Roger's latest tour because I listened to his recent album and his voice sounds kinda beat to shit. Although I definitely respect him for what he's doing, advocating for good causes and peace and such.

I love the fact that he openly hates Trump so much. Man, that must really smart, knowing that one of the best songwriters of your generation hates your fucking guts. I mean, that's like having Bill Murray hate you. You Know You've Done Something Wrong.
posted by panama joe at 6:49 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


I suspect many of the albums in the Pink Floyd catalog ... are also Waters working through his shit in various ways

Which is precisely the problem I have with so much of Waters stuff. Work out your shit with your therapist, not with your audience. And if you absolutely must work out your shit with your audience, then try to do it in ways that are less fatuously maudlin than The Wall.

I mean, not to go all Jerry-Pournelle-has-died here, but there are few records which make me think worse of myself, the musicians, and everyone else in the world, than The Wall. It is a bad record and it makes me feel bad.

Mostly with Pink Floyd I stop with The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, which I genuinely love, but I can follow them through Ummagumma*. Beyond that their morosities start to feel not worth the effort.

*As Xgau once said, it is an admirable record to fall asleep to.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:55 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


From a quick look at Putin's Wikipedia page - there is not a hell of a lot in there to indicate any kind of life outside being in the KGB and working his way up political greasy poles. Except that we learn he was passionate about speaking German and doing judo. Probably not a "Catch the Wind" kind of guy.
posted by rongorongo at 7:01 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I love the fact that he openly hates Trump so much.

To Waters' credit, that counts for a lot.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:02 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I think it had been in my head since that ranking of pink floyd songs FPP a couple weeks back

Also, can somebody please post a link to this FPP? I feel like it would make for some amusing reading on my subway ride home.
posted by panama joe at 7:03 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I was taken to see The Wall while I was deathly ill. Beautifully filmed. I was impressed with all the animations of really hostile flowers, and the intense WWI scenes. I had to ask to be taken home. I haven't been able to make myself sit and watch the entire film since.
I liked Pink Floyd's music before the movie and found I just didn't feel the same about it afterward.

The story this guy had about Putin is a brilliantly written put on.
That in and of itself is a very Old School hippy thing to do,
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:31 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


I dearly loved The Wall back when I was young and chronically morose, and I still admire it today as perhaps the grandest expression of That Thing Where the Troubled Artist Bares His Tortured Soul.
I find the way Roger Waters managed to make World War 2 all about him to be particularly admirable in its brazen excess.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 8:19 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


I'm a big fan of using creative projects in lieu of therapy, but for me as a woman, the ways a lot of men reflect on their personal experience of relationships and coping with dramatically changing gender roles is essentially indistinguishable from overt and deliberate misogyny.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:46 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


Frankly, the "urge to defecate" bit and "One of My Turns" could very well be the only appearances of women in PF's oevure as far as I'm aware, but I haven't really thought about it until now and it's kind of weird because it might be pretty close to the truth.

There's also this:
Bus stop rat bag, ha ha charade you are.
You fucked up old hag, ha ha charade you are.
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass.
You're nearly a good laugh,
Almost worth a quick grin.
You like the feel of steel,
You're hot stuff with a hatpin,
And good fun with a hand gun.
You're nearly a laugh,
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

posted by TedW at 9:30 AM on September 13


(The older Syd Barrett songs have additional references to women which are less misogynistic)
posted by TedW at 9:33 AM on September 13


There's plenty of Floyd songs of complaint and lament about an unnamed 'you' that one presumes are superficially about relationships with women, even if the sentiments are basically universal.
A bunch of stuff on The Division Bell comes to mind.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:38 AM on September 13


God forbid that a man of 1979 publicly reflect on his personal experience coping with the dramatically changing gender roles of that time.

I feel like a film that includes pearls such as a monster flower vagina eating him alive is not accurate, constructive, or even useful enough to be considered valuable in terms of gender role history.

He decided to make his toxic assumptions public, and we draw our conclusions as spectators.

I mean, even he has admitted that he was prejudiced and wrong about his gender perceptions at the time. We have a right to be bothered by them, even if we think he's a great musician.
posted by Tarumba at 9:44 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


TedW those Pink Floyd lyrics from Pigs are about Mary Whitehouse the politician. Maybe you already knew that.
For other PF songs about women see:
Stay
Summer 68
Cymbaline
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:00 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


I feel like a film that includes pearls such as a monster flower vagina eating him alive is not accurate, constructive, or even useful enough to be considered valuable in terms of gender role history.

Lighten up, it's just art. Some beautiful animation to be precise.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:02 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Lighten up, it's just art. Some beautiful animation to be precise.

Don't tell me to lighten up.

Don't tell me how to react to art.

Don't tell me to disregard misogyny because it looks pretty.
posted by Tarumba at 10:18 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


And so, funny story about Putin...
posted by sutt at 10:22 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Don't tell me to lighten up.

Don't tell me how to react to art.

Don't tell me to disregard misogyny because it looks pretty.


Ahh......Metafilter.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:27 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Lighten up, it's just art. Some beautiful animation to be precise.

You can dress it up with animation, but the ugliness of misogyny still comes through and ruins the experience.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:31 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


"Lighten up," the phrase most or least apropos to a discussion of The Wall?
posted by octobersurprise at 10:40 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


'Lighten up' is close to precisely the wrong thing to say there.
Extending the benefit of the doubt suggests they would lighten up and enjoy if they could, and that's (some of) what sucks about it.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:42 AM on September 13


The Judge ruled in favor of the mom and ex-wife; what more do you want? He even said they were exquisite.
posted by thelonius at 10:42 AM on September 13


You can dress it up with animation, but the ugliness of misogyny still comes through and ruins the experience.

Not for me. And countless other people who can view it as a visceral piece of gorgeous animation within context of the story ( while not being misogynists ).
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:44 AM on September 13


I once heard "The Happiest Days of our Lives" playing in a supermarket. Nothing like shopping for avocados while "but in the town/it was well known/when they got home at night/their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them within inches of their lives" is humming the background. What a terrible album "The Wall" is.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:47 AM on September 13


From another, more genial, forum conversation elsewhere on the tubes:

"we should remember that this album/movie is the story of a fictional character who is very disturbed if not actually insane, and we should therefore not entirely trust his representations of the character of women or anyone or anything else in his story."

To me, the ending of The Wall (as thelonius mentions above) seems to vindicate this interpretation.

To frame it in a way that might resonate today, I see The Wall as the story of the origins of a Richard Spencer-type, who happens to be charismatic enough to gain a following from his music, whose self-isolation leads to jealousies and hatreds, coming to a head in drug-induced fantasies of fascism, but ending with a brief glimpse of some sort of redemption after a breakdown.

I don't believe there's any glorification of this behavior in The Wall, but rather an unflinching view of it.

From what I've read, the Wall came about in direct response to Roger's reflection on his own behavior (specifically, when he spat on a fan during the Animals tour), which also lends credence to the interpretation that this is a rumination on fame and the consequences of an ego unchecked.

(And yeah, I think you can still be an egotist while at the same time recognizing this failing in yourself.)
posted by sutt at 10:53 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


I once heard "The Happiest Days of our Lives" playing in a supermarket

Surely, "Comfortably Plum" is more suited to the produce section.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:56 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


sutt , I agree mostly. It's so clearly not a glorification of the character or his behavior. The dark stuff within it seems appropriately terrifying, surreal, and bleak since it's basically showing the process of his mental breakdown.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:00 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Anyway, yeah that's not Putin.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:04 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


This whole discussion of The Wall is kind of funny because the original post is all about 60s/70s era masculine tropes. Screwing Babette and tripping around Paris and Jim Morrison. I think the author is having some fun making fun of this style masculinity which blends surprisingly well with Putin death squad style masculinity, in the world he built here.
posted by latkes at 11:05 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


The Judge ruled in favor of the mom and ex-wife; what more do you want? He even said they were exquisite.


I don't know that a literal talking asshole is exactly a character witness. Pointing to a redemptive arc or nitpicking is necessary: its legit to view the piece and to a larger extent Water's body of work as misogynist. Whether you agree or not, its unbecoming to shove your worldview down a disagreer's throat and try to prove them wrong.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:06 AM on September 13


Yeah, I mean the maneating vaginaflower thing is problematic for sure, but I have a much bigger problem with the scene where he brings home a groupie and then proceeds to threaten her and trash the place. I mean, that's actual assault. And we're supposed to sympathize with him after that?
posted by panama joe at 11:12 AM on September 13


And we're supposed to sympathize with him after that?

No. Again, this is precisely the point. Nothing that he does is justified by his upbringing and his fame. But lack of justification doesn't imply lack of (at least some) causality.

To my mind, he doesn't become sympathetic until the final frame, when he finally makes a move toward a different path.

Sounds like a book many will be familiar with, but I'm not even gonna open that can of worms.
posted by sutt at 11:17 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Let the record state that The Wall is a garbage album by a garbage person, and should be consigned to the landfill of history.
posted by acb at 11:22 AM on September 13


Yeah, I mean the maneating vaginaflower thing is problematic for sure, but I have a much bigger problem with the scene where he brings home a groupie and then starts to threaten her and trash the place. I mean, that's actual assault. And we're supposed to sympathize with him after that?

The dude's a crumbling basket case. That's the point! It's scary! He's no one to get to close to. ( and technically I don't think he wanted the groupie there- she followed him ).
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:22 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Let the record state that The Wall is a garbage album by a garbage person, and should be consigned to the landfill of history.

Along with that opinion.
posted by sutt at 11:23 AM on September 13


I see The Wall as the story of the origins of a Richard Spencer-type, who happens to be charismatic enough to gain a following from his music, whose self-isolation leads to jealousies and hatreds, coming to a head in drug-induced fantasies of fascism, but ending with a brief glimpse of some sort of redemption after a breakdown.

You aren't wrong here, that is exactly the story. But the story of a whining, mewling, fascist-might be Mama's boy with whom we aren't supposed to identify isn't any more appealing than the story of a whining, mewling, fascist-might be Mama's boy with whom we are. I don't care if he GOT BETTER because there's never a reason to care about him in the first place.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:29 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


[One deleted; wow let's not open the for-some-reason--apparently-irresistible topic of whether Taylor Swift is any good.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:31 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Hmmmm yeah, I dunno. I think we're supposed to feel sorry for him pretty much throughout the movie. Sure, he's a basket case, but ... at any point does he take any responsibility for himself? I think the whole thing is all "look what the world did to me!" I mean, isn't that the whole idea of "it's just another brick in the wall" or "they're all just bricks in the wall?"

I mean, I don't think the whole thing is garbage, and I think Roger Waters is a good person who supports good things and has brought happiness to many. I just think The Wall hasn't aged well. Attitudes back then towards gender and other things were just ... wrong.

Also, I really do think it was written for a different generation. I think my generation is a lot more critical about things like privilege. Also, we live in a world where few of us will ever be as financially successful as our parents. And we see someone like Pink or Jack Nicholson's character in Five Easy Pieces, and we just don't see them as sympathetic. We're like, "you're privileged, I don't feel bad for you." I just think it's not a narrative we really relate to.
posted by panama joe at 11:31 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


(tangent)

I thought that it was cool that they did a stating of "The Wall" in Berlin when That Wall came down, and Van Morrison singing on "Comfortably Numb" was pretty sweet.

(closer to topic)

I saw The Wall while stone sober and wasn't sure whether this helped or hindered the experience.

(on-topic)

According to his bio, Putin was still in training in Leningrad in 1982 so no.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


We're like, "you're privileged, I don't feel bad for you." I just think it's not a narrative we really relate to.

Do you really dismiss any movie where a character is allegedly "privileged" ( which is guess means white male) or just this one? Humans are complex beings you know? Even "privileged" ones.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:38 AM on September 13


I mean, there's "privileged" and there's "rockstar privileged."

Anyway, I dunno, maybe I'm not doing a good job of putting this idea into words. I feel like "sympathize with this poor unfortunate soul who's been burdened with privilege and has too much of everything" is kind of a theme in baby boomer entertainment. And it's just not a narrative that I think speaks to my generation.
posted by panama joe at 11:45 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


When "The Wall" came out, it was the absolute apex of concept-album-as-art rock-star-navelgazing era. You had "Tommy" and "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" and "The Wall" and the comically bad "Killroy Was Here" - each of with dealt, in one way or another, with being a rock star. Each band that attempted this, with the exception of The Who, broke up shortly afterwards, because it took an especially insufferable type of egotistical blowhard with Grand Ambitions to bring something like that to fruition, and very few collaborative creative endeavors can endure that.

So, in that context, that "The Wall" is an ironically un-self-aware, bloated and pretentious meditation on the toxicity of fame is unsurprising, because it was de rigeur at that time. It has since been retooled to be less about fame and more about authoritarian regimes, which is good.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:48 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


The more I think about it, the more I think we need a general moratorium on songs about musicians, movies about actors, and books about writers. It's like jeez, could ya go just a little outside your comfort zone?
posted by panama joe at 11:51 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


WRT "rockstar privileged", there's also a tradition of sorts of writing songs ("Beth", "Home Sweet Home", "Turn the Page") about what a burden it is to be on the road; groupies and drugs are seldom mentioned. Joe Walsh's "Life's Been Good" is a grand pisstake on all of these.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:52 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I feel like "sympathize with this poor unfortunate soul who's been burdened with privilege and has too much of everything"

Well, like it's been said here a few times, He's purposely not a sympathetic character in the sense that we are meant to relate to him or hope he improves necessarily. I think it's more of a depiction of his breakdown set to music and animation. It's a gory over-the-top spectacle.

And the theme of " "sympathize with this poor unfortunate soul who's been burdened with privilege and has too much of everything"" shouldn't be thrown out necessarily in my option. It's a timeless story not just boomer one. You might learn something from it, that's what Siddartha was. The person who is truly jaded and burned out can rebuild in a way that no one else can. Assuming they do rebuild them self in a better way.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:54 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


I think we're supposed to feel sorry for him pretty much throughout the movie. Sure, he's a basket case, but ... at any point does he take any responsibility for himself? I think the whole thing is all "look what the world did to me!" I mean, isn't that the whole idea of "it's just another brick in the wall" or "they're all just bricks in the wall?"

Yeah, the story appeals, IME, for the same reasons that Ender's Game appeals. It trades on the tortured-but-brilliant-outsider trope, the glamorous asshole, the person who behaves antisocially, but who either "gets better" or acts badly in the higher cause of art or personhood, or some other code. It's really just the flipside of the "reformed bad boy" trope beloved of paperback romances.

I mean, oddly, the guy in The Wall is pretty much Donald Trump: a wildly successful person who lives tortured and embittered by the knowledge that someone, somewhere doesn't feel sorry for everything he has.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:57 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


When "The Wall" came out, it was the absolute apex of concept-album-as-art rock-star-navelgazing era. You had "Tommy" and "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" and "The Wall" and the comically bad "Killroy Was Here" - each of with dealt, in one way or another, with being a rock star.

Not to mention Jesus Christ, Superstar (1970) -- a year after Tommy was released on LP, but before the movie.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:45 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


The person who is truly jaded and burned out can rebuild in a way that no one else can. Assuming they do rebuild them self in a better way.

Even granting that this is true, there's none of this in The Wall. The Judge orders The Wall torn down at the end, but the focus of nearly everything that comes before is on the jaded part. Siddartha lived as an ascetic and struggled to purify his mind. What we get in The Wall is a lot of moaning about being loved either too little or too much, alienation, and the tough life of successful rock star.

I mean, I joke about him a lot, but I'm not aware of Roger Waters being a uniquely horrible person or that he is, in fact, any worse than your average successful, wealthy, rock star dude. But whatever admirable qualities there might be in the rest of his life or career, the fact remains that The Wall is an unpleasant story about a really toxic guy. I think you can (just barely) defend it as a cautionary tale, but to do so you've got to admit that the guy is as toxic as people are saying.

(And, yeah, panama joe gets it exactly right: as poorly-considered as the project might've been at the time, it's only come to look worse with the years. The patience an audience might've had with the story back in the day has almost entirely evaporated since then.)

On topic: the Daily Kos story, btw, was delightful.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:01 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


When "The Wall" came out, it was the absolute apex of concept-album-as-art rock-star-navelgazing era. You had "Tommy" and "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" and "The Wall" and the comically bad "Killroy Was Here" - each of with dealt, in one way or another, with being a rock star.

Also: 2112, about the trials of being a rock star in a sci-fi world he never made. Also also I gotta say that as dumb as it is, I love "Mr. Roboto" unreservedly and this is the only commercial that ever made me squeal with glee the first time I saw it.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:23 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


2112 has the advantage of being relatively brief, though it does include this cringe-worthy turn of phrase:

What can this strange device be?
When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
It’s got wires that vibrate, and give music
What can this thing be that I found?

posted by grumpybear69 at 1:28 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I also loved "Mr. Roboto" for a long time, until I gave it a critical listen and realized that the production is intensely lazy in a set-and-forget sort of way.

Oh, and also that the underlying story is exceedingly racist, though I'm certain that at the time they believed they were merely expressing the national concern around pre-crash Japanese economic dominance.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:37 PM on September 13


Every time a thread like this comes around, where people give their interpretations of a work of music or literature, I'm astounded by how vastly different other people's interpretations are to my own. The Wall is meant to be sympathetic to Pink's plight? 2112 is about a rock star? Not even close to what I got out of them
posted by rocket88 at 1:55 PM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Well, to be fair, 2112 is about a guy in the far distant fascist future who discovers an old electric guitar and realizes he can use it to become a rock star to overthrow his enslavers and liberate the people.

I've never really understood what's over-the-top navelgazing about that record.

It's true that the lyrics were written by a young glue sniffing gutter rat bumming around Toronto in a mullet by the name of Vladimir Putin.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:02 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


TedW those Pink Floyd lyrics from Pigs are about Mary Whitehouse the politician. Maybe you already knew that.

Mary Whitehouse the morality campaigner (not an actual politician) was mentioned directly in the third verse of Pigs (three different ones). The second "hot stuff with a hatpin" Pig quoted above is unnamed, but the internet peoples tend to think its Margaret Thatcher, who was a politician.

People reacting to animated flower-vaginas should probably direct their disdain at Gerald Scarfe rather than Roger Waters.
posted by Sparx at 7:59 PM on September 13


I mean, oddly, the guy in The Wall is pretty much Donald Trump: a wildly successful person who lives tortured and embittered by the knowledge that someone, somewhere doesn't feel sorry for everything he has.

"Mother, should I run for president?...."Mother, should I build the wall?"

(I remember going to a nightclub in the south of Chile, early 90s, where they would play the 3/4 middle section of "Mother" at closing time - a lovely last dance for anybody who doesn't understand or listen to lyrics; time to clear out fast for anybody who does. But that was "The Wall" in general.)
posted by rongorongo at 12:21 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Related: I was performing an experiment. I wanted to see [how] one of the greatest minds in history would be affected by an experience he had never had before: imbibing a suitable dose of clinical LSD in a desert setting of great magnificence, and then adding to that various kinds of entertainment. From "Michel Foucault in Death Valley" (Boom California)
posted by chavenet at 1:09 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Well, to be fair, 2112 is about a guy in the far distant fascist future who discovers an old electric guitar and realizes he can use it to become a rock star to overthrow his enslavers and liberate the people.

I've never really understood what's over-the-top navelgazing about that record.


SInce the thread's run its course and was never on-topic to begin with, I'll share my take on 2112.

A planet is ruled by an evil authoritarian ultra-collectivist government (Neil Peart was a Randian objectivist when he wrote it). Individual expression is outlawed. A kid finds a guitar while exploring a cave and teaches himself to play, thus experiencing the joy of creative expression, which he wants to share with everyone. The government rebukes him, calling the guitar a relic of a decadent "elder race". He later has a dream where he visits the "elder race" who escaped the planet for another, and now live an idyllic life of music and individual freedom. This dream makes him even more despondent and he kills himself rather than live in a collectivist dystopia. Then in the big finale the elder race comes back and overthrows the government. It's basically a Shakespearean tragedy with some objectivist bullshit added in, but the music is cool.
posted by rocket88 at 8:56 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Let the record state that The Wall is a garbage album by a garbage person, and should be consigned to the landfill of history.

THERE'S NO NEED FOR THE JURY TO RETIRE
posted by Sebmojo at 8:18 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I believe we have been TEARing DOWN THE WALL AND PERHAPS OTHERS WATERS-DOMINANT PROJECTS.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:04 AM on September 16


Anyone remember the political fanfic about George Bush, Skull & Bones, youtube, and a chicken? It's not as good but amusing.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:13 AM on September 17


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