Friday, 22 February 2008

If She Gets Nowhere In Life...

At least she knows she's pretty.

I really like these lines from the song Straw Dog by Something Corporate. At first glance, it sounds somewhat sad in a trifling way as she only has a very perishable quality; it's the one thing she's good at, and good looks don't last.

But on further thought, it actually really is a warming and empowering thing to know of; that the girl is able to come to terms with her predicament of not getting anywhere in life and acknowledges the fact that she is still pretty nonetheless.

To begin with, consider the esteem problems that virtually every girl faces. Deep down inside, no girl thinks she's pretty enough, and I think this afflicts even the prettiest and the most egoistic of girls. Regardless of whether it is because of the media-portrayed unattainable ideal beauty of a woman or a fundamental biological issue due to the emotional and perfectionistic nature of girls in this aspect, every normal, average girl seems to have some degree of insecurity about the way she looks.

'At least she knows she's pretty', then, is a celebration of the girl who has come to terms with her insecurities and accepts that she is pretty. Or pretty enough. That is more than anyone can really ask for I guess. Prettiness may be superficial, but here's her clincher - so what if it is? Strong indeed is the girl who can acknowledge her prettiness (or beauty), whether she really is or not. Such a girl has truly come to terms with her feminine propensity.

To dig further, the 'if she gets nowhere in life'-line represents the idea that we all must get somewhere in life and this 'place' of destiny is often not self-defined, but rather ascertained by society in the forms of a job, an education or a husband. Or looks, as the media, amongst other socially-reinforcing means, deems fit.

This part of the lyric is about chasing after a societal benchmark and then falling short of it. Here, then, we celebrate the girl who doesn't let the all too familiar criticism get to her head and instead revels in the self awareness that she's 'pretty'.

And by 'pretty', this could mean every single trifling, frivolous quality she has, such as a liking for flowers, a great voice for singing, some graceful dancing feet and other passions she owns that society tries to suppress by telling her that she naturally ain't good at math in school, to get a real job or find a typical man for a husband. When at least she knows she's pretty, at least she knows that she has passions and as long as her heart is open, she will get somewhere someday.

This is still a very optimistic interpretation and I may be criticised for that, but that's how I'd see it beyond the typical sadness of having only to rely on a very transient and temporal quality when you haven't lived up to society's yardsticks.

And boy, I'd toast my heart out to any girl with the innocence and courage like that.

Staring into the intersection, she thinks that she can fly and she might
Holding on in a new direction, she's gonna try it tonight
The closer I get to feeling, the further that I'm feeling from alright
The more I step into the sun, the more I step out of the light

Jessica is covered in a blanket on a Sunday porch
Thinking of weekends she would party in the city
She doesn't have a flame, she'd prefer to burn out like a torch
If she gets nowhere in life, at least she know's she pretty

She said, "Hey, now, the straw dog's out in the street
Hey now, there's chemicals in the clouds
Hey now, they're calling the police
They won't get to us, anyhow."

The moon is shining now and shadows are what's left of all the noise
Simple silhouettes and cutouts as if we had the choice
He listens closely now, swears that he can hear a voice
That's calling him

And saying, "Hey, now, the straw dog's out in the street
Hey now, there's chemicals in the clouds
Hey now, they're calling the police
They won't get to us, anyhow."

What does it take to be a superhero in our world?
Make no mistake that these villains always get the girl
We can escape, and then we'd skate away from all of this
And no one ever does.

She's saying "Hey, now, the straw dog's out in the street
Hey now, there's chemicals in the clouds
Hey now, they're calling the police
They won't get to us, anyhow."

Straw Dog
Something Corporate

On the lyrics, SoCo says, "that actually comes back to that book I was telling you about, the 'Dao De Jing', it’s a reference from that book. A 'straw dog' is like this ceremonial figure in some, I’m going to really fuck this up, but in some eastern culture it’s almost how a crucifix is looked at in Christianity. The only difference is after it’s one of the most respected thing in their ceremonies, they trash it out in the street, they beat it up and disregard it."

"To me that was kind of a pretty decent statement about the way youth is treated in America. Like everybody says that they’re our future and most important thing in the world. Then you see the way that teachers and police and everybody treat them, they kind of treat them like shit even though they supposedly the most honored thing in the world. That’s kind of like my take on it."

"It’s not anything I would ever expect anybody to decipher, it’s like the most senseless babble. To me writing was never more of an inventing type thing. If I can’t relate to it on personal level then it’s bullshit to me anyway, so it ends up being more specific than general."

Marriage is a three ring circus: engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering.

Audio Candy:
Buckcherry - Sorry

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