‘His Name is Mr. Ed (Part 2) – This is the End, Beautiful Friends’
(cont. from part 1)
In all seriousness, as much as I make fun of Edward Bernays, he obviously knew what he was doing. His dream was to create a mentality in society where desires trump needs, or to put it another way, a society of escapism. He never let the facts get in the way of a good story, and if he couldn’t convince you that cold was hot, he’d convince you that the temperature wasn’t really that important anyway.
You don’t have to look very hard to see his fingerprints on the world we live in today. I’d give you examples, but you’re reading a blog that’s essentially a commercial for our album, so I think you get the idea. ; )
Whenever I’ve read about Bernays and public relations I’m always surprised by how much even the people who hate this man share his view points. Bernays believed that society as a whole was stupid, dangerous, and needed to be controlled. It’s surprising to read people who are against this way of thinking, yet still regard society in general as ‘dumb sheep’. I don’t agree with that viewpoint. I don’t think everybody’s an idiot. I find it hard to believe that people watch commercials and think ‘yes, I believe that’s true’ (or politicians, or tv shows, movies, etc..) I think what really happens is that we’re so surrounded by subterfuge that it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference between the truth and fantasy sometimes. As somebody that’s looking for fulfillment, it can feel like you’re surrounded by nothing but mirages sometimes. We live in a world where we seem to be much more interested in the men and women who play important historical figures on tv and movies, than the actual people they’re playing, let alone the ideas that those people represented.
So where does that leave us? …and what does all of this have to do with an indie rock record?
Around the time Emrys and I started writing this record I was feeling pretty defeated in general. In my own limited view, I saw the world as this huge machine, and when you don’t know where exactly you fit into that machine, it can be easy to feel like you’re getting grinded up by all the cogs. Somehow, I began to find solace writing the songs that would make up ‘Escapism’.
In the same way that someone like Edward Bernays could use metaphors to shape public perception, even if it was irrational, I found that I could use metaphors to shape the way I saw my own life.
Some people have therapists, I write songs.
The difference between me and someone like Bernays, is instead of trying to change my perception to make money or power, I tried using it to help myself find whatever it is I’ve been looking for all this time.
‘who knows where to go or what it is?’ (Escape Plan)
I don’t want to go through each song with you and pull it apart because that takes some of the fun out of it, but I’ll use ‘Escape Plan’ as an example of what I’m talking about.
I was working my second job, midnight shift. It was 2am, and let’s just say I didn’t want to be there. It was a job that I was over qualified for, but I needed to swallow my pride and work because I needed the money. The people there were nice, but I hated it. I felt ashamed, defeated, and depressed. I felt like I was 16 again, it was 2 in the morning and I was mopping the floor at a convenience store.
‘Waiting in this line I’ll try my best to help’
Whenever you have to work or be somewhere that you don’t want to be you tell yourself that you really don’t belong there. You think, ‘it’s only a matter of time’. Sometimes though, reality hits you with a right hook and you wonder if maybe that’s exactly where you belong.
Hopelessness – cue violins ; )
So I mopped the floor, and I scribbled lyrics onto a paper towel. I imagined I had some sort of secret plan of action to get me out of there.
‘We’ll make our Escape from Society. Kept under wraps/waiting patiently‘
In truth, I sort of did, but this was grander than that. What sort of plan would that be? How would I implement it?
As the song continued to take shape a funny thing happened.
I started to believe it.
I started planning.
I’m not saying I sold everything I had and quit my job, I’m saying I had this strange confidence come over me that helped me to believe I was going to get out. I was going to find what I was looking for. The song didn’t magically lift me out of my circumstances, but it helped give me the strength and perspective to try and move myself a little closer in that direction. It sure beat the cynicism and hopelessness I was feeling before! The daydream may have been overly idealistic, but the real things it was causing me to do weren’t.
So I’m a millionaire now, right?
Isn’t that how these things end?
Sorry, but no. I will say I don’t need to work that second job anymore.(woohoo!!! ..fireworks, confetti)
As the album progressed, it became more and more about helping me view my life through a different perspective. Not a perspective that pretended everything was ok, but one that helped me get to a place where it just might be. It’s helped me to shape my perceptions, instead of simply allowing them to be shaped, and I hope it can help you do something similar.
As I said in my first blog, if you like our songs because they sound good, or they make you feel good, then that makes me happy. That being said, though I write these songs to get my own head around things, I also have the hope that for those who dig a little deeper, it just may help others view their lives in a bit of a different way as well.
I learned from Edward Bernays that perception can be a strong force in shaping reality. Life and circumstance taught me that it just may be possible to be sincere and idealistic in a world that eats good intentions for breakfast, and still survive, possibly flourish.
There are many who are still searching for the wise man on top of the mountain, just like I used to. I’m sorry, I don’t have any answers to give you, but I do have a collection of songs that helped me find faith again. What that is worth, is up to you.
With all my ranting in these last few blogs you can probably understand why it’s important for me to be as honest as I can with our ‘promotion’ of this album. That being said, I’m considering making the tagline read
‘Escapism: Cause I Don’t Want to Mop NO MO’ haha
That’s the end of my blog for now. I hope my ramblings weren’t too bad to get through, and I appreciate you taking the time to read. I’ll certainly still be active on the site, but no more weekly blogs from me
(wohhooo!!! …fireworks, confetti)
Goodnight and Good Luck Internet People…
Thanks Kent. You’ve been a great supporter the whole way through! We’re getting really close to having a complete package to send out into the world. Fingers crossed some people out there ‘get it’. Ha ha!
June 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm
I couldn’t have done it without ya Kent. Along with everything we went through making The Singularities, talking to you about this blog helped me keep myself in check, and figure out just how I was going to explain myself. I look forward to hearing your thoughts once I get the album in your hands, more then that, thanks for being a good friend…Bill
June 3, 2011 at 4:57 pm
This really tied together so nicely at the end, Bill. It was interesting enough just learing about Bernays and I was totally along for the ride, but wasn’t sure what the tie in would be. As a whole, this blog is a very nice introduction to where you were and where you are coming from as an artist and a musician. You and Emrys are a talented duo. Now, enough talk, I want to crank this long-player and experience it for myself. Streaming is one thing. However, I truly look forward to owning a copy myself and getting my head around what you two have accomplished. Best of luck, gentlemen, with the future of this album.
June 3, 2011 at 4:52 pm
haha i doubt that. People are going to be thinking, ‘thank God! someone who understands grammar!!!’ when you start posting again ; )
June 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm
That is deep! Ha ha! Inspirational mate. That’s gonna make my next post look SO lazy! Ha ha!
June 3, 2011 at 11:56 am