Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2008 : 04 "You, Me and the Bourgeoisie" by The Submarines

So here I am, "in the center of the first world," or anyway, maybe considerably left of center, in my kitchen in my tenement building in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, in November of 2009, which will, I assume, be historically notable as the time just after Maine voted down marriage equality when people of conscience again had to try to reconcile our hope for humanity with the fact that human rights was dealt a blow by a small plurality. Or maybe I'll remember this as the year I got mice in my apartment and the month in which my cat actually killed one.

So here I am, "in the center of the first world," on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, writing about a song which uses language popularized by a manifesto published one-hundred-sixty-one years ago, that shaped history from then until, arguably, today. "You, Me and the Bourgeoisie" was released on October 21st, 2008, and, about nine months later, this celebratory anti-capitalist song was widely publicized in a commercial for a three-hundred dollar phone. The Submarines tell us that "we're not living the good life / unless we're fighting the good fight," and I'm sure I'm not the only one at this very moment who is a little confused about what that good fight is for, exactly. Although I am relieved to find out it's not "higher ceilings," which sounds kind of petty, and anyway, all these old Boston buildings have very nice high ceilings, thank you. Listening to this song, which I too discovered while watching the commercial (sitting on my best friend's floor and drinking too much wine in an interlude between episodes of a vulgar cartoon show that has been on television since I was seven years old (two years before the Berlin Wall fell)) and then bought for ninety-nine cents on iTunes, I feel as if history has collapsed wetly in on itself.

Someone wrote earlier on this blog that "You can't go forward unless you pick yourself off the floor," and right now I am trying to figure out how we are going to pick ourselves up out of the puddle of history we seem to have sunk into. But I think that, though we can all agree, from our perspective here on the damp floor, that at the "center of the fist world," it is "too easy just to fall apart," there has got to be a way out of this and into someone else's catchy new vision of an equitable future.

Amy Clark

Listen: The Submarines >> "You, Me, and the Bourgeoise"

1 comment:

infonerdtoo! (",) said...

that's nice.. keep it up.. :)