February 25, 2011

Crazy, Some Would Say

Ordinary Day
by Duran Duran
Listen Here

Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue
thought I heard you talking softly

I turned on the lights, the TV and the radio
still I can't escape the ghost of you

What has happened to it all? Crazy, some would say
Where is the life that I recognize? gone away

But I won't cry for yesterday, there's an ordinary world Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way to the ordinary world I will learn to survive
Passion or coincidence once prompted you to say

Pride will tear us both apart Well now pride's gone out the window
cross the rooftops run away left me in the vacuum of my heart

What is happening to me? Crazy, some would say
Where is my friend when I need you most? Gone away...

Papers in the roadside tell of suffering and greed
here today, forgot tomorrow

ooh, here besides the news of holy war and holy need
ours is just a little sorrowed talk...

And I don't cry... and as I try to make my way
to the ordinary world I will learn to survive

every one is my world,
I will learn to survive

any one is my world,
I will learn to survive

every one is my world

The lyrics about 'Ordinary Life' caught my attention since I first heard them in early January. Over and over they played in my head, went through my brain; I had not heard the song in years, and suddenly, there it was, causing me to meditate upon the meaning of lyrics like, "pride will tear us both apart."
Well, aren't we to love our self...as others?
What's wrong with a measure of pride? What is it anyway? Why would anyone write a song lyric like that? "I will learn to survive in the ordinary world... Crazy, some would say... Where's my friend when I need you most?" Is it about illness, about survival? There seems to be something there, something that the music in its art wishes to convey.
It asks several questions such as, are we bodies, or just spirits--ghosts? When we live 'in the ordinary world,' do we aspire to separate from our body, this 'bio-container'? It talks of passion, suffering, greed and holy war; it's some pretty intense stuff. It concludes with the final refrain that 'everyone is in my world.' As I ponder this tune for the past month or so, I came upon the prophet Amos. Surprisingly he says some of the same or similar things:
"You would put off the evil day, yet you hasten the reign of violence!"Amos 6. 
Because people do not have what they most desire and need; they are restless, even violent, like the modern people of the Middle East this moment, they revolt with violence.They want to do something, to be something.

You notables of the leading nation
 On whom the House of Israel pin their hopes...
They lie on ivory beds,

Lolling on their couches,

Feasting on lambs from the flock
And on calves from the stalls.
They hum snatches of song to the tune of the lute--
They account themselves musicians like David.   Amos Chapter 6:
 Pride is unlike the injunction to 'love your neighbor as yourself' for one very simple and important reason: pride is unconcerned with others; it excludes recognition of neighbor. In Amos, the overindulgence, the self centeredness that is pride, typifies the materialists, of whom the prophet Amos decries.So then the rich man in the story, or oracle of Lazarus suffers not only because of his greed, but his intense pride. Amos takes direct aim at those who while materially rich, are in spiritual poverty or destitution. They are starving.

Pride said Saint Thomas Aquinas, indicates a contempt for the Creator, the Lord, God of Hosts. In fact every transgression may boil down to just this one thing, pride. Pride being self absorbed is self limiting; it consumes itself until nothing is left. And yet we also learn paradoxically in the Beatitudes that the blessed 'are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom heaven is theirs.'

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