Living in F E A R

Introduction: In an interview for the Web UK magazine, h said, "I heard all these statistics about how people in Canada don’t really bother locking their door but if you go over the border into the USA, everyone’s got a gun by their bed, they’re so terrified of crime. They’re all shooting each other by mistake with these guns they’ve got by their beds, or shooting their children by mistake. Completely batty. 


"Proof, if it were needed really, that you could choose to live one way, you could choose to live with your face unlocked, your door unlocked, you can choose to trust everyone, not just as an individual but as a culture, as a nation, you can trust everyone, or you can live bristling with arms and view everything as a threat, like we do, like America does, like Russia does, like China increasingly is starting to. All those threats increasingly become self-fulfilling. Because, as soon as you live bristling with arms, everyone else feels they need to get guns to protect themselves because they don’t feel safe with you around. 
"So, Living in FEAR is entirely about that, about saying all this stuff is a waste of time. It always was. The Berlin Wall was a waste of time, and it always was, the Great Wall of China was a massive undertaking and it was a complete waste of time, the Maiginot Line was a complete bloody waste of time, effort and money. But if we learn nothing… what’s the matter with us all?  
"The idea is ‘melting our guns as a show of strength, leaving our doors unlocked, as a show of strength’, not weakness; the other thing. Because at the end of the day, having all these locked doors and having all these arms is out of weakness. We’ve got it all completely the other way around. It’s the love/fear thing again.
 
"Living in FEAR, although it’s called Living in FEAR, is a song about choosing not to. It’s the antidote.


“The welcoming smile is the new Cool”
The expression the ‘new cool’ has similarities with the fashion expression ‘the new black’, meaning the new, in vogue look replacing the previously favoured look.

 


"The key left in the outside [...] It's a challenge to change your heart"
In an interview for the Web UK magazine, h said, "When I moved into this village, there was an old boy living across the village green, living on his own – he’s passed now, bless him – he was the soul of the village. He was the lad that had grown up here and all the rest of us had moved up. After I got here, I noticed the key was in his door on the outside, and I knocked and I said, ‘I don’t wish to bother you, but you’ve left your key in the door,’ and he said, ‘Oh, don’t worry about that, boy, then I know where it is’. So I said, ‘Well, anyone could come in,’ and he said, ‘Well, I hope they will!’    I said, ‘Aren’t you worried about having anything stolen, and he said, ‘Oh, I haven’t got anything worth stealing.’ That really struck me as such a beautiful thing. "

“We’ve decided to risk melting our guns as a show of strength”
XTC have a song entitled ‘Melt The Guns’ from their 1982 album English Settlement. The song is an excoriation of the USA’s obsession with firearms and gun culture.

“So we will turn the other cheek”
A phrase from Sermon on the Mount, from the gospel of Matthew, 5:38-9.

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:


39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

The phrase is generally interpreted as meaning that one should not take revenge to a slight.

“The apple pie cooling on the windowsill”
In the days before refrigerators, it was common to leave pies to cool on a window sill, but to do so ran the risk that a passerby might steal it. It therefore also has connotations of a society where crime is so insignificant that leaving a pie out represents no risk.

Additionally, following on from the ‘meting our guns’ line, it is noted that the XTC  song Melt The Guns also references apples in the line “Bad apples affecting the pure”.


“We're not green, We're just pleasant”
'Green and pleasant' invokes a line in the hymn Jerusalem, whose words were written by the poet William Blake, thusly:

"I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand: 
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green and pleasant Land" 

The whole hymn is about the second coming of Christ, whom Blake imagines will create Heaven in England.

Stephen Wicks in the comments below added, "It's probably a coincidence but Green and Pleasant Land is a song by the UK band Pendragon that expresses concern about the state of the UK from what I see as a right wing perspective. For example, the Pendragon song includes the lines "It's not legal to say what I think anymore, 'Cos I don't believe in sharia law". The song goes on to perpetuate the myth that the word Christmas has been restricted in the UK. h's song expresses an opposing sentiment to this Pendragon one and the line "We're not green, we're just pleasant" is a nice way to express this. I don't expect h has heard the Pendragon song but they were on the same bill at the Ramblin' Man fesitval in 2015 when it was played."

“The great wall of China”
With an official length of 21,196.18 km (13,170.7 miles), the Great Wall of China is actually a series of walls, though a substantial portion dates from the Ming Dynasty.

The earliest portions of the wall date from 770-221 BC, built by overlords to protect individual states during what was known as the Warring States Period. From 221-207 BC, the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty ordered the destruction of some of the existing walls and the construction of a the first Great Wall to protect his newly formed empire. The Han Dynasty (206BC–220AD) saw and extension of the wall to the west. Finally, under the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), Qi Jiguang rebuilt the Great Wall using stone for the first time, rather than earth enforcements.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not visible from space by the naked eye.

“The Maginot line”
The Maginot Line was a series of heavy fortifications, barriers and weapons installations built by France during the 1930s. It extended along the French border with Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg, but did not extend along the border with Belgium as a reflection of the latter’s neutrality.

The wall was constructed as a response to increased German militarization in the post WWI era, and a belief that if they were to attack France, she could not rely on the assistance of the British and Americans. The line was intended to provide time by being highly difficult to get past, essentially an extension of WWI strategic reliance on static defensive combat.

In the event, the Germans simply moved through the Low Countries (Netherlands, Luxembourg  and Belguim), bypassing the line to the north. The British and French military had anticipated this, but had believed that the Ardenne Forest was impassable, and it was weakly defended. German armoured units pushed through and then surrounded the British forces in Belguim, eventually culminating in the evacuation of Dunkirk.

“Что за трата времени Берлинская стена”
“What a waste of time, the Berlin Wall” in Russian.  Officially referred to as the "Anti-Fascist Protective Wall", the Berlin Wall,  constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany), started on 13 August 1961. It cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. Prior to the wall’s construction, Berlin was an easy means by which East Germans could emigrate to the West.

After WWII and the Potsdam Agreement (essentially the Allied powers treaty on the occupation and reconstruction of Germany), the German capital Berlin, designated as the seat of the Allied Control Council was divided into four sectors, one for each allied power; France, Britain, USA and USSR. This was despite the fact that Berlin was wholly located within the Soviet-controlled East Germany.

The Wall came down in 1989 after civil protests in East Germany following the loss of Soviet power in the Eastern Bloc, particularly Poland and Hungary. The fall of the Wall paved the way for German reunification, in October 1990. Demolition of the Wall was officially completed in 1992. (cf. Berlin)

“Die Berliner Mauer”
‘The Berlin Wall’ in German.

10 comments:

  1. I had also imagined some oblique nod to 'good ole US values', in the 'Apple Pie' reference...maybe.

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  2. Its probably a coincidence but "Green & Pleasant Land" is a song by the UK band Pendragon that expresses concern about the state of the UK from what I see as a right wing perspective. For example, the Pendragon song includes the lines "It's not legal to say what I think anymore, Cos I don't believe in sharia law". The song goes on to perpetuate the myth that the word Christmas has been restricted in the UK.

    h's song expresses an opposing sentiment to this Pendragon one and the line "We're not green ,we're just pleasant" is a nice way to express this. I don't expect h has heard the Pendragon song but they were on the same bill at the Ramblin' Man fesitval in 2015 when it was played.

    Stephen Wicks

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  3. I take the phrase "not green / just pleasant" as a play on words referring to not being naive but being nice.

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    Replies
    1. Or maybe also something along the lines of, '...we're not that ecologically minded, but still nice folks'?

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  4. Marillion are quite above being influenced by the horrific Pendragon, I am convinced.

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    1. Wash your keyboard out! Nothing 'horrific' about the Mighty P! ;-)

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  5. "Living in FEAR...is so very dear..." - 'Dear' as an adjective in British idiom also able to have an alternative meaning of 'expensive' or 'costly'...maybe in either financial or mental terms?

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  6. "We're not green, we're just pleasant" I always thought he was referring to climate change. Going green, recycling. I think he's saying we're not green as in liberal, we're just pleasant/ common decency. In the US climate change is generally denied by conservative republicans. So he's saying "im not having political ideals here, were just PLEASANT.

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  7. I took the green/pleasant line as a reference to William Blake's poem Jerusalem that ends as follows:
    "I will not cease from Mental Fight,
    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
    Till we have built Jerusalem,
    In Englands green & pleasant Land."

    ReplyDelete

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