Monday, August 04, 2008

NIN (yes again)

Sio and I have been having an on-going discussion about Trent Reznor and his music. As I have stated in this blog before; while I don't like a whole lot of NIN, what I do like I really, really like. Trent Reznor is a poet with a phenomenal gift of touching the darker part of the psyche (at least mine, and I suspect a lot of other peoples too.) Siobhan is of the opinion that Trent really is just full of shit; being a rich little kid he really didn't go through any real suffering and doesn't know what real pain is. She agrees with me that he writes really good lyrics and she really likes some NIN, but that she doesn't think what he writes is authentic to what he really feels. Her opinion is that he goes back and forth between being a really good liar and being whiny. I agree about the whiny part; some of his music is whiney, but so is Billy Corgans; especially when Pumpkins were in their prime, and I still like them. I think in the case of NIN, Sio is missing a lot of the social commentary in songs like Terrible Lie, or Happiness in Slavery, or Starfuckers or my new favorite The Hand That Feeds. I think Trent's being brought up in the circumstances he was gives him a view from the inside that some people don't have and makes him better able to comment on those things, if that makes any sense. Sio says that someone brought up in that situation should have nothing to whine about, and in a way that's true, but I think that despair, loneliness, pain; those things cross all boundaries. I would say that in the end they are what make us all human, everybody shares the depths, the darkness, as much or more than they share love even. You may love someone, and I'm not negating that love can be a pretty deep emotion, but in despair and loneliness you really see another person in a very naked way, and Trent touches that in a way that most artists don't. It's very authentic, and it knows no barriers of any kind. And I would say that even in love, it's the pain and despair and loneliness that bind us closer to the other person than anything else does. Again, I'm not negating the other human emotions or events that happen, laughter and happiness certainly bring people closer together but when you let someone see the despair; that's real love. Anyway, maybe what I'm writing is just so much bullshit, who knows? I know that there's a few people out there who read this blog occasionally; Melissa and Jimmy do. Do you agree with me or Sio, or do you have your own take on Mr. Reznor?

Excellent version of "Something I Can Never Have" from Pretty Hate Machine

Johns birthday was Friday and he took Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. We got him a new rod and reel so we did a lot of fishing. I caught my biggest fish ever and the camera was on the fritz again! It was 21 inches long; I actually think it may have been the same fish John caught, it was about the same spot.


Melissa said...

I haven't really thought much about Trent Reznor's sincerity, which is what Sio's most concerned with. Personally, I have little patience with people who dwell in negativity, and the only time I'm really impressed with that kind of expression is when it is especially well-crafted. I think that's what draws me to dictatorship literature, because it taps into the depths you're talking about. But I would never put Trent Reznor and some of my favorite Latin American dictatorship novelists into the same category. He seems juvenile and angsty by comparison.

which one is dumps? said...

hi paula -- interesting post and discussion. i'm not all that familiar with trent reznor. i do think he creates some interesting soundscapes, and i do admire anyone putting "difficult" work out there, i enjoy some dark stuff, but i can't say that reznor really connects with me. i'm not really interested in his anger or angst, although, i think it's valid to explore those things. i'm thinking he is genuine - from what little i've learned about him, he is not a happy person, he has his demons. you'd think the money would help, and on some level i'm sure it does, but still i think his angst and anger is real. and he's learned that exploring his anger and angst can fill a stadium. it doesn't necessarily make him less sincere, but i'm not surprised that some people would find his "whining" ridiculous too. i think he may know he sometimes comes across as ridiculous too which adds to his angst. he's wallowing in his own self-hatred - now that's an interesting and fruitful career choice! cobain did the same thing - although for me cobain was a more sympathetic figure - and his angst was overwhelmed by his talent and charisma - which was cool for us but for kurt wasn't really enough.