Saturday, 27 April 2013

Romantic, My Foot!

I’d never heard of a singer called Milow until a few days ago. A radio station played a song of his whose lyrics caught my attention.

Milow, whose real name is Jonathan Vandenbroeck, is a Belgian singer-songwriter who is quite popular in Belgium and the whole of Europe. But well, let’s skip the artist details and go straight to the matter – the lyrics.

Parts of the lyrics in question:

I often wish that you had feathers
I'd keep you in a giant cage
All day long I'd sit and watch you

I wish you were a little slower
Not just slow but paralyzed
Then I could plug you into a socket
So you could never run away

Ok, these are obviously song lyrics. Let’s see how this sounds in prose. Say, a letter from a guy to his girl.

I want to keep you with me all the time. I don’t ever want to be separated from you. I sometimes think it would have been better if you were a bird. A pet in my sole possession. I would lock you up in a giant cage, so that you’d be trapped and couldn’t leave even if you’d wanted to. I’d sit outside and keep watch to make sure you don’t try anything funny.
Or even better, I wish you were paralyzed. That way I wouldn’t even have to worry about you going anywhere, because you wouldn’t be able to move at all. Wouldn’t that be great?
See how much I care for you and want you to be mine? Doesn’t this make you want to stay with me forever??

My my, now isn’t that romantic.

Is this supposed to be a declaration of love? I know for sure that I, for one, would definitely not appreciate anyone dedicating this song to me. It’s just … morbid. I reckon it’s meant to be funny, and not to be taken seriously. Once you get used to it and ignore the creepy bits, the song is enjoyable enough. I listened to a few more of Milow’s songs, and they’re not bad either. But the music videos, now that’s a whole different story. They’re creative, funny … and slightly disturbing.

However, in this era of Lady Gaga, Nicky Minaj, and many other artists with ‘creative’ (read – crazy) videos, Milow is mild. And of course, in today’s world of obscene, crude, tasteless songs and their accompanying music videos being abundant, Milow, in comparison, is just (trying to be?) humourous. Now I’m just contradicting myself here...
Not weird. Not weird at all. (source)

Strangely enough, Milow’s You And Me (In My Pocket) makes me think of R. L. Stein’s Goosebumps series. I wonder why…?

For the curious, here’s the song.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Dear Pen Pal...

When I was young(er), I always dreamed of having a pen pal. I don’t know what implanted that notion in my mind, but something did, and it stuck. I would imagine having someone, maybe from some exotic land, as my pen pal, and that we’d write very interesting letters to each other. I must have been around ages 9 to 13 then. And always, invariably, my “potential” pen pal was always a girl about my own age.


The dream never materialized, and I never did have a pen pal. So whenever I did write letters to my school friends during the summer vacations, I’d make them worth the while and go on for pages and pages! This was before the time the internet and cell phones took over, and even though we did telephone each other, writing (and receiving) a letter had its own charm. It still does.

Somehow, the desire to have a pen pal diminished as I got older, and finally vanished. A few years on, the Internet became a lot more accessible to everyone, and I discovered social networking sites. That discovery stirred my childhood desire. I was excited to ‘meet’ new people! However, that enthusiasm was short lived, as “Wassup, how u doin gal” really were not up my alley. I abandoned that long-forgotten mission and dream once more.

Now, many years on, I’m not concerned about having a pen pal any more. As you grow older you realize the many dangers hidden in a seemingly nice world. I wouldn’t write casual letters, especially with my home address, to other people I don’t know. I’m more skeptical, more calculating, more prudent, more careful. And you have to be, in this world where dark, unfathomable deeds happen on a daily basis.

My childhood dreams just make me smile now. The innocence is irretrievable, and not fit for survival in the world we live in.

And of course, technology has taken over. Letters are passé; no one seems to want to take the time to write a letter, and mail it by post, which in all is a dearer and more time consuming process than sending an email or an sms. That makes letters so much more special!