9 November 2013

The Son - UK Paper

In the 23rd of July
the UK paper The Sun
was printed as The Son.

The unique issue of The Son
marked in the English language
the expression of a historic fact:
the birth of the future King of England.

The birth of the new prince in the 22 of July - date which coincides with my birthday by the way - triggered a social response that reminded me of the opening of The Lion King (1994).

Papers and other media was showing off the newborn to the whole of UK.

Judging by some signs I could spot, The Son was not the only expression of appreciation toward that fact.

'Congratulations to
T' Duke & Duchess of Cambridge
on the birth of their beautiful baby'

Sign at Marks&Spencer at
Oxford Street in London.

Also, The Son wasn't the only UK paper that used English wittily to express the uniqueness of that moment. Other papers - writers actually - did the same by using some peculiar remarks.

Some papers used a common expression used to announce the birth of a newborn male.

This expression, I assume, is used to highlight the fact that the newborn is a boy - thus, future heir of the throne.

Oh Boy! which a colloquial exclamation, however more informal, 
became another option to highlight the same fact in headlines.


Allusions to titles couldn't be left out.

Daily Mirror was ahead of the queue
to snatch the fancy (and obvious) choice
for the title of the classic French novella
The Little Prince (1943).

The Sun is left to allude to the
american sitcom starred by Will Smith
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (90's).
Fresh Prince is actually the rapper name that Will Smith gave to himself.

The Son, in its unique online issue, 
had been more daring in the choice of its allusion.

Replacing Eagle for Regal is one among the abundant
occurrences of oddities that appear in the headlines of UK papers. 
Eagle and Regal - save for the initial r-sound in Regal - sounds the same.

                    'The Eagle has landed' uttered by Neil Armstrong right after the moon landing of the Apollo 11 mission (1969) - already became title of a Book (1975).  'Houston. Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed' is the full sentence uttered by Armstrong.
                                                                                    In the dawn of 25th of July, after the royal baby's name is revealed, UK papers can't miss that chance to employ their creative English. Boy George not only recalls the baby's gender, but also reminds the name of another British celebrity.

Daily Express took the lead to pick the cleverest expression on the name.

By George!
is itself a deviation of another phrase, exactly By Jove!
By Jove! is used for emphasis or to indicate surprise (OED).
By George / By Jove are mild forms of  swearing in a way that avoids the word God (read Grammarphobia).

Nothing really spells 'news' more than the new uses of old expressions in English. And the newborn royal certainly brought the best of English to the UK papers.

23 September 2013

A-Wake! Part Three

"...Wow... What a great name!"

Rich and Nomi from Radio Aire were praising my name after having read the email I wrote to them. I'd spent the night editing the final part of A-Wake! 
After a kip, hearing my name uttered with such consideration on the Breakfast show was a great way to wake up. 

With chills running down my spine, I mustered the focus again
and carried on with the speculations about Avicii's song.

Spirituality and  Success, seemingly, tie together the words in Wake.
Wake is about a challenge which is being taken on by some young person, who is warned off about potential pitfalls of endeavouring such challenge.

The young person responds to cautionary advices with irony,
which seems to be recurrent in many lines of Wake.

Irony in Wake gives me the impression that the young person possess a high level of confidence. Such confidence, I speculate, comes from the young's knowledge of some spiritual truth that's been explored in books by American authors of the 20th century.

Speculation naturally. But with every other line of Wake it's possible to feel a subtle reference to ideas similar to those from the referred works. 
Here's for your consideration:

Carrying the weight of the world can only mean being concerned with worry and fear of the life's burden.
 These lines remind me of Dale Carnegie's book.
Dale Carnegie is mostly known for How to Win Friends & Influence People (1936). Here, the main idea is that we can get a better response from other's behaviour toward us by altering our own behaviour toward others. It does echo the idea that events of reality somehow responds to our subconscious mind or thoughts (see A-Awake! Two).

I particularly haven't read How to Stop Worrying in depth. But skimming through it, I noticed one of its main parts: How to Keep from Worrying about Criticism. In the overall, the whole book emphasises the message that there's no good outcome on worrying and giving too much heed to stress - the weight of the world. The same idea is present in other works that deals with conquering success.

This is how the words Fear and Worry appear in Science.
"Every hour (...) you spend in giving heed to doubts and fears, every hour you spend in worry, sets a current away from you in the whole domain of intelligent Substance."

This is how Fear and Worry appear in Secret.
"...you can't expect results from the subconscious when your conscious mind is full of fear or worry..."

Napoleon Hill, in Think & Grow Rich, wrote: 
"Worry is a state of mind based upon fear."
To explore the topic, Hill uses the heading Old Man Worry.
This, leads to the following lines.

 Growing old is associated with increasing fear (thus worry) and loosing enthusiasm, both in Secret and Think & Grow.

Secret has a chapter entitled Why Grow Old? which says:
"Youth (...) is a mental state. You can be just as brisk, just as active, (...) as you were ten or twenty years ago."

Think doesn't explore the subject as directly but hints at it.
"...PERSISTENCE brought an astounding triumph late in life, long beyond the age when most men and women are done with ambition to achieve."

That's a delicate topic, but the line  - wish that I could stay forever this young - is explicit in Wake. It's followed by - not afraid to close my eyes; this possibly means the attitude of paying no heed to criticism, remaing enthusiastic for life, and not worrying with the gaps (and pitfalls) between one's hopes (dreams) and its full realisation.

This may justify the lines that I skipped. 

Maybe they mean that paying too much attention and worrying to 'how' or the 'plans' to get there may handicap your enthusiasm to set foot on your journey to success.

Finally, before Wake repeats its ironic chorus, it states a final message.

These words remind me of the film The Matrix (1999) which centres around a game-like artificial reality where humans dwell - echoing Plato's Myth of the Cave.

In Matrix, once a person realises the nature of the game (simulated reality), he/she can be enabled to get more control over it. 

The final idea in Wake perhaps is that the young person is aware that life is a virtual-like Game which he/she can play and have control by accessing his/her subconscious mind. This idea is to a great extent the gist of Science, Secret, and Think & Grow. Such idea is naturally too complex to be explored here. But they seem to be the ideas that underlie the choice of each word and lines in Wake Me Up.

Whatever is the message of in the words of Wake, it undeniably has caused a great effect on people. On Radio Aire, quite a few times, I heard it's being considered the song of the year, and it continues topping charts around the world. Also, Wake was the lead single from Avicii studio album entitled TRUE. Avicii stated that it "is about me being true to my sound and my own influences..." Now, that can lead to a whole lot of other interpretations.
Thanks for reading. Keep checking for a next post.

Meanwhile, check out: The Book

17 September 2013

A-Wake! Part Two

"Now, were was I?"

"Spirituality and success... 
That's literally what you natter about all the time. 
So, I guess it couldn't be far from this." 

Paul's ironic words made me realise that I must've been talking on that subject for ages. For a split second Paul managed to make me feel embarrassed.

"Just pulling your leg.
You were saying about the success of Wake Me Up."

Paul had been a perfect English gentleman until then. He'd invited me to visit Dewsbury and was playing cicerone. He'd been patiently listening to my considerations on Wake. Then I asked him to take a pic of me while I struck a pose reading Revenge Wears Prada

A few shots later, when I'm finally happy, with the angle and background of the pic, I forgot where exactly I'd interrupted my line of thought.

I was actually offering a possible explanation to such a strange combination of words and lines in Wake Me Up. I had Revenge Wears Prada in hands because I was showing Paul that the title would sound quite odd if not for the title of the previous book The Devil Wears Prada. Revenge, collocated with Wears Prada, gets its coherence of meaning when considered by the reference to The Devil; then, one automatically gets that the Devil, Miranda Pristley, who had her buttons pushed all the way in the previous novel, now personifies the will of revenge. Similarly, once we consider the original references to the choice of words in Wake, we do understand their meaning under another light.

And whilst the music video sheds a helpful light to the meaning of the words in Wake, the words actually precede the video. 

So, in terms of coherence and meaning, the words in Wake should be self sufficient.
Even if the first lines don't seem to follow a logic connection, we tend to complete the meaning. How's that a beating heart can be used as a mean to guide some one who is feeling [his] way through the darkness?

A guiding dog, the arms and hands, a stick; all these would be more appropriate material. But we, naturally, complete the meaning with our life experience. The composer refers to the heart of the person who is feeling the way. Beating heart is used as synonym to / metaphor of intuition. This is an authentic interpretation.

These two lines (and whole song), however, gain new colours when
we realise that they seem to refer back to words and ideas from
American texts on Law of Attraction.

The Science of Getting Rich by
Wallace Wattles (1910).

The Secret 
of Ages by 
Robert Collier

The words in Wake refer to a journey dreamed by someone young; judging by the words of admonition such journey seems to be too great to be accomplished. He/she is faced with a daunting prospect. But the young person seems to be sure of him/herself because he/she knows something that others don't.

The person knows how to be guided by a beating heart in order to feel his/her way through the darkness. 

Beating heart, rather than a metaphor, is used here as a metonym to the subconscious mind. In Secret of Ages, the first reference to the biological organ heart is made to explain how powerful and all-knowing is the subconscious mind.

"The subconscious mind is a distinct entity. It occupies the whole human body, and, when not opposed in any way, it has absolute control over all the functions, conditions, and sensations of the body. (...) Nutrition, waste, all secretion and excretions, the action of the heart in the circulation of the blood... are positively under the complete control of the subconscious mind."

The notion of feeling (not seeing) a way through the darkness is introduced just 7 lines below the reference to the action of the heart. "And more, it (the subconscious) can see without the use of physical eyes. It perceives by intuition."

Nowadays, mostly everyone is used to the expression trust your heart as a metaphor to intuition. But trust your heart may have once sounded in the past just as strange as trust your lungs or trust your bowels may sound today. Even so, these expressions are equally based in the metonym 'organ functions for the subconscious'.

"Your conscious mind may slumber. (...) But your subconscious mind works on, keeping your heart and lungs, your arteries and glands ever on the job."

According to precepts explained iScience and Secret, the subconscious mind is just part of some greater intelligence - called Formless Stuff (Science) and Universal Mind (Secret) - that controls the laws of nature and some events of reality. So, besides controlling all the complex functions of the body, our subconscious mind serves as a link of communication with this greater intelligence. That's how humans have the power to accomplish even the most impossible endeavours. This leads us to the following lines of Wake.

I can't tell where 
the journey will end
But I know where to start

These lines, it seems, refer to a precept of Law of Attraction that is explicitly explained in Science.

"I recall now the case of one student (...). He was (...) living in a rented house, and having only what he earned from day to day; and he could not grasp that all wealth was his. So, (...) he decided that he might reasonably ask [using the power of his subconscious mind] for a new rug for the floor of his best room. (...) he obtained these things in a few months. (...) He went through the house in which he lived, and planned all the improvements he would like to make in it. (...) [He continued] moving toward what he wanted, and he owns the house now."

I can't tell where the journey will end diverges from the precept preached in these books that one 'must form a clear mental picture of what you want'. Still, I know where to start seems to refer to the initial image that one has to form and achieve to go for the greater picture. Also, it seems authentic to interpret that I can't tell where the journey will end expresses irony, since the line I know where to start actually conveys certainty and a definite purpose.

Irony is actually all over the following words; it's a response against the admonition of those who doubt that he/she is able to accomplish the journey.
They say I'm caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don't open my eyes
Well that's fine by me

Irony is also a sign that he/ she isn't shaken by opinions of doubters.

Irony is, perhaps, used as more than just a reaction. 
It's conveys observance to precepts of Law of Attraction.

This is what Science says about doubt.
"If doubt comes to you, cast it aside as a sin."

Think and Grow Rich
by Napoleon Hill (1938)...

...is another work that approach the precepts of LOA. It has a lot more to say about the matter of admonition.

"The majority of people who fail (...) are, generally, easily influenced by the opinions of others."

"If you are influenced by the opinions of others, you will have no desire of your own."

"Close friends and relatives, (...) often handicap one through opinions."

It goes on...
The great success of Wake may have nothing to do with its subtle message of spirituality and success. It may just please the public as some other meaningless songs do. Its references to texts on Law of Attraction seem evident though. And perhaps the success Avicii is enjoying is a result of his own mastery of the precepts of LOAttraction.

If the intersection of words and ideas between Wake and the texts mentioned above isn't sufficient to substantiate their connection, then the association between Avicii and the American soul singer Aloe Blacc should do.
One of Blacc's first hits is called Shine Through; it contains words like

"Do you know that you have a soul
And it's worth more than gold.
Open your mind (...) And you will find treasures."

The message here is clearly one of spirituality and success (wealth);
and such topics are undeniably the focus of LOAttraction.

Hopefully, after this much consideration, I managed to establish two points: the words in Wake fit the category of strangeness and the words in Wake depicts a message of spirituality and success.

Wake doesn't end here, but that's enough for now. 
I'll continue with these considerations in A-Wake! Part Three.

Please, continue coming back.

Meanwhile, check out
The Book