Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The ringing of the division bell

When you listen to any Floyd album, you are alone in your private world – even if you’re physically in a crowd. The way I’ve experienced it, you’re in a cocoon within which you let your mind float to the boundaries of your ideology. You explore what lies beneath and beyond your usual censored horizon. All the things you wilfully shut out and refuse to think about stand clear and tall before you demanding your attention.

The Division Bell will always be a special album. I know even at 80, when I hear this album, I will clearly recall these days – the conflicts between what should be and what is, ideology and friendship, the struggle to stay true to dreams.... And above all, the sense of exhilaration and strength in the songs : the unspoken declaration that we can rebuild our hopes after theyve been shattered by The System. You’re never through with facing system failure in one spree: you have to face it in each of its dirty stages. So each time you face a new bout of depression and hopelessness, of desperation – and then blind resolution that even if you go down, you will go down fighting. This album has seriously pulled me through each crisis I’ve had!

Another reason its significant is because of the time I’ve discovered it : a time when our gang is slowly choosing, and starting to walk their paths in life. Some choices seem to be super inspiring and you feel proud of the person for standing up for what they believe in. Some choices test your friendship because they are sooo disappointing.... This person do this? They’re giving up without even trying? – Or even worse, this person’s become one of Them?? I’ll always maintain, seeing it get the people you like makes it a personal crusade against the system!

It is one of my deepest hopes that the gang will survive the division bell’s tolling and stay together. I hate writing anything emotionally personal – but this is something I feel strongly about. I’m tempted to create a convenient loophole saying, you know – this is just a temporary “youth” thing, but thats not true! :-) This – the frustration, confusion, resolution – is lasting. I think that’s why generation after generation we’re returning to Bob Dylan and Floyd. As long as there are ideals and a technocracy to shatter them, at least young people will a search for an alternate culture to flee to.



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