Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Progressive Thoughts - Day 3

The next song is Mama by Genesis.

Before Phil Collins turned Genesis into a pop band, they were a fully-fledged progressive rock giant with Peter Gabriel as vocalist. After, two of the five members departed, there were only three members left and Phil Collins took on the additional role of vocalist to add to his drumming skills. Things started to change with the band becoming more commercial and more like a pop band. However, during that transition, there were quite a few fabulous songs that nodded to past glories – and this is one of them. I love the sinister undercurrent and it is a far cry from Phil Collins songs like You Can’t Hurry Love.

Apparently the song is about a man who is obsessed by a prostitute, whom he calls “Mama”.

What I particularly like about the song is that sinister undercurrent and, as you can see from the video, the way that Phil Collins laughs in a menacing way.

I’m fascinated by disturbing themes and I sometimes question myself about it. For example, when I watch a thriller or a horror story, I am gripped by bad guys who are particularly nasty, demonic or devoid of feeling an emotion.

The only way I can explain it is that I am the polar opposite. I love people, generally, and feel terrible about harming any creature on this planet – with the notable exception of wasps.

For example, the other day, I put something in the bin and closed the lid with slightly excessive force. Just a microsecond before the lid slammed shut I caught sight of a slug on the rim and then watched in horror as the lid landed on top of it.

I actually cried out “Oh no!” and opened the lid to see a squashed slug, retracting its antennae and curling up into a ball. I watched for a few seconds and then grimaced as it fell into the bin, dead.

I had accidentally killed a slug and I was mortified.

This is the first time I have confessed to this heinous crime and I am appalled with myself.

You would think that such a sensitive nutcase would never watch or read about evil people who behave despicably. Yet I am an enigma in that sense and am utterly captivated by such people. For example, if you have been watching the latest series of The Walking Dead, the kind of character I am talking about is somebody like Negan, who is a total sociopath.

Another example is Hannibal Lecter, a highly intelligent, even charming, psychotic and cannibalistic murderer.

Why am I fascinated by this?

I can’t really answer to be honest. I can’t even imagine what thought processes run through the mind of such a person when he is committing such a crime. It’s totally alien to me. Ah – maybe that’s it. I am also fascinated by aliens generally and, to me at least, such thoughtless acts of violence without any morality and emotion are so alien to me that they actually captivate me.

Having said that, most of these evil people are figments of somebody’s imagination and I know that there are and have been real people who have committed atrocities too.

That terrifies me but thankfully (and hopefully) these people are few and far between.


River said...

That song is not bad, but I don't think Phil Collins' laugh is menacing, it's too staged, but he gets points for trying.
I think more people than would admit it, are fascinated by the bad/evil in books and movies. It's the attraction of the unknown and that little dare-devil that lives in all of us. Plus the bad guys are often good looking with truck loads of charisma.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I know people who can do a more menacing laugh, that's for sure.

I sometimes actually root for the bad guy - they are often far more interesting than the good guys.




JahTeh said...

Have you read a series of YA books called Time Riders? There are 8 of them and have to be read in order and I think you would really like the last book.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi JT,

No I haven't. I shall look into it.