More Than Words – Why I Can’t Stand What Used To Be One Of My Favourite Songs
If you’re not familiar with it, the above video is for the unexpectedly romantic pseudo-ballad by 1980s rockers Extreme. It’s the most atmospherically evil song ever written. It makes “War Pigs” seem like “A Spoonful Of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down”. Well, it does if you listen to it carefully enough.
When it was released, it came as something of a surprise to fans of the band due to their previous output of cock rock, hair metal. The fans thought that Extreme had sold out, that they weren’t “Rock” anymore. In fact, quite the opposite had happened. Extreme had not only become more “Rock”, they had passed through “Rock” and into “creepy and sinister”. If you examine the lyrics carefully, the song is not romantic no matter how heart-felt the manner it appears to be sung in, it is definitely creepy and sinister.
When this song came out, way back in 1990, I loved it. My girlfriend at the time loved it too. It became “our song”. It perfectly expressed how we felt about each other. The thing is though, the way we felt about each other was mainly expressed in the form of animalistic rutting. We were smugly proud of the quality of our animalistic rutting. We thought it symbolized how much in love we were.
The obvious truth, however – obvious to everyone except us that is – was that most of the time, we fucking hated each other. Except when we were fucking, and there was more than enough of that going on to distract us from the fact that we didn’t really like each other very much. On a good day we didn’t like each other very much. On a bad day, we made spirited but unrealistic attempts to kill each other. This isn’t exceptional. Many a bad relationship has gone on way longer than it should have done because of hatred spilling over into prolonged and angry hardcore screwing.
So, I’ve come to the conclusion that “More Than Words” by Extreme is creepy and evil, but not because it reminds me of my mental ex-girlfriend. She wasn’t mental, for one thing. She was a perfectly sweet young lady. We were just one of those couples who were lovely human beings when we weren’t together. When we were together, it was like a supervillain was aiming some sort crazy ray at us. A crazy ray that gave her nymphomania and inflicted priapism on me. You’ve probably all been there at some time or another.
No, what makes the song evil and creepy is, as I’ve already stated, the lyrics. They sound very smoochy and romantic until you consider the tense it’s written in. When I consider that, my inner pedant comes racing to the surface. Not that my inner pedant is terribly well concealed. As inner pedant’s go, he’s not exactly a Ninja.
The tense that the song is written in is all speculative. Well actually, as far as tense goes, the song is all over the bloody place, but the relevant parts a speculative. “You wouldn’t have to say that you love me, ‘cause I’d already know”. This can only mean that “More Than Words” – and we all know what that is – hasn’t happened yet for the young man singing the song. In other words, this young man is trying to convince his young lady to fuck him. In fact, he’s emotionally blackmailing her into fucking him. “What would you say if I took those words away/Then you couldn’t make things new/Just by saying I Love you”. Don’t know what that says to you, but to me it says “Fuck me or I’ll dump you”. Wonder how many unplanned teenage pregnancies this song was responsible for in the early 90s?
Mind you, Extreme aren’t the only musicians guilty of this sort of thing. When Ronan Keating sang “You Say It Best When You Say Nothing At All”, what was he actually singing about? Well there are only three occasions when women say nothing at all, if you don’t count them being dead.
Firstly, there’s when they are asleep. This was supposed to be a romantic song, so he couldn’t have meant that. I don’t think he was implying that a girl cuts to the core of a relationship by drooling, snoring and the occasional nocturnal fart. So we can count out sleeping.
The second time a girl says nothing at all is when you’re both at home and she’s really pissed off at you. Again, I hardly think Mr Keating was saying that a girl best expresses her love for you by transmitting a frosty silence, sniffing haughtily every so often and glaring at you when she thinks you’re not looking.
The third occasion when a girl says nothing at all is when she’s giving you a blowjob. That’s got to be what he was talking about. He did miss the mark as far as romance goes if he was. Don’t get me wrong, a blowjob is a wonderful expression of the esteem a lady holds her man in. It’s not romantic though. I’ve never heard a woman say “I gave him a lovely romantic blowjob last night”. The phrase “intimate candlelit blowjob” has yet to establish regular use in the English Language, though perhaps it’s time it did.
Perhaps it’s also time that songwriters thought more carefully about their lyrics. Though there is an outside chance that I’m just a sex obsessed middle aged man who reads fucking and blowjobs into every song he hears. My inner pedant is telling me that is probably a more likely explanation.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2014
Captain Caveman vs Just William – How A Lady Can Train Her Man Not To Be So Much Of A Dick Without Him Even Noticing
When me and my missus first got together, I was a bit of a caveman. A witty and charming caveman obviously, otherwise she’d have had nothing to do with me in the first place, but a caveman nonetheless. Read More…
Originally posted on Ned's Blog:
I’ll never forget how I felt this day 13 years ago as an American, a firefighter and as a father — and how each held its own kind of hurt that has never completely healed. But of the three, being a father watching the sparkle in my then six-year-old daughter’s eyes noticeably fade just a bit continues to be the memory that lingers most…
My alarm clock went off the same as it always did back then, coming to life with the morning news — my preference over the annoying, high-pitched alternative of chatter. Instinctively, I swatted the snooze button and bought myself another seven minutes of sleep.
In the years since, I’ve thought a lot about those seven minutes, and how the simple push of a button postponed a bitter reality for just a little longer. When the news came on again, word of the first airliner crashing into…
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Alex Salmond And The Tar Baby – Why The Scottish People Should Consider An American Rabbit Before Voting On Independence
On the 18th of September, Scotland votes in the referendum for its independence. In fact the postal voting forms went out a couple of days ago, so some people may have already voted. Read More…
Why Don’t You Just F…-The Double Edged Sword Of The Internet And How To Blunt It
When I was a little boy, back in the 1970s, there was a programme on the BBC during the summer holidays called “Why Don’t You..?” Here’s an example of an episode from 1973.
Sorry about the annoying test signal tone at the beginning, but I think it’s worth it to check out the state of the art countdown technology on the clapperboard. As you can see, the full title of the programme was “Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go And Do Something Less Boring Instead?” You can tell it was made in the 70s because valves come out of the exploding television set when the kid puts his foot through the screen during the titles. You didn’t need to put the gas fire on while you were watching telly when I was a kid. The valves in the set generated enough heat to keep the whole room warm.
You couldn’t have got away with making a programme which actively encourages its viewers to switch their TV’s off in America. The advertisers wouldn’t stand for it. Fortunately-or unfortunately- this programme was made in England. The BBC doesn’t need advertising revenue because it’s funded by the Television Licence. Even if you never watch the BBC, you still have to pay them or face a fine or even jail time. This is a concept Americans find hard to wrestle with. It still gives most Brits a bit of trouble, to tell you the truth.
The 1973 episode is actually a bit before my time. When I watched the programme, it had changed its name to “Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?” Presumably the title was changed because angry mothers wrote in to the BBC, sick of kids trying out the things in the programme at home and wanting their offspring to head outdoors and out from under their feet.
Whatever the reason, “Why Don’t You” did encourage kids to switch off their television sets as a matter of policy, not just by being shit. And there’s no doubt that it was shit. That was a long time ago though. Young or old, turning our brains to mush by sitting in front of the goggle box is a bit old hat. Nowadays, we turn our brains to mush by sitting in front of our computers. The Google Box, if you will.
Don’t get me wrong, the Internet is a wonderful thing. Research which once would have taken you hours in a public library now takes minutes. Granted, it’ll almost certainly be factually incorrect, but it definitely doesn’t take nearly as long.
I have two cats, so I like videos of them being endearingly clumsy as much as the next man. Social media? It allows you to communicate with people on the other side of the world without incurring the mortgage sized telephone bills that would have been involved not so long ago. You can even interact with famous people. I’ve had people who I’ve admired for years follow me on Twitter. No idea why they followed me. I guess famous people get drunk and press buttons they shouldn’t press at 3 in the morning, same as the rest of us.
Sadly, The Internet’s not all Lolcats and the odd celebrity scalp on your Twitter followers list. There are things on the Internet that can fuck you up good and proper. Porn is probably the obvious example. Not that there’s anything wrong with porn, per se. Even really disgusting, horrible porn has its place, as long as everyone involved is actually into what’s happening and is a fully grown adult.
The content of the porn is not the main problem. Nothing wrong with a finite amount of porn. Porn in moderation. The problem is that the Internet has an infinite amount of porn, or as near to infinite as makes no odds. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve settled down for a nice relaxing wank and realised that four hours have passed and not only do I not have a hard on but I haven’t touched my penis- or even though about it for that matter- for about 3 and a half hours. I’ve just clicked from link to link to link with a gormless, mesmerized look on my face. In terms of sexual stimulation, I might as well have not bothered installing my browser and just played the Mah Jong program that came free with the computer. It’s really better to read books or use your imagination.
The Internet has a terrible gravity of its own that can draw you in and stop you from getting on with the practical aspects of your life. You can literally spend days on a chatroom thread arguing with people you’ve never met about subjects everyone involved has no real experience of. And he amongst us who has not wasted an entire day watching random YouTube videos, then let him cast the first stone.
Blogs are good though. I like blogs. You can express yourself and see how the world really feels about it, rather than being soft soaped by your friends. You can put photos and videos on them and create something that’s never been created before. Best of all though, you go out and actually do things and blog about what you’ve done. So, Why Don’t You Just Find Something Interesting To Do, Meet New People While You Do It And Tell The World About It On The Internet. It’s good for that sort of thing, the Internet. And if anyone online criticizes you for doing it, or tries convince you to stop, send them a message telling them to “fuck off”. Put a little smiley face on the end though. There’s no excuse for being rude.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2014