Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Watching Forever


So I am all jazzed up tonight, drunk on nostalgia, listening to music of my youth. Which of course meant I eventually stumbled upon New Order's
Ceremony and came across the above version on YouTube and, for the first time, heard the words "Travel first and lean towards this time." As it happened, I had just read the following on IO9


and the following question went through my head: Oh my gosh, was Joy Division/New Order writing about Doctor Who? Except, well, this is more present day Doctor Who stuff, not quite the stuff Doctors Four and Five were experiencing back in the day when this song was written.

But maybe in the future, when Apple perfects their mountain of cash time machine, they will go back and impose New Who on Ian Curtis, which is why this is the last song he ever wrote, and then, because my mind folds coincidences into origami birds and determines it all adds up to almond custard, I think this must be the case because John Simm played Bernard Sumner in 24 Hour Party People and The Master on Doctor Who. Clearly this must all mean something, right?

I have always felt that this was far and away the best New Order song. For a band that often managed to capture the pain of youth, the lyrics, "I'll break them down, no mercy shown, heaven knows it's got to be this time" seems beyond apt when I recall high school, the tears of rage and fists beating against the insurmountable wall, the seemingly never ending stream of humiliation and failure. It goes without saying there were no triumphs (at least not in my recollections, pain being a far more memorable emotion than happiness). Except, in retrospect, maybe the triumph of adolescence is not dissimilar from the triumph of New Order the band--the phoenix from the flame, rising from the ashes of tragedy, making something of yourself despite the fact that everyone around you is telling you to pack it in and ignoring all those who will say you are a naff sellout. Because, let's face it, suicide is the easy way out, it's living life and getting old that is hard. Dying young, regret free, is glamorous, but the real work is in living a life and finding out that you wouldn't trade those regrets you racked up if it meant becoming someone else.

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