Lookout, Lookout: The Heartfelt Sounds of Forgiveness


Lookout, Lookout: The Heartfelt Sounds of Forgiveness

Mary, Mary-belle within a bird-cage cell,
All your neighbors know what your mother sells,
But you carved out a name;
You carved out a name for yourself.
Look out, look out,
Look out, Look out,
There are murders about.

Lookout, Lookout is the heartwrenching, honest and unabashedly sad music video from the astonishing debut album by Seattle-based singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius).  Learning is a devastatingly lovely premiere album, a collection of songs that starkly explores the dark and melancholy world of drugs, depression, suicide and abuse.  Hadreas has described the songs as having been written in an attempt to gain some understanding of his own troubled life, and they were originally intended to be heard by only his closest friends.

When close attention is paid, the music here is gut-wrenching, sad and fearlessly honest, while at the same time maintaining a dignified sense of resigned acceptance.  Perfume Genius has managed to craft some of the finest heartfelt, new indie-music this side of the millennium, with sounds and plain-spoken lyrics that can tap into your inner emotions.  Hadreas’s voice stands out with a  soft-spoken tenderness and ethereal quality on the track Gay Angels, which switches from piano chords to minimalistic organ drones.  Lookout, Lookout can push you to the point of possibly offering empathic, compassionate forgiveness to anyone who you feel  has done wrong to you over the past few years.

Lookout, Lookout: The Heartfelt Sounds of Forgiveness

Gay Angels: Hearing and Seeing Them (Perfume Genius)

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In Memoriam: Tyler Clementi (1992-2010)

In Memoriam: Tyler Clementi (1992-2010)

Our hope is that our family’s personal tragedy will serve as a call for compassion, empathy, and human dignity.”

-Family of Tyler Clementi

Tyler Clementi was an 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman when he jumped from the George Washington Bridge in an apparent suicide in September 2010, days after he had been secretly filmed during an intimate encounter which was then broadcast on the Internet.

Ellen DeGeneres: An Important Message About Bullying

Gorecki Symphony No. 3: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs

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By Some Miracle: A Strange Twist of Fate

By Some Miracle: A Strange Twist of Fate

By Some Miracle is a dark, introspective short film created by David Altobelli, for Philip Selway’s track from his solo-debut album, Familial.  The thought-provoking video is the tale of  an ill-fated suicide attempt, featuring an alluring red-clad female and an extremely unlucky ice cream man.

By Some Miracle: A Strange Twist of Fate

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Love Suicides: A Tragic Tale of Self-Destruction and Abuse

Love Suicides: A Tragic Tale of Self-Destruction and Abuse

Love Suicides is a short film by Edmund Yeo, which is based upon a story of the same title by the Nobel Prize-winning author Yasunari Kawabata.  Set in an isolated fishing village of Malaysia, a lonely woman´s relationship with her young daughter descends into a path of self-destruction and child abuse when she begins to receive a series of strange and mysterious letters from her husband, who had abandoned her many years ago.

Love Suicides: A Tragic Tale of Self-Destruction and Abuse

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Yukio Mishima: Eternal Exclusion and the Tragic Search for Recognition

Yukio Mishima (1925-1970)

Mishima’s Early Years

Kimitake Hiraoka, better known to the world by his pen name of Yukio Mishima, was born in Tokyo in 1925. His first long work The Forest in Full Bloom was published in a magazine called Bungei Bunka in 1941, when Mishima was sixteen years old. In 1943, he entered Tokyo Imperial University where he studied law. In 1944, Mishima had his first major work, The Forest in Full Bloom, published in Tokyo. To have a book published in the last year of the war was considered a great achievement for any Japanese writer, since due to a shortage of paper many books weren’t being published. The publisher printed 4000 copies for the first printing of the book, which completely sold out in one week.

Mishima graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1947 and worked for a brief time as an official at the Finance Ministry. During his time at the university, his father had strictly opposed Mishima’s writing. Nevertheless, Mishima continued to write secretly every night, supported and protected by his mother, who was always the first to read a new story. Attending lectures during the day and writing at night, Mishima had exhausted himself so much that his father agreed to his resignation from his position at the Finance Ministry during his first year during his first year of work there. He resigned from the ministry in 1948 and decided to support himself exclusively from his writing.

Mishima with the Governor of Tokyo, 1956

The Literary Years

His first novel, Confessions of a Mask, was published in July of 1949, causing Mishima to be called one of Japan’s most promising new writers. Between 1950 and 1964 Mishima turned out a prolific body of writings ranging from novels, plays, short stories, essays to travel books and articles for magazines. Some the most important and successful novels that were written during this time included: Thirst for Love, Forbidden Colors, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, Silk and Insight, After the Banquet and The Sound of the Waves. In 1956 Mishima published Temple of the Golden Pavilion, his most commercially successful work of this period.

From 1964 to November 25, 1970, Mishima worked on the Sea of Fertility novels. This tetralogy is considered to be his masterwork. Together the four works depict a portrait of Japanese life fom 1912 to 1970. By the time of his death at the age of forty-five, Yukio Mishima had written twenty-four novels, more than forty plays, over ninety short stories, several poetry and travel volumes, and hundreds of essays.

Mishima was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature three times and was particularly popular with many foreign publications. However, in 1968 his early mentor Kawabata won the Nobel Prize, and Mishima realized that the chances of it being given to another Japanese author in the near future were slim. It is also believed that Mishima wanted to leave the prize to the aging Kawabata, out of respect for the man who had first introduced him to the literary circles of Tokyo in the 1940s.

The Years of Military Nationalism

In 1967, Mishima enlisted in the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF) and underwent basic training. A year later, he formed the Tatenokai, The Shield Society, which was a private army composed primarily of young students who studied martial principles and physical discipline, and swore to protect the emperor. Mishima trained them himself. However, under Mishima’s ideology, the emperor was not necessarily the reigning emperor, but rather the abstract essence of Japan. In Eirei no Koe (Voices of the Heroic Dead) Mishima actually denounced Emperor Hirohito for renouncing his divinity at the end of World War II.

On November 25, 1970, the very same day that he finished the last novel of Sea of Fertiliity, Yukio Mishima and several members of his Shield Society took over a military base in Ichigaya, the Ichigaya Camp that served as the Tokyo headquarters of the Eastern Command of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. For some time, Mishima had utilized his Shield Society as an endeavor to challenge his country to seriously reconsider the westernized direction that they were taking.

Once inside the main headquarters building, they barricaded the office, held the commandant hostage and demanded the resignation of Japan’s prime minister. With a prepared manifesto and banner listing their demands, Mishima stepped onto the balcony to address the soldiers gathered below. Reading the manifesto to the soldiers who had crowded into the courtyard beneath him, Mishima exhorted them to rise up and save Japan. When his actions failed to rouse the soldiers at Ichigaya to rise up in revolt, he committed seppuka (ritual suicide). He was only 45 years old.

The Life of Yukio Mishima: A Tragic Search for Recognition

Slide Show: Yukio Mishima/The Grief of Eternal Exclusion

(Please Click Image to View Gallery)

Attempts to understand the life and death of Yukio Mishima, as well as his considerable body of published works, are quite possibly helpful in gaining insight about suicide terrorists in the Middle-East today. One might reasonably consider his ideology of nationalistic, perhaps totalitarian, martyrdom as a prelude to the contemporary mythology of martyrdom in Iraq and similar countries.

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Articles from Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Anton Corbijn’s new film, Control, is the story of Ian Curtis, lead singer of the esteemed English post-punk band “Joy Division.” Curtis killed himself in 1980, just two days before the band’s first tour in the U.S.

This article describes his life and presents stunning photographs, two music videos, the movie trailer and a photo-gallery.

[tags: Control, movie, Ian Curtis, Joy Division, music, video, photographs]

There has been increasing alarm that technological advances have changed not only our everyday lives, but also the very nature of our sense of humanity. Others say that surging technology hasn’t had the ruinous impact that some have anticipated.

The article presents both perspectives, as well as very attractive, memorable photographs and a photo-gallery.

[tags: technology, science, technology and humanity, self, humanity, photographs, celebrities]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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Touch from a Distance: The Bleak Exhilaration of Ian Curtis and Joy Division

Touch from a Distance: The Bleak Exhilaration of Ian Curtis and Joy Division

Anton Corbijn’s recent bio-documentary, Control, tells the story of Ian Curtis, the lead singer of the revered Manchester post-punk band Joy Division.  The band made only two albums before Curtis killed himself in 1980, two days before the band was scheduled to leave for its first concert tour in the United States.  Prior to Curtis’ death, Joy Division was virtually unknown in the United States, even though their following in the U.K. had been growing steadily.

By the time most people in the United States had started taking note of Joy Division, Ian Curtis was gone.  However, both his life-story and the band’s music, characterized by darkly glittering songs that resonated with resplendent tones rather than decandantly world-weary sounds, were powerful enough to earn Joy Division a passionate audience.   The fact that the band’s surviving members regrouped as a very different band, New Order, has made the story even more magnetic.

Ian Curtis grew up in Manchester, England, which in the 1970s was a modest town with streets filled with working-class flats and houses.  As a teenager, it’s said that he got involved in many of the things that other kids of his social class and generation were doing.  He and his friends took whatever drugs they could get their hands on; he met, fell in love with and later married one of the local girls, a quiet but slyly intelligent young woman named Deborah.  And after being inspired by attending a Sex Pistols show, he started a band with some of his friends.

Not long after the band started up in 1976, Ian was diagnosed with epilepsy, and the cocktail of drugs used to treat the disorder was only marginally effective.  His new on-stage life as a most unlikely sort of jittery and charismatic rock star, soon began to conflict with his life at home as a husband in a rather dreary working class setting. In 1979, he met a worldly but sweet young journalist named Annik, and the two soon became involved in a romantic affair that shook everything that he’d come to accept as safe and secure about his life.

A year later, Ian’s health was deteriorating and his marriage had collapsed after his wife, Deborah, discovered his infidelity with Annik.  Alone in his Manchester home, during the early hours of Sunday, May 18, 1980, after having watched Werner Herzog’s film Stroszek and listening to Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, Curtis hanged himself in his kitchen.

Love Will Tear Us Apart Again

Love Will Tear Us Apart Again (Live)

Control: Official Movie Trailer

Control: Movie Trailer (Extended)

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