Friday, May 8, 2015

Musical accompaniment for upcoming pasts on class tourism

Though it's not a big part of our thread, there is a potentially insensitive aspect to the live-on-food-stamps challenge. Sometimes the line between empathizing and patronizing can be rather thin. That got me thinking about class tourism which led immediately to the song "Common People."

In a 2012 question and answer session on BBC Radio 5 Live [Jarvis] Cocker said that he was having a conversation with the girl at the bar at college because he was attracted to her, although he found some aspects of her personality unpleasant. He remembered that at one point she had told him she "wanted to move to Hackney and live like 'the common people'".
I'm not crazy about the video but the tune is catchy and the lyrics...

Well, let's just say that the lyrics make up in emphasis what they might lack in subtlety.

I took her to a supermarket,
I don't know why,
But I had to start it somewhere,
So it started there.
I said pretend you've got no money,
She just laughed and said,
"Oh you're so funny."
I said "Yeah?
Well I can't see anyone else smiling in here.


But she didn't understand,
She just smiled and held my hand.
Rent a flat above a shop,
Cut your hair and get a job.
Smoke some fags and play some pool,
Pretend you never went to school.
But still you'll never get it right,
'Cause when you're laid in bed at night,
Watching roaches climb the wall,
If you called your Dad he could stop it all.


Sing along with the common people,
Sing along and it might just get you through.
Laugh along with the common people,
Laugh along even though they're laughing at you,
And the stupid things that you do.
Because you think that poor is cool.


'Cause everybody hates a tourist,
Especially one who thinks it's all such a laugh,

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