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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:39 pm 
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I just gave it a few minutes and tried to read the lyrics carefully (while listenning), and I've found that i have totally no idea what the song is about. Why? To whom?

Who is "hopeless"? Why?
What pizza places - why?...
References to Donovan - why?

Any suggessions appreciated! :-) Even tiny details, etc. (Or is is just some stupid nonsense only?...)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:39 pm 
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what the hell it is about?...

beats me but some have tried to figure it out.

http://www.arf.ru/Notes/Tinsel/blight.html


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:49 pm 
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the blue light is one of my favorite zappa lyrics. to me, it's about the de-evolution of society, the de-evolution of language, and the various ways in which people dumb themselves down in order to fit in to the above categories. edit: and hence, be accepted. i also think it's about people's gradual acceptance of the de-evolution and dumbing down as a way of life.

there's a lot of fantastic wordplay and association: for example, he starts with the "puddle of piddle" mentioned earlier in the song, says it smells (bad) like the ocean, which is polluted by oil, the oil of which resides in patches all over the hidden city of atlantis, chiding the "you" from the beginning of the song ("you remember atlantis"), invoking donovan who wrote and sang a song called "atlantis", then addressing the "you" once again..."that's back in the days when you used to smoke a banana", etc. the same "you" who now hangs out at winchell's doughnuts, shakey's pizza, and the blue parrot.

hope this makes some sense.

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Last edited by sleeping in a jar on Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:24 pm 
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thank you!

And why "Blue Light"?...

(I saw the explanations on the Inf. INK homepage, but there are explabations about words - I'm interested in the WHOLE: what makes the connection (is there any), etc. etc.)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:52 am 
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balint wrote:
thank you!

And why "Blue Light"?...

(I saw the explanations on the Inf. INK homepage, but there are explabations about words - I'm interested in the WHOLE: what makes the connection (is there any), etc. etc.)


The Blue Light --

Light beaming from the sun and sky above when you're under the water. Cf. the Trance-Fusion cover illustration. In this case the ocean has buried the land, like Atlantis. The blue light is a visual metaphor to describe a sinking culture - FZ's view of America, and more specifically American youth culture.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:21 am 
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Aaaaaahh, thanks, Dark Clothes!

Strange and funny at the same time: in my language "Blue light" means a programme on tv, that deals with crime-cases.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:20 am 
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Dang! I was sure "The Blue Light" was a Doctor Who reference!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:06 pm 
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Thanks for all the comments - I'm closer now, but I have to tell that I still feel most of it to be a bit stupid, too long too... I don't know... All the details seem to suggest that it's about someone specific (why "writing home"? "moving forward"? etc.), but I can't guess, who. This is a "longer type" of FZ's songs, elaborated music, but most of the words are meaningless to me.

How about you?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:11 am 
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balint wrote:
Thanks for all the comments - I'm closer now, but I have to tell that I still feel most of it to be a bit stupid, too long too... I don't know... All the details seem to suggest that it's about someone specific (why "writing home"? "moving forward"? etc.), but I can't guess, who. This is a "longer type" of FZ's songs, elaborated music, but most of the words are meaningless to me.

How about you?


i've never considered it to be about someone specific, but who knows? i've always taken the "you" to be collective. and maybe even sometimes me. i think many if not all of us exhibit the traits of the "you" in the song at one time or another. that's what makes those lyrics so damn effective.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:37 am 
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sleeping in a jar wrote:
i've never considered it to be about someone specific, but who knows?

Okay, but then what do you do with lines like "you're writing home"? It (and some other line) doesn't make any sense (to me) in the overall context.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:42 am 
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balint wrote:
Okay, but then what do you do with lines like "you're writing home"? It (and some other line) doesn't make any sense (to me) in the overall context.


dunno. maybe it's the same guy from yo' mama, writing home from managua. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:40 pm 
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A chap called Ben Singleton did a dissertation about the musical meaning in The Blue Light
available to read here:

http://www.squeakyproductions.co.uk/13.html

It has 17960 words, which is a bit big to cut and paste! So here's his overview of the themes and concept behind it;

"The Blue Light, operates in much the same way as a lot of Zappa's material, in that it provides a critique of cultural conformity and the inherent dangers in that position. In this particular instance it is the hippies of San Francisco that are drawing Zappa's fire, a group Zappa had particular contempt for as this quote from an interview in Relix reveals:

Relix: Paul Kantner says he doesn't feel the need for fulfilment, just the search. Do you feel the same way?


Zappa: (sarcastically) I'm not that metaphysical kind of a guy. I don't talk about fulfilment and searching and all that. That's for people from San Francisco. That's all they care about up there. They have so much brain damage from all the LSD tests the government did on them that they can't even talk English anymore. They're swimming around in pools of metaphors and cosmic debris.

(Peterson 1979)

There are direct links between this and the lyrics of The Blue Light,

You can’t even speak your own fucking language

You can’t read it anymore

You can’t write it anymore

Your Language

The future of your language

(S17, The Blue Light, Tinsel Town Rebellion 1981)


The Relix quote is of particular importance to our study as it introduces three major themes of The Blue Light, the first is the idea of being submerged in a pool of metaphor, this becomes a recurrent theme in The Blue Light represented by the ocean. The second is the idea of metaphor itself, as Zappa pays particular attention to some of the metaphor or more precisely mythology that the San Francisco hippies are in his words are ‘swimming around in’. The third is the idea of a dark hidden force, in the case of the quote government sponsored drugs, operating unseen behind the curtains."


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:15 pm 
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The blue light is also the blueish glow that is emitted by cathode ray TV screens (best seen when watching TV in a dark room). So the song also works as a critique of how people are being dumbed down by overexposure to the idiot box.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:26 pm 
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From Wiki:

Kmart became known for its "Blue Light Specials." They occurred at surprise moments when a store worker would light up a mobile police light and offer a discount in a specific department of the store. At the height of Kmart's popularity, the phrase "attention Kmart shoppers" also entered into the American pop psyche, appearing in films and other media such as Troop Beverly Hills, Six Days Seven Nights, Beetlejuice, and Dawn of the Dead.
The original Blue Light Special, first introduced in 1965, was retired in 1991. The company brought back the Blue Light Special in 2001, but again discontinued it in 2002. The concept was briefly revived in 2005, though Kmart at that time had no plans to use the concept long-term.

Blue Light Specials were revived again in 2009 on Saturdays, offering surprise hour-long sales on selected merchandise.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:10 pm 
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One of the strongest tracks on Thing-Fish...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:03 pm 
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jamesE wrote:
A chap called Ben Singleton did a dissertation about the musical meaning in The Blue Light
available to read here:
http://www.squeakyproductions.co.uk/13.html

Wow - thank you! And thank all to you guys who helped me with answers, laments, thoughts! :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:21 pm 
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balint wrote:
jamesE wrote:
A chap called Ben Singleton did a dissertation about the musical meaning in The Blue Light
available to read here:
http://www.squeakyproductions.co.uk/13.html

Wow - thank you! And thank all to you guys who helped me with answers, laments, thoughts! :-)


What a dissertation! But I'll bet that FZ didn't put that much thought into it.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:35 am 
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calvin2hikers wrote:
balint wrote:
jamesE wrote:
A chap called Ben Singleton did a dissertation about the musical meaning in The Blue Light
available to read here:
http://www.squeakyproductions.co.uk/13.html

Wow - thank you! And thank all to you guys who helped me with answers, laments, thoughts! :-)


What a dissertation! But I'll bet that FZ didn't put that much thought into it.


yes i found the dissertation to be, how you say in the trade, "like killing a fly with a sledgehammer".

some good points, some grasping at straws, and could have been said in a lot less than 17960 words to be sure.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:51 pm 
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Mars :mrgreen:

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2 ... mars-shift


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:10 pm 
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a quote from a dialog on arf.ru:

Quote:
- And the last question!-))) Could anyone explain what's this song about?
- Not me - never could.


:-)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:10 am 
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yea, a great lyric.
As opposed to TTR song proper, which CAN be great but at the time made me think Frank was out-of-touch. Or as Ben Watson said in his book, paraphrasing: should he be talking about MISSING PERSONS here or !?!?!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:47 am 
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Straw Hat Pizza sounds like the kinda pizza place I'd be into...I like weird stuff that doesn't belong on a pizza like tuna and corn.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:10 pm 
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It's made with 6 kinds of REAL CHEESE!!!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:40 pm 
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What's "The Blue Light" about?

It's about five and a half minutes... :P

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Silk Chariot wrote:
Straw Hat Pizza sounds like the kinda pizza place I'd be into...I like weird stuff that doesn't belong on a pizza like tuna and corn.


i think frank was referring to the fake cheese and other artificial ingredients, preservatives, etc., that go into mass-produced pizza.

tuna and corn together?

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