From a comment on Feministe concerning a youtube video with william shatner covering this pulp song.
I had never heard this song before, but I think it’s wonderful.
Joe Jackson and Ben Folds Five performance is phenomenal, can’t say I care much for Shatner’s snarkiness.
I bought the original version, and my interpretation differs somewhat from Mnemosyne’s. I hear it as a comment on the rich slumming for entertainment; playing at poverty with the commons.
“You will never understand
how it feels to live your life
with no meaning or control
and with nowhere left to go
You are amazed that they exist
and they burn so bright
whilst you can only wonder why”
The grit and grime of lower class packaged into a weekend fling, minus the tedious despair and hopelessness; readily abandoned whenever it grows tiresome. The cultural convenience of disposable deprivation makes for a lovely holiday, but you really wouldn’t want to live there.
Of course, wealth is relative; even the east end might seem like paradise to many in this world, but the reduction of people into social-educational tools is demeaning no matter where it occurs.