US and THEM Index
Dark Side of the Moon
"Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way," sings Roger Waters in Pink Floyd's album Dark Side of the Moon. This is an album, which depicts a horrifying, unsatisfying way of life. From the first song "Breathe" to the final song "Eclipse", Floyd shows how society pushes its younger members to a life of continuos work, when in the end there is no satisfaction. This is an accurate portrayal of many people who are called "Generation X" by the media; however, this unsatisfying life of continual work with no happiness or satisfaction is brought on by the individual, not by society as many claim.
"Breathe," the first song on Dark Side of the Moon, shows the initial pushing by society, the elder generations in particular, on an individual to "Ride the tide" and find a job. "Run rabbit run, dig that hole, forget the sun, and when at last the work is done, don't sit down it's time to dig another one," sings Waters. Here is life as it should be according to society. One must dig their holes and never sit down, never relax, instead always continue digging. Waters also introduces another element of life, "...all that you touch and all that you see is all your life will ever be..." With this Waters is saying that life is all about what you can touch, what you can gain. In other words, life is all about the material objects one gains through working and riding the tide. The individual, who is from here on in referred to as Pink, is led to believe that this is all life is. He is also led astray by the initial instructions from society into believing that he will be guided by them and showed by them the way to this life; however, in "Time" he realizes how wrong he was.
"And then one day you find ten years have got behind, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting the gun," sings Waters in the third song of the album, "Time." Here Pink has his epiphany. He realizes that his life is meaningless and that there is no hope. He waited and waited for, "...someone or something to show him the way..." only to find that society will not help you. Society instructed Pink on how life should be, yet when he needed their guidance they were not there to help him. He finds that his life is shorter and that he is "one day closer to death." With this realization that he has to do it on his own, he sets out to make something of his life; however, he finds that this attempt has come too late. He missed the starting gun and knows there is no hope. This realization leads Pink into a state of depression in the song "Brain Damage."
"You lock the door and throw away the key. There's someone in my head but it's not me," sings Waters in "Brain Damage." Here Pink has entered the most severe state of depression in his life. After his epiphany in "Time" he understands that he is worthless and that notion is tearing away at his soul. Pink blames society for this. He claims that they created him and now they lock him away. It is clear that Pink has suffered in his life. He was instructed how to live yet was never shown how to do it. When he saw that it was too late and this led to his current state; however, is Pink right in blaming society?
The story of Pink is heard over and over again in society today. People slave through four or eight years of upper level schooling only to find when they finish, no jobs. These people have many scapegoats from the government to the fact that there are more people who are equally qualified as they are. Yet are these people right in blaming others? Or perhaps these people made the same mistake as Pink.
Roger Waters and Pink Floyd answered this question in their album. Society is not the one to blame. The responsibility lies with the individual to step out into the world and not wait for "the starting gun." Those who wait find themselves in the same predicament as Pink did in the latter half of the album. Julia Carlisle is a perfect example of how one falls into the same path as Pink. She was fired from her job at NBC and instead of taking the responsibility, she blamed society for shutting her out. Yet one must ask if she did not bring this on herself, as did Pink. The problem with "Generation X" is that they are impatient and expect to be spoon fed. When in reality they must go and grab the spoon themselves. Pink expected to be spoon fed by society and it led to his destruction. Let us hope that those who follow in Pink's path will realize it before it is to late.
Floyd in their album, Dark Side of the Moon, portrayed the scary life of a young man who became lost. He expected to be spoon fed, only in the end did he realize that he must do it himself. This lead to Pink's destruction. Yet even in the end he blamed society for putting him in his predicament. This story is ever so real in life today. People sit around waiting to win the lottery, when in reality they need to jump up and run and dig that hole before it is to late. "Hanging on in quiet desperation," sings Waters, but Pink and none other brought on this desperation.
Josh aka "Fuzz"