don’t speak of safe messiahs…

I’ve been listening to Joy Division. I have also been. listening to New Order.

These are two statements a couple of years ago I may not have been able to say out loud or at all. I had heaped derision upon Joy Division and their army of gloomy fans. I have however grown up a bit, just a little not a lot.

I have however only bought Joy Division albums, mainly because I got a great deal at the end of the day, Unknown Pleasures, Closer and Substance all within days of each other.

For awhile I had the song Isolation stuck in my head because of the Covid world we all live in. It kept going round and round like some mantra:

“Surrendered to self preservation
From others who care for themselves”

Always in the recesses of my mind was Ian Curtis and Joy Division mumbling away like some forgotten malaise. I had spent a considerable amount of time and energy complaining about Joy Division and their fans, their pretentiousness and their annoyance during my teen years as awful bootlegs of the band would appear on the sixth from stereo too frequently. I shared my disdain, and now admiration, with Half Man Half Biscuit, because lets face it you can’t mock a band this sincerely without a trace of admiration.

I truly admire the work that went into this video.

However as the pandemic has rolled on with the ineffectual response in the US of A I have found deep inside me a true love for the Mancunian misery mongers. Lets face it if you are going to dance in the face of the oblivion it should be to a jaunty tune with some seriously angst ridden lyrics and Joy Division have this genre down to a tee. Only the Velvet Underground have walked this line between dancing and crying so precariously without cracking a single grin.

I have been streaming the Joy Division albums for a couple of months now as I drive around. It is suitable music for pandemic driving through the plague lands of rural Clackamas County.

I refused to go Joy Division at Erics in 1979 because they were neither punk enough or rock enough. I also refused to go see U2 as well for the same reasons, which just goes to show how pretentious I could be even at such a young age. This was also probably because of the interminable common room nonsense. I have never forgiven that floppy haired young man for monopolizing the stereo with his gloomy presence. The odd thing is that now I have actually taken the time to listen to the records they are quite shall we say danceable at times, well in a herky jerky free expression wacked out 50 plus year old dancing kind way.

This had also convinced me to give them another go:

I am now going to take off to the nearest open charity shop so I can shop for some black clothes, an overcoat and a floppy wig to help me create my new persona.

4 thoughts on “don’t speak of safe messiahs…

  1. I remember really enjoying listening to Joy Division in the summer – I liked the juxtaposition of the bleak sounds with the hot summer days.
    Bleak sounds in the bleak midwinter I found a bit much!

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