Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dirty Window

Released in 2003, Metallica's St. Anger was their biggest commercial failure in years. The sounds were intense. It creates an intense mood and there's no escaping it through the length of the album.

Yet, there are parts of it that I keep going back to. Like Hammet's brilliant solo in Invisible Kid around 0:44. Or All Within My Hands, where Hetfield's vocals waver between steady purposefulness and demonic full-throatedness.

I was listening to Dirty Window today and, for the first time, the lyrics made sense to me.

I see my reflection in the window
This window clean inside, dirty on the out
I'm looking different than me
This house is clean babe!
This house is clean

Am I who I think I am?
Am I who I think I am?
Oh, Am I who I think I am?
I look out my window and see it's gone wrong
My court is in session and now I slam my gavel down!

I'm judge and I'm jury and I'm executioner too
I'm judge and I'm jury and I'm executioner too

Projector, Protector, Rejector, Infector
Projector, Rejector, Infector
Injector, Defector, Rejector

I drink from the cup of denial
I'm judging the world from my throne
I drink from the cup of denial
I'm judging the world from my throne

It fits well with the political mood in India at the moment. Maybe this was the song's intended context. Some of us are protesting on the streets against the crippling corruption thrust upon us by the state. But we have given little thought to our personal deviations.

We seek instant solutions, not the nuances of our constitution. And we have little patience for moderate views on the subject of corruption. This is an extraordinary time for India where sides are been chosen like never before.

My own over-the-top response to this impatience — especially on Team Anna's part — was this image.

Let me explain my stand with a simple metaphor.

When people get sick, they go to a doctor. They get treatment but also seek precautionary advice about diet, hygiene, exercise, etc to avoid falling sick again.

The philosophy of the JLP Bill is that if one is sick (read: corrupt), seek treatment but forget about the precautions.

This way, corruption may be spotted, but its root causes will remain. Ultimately, the JLP will align with India's massive bureaucracy and make corruption worse. I hope this doesn't happen in my lifetime. I don't want to be around to say I told you so.

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