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My home internet connection is a zombie in a coma.

14 August 2009

Something strange has been happening to me recently.

There’s nothing wrong with crying after watching The Notebook or A Walk to Remember. Those chick flicks were meant to be cried to. It’s normal for someone to sob or at least shed a tear after watching a two-hour film about something that ends in tragedy. That’s what tragedies are meant for. However, I don’t think it’s commonplace for someone to cry after, say, watching a music video. Or a trailer.

Yes, for some reason, even short videos of less than five minutes long have triggered emotional breakdowns. The trailers for The Time Traveller’s Wife and My Sister’s Keeper, for example, have brought me to uncontrollable tears every time I see them, including times when the trailers would be played before a feature in the cinema. I have not read the book of either movie, but the trailers gave me something to anticipate, and from the moment I finished watching both trailers for the first time I knew that I would probably end up having to bring a box of tissues when I had to watch the full movies. The Time Traveller’s Wife, for example, was about a woman who met the man of her dreams, but would lose him every so often due to his irrepressible condition which causes him to travel through time. My Sister’s Keeper, on the other hand, is about a girl with cancer. I get sensitive around that topic.

Trailers aren’t the only sorts of videos that have made me cry lately. Even music videos have had the same effect.

“We Are The World”, for example, was a charity song by USA for Africa, which was composed of a group of some of the most popular American musicians of the mid-80s. Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Steve Perry, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, James Ingram, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Shiela E and many more were all gathered in the same room, recording a song that went from an idea to a finished masterpiece within twelve hours.

The effect that “We Are The World” had on me surprised me just as much as it surprised my mother and sister, who were with my at the time of my emotional outburst. Maybe it was the fact that Michael Jackson had just died, but I had a feeling that the mere thought of that day “We Are The World” was recorded was what I found to be too much for me to handle. Here was a group of extremely talented vocalists, composers, musicians, all of which had a different vocal quality and produced their own unique sound; one would wonder what they would sound like if they were to all sing together. It came as a huge surprise that their voices would fit together so harmoniously. All these epic musicians were gathered in an epic room to sing an epic song, and it was far too epic for me to handle. The tears came pouring out when Bob Dylan came up, and then I simply burst into tears.

“We Are The World” reminded me that the quality of music back then remains to be unmatched. Despite the fact that music is far more widespread these days in terms of genre doesn’t replace the fact that quality is better than quantity. If today’s generation of artists were to come together in an attempt to match “We Are The World”, who would write and compose the song? Who would sing it? How would they sound if they all sang together?

We are a generation that grew up listening to music, which is why the kinds of music that are popular today are only the results of various combinations of yesterday’s sound. The fact that “We Are The World” will probably remain unmatched forever is a haunting thought, and it was a thought that made me bawl my face off.

I would go on to talk about Fall Out Boy’s latest video, “What a Catch, Donnie” as well, but study hall will soon be over. The overview on that, though, is that Fall Out Boy is about to go on a hiatus, and the music video was like a culmination of all their works and all their hits. Patrick Stump fishes out elements from old music videos coming from a shipwreck, as well as people (from Fueled by Ramen and Decaydance) in a lifeboat… On the sinking ship is Pete Wentz, which is a literal representation of the line, “They say the captain / Goes down with the ship”. I’m going to miss Fall Out Boy so much. Hence the tears.

Oh, how anticlimactic. Study hall will soon be over, and so I shall be off now.

xx

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