Sometimes you just need to learn how to make your peace.
Like most everyone else I suffer from repeated recurring song affliction. You know, when you wake up in the morning and you have a song already firmly lodged in your head?
Unfortunately for me, of late, that song has been World Party's Ship of Fools.
Let me say that I HATED that song when I was a kid. I think it was due to the video, which was freaking ugly. And what was with the polarisation effect? Cheap and nasty; polarising audiences by using that kind of visual technique is not a good idea. It was like those bad home made VHS video camera special effects. You know, like the fade out and fade in. Oooh. Nasty.
I know that as a 12 year old when that song came out in Australia, my tastes were not refined enough to appreciate the song, even if I already knew that the sentiment was right. Basically even back then I knew that the world was full of idiots.
But now, I am making my peace with the song. The lyrics are pretty timeless even if the accompanying music seems like something that would have been best left on the DVD bonus features of The Commitments, with which I refuse to wave the white flag.
The idea of being stranded on a ship of fools is not a unique idea, but nor is it one that is often explicitly stated. We read about it all the time; we read about the lowest common denominator, of spectacular lapses of judgement and rampant stupidity. Hell, we come across it every day of our lives.
The song, the video, even Karl Willinger's styling all deals with ugly, purposely or not. But that is the central idea of the song right? That humans are flawed because of their ugly and stupid nature. And that there is always somebody who feels that little bit more superior.
That a song like this could share house in the top ten at a time when Stock Aitken & Waterman were golden, Whitney Houston had crimped extensions and Bon Jovi were single handedly fighting the fight for leather vests and hairy chests, I simply have to lay down my arms.
World Party. I am making my peace with your ship of fools.