[Powderworks] Bedlam Bridge Interpretation
Sat, 21 Sep 2002 16:38:02 -0400 (EDT)
These lyrics have come up before. You'll probably
get as many different interpretations as there are
P'workers, but I'm for another round.
Here's what I think of when I hear it. Sometimes it's
about America, urbanization, dehumanization, and
material idolatry. But mostly about the world as a
system...the thing we've made to parallel and replace
our lived experience in the natural world: a virtual
reality, so to speak. (I like how Hannah Arendt took
this up is some of her work.) In my mind, it's the
antithesis of the spiritual, and this song plays on
the tension between two constructions of reality...
'Body never breathless' and 'city on a hill' surface
images of the church (as does 'Light on the hill' in
River Run Red, another Hirstian(+JM) masterpiece).
Bedlam Bridge is the cross - a symbol of the collision
between world and spirit. It simultaneously lays bare
then covers the gap between the two. And the person
waiting on the bridge would likely be Christ.
Of course, everyone will agree with this ;) In fact,
I've probably got it all backwards...
yet with 'bated breath, I await the flames,
bruce in calgary
--- Rusty Shock <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hello all.
> I was just listening to Bedlam Bridge and I wonder
> if anyone has the same take on it that I do.
> It seems to me that the man on Bedlam Bridge is a
> very ominous, threatening figure. He might even be
> the same as the man who "wears the matching suit,
> steel tipped shoes and the diamonds" from Is It Now?
> Could Bedlam Bridge be the bridge between sanity and
> madness? Could the "man who makes no enemies" be
> the one to guide you from one side to the other?
> And could "drive the engines harder, turn the
> engines over" be referring to society's relentless
> drive toward insanity and ruin, "crossing over"
> Bedlam Bridge?
> Just a thought.
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