Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Common People" by Pulp

As a poor person who's always aspired to be wealthy and powerful, I've never been able to understand these rich people who seem to have a yen for poverty. It's like they think squalor is glamourous or something, and maybe because it's so different from luxury for some people it can be. Well, I'm here to tell you: seediness may be sexy but squalor sucks. Then again, knowing you have an out when it all gets too much might be the necessary ingredient that I'm missing*.

Class Tourism - or, if you're on an old school trip, slumming - is apparently something Pulp frontman and birthday boy Jarvis Cocker obviously knows all too well, as evidenced by the skillful execution of Common People, a pop song which, in the British tradition, is actually about something.

The song is about a classmate of Cocker's at St. Martin's College, one of the most prestigious art schools in the world, who yearned to see how the other ninety-nine percent lived, thanks in part to the greed of her 1%; the video also features an early appearance by tabloid bait Sadie Frost.

*Also, as I've been told - again and again - just because a person has good stuff like money, fame, or looks doesn't automatically make their life better blah blah blah...

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Seumas Gagne said...

Poverty and squalor are not synonymous. My mother always told me that you can't tell what class a person is by what they have, but only by how they care for what they have. I know desperately poor people whose homes are as neat as a pin, well cared for and welcoming. I also know people who earn well above the median income and live in filth.

michael sean morris said...

I guess I meant figurative squalor...

I've read the piece ten times, and it's still not right. I can't seem to spot the problem. I'll keep looking.