<!DOCTYPE html><html lang="en"><head><meta charset="utf-8"><title>Printable Note - Blog - Coldplay - The Hardest Part (Theo Todman's Web Page) </title><link href="../../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <P ALIGN="Center"><FONT Size = 3 FACE="Arial"><B><HR>Theo Todman's Web Page<HR><p>For Text Colour-conventions (at end of page): <A HREF="#ColourConventions">Click Here</a></p><U>Blog - Coldplay - The Hardest Part</B></U></P> <P ALIGN="Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"> I d been intending to write a brief animadversion on the ambiguity of artistic productions, and the conflict between aesthetics and control. Assuming that you have something to say, and are not using precise prose to say it, how do you prevent yourself being misunderstood without compromising the aesthetics of the method of presentation of your message? Should you be concerned that your work will be misunderstood and abused? We think of the Nazis misapplication of Nietzsche and Darwin. Maybe their use of Wagner was nothing more than legitimate application. However, is there a uniquely correct interpretation of a work of art, whether this is great art or a lesser work, or is a level of ambiguity necessary to all art? Do artists  in particular in the auditory or visual arts  in general <U>have</U> a message that is even clear to themselves? We might bring to mind didactic art of the Soviet of Nazi kind. This has a message that cannot be mistaken, but is it art? <BR><BR>I m sure much has been written on this subject within the province of the philosophy of aesthetics and other philosophical disciplines, of which I m ignorant. However, I ve recently been sent a <I>YouTube</I> link to a <I>Coldplay</I> video that seems to me to have been popularly misunderstood. At least that is the impression given by the comments associated with it on <I>YouTube</I>, and the intentions of the originator of the forwarded email I received. You should probably view the video before proceeding, if you ve not already done so (0.1% of the world s population seem to have if <I>YouTube</I> counts distinct viewers). Click <A HREF = "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wli0VjOmabU" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wli0VjOmabU) to view Coldplay s <I>The Hardest Part</I>.<BR><BR>Well, if you like Coldplay you ll think it a cracking good tune - but what about the video? The circular email implies that it has a feel-good, optimistic message, but this seems to be the opposite of what is intended. Of course, the video is not produced by Coldplay themselves  see Wikipedia (Click <A HREF = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hardest_Part_(Coldplay_song)" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hardest_Part_(Coldplay_song)))) for some background, and follow <A HREF = "http://www.alwaysontherun.net/coldplay.htm#x10" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (http://www.alwaysontherun.net/coldplay.htm#x10) for the lyrics to this and other Coldplay songs  so we have another interpretive layer to dig through. <BR><BR>We can assume that either the band, or the video producer, intended the video and the lyrics of the song to be connected. You can t generalise about sentiments, but I d have thought most English viewers would find something vaguely hideous about the video, or at least some points of tension. It s very cleverly done  especially the cloak thrown across the stage  but there are intentional clashes in it, and it makes you feel uncomfortable  or ought to. The band comes from England rather than America, so probably shares this viewpoint. The producers of the 1980 s show, an excerpt from which has been spliced in with the band s performance, obviously intended the message to be positive. We can go on and on. Though we re in late middle-age, life isn t over yet  just look what a somewhat wobbly 84-year-old can do! Yet there are obvious tensions within the video. The introductory and terminal music from the show is horribly strident, especially when compared with the tunefulness of the track itself, and the gleeful enthusiasm of the show hosts and participants grates against the cynicism to be expected of any self-respecting bunch of British artists. <BR><BR>But it s the lyrics that really give the game away.  The hardest part was letting go, not taking part". It s just blindingly obvious that the intention of the video  in showing someone who refuses to let go and takes part too late  is to illustrate these sentiments. That there are nevertheless tensions is what makes letting go  the hardest part . And the sentiment  Everything I do it just comes undone, and everything is torn apart  timed to coincide with the old lady s final wobble  undermines any feel-good factor somewhat.<BR><BR>I thought the old lady had been taken advantage of. She s obviously skilled  presumably once a professional dancer - proud and  good for her age . The fact that she wobbles at the end is very poignant, and would be humiliating were she not past the age of most humiliation and treated like a little child for whom allowances must be made. This is the ultimate humiliation and makes the whole episode ugly. She s treated like a performing puppy with grotesque condescension. She looked as though she had some integrity about her that was totally lacking in all those around, who were using her for their own ends. Also, why does a society with such a strong belief in post-mortem existence find appeal in not letting go of <U>this</U> life? Whether we are to remark that she is now well dead is possible but doubtful  it may be a step too far. <BR><BR>Quite why <I>Coldplay</I> should consider this a  terrible song, good video , and connect it to REM s <I>Losing My Religion</I> escapes me. Both aspects seem excellent to me, and the only connection with REM I could see was the vague  I wonder what it s all about lyric. <BR><BR>I d also recommend Coldplay s<I> The Scientist</I> (<A HREF = "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3Kd7IGPyeg&feature=related" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3Kd7IGPyeg&feature=related)). It s very clever  especially as the miming runs forward while the video as a whole runs backwards. It s also quite moving in a sentimental sort of way. I m not 100% sure what it means, though  other than as a recommendation to wear seatbelts. My suspicion is that this is the clue. Of course, the girlfriend would have been somewhat more mangled in real life than in the video, but it s the leaving-off of the seatbelt that s the critical turning-point, that we wish we could rewind life to correct. This is a rather idle thought, given the impossibility of acting on it. Maybe it s just lamenting the fact that trivial decisions or indecisions can have terrible consequences not realised at the time, but only in retrospect. Something along the lines of the thought usually attributed to Soren Kierkegaard (though occasionally to Goethe) that life can only be understood backwards, but has to be lived forwards. This episode is rather more difficult to understand backwards  but the mental rewinding required to work out how we got to the situation we re in today is also hard. The video bears watching twice.<FONT COLOR = "000000"></P><B>Note last updated:</B> 18/12/2010 19:58:05<BR> </P><HR> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><BR><P ALIGN="Left"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><B><U>Text Colour Conventions</U></B><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "000000">Black</FONT>: Printable Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018<LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</OL><hr><BR><a href = "../../../index.htm">Return to Home page</a><BR><B>Timestamp: 06/08/2018 09:48:39. Comments to <U>theo@theotodman.com</U>.</B></P></BODY></HTML>