Monday, July 13, 2009

Wisdom from VNV Nation, darkness and light

There was a great point made by the singer in between the first couple of songs. Even though they do serious, depressing songs, the guy was happy and joking with the crowd all through it. He gave an explanation that was roughly the following: even though we do depressing songs we're complex people who have multiple sides. We're not all depressed all the time, we have friends, we go out and do stuff, so why do we have to be totally serious during shows? I agree about the multifaceted, more complex, engagement with things. I ruminate on dark themes all the time, but I'm not a shut in who does nothing but write on the internet.

All of this reminds me of Yukio Mishima's long essay, mediation entitled "Sun and Steel", which is superficially about his relationship, as a writer, to his body. Mishima was always a sort of morbid writer, but was frustrated with words and with their disconnection from life, and so he started to work on his body as a way of getting back in touch with the physical reality around us. What he found was way to break through very dark nihilism into something beyond it, something positive. The metaphor of the sun is used to great effect in the beginning, where he talks about making friends with the sun and absorbing it into his body instead of hiding from it. The rebirth of a physical, embodied, connection to things lead to a resurrection of the ideal of beauty in his life, with a very interesting doctrine linking the Beautiful with truth, something that could pierce the cloud of nihilism and provide a positive ideal.

No comments: