28 May 2008

Everything New Is Old Again

Perhaps in reaction to the uncertainty of the future, I have spent the last few days wallowing in fond memories of the past. I've been playing a number of old Super Nintendo games that I haven't touched in years, and I've delved into my music collection to break out some Nine Inch Nails. NIN was one half of the musical yin-yang that made up my freshman year of college, the other being Pink Floyd. Those heady days of 2004 and 2005 are now in the distant past, and hardly a day goes by when I don't reminisce about the spring of my life.

When I was a freshman, I was every bit the young, liberal idealist one might expect to find on any university campus. At the same time, my social anxieties led me to feel more than a little isolated from my peers. Because its themes of isolation and distance resonated with me so profoundly, I found myself listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall on an almost nightly basis. At the same time, the dark and brooding atmosphere of Nine Inch Nails' The Fragile and The Downward Spiral also spoke to me.

Although the music I listened to at the time was melancholic--I wouldn't become familiar with the truly dark genres of Black and Death Metal until the spring of 2006--my day to day life was almost the opposite. I truly did love academics, and there were many times when I would leave class with a feeling of profound epiphany. Try as I might, I have never been able to recover that feeling of wonder.

These days, the music I listen to is quite dichotomous. There's the exuberance and epic heroism of Power Metal on the one end of the spectrum, and the despair and bitterness of Black Metal on the other. Various sweetly melancholic Folk and Ambient music lies in the more central regions of the spectrum.

I had the good fortune today of stumbling across the following video. It is footage from the 1982 film version of The Wall, set to the music of Nine Inch Nails. Had I found this when I was a freshman, I would have thought it to be the greatest thing ever. Even today I rather like it. Enjoy!

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