Monday, October 06, 2003

MESSIAH AND HIGHERS: So, now it's Travis taking on the might of the Catholic Church, one of those battles you really always hoped you'd never have to choose which side to be on. Talking to a Scotish paper, Fran Healy says " "I have massive problems with the Catholic church. I was brought up a Catholic and went to a Catholic school and it's the whole idea of them teaching you how to feel rather than teaching you how to learn, or teaching you to be a normal person. There is a lot of fear in it. In school as well, I've really a big problem with education as well." Is that just us, or does that make no sense at all? Catholic Schools give lessons in 'how to feel?' Would this be the same Catholic Church that tells its more devout followers that you shouldn't listen to what your feelings tell you is right? Believe me, I've got my doubts about the wisdom of religious bodies being allowed to run educational establishments but it's not the teaching of 'how to feel' that drives them. The pity is that clearly Fran has got something important that he wants to say - we suspect it's 'I was fucked up by the Catholic Church when I was a kid' (although we have a little bit of trouble picturing the young chap who wrote U-16 Girls and bounded about the stage grinning like a loon as actually having just been freed from a repressive and archaic school system - leastways, not one that he had noticed at the time). It's a pity, though, because it really exposes a serious flaw he suffers from - a flaw that is fatal in a songwriter - he can't string two words together to even tell his life.

If you want more proof, this is part of the lyric from the song he's written about how bad the pope is and everything:

In the church one day you will get hurt
In the school the teacher's such a fool
And if they would ever come round here
They would ever come
Blame it on my style
Take a pill
Don't tell me how to feel."
Don't rehearse, this is the last verse
In the hearse, going through your purse.

Let's not even try to dignify this doggerel by fretting over the content - the teachers are fools? But if they're so simple, what use would they be in preparing young people for a role as an underdog in a religion? - let's simply ask: eh? It makes Coldplay look like Proust, doesn't it; especially that rehearse/verse/hearse/purse bit - he could also have used 'curse', 'worse' and 'terse', of course. But what's really frustrating is this is going to be hailed as the work of a brave, clear-eyed genius rather than a twatty poem from someone who's desperately trying to recast his past to give him an excuse for the sixth-form misery he decided to embrace in his mid-20s.

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