Sunday, February 08, 2009

Cthulhu! You don't have to put on the red light!

So, I bought a Lovecraft anthology over a year ago, and I still haven't mustered up the time and energy to sit up one night and read "Call of Cthulhu." In my defense, it's been a busy year. Anyway, consequently, my knowledge of Lovecraft's Mythos still comes mostly through Lovecraftian homages.

That being said, I've seen and read a lot of Lovecraftian homages, so I'd like to think that my R'lyehdar is fairly accurate. A recent encounter, though, has left me questioning my sanity.

See, I've picked up a bunch of CDs recently. A used CD store near me had a Buy 3 Get 1 Free sale, so I got Rush's "Moving Pictures" and The Police's "Synchronicity" (both of which I'd been looking to listen to, before committing XBox Live points to the songs on Rock Band) with Green Day's "Insomniac" and KT Tunstall's "Drastic Fantastic" (since I liked her first album) on the cheap. I also recently picked up ABBA's "Gold," but we'll leave that aside for now (guess which movie musical I just watched!). Anyway, listening to "Synchronicity II" tonight, I thought it had a distinctly Lovecraftian bent to it. Take a look for yourself:
Another suburban family morning
Grandmother screaming at the wall
We have to shout above the din of our Rice Crispies
We can't hear anything at all
Mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration
But we know all her suicides are fake
Daddy only stares into the distance
There's only so much more that he can take
Many miles away
Something crawls from the slime
At the bottom of a dark Scottish lake

Another industrial ugly morning
The factory belches filth into the sky
He walks unhindered through the picket lines today
He doesn't think to wonder why
The secretaries pout and preen like
cheap tarts in a red light street
But all he ever thinks to do is watch
And every single meeting with his so-called superior
Is a humiliating kick in the crotch
Many miles away
Something crawls to the surface
Of a dark Scottish loch

Another working day has ended
Only the rush hour hell to face
Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes
Contestants in a suicidal race
Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance
He knows that something somewhere has to break
He sees the family home now looming in his headlights
The pain upstairs that makes his eyeballs ache
Many miles away
There's a shadow on the door
Of a cottage on the shore
Of a dark Scottish lake
Many miles away, many miles away

Now, granted, Lovecraft stuck more to New England than Scottish Lochs, but this thing "crawling from the slime" and climbing up to a cottage's door doesn't sound much like Nessie. And on the other side of the song, there's the creepy-but-familiar suburban setting, with dehumanized humans ("lemmings," the senile grandmother), the disgusting industrial imagery, and our patriarchal protagonist heading down the dark road to psychosis.

So, is there something here, or am I just flailing at shadows?


Alainadragon said...

Definitely a Lovecraftian bent to it. The nameless thing crawling from the lake even sounds like something from Lovecraft.

Don said...

Metallica has some overtly Lovecraftian songs. "The Thing That Should Not Be" is based on "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," and the instrumental "The Call of Ktulu" is probably my favorite rock instrumental of all time, and it's creepy and heavy and awesome all at the same time.