Stupid breakup music & angsty chords that is all trauma

[R] Rina and [L] Lynette work together as Nusbacher & Associates— offering Devil’s Advocacy, sound horizon scanning and structured methods of making futures/strategy. They are prepared to tell you that you’re not the fairest one of all; gently holding up a mirror to show you what is and what will be, not what you imagine.

Rina & Lynette are particularly fond of lessons from history. During an oral discussion of contemporary ‘worst case scenarios’, an aural memory from the past was triggered, and brought to mind a matter of social relevance.

So, brace yourself for a freewheeling and allusive exploration of how The Ideal Crash might be an accidental soundtrack of the Brexit times. Ideas inspired by lyrics is presented in two tangential threads [R] & [L] — since we feel choice of meaning should remain with the individual, even as we leave signposts for suggested interpretation.

We invite you to relinquish your preference for a neat and tidy master narrative. The disorientation reflects the actual experience of a breakup process. We hope to encourage you, dear reader, to engage in deep listening first, prior to formulating your own conclusion.

Finally, perhaps songs resonate best by ending or beginning with a riddle. Besides, we’ve had enough of political opinions, and you’re here for something more mercurial, right?

The Ideal Crash is the third studio album by Belgian rock band dEUS,
released in March 1999 by Island Records

R: Twenty years ago, I wasn’t a British citizen yet, but my green foreign passport was stamped with a resident visa granting me status of ‘given leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period’ — thanks to a half-English mother and a Londoner grandfather. I was a fresher living on campus at Warwick, and students spend their nights going to gigs.

I fell in love at first sound with dEUS when they played in a little pub in Leicester called The Princess Charlotte. I bought The Ideal Crash album album in nearby Leamington Spa, from Fopp — a very British retailer that began as a one-man stall in Glasgow. The shop built a reputation for reasonable prices on new releases, stocking non-mainstream catalogue CDs, DVDs and books. The company also had a policy called “suck it and see”: any purchase could be returned within 28 days as long as it was as new.

L: I’m guessing that dEUS wasn’t thinking about anyone leaving Europe in 1999 when they recorded their album. They were being Belgian in Spain, the Euro was a stack of spanking new banknotes and coins. The United Kingdom was being very principled about letting Eastern Europeans into our union. It was a fertile moment of absorption: a slick, slippery orgy of coming together and connecting bodies. Like an eccentric jazz-blues infused art-rock combo of a band?

A think tank determined that Britain’s identity was in flux, so it was burnished in a make it modern, young and diverse. Oh, Cool Britannia! Daily outrage was about an overpriced architectural dome that looked like a giant colander, and certainly not about the way we were rocketing the bejayzus out of Serbia.

Stay by my side, it’s over
The ride isn’t what I told you
The painkiller-side of this life
Is to not look behind it’s over

RWhat do you call a self-contradictory or logically unacceptable situation? Someone is wishing for it to be over. Well is it over yet? Can we just get over it? Nostalgia is seductive though, especially when you flashback to the highlights.

The Olympics were spectacular, and Team GB spattered us all with aspirational feelings. I broke away from the full-time 9-to-5 contract job situation in 2013, and have been free-range since. It’s been a constant journey of finding the right connections, and discovering it’s truly about knowing the right kind of people. Oh, admittedly the never-ending list of pipeline applications, rejections, having to endure the necessary hustles, repackaging what I do and how I work best. With grit, a bit of luck and some serendipity, I have developed several solid and open professional relationships. The polycurious don’t have convenient access to all the benefits readily available in large companies. It’s challenging being independent; Still, lessons learned and non, je ne regrette rien.

L: I stayed by your side, and it was sweet. I changed who I was to be with you, and you changed who you were to be with me. We both became someone new. There was no cutting ourselves apart. Cutting part-way through makes wounds that bleed, but cannot close. There isn’t enough blood in the world to keep us alive and held together by ragged shreds of flesh and twisted heartstrings.

Whatever the reasons for being in the messy here and now, constantly rewinding to what was is not really going to change the amount of therapy we will require to get through this.

A dEUS album title ‘Keep You Close’ is written with post it notes above the shop.

I have been told about longing
A feeling so old, it’s dead
I must have been misled
So stay by my side, I’m sorry

Stay by my side, I want you
Continue the theme that’s us
Even though it’s only lust
The painkiller-side of this life

RArgh, the long in longing is really drawn out isn’t it? This piece of string just keeps unravelling the more people yarn on about it. Literature has become that too, a litter of status quo sentences, except propaganda has replaced poetry. Have we forgotten the rhythm of rhymes? So much noise about our discordant times.

Of course we sigh away about what was, and ponder about what ifs; if only this or if only that. People can’t be satisfied with the present. We complain as we breathe. It could be better. It could also be worse. We all want to have the freedom of the player, but then we crave company and partners in crime. We want to connect and belong, be seen, heard, feel worthy, valued. A friend told me the only way to be over some X, is to be under a new Y. As the poet said —  happiness is regular sex and potatoes. Though maybe we also need to stockpile on paracetamol.

Can we just kiss and make up? Yet tweeps can’t seem to forgive and forget.

L: Historians know that discontinuous events are predictably unpredictable, that surprise us, but it’s not really that surprising if we look at the causality of it all. Fed up with the best and worst of times, we fight or flee.

Impact was the only way to take you from my side. Blunt trauma could wrench you away so fast and so hard that there was no twisting; but the blood still flows from impact. It just doesn’t intermingle quite so much. Unavoidable heartache with heartburn at digesting the unpalatable reality, and headaches to add insult to injury. A sorrowful story of being Sorry, Yes Sorry?


How can a man kill gently
How long before it’s all done
How can he leave someone
How can he do it softly?

Your life’s gone sucking cause you wanna mess around,
can anybody down you with a Crash!
Another way of saying that you like to make it up as you move along…

RSo many questions, much of it questionable and ridicule-us. Regulatory lawyers are even asking if a Dutch crab can ever be British. It’s like we are stuck in some temporal paradox, and the only way to really jolt us out of the looping inertia is a massive spanner in the works. Now, I work as a social engineer, and real mechanics are tasked to purposely fix things that are broken. If only all the king’s horses and men know what their jobs are.

I can’t stand this indecision, married with a lack of vision, everybody wants to rule the world. I know, it’s a different song that, but who decides whose preferences make for good choices? Most of us know how we want our coffee and what our cup of tea is. Surely we can apply this simplicity to life in general?

The comedians believe life is improv, creativity through “Yes And”… I seem to have made it this far in life, in part by stumbling into things. Personally, I’m an all or nothing kind of woman comfortable in their own skin. I am open to courting, and prepared for commitment. Yet there is no time to waste on someone lacking courage who cannot make up their mind. The biblical book of Revelation (3:16) advises: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Are we being taught moral lessons? Since impatience is no virtue, and we clearly need more prudent consideration about our needs and wants.

L: Does no one know how to how anymore beyond ‘how now mad cow’? I think about the train wreck that is the United Kingdom’s attempt to cut itself away. A kingdom has turned into a bored middle-aged lump seeking life through infidelity. A sweaty afternoon on dating sites has convinced someone that there are greener pastures over there somewhere. Words to live by when smashing ourselves apart from a lover we have been joined to at the lip and the hip for thirty years. It’s an unlikely #Brexit anthem, but then that’s the only kind we could possibly have. And never mind crying about spilled milk, so long as we have wine and cheese.

You’re gonna go to hell
with a certain inclination,
Try and make it sell
and then you Crash!

You’re gonna have to take yourself out of circulation
If it’s a lot…show them what you got
Right now I need my hands, to cover this shit up
I need my eyes to see were I’m going,
and I need someone…

RThey say hell is other people right? Everyone could do with a schooling refresher and perhaps brush up on Kant’s unsocial sociability of man.

I also remember the Orwellian formula: “He who controls the past, controls the future; and he who controls the present, controls the past.”

Are we considering how qualified we really are as human operators? Vehicles need licensed drivers who pass practical lessons. When on a journey, you can’t just look back in the rear view mirror and yak about where you’ve been. Not much point in asking “are we there yet” since a destination is inevitable. Did we plan a route? Are we using a satellite nagivation, or are you good at orientation with an atlas map? Maybe learn to walk before you run, or take public transport instead. Perhaps we should have been more prepared for the journey we really wanted to experience.

Someone with more awareness would consider: What is the consequence, before I start a sequence? 

L: Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit über das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus*. Of course that’s in some foreign language. When we imagine ourselves with someone else, the thought is the deed. That someone else might be our next ex? No, that thought cannot penetrate our sense of self. In the mind’s eye, the alternative is always fresh, fun and willing. Amputating the current enumbrance will be quick and easy: finished by Christmas.

Stay by my side, it’s sexy
The way that we talk about stuff
The way that we laugh with love
The way that we’re falling off

RHmmm. Every exit is an entrance to somewhere. In any case, a bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else, and my maroon red passport does have a unicorn on it. Ciao! Ciao!**

Romance is dead, long live Romance! What about the ideal crush? Wouldn’t it be more practical discussing what a desirable relationship could start as? Que será, será. Whatever will be, let’s see. The future has plans B, C and D… but love ends with E sharp.

And we’ve saved the expletives for the end. We’re all fucked unless we know how to be better at managing healthy relationships. First with oneself, and then with others. The sages told us plainly, that what we have control of is the now. How can we have more awareness to consciously decide today, with a view about a preferred tomorrow?

*‘No plan ever survives with any certainty after first contact with the enemy main force’
** Hello. Goodbye / Goodbye. Hello.

Coincidentally, dEUS are on tour for the 20th anniversary of The Ideal Crash album. I will most likely travel to Berlin or some other European city I have yet to visit, to watch one of my favourite bands and have a long sightseeing weekend.

Other albums are: Worst Case Scenario (1994), In a Bar, Under the Sea (1996), Pocket Revolution (2005), Vantage Point (2008), Keep You Close (2011), Following Sea (2012)