Sunday, 16 September 2012

Reason #1 Why Johnny Cash Is Amazing.

(I'm very tired so this may not make much sense. I will go over it when I'm not this tired.)

Seeing as I picked on narrative last time, I should use a different element this time. Although I won't be talking about how awful the conceptual elements are, because Johnny Cash is flawless.

I don't know why I love this music video so much, but I just do. You hear the song and you think 'oh, that's a pretty sweet song, he's done it justice' but then you see the video and you think 'OH SWEET JESUS THIS SONG IS GREAT AND THIS VIDEO IS GREAT WHAT IS THIS PERFECTION?!' It's quite a sad video, really, and full of symbolism. And I do love me a bit of symbolism. Here comes the English student in me...

These two pictures show rotting fruit (above) and rusting, decaying objects (below). At the time of the video, Johnny Cash's health was very frail, in fact he died 7 months after the making of it. These images of decay and rust reflect Cash's decaying health. The big bowl of fruit also represents indulgence, if you think of all those Roman things with the huge bowls of grapes. The decaying indulgence can be seen to represent the end of his decadent lifestyle.

The general dark lighting in the house (above) completely contrasts the lighting in the outside (below)/performance shots (below-below), which show how dark he views his life at that moment in time, in contrast to the light outside and how the old days were. I'm sounding really harsh. I don't think Johnny Cash's life sucked towards the end, that's just what he's giving off from this video.

Here's a lovely picture of Jesus. Johnny Cash was pretty big on religion, and the meaning I got from this whole video was that he's looking back on his past, near his death, and is realising none of it was meaningful except his faith. I don't know, I could be wrong. At first, I thought Johnny Cash was comparing himself to Jesus, but then it made more sense when I remembered he was Christian. It also could show how Cash realises he is near meeting his maker.

And then there's this bit...

If it's not clear, he's pouring his wine into his food. My analytical mind went mental here yet I couldn't find any plausible reason that he does this.

But here's what he could be doing.

1) If wine is a symbol of wealth and status, then pouring it away is showing how little it all means to him now, because he has his faith. None of his riches are worth anything to him, and he may as well just pour them all away.

2) Johnny Cash had a problem with drugs and alcohol, so pouring the wine into his food could be a symbol of how absorbed in everything he did it was. On the flip side, it could also be him symbolically denouncing his alcoholism and throwing his alcohol away.

3) Something to do with Jesus and religion and Communion wine and absorbing his food in the blood of Christ. My knowledge of the Bible or Christianity or Church things is very, very, very limited so this one is probably the least plausible and I probably have just made myself look silly by even suggesting it.

I have nothing to say in conclusion, so here's a picture of Johnny and June Cash:

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts, Sarah, and right on. And you definitely don't look silly with that analysis on #3.

    The core belief of Christianity is that "by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all humans, for that all have sinned."

    Essentially, because of sin (choosing to walk sort from God) we are all rotting corpses that can build nothing but empires of dirt that all go away in the end.

    So the themes you're mentioning all lay very nicely with what Christianity teaches. Cash changes the original lyric from "crown of shit" to "crown of thorns" as Jesus was forced to wear a crown of thorns. Ultimately, Christianity teaches that forgiveness and new life come from Jesus, particularly the blood of Jesus shed on the cross.

    And in God's absence, God communicates that He is the Source of life through earthly and earthy means - hearing (of His message), water (of baptism), bread, and wine.

    Jesus goes on to say of the wine, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

    So in the midst of his rotting life (which is indeed a "life" of *death,*) and empire of dirt that goes away with us, Cash is proclaiming his only hope - the only thing that endures - the God who forgives and brings forth life from death (and again, all this life is death).

    And I don't think this negates the other two meanings. He's speaking on many levels here.