Ever felt had? JE Sheehy has, by none other than James “LCD Soundsystem” Murphy.
“I told all my friends that I’m doing fine, but we know, and you know, it’s just a lie”, he sings on “Bored at the ECMAs”, a song from Beard Springsteen’s EP, Some Kind of Lobster that a recent press release notes is about “…the realization that history simply failed to deliver the promises of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All My Friends’.” That song, recognized by some as being the best song of the millennium so far, is wide open for interpretation. Is it happy or sad? Burned out and passionless or the spark of a new fire? Is it about being young or getting old? Getting drunk or drying out?
In the end it doesn’t really matter how you read it. As “Bored at the ECMAs” soberly points out, the final outcome is the same: in a world increasingly ‘connected’, humans are more isolated and disenchanted than at any other point in history. The idea of ‘friends’ is a construct and label that’s lost its meaning.
How many of us have struggled and stumbled over how to describe a virtual stranger who’s social media feed and circle we’ve fallen into. Are they a ‘friend’ when we’ve never sat down face to face and actually exchanged words? And what would this ‘friend’ refer to us if they found themselves in a similar predicament? And what if the whole ‘friendship’ is one-sided, because they don’t see your feed as often as you see theirs? What if, like the protagonist of “Bored at the ECMAs”, we can’t stand these friend’s faces? What’s the point of even having ‘friends’ if nothing about that relationship is friendly?
Where are your friends? They’re bored out of their brains, sitting at the ECMAs because “That’s what you’re supposed to do, right?” But everyone knows that everyone else is just waiting for the chance to hit the bar to summon up the liquid courage needed to play the “My Life’s Great” game and hoping they come out ahead by the time they go home alone. “Bored at the ECMAs” may have nothing at all to do with the annual Maritimes music awards, but that title couldn’t be any better at nailing the malaise and melancholy Millennials and the Middle Aged alike are both feeling in 2016: What the hell happened to my ‘friends’? What happened to my future?