Pedro the Lion’s Rapure, Lyrics & Exegesis

pedro_the_lion_control

First, the lyrics

This is how we multiply
Pity that it’s not my wife
The friction and skin
The trembling sigh
This is how bodies move
With everything we could lose
Pushing us deeper still
The sheets and the sweat
The seed and the spill
The bitter pill yet undiscovered

Gideon is in the drawer
Clothes scattered on the floor
She’s arching her back
She screams for more

Oh, my sweet rapture
I hear Jesus
Calling me home

Finally a chance to breathe
Reaching for the the fallen sheets
Collapsing in a glowing heap
We’ve gone too far
We’ve done too much
We have to quit it
Just one more kiss
Just one more touch
Please ten more minutes

This feels so good
Just barely moving
The tension building
Our bodies working
To reach the goal

Oh, my sweet rapture
I hear Jesus and the angels singing
Hallelujah
Calling me to enter the promised land

Then, an explanation

To me, “Rapture” has always been a stylish critique of Christianity. I don’t think it is too much to assume that all forms of Protestant Christianity contain the following element: Belief in Christ and Repentance of sin assure us of eternal life. As I see it, this element is all Bazan needs to express a powerful critique of Christianity that develops from frustrated Christians rather than non-believers.

The Scene: Dave is having great adulterous sex in a hotel room. Then, Hark! He hears the Angels Sing, and in the twinkling of an eye, Dave goes to heaven.

Beautiful contrast! As he is sinning, God saves him.

The critique, as I see it is this: The guarantee of eternal life frees the believer from any punishment for sin. This gives Christians the license to sin without fear of eternal consequence. The net result is that Christians who are trying to live moral lives become frustrated because they see other Christians who do whatever they please, and still experience the grace and forgiveness of Christ Jesus, which earns them eternal union with the Divine. The promise of eternal security steals motivation to do good. What’s the point of behaving when you can “feel so good” and still hear “Jesus and the angels singing Hallelujah?”

Bazan’s way of expressing the issue is so powerful because sex before or outside of marriage is so frequently and redundantly condemned by Christian culture. Taking the listener out of this context into eternal union with Holy God shocks the listener and reminds me that I too could be having sex and it wouldn’t threaten my eternal security. There is no sin too great for God to forgive us for it; naturally, God’s love is perfect, and God will still love me despite all my sins. The tension is also heightened by the fact that Dave realizes he is doing wrong, “gone too far… done too much” and then decides to keep going after his conviction. Which would, in many Christian’s eyes, make the sin worse since it might prove any repentance disingenuous.

Of course there is the alternative interpretation: The “rapture” is not literal, it is a metaphor for an orgasm (which clearly fits the context) and simultaneously serves as an illustration that union with God is the best thing a created being can ever experience. But in this case, there is no explanation why he describes it as an immoral deed, “not my wife” “gone too far, done too much” “we have to quit it.” Plus if the rapture, Jesus, and angels are metaphorical, then certainly the “Calling me to enter the promise land” refers to Dave being called by Jesus and the Angels to penetrate vaginas.

That’s certainly not my interpretation.

Last, a discussion thread

Creating Networks to Learn

Connectivism: Learning as Network-Creation,” by George Siemens, elearnspace, 10 August 2005, http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/networks.doc (from ZenPundit).

An interesting view of thinking and instruction

Many attributes of networks from sociology and physics transfer easily to the concept of networked learning.

Small world effect is based on research carried on my Stanley Milgram. He discovered that most nodes within a network are connected by a fairly short path. Information flow from one domain of a well developed network to another generally requires a small number of “hops”. A learning network has similar short paths between information elements.

Weak ties are links or bridges that allow short connections between information. The concept of weak ties expresses the understanding that much of our information comes from weak connections to networks other than our own. Our personal network is populated with nodes that are integrated with (or at least similar to) our own. For substantial innovation to occur, we often rely on loose/weak connections to other less familiar networks. These connections provide a view into modes and manners of thought which differ significantly from our own.

Scale Free networks are detailed by Ravid and Rafeali (2004):

“In Scale Free networks the distribution of different network parameters act in an exponential fashion. The most interesting and most measured exponentially distributed parameter is the distribution of connections from each node outwards (Out Degree). This uneven distribution means that in these networks some of the members are connected to a lesser degree and some of the members are connected to greater degree, which is how they hold a senior position in the network (Goh, et al., 2002). Networks of this type are relatively resilient, but are not at all immune to attack. In other words, a random removal of network members (a crash) will not hurt its stability, but a directed removal of key points — hubs — will cause the network to quickly collapse. On Scale Free networks, the distribution of density or congestion is constant and is not dependent on the exponential coefficient of the distribution of the number of connections (Jeong, 2003)”.