on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2016 15 Jan

legukeenhcS #1: A Psychic Perihelion & 3 Quarks

von: Ian McCartney Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Uncle Arthur is a nano-epic, packing a lot into its all-too-brief 2 minute 13 seconds running time. It’s a nano-epic from the outside, but from the inside, from Arthur’s viewpoint, it’s a big story, the story of a psychic perihelion he’d probably rather forget. Arthur is in his 30s, a socially ‚other‘ character probably broadly not dissimilar to Tim Roth’s character in the film ‚Meantime‘ or Craig Cash’s character Malcolm from the sitcom ‚Mrs Merton and Malcolm‘. Or maybe even Ronnie Corbett’s character from the sitcom ‚Sorry‘.

The backdrop is a small town, rendered in almost cartoon-like motion, with Uncle Arthur making his way past the gasworks, past the river, down the high street on his bicycle. Back to mother. Until one day love finds him. Mother disapproves but he absconds anyway. Then he returns because his love, Sally, can’t cook.

Narratologically this nano-epic is fascinating. The tragedy in it is that at the end, nothing – nothing at all – has changed for Arthur. He’s back working at the family shop, still going past the gasworks and the river down the high street. His decision is made. He’s back with mum. But things will change eventually – entropy will see to that.

The story changes between past and present tenses, the latter giving it uncomfortable focus, the former making it seem like it’s some family legend. The handclaps and jaunty singalong feel add a sense of jovial unreality – as if its story is intended as a mix of twisted didacticism and mild Schadenfreude. A psychedelic Strewwelepeter singalong.

The song is also clearly about subatomic particles – its three characters representing subatomic elementary particles whose substructure is unknown. They are quarks: Mother is ‚down‘ Sally is ‚charm‘ and Arthur is ’strange‘.

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