This song just lacerates my soul. It is the epitome of the anomie of post-modern existence. We are force fed lies, sanitized versions of tragedy, white-washed and censored versions of obscene truths, and we are made to choose between two different, polarized existences. Either you accept all the bullshit as fact, live your happy-go-lucky senseless life as a consumer of goods, or as cannon fodder for the state, nothing more than a replaceable cog in the machine, or you refuse to bow down, and earn ostracization or excommunication, indeed forcing you to fade-out from the consensual hallucination known as Reality™.
I love how Thom Yorke et al capture the sensation of being completely alone and isolated despite being surrounded by people who are living their lives. Radiohead successfully illustrates how the banality and mundanity of post-modern living is excruciatingly oppressive, how the homogeneity of suburbia—tract housing, big-box anchor stores, miles and miles of sprawl—are soul-destroying and emotionally eviscerating.
This is the song I would commit suicide to.
The sense of despair is wonderfully overpowering. I suppose it’s the same sense of insane euphoria that you get from asphyxiation. It feels good in a terrible way, and you know it might kill you if you let it, and you might very well let it.
And yet, the end of the song is somehow a paean to keep hoping and believing. “Immerse your soul in love,” Yorke desparately implores, knowing that this is a horrifically difficult thing to do, and yet also knowing that this is the only way not to succumb to the overpowering emptiness of life, the only way to not fade out.
So I’m still holding on, trying not to fade out, but it ain’t easy, and it ain’t getting no easier, either, and there ain’t that much love out there for me to immerse myself in.