Tutte queste cose da odiare

Alla fine dell’estate del 1990 George Michael pubblicò il suo secondo disco da solo, che chiamò con ottima intuizione e grande umiltà Listen without prejudice: il suo primo disco era andato molto bene, ma lui era sempre George-Michael-dei-Wham, e questa volta voleva provare a fare un disco pop ma dicendo delle cose in più. E infatti fece uscire un primo singolo spiazzante, con un andamento musicale monocorde (molto simile ad “Afterglow” dei Genesis, noto volentieri, ma anche con una specie di wall of sound da Phil Spector) e del tutto diverso dai suoi successi più noti, in più con un video molto sobrio e discreto: si chiamava “Praying for time” e parlava dei guai del mondo, di tempi disperati e dell’incattivimento generale, nel 1990.

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

So you scream from behind your door
Say “what’s mine is mine and not yours”
I may have too much but i’ll take my chances

And it’s hard to love, there’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it’s much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time

George Michael diede un’intervista al New York Times per presentare il disco, e l’autore dell’articolo sottolineò molto la sua anomalia, chiamandolo “un atto di ribellione”. Su “Praying for time” scrisse:

In ”Praying for Time,” Mr. Michael declares sarcastically, ”This is the year of the guilty man/ Your television will take a stand.” The gloomy lyric describes a world in which ”the rich declare themselves poor” and where ”charity is a coat you wear twice a year.” The song’s starkest lines imagine people huddled behind their doors, clinging to material possessions and screaming, ”What’s mine is mine and not yours.”

E lo stesso Michael spiegò:

It’s my way of trying to figure out why it’s so hard for people to be good to each other. I believe the problem is conditional as opposed to being something inherent in mankind. The media has affected everybody’s consciousness much more than most people will admit. Because of the media, the way the world is perceived is as a place where resources and time are running out. We’re taught that you have to grab what you can before it’s gone. It’s almost as if there isn’t time for compassion.

“Because of the media”, il mondo è percepito come un posto in cui le cose si stanno mettendo male e tutti diventiamo più egoisti e meschini per questo, e lo diventeremo sempre di più, disse George Michael. Nel 1990.

And it’s hard to love, there’s so much to hate.

 

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