Friday, May 01, 2015

You're Breaking My Heart: "Chalet Lines"

One of the most depressing things I've learned through the dysfunctional us vs. them political divide in the U.S. is even things we all should really agree on can be the source of intense debate. Like that torture is wrong. Or that rape is a bad thing and is a problem. A friend of mine and I had a joke a while back "I'm coming out against rape." The joke being that rape is such an obvious thing to be against it that it is hardly brave or even notable to take a public stand against it. That joke isn't so funny anymore. When the Democrats made rape on college campuses an issue, the right's response was "come on, it isn't REALLY an issue, and what was she wearing anyways? Wasn't she sort of asking for it?" (I don't think the issue has been handled brilliantly by the left, but when we can't agree that rape, as an act, is a thing to be against, we are fucked as a society.)

Which brings me to Belle and Sebastian's "Chalet Lines," from their 2000 album "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant." The song is a harrowing tale told from the perspective of a woman who has recently been raped. It is a quiet song that conveys a range mixed emotions: despair, shame, depression and anger.

"He raped me in the chalet lines
I had just said no for the final time
Although it’s last month it’s like yesterday
I missed my time, I don’t think I could stand
To take the test, I’m feeling sick
Fuck this, I’ve felt like this for a week
I’d put a knife right into his eyes
My friend can’t see
She asks me why I don’t
Tell the law
Oh what’s the fucking point at all"

It kills me. Every single time I listen to it. Goddamn.

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