March 6, 2006

“Cattle and The Creeping Things”

Posted in Irin Westerfield at 12:26 am by groupone

MY INTERPRETATION OF THE SONG’SARGUMENT 

The author is making a cynical argument against Christian-based substance abuse therapy methods. 

As the characters are being “treated” in a too classic form of group therapy, they realize that this session is predictably just like the other sessions that didn’t rehabilitate them in the past. The patient begins to state what Biblical reference will come next as the session plays out. 

The 4-part silly rabbit allusion speaks to the childishness of the session and the immaturity of the facilitator. 

A girl with an affinity for violence (to go along with her drug problem) makes light of being “born again.” Based on surrounding text, I am not sure if her reference to born again refers to the usual death of body and born again for Christ, or that she refers to getting back into drugs as being born again. The group she runs with while doing drugs is the same she goes through counseling sessions with.  

The author likens police to a plague and uses Mackenzie Phillips as the poster child for down-and-out drug users (not a bad choice). Mackenzie Phillips is the daughter of the famous Mamas and Papas singers, as well as a tv sitcom actress. Like most of the sitcom kids of her day, she ended up miserably.   

ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENT
CHERISH (LIKE A PRAYER, 1989)
MADONNA AND PATRICK LEONARD

In the song Cherish, Madonna sings a line that says “Romeo and Juliet, they never felt this way I bet.” 

The author uses an allusion based on Shakespearian characters. Shakespeare, by the way, is a common source of allusion. 

The author is defining the deep, deep love of the subjects in Cherish. Because of the great popularity of Romeo and Juliet, almost any school child knows that they loved each other so much they would rather die than be apart.  

The lyricist in this song, then, is describing a love that is even more powerful than that.

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1 Comment »

  1. Eva Paterson said,

    I really like your interpretation of “Cattle and the Creeping Things.” I would have never seen it this way, but after reading your post and looking at the song again, it really makes a lot of sense. You really gave good examples from the song to prove your point.


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