The Outer Game

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Posted by Narada on December 05, 1997 at 18:56:04:

TITLE: Madness

DEFINITION: Humanities fascination with madness and futility, and its power as a source of inspiration and beauty, as
demonstrated by one of the most popular albums of all time- Pink Floyds- "Dark Side Of The Moon", and the band
members personal experience with becoming "Lost in the woods".
CREATOR: Pink Floyd

MAIN CATEGORY: Consciousness


Isnt the inability to distinguish between inside and outside the essense of madness? Why is it sometimes so hard to
distinguish between genius and insanity, or even to define the difference? Is schitzophrenia a healthy response to a mad
society? How could a perfect allpowerful diety create such a manifestly imperfect universe? How much of what we
consider mad is cultural bias? What is within the limits of sanity, and what is Outside...

"Us, us, us, us, us, us, us, and
them, them, them, them, them, them, them,
and after all we're only ordinary men.
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, and
you, you, you, you, you, you, you.
God only knows it's not what we would choose
to do, to do, to do, to do.
Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died.
The general sat and the lines on the map
moved from side to side" Us and Them/ Pink Floyd

You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me Brain Damage/ Pink Floyd

Actually, there is no dark side of the moon
(and all the rest of the album lyrics)

Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young
In a world of magnets and miracles
Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
The ringing of the division bell had begun "High Hopes" (Gilmour, Samson)

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the
most of us...very hard to explain why you're mad, even
if you're not mad..." "Speak To Me" (Mason)

The inner world Barrett sought to map was paradoxically surrealistic and vague or literal and pin-point precise in its
descriptions. The songs were peopled with the archetypes of his subconscious, called forth in various guises, such as
Barrett's 'Scarecrow'. The duality extends to the very quality of the sounds used to evoke this world; mellotrons, plaintive
acoustic guitars, piano, disonnant sound effects, string instruments, garbled voices floating in the background. Mirroring the
disorienting effects of LSD, Barrett's songs called forth images of both the infinite reaches of space, with its multiplictity of
unknown worlds, or the immediately familiar surroundings of his childhood home at 183 Hills Road in Cambridge.
In a very few years, Barrett traversed a vast expanse of territory in a relentless quest for musical and lyrical exploration.
The combined pressures of sudden fame, excess ingestion of mind altering chemicals, and the onset of a nervous
breakdown led to Barrett's dismissal from the band in early 1968. With his replacement, Barrett's teenage friend David
Gilmour, Pink Floyd achieved world renown, selling countless millions of albums and playing live in stadia the world over.
After two erratic yet brilliant solo albums, 'The Madcap Laughs' in 1969 and the eponymous 'Barrett' in 1970, Barrett
renounced music and retired to his childhood home of Cambridge. Since 1974, he has lived in seclusion, shedding his
nickname 'Syd' along with all the trappings of pop fame. An excerpt from the forthcoming book "Lost in the Woods" by
Julian Palacios. a larger excerpt is at

I find the lyrics of Dark Side of the Moon uplifting, despite the superficial appearance of cynicism, pessimism, etc. I feel
there is great power unleashed in facing the reality of our existensial predicament- gazing into the great yawning maw of
infinity that dwarfs our souls with its bright magnificence- understanding with the mind the minds own limitations, and its
finite ability to make sense out of the chaos of our situation. The experience of Syd Barrett's breakdown, like the deaths of
other rockers, (Brian Jones and Sid Viscious for example), seem to have deepened the lyrics of their companions who
continue on.
Music seems to me to be one of the least harmful uses of modern technology. Pink Floyd were one of the first highly
successful groups to unleash the power of electronic music.Their sustained popularity, and their unflagging lyrical and
musical inspiration, show that they have touched a deep chord of the modern mind. Their explorations of the themes of
madness/ drugs/ surrealism/ death/ futility/ etc have kept their songwriting from degenerating into the repetitive formula lyrics
that have become the rule for popular music.

Glass Bead Game: Hesse's characters thought that future generations would see Johann Sebastian Bach's works as the
epitome of western culture, and perhaps we shall. They also thought that the laws of classical music were as immutable and
fundamental as laws of physics, and intimately linked them with the whole concept of a GBG, perhaps they are. And yet,
the astounding radicalness of the technological revolution has opened our ears to new musical possibilities. Although we
have not surpassed the complexities of baroque music multiplte harmonic structures, time has shown that there is more to
musics secrets than this. Bach was the hero of the sterile Castalian world. The character Joseph Knecht (connect?) would
say that Rock 'n' Roll was music music of the fall, obsessed with dynamics and dischord and raw power, and reflecting the
sick state of society in the age of fueliton. Few who listen to the best of Rock 'n' Roll deeply would dismiss it so completely
as a product of the times. There is beauty and power in this music to match that of any man has yet imagined.
Blue in Green: Just the obvious connection of superb ground-breaking musicians.
Earth: Popular music as a reflection of the planetary mind in a time of changes. The difference that technology and global
community make to everything.
Fools Egg: Is the Fool mad? Is the Fools journey ultimately futile?
Alchemical Gold: The artist, and particularly, the Rock 'n' Roll hero, as Magician. The Songwriter as influenced by and
influencing the world. The juggling of technology to fullfill artistic as contrasted to scientific purposes.

IMAGES AND CLIPS: The cover logo of White Light/ Prism/ Rainbow/ Prism/ White Light....

ACCESS AND DISTRIBUTION: Dark Side of the Moon, by Pink Floyd, Any music shop. (Record company?
Someone must know)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Game One is approaching its end, and its most distinguishing characteristic in structural
terms seems to me to be the predominance of the arts. Looking through the list of submissions I see only a handfull of
moves that are not books, films, music, or visual arts. Considering that a move can theoretically be anything in the whole
range of human experience, I find this worth pondering deeply on. Perhaps if a move was named after the central idea it
embodies rather than the artifact that represents it?

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