Even if it is a gross, sweeping generality, it is totally reasonable to say that the current civilization has gotten everything it's ever wanted, at the very least in terms of entertainment. And maybe I'm just reading way too much into an anthem for the fun-loving, but not since the Book of Revelations has someone made so disarming a prophecy as Damon Albarn in the song "Entertain Me" off of Blur's 1995 The Great Escape album (if this is blaspheming hyperbole, I give my insincere atheistic apologies). The Great Escape, from start to finish, is a concept album about materialism and the triflings of modern life. "Entertain Me" appears as the second to last song, in between "Dan Abnormal" and "Yuko and Hiro," though it doesn't really fit in with the sound of either. Damon opens with "The weekend is back/But so is he/Head to the floodlight/See the fraternity/They're waiting/I hear them up in the north/And down in the south/And all that is spewing/Spewing out of his mouth."

Video for "The Universal" off of The Great Escape album

The chorus then delves into the repetition of the words "Entertain me" in a deliberate, droning sort of way that is perhaps supposed to mimic how we all sound after years of wordlessly staring at a screen of some kind. Whether or not the "He" Damon refers to is an actual person or an Alphaville-esque machine is mildly indistinct, but I would like to think the "He" is representative of entertainment as a whole, of how we flock to it like Manson family members to 10050 Cielo Drive (the former Tate-Polanski residence for the non-obsessed).

Album cover for The Great Escape

The second verse finds Damon murmuring, "At his and hers dating/Bored minds agree/Requirements to be stated/Replies awaited/She wants a loose fit/He wants Instant Whip/He guesstimates her arrival/Will she want it really badly?" Undoubtedly this is a comment on the superficiality of the average relationship, of what it is based on: For the guy it's "How often can we fuck?" and for the girl it's "Is he worth dating until I can find someone with more money?"

Your friends from Blur

The final and most punch-packing lyrics of the song are: "A car, a house both in street/The boredom of the sober week/The weekend is here hip, hip hooray/To make the blues just go away/Entertain me, entertain me/Entertain me, entertain me." Bear with the somewhat technology-free 1990s, but what the song so accurately delineates is that without the amenity of entertainment, whatever form it might come in (alcohol, sex, TV, video games, movies, etc.), what the fuck would we all be doing besides working and thinking about the purposelessness of the current era? In other words, thank your lucky stars that there has never been a more entertainment crazed epoch.

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AuthorSmoking Barrel