Let's try and get 1,000,000 replies to this post

Discussion in 'Community' started by The Ancient Mariner, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. Saapanael

    Saapanael Beware! The evil is strong ahead.

    Once heard a stupid joke from my aunt that involves pancakes.

    Mart Laar (local politician and historian) is at a restaurant. He wipes his face with pancakes and asks the waiter:
    "Why are your handkerchiefs so greasy?"
    Told you it was a :turd: joke.
  2. Perun

    Perun Cheesemäster Staff Member

    Also, new cheese.
  3. Diesel 11

    Diesel 11 As you scream into the web of silence...

    I have a theory about The Angel and the Gambler. Bear with me.

    Don't You Think I'm A Savior?

    Now, the one thing just about everyone and their brother brings up when talking about The Angel and the Gambler - or The Angel and the Never-Ending Chorus, as I've heard it called - is that "goddamn" repetition. You know what I'm talking about and I've no need to explain this to you. It goes on forever, the same three questions are repeated again and again and again 'til you've just about decided you hate Maiden. It's stupid and worthless and makes The Angel and the Gambler the worst song in the band's discography. I, of course, disagree; I like it myself, even if I feel that it's out of place - it could have been used for a different song, instead of one about an Angel and a Gambler... dumb idea, maybe? Maybe. I still love this song.

    But I digress - most people hate the repetition and feel it should not exist. Maybe Steve was just lazy, maybe Blaze was drunk, maybe they were all drunk, or maybe, just maybe, it's there for a reason. Is that a possibility? It's not one I personally ever thought of... until now. I actually sat down and thought it over. Could it be that the repetition is necessary to TAATG? And now I'm of mind that... it just might be.

    Steve has basically said that all the song is is a little ditty 'bout and Angel and a Gambler, the latter on the road to Hell and the former trying to help him out of it. Some people have brought up the fact that an "angel" is a term used to denote a person who supports a gambler in his "sin" financially. I'm gonna take this entire thing a step further: What if there is no Angel?

    That's right, you heard me. There is no Angel. None. Re-shift your entire focus and look at this in a new light:

    Roll of the dice
    Take a spin of the wheel
    Out of your hands now
    So how do you feel?
    But you're not gonna win
    You'd better go back again

    Do you feel lucky
    Or do you feel scared?
    Take what luck brings
    And be Devil may care
    But you're down on your luck
    What will the next day bring?

    Most people assume this is the Angel speaking to the Gambler, setting the scene for his saving attempt and the song for us listeners. But look at it this way: what if this is actual the Gambler thinking about his circumstances and his lifestyle - he's completely addicted, and there's really no hope for escape. He tries to brush it off ("and be Devil may care") but he can't ("you're down on your luck"). Deep down, he knows this is the path to ruin, but the temptation is too strong for him.

    Adrift on the ocean
    Afloat in a daydream
    Or lost in a maze
    Or blind in the haze
    So what does it matter?
    So why don't you answer?
    So why did you send
    An angel to mend?

    Again, the assumption is that it's the Angel singing this. It would make sense if the Gambler's trying to cast his Savior aside ("So why don't you answer?"), but consider this: the two preceding lines sound like they're coming from a completely different perspective. "So what does it matter?" and "So why did you send an angel to mend?" is something the Gambler would say.

    If we've already established that the Gambler is talking / thinking to himself in the first verse, in that case, could he be doing the same thing here? After all, he's "adrift on the ocean... aloft in a daydream... or lost in a maze... or blind in the haze..." Could, in fact, the Angel actually be something he's conjured up mentally in front of him and not actually exist? Could his state of wanting out but not being able to get away from the devil's grasp be ruining his mental health?

    Best make decisions
    Before it's too late
    Take all your chances
    Take hold of the reins
    A roll of the dice
    Ahead of the game again

    Nothing to lose
    But so much to gain
    A little danger
    It goes without saying
    But what do you care?
    You're gonna go in the end

    Once again, the Gambler is really fighting himself. Fighting his addiction, trying to get away from the evil that's possessing him, knowing that the more he gambles the more his life is burned up into ashes. He wants to lead a better life, he's really trying... if only the quicksand wasn't so powerful....

    Gate open to heaven
    Is ready and waiting
    Or straight down to hell
    Can go there as well

    I'll suffer my craving
    My soul's not worth saving
    So why don't you go?
    Just leave well alone

    Again, it's always been assumed that the first part of this is the Angel speaking, and the second part the Gambler's response. But with this new theory... the first part could be the Gambler being conflicted still - what path should he take? Can he escape? Is it too late? The second part, then, is his temptation overpowering him once again, and he says "Fuck it" and begins the game again.

    Don't you think I'm a savior?
    Don't you think I could save you?
    Don't you think I could save your life?

    And now, of course, it's time for this song's main feature - that constant repetition of... the above. That Angel must be dumb as fuck to keep standing there repeating the same thing over and over and over, right? Time he got a life! Well actually... if we're going by the theory that this is the Gambler questioning his habits, in such a mental state that he conjures up and "Angel" (or could it be a Demon?) then this repetition makes a lot of sense. He keeps beating himself up over this. He can hear the Angel calling out for him to grasp his hand and free himself of this life, but the addiction's too strong...

    There's like a hunger
    That knocks on your door
    You've had a taste of it
    Still you want more
    You've made your mistakes
    Won't play it the same again

    You have been warned
    But still you plunge in
    You play high stakes
    But there's nothing to win
    You've only one life
    And so many things to learn

    The Angel on one side
    The Devil the other
    Which path do you take
    Decisions to make

    Arrive at the crossroads
    You know where you're going
    And what if you wait
    It may be too late

    This is more of the same thing I was talking about above - the Gambler himself is trying to figure this out, no Angel in sight.

    Don't you think I'm a savior?
    Don't you think I could save you?
    Don't you think I could save your life?

    And finally our song ends, and we leave our Gambler still trying to grasp the "Angel's" hand, but is being pulled back by his temptation. Does he get out of this trap, or does he die the broken man that he is? It's all left up to us...

    I also might as well bring up the music. TAATG is a pretty up-beat song for such a subject matter as I've outlined, but, we've already established that the Gambler is in a bad mental state, and the cheery music is intended as a contrast to the bleak lyrics. People who are, to use a straightforward term, "nuts" have a bunch of things goin' on upstairs, and the contrast between bleak lyrics and up-beat music cements this point.

    Anyways, this is just something I came up with and thought I'd post here. You can choose to accept it, you can disagree, you can send me hate mail, or you can go on hating the song. I myself have convinced myself that I like TAATG better than I did before. When it all comes down to it, though...

    Number 6 and Night Prowler like this.
  4. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    Man, I respect your effort but if there's anything I want to do less than listen to Angel and the Gambler, it's read an essay about it.
  5. Diesel 11

    Diesel 11 As you scream into the web of silence...

  6. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

  7. Diesel 11

    Diesel 11 As you scream into the web of silence...

  8. Perun

    Perun Cheesemäster Staff Member

    I'm wondering if I shouldn't be a librarian. Right now, it seems like the absolute perfect job for me:

    Surrounded by books all day
    As far away from telephones as possible
    The job requires you to tell people to shut the fuck up

    Sounds like a dream...
  9. Saapanael

    Saapanael Beware! The evil is strong ahead.

    Happy Valentina’s day! <3
  10. Brigantium

    Brigantium Recovering tea addict Staff Member

    Ook. (Assuming you're familiar with Terry Pratchett.)
    Black Abyss Babe and Magnus like this.
  11. Ariana

    Ariana Black-and-white leopard

    He's not. Despite my tireless efforts. :(
  12. Black Wizard

    Black Wizard Out of the Silent Planet

    Magnus likes this.
  13. Perun

    Perun Cheesemäster Staff Member

    We're playing a game. Does "tractor driver" qualify as a profession?
  14. Saapanael

    Saapanael Beware! The evil is strong ahead.

    I say it does.
  15. Ariana

    Ariana Black-and-white leopard

  16. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    I say it doesn't. Driver is the profession.
  17. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    Isn't a tractor driver a farmer?
  18. Ariana

    Ariana Black-and-white leopard

    That must be the case in Canada, apparently. But in Soviet Russia and in Socialist Bulgaria, a tractor driver is a tractor driver and nothing else.
    Saapanael likes this.
  19. Perun

    Perun Cheesemäster Staff Member

    That's my point. By that standard, a person driving a police car wouldn't be a policeperson but a police car driver.
    Black Wizard likes this.
  20. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    I've never seen nor heard of a person who goes around freelancing his incredible tractor-driving abilities.

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