"Elaboration of a tube" line in "Going Home"?

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)
holydove
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby holydove » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:32 pm

Here is the "test tube universe" article:

'Test tube universe' hints at unifying theory

Does one of these test tubes hold a baby Universe?
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
12:01AM GMT 26 Dec 2007
Comment
A "universe in a test tube" that could be used to assess theories of everything has been created by physicists.
• Time is running out - literally, say scientists"
• Are we missing a dimension of time?
• Are dark forces at work in space?
The test tube, the size of a little finger, has been cooled to a fraction of a degree above the lowest possible temperature, absolute zero, which is just over 273 degrees below the freezing point of water.
Inside the tube an isotope of helium (called helium three) forms a "superfluid", an ordered liquid where all the atoms are in the same state according to the theory that rules the subatomic domain, called quantum theory.
What is remarkable is that atoms in the liquid, at temperatures within a thousandth of a degree of absolute zero, form structures that, according to the team at Lancaster University, are similar those seen in the cosmos.
"In effect, we have made a universe in a test tube," says Richard Haley, who did the work with Prof George Pickett and other members of the "Ultra-low Temperature Group."
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StBruno
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby StBruno » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:58 pm

I think Marsha and Mirek have it nailed - another of Mr Cohen's increasingly scientific metaphors to describe being human. The 'tube' (mouth at one end; at the other ...) is an early evolutionary form seen in nearly all the animal kingdom, elaborated from simple early organisms through to us and, no doubt, whatever species comes next.

The dark humour lies in such a bald statement of the truth. The 'tube' is exactly what we are, stripped of all self, art and pretension, of all our drive for complexity, purpose, and higher meanings. It's part of the developing theme of facing up to the ultimate reality. We're all headed towards the zero, whether you see that as the end of self or union with G-d.

On the up though, we can no more resist the urge for elaboration than amino acids in a lighting storm on the early earth. We're at it now discussing these lines word by word, and its good to know Leonard's still at it too, telling us truths, provoking us with unfamiliar opposition (sages and primative life forms!), and still not making it easy. Can't wait to hear the rest (...live? G-d or science willing)!

B
...like one who believes
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Violet
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby Violet » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:21 pm



.. I wanted to add, as per what I had on another thread

Violet wrote:.. hi I.F..

.. on the "tube" front.. not to forget the wave-particle duality found in Show Me The Place, we may be in subatomic particle territory.

quoting from Wikipedia on this:

Electrons are at the heart of cathode ray tubes, which are used extensively as display devices in laboratory instruments, computer monitors and television sets.[174] In a photomultiplier tube, every photon striking the photocathode initiates an avalanche of electrons that produces a detectable current pulse.[175] Vacuum tubes use the flow of electrons to manipulate electrical signals, and they played a critical role in the development of electronics technology. However, they have been largely supplanted by solid-state devices such as the transistor.[176]
.. as per this quote [and I'm no expert in this], but Leonard's voice, his music and image have been brought to us via such "tube" related electronics. In that sense, his voice, his art, etc., is an elaboration of a tube, as it were. [one possible interpretation, at least]

.. if I'm shying away from "the human as a tube" analogy [with stuff going in one end, and out the other] it's because it lacks, uh, poetic.. you know, "what have you." [in my opinion] I mean, let's not forget, Leonard's a writer, after all--not a scientist.. and, as such, his referencing "the flow of electrons," which manipulate electrical signals might ignite the mind in a more expansive, and in that sense poetic seeming "elaboration"..

I mean, one doesn't want to be left thinking about, you know, the "loo".. [to use a brit expression]
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jerry
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby jerry » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:35 pm

If it is TUBE then what would be the reason why the BE is cut off on the song. I clearly hear TU and then nothing.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby Mirek » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:38 pm

jerry wrote:If it is TUBE then what would be the reason why the BE is cut off on the song. I clearly hear TU and then nothing.
To make it even more mysterious?
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby remote1 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:23 am

And of course the tube is slang for the penis in Joyce's Ulysses: "I suppose the people gave him that nickname [Mr de Kock] going about with his tube from one woman to another." :lol:
"We are so lightly here"
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Violet
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby Violet » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:35 am


.. yes, but note the reference is literary, at least.

[I'm going poker-faced on that one]
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby danny » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:12 am

In Scottish patois a 'tube' is a mild insult that could replace with 'sucker' or 'idiot'. I know this adds nothing to the interpretations here but it adds a lot of self-depreciatory humour to the line, and I'll be using it a lot in conversation here with my friends who like Cohen.
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby FOXWOOD » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:23 pm

If have listened to this song many times,

The word "tune" fits and makes perfect sense

He will speak these words of wisdom
Like a sage, a man of vision
Though he knows he’s really nothing
But the brief elaboration of a tune

If you listen carefully he actually says the word "tube".
This does not appear make any sense.
So why has he used the word "tube"?
I feel that we would all like to ask him this.
Then he could speak his words of wisdom,
and elaborate about this tune!

I feel this is Leonard's joke with us.
He is proving to us the truth behind the verse.
It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Manchester Arena 30th Nov 2008, Weybridge 11th July 2009,
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jerry
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby jerry » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:07 am

FOXWOOD wrote: If you listen carefully he actually says the word "tube"
How are you able to hear the word TUBE? I hear TU and the rest is cut off. Regardless of how loud I turn the volume or how close to the speaker I put my hear to try to hear it better.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby scocoh » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:02 am

--
Last edited by scocoh on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby antwerp guy » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:58 pm

I know this sounds dull, but I think you can read this quite simply as a speaking tube. Something like this: http://www.aqpl43.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/ ... .htm#speak

The words are not his, he is just the speaking tube passing them on...

"But he does say what I tell him
Even though it isn’t welcome
He will never have the freedom
To refuse

He will speak these words of wisdom
Like a sage, a man of vision
Though he knows he’s really nothing
But the brief elaboration of a (speaking) tube"

The 'brief' could suggest his mortality, I guess.
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby Chubi » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:41 pm

Another Cohen, another tube:
Le baiser, cette soudure de deux tubes digestifs.
The kiss, this welding of two digestive tubes.

( Albert Cohen, in Solal)
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Violet
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby Violet » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:51 pm


.. okay, that reference may be literary, but that doesn't mean it isn't somewhat disgusting sounding. I really think it's to veer away from the more biological analogies. (!).. [for my taste, at any rate]

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surrender
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby surrender » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:59 am

"the brief elaboration of tube"

The line took me back in time - to biology lessons at school very long ago.
I can recall a little animal with tubular body and huge regeneration ability, which was an important chain in the evolution.
The name is hydra...; see eg. hydra virissima (green hydra):

http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecolo ... _hydra.htm

I hope it makes sense, it makes me smile anyway:

He will speak these words of wisdom
Like a sage, a man of vision
Though he knows he's really nothing
But the brief elaboration of tube
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After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music...
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