The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor

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alibaba
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The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor

Post by alibaba » Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:32 am

Does anyone know exactly what Leonard Cohen meant in that line---the rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor--- from Tower of Song? My only guess is that he means television channels, as in the rich selling their advertisements to the poor? I'd love to know as I have just been reawakened to the song having bought the I'm your Man tribute CD. Everytime I hear Bono singing that line about not knowing how the river got so wide, it puts the hairs standing on the back of my neck. He fills those lines with such longing.
And Martha Wainwright belts out a mean version too.
Cheers!
Elsie
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Post by Elsie » Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:10 pm

I may be naive, but I always felt sure that this line you mention was about prostitution, and exploitation of poor people all over the world - maybe in the widest sense of the expression.

But everytime someone will raise a question about Leonard's lyrics, I start to wonder.....
lazariuk
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Post by lazariuk » Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:38 pm

Elsie wrote:I may be naive, but I always felt sure that this line you mention was about prostitution, and exploitation of poor people all over the world - maybe in the widest sense of the expression.
You make such an excellent point and what you added to the previous post demonstrates that the channels of the rich flow two ways.

Jack
Natalie
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The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor

Post by Natalie » Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:20 am

Hi everyone,

Whenever I think of this line, I think of Pierre Trudeau (former Prime Minister of Canada's) quotation:
"There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." He said this in 1967.

I think it's about the intimate control that a ruling power, i.e. the rich can have over those below them. The fact that it extends into their bedrooms reflects how potent these 'channels' are. It's a line that really stimulates thought, and makes you think of the influence of television, as well, just by the choice of the words 'channels.'

Bye for now,

Natalie
Tchocolatl
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Post by Tchocolatl » Sat Dec 16, 2006 6:55 pm

Tower of Song is one of my so very favourite.

Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song

I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song

I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond
They tied me to this table right here
In the Tower of Song

So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll
I'm very sorry, baby, doesn't look like me at all
I'm standing by the window where the light is strong
Ah they don't let a woman kill you
Not in the Tower of Song

Now you can say that I've grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there's a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong
You see, you hear these funny voices
In the Tower of Song

I see you standing on the other side
I don't know how the river got so wide
I loved you baby, way back when
And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed
But I feel so close to everything that we lost
We'll never have to lose it again

Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back
They're moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone
I'll be speaking to you sweetly
From a window in the Tower of Song

Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song


Yes, the bedroom of the nation. Like if Canadians are sleeping together - some for pleasure, some for money, like in real life. He said this comment to advocate for the decriminalization of homosexuality. On December 22, 1967 - ey! Almost an aniversary date. Speaking of dates, Natalie I wonder if you have met Leonard Cohen like you wish in 2006, if not, dear, hurry up, there is few days left to the year.

Homosexuals are not the poorest people as men are still much more paid than women (and add to this all the "little" extra as social advantages) for a work equivalent in value to society and women still can not go through the "glass ceiling" that allows only men to be at the top. I dream of the day (I'm a big dreamer everybody knows this by now) a politician will say that there is no place for the state in the underwares of the nations. With a s.

Anyway.

Tower of Song was launched in 1985 but I wonder for how many years the song was en chantier. With Leonard Cohen one never knows.

I find all interpretations here accurate.

TV as gargoyle.

Power always have their channels in a way or another in the bedrooms of the poors.

Only in our techno-world it is done by the tech. Science is the new religion and people are submitted to it without much free thought about it. But as paradoxal as it can seem, there is much humanity in all that cold metallic god that rules right now, it allows splendid links between people possibilities of communication never reached - as far as i know - before. More people are more sensitive to what happens to others at large, human consciousnes seems more deep (in general, of course), for example : OK in the US there is still death penalty in some states, but they are doing it with all the possible decency, if there is a decent way to do it - nothing to do with the sophisticated tortures that were so in fashion in ancient civilizations. I don't think that democracy as we know it now (and not as Ancient Greek "launched" it ) will allow torture.

The "danger" seems to me not so much to lost humanity in the hands of violence but in the hands of too much numbness - to be turned into producers and/or consummers wihtout other purpose in life than to provide goods and services for the "rich" (I don't like this term wich may be poetic, but does not mean anything logical in regard of what I am talking about, I count on the intuition of the reader to make sense out of it - this term : "rich") to accumulate an-always-in-need-to-grow-to-stay-effective-in-power profit, or be slave of material things, and being docile pieces of this non-sense, turned into objects good only for exploitation in a way (being producer of goods and services) or another (being compulsive consumers of goods and services). To this date I never found a better analogy than this good ol' golden calf. Life is somewhere else as Moses pointed it out. There is no life in breaking the links between others and nature only to devote an entire life to material things.

Hum. and this is only a line of this song. Ey! :D
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linda_lakeside
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Post by linda_lakeside » Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:00 am

I hurt my hand, and am unable to tap out the Trudeau/bedrooms of the poor analogy. Was it an analogy, or am I going to get shit for not reading the posts around me, again? Either way, I can take it with a hearty hmmm...Bonne Fete? No. That's a b'day. OK. Glad tidings.

Btw, T. of S. is a fave of mine as well 'cause 27 angels seem to have tied me to this forum.

Linda.
Tchocolatl
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Post by Tchocolatl » Sun Dec 17, 2006 3:47 pm

Sorry for your hand. Are you taking pills for that ? Or is it the suffering that makes your mind dizzy? Those angels of yours should slack the knots.
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linda_lakeside
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Post by linda_lakeside » Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:05 pm

Those angels of yours should slack the knots.
Well, you're right, there. Still, I couldn't resist another foray into the forum, and frankly, I was hoping you would respond. Nothing nasty from this side of the Rockies, just a 'hi, how are ya' and that Merry Christmas greeting. That's all. And a Good New Year as well. Tally ho. Ho, ho, ho.

Linda.
Tchocolatl
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Post by Tchocolatl » Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:11 am

Do I read an expectation of rejection - Question Mark (I hope it will not provoke any catastroph here as well) What can I respond that will be the "good answer" with you? I am under the impression that you act toward me like this good ol' Groucho Marx who would not be part of my club because I'm pleased that you would be. Ho-Ho-Ho, try to turn a sentence like that, now. HNY and MC.
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david birkett
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Rich channels poor, etc

Post by david birkett » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:37 pm

I take this to mean that the poor go on living, working and (hence the bedroom) reproducing in order to provide soldiers and workers for the capitalist machine.

It is typical of Cohen, however, to undermine any seriousness of intent or intepretation with the line "But I may be wrong".

David
The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master speech.
Kaleid
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Post by Kaleid » Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:41 am

Perhaps his line of thinking has been similar to George Carlin's?:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea ... =935607276 :lol: :lol:
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david birkett
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GEORGE CARLIN

Post by david birkett » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:41 pm

Stimulating stuff. Reminds me of the 'money river' passage in Vonnegut's God Bless you Mr. Rosewater.
The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master speech.
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hydriot
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Post by hydriot » Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:51 am

It also puts me in mind of:

"Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows"

where there is the same feeling of intrusion on an intimacy.
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
Steven
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Re: The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the

Post by Steven » Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:47 am

Alibaba,

I don't know, but think it could mean that the influence of the rich
extends to a venue for expression of life energy (sexual desire,
libido, etc.) -- the bedroom.
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Tri-me
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Post by Tri-me » Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:00 pm

Maybe it means that the rich are all powerful. The bedroom, possibly our most private room - bathroom would not have been poetic, used to demonstrate that if a person is poor they are powerless and cannot hide, vulnerable, don't deserve privacy or respect.
I can see this working on many levels, the poor are undervalued success and worthyness comes with wealth. The life of a rich person is more valuable that the life of a poor person. A medical doctor's life is more valuable that the life of a cashier at a fast food restaurant.

And there's a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong
You see, you hear these funny voices
In the Tower of Song
Cheers & DLight
Tri-me (tree-mite) Sheldrön
"Doorhinge rhymes with orange" Leonard Cohen
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