LC's song on theCD "inspired by" Mel Gibson's &quo

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Jesse Kornbluth
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LC's song on theCD "inspired by" Mel Gibson's &quo

Post by Jesse Kornbluth » Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:41 pm

I have no trouble believing that Bob ("I want a new audience, so I'll do a Victoria's Secret commercial") Dylan gave permission for his song to be included. But I cannot imagine Leonard signing off on "By the Rivers Dark." Sure, LC's work is largely about the quest for the divine, but it is hard to square his Talmudic Zen Buddhism with the absolutism of Gibson's message. WHAT GIVES??
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:10 pm

Hi Jesse ~

Is it possible that Sony was the final, in-control decision-maker, rather than Leonard? I haven't seen the film yet, but I've heard varying reports as to its message. However, since so much of Leonard's work relates in some way to religions and spirituality [both positively and negatively], it seems more in keeping, than not, that it would be included.

Welcome to the Forum :D .

~ Lizzytysh
Jesse Kornbluth
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Was it Sony's decision?

Post by Jesse Kornbluth » Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:17 pm

Yes. Possibly. But even as a COURTESY, it's prudent to ASK the artist how he/she feels.

I have a hard time imagining LC being in the same COUNTY --- much less on a movie-connected CD --- as a film in which the only way the Son of God can express his love for us is by undergoing an S&M rite. LC's God seems sometimes absent, sometimes bemused....but cruel? Sadistic?

Most to the point: what a lovely message board, how very kind the greeter. THIS is what the LC universe has always seemed like in my head. The world of The Passion? I think not.
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:32 pm

Hi Jesse ~

Thanks :) . Apparently, consultations are often moot points, as well. Obtaining an opinion or wish/desire merely for the sake of doing so, having nothing to do with the final outcome. Irrelevant. [Not building a case for that having been the way it was, but saying it certainly could have been.]

From what I've been told, the ritual depicted in the film was a common one at the time. An alternative would've been being fed to the lions, and another one [which, of course, now that I want to tell you, I can't remember :lol: ! Paula ~ where'd you put our pills?]. Maybe, it was being stoned?? At any rate, all ugly and gruesome :cry: ~ I do remember that commonality between them.

~ Lizzytysh
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Rob
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Bob is not alone

Post by Rob » Thu Apr 15, 2004 1:09 am

I have not seen the VS advert yet, but on a similar theme, there is a cable channel in the uk called bravo. late at night it shows (soft) porn (or so i have been told). One show "Sex TV" has as its theme tune "Aint no cure for love" by leneord . A shoddy exposure of a wonderful song, VS is not so bad a venture in comparisan.
Rob
Tim
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Post by Tim » Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:56 am

I only know 'Sex TV' by reputation, as its a Canadian show (Sextv website), but I thought it was a factual show on sexuality, not soft porn? If I'm right, it sounds like a more appropriate use of Leonard's music than that of the scary-looking Bob selling lingerie...

fortunately not so scary that it's put me off thinking of 'Love Sick' as one of my favourite Bobsongs of the last 10 years (I was going to say, the favourite but then I thought of Not Dark Yet)
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Post by Anne » Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:34 pm

Sex TV is actually a very interesting show. It is not soft porn at all. Quite journalistic, but the topics covered are elements of sexuality and the sex industry. Not a bad use of Cohen's song. Also, the show is part of the City TV empire and was started when Moses Znaimer was still in charge. LC definitely knew him as he was also involved in the producrion of the 'I am a Hotel' film.
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peter danielsen
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Post by peter danielsen » Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:46 pm

Although I have not seen the film Passion it seems fitting that LC is in someway connected to the passion of christ. A huge part of his work is highly influenced by the symbol of the suffering servant, suffering because of the violence which is a consequence of the sinful self-righteous man.
Its said above that the its hard to imagine Leonard in the same county as a film where the son of God expresses his love by undergoing a SM-rite. However one could consider reading the lyric for "The Future":

Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room
my secret life
Its lonely here
there is no one left to torture
Give me absolute controle
over every living soul
and lie beside me baby
thats an order

Peter
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Taigaku
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Post by Taigaku » Sat Apr 17, 2004 3:29 pm

Thanks Peter, for that input.

The theme of suffering would seem to me also to be an essential part of Cohen's work. The love/suffering paradox, the so-called "problem of evil".

This surely is at the heart of Christianity, but also very much a central starting point for Buddhism. The first of the Four Noble Truths states, after all, that suffering (dukkha) exists. This is the basic premise for man. We feel ourselves cut off from the divine source, alone and suffering in a world that's fundamentally outside of our control. Moving from suffering to grace and love, then, is a very universal religious theme.

~Taigaku
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peter danielsen
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Post by peter danielsen » Sat Apr 17, 2004 5:29 pm

some difference however could be located in the fact that the buddhist is concerned about his/her own freedom from the existence of suffering, the Christian however is directed by the gospel towards the suffering of the other person.

Peter
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Taigaku
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Post by Taigaku » Sat Apr 17, 2004 5:44 pm

I would have to disagree.

In Buddhism one distinguishes between Teravada ("the teaching of the eldest") Buddhism and Mahayana ("great vehicle") Buddhism.

Teravada has as its highest ideal the arhat, one who has reached enlightenment. Thus it can be said that here, the individual "is concerned about his/her own freedom", the reaching of Nirvana. I agree.

However, in Mahayana Buddhism the ideal is the bodhisattva. The bodhisattva is someone who refrains from dwelling in an eternal state of Nirvana because he/she is driven by the desire to help "all sentient beings" reach their true home. In fact, all who become monks or nuns in the Mahayana tradition take this so-called "bodhisattva vow". It is very much the same thing as what in the Christian tradition is known as Imitatio Christi, seeking to live one's life "in imitation of" Christ.

I wish no polemic, merely to make these distinctions known.

~Taigaku
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peter danielsen
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Post by peter danielsen » Sat Apr 17, 2004 6:09 pm

Well maybe an important distinction between Catholic and Protestant Luthern Christianity should be made. The gospel in my tradition teaches that the human being is seperated from God by sin. He cannot love his fellow man as himself, but he must. To acknowledge the lack of righteousness in oneself, which only can be done if the gospel is living in the heart, opens up for the need of gods salvation and the attitude of mercy towards the other person.

The Imitatio Christi thought is dangerously distorted if it is understood as a possible path for the sinner. I believe that the whole point of the gospel is that we cannot imitate christ. We must try to serve the other person, that is what the sermon of the mount in a radical way tells us, but we cannot do it. The Christianity in this way leaves no room for nirvana in this world, only for Gods mercy towards the sinner.

The polemic is not there because I or you or anyone wants it, it is a consequence of existence.
'There is a war between the rich and poor
a war between the man and the woman
...why dont you come on back to the war"

regards
Peter
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Taigaku
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Post by Taigaku » Sat Apr 17, 2004 6:39 pm

:D
Hi again, Peter.

There is indeed a war, but can we fight it like Gandhi? That's the challenge.

Why is Nirvana and "Gods mercy towards the sinner" incompatible? Should we really let things like language restrict the Divine? Question your assumptions about Nirvana. Question your assumptions about God.

It is an ongoing task, also for me. Our ideas about God are in their nature restricting. Thought has no way of fathoming the Mystery. Believing the mind - our own thoughts about reality - is to me an essential part of what sin actually means. It is choosing separateness from God.

Releasing this attachment is - as I see it - "salvation". Whether this comes about through our own efforts or through God's grace, one might disagree upon. I myself am a Buddhist, yet the concept of "the grace of God" is very much alive to me. My experience, not my mind, has taught me this.

Blessings of peace

~Taigaku
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peter danielsen
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Post by peter danielsen » Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:18 pm

Hi Taigaku

Thanks for the blessings of peace (although peace is often forced upon the mind in a rather violent way).

I very much agree that using the mind isnt the way to fathoming the mistery, to reunite with God. (However one could ask how you know that this is what your experience has taught you. Is your experince not attached to your mind in some way?) But the christian gospel is exactly that this reunion cannot take place in the human existense. That we acctually arent even able to chose against or for the seperation from God. We have the hope that this seperation will cease, and if we do good deeds we can trust that God has worked for the sake of love in our hearts. But we cannot decide in an absolute way if the deed is good. Or indeed if we have gained inner peace or serious love for our fellow beings.

We may or may not believe in the same reality, i cannot decide. But I think that real tolerance is about the acceptance that although we might not share the same beliefes, and that our beliefs might in some respect stand i confrontation, that we still can discuss this with passion, and all the same share the world.

May God grant you courage to be.

Peter
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Taigaku
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Post by Taigaku » Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:47 pm

I hesitate to post this, as it could be regarded as seeking argument, not dialogue. Yet if, ultimately, we disagree, that's fine too.

You write: "One could ask how you know that this is what your experience has taught you. Is your experince not attached to your mind in some way?"
What we normally mean by experience is definitely linked to the mind - the mind is 'the experiencer', so to speak. But there is another way of relating to reality, a 'mystical' way of life. Here, one is no longer identified with one's mind, but with an Awareness that does not make distinctions. Thoughts, emotions, images etc. are then just some of the forms that arise in this formless reality. This formless reality translates into human experience as vibrant aliveness, awareness and love. Surrender of self is a key to this realm.

You write that "this reunion [between man and God] cannot take place in the human existense".
But it can. And it does. And plenty of Christians throughout history have known this to be true, as well.

Examples to seek out are: Meister Eckhart (13th century), Dionysios the Areopagite (5th century), the anonymously authored English text "The Cloud of Unknowing".
Also contemporary sources like the books of Thomas Merton, William Johnston, and the book Beyond Belief by Elaine Pagels will perhaps be able to lead you to an understanding of this. Intellectually, that is. For the true understanding is not accomplished by the mind.

And if your mind refuses to believe what I am saying, so be it. I have no quarrel either with God or with you.

~Taigaku
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