Category Archives: critical thinking

To Think or Not to Think…That is the Question

For about two months now, we have been asking a daily question on our facebook and on twitter.  This daily question asks people to pick between two choices.  Today’s question was, “Would you rather watch the video for Girl Panic or the video for All You Need Is Now?”  As of this blog, like most other questions, the vote seems rather split but those who give a reason for their choice mention how they like watching the boys in AYNIN over the artistic quality of GP.  I am not surprised by this and even expected it.  With anything else in fandom, it made me think and it made me think about thinking.  It seems to me that there are fans who think about everything and fans who just go with their guts and people in between.  Before I go any further, I feel it necessary to define “think”.  In this case, I use the word “think” to mean critically think, to analyze, to seek a deeper meaning.  Obviously, I tend to do this quite a bit as evidenced by this blog and our book.  Just last night I had a friend over and we were trying to find a movie to watch.  She asked if I had anything funny.  The best I could come up with was Trekkies about the Star Trek fandom or political comedy.  Anyway, from what I can see, Duranland is made up with all three types of people.  In fact, I could argue that Duran Duran is build for all three types.

On one level, Duran Duran is for fun.  We all know this.  Goodness, Simon almost always declares that “Duran Duran was the band designed to make you party,” during the introductions at concerts.  This is also the band that said that they wanted to be playing when the bomb dropped.  Then, if you look at their catalog of songs and videos this becomes clear with songs and videos that just seem fun.  Some of the songs I’m thinking of here are songs like Rio, Electric Barbarella, My Own Way, Sunrise and lots more.  Those songs/videos can be listened to or watched just for fun, for pleasure, for enjoyment.  Added on to seemingly obvious lyrics and video images is the band itself.  Let’s face it.  For many of us, the band members were/are nice to look at.  No thinking is needed in order to determine that someone looks good!  Just like no thinking is needed to make you want to dance when you hear danceable music.  It just happens!!!  Yet, Duran Duran has always been more than this.  Their lyrics and videos do make me want to dive deeper into another layer of meaning. 

A great deal of their musical/visual catalog is built on having a surface layer and a much more in-depth serious layer underneath.  I remember seeing an interview from 2005 from the Netherlands in which John and Simon are asked about the meaning behind the lyrics to the Reflex.  John pointed out that people will continue to try to figure that out, which is very different than songs like “She Loves You” by the Beatles.  They compared the lyrics to poetry.  Many of Duran songs are such in which people can dive deeper to figure out an interpretation of what the song is about.  What is really cool about this is that people can interpret songs differently.  For example, I’m willing to bet that I could get at least 5 different meanings for a song like Finest Hour, if I asked.  Just on Monday, Rhonda and I reviewed Careless Memories.  For me, those lyrics have always reminded me of being a fan and Rhonda had never thought about that.  Neither one of us is right or wrong.  We were just had different ideas.  To me, this is the one thing I truly do love about Duran.  They don’t force you to think but give you thousands of opportunities to do so.  I would also say that the more I critically think about something, the more I appreciate it, the more I love it. 

Thus, Duran Duran gives us perfect opportunities to have fun and to think at the same time!  I can’t ask for anything more!  What about the rest of you?  Do you find yourself thinking about meanings or searching for something deeper when listening/watching Duran or are you content to just enjoy it on the surface?

-A