One aspect of Duran Duran’s songs that I appreciate is how the meaning of their songs can mean different things to each individual person and can be interpreted in multiple ways even to the same person over time. Even songs that seem obvious in terms of what they mean can be seen from different perspectives. One song like that is Ordinary World. We all know that the lyrics are about the loss of Simon’s friend, which means that the song can be easily applied to any situation of grief. For me, personally, I have never listened to the song to deal with my own grief, but I have used the song to deal with what life has thrown at me. For instance, I remember listening to the song when I had first moved to Madison. I didn’t know anyone and was trying to figure out how this whole adulthood worked. Needless to say, I needed to find my ordinary world.
Now, I find myself listening to the song in a new way. If you are in the United States, I’m sure you know that Tuesday is Election Day. While I have been working hard to ensure that candidates I support win, the reason for this is as much about the people themselves and my desire to find an ordinary world. Since 2016 and even 2010, I feel like my ordinary world left me. Here’s the deal. The results of elections affect people. They have consequences. They did for me and they have for people I care about, including my students. I feel like Simon in that the life that I recognized went away. I am seeking a new less terrifying world, one in which people are not attacked for who they are, what they do for a living or how they want to find happiness and opportunity.
The thing about the song, Ordinary World, is that it seems to speak about a moment in which a life marker is placed, something to show something significant happened. There is life before and life after. That is how I feel about both 2010 and 2016. The end of 2010 and 2011 was tough with family deaths and challenges at work and with work. You know what got me through? Duran Duran. They helped me find as normal, as ordinary of a world as possible. I had something to focus on that eased the pain, the grief. Unfortunately, I did not have as much Duran related activities to distract, to help me get through since 2016. Sometimes, I am thankful that I can just focus on my activism and what needs to be done. After all, what happens in my community, state, country and world matters a lot to me and I refuse to be a spectator. That said, having some fun helps give me the necessary breaks to keep going, to keep fighting.
Thankfully, I do have a few Duran related events that I can now look forward to. I have a couple of shows in February and I suspect that Rhonda will be announcing that it looks like we will be able to plan for a mini-Durandemonium for February in Vegas. Stay tuned for details. All that said, I’ll be really excited if it feels like my ordinary world can return. Tuesday will tell. (If you live in the United States, please VOTE people. I strongly believe that this is the most important election in my lifetime and your voice matters.)