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E. Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't



Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

[Nightclub background noise]

It ain't what you do but how you do it.

It ain't what you say but what you do.

It ain't what you know but who you know.

It ain't who you know but who you are.

So, if it's damned if you do

And damned if you don't

Then do what you damn

And don't what you won't.

Brother am I burning in your eyes?

They say 'judge not and be not judged'.

But they say that to judge somebody

Who's usually just been judging them.

So, if it's damned if you do

And damned if you don't

Then do what you damn

And don't what you won't.

[MC] Hit it Slider!

[Cameo by 'Slider']

Do what you damn

Do what you damn well choose.

Do what you damn

Do what you damn

Do what you want to do.

[MC] Oh No...

[Slider continues]

Do what you damn

Do what you damn

Do what you damn well choose.

Do what you damn

Do what you damn

Do what you supposed/want to do.

[MC] Kill it Slider.

Everybody's looking for a bigger piece o' that

Same old pie.

Some say mine is yours and yours is mine.

Some they say, "Let's make the whole thing bigger!"

And others say, "That's 'pie in the sky'."

So if it's damned if you do

And damned if you don't

Then do what you damn

And don't what you won't.

Storyline Notes

Dax was feeling somewhat successful having survived his encounter with the 'outsiders'. Even better, he may have even made a few 'friends' among them.  But now Dax must find his way 'home' in the middle of the night. He stumbles on through the alleyways in the forgotten parts of the Futureopolis.  Hopefully, he does not run up against any other groups like the 'outsiders', or even worse a group of Enforcers.

When he stops running from his own panic, he pauses long enough to notice that everything is pretty quiet in this dead part of the city.  But in the silence, he hears a low rumbling pattern.  As he listens intently it sounds like distant music.  Perhaps it could lead to a way out of the broken part of the city. He tries to follow it to it's source and it gets loader but still sounds muffled.  It is clearly a muffled bass line - and a bit funky at that. It sounds like one of the banned forms of music which are the bane of SOL.  He approaches an old brick wall that forms the outer wall of an old warehouse and he can tell the music is coming from within.

Eventually, he finds what appears to be a hidden door - an old wooden door of solid oak leading down to what appears to be a cellar. The music resonates more clearly than ever though the resonant wood of the oaken door, but it is still muted so that only the bass line is discernible.  Almost without intending, as if compelled by reflex, Dax reaches up and turns the makeshift door latch...

[Scene: A retro-modern underground dance club - somewhat like a grand futuristic 'speak easy'.  It is something that is not supposed to be there - but once inside there is an incredible vibe.  It's a party like no other.  Some of the characters sit chatting. Pretty girls and well dressed gentlemen abound.  Some are clearly out of control, some are avidly enjoying the nightlife, and some are merely 'passed out'.  On stage a band plays a rather funky song which features two bass players.]

Dax continues to delve further into the hidden and likely forbidden nightclub. With each step his feet are being swept more deeply into the feeling and groove of the place, along with the music.  As the long instrumental intro to the song finishes, the singer begins to sing a song that seems to recant some of societies little sayings that keep the 'little people' in their places.  The singers solution to this is to simply 'do what you damn'.

[Observe song lyrics at this position]

Midway through the song, Dax sees an aging former pop star make a cameo appearance.  Although he is only in his 40s, the forgotten star looks like he is a very weathered 80ish person.  Still carrying on the gestures, dress and mannerism of his defined musical genre - he looks somewhat unbecoming. Ridiculous even at times.

Dax enjoys a full evening of fun and excess. He thinks to himself, "I could easily drift into this lifestyle."  He says with a smile in slurred speech to a nearby patron, "Hey lady, I think I could definitely hang with this place".  She smiled and said, "Me too! ... And I'm no lady."

But of course the headache and vomiting in the morning cast things in a different light.  Of course, Dax with throbbing head has mixed feelings about this - and while he enjoyed himself he can see where the excesses could become extremely damaging very quickly.

Dax it seems has mixed feelings about many things.  And the mixed feelings arise from conflicting yet rational thoughts. He now has conflicted thought and mixed feelings concerning each alternative to the mainstream way of life he has encountered.  Each seems to have its high and low, its pros and cons, with any clarity or certainty quite elusive.

With the fun wearing off, leaving only the residual toxins of his 'night out' - he found his mind ablur with not only a semi-toxic chemical blend but also with the thoughts of his recent hopeful ideas.  But as each glimmer of hope passed through his mind, an anti-hopeful 'other side' of each answer loomed just as largely.

When he emerged from the underground club, the sun was already rising - it was morning.  After throwing up in an old trash can outside the club, Dax decided to simply go straight to his work.  No time to go home anyway.  The thought of the hell of the cubicle maze which lay in his immediate future made him puke one more time.  "There now, I think I can tolerate another day of it", he thought. 

At least by the light of day, he could more easily find the road which led into the main working district.



Words and Music by David Denton

Male Vocals by David Denton

Female Vocals by Cat Denton
All Instruments performed by David Denton
Recorded and Produced by David Denton

Commentary - Technical Notes

You know, this song was meant to be somewhat 'funny', kinda 'tongue in cheek'.  Not really 'laugh out loud' funny, but still I guess a joke isn't very good if you have to explain it.  Anyway, here goes...

Outside of the obvious meaning within the storyline context, I think I had some very specific angst in this song.

Three topics to be specific.

The first verse relates more or less to any endeavor in which someone who starts in life far behind tries to get ahead.  The music business of those days, was a specific example that I found very closed and cliqueish.  There are always 100 reasons people can give you for what you should be doing differently, but in reality some will have simply greater limitations than others.  It seems that those who are connected or who have somehow been ordained society (or who hold the card of 'wealth') will generally get the breaks.

The second relates to some of the rigidity of beliefs I have seen in which everyone sees everything through the tunnel vision of their own belief system. This can apply to religion, politics, or just the dumb ways that people think things are 'supposed' to be. Sometimes without knowing, these people can be highly judgemental and exclusionary. It truly seems at times that you are 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' - at least in the eyes of others.

The third relates to the lack of economic advancement within society.  Seems there are about 2 differing theories of how to embetter the economy and potentially the lives of billions - and these are gridlocked perpetually.  So nothing really extraordinary ever happens in this realm.  It seems there could be other alternatives and incredible things that could happen - but these are all 'pie in the sky' ideas.  So I guess we can't count on it.

The singer in the 'club' suggests a form of hedonism or partying escapism as the best antidote when faced with the above broken situations.  And even if not going to that extreme, the song at a minimum suggests not beating your head against a brick wall if all the alternatives are less than wonderful - just move along in life doing what you think is right.

Just a disclaimer; I am not promoting 'hedonism' in this song any more than I am promoting outright rebellion in some of the others.  But I think the song portrays how many of us have felt at some point in our lives. Sometimes our day to day endeavors seem a grueling and thankless task, potentially culminating in a colossal 'dead end'. Sometimes it feels there are no good alternatives. At times, there is a euphoric release from this monotony when we celebrate or 'let go' in one way or another.  I do not believe celebrating is wrong nor are any of the gifts of life.  We simply must be careful and use some wisdom (often sadly missing amongst the young) in our actions. Otherwise the results can be quite catastrophic and a lot worse than 'not fun'. 

I truly wish for everyone to enjoy Life, but part of that means considering consequences and perhaps more so, thinking deeply and honestly about what it truly means to 'enjoy Life'. ?!?!

Next Song: Go With The Flow