Monday, July 5, 2010

Make your own kind of music..

My friends would tell you that I'm a big fan of Lost. And that's a gross understatement. Its first three seasons were simply some of the best entertainment I've ever had. Now, I don't want to explain or review the show here (and it would take more than just a blog post to understand it), but what I wanted to say was about a song that was featured in the show. It's called Make your own kind of music and it got me thinking. First of all, no, it's not that great a song when you just hear it, without having seen Lost. But the context in which it appears in the show is beautiful. Ok, so I think I will have to explain a bit about the circumstances that lead to the song in the storyline.
In the first season, there a group of survivors from a plane crash, now living in the middle of nowhere, in an island in the pacific ocean. Out of contact with any technology whatsoever, they are now back to living like cave men and fight for their very survival. Meanwhile, they keep discovering mysteries in the island, (like, a suspicion that they're not alone)and among other things a mysterious hatch buried in the ground. Preferring to live inside the hatch for protection, they get it opened and find a deep path going into the ground. Cut, end of first season.
The second season opens with a man, sitting in front of a computer and punching in some kind of code and lots of gadgets and stuff around him. This song that I talked about is heard playing in the background. It goes something like this,

Nobody can tell you,
There’s only one song worth singing,
They may try and sell you,
As it hangs them up to see
someone like you;

But you've gotta make your own kind of music
sing your own special song,
make your own kind of music even if nobody
else sings along.

You're gonna be nowhere.
the loneliest kind of lonely.
It may be rough going,
just to do your thing's
the hardest thing to do.

Now, the fact that the place this man is shown living in, is actually the inside of that hatch mentioned before, is an entirely different issue. No, what I really wanted you to notice, was the song being played. Here is a man, shut off in the middle of nowhere, doing some kind of duty (obviously, or he wouldn't living in such a place). Even when the survivors (after overcoming their shock on seeing a man inside) don't believe in whatever work the man may have been doing in there (which was incidentally, 'saving the world', according to the guy), he sticks true to his cause and refuses to believe to the contrary.
If you'll notice, that's what the song gently advises. To make your own kind of music; even if nobody sings along. To stick to your beliefs, at the risk of being an outcast. Now, how plausible is that? To pursue a dream that nobody sees, but you? Where does it all come from? This passion towards something without any kind of prior instigation; Everybody feels it - at some time or the other in their lives - It's that thing that keeps you going in the toughest of times - It's called individuality. The belief that you are unique and irreplaceable - that no two people are the same however similar they might be.
But what about the whole 'circumstances-define-us-individuals' argument? Aren't we the sum total of what lies around us? The equilibrant that completes the world, the balance that keeps shifting? People do get influenced by the world outside them and change accordingly. We all know how much we have heard about the role of environment in shaping up a kid, till the moment he becomes an adult. So many opportunities to get one's perceptions and opinions changed, right?
So, back to my original question, where does this sense of individuality come from? I wouldn't know the answer to that but no, it's not just a whimsical thought. In the show, in the end, it turns out that the guy was right after all - eventhough nobody believed him. There is uniqueness in and around us - the sooner we realize it, the better. Like Forrest Gump says, Maybe it's a mix of both - maybe we aren't just leaves floating around in the wind, but have got a definite purpose to fulfill. And oh boy, isn't that reassuring.

P.S. - I would like to mention the following quote by Michael Crichton here:
"Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their 'beliefs.' The reason is that beliefs guide behaviour which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behaviour may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion."


  1. nice post!.. the best part is the post script with the punch! :P

  2. Amazing post :) awesome words... you should really do this more often... and I just wish you had started it ages ago... But hey... as they say.. better late than never :)