“Orange Stars on Dark Blue”

Were the assassinations of all those ’60s leaders conspiracies, or acts of individuals? What about Kurt Cobain’s death?
These are things I’ve often thought of before, but, actually upon taking a couple more deep listens to Modest Mouse’s song “People as Places as People,” part of me feels like it doesn’t even matter. Maybe we’re wrong to plunge so deeply into the search for truth, when jealousy will always be a part of life — you can see jealousy reverberating, for instance, in basically any Facebook comment forum.
In the song, Isaac Brock comes upon another one of his singular big-picture realizations, which will already be evident to anybody who’s heard it obviously — anyway one little set of lines in particular struck me on my last listen, which is “The people you love but you didn’t quite know / They’re the places that you wanted to go”. This idea comes as somewhat of a relief, in a way, in light of what throughout the rest of the song is the somewhat disconcerting idea that “We’re the people that we wanted to know / And we’re the places that we wanted to go” — the idea that the essence of life isn’t really truly an exploration of the outward at all, but rather maybe a sort of simple, measurable absorption of it, during which our identities change, what is desirable always still just lying within.
I was concerned in particular with how jealousy would fit into this, being somebody who sort of sees jealousy as a pretty dominant force in his own life today. Obviously with jealousy, it would be a “place somebody wanted to go” but is love involved? Maybe it is. Maybe murders are really just acts of love, deep down.

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