Pearl Jam special on PBS

Did anyone else catch the Pearl Jam special on PBS? I had to laugh at how many times the guitarist kept asking the question "What are we doing?" He seemed very introspective and confused. I wonder if any of them are Catholic. It's amazing how so many talented people can get so Lost along the way, and how so many people idolize said talented Lost people. I wonder if these guys can honestly say they're living a deep existence, or if they mostly living for the approval and applause of fans. :shrug:

[quote="ManOnFire, post:1, topic:264507"]
Did anyone else catch the Pearl Jam special on PBS? I had to laugh at how many times the guitarist kept asking the question "What are we doing?" He seemed very introspective and confused. I wonder if any of them are Catholic. It's amazing how so many talented people can get so Lost along the way, and how so many people idolize said talented Lost people. I wonder if these guys can honestly say they're living a deep existence, or if they mostly living for the approval and applause of fans. :shrug:


Pearl Jam are "lost"? Actually, not having seen the PBS special, I am going to presume they mentioned the early bands like Green River and Mother Love Bone - both of which I would take any day over Pearl Jam. I will admit tearing up over Pearl Jam's version of "Last Kiss" - their version's a classic.

The guitarist languished over his own words. They’re his words, not mine. If you watch it, maybe you’ll see my point.

A year and a half later :wink:

Huge Pearl Jam fan, here. I dont know of this particular special (maybe I’ll look it up) but I’d imagine you’re referring to the lead guitarist, Mike McCready. He penned the lyrics (and music) for the song Inside Job in which he laments a lack of spirituality.

None of the members are Catholic, though, they clearly believe in “god.” Just as clear is their confusion and search for truth. I find many of Eddie Vedder’s (lead vocalist) lyrics to be his search for God. He goes from outright disdain (see Evenflow; "Praying, not to something that has never shown him anything) to feeling he can still be saved (see Amongst the Wave; "now I feel like I have a soul that has been saved.)

anymore fans out there care to chat on this topic?

I’m a big Pearl Jam fan, and have been one for 20 years, starting around the time that Vs. came out.

And it’s fascinating to see the way the band has evolved over the years. Yes, Eddie Vedder is pretty much a liberal and an Obama supporter, but it’s possible to see shifts in his lyrics, especially after his second marriage and fatherhood. Mike McCready has overcome addiction and physical illness (Crohn’s disease), so his lyrics on “Inside Job” reflect his struggles.

Of course, some of Eddie’s outspoken views, especially on abortion, are totally unacceptable. But they’ve only written one song that deals with the issue, “Whipping”, and even that one was about the murder of an “abortion clinic” doctor, rather than a glorification of abortion.

However, there are Pearl Jam songs that have excellent messages:

“Help, Help” - “the man they call my enemy, I’ve seen his eyes, they look just like me…”
“Given To Fly” - about an angel getting his wings, or more generally, about continuing to love others even in the face of opposition and persecution.
“Marker In The Sand” - a reflection on religious extremism and how politics often trumps true religion
“Just Breathe” - a beautiful song about growing old with those you love, repenting for past faults, and appreciating the goodness of simple things.
“Parachutes” - about finding meaning from love, even when there are troubles in the world.
“Sleight Of Hand” - pretty heartbreaking: it’s about having a moment of insight where you realize that you need to change, but can’t quite make it, and return to former patterns “until you have more time”.
“Life Wasted” - about rejecting nihilism and appreciating the value of life.

While some of their politics are reprehensible, there is much in Pearl Jam for the discerning listener. :thumbsup:

Parachutes is a little anti-Catholic for me - “break the sky and tell me what it’s for” and “gone so low with the kneeling, please know that I’ve got all the friends i need before my light goes out” … sounds like he doesn’t want God

but, then Given to Fly always makes me think of Easter as Jesus “he floated back down 'cause he wanted to share the key to locks on the chains he saw everywhere”…accidently Catholic :wink:

Evenflo, not so much “praying, not to something that has never shown him anything” though that could be the opposite (i doubt Vedder meant it other than unanswered prayers vs. praying/beliving oneself as own moral authority

And, thus, the magic of poetry. Interpretations galore. But it seems more likely than not that Vedder is being called to God but just can’t decode the message. He wants dearly to be his own moral compass and appears unwilling to submit to God.

Imagine if he did? The beauty of his music and poetry (lyrics) when aimed to God?

A glimpse? Sure :wink: Amongst the Wave. The most Christian song I’ve heard in the “mainstream” if you ask me. I mean, how is this NOT about sacremental confession, turning life over to God and starting new :wink: Totally what Vedder was aiming for :wink: :thumbsup:

But I am up riding high amongst the waves
Where I can feel like I have a soul that has been saved
Where I can feel like I’ve put away my early grave

I gotta say it now, better loud than too late

well, that’s all gone to heck now…newest single, Mind Your Manners, a typically theophobic punk song. too bad, really. the music’s good but the fight against God…i just dont get it. Vedder is quite bitter at God for some reason.

Man, I’m glad I stumbled upon this thread!

 I've been a huge Pearl Jam fan since I was old enough to really get into music (1993, age 13, when "Versus" came out).  I always thought some of their pro-choice expressions got a little angry at times, but I always respected their right to express their opinion, and I still do.  I love their new album "Lightning Bolt", but some of it has left me conflicted.  I hate feeling that way about a Pearl Jam album, but I guess it's just part of the free marketplace of ideas; we're not always going to agree.  

 I used to be socially and politically liberal, but about 2 years ago I lay awake in bed for a series of nights thinking about 2 things that had begun to blow my mind:  the fact that the percentage of American kids born to unwed parents went from 4% to 40% after the sexual revolution, and the fact that the divorce rate went from about 10% to about 50% after the sexual revolution.  The effects on everything from our education system to our criminal justice system to where our tax money goes became unavoidable.  I couldn't escape the fact that social liberalism did this; it successfully divorced sex from marriage and family life, and the consequences were disastrous.  As a liberal (and a weather forecaster) I'd always been so ready and willing to see the complex relationships between pollution and its environmental consequences, but I suddenly realized that I'd failed to see the complex relationships between the behavioral choices we make and their societal effects.  

 So, my transition from left-wing liberalism to relatively apolitical Catholicism hasn't been a smooth one, both for me and for some of my friends and family.  I'm grateful to them for not having me committed!  :D  It's left me with some conflicted views on some of my favorite band's messaging, and I usually just chalk it up to the fact that "we all be thinking with our different brains" (from Pearl Jam's new song "Getaway"), but some of their new album is a little disappointing.

 The cover art for the new song "Mind Your Manners" shows a handgun on a plate spattered with blood, and what appears to be the artist's attempt at a rosary is also on the plate.  This doesn't square with my experience with the rosary, but people are certainly entitled to their own forms of artistic expression.  To me, it comes off as conceptually clumsy and stereotype-heavy, but that's just my opinion.  

 The song "Getaway" clearly targets Catholicism.  The cover art shows what appears to be a priest raising his hands over two people who are shown in dunce caps (because we Christians are all mindless sheep who couldn't possibly be thinking and choosing for ourselves, aren't we?).  Nevermind the fact that priests raise their hands over the altar when they consecrate the gifts- not over the lecturn when they deliver homilies.  The lyrics of "Mind Your Manners" seem to suggest that we Catholics are told to disregard science and the fossil record:  

“Science says we’re making love like the lizards
Try and say that fossils ain’t profound
Simon says that we are not allowed to consider
Simon says ‘Stand-up. Sit-down. You’re out!’”

 (I think the "Simon says 'Stand-up.  Sit-down.'" part is in reference to what we do during different parts of the mass, and "'You're out!'" has to do with the Church's prerogatives to excommunicate people and to determine who's in communion with her.)

 I think much of what's going on here is that Pearl Jam is coming down on Catholicism for what is really more of an evangelical Protestant thing.  We, as Catholics, are not bound to a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation stories.  We don't have to believe they're historically and scientifically accurate in order to be Catholic.  The last two popes before Francis were both very detailed in their nuanced views of the biblical creation accounts, and they clearly espoused what could be called "intelligent design".  Eddie seems to think "we are not allowed to consider" the fossil record, but I'm not sure that he realizes he's incorrectly criticizing Catholics for something that some Protestants do.  This has happened to me numerous times during conversations that I've had with people about religion.

 I'll always love Pearl Jam, but loving people means understanding the complexities of their shortcomings, and it looks like the band will continue to fall into theophobic liberal stereotypes.  All of this being said, their new album is phenomenal.  Did I mention I was conflicted?

re: above guy.

I used to be a Happy LIberal until I realized how crapped-out our social world has become. Divorce counts for a lot of this, imho. Drugs and economic despair as well.

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