Tuesday, October 23, 2007

June 18, 1976 (2000) – Pedro The Lion

Had Lux Lisbon of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides not ended her own life with her sisters, it’s almost inevitable she would have done so eventually. Promiscuous beauty that she was, though, she would likely have gotten pregnant first. Given that The Virgin Suicides was set in the mid-1970s, “June 18, 1976” could conceivably be about Lux and the moments preceding her death, as David Bazan breaks the news in bard-like fashion to Lux’s child.

In an egregious case of post-partum depression, a girl who just gave birth bids a final farewell to her newborn before leaping from the top of the hospital rooftop. While her suicide could be viewed as an allegory for young women who sacrifice the suppleness of their nubile bodies for the sake of bearing children, the narrative’s crux is reflected in the impact upon the bystanders who discern the calm gracefulness of her plunge, conveying her belief that she is plummeting toward peace, which enables them to reconcile the violent fate of one so lovely and yet so inextricably sad. In this regard, the song channels the essence of American Beauty, as where Wes Bentley’s character, Ricky, takes in the horrific poignancy reflected in Kevin Spacey’s expression as the blood oozes from his skull, as if Ricky understands Spacey’s character is, at that moment, reliving the most beautiful moments of his life as his soul passes to its state of permanence.

Sometimes tragedy and beauty are necessary counterparts.

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