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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Don't Give Up

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Looking at the way things are, the economy looks as if it may get a lot worse before it gets better. Not just here in Malaysia, but the world over.

This post, and the YouTube video, is dedicated to those of you who may find it hard to make ends meet in the coming days, weeks, and maybe even months.

Don't give up...
(Walski's personal story behind this song, and more, in the full post)

Many years ago, when Walski was in college still, he suffered from really bad depression. Don't ask why... it'll be a longer story than it's worth. Suffice it to say, his depression made him very negative about life, to the point that Walski almost felt that it was pointless to see another tomorrow.

At the time, Walski was also a volunteer deejay at the college radio station. His love for music was perhaps one of the things that kept Walski going. Around the time when Walski's depression was at its worst, a certain Mr. Peter Gabriel decided to release his 5th studio album, entitled "So".

Listen to the lyrics in "Don't Give Up"... it was written as a response to the damage that Margaret Thatcher unleashed upon the British economy, causing much suffering to those at the bottom of the food chain. The ones that the Thatcher capitalism viewed as human debris.

They say that God works in mysterious ways... "Don't Give Up" made Walski cry the first time he listened to it carefully. The funny thing about crying is that it releases a lot of pent up emotion, and clears your head some. When you're depressed, crying can be very therapeutic.

The song also knocked the painful realization into his thick skull that much of the alone-ness and pain Walski was feeling at the time was actually self-inflicted - it wasn't that nobody cared about him. It was merely that Walski had slowly build a big coccoon around himself, shutting away his friends and those who truly loved and cared for him.

Till today, "Don't Give Up" is one of those very few songs that can make Walski shed a tear (if he's not careful)... not of sadness, but tears of thankfulness and tears of hope. Thankful that he came to his senses and not take the easy way out. Hopeful, that while Walski still has the time given to him on Earth, all those dreams and aspirations still unrealized can one day come true.

And this song was the catalyst for his rebound, paving the way for a long process of healing, that still continues till today... The thing about depression is that it never entirely goes away, and can rear its ugly head when you let your guard down.

Inspiration can be found in many things - sometimes the smallest of things. To Walski, "Don't Give Up" is one of those things, something that he felt he should share with you folks, as we enter into some not-so-brilliant times ahead...

Walski's musically-driven throbbing bass footnote: One of the elements that grabs Walski about this song is the simple, yet entrancingly beautiful bassline, courtesy of perhaps the undisputed master of the Chapman Stick, Tony Levin. The same Tony Levin who co-provided the unique rhythmic drive for the 80's incarnation of King Crimson (with drummer Bill Bruford). Peter Gabriel's duet partner on "Don't Give Up" is Kate Bush (no relation whatsoever to George), another of Walski's faves from the 1980's.