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Never Let The Zeros Bring You Down

Back on 13th May 2021 I posted an article based upon the reaction of a certain section of fans to the imminent release of INVISIBLE. They was an awful lot of angst and disappointment about for people who most definitely were Duran Duran fans, but seemed to be distraught at the thought of new Duran Duran music.

A few days after my article, INVISIBLE was actually released in full to a generally positive and enthusiastic reaction. The video was fresh and creative, the song was different but Duran-ish, and it was played on actual UK radio without it being on an golden oldies channel!

It is now 22nd July, and over the past two months we have heard another new song (Give It All Up) and have information about a collaboration with the Japanese group Chai. There has, once again, been uproar at a whole range of issues and slights: Non-organic drums, too many collaborators, dull music, not enough guitar, trying to be too popular AND / OR not popular, Simon sounds terrible, the edit version of Give It All Up was no good, where is the Moroder track, where is the guest vocalist.

All of this (and more) based upon 3 and a half minutes of music plus a quick mention of Chai.

On 13th May I wrote about the need to focus on the positives of our favourite band releasing new music again. Incredibly, a fair few people have chosen to ignore the advice to just enjoy being a fan of a music group that makes music that you, overall, really like. So, I thought it was time to consider what it is that makes some people choose a path that seems to embrace disenchantment. [Granted, this may not be all the time, but the experience of the past few weeks, and the various comments made, suggests there is more to this than just not liking one record].

It’s time to move from trying to move from trying persuade certain people, or being frustrated with them, to understanding them. Yes, it’s time for some pop psychology.

The Psychologia website identifies some other characteristics of such people:

“Venting is a part of human relationships. However, there are people who take simple venting to a whole new level, and here is when it becomes dangerous for you as well. Here are some of the tell-tell signs of a toxic person:

  • They almost never talk about anything positive; all they do is whine, whine and whine. Usually, they will be focusing on just one main topic: their boss, their family member or a particular person they hate but are forced to deal with.

  • They are completely uninterested in you. Try telling them something about your life and you will have your answer. If the person is toxic, they will likely interrupt you after a couple of minutes and take the stage again.

  • You are not allowed to disagree with them. To them, your duty is to listen and support. You are not allowed to express other opinions or politely disagree. If you aren’t with them, you are against them. What they do here is they are building a coalition, and if you aren’t sharing their views completely, you cannot be considered their friend. If they can find someone who listens and supports “better” than you, they will be out of your life in a snap.

  • They are narcissists. Narcissists are particularly prone to toxic venting but not every person who gets carried away is necessarily a narcissist.”

It suggests why such people may do this:

“Most of the time, pessimists nag and complain only to vent and validate their feelings. Talking about their problems gives them a temporary relief; they simply need an outlet to vent their frustration. However, it’s important to understand that they are not asking for your advice, nor do they get particularly happy when you suggest something. Yes, it must be hard to wrap your mind around this if you are an optimistic go-getter, which only proves that you two are very different people.

It goes on to try to help us understand such people:

“Whiners and complainers keep nagging because they feel helpless. Not to say that negativity is a mental disorder, but many psychological problems develop because of the feeling of lack of control accompanied by an overwhelming desire to control at least something. Negative people feel weak and powerless over their environment and outcomes of their lives.

I know that I have had many of these traits. I became aware of this in the tone and direction of Cherry Lipstick in the year 2000. It caused me to stop the fanzine as I found it increasingly hard to say positive things about Duran Duran. Put simply, I was moaning too much, and I was boring myself. On CL’s reincarnation in 2017, I set a policy (for myself and the tone of this new Cherry Lipstick) of being generally positive, without being fawning. The feedback received is that this is how it has generally come across, and has been appreciated for that.

The big test was always going to be with new music. As it happens, I really like Invisible, and have warm feelings towards Give It All Up. That helps. But so does the attitude of being open minded towards the collaboration with Chai. Life is too short to be disappointed with new Duran Duran music. Especially music we have not heard. Duran Duran have provided us with 14 original albums, plus various side projects and spin-off albums. If you think it won’t be bumpy, you’ve not been paying attention for the last 40 years. Duran have been at various times brilliant, weird, infuriating, artistic, dorky, passionate, dreadful, mad and creative. I for one hope and expect for more of that in the 2 or 3 albums they have left to give us. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride!


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