Knopfler is amazing | Reviewer: Rick | 10/4/13
The lyrics of this song force knopfler to do something he does not often do, and that is to really demonstrate his ability as a guitarist. The narrator was actually some idiot Knopfler overheard in a retail store. He was apalled by the bigotry and idiocy he was spouting to coworkers who had MTV playing on several TVs. When the narrator is spouting this garbage in the song, Knopfler must play well enough to demonstrate that playing a guitar well is not at all easy; creating and arranging music requires a great deal of hard work, years of practice, and no small amount of talent. The narrator, however, like most of us, only see the finished product, but not the practice and devotion that were required to producebthe art.
I once told a musician that I thought Knopfler was underrated as a guitarist and he responded that those who play his music quickly realize just how good he really is. He produces complex musical arrangements, but plays so well one does not notice how talented he really is.
As for the insulting language in the song, it is a vital element of the art and Knopfler refutes the idiotic opinion of this gerbil by grinding a bit more on the guitar than he normally would, thereby proving the stupidity and bigotry of the man. Changing the lyrics, or editing the song is not only insulting to Knopfler, it damages the impact of the work.
I do not enjoy hearing racist, vulgar, or bigotted language, but artists must have the right to show us the failings of society and comment upon what they perceive and expose us to the ugliness of our biases, ignorances, and narrow minded thoughts. We may not appreciate the art, or the technique, but that is not a failing of the art, but of the observer. Picasso's Guernica, for example, which depicts the bombing of a town during the Spanish Civil War and which I cannot consider beautiful, comes very close to showing us the horror of the war and its costs. I would not hang it on my wall, but I have to appreciate how he developed a new technique which clearly shows his reaction to the event and reveals his intentions when you know the motivation behind its creation.
Disappointing reviews. | Reviewer: Lyko | 2/17/12
You guys are digging too deep into this. First, it's not Knopfler's opinion, just a quotation from a REAL guy working in a store, and the song sung by a fictional guy working in a store and lamenting, jelaous of "those assholes that get money without doing any real work". Ironic that nobody pointed out that KNOPFLER is a musician who earns MONEY FOR NOTHING much (playing guitar on MTV).
faggot (plural faggots)
(rare, dated in US) A burning or smouldering piece of firewood.
(chiefly UK) A bundle of sticks tied together. [quotations ▼]
1853, Sir Francis Bond Head, A faggot of French sticks: or, Paris in 1851, page 2:
In the depth of, winter, however, a faggot of real French Sticks — although of little intrinsic value — may possibly enliven for a few moments an English Fireside.
(obsolete) Burdensome baggage.
(obsolete, pejorative) An old woman.
(Ireland, colloquial, pejorative, obsolete) A woman. [quotations ▼]
1796, Theobald Wolfe Tone, Autobiography:
she wants me to go to bed to her, and I won't, ... for she is as crooked as a ram's horn ... and as ugly as sin besides ; rot her, the dirty little faggot, she torments me.
1834, William Carleton, The Midnight Mass:
The woman, in accordance with the custom of the country, raised the Irish cry, in a loud melancholy wail ...
Darby, who prided himself on maintaining silence, could not preserve the consistency of his character upon this occasion ... "Your sowl to the divil, you faggot!" he exclaimed, "what do you mane? The divil whip the tongue out o' you! ..."
1973, Hugh Leonard, Da:
MOTHER: To see who?
DA: You faggot, you; don't let on you don't know.
(derogatory, vulgar, colloquial, US, Canada, Australian) A male homosexual. [quotations ▼]
2004, Dennis Cooper, The Sluts, page 228
We're a hot looking crew that's your average faggot's wet dream, so we pull some pretty max tricks.
------> (pejorative, vulgar, US, colloquial) An annoying or inconsiderate person.
(UK, Australian, Ireland) (obsolete in North America) The cast off end of a smoked cigarette.
(chiefly UK) A meatball made from pork. "
So, let's put it into perspective.
If 'faggot' here means gay, then the fictional worker INSULTS KNOPFLER (and all other musicians) that he's gay. In a song written and sung by the guy, no less.
And if he means 'jerk', it's again just relaying the words and thoughts of a man who is jelaous of HIM. In other words, a song about someone considering performing music is an easy way to get rich and famous. And he hates him for it, because he's not rich, or famous, and he's putting in loads more effort.
Above all, it's just a song. And I won't even get into things like "chicks for free", and rap music in which women are considered objects, but the only fuss is raised when people relay death threats and gay insults through music... Grow a pair, folks.