Last Saturday night I was at Music Midtown festival in Atlanta to see one band in particular – Pearl Jam. As someone who came out of his late teens along with the rise of the Seattle grunge scene, There was simply no way I’d miss the chance of seeing one of my musical heroes for anything. This post is on-topic, so stay tuned and watch as I link Pearl Jam live in Atlanta GA to literature 🙂
So “How was the concert?” you ask. It was fantastic. I went back in time for a couple of hours and reminded myself why I love Rock music so very much. Pearl Jam are one of the professional ensemble of musicians who happen to genuinely love each other (More on that later on) and Eddie Vedder is a true artist in the full sense of the term.
Right about halfway through the concert which featured classic hits along with great covers, Eddie talked to the crowd for a couple of minutes. Eddie is not shy about his politics and beliefs and every fan in attendance had to have known this was coming. He started by reminding everyone that this was election year.
The crowed went silent, anticipating what in Georgia might turn out to be a real buzz kill… A few calls along the lines of “Don’t do this Eddie! Don’t spoil it!” were heard over the crickets…
Eddie goes on to remind everyone to bring their driver’s license when they go to vote.
Meaningful smile from the front man.
The crowd would have been on the edge of their chairs had they had any….
A collective sigh of relief was audible from the 50,000 + crowd as the band went on about the business of Rock and Roll.
Later that evening Eddie talks about the band and how much love it takes to stick together for as long as they did. With a little wink of an eye he reminds the crowd that “It’s ok for men to love other men, you know”.
Eddie Vedder is a great artist but he’s also an intelligent one. He knows where he is, and let’s face it – like it or not, Georgia is not exactly a state in which Obama would sweep Romney (If there ever was an understatement…). Eddie wanted to say “Vote for Obama!” but knew this would bring about boos and spoil the party. So he used the fact that most people KNOW what he thinks and “just reminded everyone” that it’s election year.
He also said ever so lightly that it’s ok for him to love his guitar playing band mate. Nothing too challenging there, yet delivering his message clearly.
Subtext is a very important ingredient in literature too. It makes the reading experience richer and gives the reader the credit she deserves for being a smart person, which is the preferred way to look at him/her.
Some things are best left unsaid (out loud) by either the narrator or a character. These things add depth to a story and more depth equals more “customer satisfaction”.
Do you leave things for your reader to read between the lines? Do you leave gaps which the reader can fill? What are some of the best examples you read for subtext in literature?