Tuneful Tuesday: Depths Of Guilt

Before I decided to moan about my whacked-out sleep schedule yesterday, I had intended to write a series of posts this week about guilt and how it basically eats away at the psyches of those who suffer from depression. Of course, I obviously didn’t do that, so now I feel a bit guilty about knocking myself off track. Mission accomplished.

I can’t think of many songs the delve as deeply into the pits of guilt than “Hurt,” the devastating lament written by Trent Reznor about … well, what exactly is this song about anyway? I mean, it has some pretty obvious references to heroin addiction and self-harm. Beyond that, though, what exactly is it saying? Is it about someone apologizing? Is it about someone giving up? Is it about someone holding on?

Whatever the correct interpretation is (and, really, most truly great songs don’t have one correct interpretation anyway), the person the song features is definitely experiencing some heavy-duty guilt. “I will let you down/I will make you hurt”? Here’s someone who obviously feels as if they’ve inflicted some damage. And maybe they have. So it could be argued that the song is an exercise in self-awareness: I’ve done some bad stuff, and I know it.

Whether it’s the Johnny Cash version of the Nine Inch Nails version (Personally, I prefer the Cash rendition, and not just because it says “crown of thorns” instead of “crown of …”, well, not thorns.), there’s a distinct heaviness in what’s being sung. The temptation for me as a listener is to sort of wallow in the place the song is taking me. “Well, they’re right; everyone does go away in the end.”

But there has to be more than that, right?

It’s okay to be self-aware, but it can definitely be taken to extremes. I can realize I’m guilty of something, but I don’t have to let that guilty act define me as a person. Now, the depressive part of my brain can’t believe I just typed that last sentence. Guilt involves bad stuff, right? Therefore, if I’m guilty, I must be bad.

Hmm, apparently that sleepiness I referred to yesterday hasn’t completely dissipated, as I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say at this point. So here’s a video. Goodnight.

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