HTH look back on 1955 – or are these issues still relevant?

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Referencing the Cold War and suggesting how attitudes are influenced by fear, the Hill Top Hoods music video is a slick black and white production set in a diner.

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The visual narrative reveals an amiable crowd of diners who progressively drift into arguments, anger and violence. These behaviours support the opening lines of the hook or chorus:

We’re living in the days when everybody sayin’

“What a time to be alive”

Montaigne continues with:

But I’m feeling out of place like I live in outer space

Cause it seems I’m stuck in time

It’s like we ride through life

Visually, the chorus is accompanied by a red wipe that colours the sides of the screen. Red is a powerful colour which provides a strongly contrasts the black and white scene, as well as providing connotations of different emotions. Which do you feel is most applicable in this instance – anger, rage, passion, love?

Consider how these ideas are reflected in our current political climate, where Turnbull has repeatedly stated that it is a ‘great time to be Australian’ while also ignoring serious social issues, such as economic disadvantage and our inability to deal compassionately with refugees and asylum seekers. A society that allows the government to reassure us without taking decisive action that acknowledges the attitudes of a majority is likely to degenerate into negativity. Do we really ‘ride through life’, accepting the superficial attempts to placate our expectations? Can we really be satisfied with simplistic solutions to exaggerated fears through advertising?

Read through the ‘interludes’ in the lyrics and identify each fear that is linked to a specific product:

  1. If you’re feeling low then give it a go! Try Lambert’s Sniffing Salts today!
  2. Direct from the transistor radio in your lounge room. It’s the entertainment the whole family can enjoy. Well I say looking slick will do the trick so try Barry’s Brylcream today!
  3. Right across the country they came in waves. Thousands and thousands of flying discs descending from the planet Mars. For the closest shave try a Wilson’s shaver today!
  4. If you can’t beat the summer heat then what you need is a Wordells. Wordell Refrigerators: the cooler choice. The dieting revolution taking the world by storm.

These language features have been used in the interludes: second person, punctuation, contractions, assonance, metaphor, repetition, pun, personification. Decide which are most useful in supporting your thesis and argument and remember to include an textual examples as well as explanations of effect on the audience.

The Genius website provides information about the song, including annotations of specific lyrics. But BEWARE! Should you choose to use this text as related material, you will need to identify relevant language features to support these views – if they do indeed coincide with your own views.

Effectively analysing related material, or any text for that matter, requires you to actively engage with the text and develop your own understanding: what is it saying? how is it saying this? why would it be said in this way?

empire diner on 10th

Empire Diner on 10th Ave, New York. Sadly, it was closed when I recently visited the city.

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