Them Are Us Too Amends

[Dais; 2018]

Styles: dreampop
Others: The Cure, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins

in memoriam Cash Askew

Let us keep close this loss, this wound. This loss that is not ours, that never will be, this wound in which nevertheless all dreamers dwell, this, never ours, let us keep close, close, but not closed. Where there’s wound is also wrought the making of amends, but not the mending of the end — so do not close the wound, do not mend it. Address it, not dress it. Amend the world that sees these shadows, stains, or blemishes that humbly we are to them as blights to order, and may a wound open to light, trespassing borders. Where there’s wound is also wrought a vulnerability that may never heal, but heals.

     In the wake of this wound, love sings:

          “Won’t you speak to me, (love…

     and love, who always remained and will, sings:

          “…love), why won’t you speak to me?

Let us write this eulogy at the point of the dream’s closure. Where we would no longer in mourning merely speak well of those lost in memoriam, but rather awaken to the loss of the world that lost them, in this morning we might experience a world where you, lost to this world, coincide with our losing away of this world to the opening of the dream. Where your dream, lingering in ashes, meets our surrendering of the world to join you, let us write this from there.

To realize this dream of Them Are Us Too, it’s not enough simply to say that this album, Amends, is their last album, a posthumous record somewhere between a “thank you” and a “goodbye.” To say this is to betray these radical dreams that we might say claim an ontological precedence above the world these dreamers dream away. The dream will not depart. And as we cry, as they forge ahead, this wound must be bared and this dream shared.

Them Are Us Too’s darkly dreampop dissents from the world where Us denies the reality of Them, this, not on the basis of unreality or fantasy, but in the name of the dreams and desires of marginalized and peripheral artists all, those whose bodies and identities are ceaselessly challenged by the world, those who can afford no space in the world that legislates the entitlement of Us over and against the exclusion of Them. And when space is sought out and occupied, like Ghost Ship or many other DIY spaces facing displacement, the world denies them this right to space, to breath, to sleep as to dreams, and to grief, too.

To dissent from this world is not to imagine another world to where we can escape, but to assert this other world that we are in the reality of our dreams, in the reality of our wounds in which our dreams can be shared. And Amends is nothing but the shimmeringly vulnerable possibility of sharing what can’t be shared: the loss of the dreamer and the dreamer of loss. Amidst the ruins, ash, and decay, an ethereal, ghostly longing lingers. An unbridgeable gap, the shape of an absence, here on this record is dreamt to closure.

For, like wounds, dreams are the sites of the traumas that create us, and like wounds, dreams too open beyond what can be dreamed or wounded and burn. But when the world itself is a gaping wound that recognizes no wound but ceaselessly wounds, the dream that shatters this spell by asserting the reality of wounded selves, the wound that will not heal, heals us as it hears us.

     ”A million ghosts, I hear them.

Help Ghost Ship – Oakland Fire Relief Effort
Trans Assistance Project
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
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