Archetypes of Invisibility – Fuzz Face / Stressed Out

28 04 2017

Just to make sure we are all on the same page an archetype is ‘a very typical example of a certain person or thing.’ Bootsy has one of my favorite examples of the invisible archetype, expressed as the protagonist in his song Fuzz Face from the 1993 release Lord of the Harvest. Lord of the Harvest was dedicated to the guru behind Maggot Brain, guitarist Eddie Hazel, who had recently passed. in terms of duality. Bootsy let’s the listener know right away what’s up. ‘Don’t treat your puppy like a dog, and don’t hug your kitten like a cat.’ Which presents the imperative to limit yourself in accordance to your surroundings. As the term fuzz face implies, there is a a lack of definition, and the lyrics certainly dance around the invisible. ‘Work my fingers to the bone. / My speakers blown.’  Working because work is necessary, or because the speaker is blown?

Curiously, there are quite a few similarities between Bootsy’s Fuzz Face, and the Twenty One Pilots Stressed Out. Though Tyler Joseph names Blurryface as insecurity, that may be only the surface of the archetype with which he obviously has familiarity. The most direct comparison is between ‘we used to play pretend, wake up you need the money’ and ‘work my fingers to the bone, I’m coming home.’  As the obvious correlation between work and life, each of these artists seem to believe that today’s definition of work seems to work only against the common person, as referenced by Tyler’s line ‘out of student loans and tree house homes, we all would take the latter.’

Further similarities exist in reference to rocket ships, blurry or fuzz face, youth vs being adult and of course existential anguish, through the obvious regret of being an adult, in Stressed Out, and in Fuzz Face, the backing vocals accusing ‘we trusted you captain.’

As friends occasionally discuss, it is quite interesting to talk about certain ideas without the language to present them in proper context. This is of course one of the things that makes music so incredible, as for me as a lifetime learner, I see a direct connection to the two faces discussed here by these artists, and have discussed the connection between music and ‘The Glass Bead Game in the post Sic Semper Summa.