April 30th, 2008


Pigs On the Wing

We always knew it would happen eventually. We all imagined it from the moment we saw the album cover. I'm just surprised it took 30 years.

A helium-filled swine, [accidentally] released into the night sky during Roger Waters' headlining set Sunday at the Coachella music festival in the Southern California desert, has been found in pieces.

Susan Stoltz found a plastic heap in her driveway Monday, but said she didn't know what it was until she read about the missing pig in the Desert Sun newspaper.

"My kids are going to think I'm so cool," she said.

I've got some bad news for you, sunshine. Your kids don't know who Pink Floyd is, let alone Roger Waters. Where a giant inflatable Hannah Montana landing in your driveway would have scored you your children's love forever, a giant pig from a Roger Waters concert will only get you blank stares and random exclamations about your age. That's life in the 21st Century for you. Pre-packaged corporate-message entertainment beamed directly into your children's minds. Welcome to the machine.

However, I think you're cool. A giant inflatable Pink Floyd pig landing in your driveway? You're nearly a laugh, but you're really a cry!

The article continues:

As tall as a two-story house and as wide as two school buses, the pig was led from lines held on the ground Sunday as Waters played a version of Pink Floyd's "Pigs" from the 1977 anti-capitalist album "Animals." Then it just floated away.

"It wasn't really supposed to happen that way. I don't have the details," festival spokeswoman Marcee Rondan said.

Obviously not. Giant inflatable pigs don't just fly off into the great gig in the sky on their own. I suspect sabotage. Someone must have meddled with the lines. Given them the final cut. Does anyone know where David Gilmour was that day? How about Nick Mason? Hmmm, I bet they wish they were here.

(By the way, I never really knew "Animals" was meant to be an anti-capitalist album. I always thought it was about WWII and post-war imperialism, with the three pigs being Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, the three world leaders at the Yalta Conference. Just goes to show how different people read different things into the same creative work, I guess.)

And now here's the really embarrassing part of the article. The part that will no doubt make all Pink Floyd and Roger Waters fans cringe:

The pig displayed the words "Don't be led to the slaughter" and a cartoon of Uncle Sam holding two bloody cleavers. The other side reads "Fear builds walls" and the underside reads "Obama" with a checked ballot box for U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Oy. Uncle Sam with two bloody cleavers? The "Vote Obama" iconography on the bottom? The bottom of a giant capitalist pig? Someone is mixing their metaphors! Still, when you're obscured by clouds, there's only one thing to do. Shine on, you crazy diamond!