Saturday, October 10, 2009

Soundgarden: Jesus Christ Pose

And you stare at me
In your Jesus Christ pose
Arms held out
Like you've been carrying a load
And you swear to me
You don't want to be my slave
But you're staring at me
Like I need to be saved
In your Jesus Christ pose
Arms held out
In your Jesus Christ pose
Thorns and shroud
Like it's the coming of the Lord
And I swear to you
That I would never feed you pain
But you're staring at me
Like I'm driving the nails
In your Jesus Christ pose
And you stare at me
In your Jesus Christ pose
Arms held out like it's
The coming of the Lord
And would it pay you more to walk on water
Than to wear a crown of thorns
It wouldn't pain me more to bury you rich
Than to bury you poor
In your Jesus Christ pose


Chris Cornell, from 1992 interview:
There is the possibility that someone might see the video or hear the song and interpret that it is anti-Christianity or pro-Satan. Maybe someone might even feel that it is irresponsible to take an image that, obviously, is held sacred by some and deal with it in any way that we want. Visually, there are several different ways that that image has been exploited--which is the idea behind the lyrics in the first place--being annoyed by seeing fashion models and rock stars striking the persecuted deity pose and sort of assuming the image that the public holds sacred, which somehow then puts them in that light which I don't agree with. It doesn't offend me as far as religious convictions. It's just sort of annoying to see time and time again. The video represents a lot of different ways that it has been exploited--the symbol--and maybe some that it has not.

Cornell certainly has a point. Use of the cross as a symbol has not diminished in the public eye. You can find it around the neck of movie stars, rock stars, porn starts, sports starts as fashion ornament--not as a profession of faith. Even when used by Christians it is as hood ornament, bumper sticker, t-shirt fodder. Does this over-use and abuse diminish the meaning?