Saving Space (Part II): Travis’ J. Smith Video

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What would you do?

[for "Part I" click here]

Once upon a time while in college, I found myself on an elevator when the cable broke. It may have had something to do with 23 guys cramming into a cart that had a maximum capacity of 11. The cable snapped. We fell 4 stories. A “safety” cable caught us 2 feet before we hit the bottom. (I love safety cables.) After celebrating the fact that we were all still alive, we waited a memorable 25 minutes before the fire department was able to pull us out of the elevator.

In October of 1999, Nicholas White had a not-so-similar encounter with an elevator. While working late in a downtown high rise in New York City, White decided to go out for a cigarette break. Upon the elevator ride back to his office, his life would be forever impacted as a malfunction in the elevator would leave him trapped for… well, a bit more than 25 minutes.

Travis has placed the security footage from the elevator as the backdrop to the song entitled “J. Smith.” The footage, and accompaniment, forces new meaning to the “save me” theme recently discussed – for although White would have denied any “religious” label, his intimate encounter with cart no. 30 would force a similar plea. There are no shortage of questions that arise within this video, but one certainly worth asking…

What would you do?

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J. Smith (Lyrics)

There’s a man on the street,
And he looks at his feet form his window.
And he sweares at the sun,
And he curses the moon for its shadow.


Take a leaf from his book
Take a thread from his suite
He’s a new man

And he prays to his god
That he reaps his reward
For his new plan

Oh, the mould has been cast
The radio’s in the bath
Yeah yeah yeah

Labor tuus nunc ad terminum
Sed per deos, vade retro
Nomen nusquan video
Carbo in culo in aeternitatem
Placet satanae te vedere