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Pink Floyd (Floyd Pinkerton) ([personal profile] backatthehotel) wrote2032-01-31 01:12 pm
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Application [CnC]

NAME: Terana
AGE: 25
JOURNAL: [personal profile] terana
IM: Shaladox

CHARACTER NAME: Floyd Pinkerton/Pink Floyd
FANDOM: The Wall
CHRONOLOGY: Directly after the movie.
CLASS: Apathetic-to-hero. Pre-movie, he’s a bitter, burnt-out mess. The events of the movie will give him some reason to try and improve his life, but it’s questionable how much he’ll actually be able to do.

If he ever fully embraced the Fascist Pink persona, he might be at least a minor villain, but probably lacks the ambition to really make anything of himself.

ALTER EGO: Floyd Pinkerton is his birth name, but for the past decade and a half, he’s generally gone by Pink Floyd. In CnC, he will revert to Floyd Pinkerton for some measure of anonymity. He is a singer/songwriter/musician by trade, but will probably try not to pursue a career in this for a while, due to burnout. Odd jobs and retail for him, unless music is his only option. He will definitely try not to end up in a Pink Floyd tribute band.

Pink Floyd (birth name "Floyd Roger Pinkerton") was born in Cambridge in September 1943, to a mother whose husband went to Europe to fight in WWII soon after his birth. His father died in the Battle of Anzio, in January of 1944. The loss of his father had a significant impact on both Pink’s mother and himself. His mother became overprotective and smothering, clinging to and trying to protect the last bit of her husband that she had left. Between that and no father figure as a counterpoint, Pink grew up with stifled emotional growth, and an inability to relate well with other people.

Particularly shy and sensitive, he suffered in school, becoming a favourite target of both the schoolteachers and the other children because of his sensitive nature and his tendency to write poetry in class instead of doing his lessons.

Little is said of his life between childhood and the pinnacle of fame we see him at in the movie, in his mid-30s. I take the liberty of assuming that it reflects to a large degree the lives of Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Syd Barrett, whom Pink’s personality is largely based on. He attended university with an eye toward a career in architecture, but fostered a strong interest in music on the side, and participated in various bands and jam groups. (This was England in the early 1960s, after all, and the musical climate was nothing if not gloriously rich and innovative.)

The acquisition of the nickname "Pink Floyd” happened sometime during this period. (Though “Pink” or “Pinky” was a childhood nickname on its own.) He lost interest in his studies in favour of musical pursuits, and was involved in the formation of a band, in the early 1960s, that went through several names (The Meggadeaths, the Abdabs, the Screaming Abdabs, Leonard's Lodgers, Spectrum Five, the Tea Set) until it settled on "The Pink Floyd Sound," reflecting Pink’s strong influence upon the band. This eventually streamlined to “The Pink Floyd,” and then just “Pink Floyd.”

Pink and the band met with reasonable popularity due to the experimental, psychedelic nature of their music and their innovative stage visuals, going from small clubs and underground shows to a record deal in just the space of a few years.

Unfortunately, the stress of fame combined, for Pink, with the untimely passing of his mother, to lead to his first breakdown. He tried to lose himself in tranquilizers and hallucinogens, becoming almost completely unmanageable personally, and basically useless performance-wise. He would have been kicked out of the band outright, but no one had the courage to make a permanent break with the man who has, previously, been their main creative contributor. They opted instead to put him on a mandatory break, of a sort, in the hopes that his mental state would improve, and hires on a new lead guitarist and singer, one David Gilmour, for tours and to help out on their second album.

This perceived ‘betrayal’ did little to help him recover. It was only because a childhood acquaintance of his and his bandmates' managed to intervene, that he didn't completely give up, on a musical career and on himself.

Her name was Judy, and she stepped in to provide Pink the support he needed, and that the band was unable to provide. She helped clear his head and get back on his feet, and gave him guidance and emotional support that he'd been lacking since his mother's death.

He recovered slowly, but within a year or two, he felt not just capable of performing again, but actively wanted to rejoin the band, in some capacity. His replacement as front man was a considerably talented guitarist and vocalist (as well as being far easier to work with, personality-wise), and the band was reluctant to let him go, but their bassist was less interested in maintaining his position, and offered up the spot to Pink. Pink took it, albeit with some resentment over the reduced role.

As time went on, he regained confidence in his abilities as a musician and a creative force, and the band regained their faith in him as well. He took on more creative control, and it seemed to lead to greater success each time. His relationship with Judy grew and deepened, and after a long, awkward courtship (Pink never being terribly good with relationships, quite a lot of it was initiated by Judy), they married.

The band's success led to more creative pressure, larger venues. The rest of the band began to contribute less. And Pink fell back into the same trap that had snared him before. He turned back to drugs (though not hallucinogens) and the occasional flings with groupies, and became increasingly prone to unresponsive spells and self-isolation, locking himself in his hotel rooms for days at a time and being incapable of stringing together so much as a sentence, sometimes.

When the movie begins, he is on the equivalent of the 1977 In The Flesh Tour, nearing a breaking point. He attempts to reach out to his wife, his one remaining connection to the world, and finds that while he’s been on tour, she has had an affair.

He snaps, trashing his hotel room and seriously injuring his hand on a broken window. He shaves his eyebrows and body hair, and lapses into a catatonic state. But his handlers are determined to have him do the show, and he is given drugs to make him capable of performing and dragged out to the stage. Once there, he faces the crowd the only way he can, by lashing out with all the hate and hurt he’s built up over his lifetime.

He takes on Nazi-esque dress and mannerisms (with a pair of crossed hammers in place of the swastika), and in his own mind leads a Nuremberg-esque rally against undesirable minorities (in his words, "the queens and the coons and the reds and the jews"), then a Kristallnacht-esque riot in the streets, and a march through suburban streets, spreading his message of hate.

In reality, he gets dressed in the uniform, and slurs his way through a mostly-incoherent version of "In The Flesh," calling his audience a variety of slurs and telling them they all ought to be shot, before fleeing (or being dragged off of) the stage and hiding away in a public toilet in the venue, for the rest of the film’s events. Hidden there, he struggles to regain sanity, with a sequence where he is accosted by the nightmarish caricatures of those who have had the largest impact on his life, and contributed the most to his isolation from humanity. In the end, he is judged guilty by his own self, and ordered to "tear down the wall." We see the Wall come down, but nothing of the aftermath, the film ending without conclusive answers to whether Pink manages to recover or not.

I believe that after this, he is found in the bathrooms, eventually, and taken to a hospital to recover, the tour cancelled, or at least delayed until he is in the shape to perform again. He never makes it out of the hospital, ported into the City instead. Still recovering, physically and emotionally, from the night everything seemed to come down on his head.

Pink Floyd is a character who combines aspects of two musicians of the IRL band Pink Floyd -- his drug abuse and some of his mental health issues from Syd Barret, and the alienation that inspires the film's title, the family issues and anti-war themes, from Roger Waters, who wrote most of The Wall.

Pink’s father died in WWII, when he was still an infant, and the loss had long-reaching effects. He grew up with his mother as an overwhelming presence in his life, overprotective and controlling, which seriously affected his ability to relate to other people. He finds women to be practically alien creatures, toward which it is an uphill struggle to feel a real connection with. Men are easier to relate to, but even with them, there are difficulties.

His initial social difficulties were exacerbated by a particularly unpleasant schooling experience, his sensitivity and budding interest in music and poetry making him a favourite target for the headmaster's abuses. In order to keep doing what he loved, he built up a resistance to these abuses -- the Wall -- distancing himself from caring about the opinions of others.

He usually comes off as more or less burnt out, distant, even a bit dim, but self-confident to the point of being egotistical and rude when he does engage with people, and often sarcastic or flippant. (He does not have a good self-image, really, at all, but he keeps that behind the Wall, and even when he does express it, it’s in the most dismissive, joking manner possible.) He only pays attention to the opinions of others if he has been given a good reason to -- e.g., they control some aspect of his life, or are demonstrably better than him at whatever the topic is. And even then, he’ll as often as not go with his original opinion anyway.

When he is “on,” so to speak, he can be quite charming and clever, but it only lasts as long as his tolerance for the situation. He is prone to pronounced mood swings, flying into violent rages or shutting down altogether over apparently minor things. Sometimes, he reaches the point of unwillingness to interact with other people that he bars himself away in a quiet room (or other situation where people are not able to approach him), trying to shut himself away from humanity completely.

He's a bit of a broken optimist. He wants to believe that people can be good, but if that's true, then why are they bad, instead? He's seen the youth and optimism of the 1960s decay into the materialism and excess of the seventies, and it upsets him deeply, and makes him withdraw from the world all the more. The 21st century will both deeply anger and inspire him. The potential this new world has, and how he sees it being wasted.

Music has always been the way he finds it easiest to express himself, and is the thing that makes him most happy -- but lately, with it being an obligation and not a pleasure, even that has failed. There is a part of him that knows all of this is not normal, and that wants to be able to connect with others in a healthy way, but he doesn’t know how.
The one person that we know he made a true, honest attempt to connect with in adulthood was his wife, Judy. We know little of their early relationship, but may assume that Pink did love her, as much as he was able, and she loved him back, supporting him in his artistic endeavors and lending emotional stability.
But it takes more than love to make a relationship work. Already ill-equipped for relating to other human beings, Pink’s marriage to Judy was strained by his growing fame, and subconscious fears of being hurt by someone who had gotten past his defenses. ("Mother, will she break my heart?") He dealt badly with the pressure of his popularity, resorting to heavy drug use to cope, and indulging in flings with groupies when he was away from her on tour. (Something she suspected, but was never able to confirm, and was at least somewhat resigned to.) He and Judy drifted apart, and in time, she met someone while Pink was on tour in the states, and ended up having an affair of her own.

When Pink discovered this, his world came crashing down. Already in a bad place mentally, he snapped, trashing his hotel room (details of the scene lead me to conclude that the groupie he’s seen with in "One of My Turns" is not actually there, but a figment of his imagination, representing the times he had cheated on Judy, and his hatred at himself over them), seriously injuring his right hand, shaving off his body hair and eyebrows, and retreating completely, for a time, behind his Wall. When his handlers came to collect him for the show he was meant to give that night, giving him drugs to make him capable of performing and dragging out to the stage, he reacted the only way he had left in him, giving in to the fantasy of lashing out at the world and hurting it the same way it had hurt him. But after a time lost in the fantasy of hate, he couldn't take any more, and struggled to regain sanity, with a sequence where he was accosted by the nightmarish caricatures of those who had the largest impact on his life, and added the most bricks to his Wall. In the end, he was judged guilty by his own self, and ordered to "tear down the wall.” We are shown the Wall crumbling, after which the film ends. With this ambiguous finish, we do not know whether the judgment is seen through, whether he manages to regains some measure of clarity and stability with the Wall torn down, or whether he is too far gone to be helped.

Post-movie, he will desperately need an escape from the situation he's found himself in -- the fame he feels has become a prison, and the cycles of unhealthy behavior that it reinforces. Being brought to the City will facilitate this greatly, giving him some much-needed anonymity. And he will recognise the need to make a change to his life. But lifelong patterns of behavior are hard to break, and connecting with people, and bearing the pain those connections can bring, is never easy.

He will still remember how it felt, playing at being a dictator, needing nothing but himself and his hate. Powerful, invulnerable in his own isolation. He will find himself drawn to the memory, and start to play with using it as another coping mechanism, another Wall. As time goes on, various shades of Fascist Pink will show themselves when he is stressed.

Fascist Pink is just as detached from the rest of the human race as Pink at his worst, but much more hateful about it, lashing out at a world he cannot connect with on any meaningful level. He emulates the Nazis less because he is an actual bigot -- though he certainly acts like one -- and more to try and push away even the memory of his own father, by emulating the forces that killed him. It’s not a split personality sort of situation. Pink is still Pink, no matter the flavour. It’s a matter of mannerism and motivation, a persona taken on to deal with the world. Pink withdraws. Fascist Pink lashes out.

(Because it’s important to note - Pink, just in general, is also somewhat racist, sexist, et cetera. He is much more quiet about it, and less malicious -- for him, it’s mostly just the result of his time period and situation therein, his era, and being a generally messed up and insensitive person. But to make it in the world of 2011, he’s still going to need some sensitivity training.)

Human recording studio. Can record and play back sounds he hears, and layer these recordings for as long as the memory of the original sounds stays fresh. The upper limit depends on his concentration. With practice, he will be able to alter the sounds he has recorded, upon playback.
Human light show. The ‘replay’ of the sounds must, in all cases, be accompanied by a synced light show that illuminates an area between 3 feet and 30 yards in radius. (The area is dependent on volume of recording, desire to amplify or dampen, and overall health. He will start out on the lower end of this. If indoors, it will only fill whatever room he is in at the time, at maximum.) With practice, he will be able to control the content, and possibly (with great effort) dampen it completely.

Two thousand and eleven. Two thousand and eleven. And look at all this bullshit.

Maybe you future men and women can answer me this. What the hell happened?

You've got flying men in tights, sure. You've got little -- future screen things, and big old fifty-inch screens for when the little ones won’t do. You can put a record store in your pocket.

And you’ve got people stealing every single one of those records instead, and acting like it isn’t even a crime. The Berlin Wall’s down, the Cold War’s over, so you had to go make more hot ones? Petrol costs four dollars a gallon, sixteen a litre -- fuck, you’re still using petrol. There’s seven billion people out there, and most of ‘em are starving.

This is what you’ve got? Your future?

This is what everything we did back then came to? Fuck. I knew things were looking bad. I knew -- [He breaks off, pressing his hand to his face.]

I didn’t think it was gonna get this much worse.

When he’d been young, inspiration had been electric, in blasts as bright and earth-shattering as lightning bolts and in small steady trickles like static jumping from his fingertips on a dry day. Words and sounds came to him readily, and he’d filled so many books with snippets of verse and thoughts for new ways to make music, obsessively dedicating every idea to paper.

Maybe he’d known, deep down, what would one day come of him. As the years ran by, and touring and recording wore him down, inspiration came rarer and rarer. The writing process felt like a fight against his own brain instead, a slog through thick sandy mud. Even drugs stopped helping, only leaving him spewing puerile word salad that, for all its perceived meaning in the moment, was meaningless and wooden once sobriety returned.

Sometimes when he put the television on it helped, drowning out the rest of the world and giving him a white-noise background to write against. But even when it didn’t, the noisy little box gave him a way to forget that he was stuck. He could lose himself in the tv screen instead, and fritter and waste the hours with something other than his own dry and unmusical thoughts.

So on tour, he had them put a tv in every room of his hotel suite, and ran them all constantly, and lost himself, between shows, in the grey hiss of static and noise.

I would like to take the liberty of saying that he is completely detoxed upon porting in. He may (almost certainly) relapse eventually, but I'd prefer to not start him out with an afterschool special or a Trainspotting remake.

ADDENDUM UPON REAPPLICATION (MAY 2013): During his time in the City, Floyd was remembering, slowly, how to trust and connect with others again -- unfortunately, those 'others' included the Major, and he paid the consequences for that association, with the loss of everything he'd worked to acquire -- his reputation, his charity, his new music career. The musician viewed his actions as completely appropriate to the end, and when he returns, he will continue to hold this belief. He will be a bit more willing to engage with others than he was at first, back in November 2011, but also less willing to stick his neck out and help people -- or if he can't resist (he's still a decent person, after all, much as he hates it) he'll be sure to do it quietly.

Pink returns to the city after ten (?) months absence, as far as the City is concerned. For him, though, he has spent maybe an hour back in his home universe -- an hour spent being strapped to a hospital bed, being treated for his canonical mental break. He will be disoriented, to say the least. I expect that all charges against him will still be applicable and he will be considered a fugitive for his assistance of the Major during the 'War Games' of July 2012. He will struggle with the idea of turning himself in, and that decision will depend strongly on how his first post to the network goes, who of his 'friends' are still here and how they receive him. I'll play it by ear, but I don't expect what he did to be forgotten.