David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Day 297: Foreigner (The Damage Is Done)

November 5, 2023

When you've been in higher education as long as I have, you are subjected to a lot of tests, most of them in the form of personality tests. It could be the DISC Profile, a test I have undergone twice, to capture my behavioral style, whether dominant (D), influencer (I), steadiness (S), or conscientiousness (C). I generally fall in the "S" category, often called the Supporter. This finding corresponds, generally, with my results on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, even if Myers-Briggs sounds more like a rare disease. In that test, given to me while I was at Davenport University, I fell mostly in the category of ISFJ, a preference linking introversion (I), with sensing (S), feeling (F), and judging (J). (These tests love their single-letter reductions.) An ISFJ might be simplified as sensitive, practical, neglecting one's own needs and disliking change, qualities I would easily associate with steadiness. When one turns to colors, via Real Colors training, I am blue, a personality trait not associated with blue language or blues guitars (either would be realistic guesses) but with someone persuasive, motivating, and social. 

Somewhere tucked into all of these test results is a finding that manifests itself in what I call the basic "forgive/forget" dichotomy, which is to say that I forgive, but I never forget. I first learned that as an observation about me with some description of those born under the sign of the Taurus, which is me. Beyond the mere fact that these tests align with astrology, suggesting something inferior about the tests, and/or something more objective about the astrological signs, it is a good reminder that often our deepest traits are ones few people really understand, especially given that the egocentric human is too busy thinking about their own signs, colors, letters, whatever, to truly consider the other person across the room, table, or aisle.

Perhaps if I told more people that "The Damage Is Done" is my favorite Foreigner song, more might understand the unstated rule in David Fleming's life: I will forgive, but I won't forget. Alas, on Day 297 of this series, the truth is laid bare, because after all, the damage is now done.

"The Damage is Done," off of Foreigner's self-named debut album, has song-writing credits for both singer, Lou Gramm, and guitarist, Mick Jones. I am going to assume this is Gramm's lyric. After all, he is a fellow Taurus, while Jones is a boring Capricorn. I am guessing good old Lou is also a Defender (the Myers-Briggs ISFJ), a Supporter (the S in DISC), and Blue (Real Colors) like me. Jones is probably dominant green and yada yada yada to the letters.

Who else but Gramm or me could write, "well, it's too late, we're no longer one/don't want you/the damage is done"? (I wonder if Gramm ever drove 7 hours to get a mixed cassette back from a girl he lent it to because he knew the damage was done.) More importantly, Gramm's voice, which for his run with Foreigner was one of the best rock and roll voices of all time, carries the song. I enter into evidence, his six separate enunciations of the "O" in the proclamation near the end of the song that "it's O-O-O-O-O-O-ver," ensuring that the over-ness is clearly understood as "f*ing over." Us "cool blues," as some colors training call us, tend to be very precise. You nailed it Lou.

Structurally, the song provides the experience of a Blue Taurus, and not the Ford product. For the first verse, the song reveals the patience of us Tauri, or if you pooh-pooh astrology, us Supporters. Our stubbornness combines with our patience to ask the questions that are truly rhetorical: "Is there a reason for things that you say/the way you're treating me/all the games I won't play?" To which, anyone trying to deal with us snorts, "Well, duh! Of course, there are reasons, you bull-headed idiot."

For the second verse, our Defender reliability and support turns to defensiveness in our resistance to change, as we run away to avoid confrontation: "Will you miss me when I leave you behind/Will you tell your friends I treated you unkind?" 

However, it is in the bridge, where the beat picks up, the guitars go from melodic undercurrent to driving force, where you non-Tauri/non-supporters/non-defenders better watch yourselves:

There have been rumors that my sense of humor is lacking in some ways/

To me that's no reason, it's tantamount to treason, see what the judge has to say/

You need to find someone half as blind as I am to your game/

And maybe you'll find out what it's all about/and it can drive you insane.

Really, "my sense of humor is lacking in some ways"?  For me, that would be "tantamount to treason," and certainly justifies a Cool Blue's foray into Fiery Red aggressive instrumentation near the end of the song. Don't push us Blue Defender Supportor Tauri. We are a fairly elite group that live the mantra "We forgive but we won't forget."

In the end, 1990, Gramm went "on the run," leaving Foreigner. I wonder if he predicted his departure way back in 1978 with "The Damage is Done." Neither he nor Foreigner has been the same since. It's too bad, as Tauri are supposed to be most compatible with Capricorns. What went wrong, Lou and Mick?

Foreigner. "The Damage Is Done." Foreigner. Atlantic, 1977. Link here.

Day 296: Graham Parker "Museum Of Stupidity"

Day 298: Glass Eye "I Don't Need Drugs To Be Fucked Up"

See complete list here.