fave tunes and meaning behind them part 2

Here we go again this time with System of a Down’s B.Y.O.B

defiantly a great politically charged band, perfectly visualized in this music video.  The depiction of authoritarian futuristic/modern riot police and their various depredations exercised on civilian populaces has and will always be an extremely powerful image because of the emotions it inspires and the politics it represents. namely fear and hate of the forces of authoritarianism and repression, perfectly exemplified in the faceless ubermench who’s actions are always “justified and restrained” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  a sight we will possibly be seeing on city streets in the near future as the whole corrupt system begins to crumble and the elite are in need of more protection from the angry masses. don;t think its a possibility of getter a whole lot worse in this security state we are blindly walking into? remember the battle in Seattle? then it was only the g8 and people were still pretty fucking ignorant of how corrupt and rotten things were getting. just watch what will happen at the upcoming g20 event.

now for the lyrics, much more to work with here, though a bit more cryptic.

Barbarisms by Barbara with pointed heels
Victorious victories kneel for brand new spanking deals
Marching forward hypocritic and hypnotic computers
You depend on our protection yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth

the first line is possibly a reference to barbra bush of the bush senior category. any fair examination of the war on drugs she and he husband propagated will tell you just what barbarism they have unleashed on the world. next is a overarching cultural reference where we have western societies becoming both more militarized and placated by easy credit and obsessed with consumer society and material status symbols. leading to the next line, we are entirely hypocritical in our pronouncements of freedom and democracy, both in that we consistently deny such ideals to foreign populations (see latin and south america/africa/ the middle east/ south east asia) as we support dictatorial right-wing governments in return for cheap labor and lax environmental standards so our corporations can viciously exploit the people and the land.  We ourselves remain hypnotized and unaware of the vast cognitive dissonance created by these blind pronouncements and ignorance of the real misery and death we are causing with our extreme materialistic culture. the last line is  quite simply that we are lied to everyday by the media and our governments even as we are the only thing that empowers and protects them. Not even good lies at that, in this age of information technology it is relatively easy to counter the propaganda from pundits, faux-journalists(not just fox of course), and politicians. Yet we still fall for the bullshit, the same propaganda techniques of the Nazis: the big lie repeated over and over, appealing to racial and religious prejudices, appeals to corporate and government authority unquestioningly. exemplified in the lies about Iraq, WMDS, 9/11 involvement

Kneeling roses disappearing into Moses’ dry mouth
Breaking into Fort Knox stealing our intentions
Hangars sitting dripped in oil, crying, “Freedom!”
Handed to obsoletion still you feed us lies from the tablecloth

This is the next set of key lyrics, the fort knox reference being likely the Blatant corporate socialism found in so many modern governments, canada included, where profits are privatized and losses are socialized. the people are forced to pay for the failures of the elite while money continuously flows into the coffers of the already uber-wealthy, at the moment we have a situation where the vast majority of wealth is owned by unconscionably few people, a gap of economic inequality totally unheard of in history. the theft of intentions is another form of propaganda and manipulation used to the detriment of the world, examples include things like the green energy movement where energy corporations are lining up behind ethanol, a totally unsustainable and impractical fuel source as it is literally starving people because of the vast quantities of what would otherwise be food it requires . but don’t worry the corporations will get massive tax breaks and incentives to accomplish nothing but starve third world nations. The next line is touching again on militarism, though specifically the relation between the military and the oil industry. the us military is the single largest consumer of oil in the world, unsurprisingly the us military has a history of invasion and presence in the major oil producing nations of the world, the middle east being the most obvious example, where between protecting the saudi royalty from their own impoverished people while they live in extreme oil funded luxury or the invasions of iraq where both times major concessions were forced on the iraqi people to oil companies at first for access and cheap oil and now for even more control and ownership of iraqi oil supplies. to this day militarists push for the invasion of yet another oil rich nation, iran. and the last part of the line is the ever present and convenient excuse for the depravities of military aggression, no matter what is done to a country it is justified because it was done in the name of securing freedom and democracy for its people.  Utter hypocritical bullshit.

Why don’t presidents fight the war?

Why do they always send the poor?

These next lines build on the other militaristic comments, as for presidents well its pretty obviously a knock at bush jr. who had every string pulled for him by daddy throughout life but namely that he never had to fight a war, just like most right wing hawks who never served(bush may actually be somewhat of an exception in that he at least served in the national guard, despite evidence of hypocritical drug use) but will gleefully send others to die for no reason but the profit of the military-industrial-complex among other corporate beneficiaries. the last line being the most self explanatory, the poor are the ones who disproportionately serve, both voluntarily and in drafts. this is so because even in drafts the rich and middle class can more easily get deferments or otherwise get their kids out of service or at least having to serve in combat. In volunteer wars such as today, the poor are left with few options as money is poured into the military and not other areas such as social programs, education, and infrastructure. the military remains as a source of income and potential education yet relies on deceptive advertising to lure young people into service with promises that they wont have to serve in the immediate conflict or at least not in the combat areas, yet the opposite is most often true.

Everybody’s going to the party, have a real good time
Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine
Everybody’s going to the party, have a real good time
Dancing in the desert blowing up the sun

the rest of the lyrics cover a more general criticism of the rest of us, we are consumed with consumerism, with extreme individualism, with hedonistic party lifestyles and remain willfully ignorant of the problems around us. in the video a party or rave is raided by enforcers reflecting this point, we party and shop while around us freedoms are stripped away, illegal wars are launched and other depredations that cause nothing but misery and death. This isn’t some lament at the drug and or party culture but simply that it has become an apolitical culture at a time when when the world cannot afford people to be inactive in calling for and pushing for change. fewer people vote, especially young people who have the most stake at what is decided now and the direction we take into the future.  inaction won’t make things better.


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