Political Winds (or Farts) of Change
2004-03-08 03:38:28 ET

I've been listening to a lot of different music lately (see earlier post) and mostly it's been for lyrical content. With all the people out there buying music that has, in general, a very left-of-center p.o.v., you'd think they (the audience) would have a pretty left-of-center mindset and would act accordingly.
So why is society so friggin fucked up by a right-wing authority that by all accounts (when you look at societies artwork) shouldn't even exist?
I know. The system is to blame in the recent American election. 14% of the American people voted for Bush. How does this make sense? Why hasn't there been some sort of uprising? iunno...

But how did it get this way? I know humans are a lazy bunch some of the time, but why the hell would we have become so complacent when it come to putting our future's in the hands of others? How did we ever let anybody get to the point that they don't mind bowing down to someone who doesn't deserve it? Why are there people who think it's okay to sell off publicly owned corporations just to make an extra dime. And these are the same people who claim to be religiously devout? I'm sorry... when did GREED become one of the 7 Cardinal Virtues? Did it exchange places with humility somewhere down the line?

I hear the words of 2Pac and Bono and Micheal Moore and ask myself "If these people have so many heads nodding in agreement, why then are we the minority? Why are we allowing the conservative minority to walk all over us?"

In America, the Republicans bitch and moan and complain about anything that appears to be lefty. Why the hell would you keep complaining when you're already in power? I know why. Cause you see your days are numbered. You know you only got in with 14% of the American vote. But with the current relationship of corporations and political parties, what does voting really mean? Is it worth it?

I think it still is. If 90% of the people in the U.S. vote for the Democrats or Green Party (such as it is) in the next election, but Bush & Co. still gets in, then I say it's time for another revoultion.

Even here in Canada I see things are not how they should be. This sponsorship funding scandal is tearing up our government. People will vote "the other way" just to get the Liberals out of office. The Canadian people still view the NDP as some sort of Communist party. But there already is a Communist party. And they're further left than the NDP. Canadians have always gravitated towards center, either just left or just right. The NDP have no chance. So it's gonna be the radical Canadian Conservative Alliance. Wonderful.

Think I'll move up to northern Canada and live in the wilderness for 4 years. Come back and see if anything's improved.

Anybody with me?

2004-03-08 05:17:07 ET

I'll come with you... but only if I can bring the cats. :)

I wonder if it's not so much a question of complacency in the US as fear- I know some people in the states who would LOVE to organise an uprising of some sort, but they're terrified that they'll just 'disappear', either to get them out of the picture, or serve as a warning to others.

2004-03-08 06:19:44 ET

But if you had enough people rise up, in enough cities, it'd serve as a wake-up call to the rest of the country.

I don't know. Maybe I'm clinging to a utopian idea, a dream that was born in centuries gone by.
I see no difference in the oppression that held the French people down in pre-Bastille Day France, or the Irish down in pre-1916 Ireland.
I just see a nation of people being fucked over by their "leaders". Oppression is so wide-spread in America, and there are enough people in the low end of society that if they could only get their acts together, stop killing each other and start organizing, you'd see a positive change.

Utopian, I know.

2004-03-08 06:22:17 ET

It's probably just a question of -how- to get enough people to rally together to exact change. Unfortunately, there seems to be a general consensus among the masses that a small group of people can't change anything.. but take a small group from every city, and suddenly it's a HUGE group.
People bitch and moan about their situations, and yet either lack the drive or the courage to do anything about it.

A utopian idea, yes.. but one that I wholly agree with.

2004-03-08 07:27:06 ET

I'll join the trek up north as well...
yeah friggin american propaganda......yeah people need to stop listening and start doing the action. They oughta stop watching t.v. and get off the couch.

2004-03-08 07:30:50 ET

I really believe that television is the opiate of the masses. Have you ever just sat and watched people who are watching tv? They're completely entranced, almost zombie-like.. and when watching the idiot box, one isn't thinking. One isn't considering the world around them.

2004-03-08 07:32:00 ET

Well, I think listening is an important thing too. But what people are listening to has to be changed. The lies the governments are spouting are so blatant, yet people are going with it. So that needs to change.

2004-03-08 07:33:05 ET

I'm so glad I gave up on t.v. when I was in my teens. I just got sick of the crap that was being piped into our home.

2004-03-08 07:36:43 ET

Lies? Government? but.. but.. It's on TV, so it MUST be true!

2004-03-08 09:06:04 ET

Oh blessed little glowing box of wonders! How could anything that comes from you be less than pure!

(pure crap?)

Let us be like the Native Canadians! We will trek upwards and create our own province which will use the Canadian currancy, however the government will stay out of our business, and we will stay out of theirs!

(I wonder how the French feel about that, seeing as the Natives basically achieved what they could not?)

I was talking with a friend about my generation (I think you guys are included in my generation - I'm not exactly sure how these generational things work) and anyways, he was telling me that this generation of people have no identity because we do not band together in mass for any particular causes or ways of life.

I found that interesting, and I wonder how its going to shift the political scene...

2004-03-08 10:00:42 ET

Well I see the thought on that as this...
We have no great war, no great depression, no great tyranny to oppose. We are the middle generation. Disenfranchised youth, misled to believe that you, too, can have all this (money, security, stature) and more. It is the American/Canadian dream, and it's within your grasp (for 10 easy payments of $19.95 plus S&H, no C.O.D's).

We are the consumer generation. Buy and you will be happy. Freedom is a checkout counter away. And the governments know this. That's why people oppose globalization.

I think.... then again, we have nothing else currently...

2004-03-08 10:08:47 ET

A sound theory. Though I think we may be a little too jaded to buy into that completely.

2004-03-08 11:16:28 ET

I don't subscribe to the consumerism (anymore). I have very little use for brands (except Apple... I love their computers, but then that's cause of the photo industry), and even less use for corporations.

I'm at the point where I'm only interested in showing people that they don't need the things they think they do. I used to say "I need" a lot. I finally figured out that the only thing I really need is to be out of debt, a roof over my head, food on my table, and theGirl to laugh with.

And lotsa music and pictures.
No t.v. CBC radio and 680NEWS and the internet to keep in touch with the world outside.
I don't want Nike or Modrobes or Lip Service. I don't want a cell phone (anymore) or a car or cable hook-up. I just want to live without obligation to anyone but me and theGirl.

But society deems that to be deviant behaviour.

Fuck 'em.

2004-03-08 11:58:28 ET

Do you really think that's viewed as deviant (or at very least unadmirable) behaviour?

I think that sort of independance is very respectable.

2004-03-08 12:12:12 ET

Cat, you and I share a hell of a lot of the same views. It's reassuring to see others who feel the same way out there.

Mark- for the most part, yes, it's seen as deviant. The average person can't possibly understand why someone would eschew the big house, the brand-name clothes, the hot car, etc. for more simplistic living. I remember my mom's boyfriend once commenting that the three most important things in life were money, money and more money. I feel really sorry for that man.

2004-03-08 14:27:08 ET

Actually, anything that is not considered "the norm" is classifiable as deviant.

"Although we tend to view deviance in terms of the free choice or personal failings of individuals, all behaviour - deviance as well as conformity - is shaped by society. There are three social foundations of deviance, identified below:

1. Deviance varies according to social norm. No thought or action is inherently deviant; it becomes deviant only in relation to particular norms. The life patterns of rural Albertans, residents of Newfoundland fishing villages, and West Vancouverites differ in highly significant ways: as a result, their values and behavioural standards are different. Laws, too, differ from place to place. Quebeckers can drink at a younger age than Ontarians and are able to purchase wine and beer at corner stores, whereas only beer with 0.5 percent alcohol can be found in Ontario grocery stores. Casinos are now legal in Ontario - even on Native reserves. They are legal in Manitoba - but definitely not on Native reserves. In other words, what is deviant or even criminal is not uniform across the country.
In a global context, deviance is even more diverse. Albania outlaws any public display of religious faith, such as crossing oneself; Cuba can prosecute a citizen for "consorting with foreigners"; police can arrest people in Singapore for selling chewing gum; and, in Iran, police can arrest a woman for wearing makeup.

2. People become deviant as others define them that way. Each of us violates cultural norms regularly, occasionally to the extent of breaking the law. For example, most of us have at some time walked around talking to ourselves, or have "borrowed" supplies, such as pens and paper from the workplace. Whether such activites are sufficient to define us as mentally ill or criminal depends on how others perceive, define, and respond to any given situation.

3. Both rule making and rule breaking involve social power. The law, Karl Mark asserted, amounts to little more than a strategy by which powerful people protect their interests. For example, the owners of an unprofitable factory have legal right to close their business, even if doing so throws thousands of people out of work. But if workers commit an act of vandalism that closes the same factory for a single day, they are subject to criminal prosecution.
Similarly, a homeless person who stands on a street corner denouncing the city government risks arrest for disturbing the peace; a mayoral candidate does exactly the same thing during an election campaign while receiving extensive police protection. In short, norms and their application are linked to social inequality."

- Macionis, John J., and Linda M. Gerber. "Sociology" 4th edition, pgs 217-218, 2002.

A long winded explanation on deviant nature, but one that I like. If 75% of the population think one thing, then the 25% who think the opposite are deviants.

Gotta love society.

2004-03-08 15:17:16 ET


2004-03-08 16:10:28 ET

you okay Syb?

2004-03-08 16:11:17 ET

I'm fine.. I just have little faith in the majority of humanity.


2004-03-08 16:13:38 ET

I don't think the majority of humanity was ever worth an individual's faith.
I have faith in my friends and in the music I listen to. That's about it.

2004-03-08 16:14:40 ET

Sounds about right.. and you do have excellent taste in music. ;)

2004-03-08 16:16:26 ET

Thank you. My diversity is widening, too. Thanks to theGirl... music that I used to pass off has now got my political mind rolling again (i.e. 2Pac). Hence this post.

2004-03-08 16:19:27 ET

It's amazing how one's social circle can expand one's musical horizons. If it hadn't been for Jasmin, I might never have discovered Rasa. Kaori introduced me to fischerspooner, Jim to System of a Down, Derek to.. well, so many things over the years.
I can't function without music, and fortunately, there's so much out there to revel in.

2004-03-08 16:43:08 ET

I had always listened to a broad range of music, most of it underground. Then Nicole opened me up to more of what I'd been listening to (goth rock, new wave) and then other stuff I'd never have thought I'd ever listen to (hip-hop, r&b, soul, funk)...

Not to mention how my buddy (Rob Roy, yes that's his name, Rob Roy) got me listening to house and trance.
Back in my e.s.a. days I thought I'd never listen to anything but rock 'n' roll.

I'm listening to Marilyn Manson cover David Bowie's "Golden Years"...

2004-03-08 16:46:12 ET

Well, e.s.a. was a long time ago.. and what one thinks at 15 isn't necessarily what one will think at 25. ;)
(his name's actually Rob Roy? that's fucking AWESOME)

When I met Derek, all he'd listen to was Operation Ivy, Rancid, Sublime, Green Day etc. All ska-punk and pop-punk. Now he's more likely to listen to Delirium or Massive Attack. Granted, I met him 9 years ago, so we've had a fair bit of influence on each other.

2004-03-08 16:46:28 ET

I was just listening to the Pogues. :D

2004-03-08 19:58:12 ET

To me, it seems that the idea of being a deviant for expressing individual tastes is too strong of a concept. But you have spelled it out, and it can't be denied. Rrecently, between politics and social/cultural trends, the world seems to be becoming a very difficult place to live in. =(

2004-03-09 04:19:31 ET

But it's becoming necessary to be deviant. In order to be individual we almost have to be outcast from society. If I knew I could do it, if I didn't require a job to take care of my debts n stuff, I would exile myself to somewhere where politics and religion and capitalism don't matter (as much) as they do here. Yeats and Joyce both exiled themselves from Ireland cause they were sick of the attitudes and the politics too.

(and thanks for bringing the conversation round again, Mark)

2004-03-09 06:48:01 ET

I don't think the society really consider a majority. That the problem with the government. Minority is the majority. hmmm...I agree they need to listen. Coroporation usually have the power and they controls through the media and television. For people who stays at home and watch t.v. they feel secured and safe. Whatever goes on out there can't happen to one home so thus they don't have the urge to change what need to be done. Also the media can change whatever news out there that can hide other real issues.

My great-grandfather was exiled from ireland. Because of the irish government was buying up the home properties during the potato famine, and he protested against that and thus was exiled to Scotland. Also my other great-grandfather was in the circle of Michael Collins and was in the revolution movements against england. Yeah I got a long history of defiant in my blood. I think maybe it is high time that I should become a political poet. But in a way I guess I already am from the works I've done. One need to see the truths through fog of propaganda. And not many but those like us as subkultures can see that through.

2004-03-09 06:59:09 ET

This generation is lacking its "visible" Bob Dylans. We have one or two, but with the larger population you need to increase the ratio of protest singers per capita.
So Alex go and right some shit down and publish it in books, magazines, newspapers, whatever publisher will take it. Seriously. Pimp it out. Get some of your stuff typed up and put out there. People will read and hear your words.

Me, I gotta get a decent digital camera so I can get out there and capture as much shit that's happening. Film just isn't fast enough anymore. Not when you have to keep up with each day.

2004-03-09 07:00:30 ET

It's much more "safe" to remain as part of the large circle of "normal" folk that dominates most of society. In general, people are pack animals (for lack of a better term) and not only do most of them need regular social interaction in order to thrive, but most yearn to BELONG in their peer group. To be different in any way, to incite dissent or bring in ideas that are alien to the standard way of thinking brings with it the possibility of rejection and exile.

Some of us would be happy to be exiled from our current living places, but for most people, I'm assuming it would be a fate worse than death. Think of family gatherings where the majority of people are blathering on about a subject, and one or two other people disagree with said subject; they are more likely to say nothing just to keep the peace.

2004-03-09 07:01:20 ET

Words, images, music.. all are very powerful mediums.. and it's up to the creative souls to express what's actually happening.

2004-03-09 07:05:15 ET

Yeah most definetly Cat.....I'm working on it. I'm a rebel for the good causes....

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