Friday, January 27, 2017

A timely message from OK GO

“There’s some bad people on the rise” - that’s the chorus line of Morrissey's song “Interesting Drug” - an appropriate sentiment for the current condition of the human race. This was not lost on the band OK GO when their music video cover of the tune was uploaded to Youtube just days before the inauguration of the illegitimate dictator of the United States.

“They’re saving their own skin by ruining people's lives” - the song continues, practically a textbook description of kleptocracy. Trump, the GOP, and Russia’s corrupt politicians all have come to power with the express purpose of exploiting their positions for personal gain. That gain is had at the considerable detriment to the people they supposedly represent.

Further on, the song hits home with “... a Russian scheme designed to kill your dream”, which is exactly what Trump’s campaign and the machinations of the right wing are. They aim to kill the American dream, and the smaller, individual dreams that we all harbor; the dream of living out our days in peace, in a society that helps and supports us, without fear of discrimination, in good health, and in an environment as healthy as we hope to be. In killing our dreams and breaking us as a united nation they hope to end America’s existence as a world power. Their puppets will drag our name through the mud until our former allies cannot help but turn their backs in revulsion.

In the La La La La’s following the line: “Once Poor, Always Poor” can be heard the unsung, yet explicitly implied line, “Once Rich, Always Rich” - the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, the core philosophy of the rich elite. The perpetuated lie of capitalism is that everyone has the opportunity to achieve amazing wealth if they work hard enough. This is the carrot that the wealthy dangle over the heads of the poor, when in truth your chances of attaining the millions promised by capitalism’s champions are so slim as to be nonexistent. All the cards are laid against us with the specific purpose of keeping the peasants in their place. Those who see past the lie and speak out in protest are quickly silenced by those who cling to the false hope and propaganda fed to them in buckets.

The song is illustrated with various clips showing pertinent examples of Trump and his cabinet nominees - the posterchildren of corruption in the modern world. The calm beat belies the horrifying truth it portrays of our present and future. It is not until the end that the point of this juxtaposition becomes apparent.

“It’s a difficult time, but anger and fear aren’t the answer, work to make a better world” - Thus, the message of the video and its contrasting tones is made clear - take note of the atrocities being committed, and take action to fight against them, but don’t let anger and fear cloud your judgement. Rise up in revolution, resist the corruption, but do so with presence of forethought. The foes we face are clever, but not intelligent, and they win when they are able to drag us down to their level. In the final frames of the video are the key message, simple, yet inspiring, and effective if taken to heart by Americans.

If we all vote against the republican party in 2018 we can break their power in the house and senate, and in doing so hobble Trump until we can vote him out of office in 2020. This part is obvious, and I am hopeful that the swell of united resistance against him that Trump has inspired in Americans will make victory possible, even in the face of voter suppression, hacking, and other filthy tactics employed by the right wing. However, the last few words “.....and run for office yourself” are not so often expressed. The prospect of running for a public office seems a daunting one - “Why would anyone vote for me?” and “I don’t know enough about government to hold a public office”, but think about it; aren’t we always exclaiming at how horrible the candidates are? Consider the despicable individual currently corrupting the Oval Office - chances are you know more about government (and certainly more about the importance of ethics and good manners) than he!

This eagle shows us the correct response to orange dictators!
Every election season I am depressed to see many positions in which there is no one running in opposition - so many kleptocrats win elections without even needing to muster a campaign! This is not the sign of a healthy democracy - there can be no nuance or discussion in a debate to which only one side shows up. A democracy devoid of competing candidates is not a democracy at all. Run for those offices for which only one candidate has applied. In doing so we can inspire those who would otherwise not have cared to vote, or those who have sadly acquired the mindset that their votes don’t matter. Even if you don’t get enough votes, candidates who share views similar to your own will receive more support than otherwise. Despite how it may appear at times, the majority of Americans are decent people, and thus the greater the number of voters the more good people win office.

OK, now with all this in mind GO out into the world and onto the internet and inspire others to keep up the tide of resistance and unity that has sprung up in the wake of the inception of this new dark age.

Vote in 2018
Vote in 2020
Run for office!