1. No Purpose
Another band has nothing to say. Aesthetic affectations explain your dullness away. Endowed with the color by number trappings of art. To compensate. If the meaninglessness is the intention, then its quality is purely invention. Why should I participate? Bear witness to your vapid spectacle. I'd rather bang my head against the wall. It's not a "statement", just a response to your reaction of masturbatory apathy. Your bland brand of indifference is fucking boring. Yet it's held over my head as a viable alternative to creating change. Yet it's held over my head as a viable alternative to encouraging change (I don't think so). Nothing Begets Nothing: Nothing Becomes Your Purpose. No Purpose Becomes A Purpose. Nothing Begets Nothing.
Don't buy into the shock rock hype.
2. In The Red
Another bombing, Another death, "Peace talks". More unrest. Another rocket, another raid, another wall preventing aid. The cycle's all too familiar. The cycle's all too profitable. Heads of state speak of the need to defend but heads of state reap the dividends. They say the best defense is a good offense. When profit from occupation lines your pockets and money talks, when international law is silent. You claim ignorance excuses your apathy, either way foreign "assistance" is killing Palestinians. (Think). It's a boom and bomb cycle worth billions a year. Civilians are always left in the red. Covered in their children's blood.
This song was written in response to people (in the US) who dismiss the US role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict saying, "Well it's really been going on for thousands of years, so I don't have any part in it." This is simply not true. 1) A lot of what currently fuels what is going on happened more recently then we might think. 2) U.S. citizens have a direct role in the conflict. Our taxes are being used as "foreign assistance" that basically goes to U.S. defense companies to produce equipment and training for the Israeli Defense Force. 3) Who is
profiting off this conflict the most and has stake in its continuation? [Hmm] 4) We would probably all agree that all people have a right to self-determination, but unfortunately the U.S. has the habit of sticking its nose in places it does not belong. This conflict is one example of a much larger pattern. We U.S. citizens are not in a
vacuum where the motto "live and let live" applies to global politics and thus we must voice our dissent to invasive policies.
This song is not about "picking a side" in this conflict and supporting it, but rather about recognizing U.S. and U.S. companies' role in exacerbating the conflict so that hopefully we can divest and stop supporting war and
occupation. Whether you (if you're a U.S. citizen) feel entitled to have an opinion or not on a different corner
of the world's affairs, your money is actively supporting tanks and bulldozers destroying Palestinian farms, homes, and people. The U.S. gives Israel $3 billion a year which supports the occupation of Palestine (some say there is no occupation, but Israel controls 3+ borders so, by the UN's standards, it is). We, as U.S. citizens need to stop being lazy, follow the money trails, and get a clue about what's really going on instead of propagating misinformation. Our money and complacency support the occupation. It's time to divest.
3. Turn It Off
Numbing out the pain. I never thought I'd become a cliché. A symbol of everything I hate. Return to values and norms that I thought I'd escaped. Complacent and apathetic. Shallow tactile obsessed groping for the caress of oblivion. A welcome respite from the world I hate (or so I thought). Confronted by the truth that our consumption fuels the fires of isolation and self hatred: distractions from our servitude. No! Turn it off! Anesthetized with lies, non lethal weapons supply. Illusions of choice, illusions of freedom. The battle for control is just a delusion. Friendships forged by synthetic rebellion are not inclusion. I once confused "escape" with submission. "Non conformity" with lack of control. But I have risen, I'll submit no longer. Tried to break me down but I broke free.
What I initially thought was defying the rules and regulations of society at age 12 turned into drinking to black out. Once I started drinking, I'd try to do whatever drugs were around. At the time I thought this to be some sort of rebellion… (I was really sticking it to the system by smoking weed in my room and listening to Dystopia!) Previously I had used my anger to motivate myself to get involved in organizing efforts to (hopefully) change the injustices that I was mad about. The goal to get high started to take over my life and consume all my energy and my anger turned inwards. Instead of continuing to be active I just tried to get my hands on substances that would remove me from the world. What I initially had started doing to set myself apart from society, made me become a more typical facet of it.: I sought escape rather than seeking the truth, I withdrew instead of engaging, I accepted instead of challenging, I passively consumed instead of creating.
4. Means To An End
Ocean of pavement skims the surface, punctured by knots of fiber optics. Connecting us in our illusion, binding us into a network of nodes (drones). Our network is the sum of our gradual defeat and acceptance of our mediocrity. A justification of our means that will secure no end (no end in sight). As we give up on the best and settle for the practical, what is right and what is attainable? Copies of copies of a copy. Our lives are in imitation of those led before. We melted into the mold. We assumed the form of what there was before. Fighting a war I can't win trying to strike out on my own. Will I give in? A justification of our means that will secure no end (no end in sight). As we give up on the best and settle for the practical, what is right and what is attainable? And who made it that way?
Who has a passion for selling clothes to people? Or working at a gas station? Or for inadvertently teaching kids to hate themselves? Probably no one. Even in our privileged "first world", we work to survive. We put our time and energy into something we hate and in return are granted food, shelter, and some diversions (if we're lucky). Yet we look around and everyone else is laboring as they have been doing and will continue doing for the majority of their lives. Unintentionally, we have continued the work of people in the past that maintains institutions and industries we probably don't give a shit about. Yet our labor sustains all that was before. To reconcile ourselves with our 30+ years of doing this, we create justifications for our lost of time and energy. We define ourselves by our line of work and lie to ourselves, saying that we have found a passion for "customer service" or "helping people". Mostly, all we are doing is trying to get by. In the mean time, through our work, we wind up perpetuating the bullshit attitudes and values we swore we wouldn't. Those working as teachers, social workers, or in a multitude of professions based on "helping" people get jaded and insensitive: more often than not making their clients feel disempowered. Business owners open up shop for the purpose of running an alternative model that operates with certain values, but once they expand, they abandon those values. One way or another it seems we are destined, through work or other means of attaining survival, to perpetuate all that we hate and the society we strive to change becomes the one our children will inherit. When we lead our lives in typical ways we can't expect atypical result.
At the same time I do not believe that simply "dropping out" or not working prevents any of this from occurring. Instead of removing ourselves from the conventions of modern U.S. life (which are fairly unavoidable for most people) let's insert ourselves further: engaging and challenging to shape a different future.
5. Fuck Geo
Abuse from guards you didn't background check. Felons guarding felons and your manager was next. Your wards are dying from neglect. It's just more cost effective to let them die. You can make up corporate's $50,000 penalty with over time. Prisons for profit. Private from the world's eye. I see you "keepers of justice" for what you are. Prisons for profit. Privatized, private from the world's eye. Price of accountability is too high. It's too high and we all pay for it. Your incentive to provide "rehabilitation", $500,000 bonus, 401k pension. More criminal, more money. Any offence will do. Their subjection to "due process" of racism and classism is job security for you. How the fuck does a profit motive work when your fractured morality generates money by hiding the fatalities? The system is the crime. You shouldn't make a dime.
The Geo Group, formerly Wackenhunt, run the Northwest Detention Center (together with the government agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE) in Tacoma, WA. Here they incarcerate immigrants awaiting deportation. These immigrants, everyday people trying to make ends meet, are crammed together into cells without access to adequate health care or legal representation and are subject to frequent abuse. Many of these detained people have migrated to the U.S. to find work, as their livelihood have been decimated by U.S. influenced economic policies. They like most of the two million people behind bars in the U.S. are dismissed as criminals and labeled as bad people. In reality, these people are just trying to live their lives. Take our society's inability to deal effectively with issues in our communities, combine it with drugs laws, throw in lack of decent jobs or education and add a profit motive to put people behind bars and voila: you have the prison industrial complex.
What implications does this have? There are companies that have a vested interest in people going to jail. Incarcerating people is big money. Governments shell out billions in contracts to willing corporations whose sole goal is to put people in and keep them in prison. Forget "efficiency", "creating jobs", and all the other trickle down bullshit this company's brochure probably refers to, the only thing their prisons lead to are the intensification of the already fucked up system that disproportionately imprisons poor people and people of color. Geo and its NW Distension Center are a link in the chain of the growing prison industrial complex, and it must be opposed.
For more information on prisons check out:
Are Prisons Obsolete? By Angela Davis.
Prisons: A Social Crime and Failure by Emma Goldman http://zinelibrary.info/prisons-social-crime-and-failure
The Prison Industrial Complex and the Global Economy by Eve Goldberg and Linda Evans http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/EVA110A.html