I caught the very beginning of the season finale of “Glee” while helping get my son ready for bed (my wife is a fan of the show) and an outstanding song was performed. It was “You Only Get What you Give” off the album Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too by the New Radicals.
I remember hearing this song and seeing the video on MTV in the late 90’s, back when the “M” stood for Music and not Moron. The next time I was in the local record store, I sampled some of the other tracks and purchased it because the entire album seemed good. Once I moved out of my parent’s home, I left the CD for my pops. I had the digital version of the songs and he liked the album, it reminded him of Hall and Oates who ironically has covered this song at concerts a few times in the early 2000’s.
Having heard this song it recently inspired me to listen to the original version on my way to work as well as pull up the music video to re-watch it.
There is a great deal to like about the song and video; watching it makes me ponder if it is a good representation of what is in our future as a nation in the upcoming events. It is depicted as a 100% consumer world (shopping mall) where older generations are going about their normal shopping habits when all of a sudden the youth take over, some are locked in cages, others are put to work in the food court and the police are easily taken out of the equation. Is this the future of the millennial and boomer generations?
“You only get what you give” is not how the government operates. Almost everyone either gets more than they give or is gives more than they get. Everything we get from government had to be given (forcibly taken from) by us or someone else. That is how it “works” (I use the term loosely), the simplest definition of government is an entity with the legal monopoly to use force. Sometimes legal equals good, fair and moral but more often than not it is the polar opposite. This monopoly of force is a very powerful thing and eventually the least worthy people become the leaders and enforcers. The mall rent-a-cop is an overweight uniformed enforcer of the current system, he is not there for your protection; he is there to protect the system that pays his check. He does not deserve your respect simply because he wears a costume referred to as a “uniform.” He is there to sustain the current order. This is where I see the OWS movement/protest failing, whether it is “free” education or the right to jobs, house, white picket fences…etc.; they are still looking for it to be provided to them. They are not looking to remove the legal theft going on, they just want their cut of it before it is all spent. Right or wrong, that order is coming down and most of us don’t even see the net right in front of us.
To many, the song/video may seem like simply a bash against Corporate America but it is really an indictment of the corruption in America, referenced as the “bad rich.” Wealth in itself is not wrong or evil, it is the manner in which it’s built that is either just, fair, free of coercion or gained by force, corruption and evil. The most efficient way to get rich today leads to more of the “bad rich” because it was gained by employing coercion.
Step 1. Develop product/process/service (its market worthiness is of no consequence)
Step 2. Lobby Lawmakers to make the purchase of said product a legal requirement
Step 3. Get Rich providing product in inefficient manner
Step 4. Provide campaign contributions to “supporters”
Stelp 5. Repeat
Repeat a big enough lie often enough and eventually it will become truth. One of the worst things to come from the last 20 years of corporate America is the idea we were or are operating in free markets.
Gregg Alexander is the lead singer but he also wrote the song. One of the interesting aspects is the rant near the end of the song, it goes
“Health insurance rip off lying, FDA big bankers buying
Fake computer crashes dining
Cloning while they’re multiplying
Fashion mag shoots
With the aid of 8 dust brothers Beck, Hanson
Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson
You’re all fakes
Run to you mansions
We’ll kick your ass in!”
He wrote the lyrics this way for a very specific reason; it was done as an experiment. Alexander had nothing against the celebrities he called out. He brought up issues and jammed them next to the celebrity jabs to see which would be picked up by the majority of people and the media. Which would we choose? If you guessed celebrity insults you would be correct. This is very telling to me.
We as a society have lost our way intellectually, we focus on sound bites, name calling and ad-homimen attacks instead of ideas; it should be no surprise we are left to choose between Romney and Obama. We focus on the person but gloss over the ideas; but whose hair is more presidential? Without understanding the ideas you will never understand the character or lack thereof. The majority of the ideas these 2 men have share the same DNA. I bet if you created a document of speeches and quotes of both these men randomly jumbled together, deleted the names and opened the same document 2 months later you would not know which candidate said what.
Ideas are what set the Paul campaign apart from the rest. He focused on ideas, ideas that were spelled out in a document more than 100 years before he was even born. Ideas of freedom, non-intervention and self-reliance. He isn’t using ideas to get himself elected; he is using himself as a platform to get his ideas elected. Long after these men are not of this world, the ideas will remain.
I have hope that the younger generations will wake up, see what is going on and take back what is theirs, not a house, car or education provided by someone else. I hope they take back their freedom. The millennial generation has a real chance; they have grown up with technology at their finger tips like no generation before. The internet is the closest thing to unfettered freedom today and this is where they live. What goes for debate today on shows like O’Reilly Factor and the Ed Show is ignored for the argumentative theatrics that it is.
Minds are not changes through debate, they are changed through experience.
A good start would be to stop looking for handouts themselves, don’t occupy something out of jealousy or lust for what has not been earned, go out to the community, the bars at night, the bbq’s during the day this summer and discuss things that have meaning and potentially make people uncomfortable; not the weather or fantasy football but real ideas like “what does it mean to be truly free?” And while we are at it, start putting the banksters like Jamie Dimon and Jon Corzine in one of those dog crates where they belong. When blatant criminal behavior goes unpunished the world ceases to make sense.
What’s real can’t die
You only get what you give
Just don’t be afraid to leave”
This is good advice; the dirty little secret is the system our Founders created over 200 years ago only works as long as the people are accepting of it, that’s what “by the consent of the people” means. Oppression and aggressive force is the tool of the evil to make free-thinking people accept evil as a daily necessity; the best defense is to not “…be afraid to leave”, we have the control; we are the master; the system needs our compliance to exist.