Banner-Sized Politics

This song is not a condemnation of protest. I do feel that public protest is a valid and useful form of expression. This song is more about bands Iíve met whose political agenda encompasses the nucleus of their bandsí collective identity, yet their actions are limited to that of the 30 minutes they spend onstage playing live behind cliched political banners. I am not pointing fingers, I am not saying I am better than anyone, and Iím not advocating apathy. I just feel that people should try their best to live their words 24/7, not just at social functions. Politics in the hardcore scene often seem to be co-opted into stereotyped imagery as much as Satanic imagery is with metal bands. An anarchy sign replaces a pentagram. If anarchy or Satanism arenít your thing, find topics that you can address with heartfelt conviction. We are all political to a degree, whether we realize it or not, and our beliefs can evoke change if presented with conviction. Just due to the fact that Iím straight-edge and vegan I evoke thought and change solely by existing. There is rarely a day that passes where I do not have to explain my beliefs and actions and create discussion. To tell you the truth, I often find myself reiterating my beliefs all the time, the topics are a bit redundant to discuss now, however these are my beliefs. I will adhere to and continue to discuss them as they are part of who I am. They are banner, words and action all rolled into one. Each of us has something of this nature within us. Live your words. Evoke change.

Just enough words to
Paint on a cloth
Yet words alone
Are not enough
Slogans and banners
Draped behind the band
Noble in inspiration
Meaning and intent
But problems canít be changed
By a nicely-stenciled catchphrase
If you want change
Lead the way
Banner-sized politics
Words alone are not enough
Banner-sized politics

 

For What?

How many people do you know that truly like their jobs? Sometimes we like our co-workers, our salary, or a short commute. But do many of us feel the function we perform at our jobs benefit humanity or directly relate to the survival of our species? We have created this mystique of a work ethic that will be our undoing. Weíve trapped ourselves in a cycle of work to pay the rent, bills and taxes to people who claim to "lord over the land" and take our money not to benefit humanity but to rape the earth and build weapons of destruction. The perception of many is that tribal societies work around the clock in a constant battle against nature for survival. When in fact, often only a few hours a day are necessary for gathering food, ensuring protection from the elements and maintaining tools. the rest of their time free to indulge in leisure activities such as song, dance, conversation, artistic activities, etc. The society we live in should be one where individuals can organize themselves freely to perform tasks deemed worthwhile. Often, I assume, the case would be that task deemed worthwhile would be immediately linked to ones immediate survival, allowing oneself more time to pursue more leisurely activities. Our work ethic is killing us, families suffer as parents no longer have time to spend with their families, long, long hours of indoor stationary work is affecting our health, the by-products of our useless employment fill the worldís landfills with wasted paper and plastic. This is the society that we live in, a society that we are told is free, yet is actually a culture that is obsessed with and trapped in, a cycle of death and waste. This is not freedom, this is slow, mass suicide.

We work, we slave
For a living wage
Did anyone believe
The words on the gate?
Work wonít make us free
Weíre just tools
Trapped in a system
Of wage slavery
We praise technology
Itís all about efficiency
But it doesnít make life easier
Just faster productivity
Production for profit
Over production for need
Our work and toil full of boredom
For another oneís greed
For what?

 

Resolve 365

I know what needs to b done. But the road is difficult and distractions plenty. The days tick away. Itís time to catch up and charge forward.

My mailís late
I canít think straight
I keep on making the same mistakes
Tasks still incomplete
As a year flies by
Time to take control
Time to change my life
Resolve!

 

Exploitation, Assimilation, Violence

Our government and history books continually remind us we live in a "melting pot" society of several different cultures, which we are taught to celebrate and embrace. I truly celebrate diversity, however, this same government which claims to embrace all these cultures, simultaneously and contradictorily seems to suppress them. A communityís identity and political independence are viewed as threats. Resistance to our nationís attempts at homogeny will not be accepted. In a failed attempt to exterminate minority groups over the course of our countryís past. Theyíve opted instead to attempt to assimilate minorities. When this is impossible, communities are marginalized into ethnic enclaves within the cities. In America, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere, indigenous peoples have had their land stolen, been forcibly relocated, had Christianity and alcohol imposed on them and had their tribal names replaced with westernized names. The original injustice happened hundreds of years ago, but the reality isthat itís never stopped. Our governments still try to steal and sham traditional lands and people in the name of greed. I am not one to advocate violence but I understand itís roots, and after hundreds of years of broken promises, lies and talking to deaf ears, I can fully understand how words cease to mean anything and only a show of force will make someone take notice.

Society claims to embrace diversity
But itís for the purpose of control
And thatís reality
Assimilation,
Cultural regurgitation
Born to drink, told not to think
Given name like a number
Timber, gold and crude
Stolen by invaders
Christianity and beads left behind
Separation from "unification"
Self-maintenance form oneís community denied
Indigenous peopleís conquered
Their violent actions justified

 

S.S.I.L.

Despite the rather optimistic chorus of "still so in love," this son is actually a song of closure and completion. Itís about an ended relationship that took me close to two years to come to terms with. It was the first I truly felt the heartbreak that comes with love. Though the relationship ended on a mutual agreement and understanding between the two of us, it still took a long time for me to really move forward. I finally came to terms that it was over by viewing the former relationship as a sacred bonding whose termination was permanent. So rather than dwell on the sorrow, I gather strength from the fact that I continue to maintain the love I felt for this person, as strong now as then. By ending the relationship when and on the terms we did, we left each other as friends. If weíd run the relationship out further perhaps weíd hate each other now. So even if I rarely speak to or see this person anymore, my admiration, respect and friendship remains, and rather than interpreting the love I feel as a painful reminder I see it as a lasting gift from which I can draw inspiration.

Iíve come to the conclusion of a closure
And acceptance of the fact thatís itís truly over
Like a widower whose true love is gone
The love I feel still lingers on
Still so in love (with you)