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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Adolescents- Presumed Insolent: Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys

Presumed Insolent: Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys

As I had shared in a write up on the American Dogs in Europe EP Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys is a play on words, intentionally referencing the great 1960's and 1970's brine shrimp craze, Sea Monkeys which were always advertised in comic books. Sea Monkeys were supposedly "so eager to please that they can be trained."  This irony was not lost on me as my children began attending our local school. Frequently the staff would drop words on me about my kids, especially words that referred to them becoming compliant. They insisted on compliance in order for the children to be "ready to learn" which I consider a ridiculous prerequisite and completely false statement.

In the Adolescents song the phrase "See Monkey" (with see intentionally spelled that way) directly refers to the imitative phrase, "Monkey-see, Monkey-do." The term essentially means that people copy each other in attitude, dress, and actions. We are programmed at a small age and drawn in by marketing to the point that our whole reality is just an extension of a television show. 
 
Children are also confined to the supposed rigors of outside controls which are supposed to mold them into learners. I challenge this notion outright. Children are trained by this system to become drones, and that runs contrary to what schools are developed for- which is to create an informed democratic citizenry.

The lyric "staring out your TV Eye.." is, of course, a Stooges reference (click here) which simply implies that even sexuality is being programmed by advertising. The song, then, is a criticism of consumerism and standardization.
 
As my youngest child became indoctrinated into the educational system, there were people who tried to extinguish him completely, specifically citing that he would interfere with their own children "meeting the standards" imposed by the  United States in order to justify funding models for educating children. These idiots had bought into something they don't even have a concept of, and used it as a justification for their isolationist, elitist stance.

Sadly, the media dictates who we are supposed to be, and that is controlled by the same people who make the laws. Their goal isn't to create thinkers. It is to create warriors.


Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys

From the Cradle to the grave We are Media slaves.
Labeled, packaged, standardized
Consumer Analyzed-
Poster billboard generation
Spoon fed annihilation.
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do like I do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do like me

Staring out your tv eye
We embrace the lie.
Dancing with a lottery wife
An imitation of life.
Jersey Shore to the OC
It’s our reality. 

Staring out your tv eye
We embrace the lie.
Labeled, packaged, standardized
Consumer Analyzed-
We are Media slaves.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Adolescents- Presumed Insolent: The Athena Decree


Presumed Insolent: The Athena Decree
 
Presumed Insolent begins with The Athena Decree

The Decree of Athena marks the opening and introduction to the central them of the album, and that is a theme of crisis, law, and the presumption of guilt instead of the presumption of innocence. 

The theme is specifically a reference to the way my youngest child was treated by the people in our school community, both the parents, and the children, chronicling a time from 2008 until 2011. To this day neither I, nor my family, feel that it has been truly resolved. Art is the last tool and the final scream that the oppressed have.

Aeschylus, the father of tragedy, wrote The Oresteia. in 458. The trilogy is one of the few complete works, and has the central theme of grudge and vendetta resolved by the creation of a jury- thus litigation for resolution. The Decree of Athena is made in the third part, The Eumenides. At that time Athena establishes herself and eleven others as the jury.

But what if the balance of power already favors the prosecution? What if the judge and jury are instigators and not impartial?  What justice exists for the accused? What if the accused has been presumed insolent, and thus is guilty of whatever crime is set?

In Aeschylus's tragedy, Athena is respectful of the Furies- most likely because she knows that should they unleash their wrath, mankind is doomed. Athena makes the decree, but in the Adolescents song the decree is not made by Athena, but to Athena. It is a reversal made by the one of the Furies.

However, in the The Adolescents song the Decree serves as a warning to the judicial system, and specifically to those who abuse their power: if you push the wrong button, the wrath of the Furies will eliminate the need for the scales of justice. If the wrath of the Furies is unleashed it will deliver a blow so final, and so destructive, that it will no longer matter. 

That's how tragedy works. 




THE ATHENA DECREE
Push the button, then let it go.
Push the button, then let it go.

How long until I blow?
What’s the limit?
Well I don’t know.

Something boiling
You can’t see
An explosion inside of me.

I am more than you can see
Approximations
You won’t believe

Restitution
A state unknown
Retribution and broken bones

Push the button, then let it go.
Push the button, then let it go.