Friday, 4 January 2013

Anthem of the, "Full-of-Myself" Generation

My nomination for the most self-centered message ever in pop music. (slightly edited from original).It would take a book to fully examine every lyric and expound on the complete self-centeredness of it, so whatever I say here, I am probably not expressing each thought fully, and omitting much else that could be said. But this song seems to me typical of the hippy mentality of those who came of age in the 60’s and 70’s (my own generation), whose children were raised on a steady pablum of, “self-esteem,” and whose legacy has led to the, “I/We/You Deserve” state our society is in today.

The lyric:
And the sign said, "Long-haired freaky people need not apply." So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said, "You look like a fine upstandin' young man. I think you'll do." So I took off my hat and said, "Imagine that. huh , me workin' for you."

The message: “You as a potential employer have no right to have your own rules as to the conduct or appearance of your employees. My right to the job you offer trumps your right to choose the public image you wish to present to your customers. I will dress as I want, groom myself or not as I want, and you owe me a chance at your job no matter what – because I’m worth it!”
Whoa, sign, sign. Everywhere a sign. Blockin' out the scen'ry. Breakin' my mind. Do this. Don't do that. Can't you read the sign?
Pure poetry, isn't it? The lyric:
And the sign said, "Anybody caught trespassin' will be shot on sight." So I jumped on the fence and I yelled at the house, "Hey! What gives you the right To put up a fence to keep me out, and to keep Mother Nature in? If God was here, he'd tell you to your face, 'Man, you're some kind of sinner.'"
The message: “I am entitled to go anywhere I want, even if it inconveniences you as a property owner. I have as much right to your property as you do. And despite people in the Bible owning and even being given their own property, because I think so, and because my opinion is so important to everyone, you are a sinner and God agrees with me.”

The lyric:
Now, hey you, Mister, can't you read? You got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat. You can't even watch. No, you can't eat. You ain't supposed to be here. The sign said, "You've got to have a membership card To get inside." Uh.
The message: Similar to #1 above. “My feelings, desires and wants translate into my rights, and they trump yours.” The lyric:
And the sign said, "Everybody welcome. Come in. Kneel down and pray." But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn't have a penny to pay So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign. I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin' 'bout me. I'm alive and doin' fine."
The message: “I am so self-important that God is impressed with my writing a note telling Him I am fine, and He might not have known it if I had not written that note. My thinking I am fine is important to Him – even more important than whether or not I am considerate of others’ rights and feelings, because I am the center of all things.”

As per Nicky's comment below, the original author probably intended it as a biting social commentary. And I was young and foolish once, and in 1971 I probably agreed.

Take Care


Anonymous said...

The most amusing (and sad) part is, the songwriter likely thought he was making a biting commentary on self-righteous hypocrisy...while so filled with it himself, he probably would not be able to see it in the mirror, if he ventured to look into one in the first place:

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." - James 1:22-24

Warren said...

Methinks this version is more your style:


(P.S. Good to see you posting again.)