Dope Media of the Day: Trunks & Paws

Genetically Co-evolved: The Elephant & The Ghetto Blaster

Genetically Co-evolved: The Elephant & The Ghetto Blaster

[pic via Brock Davis]

Progressive Rock.

King Crimson, Rush, Genesis.

These are the bands with pictures over the definition of “Pretense“, one of the worst offenses of Douchebags everywhere. I mean, I can take some proggy songs, some of the time, but when some frat boy plunks $5 into the jukebox, I pray that we aren’t in store for 80 minutes of rock opera crooning and over the top drum solos. [[1]]Although I gotta admit, you get your band for your buck with the 10 min+ songs.[[1]]

Prog Rock is one thing, but I am not ashamed to admit: Pink Floyd… is a great band. Ever since I was first enthralled by “Time”, and the rest of Dark Side of the Moon (the pinnacle of stoner rock){{1}}, The Wall (We Don’t Need No Education), both super selling mega classic rock blockbusters. [[1]]Anyone remember chillin’ out after the party, sleepin’ in the back of the truck, buzzed and cold, but happy to be among friends, underneath the starry, starry night?[[1]] Although DSotM will always be my first and favorite, my really close second is not “The Wall”, but “Animals”.

Pink Floyd’s tribute to George Orwell’s story, “Animal Farm”, this album has a short, but sweet tracklist:

  1. Pigs on the Wing, Pt. 1 (1:25)
  2. Dogs (17:08)
  3. Pigs (Three Different Ones) (11:28)
  4. Sheep (10:20)
  5. Pigs on the Wing, Pt. 2 (1:25)

Songs there are few, but each of the 4 animals get over 10 minutes of haunting singing and guitar solos. Sung from the perspective of the animals, songwriters Roger Waters and David Gilmour imbue each animal with a negative trait. Waters—the mastermind behind the spiral of despair that is The Wall—wrote all of the songs except one.

My favorite member of Pink Floyd{{2}}[[2]]Barring Syd Barrett, band headmaster during Pink’s early, psychadelic days[[2]], David Gilmour—the acoustic genius behind Dark Side I might add—is the writer and guitar player on one of my favorite songs of all time, “Dogs”.

Who was born in a house full of pain.
Who was trained not to spit in the fan.
Who was told what to do by the man.
Who was broken by trained personnel.

Who was fitted with collar and chain.
Who was given a seat in the stand.
Who was breaking away from the pack.
Who was only a stranger at home.

Who was ground down in the end.
Who was found dead on the phone.
Who was dragged down by the stone.

Fairey did a nice job on the new cover

Fairey did a nice job on the new cover

Always my favorite Orwellian dystopia, I first read Animal Farm back in 4th grade or something (I probably read more as a kid than I did in college /geek), and it totally blew my mind. And I always felt that the greatest loss in “Animal Farm” was the kidnapping and indoctrination of the young puppies–an act that would sow the seeds of the pig’s power. Later, this early act of deviance would come back to bite the rest of the animals, when the puppies, nay, attack dogs, would become Napoleon’s bodyguards and enforcers, a reflection of Mussolini’s brownshirts. Scary shit.

Fact being that I still can’t give a solid answer on the difference between Communism & Socialism (can you?) though, admittedly a lot of the meaning behind Orwell’s story went straight over my 10 25 year old brain. If anything though, it planted the seed of my extreme distaste for greed, materialism and politricks.

While Animal Farm’s message resonated with my young soul, 1984 also hit me hard like a ton of bricks. Unlike the communist oriented Farm, ’84 was a story whose message was directed toward the lovely type of capitalistic western empire that I call home{{3}}, AND was named after the year of my birth. But nonetheless, Animal Farm wins out. I’m not stupid enough to miss the reason why though: Instead of oppressive Big Brothers and boring Ministries, you have Talking Animals™. Anthropomorphism wins again (See above elephant).

[[3]] Industrial England, Corporatist America whatever. Semantics.[[3]]

I reread it every other year or so, and like any good book, I always find new meanings & messages every time. Squealer is my most despised character though. True to his name, this greedy pig had a mastery of the enemy’s cruelest, yet most least recognizable tactic of oppression, one that is in both 1984 and Animal Farm: the corruption and controlling of the very language we speak, think and and record history with. Squealer’s sly manipulation of the clueless sheep and the hardworking and loyal—but dimwitted—Boxer, the powerhouse of Animal Farm, has gotta be some of the worst examples of the perversion of power. Yuk. I’m glad I’m no pig.

But what about you? Are you a dog, pig or sheep?

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