Undergroundnetwork


Music to vote to by underground

As elections loom in New Zealand and the United States, some songs become particularly relevant. Before I cast my vote on November 8th, my MP3 player will probably be playing Bad Religion’s “I want to conquer the world”, or “You are the government”. I fear the following day it might be “Fuck Armageddon, this is hell”! I think American’s would be best listening to Nofx’s “The idiots are taking over”, with a line that could almost refer to Sarah Palin. Hopefully they will be playing a more optimistic song the following day!

Alright, here are my top ten (modern) punk songs to vote to:

10) No voice of mine – Strung out

Strung out describe living living in a country where you’re nation’s representatives do not represent you. Under the majority of political systems it is likely that most people are not represented in parliament. Under two party systems both parties are often very similar, as they strive to get the “mainstream” and swing voters, leaving everyone else effectively disenfranchised. Let’s hope New Zealand hangs on to MMP for this very reason, among others.

The wind is shifting, something’s different in the air.
I see it in the form of choices everywhere
And I’ve been asleep a lifetime just to wake in time to find
The voice that has been speaking for me is no voice of mine!
Now you’ve just been spoken for,
Now you’ve just been sold!
My eyes fixated on the life I left behind,
A puppet dreams of being human
Every time that a string gets pulled before you know, your dancing to the lie
Of someone else’s vision of the perfect wasted life.

It’s in the way we never seem to get it right
A systematic form of bowing down and under,
And all we know is what we are, without the faith in who we are
So desperate…

Something’ here has got to give and my instincts fill me with this dread,
That I’ve become what I’m trying’ to kill, that my appetite is my free will.
There is no right, there is no wrong, there is only that is forever gone.

9) Project for a new American century – Anti-Flag

Here’s one for American voters, or for any Iraq War supporters out there. Any one who still thinks Iraq was about freedom or whatever, look at the “Project for a new American Century” and check its signatories.

It’s a gut check of what you believe

A Global Pax Americana
Neo-con, neo-fascist blue print – USA hegemony
Charlatan war hawks, untried, untrue
Celebrate and exploit tragedy
To steal away control

And it’s a gut check of what you believe
Will you stand up for democracy?
or a New American Century?
Endless…
Endless violence, endless hatred
Endless empire tyranny
Will you make a stand for human dignity?
Or never ending hate?

It’s a think tank, psycho and crazed
War profiteering membership – a world catastrophe
They’ve got a war plan that counts on you
to kill for their corporate empire
while they sit at home

And it’s a gut check of what you believe
Will you stand up for democracy?
or a New American Century?
Endless…
Endless violence, endless hatred
Endless empire tyranny
Will you make a stand for human dignity?

Are you going to…Fight Back!
Time to prove what you really believe
We gotta FIGHT BACK!
Until we win it all
We gotta FIGHT BACK!
Will you heed the call?
The Neo-Fascist race to war
The PNAC plan to rule the world

It’s a gut check of what you believe
Will you stand up for democracy?
or a New American Century?

Are you going to…

And it’s a gut check of what you believe
Will you stand up for democracy?
or a New American Century?
Endless…
Endless violence, endless hatred
Endless empire tyranny
Will you make a stand for human dignity?
Will you? Or never ending hate?

8) 95% of the world is third world- Suicide Machines

Before you vote, think of those not as lucky as you. And there are a lot of them!

I am a common man, I use common words.
This is no manifesto, this is no propaganda.

(hey!)
95% of the world is third world.

Take a look around, you might not like what you see.
Yeah we’re all comfortably living in a privileged society

Open up your mind and think outside of the box,
Yeah, it’s just a case of ignorance and benevolence.

America’s a privileged society.
When it comes to other countries, we don’t see the cultural beauty.
We see famine, death, disease, poverty and war
which almost always involves US military.
That is what most US citizens know about other countries,
is what they see on CNN and other television programming.
And yet here in our own country, unemployment is at an all-time high,
and thousands of businesses have gone bankrupt.
Just look around, how many buildings do you see empty and policed?
and here in America, disease, poverty and famine DO exist.
And it’s not just in our ghettos anymore,
it’s now become a struggle for the middle-class to survive.
Maybe if the poor in America had something for corporations
and our government to profit off of (like oil),
Maybe then they would take an interest in problems here in America,
or maybe they would just bomb us…

7) Sunset on 32nd Strike Anywhere

Strike Anywhere take on the justice system and “Law and Order” lobbyists who never ask why.

When they broke down the door
and put their guns in the face of your wife and child
and as they pinned you to the floor
did you say, “officer, I am not resisting you. “?

American Justice American dream
is this what ‘ the other half ‘ means
half of our lives dissolved in fear
half of our rights they disappear
is our apathy so corrosive
where does the cycle start
hear the sirens screaming out in the distance
hold your family close to your heart

American Justice American Lies
a war of words that I despise
I wish the good cops If they exist
the very best
and a bullet for all the…

Complications injustice deliberations what’s the deal
they fake it, we break it, and take back what they steal
we could rise black and white unbound and make them pay
for every tear, for every fear, defend our yesterdays

When they dropped the bomb on the building to kill a movement
did they care where the rights of the murdered went
police terror in the eyes of the children
police terror in the streets of every town
where’s our freedom when the sun goes down
and will the houses that the landlords built keep out the bullet sound

American Justice American Lies
a racist prison
anaesthetized
I wish the good cops If they exist
the very best
and a bullet for all the . . .

so we try
to defend
together

defend our yesterdays , defend our tomorrows
together

6) The biggest Lie – No use for a name

One of Nufan’s best ever songs, with great lyrics to match.

The writing’s on the wall, but no one cares at all
To convey the message that we wrote ourselves
Destroy the walls we mend and burn the candle at both ends

(I really think we are)
Becoming more mindless of the heart
(Becoming everything we hate)
Building our castles for the future
(A Trojan horse is at the gate)
Built by the enemy that we made

It’s false sincerity, we hear celebrities
“Buy a hybrid if you can” with ten years of your food stamps
Caught myself listening to sheltered excuses for human beings

(So it becomes elite)
They separate then what have we got?
(Nothing in common with their wealth)
One clip can change public opinion
(One sin can send you straight to hell)
Learned how to lie and not get caught
More piss in the melting pot

Shut out majority with riches
(Their words become more valuable)
Then the voice of a million starving children
(That they have a million ways to solve)
Left freedom bleeding on the roadside,
We believe the biggest lie

5) aPathetic – Mad Caddies

Not really known for their political commentary, Mad Caddies hit the mark with this not so ska song.

How can you call this land we walk on free
two centuries of deception
a system put in place
dollars bear their face
equal rights those who can afford to pay
content to believe what they say
they say democracy
I scream a scam
big bucks from big business buy uncle Sam
no conspiracy it’s apathy
we the people can’t seem to just open our eyes
content to believe all their lies

Hey they got to go
how can we take back what was ours
you got to know
what they are doing to you

Kids die for their country
but they can’t buy beer
they’ll outlaw what’s natural
motive unclear laws are put into place
their morals in my face
but we got an ace up our sleeve
oppression plants rebellion’s seed

Now the time has come
to say fuck what they’ve said what they’ve done
yeah we’re young and dumb
but as a sum
we are worth more than one

4) Blood Red White and Blue – Rise Against

The questions at the end of this song really begs patriotic right wing Christians to answer – Do they believe in a benevolent God? Would their god bless America?

So come test me, so come break me
So come on intoxicate me
With hands tied behind my back I fight
And wait for you to strike

A new problem we cannot stop them
We’re outnumbered and uncautioned
A rally cry rings out into the night

So pride yourself on what you are
And hold them all to words they can’t take back
I’ve seen a place (it comes) to me in dreams
Where fires die but light still shines for us to see

What did you have to say?
Give me your logic, your definition
The words you twist to justify your position
Of mass starvation and blind airstrikes
Every problem is solved with a fight

Peace won’t be found
Till we’re underground
As long as we live without a sound

So pride yourself on what you are
And hold them all to words they can’t take back
I’ve seen a place (it comes) to me in dreams
Where fires die but light still shines for us to see

Would God bless a murder of the innocents?
Would God bless a war based on pride?
Would God bless a money-hungry government? Noooo!

Would God bless our ineffective court system?
God bless the sweatshops we run.
God bless America?
God bless America? Noooo!

3) I want to conquer the world – Bad Religion

Imagine you were in charge? What would you do? Man I wish Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin was in charge!

Hey Brother Christian with your high and might errand,
Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.
Hey Sister Bleeding Heart with all of your compassion,
Your labours soothe the hurt but can’t assuage temptation.
Hey man of science with your perfect rules of measure,
Can you improve this place with the data that you gather?
Hey Mother Mercy can your loins bear fruit forever?
Is your fecundity a trammel or a treasure?
And I want to conquer the world,
Give all the idiots a brand new religion,
Put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil,
Promote equality in all my decisions
With a quick wink of the eye
And a “God you must be joking!”
Hey Mr. Diplomat with your worldly aspirations,
Did you see the children cry when you left them at the station?
Hey moral soldier you’ve got righteous proclamation,
And precious tomes to fuel your pulpy conflagrations.
And I want to conquer the world,
Give all the idiots a brand new religion,
Put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil,
Promote equality in all of my decisions
I want to conquer the world,
Expose the culprits and feed them to the children,
I’ll do away with air pollution and then all save the whales,
We’ll have peace on earth and global communion.
I want to conquer the world!

2) The idiots are taking over – NOFX

The Bush presidency has really focused NOFX’s lyric writing. Although it may be a fair comment to say the band has somewhat jumped on the “fuck bush” bandwagon, behind the piss taking and satire are some of the most intelligent lyrics you will hear. In my mind, where NOFX are at their best is when they take aim and fundamentalist Christianity and the evangelical movements forays in politics. “Leaving Jesusland” is an example of Fat Mike at his best, but the song that really sums up the likes of George Bush, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin is “The idiots are taking over”, from The war on errorism.

Its not the right time to be sober
Now the idiots have taken over
Spreading like a social cancer, is there an answer?

Mensa membership conceding
Tell me why and how are all the stupid people breeding
Watson, its really elementary
The industrial revolution
Has flipped a bitch on evolution
The benevolent and wise are being cornered, ostracised, what a bummer
The world keeps getting dumber
Insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason

Darwin’s rolling over in his coffin
The fittest are surviving much less often
Now everything seems to be reversing, and its worsening
Someone flopped a steamer in the gene pool
Now angry mob mentality is no longer the exception, it’s the rule
And I’m starting to feel a lot like Charlton Heston
Stranded on a primate planet
Apes and orangutans that ran it to the ground
Were generals and the armies who obeyed them
Followers following fables
Philosophies that enable them to rule without regard

There’s no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated
Political scientists think the same one vote as some Arkansas inbred
Majority rule, don’t work in mental institutions
Sometimes the smallest softest voice carries the grand biggest solutions

What are we left with?
A nation of god-fearing pregnant nationalists
Who feel its their duty to populate the homeland
Pass on traditions
How to get ahead religions
And prosperity via simpleton culture

The idiots are taking over

1) War is peace, slavery is freedom, may all your interventions be humanitarian- Propagandhi

I could really put almost anyone of this bands songs on this list. This song sums it all up really! The realisation that everything in this song is true should disillusion and depress everyone. Enjoy!

Four more years of War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength and Slavery is Freedom.
Four more. May all your interventions be “Humanitarian”.
Four more years of pay-to-play politics, power and influence.
Four more years of legalised bribery and served corporate interests.

Vote for tweedle-dum or tweedle-dee
And a framework of debate narrowed for you courtesy
Of the ultra-rich and a media that filters
Out any voice that challenges their power
(like Nader bounced in Boston by state-troopers
Cos he don’t speak for oil-tycoons and bankers, oh yeah
Whose pursuit of happiness and liberty
Demands a rhetoric of fear to be
The litmus test for viable heirs to
The phony drug-wars, the trumped-up rogue-states, the permanence of a war-economy).

I feel less hopeful and less human
As I’m reduced to nothing more than
Cheering on embassy bombings
As the liars pave their way through

Four more years of War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength and Slavery is Freedom.
Four more. May all your interventions be “Humanitarian”.
Four more years of pay-to-play politics, power and influence.
Four more years of legalised bribery and served corporate interests.

I know I’m probably missing something out! Maybe I’ll come back to it. And yes I could have picked some oldies, but this is what I’ve been listening to recently and I think each song makes some valid points about the state of democracy that are particularly relevant at the moment, especially in America, but to a lesser extent New Zealand and elsewhere around the world.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Oh, Hurrah! One hundredth post!

Comment by underground

Gidday there, another-one by Anti-Flag is ‘No Paradise’. Pearl Jam ‘No More’. Muse ‘Take A Bow’.
Cheers.Paul

Comment by Paul




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