~ Branded ~
“All I ever wanted to be was myself, but whenever I seemed to walk out the door, everyone was trying to turn me into something else. The advertisers were trying to turn me into a consumer, the politicians were trying to turn me into a voter, the priests were trying to turn me into a believer, the men in suits wanted to turn me into some sort of executive. No matter what road or street I walked down, there was always someone there trying to shape and define me within their own little box of limitation. The world confused me. Being yourself should have been the easiest thing in the world, but often what should have been a simple act turned out to be an act of defiance and rebellion. Everybody and everything wanted to warp and convert you – wanted to brand you with their specific iron prod of identity. And more or less they were all successful. Upon those streets I watched powerful human-beings converted into rigid-minded citizens. I saw them reduced to fervent consumers, to celebrity followers, to proudly overworked employees. I saw human-beings no longer defined by their heart and soul and spirit, but by their social status and economic value. No matter how I tried to look at it, culture was the perpetrator of this crime against the individual. It herded all of us, took away our uniqueness and trapped us within boundary-defining pens of identity. The ones who fiercely followed their own inner voice were usually cast out from the herd and left roaming the wilderness alone. Naturally the question to me was whether or not to follow the herd or walk alone. It was a difficult one. To avoid the searing heat of being branded by culture meant you had some element of integrity and individualism, but the cost of this was often isolation, alienation and – quite often – insanity.”
~ In Too Deep ~
I walk this urban jungle
and I see people so lost
wandering through life
desperate and depraved
clinging onto lottery tickets
and shopping bags
and beer bottles
looking for the way out
I see people so lost
stuck in a movie they never asked to star in
working for causes they don’t believe in
trapped in lives they never imagined
a life where the tramp and the lawyer
wear the same frown
I see souls starving and dying
behind steering wheels
people so lost
in too deep
drowning in traffic jams
while turning the radio louder
to escape the reality
that kills us all
~ The Asylum ~
Hey kid. Good day!
Let me help you on your way.
There’s something I’m required to say,
before you check in for your stay.
First: welcome to the asylum,
where we will clothe you with illusion;
welcome to this madhouse,
where you are fed with pure delusion;
we will help you go insane,
just like your fathers and your mothers;
just follow these basic rules,
so you can go crazy with the others!
1) Get paid; get laid – produce more members of the state
2) Buy gear; live in fear – choose the politics of hate
3) Choose a religion; find division – no need for any proof
4) Wear a mask; lie if they ask – become the enemy of truth
5) Follow fashion; ignore your passion – conformity is the best
6) No variety; feel anxiety – avoid the judgement of the rest
7) Adore tomorrow; save and borrow – the future is the king
8) Don’t be content; get it spent – this present moment is sickening
Yeah welcome to the asylum,
within the walls of ego division;
make yourself right at home;
your cell comes with a television;
please remember it is forbidden,
to possess the nature of your self;
but make sure you have money,
for your bank balance is your health!
Now that’s cleared up, we can get you all checked in.
I think your cell is located just down here on the left.
You like the colour grey, right?
Oh yeah; just one last thing before I forget..
Smiley faces and celebrity worship!
As the rulers put you through your paces!
Smiley faces and abandoned dreams!
As your mind rots in office spaces!
Smiley faces and smog pollution!
As you’re chatting about the weather!
Smiley faces and no solution!
As you all go crazy together!
Have fun, kid.
~ The Way You Will Be Tamed ~
“The way you will be tamed will not be sudden. It will not be when a big cage crashes over you, or when you are caught in a thrilling chase across the plains. The way you will be tamed will be subtle and slow, over many years and decades. The way you will be tamed will be with stabbing stares, with piercing comments – with heavy hands on shoulders that diminish your dreams and quell your inner voice. The way you will be tamed is when the fearful slowly drag you down with them; when they do anything not to see you run wild and free – for they know it is that very sight which causes them to reflect on their own limitations. The way you will be tamed will come over many social interactions, over many looks in the mirror, over many family dinners.
However – if you can grow a thick enough skin to endure the stabbing stares and piercing comments – then such a thing will never happen. As you retain your authenticity and walk wild onto the shores of destiny, then you will know that you made it. As the skies open, as your song soars, as the others stop trying to pull you down – as they finally let go and label you crazy – you will know what it is to be truly free.”