Light It Up
2015 | Punk
Spotify | Amazon
"If you got a problem with how I live. If I haven't met your quota with the fucks I give. I guess you've got a problem with me. -- Can't you see we've got a common enemy. Who only stands to profit when we disagree. Who hates it when you try to live free."
- Warehouse one are a ska-punk outfit from San Pedro, CA.
- The title of the song is taken from, “Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree,” a documentary following activist Derrick J Freeman engaging in peaceful civil disobedience.
- View Doc here:
THE HOT TAKES
I found this lovely punk/ska track by chance while sifting through Spotify. I fell in love the first time I heard "The system depends on your obedience. They'll kidnap you at your expense!" It's a point that isn't made enough: Elected officials who are in no meaningful sense accountable to you pass rules that govern you. You pay their salary with tax dollars. If you break those rules, other people who are paid with your money steal you away and lock you in a cage, to be taken care of at...you guessed it! Your expense. Perverse doesn't even begin to cover it. Another lyrical gem, along the same vein: "They'll tell you murder is a felony, then do it 'round the whole world with impunity. Behind that badge is just a man who needs to stop and think about the meaning of hypocrisy." I'm sure there are many out there who would hear this song as nothing more than the complaining of punk kids, but I'll be damned if it's not a well-reasoned critique.
It’s good to see music that comes from anti-authoritarianism get back to its roots. Authoritarianism is a cancer on the human race. One of the biggest ways this belief is damaging to humans is through something called government. This belief that some people have the right to rule over other people and are justified in using force and coercion to those ends, is a requirement for governments to function. As the song says the system relies on your obedience. If people didn’t believe in the authority of government they would have no power. Think of the end of the movie Labyrinth where Sarah has the realization that brings all of Jareth’s schemes to an end. “You have no power over me,” she says, and all of the tables are turned. He was able to control many things and for a while she made decisions in reaction to his perceived power, but once she realizes he cannot control her she is truly free and her brother is freed and they both escape the labyrinth. The common person's belief in authority is no different. Without that the rulers of this country and world would have no power to harass and victimize everyone else, and the crime spree of The State that victimizes everyone would come to an end.
I come from the punk-ska world so I'm always exceptionally pleased to see something politically salient come out of it. I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised when it's a song of this nature because this is one of the issues leftists tend to be good on. Their reasons rarely come from a principled stance but if we can reduce the number of people incarcerated then they can keep their reasons. I'll admit that there is a vested interest aside from the political for myself. My brothers inilaw are large black men from the inner city and I know that the odds of them being a victim of circumstance are far greater than my own. My daughter will sometime be a black woman who with my attitude will undoubtedly be in positions with law enforcement that are difficult to navigate. These are added layers of fear for people in my life astronomically exasperated by the fact that we live in a place with "victimless crimes." The entire idea seems absurd to me. Is it revenue generation devie, are we just tax cattle? Is it a program to keep certain parts of society down? Is it designed to keep us fighting each other as more of our rights are eroded? I dont particularly care the reason evil is perpetuated, I think we all need to do everything we can to shine a light on how absurd this idea is. Play this song wherever you can. Draw attention to the problem.