Music For The Jilted Generation
1994 | Electronic
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"I'm the law and you can't beat the law. -- Fuck 'em and their law. -- Crack down at sundown. "
- The album debuted at #1 on the UK charts despite Howlett trying to maintain dance cred and eschewing TV spots like Top Of The Pops.
- The track features the Brittish rock band Pop Will Eat Itself.
- Music for the Jilted Generation was the source for much of the music used in the movie Hackers.
THE HOT TAKES
True story: I was once a nerd of such a caliber that my primary exposure to music was through Weird Al. Sure, I was raised on Genesis, Boston, The Beatles, and some classical stuff. But I picked up Weird Al's "Even Worse" album at a garage sale as a young boy, and became slightly obsessed. I loved the fact that he broke apart any music that took itself too seriously. Years later, I was in a pickup truck belonging to my friend's father, and I heard "Breathe," by The Prodigy. My life was immediately changed. That killer sword effect, that sick beat...my neurons were firing like mad and my musical taste shifted wildly. "The Fat of the Land" is still my favorite album of theirs, but "Music for the Jilted Generation" has a lot of meaning for me as well. The Prodigy is essentially the infiltration of punk into the electronic music scene, and this infusion created the best-selling dance band of all time. Keith Flint's recent death has left an oddly-shaped hole in my soul, even though he is not the one who writes the beats themselves. Though I have no doubt he did all kinds of things that I would find morally questionable, he was part of a unique force in the world of music, and it held a great deal of personal significance for me. "Their Law" is an incredible track. The specific UK law the song was written to combat is the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which affected the band negatively by targeting large outdoor raves. Still, you can take it one step further and just listen to this as a criticism of oppression in general. Everything about the album, the art, and the song is anti-authoritarian. I adored it when I was a confused "question authority" leftist, and my love has only grown as my political persuasion has changed. Pay some respect. Get your best headphones on and listen to "Music for the Jilted Generation," start to finish. You'll know you have the volume high enough when the opening line gives you chills: "So, I've decided to take my work back underground, to stop it falling into the wrong hands..."
The opening line from a movie talks about total lack of respect for the law. When taking to people about anarchism, they often think that lack is respect for laws is what it is. On the contrary, as most of you reading this already know, anarchy is not lawlessness, it's the rejection of a ruling class and their authority. You see, each individual is the ultimate authority over their own lives. Keeping in mind the rights of others, individuals can live however they wish and do what they please. Unlike the ruling class, they just can't do it at the expense of others. No free riders. Law are a product of nature, and all just laws flow logically from that law which is natural. Legitimate laws make sense and protect all individuals, whereas the law of the ruling class protects a few, by using violence against the many. It really comes down to legitimacy and equity. Authoritarian laws are meant to protect the rulers and their cronies. So yeah, Fuck ‘em and their law.
I love the idea of Their Law. There's not much to go off of in the lyrics. Literally all there is is above these commentaries and it's crazy effected. So let me take a crack at what I get from this song. I think those of us who believe in volunaryism absolutely believe in law we simply believe that perhaps universality of one single law is both oxymoronic of our principles and destined to fail at scale. Law is something that everyone who is a part of it has to believe in for it to work. As we look around us we can see how the breakdown in the beliefe in police is causing disruption. Personally I think the greater issue is the police centralization of authority as oppsed to its violence is the real cause for concern however would the latter exist without the former? I suspect not. As you bump to this song I want you to imagine a world where you voluntarily agree to the rules of your society which is local enough to make sense and when you break a law you break it knowing those who enforce it personally. Not no law, simply not theirs.