Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death
1987 | Punk
Spotify | Amazon
“You're a star-belly sneetch, you suck like a leech, you want everyone to act like you. -- Kiss ass while you bitch, so you can get rich, while your boss gets richer off you."
- Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death was the last Dead Kennedys album that Biafra approved the production of, which also led to it being the last album released through Alternative Tentacles.
- The album which was released in 1987 was certified gold by both BPI and the RIAA in December 2007.
THE HOT TAKES
Aren't "awareness campaigns" weird? It's spending vast resources to place some issue on the distant periphery of the minds of the public. "We made these art pieces to raise awareness for X." "We've got a booth at the event this weekend to raise awareness of X." It may come across as a truism, but these activities aren't actually solving the problems. I'm not necessarily saying that all awareness campaigns are necessarily useless, but the good ol' Dead Kennedys seem to have an opinion on the matter, and it ain't pretty. Send aid the the victims! Not government's "foreign aid," but actually help solve the problem! "Otherwise, shut up already!" They seem to say.
This song is about virtue signaling hypocrites who will talk about their designer causes and maybe even throw a few bucks their way, but don't actually want to get their hands dirty with doing the work. They romanticize the plight of whoever or whatever the cause of the moment is, but also mostly ignore those people and what their opinions on what is needed are, all while patting themselves smugly on the back and extolling their own goodness. Puke!
Another glorious song about virtue signaling. This song points out the actual scenario for which the term exists. I don't agree with Jello on much but I have never doubted his commitment to actually doing the work he goes on about. It's why I'll grant him this critique. The song points out how so many people use the plight of others as a token to show their own goodness. They treat a cause like an article of fashion and do nothing to fix it. They'll hold fancy parties to "raise awareness" but in the end the act is just a vanity play. They want to be thought of as a thoughtful caring person as opposed to being thoughtful caring people. The sad thing is that truly thoughtful caring people are usually too busy doing the work to seek the attention and go unnoticed. A point that I doubt Jello was making but I like to think is there is that any real help has to be done at the individual level because telling the government to do anything is a virtue signal in and of itself. It's also one with the added immorality if stealing from your neighbor to accomplish.