Against The Grain
1990 | Punk
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"There's a common consensus and an uncomfortable cheer, A reverberating chorus that anyone can hear. — It sings 'leave your cares behind you, just grab tenaciously,' This lulling sense of purpose will destroy us rapidly."
- Against The Grain was the first Bad Religion album to sell 100,000 copies, modest perhaps by all but punk standards.
- This was the last album recorded with drummer Pete Finestone.
- "Bad Religion had always warned against the excesses of the future and the assimilation of individuality. " - Johnny Loftus (Allmusic) Think of this while listening to this song.
THE HOT TAKES
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)." - From the notebook of Mark Twain, 1904
" “Here labeled as a lunatic, sequestered and content, there ignored and defeated by the government. There's an oriented public whose magnetic force will pull, but away from the potential of the individual.”
This heavy punk song touches on a few ideas worthy of thinking about, but the one that resonates most with me is from the above lyrics. Most of us have probably had the experience of being called a conservative or a liberal, or any of a number of different pejoratives that the average Joe’s and Jane’s love to use for those that dare challenge their point of view. To some we are lunatics and outsiders, whom they can just dismiss and ignore. The sheer number of those who believe the State line gets it a lot of traction simply due to the number of people willing to blindly accept it. Those of us who are more aware of the intentions of the powerful to maintain power cannot help but see beyond the shallow lies that placate the masses.
To be principled, is to stand for your ideals regardless of how many stand with or against you. That will always put you in opposition of the indoctrinated masses. I encourage you to keep going against the grain of common thought inspired by State indoctrination, and stand fast to your principles."
There is something that has been incredibly perplexing for me ever since I got involved with these crazy people we call libertarians. I was always drwn to the anti-authoritarian impulses that punk bands like Bar Religion promoted in their music. This song was downright anthemic to me as a teenager. (It was also sandwhiched between two Christina Aguilera songs on my favorite mixtape.) Perhaps to my detriment I was always by my very nature contrarian and I think the above interjection should illustrate that I had difficulty wherever I went. But getting back to my initial point. All these punk bands were pretty solid on a lot of points until president Obama. I watched somewhat helplessly as the scene around me lost its anti-authoritarian nature and became puppets for the demagogues of the left. I'm sure you and I probably agree that a D or R next to anyones name means they arent thinking critically to begin with. BR released a song in the past year attacking wildly the Alt-Right in the most cringy way imaginable and the entire time this song was in my head in the most patronizing way.