The Skinny Years...Before We Got Fat
1998 | Punk
"Bet you i'll only loose a few thousand men, well that's just the chance i'll have to take, to get my public off my back, battle this domestic crap, and evading the mess i will create."
- The Skinny Years is a compilation of tracks the band recorded before being picked up by Fat Wreck Chords.
- Strung Out is known mainly for their musical style, which fuses aspects of melodic punk rock, progressive rock and heavy metal to form their primary sound.
- This song was recorded before long-standing and lauded drummer Jordan Burns joined the band.
THE HOT TAKES
The standout lyric here is the concept that no one in the mainstream seemed to grasp when Ron Paul ran for president: "Support your troops but not their cause." In other words, support the troops by bringing them home! Being anti-war doesn't mean opposing every individual person who is has been enlisted in the military. It means fighting against the idea of the war. Said another way, it's being pro-peace. As I write this, the US still has troops in more countries than any one person can remember off-hand. Has this yielded us peace? No. It has led to more, and more, and even more wars. Let's give non-interventionism another try, shall we?
I can’t decide if this high energy punk song is misguided or tongue in cheek about supporting the troops, but not the cause. Either way, this is a phrase we hear all the time. It’s akin to when you talk about police corruption and you hear, “blame the politicians, cops are just doing their job.” I get the point they are trying to make, but firmly disagree. The problem is order following in general. You cannot decide another person can decide what your actions are going to be, but then alleviate yourself of your moral agency. Moral agency is retained within every individual no matter what authority you have decided to place that agency with. Troops are responsible for murdering for The State in unjust wars. In the real world it’s called murder for hire. This is yet one more thing that The State exempts itself from, while holding everyone else accountable. I do feel for the victims of the MIC, but they are still responsible for their actions. If they refused to fight unjust wars, I imagine politicians would stop causing them.
Allow me to put my apologetics cap on for this one, i promise it‘s different than my teachable moments cap. Full disclosure I have a tattoo of this bands logo so I’m prolly just about to show my bias but here goes. War is immoral and everyone who participates in it is complicit. Bottom line, if you help kill people for any reason other than a gun to your head you carry that blood with you. But judgement doesn’t end with guilt. Great you’ve been found guilty now it’s time to punish. Does a soldier providing medical support deserve the same punishment as a John Mcain or Lindsey Graham who personally voted and lobbied for mass murder? I’ll be honest this is where my principle gets lax. I take proportionality seriously. How we handle that as a society I’m not even sure how to approach given our reality. A reality that includes the intensive systematic brainwashing of our children for 13 years that perpetuates and instills state worship. The schools like the FED are roots of the evil. End either and you‘ll have neither money or soldiers enough to fight. Sadly both of those evils exist and I can’t help but feel sympathy for victims of Stockholm Syndrome. I won’t argue for a verdict of innocence simply for punishment that considers context. Getting back to the song itself we still see the understanding that war itself is often a scheme and political gamesmanship. It’s both good to see people fighting this long and disheartening that a song written before ‘94 is talking about the same bullshit war machine we do.