For The Journey
2014 | Rock
Spotify | Amazon
“It tore us like the northern wind, sold us down our lonely track. -- The box was found on Monday, but I don't know how to give it back."
- Threshold are a progressive metal band, formed in Surrey, UK in the late 1980s.
- For The Jouney is the fourth and last studio album to feature lead vocalist Damian Wilson, the second and last to feature second guitarist Pete Morten.
- Lead guitarist Karl Groom is the only original and constant member.
THE HOT TAKES
This song just blows my mind. I've listened to it many, many times, and I have a lot to say. So, buckle up! To me, this story is telling the story of the birth of a state.
In the beginning, "the storm was high." So, in a moment of weakness, "someone found the Box." The box in this big metaphor is government. Allowing some to rule others. Giving up rights, etc. Perhaps there are parallels to the granting of temporary emergency powers to Caesar. Now that the Box has been found and used, however, we find that "I don't want to give it back."
The initial payoff seems sweet, as represented by the properties of the water and heat. But even then, "Something doesn't feel right; But it's under my control." Living at the expense of others has a severe moral flaw, but it's justified because we're doing things for the public good. And the scale of the theft is small, after all: a single "hunted little soul."
Next comes control of the money supply. "We took their precious token."
Time passes. Then the water has lost its sweetness. Heat and light are expensive. The bread and circuses are starting to get old. Now, more people have been robbed to pay for this system: "A hundred little souls; Feeding the machine."
The monetary control becomes problematic as well: "And with their precious token; They know exactly where we've been." It's shocking to the rulers that people put up with this madness, but why stop when they continue to tolerate it? "They wondered at our dullness; And now we're slaves to the machine."
Now this little experiment in giving up rights is completely off the rails. "And soon there came a time; They wanted mind and soul; And all I thought was mine; Was out of my control."
Everyone is now feeding the machine. Taxes that used to only be levied on the very rich are now commonplace: "A hundred million souls; Lost in the machine."
But at this late stage in the game, the beast has grown too large. The costs are now known, and they are deemed to be too dear. "The box was foudn on Monday; But I don't know how to give it back."
And at the very end, an appeal to forgiveness and moving on from this rotten experiment. To let people be free again. "I've been trying to forgive you; For the bad times that we lived through; That would surely be a breakthrough; To change the world; That would change the world; Let me go."
Secession is the only solution. Once we withdraw from the system, and no longer wander the corridors of the state, no longer use its tokens, we can reclaim our souls."
This song contains an excerpt of a speech given by Mario Savio during the free speech protests against the administration at Berkeley when they were preventing all political speech on campus. My how the tables have turned! Now, many students at Berkeley have completely abandoned what those early activists fought for and fight against diverse political speech. It’s truly sad. I have taken much inspiration from the last paragraph of this speech, often referred to as the “Bodies upon the gears speech.” To me it exemplifies the mindset of sacrifice and determination that those who fight any kind of entrenched hierarchy must have, but especially those of us that fight The State. I’d like to share that part of the speech with you, and hope it inspires you as well.
“There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels ... upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all! “
Partisan politics in a nutshell. If only my people had the power we could use it for benevolent ends. The other team is nefarious, no good can come from them having power. The trouble is we're all human and while we can try our best to do what's right, that ostensibly changes based on an infinite cauldron of possibilities and is further undermined by our very desire to survive. Nepotism is a fancy word for protecting your genetic material which is an instinct void of morality. Still we desire power and fool ourselves into believing it is something we can maintain and not something to be fought over viciously. As an anarchist it's infuriating watching the Rs & Ds acquire and utilize this power to punish each other until we all lose what precious few rights we have left.