VII: Sturm Und Drang
2015 | Metal
Spotify | Amazon
“A generation of mockingbirds, you are being herded by the wolves. -- A generation of mockingbirds, feeding yourself to the wolves. -- This is the rise of our demise. -- Fucked up and uncivilized. -- This is the rise of our demise.”
- The album hit #3 on the Billboard 200.
- This is the first album after Blythe's manslaughter case for the death of a 19 year old fan at a show in the Czech Republic.
- The title translates from German into English as "Storm & Stress" and references what Blythe went through including going to prison in a foreign country.
THE HOT TAKES
Reminiscent of some of KMFDM's work. Not musically, but rather in the lyrical bluntness. In this song, the ignorant, blindly obedient public is "paint[ing] a target right between [its] eyes." Calling us a "generation of mockingbirds," we repeat only what we are told and debate only within allowable borders. The 2019 way to express this is to call people "NPCs," who are running "exe" (or executable) files. In other words, the responses are pre-programmed. They call it television "programming" for a reason, after all.
“Whipped dogs, a bleak cognitive future / Ineptitude is reaching critical mass / A generation of mockingbirds / You are being herded by the wolves / A generation of mockingbirds / Feeding / yourself to the wolves / This is the rise of our demise / Fucked up and uncivilized.”
These lyrics really resonated with me. Along with the title “Delusion Pandemic,” the picture comes into focus. There is a terrible spiral of learned helplessness in the US. At this point in time there are far more people that want to believe in the wisdom and virtue of their masters than there are that want to throw off the shackles. They hear the talking points and like good “mockingbirds” repeat them because they sound good, never considering what that rhetoric actually means. They call for government to solve every problem and then when that fails, call for more government intervention. They are like a mouse on a wheel. Running and running, expending a lot of energy, and never getting anywhere. Meanwhile the “wolves” take more and more control and the masses keep offering themselves and their children up to them. Each generation less able to be independent. Believing they are building civilization, all the while being more violent and less civilized than ever. If that’s normal, then I’m more than happy to be an abnormal anarchist. I’ll wear that with pride.
The interesting thing I learned about this song was that it was written as a way to poke fun at the modern internet culture. Specifically meme culture. Blythe thinks of them as mental detritus. I'd be curious to see what he thinks of them now given the modern narrative that they are what won Trump the election. It's hard to think of them as mental detritus with that much control over world affairs. The Pepe meme alone has caused major social upheaval, for good or ill i'm not sure because it certainly seems to rile up the worst elements of both sides. As a second point of note, in the past year from the time of writing the NPC meme has blown up really drawn a shining light around just how much people mindlessly regurgitate the predominate views. It's odd to think of something so banal as being so indicative of the manner in which human beings think but the proof is in the pudding. I think it's important for any subversive political ideology to not ignore how communication is happening in the world to be a part of that conversation. God forbid the SJW scene ever gets good at memes and we're all fucked.