It sounded real good at the time, the fix that was actually possible. Also, collectivist, egalitarian, all that great stuff that looked popular back then, and all of this good stuff over and above the joke, which, the second meaning, well, I never found it easy to argue with that either! It seemed pretty airtight.
Of course everybody must get stoned!
All my life, I figured, cantankerous as he may be, Bob was on my side with that one. But I have switched sides, or rather, I have found a line that separates me from the meme in that song. I’ve seen that Bob was on the usual side of some lines there after all. The cantankerous side, of course.
The fighting side.
The theory at the time, for me at least, was that some folks are getting off easy, that the rich and powerful aren’t taking their share of the stones, and, yes, in a sense, but no, and not ‘no’ in the sense that they’re not winning the game, only in the sense that no-one wins this game because they are unabused and happy. That, to use a popular expression these days, is not how any of this works.
Put yourself in Barron’s shoes, for instance.
The guy who insisted that Puerto Rico receive no help and gets no power, so that many brown coloured people die, three thousand or so, they are saying, that maybe the last thousand would have died anyway or something. Now imagine it is that guy who is telling you brush your teeth and go to bed, or else. That guy inspecting your report card.
Not the point, at some point Barron grows up enough to be the problem and not the victim, and that is Donald, and I am not sympathetic to Donald, I’m just saying, everybody is already getting stoned and that is the human problem, not the adjectival solution. And I don’t mean to single out the Trumps. Your dad’s plant explodes, killing half the town and he walks, your parents have half a million employees all in poverty on minimum wage and part time work, and he thinks you had better eat the damned carrots . . . this is the same conversation I have about the origins of “morality.” The in-group is already getting stoned, in-group prosocial behaviour is a measured dose of abuse – well, measured when in public, anyway.
Again, not a bid for sympathy, this is not “leave the rich alone, they’re suffering too,” this is “they are not the evil parasites they are because someone loved them too much and didn’t beat them enough.” Again, not how any of this life stuff works. Bob put his finger on it, though! Voiced the unconscious directive all humans are instilled with deeply, and by force, early in life: everybody must get hurt!
Bob never gave a damn about the revolution, did he? I kid, I’m sure he did, he’s just sort of emotional, and well, it’s feelings troubadours sell, isn’t it, and I understand the feeling in that song, as I said, no doubt.
We need better feelings is all.
The revolution always fails immediately when the new boss and the old boss agree, though, that violence is any sort of solution and they only disagree about to whom it is to be applied.
October 1st., 2019