A View From The Outside

Those who have followed this blog for a while will know that I have no problem with mocking my own views and that I’ve done so on many occasions. I do this for two very important reasons: 1) I really am a nice guy, and 2) It’s not fair to poke fun at the views of others if I can’t deal with having the same done to me.

But the lightheartedness of it all has a tendency to mask the very serious discomfort I feel when we are too quick to ignore the extreme irrationality running rampant in our world. The fact is that, every day, I see links between the beliefs of those who would do us great harm and the statements made by the people around me. And this linkage frightens more than I can say.

The following words are not my own, but they are an excellent reflection of the dangerous potential I’ve seen in almost every person I’ve ever known:

The night is black – Without a moon
The air is thick, and still
The vigilantes gather on…
The lonely torchlit hill

Features distorted in the flickering light
The faces are twisted and grotesque
Silent and stern in the sweltering night
The mob moves like demons possessed
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right —
Confident their ways are best

The righteous rise – With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies…
To beat, and burn, and kill

They say there are strangers, who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness, too dangerous
In our theatres and bookstore shelves
That those who know what’s best for us —
Must rise and save us from ourselves

Quick to judge – Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice…
And fear walk hand in hand

Curious about the source of those words? They’re from a song by the only band that I know of who’s lyrics have never given me cause for doubt:

RUSHWitch Hunt

I want ice water.

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24 thoughts on “A View From The Outside

  1. “They’re from a song by the only band that I know of who’s lyrics have never given me cause for doubt:”

    What about Limelight…Living in a Fish Island…what the heck does that mean. haha


  2. Jack — relax.
    Get busy with the facts.
    No zodiacs or almanacs,
    No maniacs in polyester slacks.
    Just the facts.
    Gonna kick some gluteus max.
    It’s a parallax — you dig?
    You move around
    The small gets big. It’s a rig
    It’s action — reaction
    Random interaction.
    So who’s afraid
    Of a little abstraction?
    Can’t get no satisfaction
    From the facts?
    You better run, homeboy
    A fact’s a fact
    From Nome to Rome, boy.

    I rest my case.


      • The case I’m trying to make is that Rush lyrics are nothing, in my opinion, to think highly of. I learned that in 1991 with the rest of the world when Roll the Bones surfaced.

        Here, for your reading pleasure, a little story.

        Years ago, when my father golfed regularly, he met some interesting people. One day, him and two friends went golfing. At the course, the club asked if somebody could join their group to make a foursome. They said sure.
        At the first hole, they did little introductions. “Hello my name is Alex.” Stuff like that.
        A couple of holes later, my inquisitive father asked (in his awful Italian accent) “So, Alex, what do you do?”
        “I’m a guitar player.”
        A couple of holes later, my father asked another question “So, you play guitar. In a orchestra or opera?”
        “No, I’m in a band. We call ourselves Rush.”
        A couple of holes later, a light bulb goes off in my father’s head. “Wait a minute, you say Rush. You mean Rush, Rush?”
        “Yes. Rush.”
        “You know, I gotta bone to pick wit you. My kids listen to you every fuckin’ day. Close to the Heart is okay, but everything else I can’t stand.”


        • Honestly, I’m still not understanding what you’re trying to say. I listened to Roll The Bones while I was reading your first post, with the lyrics on the screen before me. Although it’s not my favorite song by Rush, and I’ve certainly not heard everything they’ve ever done, that song doesn’t seem to make any great departures from the philosophy of life that they’ve advocated all along. Essentially, the song simply points out that nothing is pre-ordained and everything comes down to hard work and chance circumstance, just as they said in the final stanza of Freewill:

          “Each of us – A cell of awareness
          Imperfect and incomplete
          Genetic blends – With uncertain ends
          On a fortune hunt that’s far too fleet”

          Or are you saying you don’t like Rush just because your father didn’t?


    • I’m saying that I’m a nice guy who cares about the decent people he knows, but is still more than a little bit concerned when they don’t think they have to make sense. There’s a very thin line between claiming the right to believe in senseless things and the right to commit senseless acts. To not say so is to abdicate my responsibility to defend my freedom, and the freedom’s I wish for all people.


      • I’m guessing you’ve been to a dinner party or BBQ?

        What is more frightening Izaakman, is when you look closely at your friends and then realize they are just a minuscule section of society (and their views). What hope have we got 😦

        Fox News is to blame !!!!!


  3. This song is so true,

    I have experienced so much ignorance from judgmental people that choose to condemn something just because they don’t understand it. Being a Pagan for the past 15 yrs has taught me a lot about society. I have lost friends, family members, and jobs just because I don’t believe in Christianity – they think I’m the devil because I choose to celebrate the seasons, pray to the goddess and care about our planet.


    • I’m not a religious person and never have been. To me, spirituality is what links a person, at the deepest level, to the reality of the universe as it is. The religious people that I have known, even the nicest ones, seem more inclined to deny that reality. That makes them suicidal in my opinion, which is bad enough on it’s own, but they seem to think that their beliefs justify taking the rest of us with them as well. 😐


    • My two favorite bands are Rush and Pink Floyd. Rush inspires me to push myself towards realizing the greater potential that exists with us all. Pink Floyd reminds me, in no uncertain terms, of what’s in store if I don’t. 😀


  4. “The fact is that, every day, I see links between the beliefs of those who would do us great harm and the statements made by the people around me” I do agree with you partially because I rather have statements while they may be irrational and loony at least they say something, the worst part is people not saying or standing up for something… and as songs goes, I think this lyric is quite excellent but Rush is bloody brilliant so more of those lyrics please.

    all around me are familiar faces
    worn out places
    worn out faces
    bright and early for the daily races
    going no where
    going no where
    their tears are filling up their glasses
    no expression
    no expression
    hide my head i wanna drown my sorrow


    • Thanks my friend. Agreement on every issue is not only unnecessary, but impossible to boot! The only thing we MUST agree on is that we should each have the right to determine our own future so long as the actions one chooses doesn’t deny that same right to someone else. I included Rush’s music and or lyrics in several of my posts. You can call them up by selecting “Rush” under “performers” in my “Rant Cats” widget.

      I had to look up the lyrics you provided. I’ve heard “Shout” and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” – Great songs both! – but I don’t think I’ve heard “Mad World.” I’m gonna check to see if YouTube has it.


      • haha, I know… it’s a brilliant song, drove my flatmate loony when I had it on repeat after breaking up with my girlfriend for one week… and same there, great lyrics when you listen to it…


        • Man, that’s such a haunting tune! Much better than the Tears For Fears version. I’m about to post the YouTube video along with the lyrics, with special thanks to you! 😀


  5. You guys are killing me! 😯 I have a hard enough time knowing when someone’s pulling my leg when I’m looking them in the face! This medium is in serious need for more emoticons and possibly a few gag sound effects as well! “Blahahahaha!” 😆


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