Saturday, September 27, 2014

Song Review: The Logical Song by Supertramp

I stumbled across "The Logical Song" on Pandora the other day and it was a real blast from the past. I think it's probably been decades since I last heard it - at least 20 years or so. I think it was on at a dentist's office? It had existed on my distant periphery but if you hummed a few bars I probably could have finished the rest.

But it's been on a constant loop for me this week ever since I heard it again - I'm simultaneously hooked on it and fascinated by it. The entire point of the song is that the guy says 'they' sent him away to learn how to conform and how that just made him into an unthinking vegetable, and how free thinking will get you called a commie liberal just because you refuse to live in the Man's button-down world. 

Today, this song is deep science fiction, as if Roger Hodgson had written had written about how it's liberating to breathe nitrogen on Neptune's moons. Let's dive in and examine closer...

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me.

OK straightforward. Before I went to school, life was 'beautiful, magical...'

But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
Logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
Clinical, intellectual, cynical.


There are times when all the world's asleep,
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.

Now that I am intellectual and dependable, I have completely lost my sense of identity. Can't I just be an ignorant flake again?

Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical,
Liberal, fanatical, criminal.

I don't know what pop culture was like in 1979 but in 2014 this is the exact opposite of reality. The thought police live almost exclusively on the left and will not tolerate even the mildest dissent

Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

Ha. Ha.

In short, being clean cut and religious and conservative today is about the most daring, dangerous, counter-cultural, subversive thing you can do. Greg Gutfeld says it better than I can:

In short, liberalism is based on one central desire: to look cool in front of others in order to get love. Preaching tolerance makes you look cooler than saying something like, "please lower my taxes." This is why the only true form of rebellion left on this planet is conservatism. Conservatism, by rejecting the trademark forms of romantic rebellion (anarchy, activism, [etc.]) turns out to be far more subversive than anything on the planet. The conservative, every day, knows that he or she says things that aren't considered cool among the media elite. Yet the conservative still comes out and says it. This is why Dick Cheney is closer to the Hell's Angels than Hunter S. Thompson ever could be. And why Jon Stewart is about as daring as a diaper filled with Nilla Wafers.

Still, great song. The best part is probably the 'take it take it take it!' part that segues into a blazing saxophone solo. And at 97, this guy has aged better and sounds better than he did when he was like 30.

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