Alienation is not commodity, figures, statistics, or make-believe

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

“I’m never going to Coachella again. It was both the best and the worst thing that ever happened to me, and I don’t think this year could be topped — so if I went back, it would just be the worst.”

— me, April 2004.

“Well, god fucking dammit.”

— me, January 2012.

And it’s like it never happened. I’m no longer the kid who needed Refused to get through the week. These days I only listen to The Shape of Punk to Come maybe two or three times a year. And yet, on my drive home tonight, after my shitbag boss made empty threats to me and I finally stood up to him, if only just a little bit, I scrolled over to it on the old ipod and hit play. I’ve got a bone to pick with capitalism, and a few to break.

The album starts out squarely in the real world — the title of the first track, “Worms of the Senses/Faculties of the Skull” makes the point graphically. The lyrics — maybe now, seeming a bit puerile — read like a Situationist pamphlet written by Henry Rollins. But the unsettled rhythms drive the point home: alienated from your work, from your joy, sold your boredom, life under capitalism fucking blows.

Luckily, during this album, you are going to be going somewhere else. The “Faculties of the Skull” half belabors the point. Let’s take the first bus out of here. Let’s take the first bus out of here. Let’s take the first bus out of here. Let’s take the first bus out of here. Let’s take the first bus out of here. Let’s take the first bus out of here —

Let’s go!

Holy fuck. Twenty-six years old, driving home on my shitty commute from my shitty job to feed my cat and watch a bit of basketball before waking up and starting the whole process (and I feel a piece of my soul die just writing that) over again, but for the moment, I’m rocking out, swerving in my lane a bit, I don’t give a fuck. A brief catharsis, but something I’ll take until I’m ready again to fight for more.

I love you, Refused. Let’s make the fuck out.

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