John McDonald

Blogging about politics, life, and the web

Survivalism – Nine Inch Nails

January 4th, 2010

Survivalism Lyrics:

I should have listened to her
So hard to keep control
We kept on eating but
Our bloated bellies still not full
She gave us all she had but
We went and took some more
Can’t seem to shut her legs
Our mother nature is a whore

I got my propaganda
I got revisionism
I got my violence
In high-def ultra-realism
All a part of this great nation
I got my fist
I got my plan
I got survivalism

Hypnotic sound of siren
Echoing through the street
The cocking of the rifles
The marching of the feet
You see your world on fire
Don’t try to act surprised
We’ll do just what you told us
Lost our faith along the way and found ourselves believing your lies

All bruised and broken, bleeding
She asked to take my hand
I turned, just kept on walking
But you’d do the same thing in this circumstance I’m sure you’ll understand

You got your pacifism – I got survivalism

Certainly, the modern western consumer has become accustomed to violent imagery on television, even images of violence committed by our police and military service men who kill and claim it on our behalf. Really though, when the door falls at 3:14, no one quite knows if they’re the one who will be hauled away this night. In fact, every one of them is guilty of some crime against the law or popular social opinion…

This complacent “pacifism” then is more about a delusional consumerism, and the band provides contrast in its own survivalist instinct. Rather than ‘quietly’ going about ones business, the band has defended itself while making noise about the problematic state of society. Having seen the conflict beforehand, they’re prepared to survive and tell their song at least one more time.

Survivalism is a strong undercurrent in American politics, and the ideal of self-sufficiency and self-security has been upheld since colonial times. In times of economic stress, international uncertainty, and caustic political conflict, these characteristics resurface and help to reset the social process.

We were lucky enough to see Nine Inch Nails in concert a few months ago before they took an indefinite hiatus, so check out my review of the show.

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