Ignorance Is Bliss
Rex 84 - is a music project addressing the political climate in the United States of America. All songs written by Jeff, except #1 and #7, which were originally written and recorded by Tim Hardin and Bob Dylan, respectively. All guitars, mandolin, vocals, recording, mixing and mastering by Jeff except for the following; Thanks to Evan for the mandolin on track #6. Thanks to Robbie for the mixing and mastering on tracks #2, #5 & #6. Thanks to Kat for the violin on tracks #2 and #5. The motivation for this project is the world that we live in ... The world we will hand over to our children. The ostensible reasons for war are never the real reasons. The ostensible reasons are always sugar and spice and everything nice, naturally. This is set forth to hide the ugly truth, to hide the fact that wars are scrambles for loot. When another party shows up to save the day, they are simply capitalizing (on behalf of their corporate masters) on an opportunity to seize natural resources and geopolitical power. It's not because the public of the imperial aggressor is naive that they go along with the lie. They go along with the lie because they have been cast in an appealing role. The public fancies itself the democratic, the good, and the free, an example for the whole world ... in a nutshell - it fancies being the 'chosen ones'. The herd has been conditioned and indoctrinated with this idea in several different forums since their childhood. It would seem they are so addicted to their perceived 'top dog' status that they are willing to cultivate the lie even though they know it is such. They don't quite know how to reconcile the concept of military power with their professed religion which calls for non-violence, but they turn a blind eye to this. Sometimes they will even try to trick themselves by asserting that in 'today's world' war is inevitable, even though they know that non-violence is timeless and universal, and those that taught it were light years ahead of them. Common sense tells most everyone - both the more learned and the less learned - that the propaganda is a lie, but historically the masses have somehow been able to suppress their rational thoughts like a dirty family secret, like the proverbial mad uncle who lives in the attic. The herd quite likes it's role in the play - it's identity in the world. The fight is noble - 'God's work'. 'The ends justify the means.' Yadda, yadda, yadda ... The think tanks have done a fabulous job of writing the script. They've made us an offer we couldn't refuse. And the think tanks are owned by ... The media portrays the world's richest as being billionaires. Does anyone seriously believe that the likes of a software engineer can even be in the same neighborhood as the dynastic family fortunes? The bankers of the old world? The oil and steel magnates of the industrial revolution? The likes of the Rothschilds, Morgans, Carnegies, or Rockefellers? Billionaires are paupers by comparison, simply used as shining examples of what a little hard work will get you in the modern day slave state. Needless to say, the wealth of the world's true elite is not widely covered in the media. Though some of them have had their wealth estimated in the many trillions, there's no need to get side-tracked with this. Suffice it to say that they have way, way too much. But more importantly, they are a net drain to the rest of humanity the way that a monopoly is to the marketplace. That the system is inequal is not the problem. A certain pyramid is intuitively appealing. A certain hierarchy is natural. It's the breakdown that is instructive. Virtually all of the world's wealth and resources are controlled by a disproportionate, very unnatural few at the top. How is such an unnatural state sustained when the slaves outnumber the masters by such a wide margin? Control of the media? Thanks to computers and the internet this isn't as significant as it used to be. The populus has much better access to free flowing information than ever before as well as the ability to more easily communicate with one another. This militates against the domination and consolidation of the media and allows us to stay informed if we so choose. But the burden of crowd control is mediated today by the aid of an unlikely source - the people themselves. The modern day slave state is a more sophisticated one - a more subtle one. Slaves today are given 'stuff' - lot's of stuff - to anesthetize them. And after decades of unparalleled prosperity and superpower status, Americans and other privileged peoples of the world have become complacent consumers, apathetic to the geopolitical realities of our time. We have been conditioned into being self-censoring. Information, though available, isn't sought out. Ignorance is bliss. When you've been assigned the task of being the 'consumer', ignorance becomes the more viable option. Thus the immoral leadership of corporatism and imperialism is tolerated. Many may speak out against it - a bit anyway. But not too much. Pavlov's 'conditional reflexes' come to mind here - subconscious, automatic, involuntary responses to specific stimuli. An dog can be made to salivate upon the ringing of a bell once it has been conditioned to associate food with that bell. Likewise, a people can be made to endorse war, or put up only token resistance, once they have been conditioned to associate prosperity with war. But unlike dogs, we have a wealth of available information as well as the ability to think rationally, understand the information and our responses to it. Thanks to computers and the internet, we can no longer say we had 'no way of knowing'. Ignorance is no longer acceptable. It is becoming deliberate, an active process, a choice, a process of self-censorship. Anyone willing to raise a pinky can attain a basic understanding of the way the world works today ... anyone willing to pull themselves away from the entertainment they are abuzz in. And since we are able to understand our willingness to fund the slaughtering of other people, or put up only token resistance, we also are - clearly - accountable for it, just as a terrorist ought to be accountable for his actions. What form this accountability will take remains to be seen. I suspect the first consequences will be spiritual and emotional as well as economic. I suspect we are already in the early stages. The media is an accurate representation of this movement, catering to and exploiting the vulnerabilities of it's audience like a drug dealer. The media's milieu of consumerism and violent crime is reflective of a culture whose genuine, traditional ideals are increasingly being replaced by materialism and pop-culture like a virus, with the growing paranoia of a people who, like a drug addict, need more and more to secure their 'stuff'. Thus the degradation of our media is not only tolerated, but embraced because we receive affirmation for our addiction. We are assured that our addiction is not just ok, but downright cool. Hip. To be desired. Furthermore we receive clues regarding the existence of any potential threats to our stuff, as well as pointers on how to best deal with these threats. And noble causes are also exploited to no end; 'you are special people - it's up to you to help the less fortunate people of the world even though they don't want help because they don't know what's good for them. You are the chosen people.' Ever certain that lower life forms are perpetually on the lurk threatening their special status, the masses don't seem to notice the exorbitant cost of buying into this babble. Loss of control. Loss of independence. Loss of sovereignty. More war. More debt. More power for the corporate high priests. More power for the government. Institutionalization. The parallels between this insidious decline and that of a drug-addict are chilling. Hallmarks of this decline are delusion and denial. Simple observation of the obvious is flat out refused, clearing the path, conveniently, for policy makers both on foreign and domestic policy fronts. Various forms of the all powerful buzzwords 'change' and 'progress' can never be worn out. And cleverly named social programs are touted in the name of noble ends like safety or national security or some sort of humanitarianism. The real purpose of this social change is never the alleged one (heroics), and the net result is institutionalization. Is the 'no child left behind' act really as wonderful as it sounds? Standardized tests? Military recruiter access to our schools? Are you kidding me? Is there anyone who can't see through this one? And as occupiers of so-called 'rogue nations', is our primary purpose really the alleged one? Are we really there as liberators, simply spreading 'democracy and freedom'? Please. By now everyone should have learned to ask questions any time they see some entity with too much of something, usually money or democracy, that they simply wish to share with everyone. The ostensible purpose of mobilized military troops or grant money from 'tax-free charitable foundations' or even the public sector is always sugar and spice and everything nice. But their true motive can be found by taking a closer look at the behemouth transnational conglomerates that hold their puppet strings. In addition to the fantastic pr of their heroic escapades, the elite puppetmasters also acquire the far more important end of making the populace increasingly dependent on them. They set up their walmart/nafta style infrastructure all over the world because they know the masses cannot resist low price - that they won't look beyond that low price ... at the true cost ... at the subsidies from tax dollars that support those low prices ... at the multinationals that take away jobs and ship them overseas to 'tax friendly' jurisdictions with negligible civil rights laws. What is the true cost of so-called 'philanthropy' from the likes of a Rockefeller or Carnegie? Is the superclass not simply investing in itself down the road? The tax benefits of their 'philanthropy' are peanuts taken next to the control they secure. To control a people you must institutionalize them. Indeed education itself has been institutionalized. For nearly 200 years, through the colonial period and into the beginning of the republic, most education in America was private and very effective. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of Americans'outstanding literacy in the early 1800s. And what have been the results of turning that system into a public, compulsory one? Of institutionalizing our schools? Are we willing to look below the surface? Is it very difficult for any of us to see the problems of our youth today? Is it difficult to see that the seriousness and pervasiveness of these problems are escalating rapidly? How long will we ignore it? How long can we stomach it? Will we ever - finally - look into the mirror and admit that we are the problem? There are corporate marketing campaigns aimed squarely at our youth from junk food to ipods and video games and the myriad of other garbage that is dangled in front of them everywhere they go, and yet we put our own kids into public schools and allow these kinds of ideals to germinate, and then we are surprised when they 'go astray'? Public school is crucial spawning ground for these values. Consumerism is a value easliy galvanized in a social setting, such as pulic schools, where peer pressure lends itself to homogeneity. Complacency and obedience are also galvanized much more readily in this setting. And yet we sit around in our progressive little circles and gossip about these 'disturbing trends' ?? Ah, but that free day care is too good to pass up. Why? Because we are too busy? Yes. But why? How did we allow ourselves to be convinced that we should spend so much time working - doing something we hate in most cases - that we don't have enough time left for the most basic and important thing of all? Call me silly, but this raises a red flag for me. We shouldn't be that busy. But we are indeed. With their think tanks, educational institutions, and so-called charitable foundations the elite throw their massive, inherited dynastic wealth at pretty much anything they want to control, a control that goes way beyond great PR and tax benefits. They literally manufacture public opinion, or 'fashion consensus', setting consumeristic values and cultivating spawning grounds for these values. So-called 'think tanks' such as The Heritage Foundation, The Hoover Institute, RAND Corporation, Brookings Institution, etc ... are ideologically driven in accordance with the interests of their funders, ie; the interests of corporate giants and/or those who own them. The term 'think tanks' is quite a misnomer really. These entites don't engage in rational thought as in the scientific method - doing research and then drawing conclusions. Rather they do the opposite; they begin with conclusions congenial to their business interests and then 'think' of ways to justify them, ensuring that the incredible wealth that was handed to them on a silver platter over many generations stays there. Is the purpose of the Rockefeller Foundation, established by John D. Rockefeller in 1913, to 'promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world', as they claim? It seems like there may be more to it than that, given their complicity in MKULTRA, a secret mind-control experimentation program conducted by the United States government in the 1950s and 60s. I'm pretty sure the Rockefellers would love to erase many things from the history books, from MKULTRA to the Ludlow Massacre to the Reese Committee's findings. Would it really suprise anyone to learn that the real motive behind these so-called 'philanthropists' is not philanthropy? That their stranglehold on the education system in the US got so bad that Congress had to investigate it in 1954? Thousands of scientists and scholars from the most prestigious schools in the world have received fellowships and scholarships from 'charitable' foundations like Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford for advanced study, and now sing their praises and teach their brand of business, in an ongoing process of social engineering to mold the thinking of the masses into something more in keeping with the demands of the industrial age and the corporate elite. Is the purpose of the uber prestigious Wharton School, established in 1881 through a donation of Joseph Wharton, co-founder of the Bethlehem Steel company, really 'to provide for young men special means of training and of correct instruction in the knowledge and in the arts of modern Finance and Economy', as they claim? Top students of the MBA Program are awarded Ford Fellowships. Joseph Wharton was also one of the founders of Swarthmore College, which enjoys an average endowment per student of close to $1,000,000, and whose students have received hundreds of scholarships including Rhodes Scholarships, Fulbright Scholarships and many others. The interlinks between the trustees at Rand, and the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie foundations were so numerous that the Reece Committee listed them in it's report. Ford gave one million dollars to Rand ( a 'think tank' founded by the US Air Force !!) in 1952 alone, at a time when the chairman of Rand was simultaneously the president of Ford Foundation. Associations between these entities and United States Department of State, US presidents and the leaders of major US political parties are mind-bending. Is it really that difficult to connect the dots here? Ah, but the Hollywood obsessed, hero worshipping, anesthetized imperial masses can tolerate their servitude just fine if it's kept whisked away in the closet. They'll even go as far as to call it 'democracy and freedom' if they are given enough stuff with which to celebrate their convenient location on the pyramid. Is it any wonder? Look deeper into your local 'philanthropist'. You may be very surprised at your findings. Ask yourself this; Are the trillionaire 'philanthropist' elites - who designed the educational infrastructure in the US and modeled it after the Prussian system - just cultivating the brightest people? Or are they more about spawning leadership and workforce that will toe the line? The Prussian system, as you may also know, is widely known to have set out to manufacture a loyal, obedient workforce. The idea that huge endowments cultivate the brightest minds makes a nice Hollywood story. Hence the easy sell. But it simply isn't true. 'Bright'? Sure. No doubt alot of exceptionally bright individuals get coaxed into the system. Just read Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt's book to learn all about how that sort of thing is done. Ms. Iserbyt was a Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education during the first Reagan Administration. Rest assured, the first priority of educational endowments from the trillionaire club is not very philanthropic. It's self-interest, which comes as no surprise. It's simply to coax and to woo and to win over with money. To make believers out of student body. Not only is the curriculum controlled, but individuals are made to feel beholden to the system because of the enormous sums of money given them. The net result is the same sort of blind faith that we see in fraternities, which have also mastered the fine art of coaxing and wooing. Any new social program or public policy may be ushered in on either the right or the left side of the political spectrum. The beast can be fed just as easily with either hand. Issues are presented in a bipolar fashion, where 'righty' and 'lefty' opinions are prefabricated like big macs, tailor made for the harried life of the corporate slave. Ever quick to take sides to defend the one and only true religion or the one and only true political system, people are somehow perenially loathe to criticize that which enslaves them first and foremost; the corporate high priests who fashion their every thought. 'The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ... We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ... In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons ... who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.' This is from Ed Bernays' book, 'Propaganda', where he argues that scientific manipulation of public opinion is necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in society. Bernays is widely known as the 'father of public relations'. How does this reconcile with so-called 'freedom and democracy'? And what's all this twaddle about capitalism and communism? Just another form of partisan politics. Just another thing for middle America to bicker over. Does it even matter if the overlords do what they do through the public or private sector? What if they dominate both? What do you call that? Does it really matter if the state dominates corporations or vice-versa? Isn't the end result the same, or very similiar? Do we really want to spend alot of time and energy fussing over which kind of fascism is worse? But we're not supposed to ask these better questions. We're supposed to be good little righties and lefties, tethered to our respective party lines - engaged in that crippling, rubber stamping, log rolling charade that is partisan politics in the United States of America. Divide and conquer, anyone? Isn't it amazing that we continue to see the same results over and over ... ad nauseam ... no matter what alleged 'changes' occur? More war, crippling debt, happier transnationals, regardless of which sort of party is in power. Behemoth military is ushered in on the right; gargantuan, economically crippling social programs (medicare, social security ...) on the left. All the above are servicing the men behind the curtain and their lazy, entitled families who have wealth handed down to them on a silver platter and need do nothing with themselves except think of a wonderful new 'charity' to further institutionalize the masses. Yet we treat them like heroes. We treat the scourge of the universe like heroes. How could the irony get any better? Meanwhile the partisan hacks continue to do their little dances, rehearse their little scripts which collectively represent the intellectual equivalent of a rubber room, facilitating the venting of political angst without actually getting anything done. The rubber roomers remain steadfastly convinced that their woes stem from the other party while somehow missing ( or deeming unimportant ?? ) that there always seems to be a new war on the horizon and that their national debt is exploding through the stratosphere. It's business as usual for the military industrial complex. Mission accomplished. Can the North American Union be very far behind, as the latest solution to all of our woes, in true 'New Deal' or 'Peace Treaty of Versailles' oh so progressive form? Yes, we'll all be so advanced walking around with national id cards and rfid chips like a bunch of branded cattle. The global elite maintain a Hegelian dialectic that ensures them perpetual power. The masses are poked and prodded very precisely until they demand the very 'social change' that is desired by the overclass. Force is avoided which looks much better from a PR standpoint. Safety and morality are ever the basic human emotions which are exploited to encourage the polulace to demand change. But the ensuing forms of socialization and their so-called 'humanitarian' and 'progressive' aims invariably end up serving as the underpinnings of servitude and estrangement. My sincere hope is that it is not too late for us. I hope it is not too late to recognize that which enslaves us, or too late to be able to function outside this debt plagued institution, which feeds upon perpetual war, and get moving back towards basic self-sufficiency, at least on some levels. Can we not all see that this entitled, privileged, chosen, consumer role bit is self-limiting? We have all heard how difficult it can be for former inmates to adapt 'on the outside' upon being released from prison. And the same will apply here to a certain extent. No doubt some prefer to be institutionalized. Perhaps they need to be told what to do with themselves. But many others do not. Many others don't keep well in captivity. We are saddened to see so many people spending an enormous portion of their time, on a rigged table, doing something menial that they deplore. We find it abhorrent and disgraceful to be told that this is what 'responsible' people are supposed to do. In fact, we find it pathetic. This prevailing mentality is just another standardized test that selects for and produces homogenous junkies. No thanks. How well do you keep in captivity? 'Under the rule of a repressive whole, liberty can be made into a powerful instrument of domination. The range of choice open to the individual is not the decisive factor in determining the degree of human freedom, but what can be chosen and what is chosen by the individual. ... Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves. Free choice among a wide variety of goods and services does not signify freedom if these goods and services sustain social controls over a life of toil and fear-that is, if they sustain alienation. And the spontaneous reproduction of superimposed needs by the individual does not establish autonomy; it only testifies to the efficacy of the controls.' Herbert Marcuse - from One-Dimensional Society Lyrics (for original music only) Ignorance Is Bliss Our leaders tout freedom and democracy But a wolf in sheep's clothing is plain to see What's all that clamoring that separates me from you ? That divides us like it's supposed to do ? 'We're the chosen ones' we all chime in Looks like 'divide and conquer' has worked again Making our case time after time Tethered to a party line We look away from things we don't wanna know We cultivate the status quo You better be careful what you do You'll be ostracized for tellin' the truth Look away from things too scary to see Embrace ulterior fantasy Ignore those things so easy to dismiss Look away - after all - ignorance is bliss If they could see what was happening today Our Founding Fathers would roll in their graves The Constitution they fought so hard to create Dismembered by globalist imperial mandate Now an evil supergenius lurks in the shadows But just where he is nobody knows A cave-squatting mastermind, we're told to believe Can somehow outwit the powers that be repeat chorus ... The propaganda keeps coming like a river it flows The bunkum and twaddle we've all come to know Evil doer fairy tales star in the show But common sense eclipses the yee-haw manifesto As for the voice of the people The silence is deafening The think tanks have cast them In a role quite flattering repeat chorus ... Our leaders tout freedom and democracy But a wolf in sheep's clothing is plain to see The noble lie not only lives, it is loved People will defend the fight When push comes to shove But warned many times we have been and one things for sure There will be no sayin' That we didn't see it comin' -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr Puppetman mr puppetman did your place come to you or did you have to hunt it down? do you think it matters? did you find it on a silver platter? mr puppetman looks like you sold your soul just who cast you in such an appealing role? how high can you fly? did you succumb to the noble lie? how long can you hold back humanity? on your shopping spree keep them from their destiny a renaissance like we've never seen does your charter last an eternity? looks like you're holdin' your breath to me is the clock your enemy? mr puppetman what are you doin' after the show? why are you lookin' over your shoulder everywhere you go? mr puppetman what is the nature of your charity? your foundations sure look strange to me we're not so smart like we used to be but push a mean pen and fill your factories -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Smoke and Mirrors Been farming their land for centuries Been doin' their thing to make ends meet Now suddenly they have no one to sell to Now suddenly they have nothin' to do And civil unrest is everywhere But the powers that be they don't care Thanks to the World Trade Organization Civil unrest don't happen for nothin' Forced liberalization in the name Of globalization Modern aristocracy Imperial diplomacy Smoke and mirrors Fun and games The corporate elite Have no shame Forced aquiescience pervades all discussion Those IMF loans carry heavy repercussions Orchestrated by the United Nations Brace for another round of economic sanctions Democratically elected caught up in the fray Destabilized by the CIA Move on over and let them through Multinationals have a lotta work to do Some don't see it they say it seems fair But the ruth be told they really don't care Complacent, indifferent though others hurt Anesthetized by creature comforts Call to Arms who would claim exclusivity of open hearts make mockery belittle the quest with extraordinary claim lead us all towards shame who would draw a line in the sand then say 'you're on the wrong side, my friend' insist only one can be right turn a world of color into black and white brings us all to our knees been goin' on for centuries who would follow the fight that tells us none can be right why would we stray why wonder off that way why give in to the charm to the next call to arms we know of those in society who ride on our naive piety claiming to know what no one knows to hold the status that no one holds crouched behind fray after fray separate us in a million ways carry on with impunity their enemy is our unity -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Elephant in the Living Room the iron triangle meets in a marble palace - though location doesn't matter they meet to outsource freedom on a silver platter a few presidential pardons and Blackwater arrives on the scene how nice it must be to avoid so much transparency in the smoke filled rooms where the deals are made reds and evil doers are singled out right away vampires kneel down on the floor to pray the reflection in the mirror is fading away the man dealin' cards shakes hands with the one wearin' shades the hatters bow down only because they feel safe it's easier to point to the patsy and the knave looks like the elephant in the living room will stay another day the masters of conflict politicize common sense city lights dim as they strive to equate treason with dissent right or left they always have backing for every scheme and with god on their side no need to think of externalities in the smoke filled rooms where the deals are made reds and evil doers are singled out right away vampires kneel down on the floor to pray the reflection in the mirror is fading away the man dealin' cards shakes hands with the one wearin' shades the pawns bow down only because they're affraid it's so much easier to frame up the patsy as the knave the elephant in the living room won't go away so tempting to ignore the connection between faith and war profiteering is our aquiescience - any less commandeering ? ah but the spoils of war are quite some reprisal is it any wonder so many choose to remain in denial ? in the smoke filled rooms where the deals are made reds and evil doers are singled out right away vampires kneel down - for even they are enslaved the reflection in the mirror has faded away the man dealin' cards shakes hands with the one wearin' shades the birchers bow down because their fathers are brigade it's so much easier easier to point to the patsy and the knave looks like the elephant in the living room is here to stay.