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I'm Not Afraid

 

Hey, it’s the first Pickabar tune of 2010! I was starting to get a little nervous, because I usually have a new song in the oven every month. Four months without writing a single tune was a little bit nerve wracking. Every time I finish a song a part of me worries that it might not happen ever again. Thankfully, the voice was proven wrong, at least for one more tune.

When I look out at our culture, I see a pervasive mood of fear. These are tough economic times. Our industrial advances have started to impact the world around us. The populace seems politically polarized to an extent that I can’t remember experiencing in my earlier life. We have some real challenges ahead of us and it makes sense to take that seriously.

It’s natural that people get more fearful as they get older. How will the incredible influence of the baby boomers effect the future as they reach their golden years? Will their completely natural emotional changes distort the cultural environment?

At one point, the news was a public service provided by broadcasters who had no illusions about profitability. Corporate takeovers have replaced that sense of service with the single minded focus on profit and growth at all costs that has begun to completely dominate industry in our country. The news media is now a gaping maw that nourishes itself on our attention. In a world overflowing with information and access, they have no choice but to catch our eyes in whatever way they possibly can. Appealing to the primal part of our brains that is frightened by the thought of large predators is an effective technique for attracting the attention that they need, but at what cost?

Of course, the news media isn’t alone in their hunger for our attention. Advertising has been refined and massaged into a tool to create demand for products we often don’t need by convincing us that without them our lives will be hollow and meaningless. They bombard us with their ads, drilling them into our subconscious by repetition that makes it unnecessary for you to even like or necessarily pay attention for their mission to be accomplished.

If you don’t douse your child in anti-bacterial soap every five minutes they will die! Don’t drink from water fountains, buy our expensive bottled water! No one will ever love you if you don’t have the latest fashions and make-up!

Our schools have lost track of their true mission, to create citizens with the critical thinking skills necessary to be an effective citizen and a capable contributing member of society. Instead, we’ve reach a place where our schools are disproportionally focused on getting students to pass tests and to parrot back facts without any thoughts of  challenging what’s written down on the paper provided. We are raising generations of people who don’t really know how to think critically, but who are also provided with the tools to easily access information of all levels of validity. Our focus on making kids feel good about themselves has created people with low standards and simultaneously high opinions of themselves. Of course they are afraid if the box tells them to be!

Fear is a tool. We can use it as a stick to motivate us to do the tough work ahead of us or as an impediment for accomplishing anything. Like fire, fear can comfort and empower us or it can terrify and destroy us. I don’t have many answers to offer, but I will say that I choose not to be afraid.

…as much as I can. 😉

 

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I’m Not Afraid

 

The TV that you watch
is designed to make you dumb and scared,
fake stories for fake people
fake heads covered with fake hair

Big mouths talk
but there’s no truth in what they say
it’s about who yells the loudest
why let facts get in the way?

  why are we so afraid?
  it’s because they want us to be
  why are we so afraid?
  it’s because they want us to be
   

    I won’t play their game
    I’ll think with my own brain
    because I’m not afraid

The ads that we see
are designed to cause us misery
they fill our heads with fear
then tell us the answer is shopping sprees

We’re brain washed
we’re falling for their credit traps
we’re trading away our futures
for piles of cheap plastic crap

    Chorus

The schools we attend
leave students mentally unprepared
bombarded with information
real wisdom is never shared

Passing tests
is what it’s all become about
learning to think for yourself
that’s what seems to lose out

[Download MP3]

 

I know what you’re thinking, isn’t there already a Pickabar song about Conquering Fear? Why, yes there is entirely fictional pickabar reader. Consider this a companion piece.