Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pulp's Common People...Still A Scathing Commentary on Liberalism's Romanticism with The Poor and "Slumming It"

The song may be 17 years old now, and obviously the British place a larger emphasis on class than we do here in America (although it does exist here and is getting worse as the years go by...thank you, class-warfaring politicans from the left), but its lyrics are still as scathing and relevant in 2012 as they were in 1995.

For some reason, the left (and almost always the rich liberal left) has always had this patronising romantic vision of the poor and the working classes, and often engage in the high-brow pastime of "slumming it," often adopting the language, speech patterns, pastimes, and behaviors of the lower classes "for fun." They have this strange notion of the "noble savage" and project some sort of glamor onto being truly poor or financially struggling.  The problem is, while engaging in this "class tourism," the rich never have to worry about the consequences or realities of these facets of life...as the song says "if you called your dad, he could stop it all." It's the rest of us who actually have to worry about day-to-day life that know it isn't as glamorous or "cool" or "authentic" as they seem to think. (I'm not poor by any stretch, but I certainly have to work, and work hard, for a living just to get by).

The money line from this song:

"Laugh along with the common people
Laugh along even though they're laughing at you
And the stupid things that you do
Because you think that poor is cool."

And think about it: who were/are the hippies, the beat poets, the anarchists, the occupy Wall Street dopes, the activists, etc? They're either the rich or the children of the rich...who else can afford not to work or go to school and spend their time "protesting" without worrying about where their next meal is going to come from? And again, think about it: which side of the political spectrum do 99% of them come from? That's right, the left. Have you ever heard of a conservative hippie? A conservative anarchist or occupy protestor? That's not to say they don't exist, I'm sure they do, but the vast majority come from the other side of the political spectrum. That's a well documented fact going back to at least the 1950s and 1960s, if not before.

I leave you with the video for Common People...because not only is it still relevant today, it's still a great song.


Pulp - Common People (from the 1995 classic album "Different Class")

She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge
She studied sculpture at St Martin's college
That's where I....
Caught her eye

She told me that her Dad was loaded
I said "In that case I'll have rum and coca-cola."
She said "Fine,".....
And then in thirty seconds time she said

"I want to live like common people
I want to do whatever common people do
I want to sleep with common people
I want to sleep with common people like you."

Oh what else could I do?
I said "I'll see what I can do."

I took her to a supermarket
I don't know why, but I had to start it somewhere
So it started .... there
I said "Pretend you've got no money."
But she just laughed an said "Oh you're so funny."
I said "Yeah?
Well I can't see anyone else smiling in here

Are you sure you want to live like common people
You want to see whatever common people see
You want to sleep with common people
You want to sleep with common people like me?"

But she didn't ... understand
She just smiled and held my hand

Rent a flat above a shop
Cut your hair and get a job
Smoke some fags and play some pool
Pretend you never went to school
But still you'll never get it right
`cos when you're laid in bed at night
Watching roaches climb the wall
If you called your dad he could stop it all yeah

You'll never live like common people
You'll never do what ever common people do
You'll never fail like common people
You'll never watch your life slide out of view

And then dance, and drink, and screw
Because there's nothing else to do

Sing along with the common people
Sing along and it might just get you through
Laugh along with the common people
Laugh along even though they're laughing at you
And the stupid things that you do
Because you think that poor is cool.

Like a dog lying in a corner
They will bite you and never warn you
Look out.

They'll tear your insides out

`cos everybody hates a tourist
Especially one who thinks it's all such a laugh
Yeah and the chip stain and grease will come out in the bath

You will never understand
How it feels to live your life
With no meaning or control
And with nowhere left to go
You are amazed that they exist
And they burn so bright whilst you can only wonder why.

Rent a flat above a shop
Cut your hair and get a job
Smoke some fags and play some pool
Pretend you never went to school
But still you'll never get it right
`cos when you're laid in bed at night
Watching .... roaches climb the wall
If you called your Dad he could stop it all, Yeah.

Never live like common people
Never do what common people do
Never fail like common people
Never watch your life .... slide out of view

And then dance, and drink, .... and screw
Because there's nothing else to do

I want to live with common people like you.