Paid Vacation Analysis

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Sean Weller COMM 3000 202761773 Critical Essay Punk: The edgy, fast paced, in your face, I don’t take no guff from no one music of the 80’s has become more relevant today than it was thirty years ago. Punks style of music is considered uneducated, raw, and rough because of the vessel in which it is administered. Kids with giant, dyed mohawks, leather jackets with studs, and screaming into a microphone was not the typical way to get your message out to the masses. However, their message of tolerance, police brutality, and corporate scams have all hit the headlines over the last decade which brings into question, is punk music uneducated, or was it considered uneducated because of the way the bands portrayed themselves? Can punk bands be prophets…show more content…
For example, Keith Morrison, the former lead singer for a now defunct band called the Circle Jerks, wrote a song called “Paid Vacation.” In this song, he accuses the oil companies of having the government send United States service men to protect their oil fields in foreign lands. The oil companies lobby the government to do this as a means of protecting both the oil companies interests and profits. In “Paid Vacation” he states, “Where 's your uniform? Where 's your gun? Better rub up that suntan oil cause you 'll be fighting in the desert. It 's not, Vietnam. Just another oil company scam. Salute that flag of uncle Sam. It 's Afghanistan!” In this song, he is accusing the oil companies of only caring for profits. The oil companies campaign to have the service men intervene because the United States Government is the biggest benefactor of the oil that is being protected. This becomes one giant cycle. This song was written in the 1980’s while the Afghanistan Civil War was taking place. However, this song could have been written in the early 1990’s with the United States invasion of Iraq, or even in today’s political climate, but this predates all of that by thirty…show more content…
Third, the actions of the police historically have been a topic of concern for punk bands. Bands have a different way of expressing their beliefs, but the Subhumans have never been shy about their views. In their song “No” they state, “No, I don’t believe in the police force, police brutality isn’t a dream.” These lyrics were key on the 1980’s as punk shows were always broken up by the police which would result in arrests and members of the punk community in the hospital. This brutality by the police is more present today than ever. For example, the police have shown a blatant disregard to public safety. This was shown in full force when a police officer sprayed a dozen students in the face with pepper spray on the University of California, Davis campus. This is also seen with the countless shootings of civilians by the police. As Black Flag states in their song, “Police Story,” they say, “This fucking city is run by pigs. They take the rights away from all the kids.” Black Flag says this because they feel that the rights of the average citizen are being taken away in favor of the police. The police are able to get away with something that citizens are not able to do

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