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MP3 Rex 84 - Ignorance Is Bliss

Acoustic dissident

10 MP3 Songs in this album (40:55) !
Related styles: FOLK: Political Folk, FOLK: Progressive Folk

People who are interested in Bob Dylan Paul Simon should consider this download.

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 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 its 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? Really? Too busy doing what? How does that stack up against raising our own children? 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.

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 its 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-boggling. 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 its 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.

And any new "desperately needed" 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. Ed Bernays'' famous quote comes to mind;

"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 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 so-called "changes" allegedly occur? A real shocker, huh? 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. And we treat them like heroes. We treat the scourge of the universe like heroes. Could the irony possibly 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. Anything big, anyway. 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. Are we not the most institutionalized, addicted, debt ridden people in history? Well done.

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 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? Sure, we have all heard how difficult it can be for former inmates to adapt "on the outside" upon being released from prison. The same will apply here to a certain extent. Some simply cannot do it. They''re institutionalized. There will be some chronic cases. Some do 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

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