January 17, 2012


I think there is a Zenlike profundity to the old REM song "Stand." I have long noticed that people concerned with things like peace and social justice are often deeply concerned about things that are far away.

There's nothing wrong with that. It's admirable. But I keep going back to the ancient observation of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, who noted that we have control over some things but not others. And it's always seemed to me that we have more power where we are than where we aren't. That's where the REM lyrics come in.

Stand in the place where you live. Stand in the place where you work. Stand in the place where you are.

It's like Vegas. The odds are against you, but you must be present to win.

INEQUALITY. It matters.

YOU MAY THINK PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT USING THEIR MIDDLE FINGERS, but they have nothing on a species of Madagascar lemurs.


1 comment:

Hollowdweller said...

Green is one of my favorites of theirs.

One of the reasons I could always relate to Stand is that if I stand in the place where I work and face west it IS in the direction that I LIVE!

Although probably my fave on the album is You Are the Everything. Sometime go to songmeanings.net and read some of the comments on You are the Everything.

Did you see REM and 10,000 Maniacs when the played the Municipal Auditorium??