‘I don’t think it’s about the top 5% in particular and their decisions. I think the song is in criticism of all the people who say “Everybody should just to this” when talking about politics or something but don’t actually bother to inact change. They complain about this and that, but what would they actually do if they had some power?
A liberal can preach all he wants that if he were rich he’d share all his money, but if he actually had the money, would he? A conservative can say he’d make abortions illegal if he could, but if given the opportunity and the right amount of power, would he? It’s impossible to tell when you’re not in that situation how you would act.
And just because you think something’s right, no matter how strongly you believe it, it might not turn out how you think:
“Are you crazy?
It’s a very dangerous thing to do exactly what you want” ‘
Quote taken from comments left on songmeanings.com (http://tinyurl.com/ndh9x6q)
I’m not sure I really agree with the above quote. Wayne Coyne, the Flaming Lips frontman, is a highly political figure and is political in such a way that it’s likely that he probably would attack the ‘top 5% and their decisions’.
The whole thing gets even more interesting when you consider the context of the song. It was written in 2004, just one year after the beginning of the Iraq War, which Coyne was hugely critical of. There are surely few more interesting ways to listen to this song – ‘If you could blow up the world with the flick of a switch/ Would you do it?’ – than whilst envisaging the firework display of the bombing of Baghdad. Given how emotive the war was (and is), I think that’s true no matter what your political views are.
Saying that, I think that with any piece of music, film, book art or whatever it doesn’t really matter what the song ‘really’ means, but what you personally take away from it. So both of the meanings explored here are equally ‘valid’.
And, after all, the reason I featured the song here is because it’s fucking catchy. You don’t always need an interpretation, really. Just enjoy the music.
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