Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shutdown: You Can't Always Get What You Want

Rolling Stones: You Can't Always Get What You Want

One lesson that we might pick up from the stand-off/shut-down comes from a '69 Rolling Stones tune off the Let It Bleed album: You Can't Always Get What You Need.

While there isnt a direct reference in the song to our current theme of <Shutdown>, the indirect link is pretty clear: none of the parties involved in the events that brought about the US government shutdown came away with what they really wanted. My understanding of politics is that it is a business of trade-offs: give a little, get a little. It appears that I am supported in my knowledge by this, from the Online Etymology Dictionary:

Politicks is the science of good sense, applied to public affairs, and, as those are forever changing, what is wisdom to-day would be folly and perhaps, ruin to-morrow. Politicks is not a science so properly as a business. It cannot have fixed principles, from which a wise man would never swerve, unless the inconstancy of men's view of interest and the capriciousness of the tempers could be fixed. [Fisher Ames (1758-1808)]

Like the recent US political impass, the 60s were also a time of turmoil: not least the Vietnam war protests. Further still, there's a fair dose of politics referenced in the Stones' lyrics:

I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"
...[and] ...

She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands

"demonstration ... abuse ..." Sounds like <Occupy> to me.
"art of deception" ... sound like <NSA> to me.
"blood-stained hands" ... Blackwater and more ...

There are some out there clamouring for a controlled kind of shutdown: close down some of the out-of-control powers of government. Maybe I am just overly influenced by the George Orwell frame of mind.

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