"Forms of media that inform us of worldly events such as 'The News', newspapers and now the electronic form of news; 'e-papers' are what this song is based upon. The organizations that produce these forms of media pick and choose what they feel is what people want to see. They create a window of our world where we see what they want us to see. Thus, this is not reality but only what the media chooses to show, that will draw the most ratings and therefore make them the most income. Two important lines that show this are 'a medium upon which you build reality' and 'they've planted the seed, that sprouts into your picture of the world.' Furthermore, this 'news' we see everyday becomes less about the real world and the important issues at hand but more of a form of entertainment. This is why people are intrigued to see the pain and suffering of third world countries or the deaths of war then to actually be educated on the causes of this pain and suffering or war. Another important point made in this song is seen in the line 'they control two worlds, power and disease, and you cannot suppress your curiosity.' This line shows that it is only power (major corporations, US government, war updates) and disease (hunger, famine, outbreaks of disease) that the media portray of our world as thus control what we can see and interpret of that specific situation, but this is what we are curious to see because all this is only entertainment."
"I would like to comment briefly on the song Only Entertainment from Generator. I am going to avoid quoting lyrics because they are readily available on this site.
This song in particular is a perfect example of Bad Religion's exceptional songwriting and development. It has always been interesting to me that the musical aspect of punk music has always been overlooked. This song demonstrates Bad Religion's ability to write and perform music that is pleasing to the ear with a precision matched by few bands in this day and age.
More importantly though, the lyrics to this song--straightforward and critical--really bring focus to the largely misunderstood or just plain ignored responsibilities of the media.
Now more than ever this song is relevant, due to the recent terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC. If there ever was a time when the American population needed to be informed rather than entertained, it was on September 11th and in the wake of the events on that day. I heard countless people carrying on heated yet ignorant and uniformed debates that not only had little substance, but were nearly direct quotes from national network news. When I heard college students saying money needed to be taken from education and put into defense I couldn't believe my ears.
Someone in my Sociology said that we should be 'thankful for our military and that we have God on our side--we are one nation under God....' It was never so apparent to me that people really do take what they are told by the media to be the absolute truth. I didn't believe that people were actually like that--at least not to that extreme.
Another common analogy from television was that of Pearl Harbor. I was told by a senior level student that "Pearl Harbor started World War II," and that "this is just like that."
If we can't rely even on our education system to dispel the rumors of and partial truths or outright ignorance of the popular news media, who can we trust?
I suppose the answer is and always will be the individual. But I think it would really benefit the human race twofold to help the individual out a little bit more than we do in the quest for knowledge. I am glad Bad Religion is here to help enlighten younger people with open minds, but what about everyone else? The media needs to be reshaped to actually educate and inform rather than entertain and keep the advertising dollars rolling in. But then we all know a stupid population is easier to control. This is why people in power can do the things they do and the public is content to be spoon-fed 'only entertainment.'
If you haven't heard this song before, listen to it or at least read the lyrics. It was written in a really straight forward manner and is easy to understand. I would also like to encourage people to read from indymedia.org and zmag.org.
Thanks for reading if you got this far. Bad Religion is one of the greatest bands of all time, which is pretty damn amazing for a punk band!"