Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bully Got A Job

OK, this is autobiographical. After having gone through seven years worth of tax audits in 2007, I thought that every possible thing for those years was completely clear. Not so, said the state of North Carolina, who decided they should tax me for my entire earned income for 2005 (rather than the portion of that income I actually earned in NC). I  thought it was cleared up, but they decided at the eve of the Statute of Limitations that they should freeze all my bank accounts and charge me double the amount, plus interest. I woke up on Friday morning with access to exactly the change in my pocket. The worst part is, of course, that I am most certainly and definitively in the right; the state did this simply because they could.

That's the inspiration for this song. Uncharacteristically, I feel like deconstructing this one a little bit, so look for that after the lyrics.

Bully Got a Job
dfl - May 4th, 2012

Bully got a job as a taxman
Gonna show his ass
Can't give you a wedgie so he
Takes all your cash
And he leaves you there.
Crying broke and alone.

Way back in grade school you
Just tryin' to get by
Didn't need a reason he'd just
Hang you out to dry
And now you know where the Bully went
He's workin' for the Man.

And I'm the fool, I'm the fool
Who thought his life would only get better
When you're not cool you're not cool
And the days, they only get longer
I still try to get by
But my eyes, they don't see any colors
Just black and white on the sides
And my heart is grey

Here in the real world it's the popular vote
And popular people get my popular goat
How can you judge me
When you don't know who I am?
Just some boob passin' through...
Like a rube I fell for your scam

Can't find a reason why you'd do this to me
Just cause you can seems to be all the reason you need

They take your money twice and cut you no slack
And got you livin' from a brown paper sack
But you got mouths to feed
And bills to pay
And red ink rising like a flood
And the only thing you got left to sell is your own blood

[repeat chorus]

I deconstruct a lot of other peoples' songs, but rarely my own. The inspiration for the song has already been discussed. The purpose of the song is a different matter. This song is not to get some sort of revenge on the NCDoR... it would be very different if it were. No, this is to communicate a little of the feeling of being undeservedly ass-raped by a government agency. And yes, it feels just like an atomic wedgie from the biggest bully in school. So I went with that as the theme. I decided to move it along by imagining that the department is filled with the evil bullies from school, as their chosen vocation. And you, being a nerd who thought you'd left this behind in school, have just had the rude awakening that the bullies graduated, too. And they're still bullies. And you're still a nerd.

That's the gist of the chorus... you should have known that this would be the case, but you didn't expect or prepare for it. (And if you ever have a conflict with the government, I'm telling you now that there are sound reasons for keeping a month's worth of cash in a locked safe at home. It is far more valuable to you there when you need it than it would be in the "safety" of an inaccessible bank vault.)

The color-blindness is there for several reasons. 1. William is color-blind, and often uses it as a metaphor... I think it rubbed off on me as it's a useful one. 2. The metaphor here is that the color (joy) is drained from life. 3. It's an illustration that this is apolitical, though would easily be cast as political. "Black and White on the sides" are the extremes of the political spectrum. Which one is which depends on where you stand. Me, I stand in the middle, and I wanted to communicate that. Frankly I neither know nor care about the politics of the judge and officials, but I'm quite sure that some wag would be quick to point out that it's "so-and-so's" administration in N.C., which is entirely uninteresting to me. But also, as I'm re-affirming the joylessness of the situation, "My heart is grey."

The bridge is just a statement of fact, taken from some conversation.

The next verse, about "popular people", again has multiple meanings. 1. It refers to elected judges who can do this to ordinary citizens. 2. It occurs to me that everyone in any sort of office got there as a result of a popularity contest, and that reminds me of the adversarial nature of the geek-jock relationship in school... reinforcing the theme. 3. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was referencing -- just a tiny little bit -- another sort of popularity contest I'd been involved in. The "How can you judge me..." line refers to the fact that my court order was issued by a judge who'd never seen me. The "scam" line is just a statement of frustration. In my case, I guarantee I will not willingly set foot in N.C. again to pursue any sort of business whatsoever.

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