Now THIS song has, as they say, a stone groove, man…
This awesome Alan Parsons Project song is from their album I, Robot, and is called “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You.” It could well serve as a rallying cry for disaffected youth everywhere, be they Occupy-ers, Alex P. Keaton-ers, or anything in between. We won’t make the mistakes of the 1%, right? Or of the current or previous administrations? Or of our parents?
In “The Land of Confusion,” Phil Collins claims that his generation “will put it right. [They're] not just making promises that [they] know [they'll] never keep.” The problem, of course, is that EVERY generation has claimed this. Every son swears they won’t turn into their father.
I watched Field of Dreams the other night, and was touched at the end, as I am every time, when Kevin Costner and his cornfield-ghost dad “have a catch.” But one of the other things I always remember from that movie (besides “Step outside you Nazi cow”) is the fear Costner feels at the possibility of his turning into his father. To avoid that fate, he obeys a mysterious voice, plows under his crops, and puts his livelihood and family at risk. Through the meeting of other ghost-like characters and an almost magical sage (James Earl Jones), Costner realizes that the problem lies, not with his father, but with him. He says he “never forgave” his dad “for getting old.”
Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons (the braintrust behind “The Project”) write a catchy tune, but miss the point entirely. “If I was high class / I wouldn’t need a buck to pass. And if I was a fall guy / I wouldn’t need no alibi.” In other words, if I were in your position, I wouldn’t make the mistakes you are making. The basic problems of the world are attributable to others, but not to me.
It’s not until we can admit that the core of us is not who we’d like to be, that we are culpable, too, that we can ever have that catch with our father that makes everything ok.