Robert’s Marxist Analysis of Chumbawamba – She’s Got All The Friends That Money Can Buy

This song, I find, is espousing a number of Marxist ideals. The chorus “She’s got all the friends that money can buy, she’s the apple of her Daddys eye” is referencing not only that a member of the Bourgeoisie more often than not has friends among the proletariat only because it allows those members of the proletariat to “get close” to that money , hence ” The family money has a magnetic pull”. It is also implied that this theoretical “She” has friends among the bourgeoisie only due to the fact that “she” is also a bourgeoisie, because as a human being her value in this case is dictated by her sign-exchange value.  The line about being the apple of her dad’s eye is also talking about her sign-exchange value that is, her father only values her for the increases in status she will grant him once she is married off to some one of even higher status within the bourgeoisie.

The line “And both her faces–so easy on the eye” is talking about how “she” wears two faces, presumably one for interacting with the proletariat to maintain her apparent connections there and the sign-exchange value that such interactions grant her. (Rather like Tom Buchannan in this way).  The other face she wears for interacting with her fellow bourgeoisie where she undoubtedly discusses her unrivaled contempt for the proletariat.

“Style has a price without much change … If you have to ask then it’s out of your range ” Is talking about the folly of consumerism. The latest style is the new hot thing that you must have! But it’s really no different than what preceded it. In addition the cost of acquiring this new style is irrelevant to the bourgeoisie.

“Well, you can buy your friends, but I’ll hate you for free Hate you for free” This line is speaking to the hatred the proletariat should be expressing towards the kind of bourgeoisie this song is talking about. Its placement late in the song is meant to bring the hatred that the proletariat has to a boil as they have had time to think of an example in their day to day life about the bourgeoisie that irritates them.

 

The end-cap on the song (that is only in the album version) refers to two other major Marxist elements.

“You see, it’s magic, and it shouldn’t work

I still look at it most surprised it does”
The magic referenced here is the illusion that by befriending the bourgeoisie a member of the proletariat can ascend to the bourgeoisie. The continual surprise is aimed at the proletariat that is still buying into the lies of the bourgeoisie that keep them in their current place; unwittingly supporting the bourgeoisie. The final lines ” Pass it along, pass it along ” Are asking the bourgeoisie in a tongue-in-cheek way to “pass along” their wealth to the masses because they are ” make[ing] too much money”.

Choose Dates/Topics for Applied Theory Posts!

This is another Doodle poll; for each theory listed, up to three students may sign up.  The link for the 9:30 section is here, and the link for the 11:00 section is here.

The basic gist of this assignment is as follows:  Each student will be assigned to one specific theoretical movement early in the semester and a schedule will be posted on the blog.  On the day we read about that theory, you will post to the blog an analysis of a film, song, or children’s book that is clearly informed by the theoretical questions and vocabulary for that critical group.  500-750 words.

Canvas now has an assessment rubric for this assignment, and there is a word document with the assessment criteria on the Rubrics page under Assignments above.

Psychoanalytic Theory and Marxist Theory, both in Week 3, are available if you want to do this assignment early!

John T. Eckleburg reminds me of Wilhelm Reich

This is totally off topic, but as I recall, that is an option for blog posts.

For reasons even I can’t explain myself, John T. Eckleburg reminds me of Wilhelm Reich. Who the heck is Wilhelm Reich? Before I answerer that Play this here YouTube video.

I guess its just the way the short description of Eckleburg is written that made me think of this. Anyway that song (Cloudbusting)  was written as an ode to Wilhelm Reich by Kate Bush. To me both Eckleburg and Reich seem to radiate the feeling of men that knew infinitely more than you would have thought they would; who were both swept under the rug and forgotten with only the smallest of their marks left upon the world, when they were, in fact, striving to change it indelibly.