“Prison Song”

toxicity
System of a Down
Toxicity, 2001

It’s Election Day here in California, and that has me in a civic-minded mood. At ballot today in my home state, among other measures promising, is Proposition 47, a proposal to reclassify personal drug use, small-scale shoplifting and other current felony charges as misdemeanors that carry reduced sentences. The goal of legislation like this, in addition to freeing up hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses and an already overcommitted corrections system, is the relaxation of drug policy many view as predatory and biased against disadvantaged populations. As of “press time,” results are undecided. Now if you’re an out-of-stater, you could spend the next hour of your night reading up on this proposed legislation and all arguments pro and con, or you could spend three minutes listening to a thrash-metal song that’s more than a decade old. Your choice, but I warn you not to underestimate System of a Down, if in fact you’re inclined to do that sort of thing. It’s not often politics and pop music make such easy bedfellows; I find that artists who are the most willing to embrace hysteria are often the most effective (see also: Rage Against the Machine). When someone’s screaming at you, it’s hard to let the words just roll off your back. This song may not ultimately change your mind, but it’ll definitely make you defend your position.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Prison%20Song.mp3]

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