"philosophy" music

cXnX Shallow Analysis (Or Mark Knopfler's Bitter Blue Collar Blues)

6:08:00 PMPaul

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and chicks for free
Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb
Paul: I love the use of the word "yo-yo's" much like chump, suckah, and dweeb it has faded into obscurity. In my lifetime have never been called a yo-yo but yet again, I don't know what I could do to inspire such an insult.
So what I gather from the next few lyrics is that the narrator is very jealous of the rock stars he sees on Mtv. He calls them lazy, inept, and clever in the way they don't do anything but get all the money and women they want. It brings up a question; isnt Dire Straits a band, that had a (although dated) revolutionary music video, and vapid lyrics about people who do the same thing they are doing?
I guess I'm missing the obvious irony of this song.

Ian:  I just assumed the Speaker in this song was watching a block of videos, or maybe Remote Control and a video for the ever-enchanting Yo-Yo ball came on...  Annnnyway, I see the confusion here, as most of the bands to which he's snidely referring relied heavily on synthesizers at the time.  Or, ahem, turntables... But that point is moot as in the early 80's rap wasn't real music.  As far as getting any chick at any time for free, need I remind Mr. Knopfler of the hundreds of crooners, shred-wizards and hip-hop moguls throughout the decades that have suffered frivolous marriages to opportunistic wives who guzzle down their disposable income?
We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these color TV's
Paul: Now they are just rattling off the "to do" list that was left for them over the weekend, or they are employed by Rent-a-Center. I get it your life is hard, lets move forward. 

Ian:  Truth be told, no one's really forcing them into this line of work.  I thought the gripe had more to do with the fact that they received money [et al] for nothing, hence the title.  I mean, these guys are still working, these guys on the MTV.  I get the feeling that if this Speaker made the same wage playing music, that he'd be dissatisfied doing that and spout off with backhand admiration for movers and electricians.  So is it about the labor or the lack of compensation?  Or is this a thinly veiled Marxist trope reflecting on the commodification of the proletariat in a perpetually oppressive fashion?
See the little faggot with the earring and the make-up
Yeah buddy that's his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he's millionaire

Paul: Wow, this came out of left field. This is clearly a man who was losing money in the late 70's when glam started knocking out no talent rock acts of the 70's. If I was in the music industry I would want to party with a faggot with a million dollars and a plane - there would be no competition for all the free women they are earning from being on Mtv. 

Ian:  I'm...uh... confused.  Are we still talking about the same guy who gets chicks (and some waffle fries) fo free?  Maybe he's not paying because he doesn't employ their services.  Maybe they all go out for coffee and do a little shopping at Moda, BR and Top Shop... Seriously, though, epithets based on social stratification governed by gender politicking is not going to solve anyone's financial woes, although it's becoming clear now why the Speaker has yet to organize a grass-roots socioeconmoic revolutionary party and why he is unable to find a job other than, uh, what was it again that you do, bro? It was, um, installing... something...
We gotta install microwawve ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these color TV's
Paul: Does he work for these faggot millionaires? If so, I can see him being bitter, but he wrote this song so maybe he has a relative in the moving industry?

Ian:  Again, you don't have to!  Organize a labor union, strike protest, grow your numbers and break down your stereotypical barriers  so maybe there won't be a such thing as millionaires.  Maybe if you're willing to organize with those of a different sexual orientation and maybe if you'd drop the overtly sexist rhetoric and reactionary lament, just maybe you'd be able to work your way into a new job, or better yet a new society.  If you were paid the same to move furniture or to compose songs and travel 300 days out of the year, which would you prefer?  I'll call the Central Committee.
I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin' in the camera
Man we could have some fun
And he's up there, what's that ? Hawaiian noises ?
Bangin' on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Get your money for nothin' get your chicks for free
Paul: Aren't you in a band? Are we listening to your song? Maybe this is a subtle hint that Dire Straits was ghostwritten by fags? Plus, giving up on your dreams so early is not helpful to anyone. This is just a bitter man who hates the modern world around him. Is the bongo line a subtle jab at Paul Simon?

Ian:  Or maybe at Todd Rundgren? 
We gotta install ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these color TV's, Lord
Paul: I'm so over him bitching about manual labor. Get a new job!

Ian:  I'm surprised he's referring to musicians the way he is, considering the generally accepted population that makes up the interior design industry (and therefore custom kitchens).  Maybe that's the B-Side.
Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' get your chicks for free
Money for nothin' get chicks for free
Paul: Maybe this is a wake up call that he needs to quit his job at Rent-a-Center and learn a few chords on the guitar. Maybe he can write a visciously bitter song about music trends, while whining about how much of a shitty life he has? Sounds like a hit to me.

Ian:  What isn't workin?  Is he saying the oven, the fridge and tv are all busted??  Is he sayin that playing music isn't actually working?  Is there an applicable breakdown of what art is labor and what isn't?  Is this what the Speaker works on in his spare time instead of practicing music?  If he's saying that playing music ain't work, then why does he want to learn how...?  If he's commenting that his current position isn't satisfactory for him, then I've already suggested an alternative.  This guy just wants the easy way out.  I'm done here.

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