"In A Free Land" as written by and Bob Mould....
Government authorize education
(Don't mean a thing)
They'll teach you what they want you to think
(Don't mean a thing)
Saturation of stars and stripes
(Don't mean a thing)
The only freedom worth fighting for is for what you think

Why bother spending time
Reading up on things
Everybody's an authority
In a free land
In a free land
In a free la

Lyrics submitted by Hughesmar

"In a Free Land" as written by Bob Mould


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    My OpinionThis is one my favourite Hüsker Dü songs. I find the lyric "The only freedom worth fighting for is what you think" very profound.

    I'm not sure how the verse and the chorus relate to each other.

    The verse is clearly expressing cynicism about officially endorsed sources of information. "Stars and Stripes" is a good use of double entendre since it's both a newspaper for the US Armed Forces and politicians who surround their podiums with the American flag.

    The chorus is what is the best part.
    I like to think of this chorus being more relevant than ever today and ahead of its time (like how "Divide and Conquer" was ahead of its time since it was written before the Internet became ubiquitous).

    The world has changed a lot. In the past, the recognized authorities on subjects had to be qualified in their fields. eg doctors had to go through medical school before they could practice, journalists do a journalism degree and/or start working for a newspaper (etc) and build up their reputation etc. Let's not forget that things needed to be proven scientifically and recognised by a body of peers.

    In the 80s, there was a huge self-published zine movement with people using their photocopies etc. In the 90s, absolutely anybody could publish their own opinions on a website or email. These days, there so many people who read unqualified and unproven information on the Internet and feel they are experts in something. eg Spending a couple of hours reading about the "harms" of vaccination and voila - they have done their "research" and will rant on about the alleged dangers of vaccinating children.
    There are also the frauds and crackpots on social media who claim they cured their cancer from healthy eating and coffee enemas eg Jessica Ainscough and Belle Gibson.
    Offline, there are people who played a little bit of roller derby and suddenly become coaches for a league and people look up to their from the little experience.

    So to me, the chorus is cynicism at the everyday person who claims to be an expert without earning it. People go to them instead of those who spent time being formally educated and reading up on things.
    elwyn5150on November 09, 2015   Link

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