Supporting Caste

When the credits finally roll for this, the worst story ever told,
don’t bother sifting through the names for yours or anyone you know.
Unless they were by chance a shepherd king, a virgin birth,
a resurrection, a messianic prince or some such childish thing.
You can storm the edit suite or move to block its theatrical release,
but I think we can safely guarantee
that there will be no revisions
to the script made on behalf of a supporting cast(e).

Because history exalts only the pornography of force–that of murderers
and psychopaths (the rest of us, of course,
stricken from the narrative wholesale: a back drop to the tale)
as we, the two-bits, are ushered on and swiftly off
this stage with the jawbones of asses.
No stirring curtain call for the masses.
No floral bouquet.
No breaking of legs.
No recurring role.
No artistic control.

And so in these days, in this terminal phase,
it’s all left to chance.
A piece of advice: if you’re cast on thin ice,
you may as well dance.
Do what you feel you must,
but as for me I was not put upon this earth to subjugate or serve.


Lyrics submitted by Xremo

Supporting Caste song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentNot sure I agree sandihume re: these lyrics not being to the point

    this song is basically suggesting that as the human 'story' draws to a close, and stating that for the most part ordinary people will never receive recognition for their contibutions unless they are "a shepherd king, a virgin birth, etc" (i.e. someone like Jesus) - which is a another way of pointing out that there was nothing more (or less) remarkable about Jesus compared to anyone else who has ever lived and yet billions worldwide follow his life. This point is later emphasised with the line "as we, the two-bits, are ushered on and swiftly off the stage"

    the line "Because history exalts only the pornography of force..." is referring to the fact that history is written by the victors (aka "murderers and psychopaths"), with the people who are effected by their actions ignored and forgotten. this is why there is no point in "[storming] the edit suite" as we are merely the "supporting cast(e)", and therefore there is nothing we can do to change how history has been recorded and passed on

    I love the closing lines of the song "A piece of advice: if you're cast on thin ice, you may as well dance" - if the 'powers that be' decide that you're of no significance, you might as well just enjoy yourself - "Do what you feel you must, but as for me I was not put on this earth to subjugate or serve" - basically, do what you feel necessary to make yourself/your life comfortable but don't do 'Them' any favours, because they aren't going to do you any favours anytime soon

    Fantastic song
    firesetsboyon March 15, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe first line describes the "Worst story ever told". Since this entire song focuses on history, we assume the "Worse story" described is humanity itself. "When the credits filially role" is basically saying when our pathetic little plight has reached its conclusion - when humanity is "over". The rest of the song, essentially, is discussing (as many others have pointed out) the fact that the tyrannical tend to prevail, the victims being forgotten or exploited for the victor's gain (ie the pornography of force). The jawbones of asses is a biblical reference, and goes along with another theme of the song: Fucking religion. It's a reference to the actual actions of the victors, because the "jawbones of asses" is a reference to some biblical passage describing a man killing a thousand with the jawbone of a donkey. In other words, the often times horrible methods utilized in order to conquer the victim is cast away and hidden from the public eye. The victor is then painted as a saint. Then you have the last couple of lines, and that rapturous guitar solo. "Terminal phase" is now, where climate change is increasingly more evident in our daily lives, and the global atmosphere is not exactly peaceful. The next line is, basically, just saying that if your given a shit life, then you should simply "dance". Last line is just a fuck you to authority.

    Propaghandi fucking rocks, and this song is great.
    Vaticideon July 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti feel like sometimes propagandhi writes their lyrics first, then fits them to songs.

    Anyway, the part after "you may as well dance"- that parts great.
    MLarghion February 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFiresetsboy you are correct. An article in the Globe and Mail states that

    "The title track imagines mainstream history as a film that "exalts only the pornography of force ... as we, the two-bits, are ushered on and swiftly off the stage". The song's terse rhetoric resones with the cover reproduction of The Triumph of Mischief, a huge canvas by Cree artist Kent Monkman that burlesques both the standard history of Canadian settlement and the pictorial codes of 19th-century frontier art."

    The line about "the pornography of force" seems especially meaningful. As was mentioned, this is clearly referring to the idea that recorded history is written by the victors, the people in power, the "murders and psychopaths". But I believe that using the term "pornography" to describe violence is especially apt. History only seems to remember major events, mostly violent events such as war, acts of terrorism, murders, assassinations, etc, and these events are often exploited and fetishized in much the same manner as sex, and pornography.
    greg2point0on April 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song plays with the meaning of Caste (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste) which is a social hierarchy, or status, used in India and different places. It's widely known for being extremely static, that means that moving from status is almost impossible, a person that is born a farmer, will die as farmer, and so will his family.

    You may be wondering what does this have to do with the song, and that's when Cast and Caste come along. If you read well, you can figure the Cast and Caste thing here: to the script made on behalf of a supporting cast(e).

    The supporting cast in a movie barely has any importance, it's just there to fill the movie or play. Propagandhi here is hardly criticizing how history only exalts the high society, the kings, people with powers (even superpowers), etc. Any other, no matter what you do, is another part of the supporting cast(e).

    There's no reward for the supporting cast, 'no floral bouquet', 'no recurring role'.
    xnalaxon October 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Because history exalts only the pornography of force that of murderers
    and psychopaths (the rest of us, of course,
    stricken from the narrative wholesale: a back drop to the tale)
    as we, the two-bits, are ushered on and swiftly off this stage with the jawbones of asses.
    No stirring curtain call for the masses. No floral bouquet.
    No breaking of legs. No recurring role. No artistic control. "


    Someone on here talked about this part - and they are completely off!


    If you know propagandhi, their political beliefs - AND if you are aware of what has been going on around the world, - you will see that this song is about how we humans are peons/sheep-like and the only awareness that we have of reality - history - and/or - events that we are exposed to, is what-ever the "murderers and psychopaths" THE POWERFUL/THE RICH - allow us to think about, - and they will dictate how we can look at these things. - (we people are given shit, with icing and sprinkles on it, - told that it is cake, and we eat it 99% of the time.)


    In history, and in the current times - most humans have been mostly sheep-like, and do nothing more than - "subjugate and serve" the - "murderers and psychopaths", that he talks about.

    Murderers and psychopaths = Those that have brought the most death, misery, oppression, injustice, tyrrany and inhumanity to the world. - THE POWERFUL / THE RICH

    The old men- old money, that dictates every aspect of our lives, and guide us to live like peons - our quality of life and well-being at the mercy of this twisted, demented, destructive, horrifying, and unjust thing called Empire, that rules over all of the planet. *See - Vietnam, Iraq, Palestine.


    The murderers and psychopaths are the Empires, Kings, Queens, Governments, and Institutions that are experts in conflict engineering and conflict profiteering.

    *Personal note - If you get your news primarily from TV or US news (Including - NPR/PBS) - You are being lied to - one way or another 99.9% of the time. Just understand that.

    .
    tornado666on December 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is amazing, definetly one of the best Propagandhi songs ever.
    Although it doesn't have such strong lyrics that are down to the point.
    This whole album is more metaphorically based.

    Anyway, this is what I think the song is about:

    "When the credits finally roll for this, the worst story ever told,
    don't bother sifting through the names for yours or anyone you know."
    -I think this is basically saying that when this story finishes, don't bother wondering who this song is about as they are not from this time, "or anyone you know".

    "Unless they were by chance a shepherd king, a virgin birth,
    a resurrection, a messianic prince or some such childish thing."
    -I think what they are doing here is referring to the Biblical story of Jesus, and saying that the people in the story are childish - or the story of Jesus is unrealistic. "Virgin Birth" "Ressurection" etc are all linked with Jesus and Christianity.

    "You can storm the edit suite or move to block its theatrical release,
    but I think we can safely guarantee
    that there will be no revisions
    to the script made on behalf of a supporting cast(e)."
    - I think this is basically saying that you can complain about all the people believing in it, and I think the revisions bit is sarcastic (he's probably sarcastically saying that the bible hasn't changed as time has moved on and been modified)
    I don't get the supporting cast(e) bit though maybe referring to the people who support Christ or whatever.


    "Because history exalts only the pornography of force that of murderers
    and psychopaths (the rest of us, of course,
    stricken from the narrative wholesale: a back drop to the tale)
    as we, the two-bits, are ushered on and swiftly off this stage with the jawbones of asses.
    No stirring curtain call for the masses. No floral bouquet.
    No breaking of legs. No recurring role. No artistic control. "

    - I think it is saying that as time has gone on, that history exalts abuse, or manipulation (pornography is a metaphor) of force, so they are forced to succumb to abuse or manipulation. The murderers and psychopaths are probably referring to holy wars, and extremists who are militant to others that don't follow their religion.


    "And so in these days, in this terminal phase"
    -He is referring to modern society, and how it has become the terminal phase, or near to the end of the world, (like terminal in 'terminal illness'), Chris Hannah has shown his belief in that the world will end soon due to global warming, over-population, etc (couple decades? cant remember exactly)

    "It's all left to chance"
    This world is very unpredictable he isn't exactly sure when the world will end


    "A piece of advice: if you're cast on thin ice,
    you may as well dance."
    -The on thin ice bit is a metaphor for being in trouble or a very dangerous situation, and the dance bit means to confront it with confidence, be fearless, comedic and you get what I mean.

    "Do what you feel you must,
    but as for me I was not put upon this earth to subjugate or serve."
    -He doesn't want to serve this prison in the capitalist, hedonist-inclining world.
    sandihumeon March 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfiresetsboy i couldnt agree with you more, i see my literary analytical skills arent up to scratch, oh well im just a kid
    sandihumeon March 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFiresetsboy, you said exactly what I was thinking when I was reading that other interpretation, so right on.

    Expulsive, are you serious? You seem more interested in inserting your own political leanings into the conversation than anything else. You criticize his songwriting as "oversimplification" as if you're not guilty of that yourself in your little review. The comment "he's fallen into the all too familiar trap of emphasising the 'story' (as in, a factual and objectively viewed narrative) in 'history'" makes it completely obvious that you've missed the point entirely. And the whole Marxist/feminist thing? Come on man, go back to watching Sean Hannity. Did you steal this album from your grandson or something?

    Anyway, I think Firesetsboy described this song pretty well. As it says at the beginning of the hilarious Hollywood comedy Braveheart, "History is written by those who have murdered heroes."
    HumanlelMeaton April 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust to add about how the victors and people in power write history, I agree, I think that's what he is saying because the line that stands out for me is, "I think we can safely guarantee that there will be no revisions to the script made on behalf of a supporting cast(e)", when you add an "E" on to cast it becomes not a cast of characters but a hierarchy, a caste system is where the richest, most powerful people are at the top and the poorest, common people are at the bottom(no one mentioned it, so I thought I would) so I think the metaphor here is, the poor people at the bottom don't have a say in things so they won't be heard even if they try, or something like that, it was just my first thought when i read the lyrics and listened to it. I think it plays a big part, since it is the name of the song and all, haha.
    youngsirenson April 14, 2009   Link

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