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September 27, 2007 / compassioninpolitics

Obsession with technology and materialism: Our cold apathy


When I lived in Rochester NY my roomate Adam Lee used to play a song called “Whitey on the Moon.” Its a funny, but in some ways emotionally wrenching look at how we treat the poor and other minorities who are mired in pain and dehumanization. I think the “Whitey on the Moon” is a metaphor for our technologoical and materialistic flights of fancy that allow us to ignore human concerns, particuarly those most disadvantaged. Its really all too easy for our self-interest to get out of control and to frame our relation to others. The lyrics are quite funny but stark:

A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey’s on the moon)
I can’t pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still.
(while Whitey’s on the moon)
The man jus’ upped my rent las’ night.
(’cause Whitey’s on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)

If you want to here the rest of the lyrics, you can click here. (Warning: two issues of questionable language)

thanks to elektrik98 for the flickr photo above. and thanks to slworking2 for the flickr photograph below. sorry I couldn’t find an mp3 of this on the web, so the lyrics will have to do.

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