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Manufactured In America | Hapiness Is A Side Effect Of Meaning

Manufactured In America | Hapiness Is A Side Effect Of Meaning

Manufactured In America | Hapiness Is A Side Effect Of Meaning

NEWSFLASH: It's a beautiful day to be alive here at the peak of recorded human history

GO FORTH AND BE MIGHTY!

Lyrics

It's instructive to go to a professional professors' meeting
In my field, which is philosophy, you got to a congress of philosophers
And you'll find, when they all get together in the bar or in the restaurant, in somebody's room
The one thing they don't talk about is philosophy
It is very bad form indeed to show interest in philosophy among your colleagues
The same is exactly true in clergy gatherings. They don't talk about religion
What they both talk about is politics, church politics and academic politics
'Cause it's bad form to be brilliant on a faculty, because it outclasses your colleagues
Therefore, faculty people tend to cultivate

[Chorus]
The studied mediocrity
(Studied mediocrity)
The studied mediocrity
(Studied mediocrity)

And you gotta watch out for that
I mean, if you get mobs of students coming to your lectures
You get pretty black looks from your colleagues
But you see, what it is
It's scholarship about scholarship, and not scholarship
Just as learning because learning is good for you is irrelevant to learning
The whole idea of improving yourself by learning is irrelevant to the learning process
And in the same way, doing business
Is doing business
Doing business, such as manufacturing clothes, is a very good thing to do
I could conceive that it would be extremely enjoyable
Something one could be very proud of to make good clothes
Course you need to sell them, 'cause you need to eat, but to make clothes to make money
Raises another question
Because then your interest is not in making clothes, it’s making money, and then you're gonna cheat on the clothes
And then you get an awful lot of money and you don't know what to do with it

[Chorus]
The studied mediocrity
(The studied mediocrity)
The studied mediocrity
(The studied mediocrity)
So, let's look at this thing from another point of view, which you will at first think highly depressing
Let's supposing we can't do anything to change ourselves
Suppose we're stuck with it. Now, that is the worst thing an American audience can hear
There's no way of improving yourself, because every kind of culture in this country is dedicated to self-improvement
Just take jogging, that deplorable practice
It's a very nice thing to run
And to go dancing across the hills at a fast speed
But these joggers (imitating shoes hitting pavement)
Shaking their bones, rattling their brains, running on their heels
There's a grimness about it. It's determinately good for you
Why do you go to school?
The whole point of coming to school is that you're interested in something
You don't come to improve yourself
The trouble is that the schools got the wrong idea
They gave people honors for learning
The reward for studying French should be the ability to speak French and enjoy reading French
And having fun with French people
But when you get a degree for it, then the degree becomes the point
In a game of one-upmanship
And of course, one-upmanship is the main business of the educational community today
You learn all the rules of how to be a good professor
How to be a good professor
So, what instead, therefore, if we see
That you can't outwit yourself
You can't be unselfconscious on purpose
You can't be designedly spontaneous
And you cannot be genuinely loving by intending to love, by intending to love

[Chorus]
Either you love someone, or you don't
Either you love someone, or you don't
Either you love someone, or you don't
Either you love someone, or you don't

If you pretend to love a person, you deceive them and build up reasons for resentment
You say, "Well, I ought to be honest."
That's the beginning of, oh, so many lies you can't imagine
So many lies you can't imagine

[Chorus]
Either you love someone, or you don't
Either you love someone, or you don't
Either you love someone, or you don't
Either you love someone, or you don't

It's like when I hear about love, big love thing on the way, everybody's gotta love everybody
We sing songs about love
Do you know what I do?
I buy a gun and bar my door, because I know there's a storm of hypocrisy brewing
I buy a gun and bar my door, because I know there's a storm of hypocrisy brewing

[Chorus]
Either you love someone, or you don't
Either you love someone, or you don't
Either you love someone, or you don't
Either you love someone, or you don't
[Chorus]
You, who will do the improving, are the one who needs to be improved
And this also goes for society
You, who will do the improving are the one who needs to be improved
And this also goes for society

We can change society
We can get enormous enthusiasm going out of the idea that there is a revolution afoot, and that this revolution is going to set everything to right
Do you know a revolution that ever set anything to right?
Whether the revolution came from the left wing or from the right wing?
The best forms of government that have ever existed in the world are those which muddled through
Where they didn't have any very clear set-up of control, but they muddle along
A kind of what are called controlled anarchy seems to work out better than anything else
When we have a great system and great power to put it into effect, there is always more violence, more bloodshed, more trouble
Always more violence, more bloodshed, more trouble
Always more violence, more bloodshed, more trouble
It makes no difference whether it be Chairman Mao or Adolf Hitler

[Chorus]
You, who will do the improving, are the one who needs to be improved
And this also goes for society
You, who will do the improving, are the one who needs to be improved
And this also goes for society
Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, said
"The highest virtue is not virtue, and therefore, really is virtue."
But inferior virtue cannot let go of being virtue
Therefore, is not virtue
Translated in more of a paraphrastic way

[Chorus]
The highest virtue is not conscious of itself as virtue
And therefore, really is virtue
The highest virtue is not conscious of itself as virtue
And therefore, really is virtue
Lower virtue is so self-conscious that it's not virtue
That it's not virtue
Lower virtue is so self-conscious that it's not virtue
That it's not virtue

In other words, when you breathe
You don't congratulate yourself on being virtuous, but breathing is a great virtue
It's living
It's living
When you come out with beautiful eyes, blue or brown or green, as the case may be
You don't congratulate yourself for having grown one of the most fabulous jewels on Earth
They're just eyes
And you don't account it to virtue, to see, to entertain the miracles of color and form
You say, “Well, that’s just…”
But that's real virtue
Real virtue
Real virtue
Real virtue

[Chorus]
The highest virtue is not conscious of itself as virtue
And therefore, really is virtue
The highest virtue is not conscious of itself as virtue
And therefore, really is virtue
Lower virtue is so self-conscious that it's not virtue
That it's not virtue
Lower virtue is so self-conscious that it's not virtue
That it's not virtue

Virtue in the sense, the old sense of the word, is strength
As when we talk about the healing virtue of a plant
That's real virtue
But the other virtues are stuck on
They're ersatz
They're imitation virtues, and they usually create trouble
Because more diabolical things are done in the name of righteousness
And be assured that everybody of whatever nationality or political frame of mind, or religion, always goes to war with a sense of complete rightness
The other side is the devil. Our opponents, whether in China or Russia or Vietnam, have the same feeling of righteousness about what they're doing as we have on our side
And a plague on both houses
Because as Confucius said, "The goody-goodies are the thieves of virtue."
Of virtue
The goody-goodies are the thieves of virtue
The goody-goodies are the thieves of virtue
The goody-goodies are the thieves of virtue

Which is the form of our own proverb
The road to hell is paved with good intention

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