Smells like chicken

by MW Cook

Do you remember Nirvana? Remember that song with the words that no-one could understand? Here’s the chorus:

With the lights off
It’s less dangerous.
Here we are now
Entertain us.
I feel stupid
And contagious
Here we are now
Entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido

This song is meant as a picture of the world system we are from. Cobain said that he felt a duty “to describe what I felt about my surroundings and my generation and people my age.”(ref) A friend of Cobain’s said “Kurt really despised the mainstream. That’s what “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was all about: The mass mentality of conformity.”(ref) So let’s break it down.

With the lights off
It’s less dangerous.

Better to be ignorant than in trouble. Our culture is blatantly anti-intellectual in most circles.

Here we are now
Entertain us

The replacement for the intellectualism we abandoned is entertainment. Not just a desire for it but a demand for it. The worst thing to be is bored.

I feel stupid
And contagious

The natural result of this, of course, is stupidity. Not just any stupidity but one that transfers itself to others. The idea of ‘cool’ forces us away from diligence and the pursuit of anything useful.

a mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido

Respectively controversy, interesting yet trivial things, useless things and sex. These four represent the new entertainment we want. You can look at popular media and you’ll see that the most popular things are those that are controversial, trivial, useless or sexual. This is probably not unique to our age, but it is certainly more evident now than ever. Looking at the author’s life we can see where such a worldview will end. Depression, pointlessness, boredom and death. Thank God there is an alternative.