Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why Are You Really Upset?

I'm listening to the song Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows. It's certainly a pleasant song, but it's also really amusing to me.

The most well-known (and most often said) lyric in the song is, "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot." It's even the first line in the song. And you hear about how they put up a mall and a boutique. You hear how they cut down the trees to put in a tree museum. You hear him tell the farmers to "Put away your DDT" because he'd rather have apples with spots on them than filled with pesticides.

It's pretty obvious that this is a song against the so-called progress of the modern world, increasingly separating us from nature. And what's worst is that we "don't know what we've got until it's gone."

Except that halfway through the song, it gets really quiet and we are told that, "a big yellow taxi took my girl away."

That has nothing to do with anything else being talked about. You'd think that maybe it was just a bad analogy, except that the name of the song is "Big Yellow Taxi", so it was definitely done on purpose. In fact, maybe that's all that this song is really about: some guy being upset that he lost his girl, and not giving a damn whatsoever about the world or mother nature.

People do a lot of things. They can get very upset, which can make them very motivated and very vocal about what is upsetting. But when you come across such characters, ask them, "what are you really upset about?" They may stick to their story. It may be a good story. It may even be perfectly legitimate and unquestionable. But even still, question it a little. Don't push too hard, but let them rant for a bit, and see if the truth reveals itself.

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