The Music of
Thomas E. Peterson
The Story Behind a Song

        Through use of strong imagery, the song, "Nowhere Fast," points out issues that hold historical significance. Furthering this thought, an event five days after the songs creation, cemented these thoughts as both relevant and sadly, correct. These images are various and it is unlikely that the words used can supply their vivid intension, purely on their face value alone. My own point of view is likely different than yours or anyone else's. Points of view are built out of our experiences, fact is, these experiences are unequal. My own thought as to what a given picture represents finds its basis through my own personal experience. The images I find symbolic are likely unique to me in some way. The theme I intend to convey is one dealing with the interface between the common human and the modern surveillance/police state.

These lyrics may implement the richest construct of imagery I have brought together thus far in songwriting. The images themed in this song are numerous throughout, touching on many differing subjects. For the next few moments I would like to have an ability to do that which I am fully unable, that of being able to have an ability to reconstruct the sequence of events that allowed this song, what the first line was, being but one of the many memory lapses. The themes illustrated in the song come out of the conditions left in the wake of the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center collapses, the methodology employed to cause it and the vivid images that remain in my mind as well as in the psyche of the U.S. population in general.

It begins with the depiction of mobile people walking, as is common to all possessing an ability to be upright and walking freely at will, down their chosen path of life. It reflects there on how as individuals, we have an ability to isolate ourselves, being singularly with our inner selves, while participating in the broader human interface. The hurried nature of our modern human condition being obvious, at least to me, shows up as being seen but not heard. From there I call this field of play, "a jungle of grime, beside towers in steel," a reference to the tall steel architecture that dominates the modern city skyscapes, demonstrating that this system we know as progress has and shall expand, as continuously as the vulture will search the landscape for carrion.

From this point the theme shifts toward the human condition in a general sense. Here is where one can find a very large portion of humanity, suffering in a daily struggle to survive, searching the streets for the scraps that can offer up an existence of sorts, yet this is far from a glamorous or healthy existence. It is the life force, to survive, that brings this condition to fruition, in a world that lacks justice and equal opportunity. This is a world of those, whom have, and those, whom have not. This system has created a vicious circle of helplessness offering little if any possibility for hope. "Where the feet find their way to nowhere fast,"

The image of what I termed, "the Bully Bird," is meant as a representation of the modern day drone. With this type of system having become militarized, and being unleashed against a broader world population, one that possesses no recourse, or defense capability. This system has the capability to see and provide information about the human interface, when and where, it happens, anywhere it occurs over the land's surface, pretty much removing what has previously been known as, privacy of movement, wiping this inclination as an idea, from existence. This is compounded and amplified or otherwise enhanced by other electronic monitoring systems. Between these two developments of technology, privacy itself has become obsolete. And thus comes those operators whom feel it incumbent to stomp out what they feel or otherwise believe intolerable. I can point to several instances where this kind of extra-judicial condemnation has occurred, yet I believe we all can recognize them. Non-judicial killings reduce the stature of those whom participate within systems that utilize the technology that allows this injustice to be, to say nothing of the legal standing with which these systems are being employed.

The circumstance that I have found to be staggering to me personally is that I wrote this song with an understanding that Aaron Schwartz was being persecuted for his attempt to bring scholastic literature out of the closet of "for profit," to bring it freely into the electronic age for the betterment of humanity. 5 days after writing this song, Aaron killed himself, having been crushed by a state bureaucracy having an intension to incarcerate him for the position he'd taken over information distribution. It is my belief that this prosecution was actually the result of government over-reach wishing to silence him for his effective participation in the stopping, the corporate sponsored, "Stop Online Privacy Act" that was defeated in its Congressional bid in 2012.


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