all I know

yesterday morning i woke up with a song in my head: “knowledge” by operation ivy. nodding my head to keep the rhythm, i sang it as i showered and got dressed, then spent a precious 15 minutes digging out my crate of cassettes and searching through it until i found the tape. i was late for work, but managed to listen to the first half dozen songs from the album.

this was the music from my high school years, punk to which i rawked out almost every day… it’s been a long time since i sought it out. back then, the cassette lived in my walkman. it features the 27-song self-titled 1991 release from lookout! records, with extra space on the b-side filled by part of the 1997 skoidats album, the times.

funny how the lyrics never meant as much to me at the time as they do now, over a decade later. singing while biking to work, i felt kinship with almost every word… i’m dealing with a job that is becoming exponentially more stressful each day, the end of a relationship/domestic situation, an attempt to sneak in the back door of graduate school, volunteer commitments that mean the world to me but take up a great deal of my energy, and did i mention that i broke my toe, and it has now become a painfully swollen purple sausage? every thing in my life is feeling very heavy and grown-up, in the worst way possible.

and yet, these complaints are easily tempered by some electric guitars and off-key melodic yelling. not that i know much about such things, but it seems kinda zen: all i know is that i don’t know nothing… and that’s fine. even on the roughest days of this emotional rollercoaster i’m riding, it makes me feel better. ah, the lasting power of punk rock!

*********
I know
That things are getting tougher
When you can’t get the top
Off the bottom of the barrel
Wide open
Road of my future
Now…
It’s looking fucking narrow

All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing
All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing

We get
Told to decide
Just like
As if
I’m not gonna change my mind

All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing
All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing

Whatcha gonna do with yourself?
Boy better make up your mind…
Whatcha gonna do with yourself, boy?
You’re running out of time

This time I got it all figured out

All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing
All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing

All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing
All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing

And that’s fine.

– “knowledge” by operation ivy

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