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Track By Tracks: Derision Cult - Charlatans Inc. (2021)


1. The Great Reset:

This sets the stage for the album.  The Great Reset was a presentation at the World Economic Forum last September. The idea was that as we emerge from Covid we have an opportunity to re-shape governments social contract with their fellow human beings.  But in America, even with a new president, the track addresses how the power brokers behind the new administration are essentially the players as before.  We change the players, but the band essentially still plays off the same sheet music.
  
2. Call a Man God:

The track deals with how we tend to hold celebrities' opinions in high regard just because they're famous.  It's human nature that they start believing they really do have wisdom the rest of us don't and with social media, they have outsized reach.  We even elect them president, let them influence legislation etc. 

3. Amplify:

This was inspired by a real life situation.  I was approached by a gun manufacturer to help them market an AR-15 for kids.  It was a training/safety gun, but they wanted me to help them leak the story by targeting Gun Control Advocates through social media to draw their outrage and drum up free publicity for the company (they specifically wanted to make it an AR-15 because that's such a controversial type of gun).  The more noise and outrage they feigned, the more guns the company would sell because that trend had gone back for decades.  Thanks to the targeting sophistication on Facebook and Google, manufacturing that outrage to inadvertently drive gun sales is pretty inexpensive and easy to do.  I didn't take the project on for a number of reasons (the gun never got made either), but Amplify addresses how companies manipulate people's sense of morality and social media activity against them to do the very things they abhor.

4. Worlds Collide:

This track addresses the dangers of deepfakes and disinformation campaigns.  As they get more sophisticated in their ability to mislead us, we must develop new senses of street smarts to sniff them out.  
 
5. This is Control:

This was originally a middle section of Worlds Collide that I expanded into its own track. It is sort of an intermission between the first half and the second half of the album. It reminds you that all of this is about control.  That's all it ever was. 

6. Charlatans:

This track addresses corporate hypocrisy as they wade into hot button social issues.  Car companies that run spots espousing how important it is to encourage women to be leaders while they hadn't had a single female executive in their 100+ years.  Shoe companies that tell us all humans are valuable while selling you products made in Asia in sweat shops by children.  They don't want you to think, they want you to feel. 

7. View from the Cross:

This is about the dichotomy of consumerism and wealth inequality.  All while we rally against the rich getting richer, Apple and Amazon became trillion dollar companies.   The more we consume, the wider the gap.  The average joe keeps on buying the stuff.  As the chorus says Hey man, how's the view from the cross? They never told you you're the sacrifice." 

8. I・VI・MMXXI:

The events on January 6 to me represented a symbolic sort of inevitability of the things that happened in the last year.  We were promised big changes, outrage was amplified and provoked by people who profit off it, and ultimately certain groups went south with it and acted out in a very real way.   This track addresses the events that day as a cautionary tale of what can happen when disinformation and outrage is your business model.

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