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Citizen Fish

Millennia Madness
(selected notes from the late 20th century)

P.C. Musical Chairs

Everyone gets a seat, no-one gets left out
The desire to equalise is starting to numb us out
Blunting individuals looking far too wide
Beyond the need to understand that every single mind
Must know its own reflection, not one that's been supplied
With over-regulation we've nothing to decide
Nothing to decide

Without the risk of failure we've nothing to achieve
But when failure is the basis on which a brand new moral theme
Is set from past conceptions of an old morality
How far does doctrination make it seem like a repeat?

Invisible consensus
Value added facts
Standars shift without warning
Something started to crack

Hear it on the radio, see it on the screen
Read it in a paper, they tell me what it means
In terms of having heard it somewhere else before
But the media self-appointed, are laying down new laws

To give us more illusions and this one, like disease
Has spread so well we find it hard to disbelieve

Political correctness? Check the words out one by one
After years of media politics the first one is no fun
'Correctness' reeks of classrooms, being taught to toe the line
So don't tell me it's natural or previously in our minds

Anyone with a conscience
Knows what is right or wrong
They're pushing what cannot be bought
A reason to belong
A reason to belong
A reason to belong
A reason

P.C. is just a label not a statement of I.D.
Not a passport to be someone of some higher quality
When something says it for us and repeats it enough times
We believe we hear a chorus of other people's minds

Then we all become self-conscious
And lose the basic need
Of expressing our opinions
It's the root of being free

It's only by discussion of a difference that it's known
Learning by discerning who we meet and where we go
No-one sets morality; what you are is all your own!
P.C. obscures reality, what you reap is what you sow!

What you reap
Is what you sow!

Next Big Thing

Tremendous! Fab! The critics cried
As unpopular culture was opened wide
To show the world what wasn't hidden
But up til then had been forbidden
With more open eyes than open minds
The critics searched intent to find
The latest act on the borderline
Between being coarse & showing fine
An image brought to public view
That spurned the many to proclaim the few
Processed such that any threat
Was shown to be simple to forget

And for that falsehood,people flocked
To be seen to relishing what they'd mocked
Safe now the threat was public domain
All the old rebellion shown to be safe
Radical chic for the strong gone weak
Handed on a plate what they were too scared to seek

Dressed in non-conformity, the people took the hand
That seemed to promise freedom... but they couldn't understand

That through the hands of media
And all the ways they're feeding it
The content becomes less not more
Getting the result without knowing the score
Music has been raped & shed
Of all its power by the images fed
Beguiled by smiles presumed to be scorns
They bought the product and the cult was formed

Original music is always born
But the way its produced can make it look deformed
Pity for the rebel who faught so strong
To be put in the position where he didn't belong
But hoped beyond the vision he'd always had
That some kind of good could emerge from the bad

Can't Be Bothered

Queuing up for leaflets, 'How to get ahead'
Well, one man grumbles next to me "That's the one I never read.
But no-one tells me what I need, so it doesn't really bother me."

Outside someone sweeps the road, I ask "Is it good pay?"
"Throw that leaflet in the bin and ask some other day.
I do my job to make ends meets,
Reasons they don't bother me."

In the line up by the sign that says 'Wait here until it comes'
Everyone's standing in the rain, doing mental sums
The fare has just gone up again so the weather doesn't bother them

The bus is late again. The driver smiles, he knows
The people who complain at him will thank him when they go
"Well, I get paid and they pay me,
So it doesn't really bother me."

A kid walks down the pavement kicking stones & cans
His mother slaps him harder to make him understand
That "You can try to impress your friends
But it doesn't really bother them."

And his friends are laughing loudly but they're feeling just like him
There's always someone bigger who tells you you can't win
So they hang around in groups of ten pretending nothing bother them

A man slumped in the corner was talking A to Z
Where he'd been and what he'd done and why all his friends were dead
"I know I drink too much", said he
"But now it doesn't really bother me."

Nothing bothered anyone as I wondered "Who am I
To be the only person who ever wonders why?"
And someone said I was in the way
"Does it bother you?", "No it's O.K."
"Does it really bother you?"
"No it's O.K."

2000 And One

Selling by numbers, hi-tech illusion
Look to a future and keep it clean
2000 and one, ends of the century
Figuring out the advertising scheme
For toilet machinery, paper dispensers, kitchen appliances, razor blades, serial comics without the humour
Buy now pay later, pre-arranged

2000 years since whatever the panic was all about
Turn on the T.V., see the devout
Asking for money so they can help you out

It's almost as if we can stand & watch
Til the magic number lets us off somehow

We imagine a new beginning
Getting fat after all the thinning
Losing so much then suddenly winning
Meanwhile obscuring the chaos we live in

Fast rate technology
Plastic diversions
Wiping our conscience
On numerical versions
Of a future concieved
Too easily believed
Via numb repetition in a culture of ease
And convenience trash, we're so easy to please
Is nobody asking for more than this?
Don't wait too long, it won't always exist

2000 and one

2000 and one

2000 and one

Panic In The Supermarket

She got a basket
She gotta fill it
Picking up a can of beans
Imagining herself in a movie scene
A random fluctuation
Background music hesitation
Tape chewed up! It's panic station
Consumerist disintegration

"I won't buy this!
Cos I don't need it
I won't buy this!
I can't afford it
I can't stay in
But where's the exit?"
Wide awake, it's automatic, panic in the supermarket

She got a ticket
But she can't use it
Offer ends in twenty minutes
No I.D. & needs to prove it
Cheque-out full of cheque card carriers
Barges through the human barrier
"Let me through, I'm in a hurry!"
Story detectives in a flurry

"Don't let her out!
She hasn't bought it
Don't let her shout!
Just keep her quiet"
What happens now?
The price is riot
Someone pulls an automatic, panic in the supermarket

She got a bullet
With no name on it
It was generic
It hit her wallet
Got compensation
A month of credit
Someone fixed the tape machine to keep the shoppers in a dream
No-one recalled the shooting thing til they put it in a magazine

"You must buy this!
You won't believe it!
You can't resist!
Is how they feed it
Just one more thing
Top up your basket"
Impulse buy on automatic, Panic in the supermarket

"Can't Complain"

In a state of mutual desperation
We declare our level of alienation
Any silent crowded situation
It felt so full of concentration
Never looking in that direction
Sat on the end of a private section of wood
The waiting room conversation
Still waiting to break the speculation

And the same thing's happening all over again
People taking their solitude out of the rain
And into their houses to the same refrain
"Have a nice day dear?" "Can't complain."

Cos the dream of anything ever changing
Remains a nightmare of really stating what you feel
So you can carry on waiting for someone else to say they understand
But it will always go as someone else has planned
The capitulating silence gives them the upper hand

There's always someone louder who will tell you what to do
There's always some instructions at the front end of the queue
And in this mass of silence there's more than just a few
Would love to burst out laughing cos they've thought of something new
But only if they knew for sure they're not the only one
Cos so often the reaction is as if you'd fired a gun
The shattering of silence
Is so often seen as violence
Just goes to show that fear of altered circumstance is rife
A fear imposed by those who say that rituals in life
Are needed to sustain the draining off of inspiration
So no-one ever dare complain about their situation

Imagine what the change could be
If what was thought so constantly was said
Not kept
Locked up
In all of our heads
Too many people thinking
"No-one thinking like this."
"What if no-one else agrees?"
"It's too much of a risk."

A nod & half a glance contain
The contents of a superbrain
For all we know or he could be insane
It's hard to tell cos he looks the same
And anyway, he didn't say his name
Not that anyone dared to ask

And all of us playing the waiting game
In a state of mutual desperation
No use saying "Oh! I can't complain."
You want to change the situation
Imagine what the change could be
If what was thought so constantly was said
Not kept locked up inside our heads


One! Two!

Fast technology made a problem
And advertised its own solution
Buy the latest, speed it all up
And drive off into science-fiction

Longing for a new sensation
Found one at the intersection
Adverts smiling for attention
Missed the turning, blew the engine

Bought a new one fuelled the process
Link roads linking speed to progress
Got there faster, missed the views
Lost the meaning, blew a fuse

Bought a new one different shade
Of image on the screen displayed
In carparks at the service station
Home from home, disorientation

Crossed the point of no admission
Commuter terminal collapse
Someone pull the plug on this one
Before the wire runs out & snaps

(Bip! Bip! Get a spare one!)

Get a spare one! It's too late!
Half a headline in the paper
Someone drove too fast to mention
Here comes another edge to go over

Faster! Faster!

Faster! Faster!

Up to date but running on empty
Knew the risk, forgot to check
Heard forgotten & repeated
Social scrapyard full of wrecks

Here's a new promotion tactic
Unplug that & plug in this one
He who hesitates is dated
And make the most of what we make it

Repeat, consume & undervalue
In the style of double bluff
You say you don't need it
But you can't get enough

Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster! Fast! STOP!

Phone In Sick

Queuing up for jobs that we don't want & demean us
Wanna be a shop assistant? Lavatory cleaner?
Spent a bomb on uniforms to justify low wages
Qualify by turning up and having smiley faces
By the way your appearance isn't what we call supportive
Put your image up for sale, the corporation bought it
Just do what we tell you to and keep the job forever
At least until we sack you cos computers do it better

Woke up with a job one day and didn't wanna work no more
Get a life before it's too late
Phone in sick of it all
Phone in sick of it all

When the only thing that jobs entail is endless repetion
Stacking up & pulling down & making no decisions
It's time to re-evaluate your actual position
How fast does an opportunity become a prison?
All our creativity is waiting to be used
If it's not what you're working with, find better things to do
Work & play should be combined together, make it fun!
Don't waste your life regretting it, it's, it's the only one
Yeah! Yeah!

Woke up with a job one day and didn't wanna work no more
Get a life before it's too late
Phone in sick of it all

Phone in sick of it

I didn't go to work today
I don't think I'll go in tomorrow
No way!

Phone in
Sick of it all -- sick of it all
Phone in
Sick of it all -- sick of it all
Phone in
Sick of it all -- sick of it all
Phone in sick of it

Refugees Go West

It's all-channel mindset in western world style between T.V. & work we all roam
While mad politicians cause wars & divisions in places a long way from home
Political powercrazy generals on hills are bombing the people they know
And making demands, claiming rights over land, til there ain't nowhere to go

"This is religion and so is this too and one of them therefore is wrong."
It's the same old excuse to support fascist views, "You may live here but you don't belong."
Family gathered to see what was left on the borders of what was once home
The country next door said, "You're welcome, I'm sure, but the law says you'll soon have to go."

The phrase 'Ethnic cleansing" is dressing in words, racist, oppression & death
When the last refugees have come out of the east how far will they have to go west?

The refugees story gets left in a cold as we turn off the T.V. and go
Easy to ignore til it's at your front door then it's time to say "Stay!" and not "Go!"
Time to say "Stay!" and not "Go!"


They're shifting the blame for the problems
Away from the people who made them
Pointing the figures & fingers at those who have already found the solutions

The squatters who took themselves in
Reducing the homeless and using the homes
The travellers who said goodbye to it all, and hello to anyone else on that road

The kids are ramraiding their boredom
Reproducing themselves on T.V.
With no aims or future before them
The future got faster to see

They are the headline writers
They are the faces on the screens
They are the seekers of status
They are the words in a speech

Prepared for the total rejection
Of all that they say they can do
After the strikes & the backlash
The people will want something new
But instead of reversing the process
And listening out for ideas
They'll turn the attention on lifestyles
Untouched by their strirring up fear

And divert the anger & protest
Away from their actions in actions fictions
Denial or contradiction, image forming, status building, powergames, names with titles, mind games
Diverting the blame by diverting the problem
"Yes, but now look at this situation"

Here we all go, here we all go

Here we all go attacking the minority
Same old thing but a different label
Pretty soon we'll all be in one or another
Dividing the majority is keeping them stable

It's basically a case of replacing the reality of people living out their own variety
With misinformation about the state of the nation, being down not to the government but a lack of morality

The only morality they understand is a belief in control and the status quo
Anyone successing in escaping these things becomes a target when the fuses blow

Me, I've never squatted nor live on the site
But I've seen enough to know what's right
I've watched both sides of this lifestyle fence
And it's more then politics, it's common sense

Nobody does what they don't want to
The state exists to promote itself
Given alternatives of what you could do
You wouldn't need the state
Nor would anybody else!
Nor would anybody else!


I've got friends who are there to the end
Sharing past experience, rejecting all the trends
Seeing through the everyday and leading their own lives
Creating tunes & phrases that help us all survive

I've got friends who chose to settle down
Mortgages & babies, getted married, saving bounds
So when I get to tell you these friends are all the same
You start to get a picture -- the shock is in the change

Growing older seperates experience from 'now'
What once was one big family is caught up in a row
Based on what we used to be, division causing stress
Looked upon subjectively it all seems such a mess

Sat in stupid corners thinking we're all alone
Not counting friends who went the way we never used to go
While they're sat in the same corner, feeling more or less the same
How many rules were broken in the lead up to this game?

How much freedom do we need before we give some of it away?
Opinions need to loosen up if we really want some change
If every boundary we create excludes more than it retains
Then old friends are excluded, and you have to think again


Growing skin last washed forgotten when
It would be getting rotten but for the rain
Solo times zero to shutout the refrain
"How come we never got to see you again?"

Not so much trapped but preferring to hide
Don't open the door unless you're going outside
Living on nothing getting too expensive
Turned it inside out and then we lost the friendship

With a mood of defiance and not wanting it
Becoming reliant on the fact it exist
Searching for something better than this?
Throw out the pieces that never would fit

And throw out the jigsaw, you coming for miles -- and miles, and miles, and miles
Emptied the bin with a
Picked up the phone with a
Had a few word with a
Wrote it all down with a smile

And time stood still like good times do
While bad times hovered in the recent past
Talking them over lets you know you can choose
Between cutting them dead or letting them last

Yeah! Steady now!

And the choosing is the using of your own self-esteem
Did you like it as it was? or has it never really been?
Some people want it dirty and others like it clean
Denying there's an area thats lying inbetween

Now watching the blind leading the blind
Gives you the time to use your mind
Plenty of skin to grow back again
Plenty of room outside the one you're in

One -- Two

CD Notes

Yeah I love doing 'artwork' soooo much! I mean there I was half an hour ago thinking yippee! its all finished! The LP cover - that massive first hurdle that has to be eye-catching, relevent to the title (and that's another bucket of aspirins althogether! Rejected titles for this included 'Big Yellow Record', 'Attractivated' and 'Confuser Friendly' - the actual title, and I better put this in big letters, I guess, cos that's what you're supposed to include on the CD, right? And in a few years when CDs have been outmoded by Digestable Musik Pills this could well end up seperated from its packaging in a 'Used Bin' somewhere: MILLENNIA MADNESS (Selected Notes From The Late 20th Century) ) - The lyrics sheet; out with the rotring isograph 0.1 mm pen which allows you to write as small as you like and probably accounts for the rising percentage of people wearing glasses at our gigs - The back cover; that fish (on page diddly - bang of this CD booklet thing) is a colour photocopy of a badge, a metal badge; Jon of Active distribution gave me it, he'd probably be chuffed to read this but he prefers LPs to CDs (Don't we all?! oops scrub that, this is CD art field, get a grip) so could someone tell him? Thanks. Where was I!? Back cover - yep, still being LP-referential, cos most cassette + CD art is just versions of LP sleevery - The thanls + hello list! Dangerous territory, I tell ya! Who have we forgotten? Why is whoever at the backend of the list? Handy tips for bands - if your thanks list is overcrowded, assimilate all the, say, 'Martin's, into one 'Martin' and pretend it's relevant to the Martin who demands to know if that's him; ahem, not that we'd stoop to such deprevated tactics. Oh dead, O.K. O.K., a big HELLO! to Martin-who-is-Trotsky's-brother, Martin-from-Harlow-for-organizing-bloody-good-gigs, Martin-at the-Archduke-Charle-in-London, Martin-one-of-the-Stuttgart-crew and Martin-from-Zutphem, Martin-from-Warminster, Martin-the-sprouse and (here we go) everyone in the world ever called Martin... that should do it... the little bits, the spine, the line-up, etc... and then on the verge of completeness, the culture of packaged information demands something on the CD! JUST PLAY IT AND FIND OUT! CITIZEN FISH 95

Booklet Notes

....once past the 1950 mark we were halfway there to the new century, and like the teenager about to cross the line to the 20 zone, we succumbed to the anticipation rather than dreading it, long before the packaging crew got heavily into the triple-zero promotion tactics. What used to be a largely conceptual 'coming of age' at 21 will materialise en masse in a numerologist's wet dream as the millions of 'Jan's and 'Dawn's born in the opening week of the millennium will hit 21, in 2021, in the 21st century...

Post-war renovation (whether you'd won or lost) was the rebirth spring for the word 'NEW' in our culture. Television took over from radio, the news instilled faces over voices, images on screens hastened fashion, political awarness, counter-cultures... everything got faster as the demand for novelty began to outstrip supply, supply got faster; inventions began to repeat themselves, and selling sub-standard or useless products/ideas needed more than word-of-mouth promotion... the advertising industry grew so big it came level with religion & politics in their ability to affect the masses. Anything with any effective result had to emphasise the NEW; and the new-est area to exploit - unlimited potential! - was the Future... with the next THOUSAND year mark coming up (forget centuries - with zeros levelling the psyche with a cleansing notion that reduces in order to expand from scratch, three is way better than two!), anything really worth the consumer's time was referred forward by up to four decades, to the year 2000 (or 2001, having that extra gleam of newness).

Stanley Kubrick's '2001' film fed the future-frenzy (you wouldn't know who Stanley Kubrick was if he'd called it 'Concrete Sabs From Outer Space', well maybe you would with a title like that, but anyway), since then there has been a rash of products using the number to indicate a sense of 'future-now' reliability; largely products associated with renewal or cleansing (lawnmowers, razors, toiletries, hair restorers) which have settled into our culture beyond their ridiculous affectations, whereas Mr. Kubrick's film and swarms of similar millennium-based fantasies soon came to represent little more than that (he should've called it '3001', I guess, in the same way Mr. Orwell's book was far closer to 94 than '1984').

Meanwhile the collective subconscious of Western culture has come to see the eventual arrival of the new millennium as some kind of 'turning point'; a time of change for the better, a time & change that can be relied upon to make things so 'new' that all the problems of the last few decades will vanish - the future will finally arrive! Yippee! Let's - Oh. This broken window still needs fixing...

It's 4 and a half year away as this record comes out, and it would be nice to think we'd all be living in peace, harmony, etc, by the time 2002 comes up, but it would also be dangerous to think that (thought never actually DID enough!). Right NOW, laws (such as the Criminal 'Justice' Act) are being implemented that will allow the police to record D.N.A. on file, restrict at will our freedoms of assembly & movement, and monitor our status/behaviour via I.D. cards, surveillance cameras, etc (this is the public side of it; G.C.H.Q., in the U.K., and the N.S.C., in the U.S.A., have us all taped anyway); prisons are full , hospitals are being shut down, roads are craving up the countryside for the cars that drive us to war over oil and made air quality part of the weather forecast... Simultaneously, with the introductions of 24-hour multiple-channel T.V., Microsoft, Sega... and the Internet, the instant availability of 'future-now' idealism (with its unchanging promise of something different) has created a culture of addictive technological one-up-manship, where all is 'best' but never 'better'. This co-existence of theoretical (technological) integration and actual (social) disintegration in the same society is a daily dual observation post for the late 20th century psyche to either deal with, accept/dismiss, or become part of... like industrialists & politicians who do their traditional stagnant 'jobs', and continue the process that creates the chaos around us; or the advertisers & media men, who decorate the chaos and sell it as real life. The rest of us are told to adjust our headsets and wait, allowing for the occasional few who crack up and start shooting drugs & guns into themselves and the thin air... We now know that if we can't keep up with the speed & cost of integrating with what's happening 'now' (as broadcast to the masses), then we either reject the entire principles of the fast-forward consumer capitalism and change the view altogether, or we wait for all that the new millennium has come to represent, and hope it brings some kind of cultural revelation... Until we dispose of enough cultural & sociological barriers to re-create the mentality of politics to the point where it really is by & for the people, then we'll all be waiting (or deranged) for a long time yet. For as long as we keep racing & fighting & exploiting each other in the name of progress, we will be incapable of progressing to the point where everything is understood & tolerated on a natural basis. Instead of waiting for the future to guide us, we should be guiding it towards us. Whose future is it anyway?

Citizen Fish.
Dick -- voice, words & art.
Phil -- guitar & keyboard.
Jasper -- bass & voice.
Trotsky -- drums & van.

+ Alex [Bender] -- trumpet.
+ John [P.A.I.N.] -- more voice.

Recorded & mixed at St-Marks, London, 28 March to 6 April 95.
Engineered by Kevin Stokes.
Produced by Kevin & Citizen Fish

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