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💫 Summary
The song "Rät" by Penelope Scott was inspired by a meme about Elon Musk and explores themes of technology, privilege, and moral dilemmas. The lyrics reference Thomas Malthus, the game "Night in the Woods," and societal issues like poverty. The song also critiques the idea of colonizing other planets and addresses the trauma of feeling complicit in things one later regrets.
✨ Highlights📊 Transcript
The song "Rat" was inspired by a meme from 2014 about Elon Musk being short for elongated muskrat, but it wasn't meant to center around him.
00:00
The name "Rat" comes from a meme about Elon Musk being short for elongated muskrat.
The song wasn't intended to focus on one person, but rather to incorporate the meme.
The songwriting process for "Rat" was relatively smooth and the aesthetic was decided early on.
The lyrics "Just like a daddy should" reflect a love of science and technology, not necessarily knowledge about Elon Musk.
The choice of Elon Musk as a symbol of tech worship was due to his personable nature and his presence on Twitter.
The artist explains the reference to Selmers from the game 'Night in the Woods' and discusses the moral questions raised by the character and the game.
02:35
The line "I hope someday Selmers rides her fucking train" is a reference to a scene in the game 'Night in the Woods' where Selmers reads a scathing poem.
The artist believes that the game and Selmers as a character present complicated moral situations and questions.
The artist reflects on the role of science, invention, and innovation in addressing societal problems like poverty.
The artist questions whether their academically-minded prep school was truly a forward-thinking model.
The section discusses the comparison between leaving Earth for other planets and the concept of trauma, as well as the theme of regret and complicity.
05:04
The comparison between leaving Earth for other planets and the concept of trauma is highlighted.
The lyrics of the song are described as an attempt at deflection and dealing with the regret of being complicit in certain actions.
The theme of privilege and not knowing what one is doing is mentioned.
The song "Rät" by Penelope Scott explores the contrast between old and new beliefs and the idea that technological advancement is not always radical.
07:16
The line "I don't need your help" covers the idea of bias in what the speaker is about to say.
The song touches on the concept that the population was once dictated by food production.
Despite having the ability to produce more than enough food, ending hunger did not immediately follow.
The song discusses the experience of being between worlds and going back and forth between old and new beliefs.
The phrase "faux-rad West Coast dogma" refers to the perception that embracing technological advancement is considered radical, but it may not necessarily be true.
00:00The name, "Rat," comes from a meme from, like, 2014
00:03that says that Elon Musk is short for elongated muskrat.
00:07The song wasn't meant to center around one person
00:09to the degree that it's been interpreted,
00:11I just thought that people would like the meme.
00:13But that's why it was muskrat, and then shortened to rat.
00:23It was a pretty clean process.
00:25A lot of times I think you start out with a song
00:27and it's kind of messy,
00:28and you have to make a lot of decisions about
00:30which part of the song's aesthetic
00:32you're gonna go towards,
00:33and which parts you're gonna give up.
00:34"Rat" wasn't like that,
00:35"Rat" was pretty early I knew it was going to be
00:38kind of a,
00:39like sarcastically sweet, overproduced,
00:42kind of crunchy beat,
00:43and a lot of video game sounds,
00:45and it kind of,
00:46it kind of was pretty easy to write, actually.
01:03Things that I was taught, "Just like a daddy should,"
01:06would have been
01:08kind of a almost,
01:10almost overzealous,
01:11but makes sense at the time,
01:13love of science and technology.
01:22It's not that I know a lot about Elon Musk.
01:24I actually didn't do any research for this song.
01:26I had no idea that it would become what it is.
01:29I have no idea, pretty much anything about his life,
01:31but he's a good pick for a symbol of tech worship,
01:35because he's done a lot of work to be personable,
01:38and to have a Twitter presence, and to do things as a meme.
01:42And that is, that plays really well
01:44in places like where I grew up,
01:46near Silicon Valley, which really love technology.
01:49And if you're 14, and this guy tweets,
01:50"I'm gonna make a tunnel," as a joke,
01:52you're like, "He's the coolest guy in the world!"
02:01The tragedy was just kind of the slow realization
02:03that what you do with a coding,
02:06or, not coding, but a computer science degree
02:08often is pretty corporate.
02:10It's very rare that people are able to find a place
02:13for them to do work that makes them happy,
02:15and also uses this really fun and important skill.
02:33Thomas Malthus is who we were learning about
02:35in my econ class.
02:36I thought it would be fun
02:37to hide that little Easter egg in there
02:39for people who are currently going through econ classes,
02:41and have just read about Thomas Malthus and are like,
02:43"Man, he sucks!
02:44He's a mean, little man!"
02:48"I hope someday Selmers rides her fucking train,"
02:51is a reference to Selmers from 'Night in the Woods.'
02:53There is a scene where you and another friend
02:55come across her in the library,
02:57and witness her reading a poem,
02:58and you bring your friend in, you're like,
02:59"Oh she's going to read one of her little poems."
03:01"They're pretty cute!"
03:02And then she reads this like, paragraph long,
03:06scathing,
03:07does not rhyme, but has rhythm, poem,
03:11about how she's so sick of hearing about
03:14tech God, boy billionaires in Silicon Valley,
03:17and how someday she might just take a train
03:18to Silicon Valley and start fires.
03:20And while I don't necessarily advocate
03:22for taking trains places and starting fires,
03:24I think that the game, Selmers as a character,
03:28and the creators involved are all really good examples
03:32of complicated moral situations,
03:34and complicated moral questions.
03:53If you're making great machines that do incredible things,
03:56but they don't address the problem of society,
03:58which right now is poverty, right?
04:00It's not clear that's science.
04:02It's invention.
04:03It's innovation,
04:04but I'm not sure that that's what science is.
04:15I did go to prep school.
04:16I went to an academically-minded and artsy prep school,
04:19that was supposed to like,
04:21prepare you to change the world.
04:23And it was like this huge thing.
04:24And it wasn't until later
04:26that you kind of look back on that, and go,
04:29"Was this,
04:31one hundred percent,
04:33the kind of forward-thinking model,
04:36that we were all led to believe it was?
04:38Or, is this line of thinking, in general,
04:41used to justify elitism?"
05:02When we say colonizing with reference to like,
05:04other planets,
05:05it's often thought of as this like cool, sexy thing!
05:08"We're all just going to leave this planet,
05:09'cause it's like melting, and we're gonna go to Mars!"
05:12And you're like, "It's the same word."
05:14It's the same word for a reason.
05:17So I wanted to just kind of draw that comparison.
05:19'Cause I think it's an easy one to draw,
05:20and it sounds good in a song.
05:40You will often get up to a point
05:41with an adult that you trust, where you say,
05:44"Well, why don't we just do it this way?"
05:46And they say, "You don't know what you're talking about."
05:48"You're naive."
05:49"You don't understand."
05:49"If you just had like, lived in this society
05:52as long as I've lived in the society,
05:53you'd totally understand why it has to be
05:55so fucked up." That's trauma.
05:57That's like, pretty clearly trauma.
05:58The idea that there's a thing that's clearly right,
06:01and you're so scared to do it,
06:02'cause you've never lived in a place where it was possible,
06:05is traumatic.
06:22The language of used and abused,
06:24and I loved you, and all of that in this song
06:27is meant to be kind of a see through attempt at deflection.
06:30This is really a song about being complicit
06:33in things that you later regret.
06:35And a part of that is trying to kind of deal with
06:40the sense that you feel stupid for being involved.
06:43And nobody made you do it, but also you were little,
06:46so,
06:48how were you to know?
07:05I think that those two lines together,
07:06the first one saying,
07:08I also feel bad about having privilege in society,
07:12and don't really know what I'm doing.
07:13I haven't like figured out how to deal with this yet.
07:16And then the next line being,
07:17and also, I don't need your help,
07:19was meant to kind of cover both angles of,
07:21"I would be biased in saying what I'm about to say."
07:37I'm not even sure if I have much to say about this line.
07:41It really was just a little bit of salt,
07:43and a little bit of vitriol.
08:03The thing that is wild, and has always been wild,
08:05is the idea that for a lot of human society,
08:09the population was dictated
08:10by how much food we could produce.
08:13And then at a certain point,
08:14we were able to produce like more than enough food.
08:17You would think that when that occurred,
08:19the immediate next step would be, like,
08:22"And then they ended hunger!"
08:24Because they could, and why would they not?
08:26But that's just not what happens!
09:02I guess this is kind of a song about
09:04being between worlds,
09:05and going back and forth between the old belief,
09:07and the new belief.
09:07And a lot of people who go through that in any capacity,
09:10it doesn't have to be the one that I'm talking about,
09:12go through phases where they want to revert
09:14to a time before they understood what things were.
09:16So, you know, you throw that in
09:18to kind of be an emotional thing.
09:22Faux-rad West Coast dogma
09:24was meant to be "faux," like fake,
09:25and then, "rad," like radical.
09:27So,
09:28the idea that going full force
09:30into technological advancement is radical,
09:33is,
09:36a popular belief.
09:38It's not, again, necessarily true.
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FAQs about This YouTube Video

1. What inspired the song "Rät" by Penelope Scott?

The song "Rät" by Penelope Scott was inspired by a meme about Elon Musk and explores themes of technology, privilege, and moral dilemmas.

2. What societal issues are referenced in the lyrics of the song?

The lyrics of the song reference Thomas Malthus, the game "Night in the Woods," and societal issues like poverty.

3. How does the song critique the idea of colonizing other planets?

The song critiques the idea of colonizing other planets and addresses the trauma of feeling complicit in things one later regrets.

4. What themes are explored in the song "Rät" by Penelope Scott?

The song explores themes of technology, privilege, and moral dilemmas, and critiques the idea of colonizing other planets.

5. What does the song "Rät" by Penelope Scott address?

The song addresses themes of technology, privilege, moral dilemmas, societal issues like poverty, and the trauma of feeling complicit in things one later regrets.

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