Giant Robot Song

from by Hello, The Future!

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about

Based on a true story.

lyrics

Back in summer camp
On the first day they sat us in the picnic yard
And they told us that fine arts camp was very hard
And that all of us would have to practice very hard

And they told us if we wanted to get work someday
We couldn’t play our pop music or draw anime
Because those things weren’t important in the real world
You know that fine arts camp is all about the real world

And I’ll never forget
They took this one kid’s drawing of a giant robot
And they told him to stop wasting his time
Get in line
Focus on perspective
So we practiced hard, and yet
We met in secret to perform the Final Fantasy opera
We knew they’d say that we were wasting our time

Then in undergrad
In our classes they told us what was good and bad
It was good if it had meaning and was serious
And nothing good had been produced that wasn’t serious

And they said that every time we made a song or play
There should be some deeper meaning as a takeaway
So the audience would get up and go stop the war
Or decide that social justice was worth fighting for

And I’ll never forget
The way they denigrated anything reflecting pop culture
How they said it was a waste of our time; we should
Get in line
And focus on perspective
But they didn’t seem to get
That to make meaning first you have to go and make a connection
Otherwise you’ll just be wasting your time

I’m not even going to make the old argument
About Mozart being part of pop culture
Or Dickens being part of pop culture
Or Shakespeare being part of pop culture

And how it all kinda changed with the friggin’ Rite of Spring
And the subsequent decision that art was a very very very very serious thing
And it wasn’t for everyone
It was cultural broccoli
(You know I actually kinda really like broccoli)

Then in graduate school
When I said in class the internet had changed the rules
That the new artistic culture was the internet
And that people who made art should use the internet

With Web 2.0
It took the job that theater started all those years ago
And gave us ways to make connections with an audience
There were so many ways for us to reach an audience

And I’ll never forget
They told me serious performers didn’t use the internet
And they told me to stop wasting class time
Get in line
Focus on perspective
And my assignment for next class
Was to restage a Restoration play in 1960
And I knew that I was wasting my time

We should have been making things from the start
We didn’t have to stop drawing those giant robots
We should be using all our time
To connect the lines
And focus on creation
And sure, not all of it will be art
But the important thing is to make a connection
And that means you won’t be wasting your time

So here’s to the kid who got his giant robot drawing torn up on the first day of fine arts camp.
I hope you kept drawing.

credits

from Giant Robot Album, released June 25, 2013

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about

Hello, The Future! Seattle, Washington

My name is Nicole.

My band is Hello, The Future!

I am the only person in my band.

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