Flinch

by Citizen Fish

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credits

released December 1, 1993

Voice/words - Dick
Guitar/keyboard - Phil
Bass/voice - Jasper
Drums - Trotsky
Trumpets - Alex+Jim

Recorded and mixed at St. Marks, London
2-13 August 93

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Track Name: TV Dinner
TV DINNER

Acclimatized slowly to image distortion
Selling the wares and wearing so thin
Which is worse? To be in or out of proportion?
Documentality always stays in

Squarely screened and sat to face the facts
The content lost the meaning cos they didn't show the cracks
Credits roll and take their toll on the roads that shape the fields
Where the factory tractor ploughs the truth and buries what is real

Overlaid the essence with the smell of leisure time
Culture waste as public taste gets dulled and undefined
Belief in the disposable is just like being blind
So brighten up the packaging, put up a few more signs

Eat this fast food - Read this, buy now
Main course soundtrack - Discover just how
We win, you lose - Who? What? Where? When?
Only joking sit back - Then forget and start again

I've been told I've got a mind of my own
And they say you can't believe anything you're told
And I read how easy it is to make decisions
And I saw someone like you on the television
Track Name: Naked
NAKED

Blind people must fall in love with a sense of mind, a sense of touch
But when you insist on finding shadows in which to kiss
And down the lights to cover the sights of your nakedness

It feels so restrained
Are we really ashamed
Of what we possess?
It's just nakedness

Feeling too fat, feeling too thin
Needing some clothing to cover the skin
Thinking in terms of original sin
Not knowing where the other one's been

Afraid to discuss the difference between
Falling in love and physical need
A thousand distant painted looks
Staring from adverts and top-shelf books
Makes us afraid of what we reveal
How it's portrayed is not how it feels

It feels so individual
It feels so other-personal
Dresses up creates fiction
Under restriction

Fear of not being what the other one sees
Image contradicting what lies underneath
All the protection comes off in the end
Nothing left to judge you by, nothing to defend

Covered up the truth so long it seemed it wasn't there
Here it is so laugh aloud or tell me why you're scared
Track Name: Small Talk
SMALL TALK

Vacancy - Room to let any dumb ideas in to this empty head
"Gospel, man!" - Don't quote me please
It was the first thing I thought but now it's been said
And you'll lead the conversations that lie ahead
Whit the empty phrases by which you're led

Do you know what I heard the other night?
Guess what so-and-so said to me
The majority of ears were only being polite
Couldn't be bothered to disagree

A social distance set
By a liking of something hard to forget
A need to remember and recognise
An inspiration that over-rides
Any hesitation or compromise
Not relying on dubious facts in disguise

What you eagerly collect
And subsequently resurrect
From acquaintances and T.V. set
Falls on distant ears
But when you tell it like it is
From your own ideas and what they give
We're all involved in the way you live
And the distance disappears
Track Name: Time Control
TIME CONTROL

Well I don't know who invented the clock
But it began a process that will never stop
At the age of six or seven or so
It was a decoration that went tick-tock
Then by ten they invented the watch
Portable guidance til the hands fell off
And a few years later it was luminous hands
Then digital figures to help you understand

Conditioned by punctuality
Knew when to be there, but not where to be

We thought we could control the time
By always knowing what it was
Now every action has a certain speed
As we let time control us

Every technological step
Is faster than the one before
Watching the neighbours and the fashion shows
To see if we need to know more

Desperate to be one step ahead
Loving to be followed, but still needing to be led

So keep up the pace and keep in line
You're either in the race or you're left behind
You may feel part of society but the truth is more sublime
I said "Stop! Take a look around you"
But you never had the time
Track Name: Dividing Lines
DIVIDING LINES

So busy picking holes in our skin
That stretches tight to keep us all in

When what we thought were eternal friends
Have disappeared from the scene
Or changed their habits to suit themselves
We begin to see what it means
To be choosing something outside the rules
That no one sets but we follow
Demanding leaders and food for thought
And it's getting harder to swallow

Meanwhile the police and the tax demands
Are coming in harder than ever
We're raising our fists but we're not joining hands
For fear of being seen together
With people in the same mentality
But differently aligned
We got straight-edge, hardcore, this core, that core
Too many dividing lines

Individual personal choices
Set examples but don't create laws
We are not all the same as each other
But the difference it ain't much at all
So do what you like but let me do the same
And maybe we'll do it together one day!
Track Name: Media Men
MEDIA MEN

With detailed precision
Nothing omitted
Made the incision
Cut to what fitted
None of the trends

None of the friends of the packaging crew
Who sells us the image of who buys who
None of it fits
On the shelf it sits
What the rest of us have
Is being sold with a laugh
By the media men
In some hope for a trend

And when their ends meet
The next pose on a street
Will be the new complete set of rules
Sold by liars and bought by fools

When the cloth gets thin
And your shoes begin
To show your feet
How far can you walk?
To the billboard talk
At the side of the street?

When the radio times
Set the rate of decline
To a bastardised beat
Does your sun still shine
On the neon signs
At the side of the street?

Make the incision
It's an easy decision
Rejecting the gods of consumer religion
Fashion and popstars
Setting the trends
Pulling the strings are the media men
Track Name: Bag Lady
BAG LADY

I just ate and I heard the change rattle in your tin
I point my eyes on distant blurred horizon me for charity
Or coffee make the day go faster
Forty days, forty nights, forty currency exchanges

This is my corner, said the Bag Lady
This is my bed, said the Bag Lady
This is my wardrobe
This is my larder
This is my blood donor card

And you can keep all your opinions
As long as you let me keep mine

Some of us want some justice
Some of us want some dignity
Me I want to be left alone
From people pretending they want to be me

This is my can said the Bag Lady
This is my hand said the Bag Lady
This is my living
So what are you giving?
Track Name: First Impressions
FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Closed off he took her by the hand and coughed
To cover an understanding loss
Perhaps this state could be put across
Without saying whether it was good or not
Decided? Hardly! Couldn't give a toss
Played up to a crowd like Jonathan Ross
Or some such personality deceit
But left the situation with something more complete

That scared the hell for its obvious showing
Of a well inside full of deeper knowing
That said "That was all wrong"
Reversed the role from weak to strong
Decided to whom he really belonged
And later felt the pain it caused
Like a victory without the war
Incomplete and nothing more
Than selfish - what did he do it for?

Taking time out to stay aloof
Had made the problem twice as bad
With a hatred of the actual truth
He cut the little bond they had

Don't take anyone for granted
Every first impression slanted
Next one came as a surprise
And opened up some guilty eyes
Take a sip from each other's cup
Then find a common one to fill
And if it tastes good fill it up
And if it doesn't let it spill
Track Name: Wet Cement
WET CEMENT

We went up to the building site
Saw the bricks and the concrete piles
And watched them all working
Building muscles and no-one smiled
We stood there and watched them
Staring back in complete contempt
I'm building a building
Signed his name in the wet cement

We walked through the cemetery
Social tombstones in black and grey
Someone had a bunch of flowers
Talking sentiments felt O.K.
We stood in the shadows
Feeling it was that time of day
When everything gloomy
Hits the light as it fades away

We came to conclusions
Knew that life was a paradox
So many illusions
Kept alive till the old ones dropped
Demolishing lifestyles
Building up all the tower blocks
If life is so sacred
Why spend it all in a man-made box?

We stared at the empty shells
Passed a smile and then cried a lot
While all this was passing by
No one stopped to see what they've got
They took it for granted
Used the space for a parking lot
We'll kill off the real world
Allocating the beauty spots
Industrial death camps
Man made something and then forgot
Knew what it should look like
Trod on nature and said "Why not?"

But you cannot replace it
Just take a photo and watch it rot
And bury the feeling
Till no-one knows what it really meant
Got caught in a landslide
And left a name in the wet cement
Track Name: Circular Vision
CIRCULAR VISION

Please don't let me see
So many problems and disharmony
Without knowing the reason
Without knowing the facts
And knowing that knowing can be hard to desire
When the opposite says "relax"

Please don't let me see
So much peace and harmony
That I forget to use my eyes
Be aware of any shadows behind the light
Circular vision and the need to know
One says lets go everywhere, the other sets the sights

Please don't let me view
Through so many windows I can't see through
Every depth has a surface tension
Spreading the ripples in all directions
Making waves can be saying goodbye
But it's also saying here's the reason why

Please don't let me see what I've seen before
Without noticing the range of change
Please don't let me see without looking
Or nothing will ever be strange
Please don't let me see the viewpoint
Without knowing what the background is
Please don't let me see the framework
Till I've seen if the picture fits

We woke up, didn't feel like sleeping
We spoke up, didn't feel like keeping
The silence that hold us apart so much
As we struggle to find the human touch
And a natural urge of discovery
Checking out what we weren't allowed to see
Looking around the reality factory
Track Name: Social Insecurity
SOCIAL INSECURITY

Growling as I smile at stares from the other side of the street
Is it the speed I'm walking at or the shoes upon my feet?
I couldn't afford the baseball boots, that's not the game I play
And if you'd rather hang about I won't get in your way

If the words you backhand to your friend were meant for me to hear
I'll show you a better way to spend your time over a beer
Or a coffee- come on mutant head! Let's drop the social games
Call it a bluff, call it enough, quit calling each other names

There's hardly any difference in the nature of the threat
Some like to be remembered by the reaction they can get
Others need security in a certain social set
Both are too aware of what they still yet have to get

Is no-one ever satisfied with being what they are?
If you show me all your barbed wire, I'll only show you scars

But tell me where you got it from and what it costs in friends
And I'll start to get a picture of a person not a trend
Ignorance and affinity to outside influence
Rejects the inner feeling at anyone's expense

What provoked attack was the nature of defence
The weak are strong in knowing that such strength is all pretence

So while you're staring at me I'll be grinning back at you
At various intensities, we'll both know that it's true
That what each other represents is an image we've been fed
If I'm a fucking waste of space than you're a mutant head
So let's discuss these attitudes and find some common ground
Just doing that is ground enough to exorcise the sound
Of insults, sights of malice, inbred scorn and ignorance
Once beyond the posing we can find the relevance
Track Name: Invisible People
INVISIBLE PEOPLE

Invisible people with invisible hands
Holding very obvious collection cans
Anonymous people with anonymous jobs
Hurry past for fear of being late for the boss

Both will say it's not the way I intended to be
Knowing that the other guy has all that they could need
The homeless have got all the time and all of it to share
The workers have got all the cash and none of it to spare

Invisible people with invisible feet
Taxi cab potential knowing every street
Anonymous people with anonymous cars
Rolling up the windows as they drive on past

If these were all your relatives then which one would you feed?
Would the power you get from money disappear if it was free?
Isn't it therefore obvious that in this society
There's poverty and hunger due to other people's greed

Invisible people from invisible homes
Lost the job their rent went up out on their own
Anonymous people with anonymous lives
Reliant on superiors to keep them alive

Cos when it comes right down to it the structure is the same
Control requires acceptance that you have to play the game
The power of money trickles down decreasing as it goes
And out there in the rain it would be used on food and clothes

But social guilt the barrier to giving what is gained
To those who have less of it, cuts the last link in the chain
Invisibility comes from being constantly in view
Ignorance is the passive stance of saying it can't be true

Reality shapes itself around perceptions of the self
Until we really need it we refuse to offer help
The state that creates homelessness thrives on this attitude
Until we smash these limitations and take a wider view
Track Name: Flinch
FLINCH

It's a fine line with drops on either side
Instant reactions: being undecided
Would lose a balance unrecognised
Don't leave me alone! Don't touch me!

Could just as love those he despised
Or vice-versa - a social supply
Of any extreme you could need to arrive
Of points unchartered part through fear
Don't touch me!
Part through reliance on getting this near
Don't leave me alone!

Having regular good times - usually late
Passing through the uncertain state
Through the flinch reactive zone
Where no-one stands completely alone
Where togetherness tenses
Just like talking over fences

Ignoring the barrier but keeping it there
In case the candle starts to flare
Too brightly for the eye to see
So much at once - O.K. hold it there
Don't leave me alone! Don't touch me!