Song Explanation: “I Am Jack’s Smirking Revenge”

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This is the eighth of several blog posts explaining the songs we wrote on Engine of A Million Plots. The eighth song on the list is “I Am Jack’s Smirking Revenge.” You can find the words to the song and Reese’s explanation below. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments. And don’t forget the original disclaimer of this series. If one of these songs means something completely different to you than what Reese says, that’s probably the better explanation. 

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I am Jack’s Smirking Revenge

Can’t you feel the angst just eating at you?
Tape your knuckles for the fight.
Someone said the first shall be the last,
see you on the streets tonight.

And if you change your mind,
here and now- with the rising tide,
if you change your mind
cast your nets on the other side.

You are not the contents of your wallet,
you are not the space you rent.
When you’re eighty-five with no scars to show
the winner of our discontent.
Whose lips have you been kissing?
Hang your future from a blade.
Win it all, but something’s missing
maybe drank the wrong Kool-Aid?

Explanation from Reese Roper:

It’s pretty sad when you can gather more truth from the movie Fight Club (or the book, which is cool, if you’re into, you know, reading), than you can from 90 percent of what the modern church is peddling. Hey guess what? Jesus was homeless. On purpose! He said money is at the root of all evil. He said to pay your taxes and submit to your authorities! All of the Commandments can be solved by just loving God, and loving others. It’s really easier than picketing the funerals of dead Marines, and far less embarrassing for the rest of us. Love? Remember that? You should check it out.

16 Comments

  1. “SONG NAME.” is one of my favorite “SONG”s.

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    • Us too!

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  2. I’ve been waiting for this post because I wanted to see if you explained why it’s called “I Am Jack’s Smirking Revenge”… pretty please?

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    • The title is a direct reference to the book/movie Fight Club which had a heavy influence on the lyrics. It is part of a bunch of “I am Jack’s” in the movie.

      I am Jack’s Raging Bile Duct.
      I am Jack’s Cold Sweat.
      I Am Jack’s Complete Lack of Surprise
      I Am Jack’s Smirking Revenge.
      I Am Jack’s Broken Heart.

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      • Thank you! I was thinking maybe it was a reference… I saw the movie once maybe? And not even the whole thing. So not surprised I missed it.

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      • Interesting. And apparently in fight club it’s a reference to the reader’s digest “I am John’s . . .” medical column. The internet is so great, I learn useless stuff every day.

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  3. Good lyrics.
    But , the “love of money” is the root of all evil. Important distinction
    .

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    • Why is this distinction important? To my understanding, we _all_ love money. Everyone. If someone came by and offered you $100, your first though would just be “there must be a catch”. Because nobody just goes around giving away money. Because we love it.

      And if someone gives you money, you always feel a bit of love for that person. Before you can even wonder where they got the money or what they might have done to get it (and whether it might have been morally questionable) your first feeling is a warm fuzzy feeling for the giver. Because we love money.

      Basically, if we didn’t love money, we wouldn’t take such good care of it. But we do.

      So then how is the distinction between “love of money” and “money” important? It seems to me we all have it and all love it (to some extent) so we still can’t escape from this challenge…

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      • People actually do go around give away money. All day every day. Which implies they love, or value, something more than the money they are giving away.
        I’m not sure it is always love you feel for someone when they give you money, it could be though. It could also be that love supersedes the act of giving money, the spirit of generosity and/or sacrifice it what we appreciate.
        Money has inherent value in our society so of course we take good care of it, I still don’t think this necessarily means we love it.
        Objects are inherently evil. How humans relate to objects and value them is where the bad stuff happens.

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        • Thank you. It annoys me so much when people say that money is the root of all evil. Money can be used for so much good. The love of money is talking about the greed and lust for cash. There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of money, as long as you’re willing to part with it, especially if God is telling you to donate to a charity, support a missionary, or give to the needy. Money itself is not evil. It’s how it’s viewed and how it’s used.

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  4. I’m pretty sure this is my favorite song on the album. It hit me really hard at a time in my life where I as literally living for my job and almost nothing else.
    That second verse just cut me to the core. Where was my life going? How had I come to identify myself by a dead-end job? When (if) I turn 85, what scars would I have to show?
    This song has precipitated some great positive changes in my life, and helped me to realize that I truly belong outside, and that I need to reinvest in my love of God and nature.
    Thank you, FIF, for the amazing insights your music has given me over the years!
    “It’s a magical world, Hobbes ol’ buddy… Let’s go exploring!”

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  5. Truth be told you find yourself wanting something through something else’s self worth. The reason why we are what we eat. I went through a tragic event in my life recently that has opened my mind to how it is so much more important to identify myself through God’s worth than what this world tells me I am worth.

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  6. “All of the Commandments can be solved by just loving God, and loving others.”

    Ska kid from way back and have always loved FIF, and this is one of the reasons you all have routinely been my favs. So often it feels like the church is very much focused on following the letter of the law, but not the spirit.

    Jesus literally said everything hangs on these two things. When I hear some of the bile and hate coming from some in the Christian community, all I think is “Could you miss the point any harder?”

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  7. The Bible says “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil” not Money is the root of all evil

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  8. It actually says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil…1Tim 6:10…Several of these explanations seem to come from a position of anger toward Christians and conservatives in general. Its a little dissapointing…Saw my first Five Iron Frenzy show at Creationfest 1997. Long time fan of the music.

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  9. The specialist I would most like to work with is an Obstetrician. I have two cleidrhn of my own and learned quickly that each birthing experience is unique and very different. I think it would be amazing to go to work every day, and never know what will happen. I also love babies! After I had my youngest child the doctor advised me not to have any more cleidrhn so I feel like getting to go to work every day and see babies being born would be magical, but I would also get to go home and sleep peacefully! I am not sure how else to explain my wanting to work with an Obstetrician, but to say I have always thought it would be fascinating. Another specialist I would like to work with is Psychiatrist. I have a family history of mental illness and also addiction and have found all of my psychology classes intriguing. I am captivated by what goes into making each person who they are, and listening to every person’s story. I want to help people that are having struggles with their everyday lives find some kind of peace and happiness.I know we are supposed to pick one or two specialties we wouldn’t want to focus on, but I do not want to work under any surgical specialty. Blood does not make me squeamish but cutting into the body does not intrigue me. Cutting into another person’s skin is not on my list of top jobs I would like to do. I have great respect for neurosurgeons and cardiovascular surgeons, but it not something I want to help with.

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