Blogpost #4 (Week 6) Radiohead: Pig Ears and Moonies on a Mountain

Hey hey. I’m back in the blogosphere, like the McRib.


You know I look delicious.

So I completely dropped the ball with last week’s Blogpost on Spotlight. It’s alright, I’m willing to take that L. That extra credit will come in handy I’m sure. You wouldn’t believe the week I had prior. I had to deal with middle schoolers at an annual Staten Island basketball tournament called The Unity Games. It’s a great program for kids to learn teamwork and camaraderie in the form of workshops and basketball games, but my GOD children are evil. Like, possessed. I think puberty is just a minion of Satan that infiltrates every youth’s life, terrorizing older folk like myself. I mean, the things they put in my afro. I had a whole freaking snack bar in my hair by the end of the day. I was ready to forgo my morals and bust out a serious can of whoop a-*clears throat*-AS I was saying…

The blog, yes. The blog. Radiohead is cool, I guess. Kid A was one of my favorite albums in high school, but I think it was because I thought it made me seem “different”. You know, super cool indie guy or whatever. I was very fragile back then. “How To Disappear Completely” was my anthem. Besides that album though, I haven’t really listened to much of their discography. I’m more of a Mazzy Star kind of guy. I mean, I was literally listening to “Fade Into You” when I read the prompt for this week’s blog. I was a little peeved actually, because how dare you make me change my weekend soundtrack for school. SO not mellow, man.

This song could even touch Donald Trump’s heart.

But whatever, education calls. And so I listened to this track, Daily Mail. And I must say, it is an interesting song. A live recording, no less. Very unexpectedly aggro! At first Thom Yorke is all sad and accusatory at the establishment for its corruption, but then the song transforms into a heated, pissed-off rant. I like a good diss record, and this song punches the status quo right in the stomach. “Where’s the truth?! What’s the use?! No regard for human life!” This song is like a flower power protest where the participants said, “Screw it, I’m not being nice anymore.”

Okay, so it starts off with this nice, slow beat and then Thom Yorke starts crooning. The internet tells me conflicting reports of what he says. Popular opinion seems to believe he’s saying “The moon is a rock on a mountain” but others say he’s singing, “The Moonies are up on a mountain” in reference to an actual Daily Mail article (which Google has forsaken, I must report). I side with the latter only because what kind of metaphor is the moon on a mountain? I think even the most esoteric singer-songwriter can do better than that. Also, I looked up “Moonies” and Wikipedia told me this:

The word “Moonie” is derived from the name of Sun Myung Moon, the founder and leader of the Unification Church. Some dictionaries mention that it is considered an offensive word. The Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Japan describes it as a colloquial term. Secondary meanings include: “Any blind, unthinking, unquestioning follower of a philosophy” and “A person who shows exceptional enthusiasm for a cause or organization, a zealot.

That sounds about right in a song about the higher-ups ruining the world. After all, every super villain needs an obsequious following.

From there, Yorke describes these “unquestioning followers” as they have “taken over the asylum, waiting on the rapture.” They’re singing: “We’re here to keep your prices down, feed you to the hounds, to the ‘Daily Mail’, together, together.”

Research informs me that the Daily Mail is a disreputable British mag that is the UK equivalent to Fox News. In a live performance I watched of the song, Thom called it a “quality newspaper” and was greeted by audience members cracking up. He then lowered his head to contain his chuckles. Say no more, Thom. I get what you mean.

He continues, “You made a pig’s ear” which according to is a British term that means you did something really badly. Hence, “You made a mistake…
You got away with it, but we lie in wait” to (presumably) key the establishment’s metaphorical car.

It seems like Daily Mail represents a corrupt system that Thom Yorke and the masses are tired of adhering to. If even down to the “beasts of the Earth, the fish in the sea have lost command”, then things are seriously out of whack.

I say manatees should rule the land. They’ve been through enough.


One thought on “Blogpost #4 (Week 6) Radiohead: Pig Ears and Moonies on a Mountain

  1. Hey Isaiah! A very enjoyable and engaging post as usual! I love that you talked about the research you did. I liked how you described that the music changed. I also liked that you discussed two critiques he made in the song (the moonies and the daily mail). You did a nice job picking apart each line and analyzing. The only thing I would of liked to see was another paragraph just summarizing your interpretation, but really great work!


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