Scared references

 




"...You're in Russia
and more than a million works of art
are whisked out to the woods.
So when the Nazi's find the whole place dark
They'd think God's
left the museum for good."

When the Nazi's broke the German-Russian non aggression treaty and senselessly began a war on two fronts by invading Stalin's Russia in 1941, they came armed with panzers, soldiers and art experts. Hitler was well aware of Russia's cultural wealth, and created teams of appraisers, experts and soldiers to catalogue and value what he felt were his legitimate war winnings. Popular myths have it that as locals began to hear of transgressions in border cities, they raided the museums of the interior themselves, in order to whisk works out to the woods, and hide various pieces of art from the invaders.

When the tide of the war changed, Joseph Stalin (always one to hold a lil' bit of a grudge) ordered Russian troops to not only raid German art, but also steal the printing presses, pottery spinners, wooden easels and anything else that could be used in a creative way. Stalin was vengeful and wanted more than Germany's art, he wanted to crush her artistic spirit. 

The two nations continue to struggle over how, when and if their respective works can ever be returned.

"...Now there's a focus group
that can prove
this is all nothing
but cold calculation."

Focus groups began as a marketing tool to determine the best methods to appeal to certain people. Will housewives like this mop? Will Pole vaulters like this pole? Does this dog food really taste "improved?" Business groups began to gather people together in one room to find the answers to these questions, and the reasons behind them. They have since become important political tools, as party strategists determine how a policy will be interpreted by various demographics. Today, you could put together a focus group for just about anything, including whether or not focus groups are a waste of time.   

"...Defanged destroyer limps into the bay
Down at the beach
it's attracting quite a crowd
As kids wade through blood
out to it to play
"

After the second world war, many ships, destroyers, cruisers, battleships etc. were declassified for commercial use. This processes included removing the weapons and firing capability from each vessel. "Defanged" ships were coveted by shipping companies for their durability, and low second-hand, military-surplus, price. Today most ships end up in India where a lucrative ship breaking industry has created a major environmental hazard.  

Oren has suggested that the imagery of a defanged destroyer, attracting quite a crowd, may have been inspired by Farley Mowat's 1972 non-fiction plea: "A Whale For The Killing." The book details a finback whale who was teased and tortured by Newfoundland residents while trapped in the local Bay. Gord has demonstrated an interest in 'the beasts of the deep' and this book may have appealed to his interest in all things 'laminar flow.'

The books conclusion compares the whale to a crippled vessel: "She was floating on her back, high out of the water, and the pallid mountain of her swollen belly was like a capsized ship."

The idea of gradual obsolescence seems to be linked to "Scared" in some way. As detailed on the unreleased info page: beginning on the Day For Night tour, and for years afterwards, Gord would intro the song; or sing during the conclusion: about an example of a lighthouse keeper or encyclopedia salesman whose services were no longer needed. 1997's "Live Between Us" features the salesman as seen from the buyers perspective, and "Scared" from the live 1998 Sausalito radio show begins with Gord saying "they're phasing my job out, Ma."