The single, SUBDIVISIONS, by RUSH (1984) held predictions of Nostradamus Quatrainic proportions

The 21st century as predicted by Geddy Lee

Quatrain 1
Sprawling on the fringes of the city
In geometric order,
An insulated border,
In between the bright lights
And the far unlit unknown

Quatrain 2
Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided,
The future predecided,
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone.
Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone.

Quatrain 3
Subdivisions –
In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out
Subdivision –
In the basement bars
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out
Any escape might help to smooth
The unattractive truth
But the suburbs have no charms to soothe
The restless dreams of youth

Quatrain 4
Drawn like moths we drift into the city
The timeless old attraction,
Cruising for the action,
Lit up like a firefly
Just to feel the living night

Quatrain 5
Well some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats,
Get caught in ticking traps,

Quatrain 6
And start to dream of somewhere,
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory
of lighted street on quiet nights

Quatrain 7
Subdivisions –
In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out
Subdivision –
In the basement bars
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out

Quatrain 8
Any escape might help to smooth
The unattractive truth
But the suburbs have no charms to soothe
The restless dreams of youth….

The translation by stjarna

Quatrain 1 refers to “the city” in line 1, which is a little vague until the next line.”geometric order” refers to the architecture of Washington, D.C. The following reference to “insulated border” describes the isolation enjoyed by those in the Capital from those who actually voted their asses into office. The far unlit unknown was the prediction of the massive regional power outages. The bright lights refered to the intensive glare from Wal*Mart signs during the outage.

Quatrain 2 does a remarkable job of describing George W. Bush’s governing style
and outlook on opinions other than his. The quatrain finished up with a reference to the MASS PRODUCTION ZONE, which in this case is Mexico and all those other countries that have taken manufacturing jobs out of American through NAFTA. The dreamer and misfit are a husband/wife couple who actually believe that politicians are actually still capable of listening to them instead of corporate interests.

Quatrain 3 describes all the places where conservatives want to see power exerted over liberals. Being “cool” means not asking a lot of tough questions of the government, and “cast out” foretells of Gitmo. The unattractive truth is actually a reference to the memo written by Alberto Gonzales that says that it is not torture until organ failure or death occurs.

Quatrain 4 refers to “moths” which, in this case, are a metaphor for the unemployed. They go into the city, looking to hook up and get drunk, to forget all about how bad things are because of the Shrub.

Quatrain 5 makes reference to selling their dreams. Here, we can take it to mean that Enron, WorldCom, and HealthSouth officials (rats) took the retirement funds of their employees by defrauding them (ticking traps, a reference to the stock market)

Quatrain 6 talks of dreams and being restless. You pretty much have to dream that the airlines are not going to take anymore government bailouts, yet still end up in or near bankruptcy. The memory here refers to the calmer, more peaceful times we enjoyed well before Gee Dubya got into office….when fooling around in office meant with the interns instead of describing how to manage the federal budget.

Quatrain 7 talks of where conservatives want to meddle in people’s lives.Be Cool or Be Cast Out is the spirit of every speech by Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Karl Rove, and Scott McClellan, all condensed into one sentiment.

Quatrain 8 forewarns that the Unattractive Truth of the conservatives will continue to grow and fester like a boil on the land.Moving to the suburbs will not allow you solace as the housing market bubble will burst, causing you to lose money. This will force you to take on a third job, just to make ends meet.

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One response to “The single, SUBDIVISIONS, by RUSH (1984) held predictions of Nostradamus Quatrainic proportions

  1. It was Neil Peart, the drummer that wrote the lyrics, not Geddy Lee, the singer

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