At the moment I’m listening to a blast from the Aussie past – Midnight Oil’s Blue Sky Mine.
Before they split, the Oils provided some of the best hard hitting social commentary and live musical performances. I’m not going to get into whether lead man Peter Garrett should have stayed with the band and continued to rail against the system or try to do something about it from within as a pollie, that’s a debate best left for others.
What I want to talk about is the message in Blue Sky Mine. It’s a song inspired by a soulless corporation that mined asbestos and had little regard for the health of its workers (for those who do not know asbestos is highly carcinogenic). I don’t really pay much attention to lyrics (who does when you’re singing along?) but one bit of the song that hit me and stuck was the line “they’re crossing their fingers, they pay the truth makers”.
Jack Riewoldt once muttered the phrase perception is reality. Now forget that he was referring to his need to change his impetuous behaviour but the kid had a point. I think Garrett was also making the point in Blue Sky Mine that the ‘truth’ is easily shaped. If you think about it companies hire bands of lawyers, public relations managers, communications teams and consultants to create a ‘truth’.
As one of these types of professionals it got me thinking am I a truth maker? Are you? If it’s all a bit confusing, you can at least sing along…enjoy!