A line from OK Computer's 7th track, Fitter Happier, the mechanized voice spouting mantras and anti-mantras of the modern age. This line has been in my head for several days, the advice given is to be practical and not overly optimistic. Why? Because as birdonmyshoulder* pointed out, idealists get hurt. How can you be happy when constantly receiving negative reinforcement as your ideals are battered and shot down again, and again?

Also, pragmatists are a lot more stable than idealists. Pragmatists are more likely to accept the status quo, for what could be more practical? Many of the platitudes from the song involve conformity to society and the protestant work ethic and being incredibly mediocre. more productive...not drinking too much...fond but not in love...no chance of escape...concerned(but powerless)...

Don't make too much noise, and we won't bother you.

The irony of the work exists in how a computer, rather than a human, discusses a process of dehumanization. The speaker's comments, taken to be self referring, describe a descent into, as psydereal noted, a protestant work ethic hell. Pragmatism over idealism, as well as fondness over love, are preferences which are certainly more productive; idealism tends to provoke revolutions and love tends to promote the cutting off of one's ear. What these choices lack is the element of purpose. I may be fond, but am I really feeling anything? Thus, the final scary metaphor to that pig.

The whole work is very frightening. Between the secondary voice that jumps in with disagreements, take a good look at line 14, and the metaphor of the cat, I felt the need to rapidly run my hand into the side of my face in order to make sure I was still there.

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