Malfunction (or "Broken All Along​!​")

from by Derek Brink

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References: "Player Piano," "Mother Night," and Humanism.

As noted in the write-up of the previous song, I like Vonnegut's secondary titles. I like them so much, I gave this song a secondary title. Good for me.

A major theme in Vonnegut's work is the timeless tale of Man vs. Machine. He seemed to side with one them the other at alternate intervals, but ultimately believed in humans more. He both seemed to adore and abhor the concept of automation. He saw robots as a blessing and a curse. Above all, he believed the human spirit would overcome anything a machine could possibly take away from it, given enough time.

I took that idea and added my own twist--that the damn things are sometimes just broken in the first place.


We’re colder to each other
than we’ve ever been.
The machines are winning
and we’ll let them win.
If we ever switch them off,
we’ll switch them on again.
And we’ll find a way to be happy
or not in the end.

Plug me in and turn me on.
I’m getting something,
but I think the wiring’s wrong.
Next thing you know
the signal’s gone, gone, gone.
It might have been
broken all along.
(Maybe it’s a malfunction.)

Isolation is easy.
It’s revolution that’s hard.
Stand up and be counted
whoever you are.
It doesn’t really matter
what you’re fighting for.
It’s up to you to choose
the master you adore.


An automaton myself
I can’t prevent
my fall from grace.
Guilty of crimes against myself,
much less the human race.
To crack the code,
I’d have to know
what I said in the first place.
In the universal chess match
even my castle isn’t safe.
What a disgrace!



from * (Asterisk), released November 11, 2018


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Derek Brink St Louis, Missouri

Derek Brink is a musician from St. Louis, MO. He offers all of his music for the low cost of absolutely FREE. Just put $0.00 in the box after clicking "Buy." For those who are generous, you may pay any amount you wish with Derek's thanks--but you are not obligated to do so. Thanks, and come back for more, any time! ... more

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