The Age Of The Gross
Okay, so I found out what the age of the gross is, it is a speach made by the vice president of the USA in 1970. His name is Spiro Agnew, and it is pasted in below. I'm not sure what to make of it.
An Effete Corps of
Houston, Texas, 22 May 1970
“Sometimes it appears that we’re reaching a period when our senses and our minds will no longer respond to moderate stimulation. We seem to be approaching an Age of The Gross. Persuasion through speeches and books is too often discarded for disruptive demonstrations aimed at bludgeoning the unconvinced into action.
The young – and by this I don’t mean by any stretch of the imagination all the young, but I’m talking about those who claim to speak for the young – at the zenith of physical power and sensitivity, overwhelm themselves with drugs and artificial stimulants. Subtly is lost and fine distinctions based on acute reasoning are carelessly ignored in a headlong jump to a predetermined conclusion.
Life is visceral, rather than intellectual. And the most visceral practitioners of life are those who characterise themselves as “intellectuals”. Truth to them is “revealed” rather than logically proved. And the principal infatuations of today revolve around the “Social Sciences”, those subjects which can accommodate any opinion and about which the most reckless conjecture cannot be discredited.
Education is being redefined at the demand of the uneducated to suit the ideas of the uneducated. The student now goes to college to proclaim, rather than to learn. The lessons of the past are ignored and obliterated in a contemporary antagonism known as the “generation gap.”
A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as “intellectuals”.
What was he trying to achieve with this?
My name is Daniel. I stumbled across your page while google searching "age of the gross". im a fan of slipknot and love their new album. i didnt really like the opening track of the album (execute), but that was until i came across the lyrics of what was being said. my mind exploded when i read them for the first time. it touches on things i have been thinking for quite some time now. the things that are wrong with life. the things that we do without much thought in life. everything.
Hi, hit your page looking for Agnew's speech. First time reading it and I'm more disturbed by it than I anticipated. My characterization here may be entirely wrong, as this is the only thing I currently know of him, so it may be unfair. I'll give it a go anyway, it's just my interpretation.
Spiro Agnew sounds, from this speech, like a really disturbed man or someone who overloaded their speech with complex terminology for some reason. In the third paragraph, for example, he used 'visceral' which means, within the context he provided, 'not intellectual'. That either says he does not speak or write well or he really, really hates intellectuals.
I can't get over how the whole thing feels. He feels that what is wrong with us (at that time) is that we are becoming apathetic, but yet his dismal finger-pointing seems to encourage it. And then he clearly describes something he perceives as a definitive problem with youth at a very specific point in their lives, and blames drugs for the reason these youth are not living up to his expectations.
It's almost like he's reflecting upon a life he lived and regretted. But instead of accepting it as what it is, the time that defined you, he chooses to blame the world and society. I don't know anything of the guy, I may be totally off.. but it's the feeling I got from reading it.
The very different version Slipknot uses speaks something much more clearly and rambles a lot less. Perhaps the reasoning behind .Execute is to invoke the same hopeless feeling from this speech in a more current time. Perhaps the speech simply served as a minor cadence for a totally different expression.
One things for sure, I'm glad Spiro Agnew didn't have any impact on our country. He sounds like a very prejudiced person who's incredibly confused about life but likes to pretend he's got it all figured out. In his speech he seems to basically say that the world isn't the same as he remembers it, he hates that people grow up differently than he envisions, intellectuals and the studies of human intelligence are to blame, that they are now educating our youth.. and he hates intellectuals.
But nowhere does he offer any evidence of validity for any of these vices, nor any advice on how to do it all any better-- except one very slight suggestion in that 'persuasion through speech and books' is something that is being discarded.