spaceghettocomics said: Hi John. I've been wondering since 1990: how does listening to a racist babble on at a party make the narrator feel like a hypocrite? Does that mean the narrator is saying he agrees with the racist, when he really doesn't? If that's the case, why is the narrator agreeing instead of telling the racist to get bent?
I kind of understand how you could have gotten there, but actually the song is really the opposite of that. The song is about the general social pressure to “get along” and not argue with someone even though they are spouting off some messed up shit. (like especially if it’s a stranger, like especially if its in a public place) To momentarily suppress my values in order to not get into a fight makes me question the consistency of my ethics—and that seems like the definition of hypocritical. But its also something quite familiar as this is a complicated, shitty world. And thus, the song. Hope that clears things up.