Pumped Up Kicks

1287 words 6 pages
The song, “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People tells the story of a boy who is driven through domestic abuse and bullying to take a gun to school. He tells all the kids with the “pumped up kicks” to try and outrun him and his gun. The artist says it’s to bring awareness to bullying and the possible consequences. This is a good message and is generally assumed to affect the middle and high school population. However it can be taken further than just schoolyard bullying. Bullying happens in post-school life, and if you interpret a little deeper and on a grander scale into the song’s lyrics, you might find something else embedded.

Firstly, what are pumped up kicks? Pumped up kicks refers to a brand of sneakers known as Air Jordans. You
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In the song, however, this oppression is represented by the flaunting of their wealth, their senseless cruelty to a boy who already has nothing. The boy of course is not bringing the gun to school to steal their material possessions. He is bringing the gun to school in a misguided attempt to steal a much more valuable possession, their lives. The pumped up kicks are merely a vain expression of what these rich people believe their lives are worth, their valuables.

The boy is not right to take the lives of these oppressors. Their values and their valuables have blinded them to the damage that their material lives cause. You can’t blame a blind man for breaking something when he cannot see what he is doing. However he has still caused this damage, and though it is hard, he must at least help in some way to fix that which he has broken. The rich are the blind, they leave destruction and oppression in their wake, but they know not what they have done. Some of these people have not been blinded by their wealth and power; they see the damage and plan how to cause more. These are the truly evil people. These people will pay in time, but for now we must lead the blind, we must help the blind to fix the messes they have left, for without direction, they will only cause more destruction.

There are powerful people who are neither blind nor evil, but neutral, who try to help the less fortunate. The boy in this song regrettably had no neutral party to help him, not a


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