California punk rock and higher education do go hand in hand. Hermosa Beach's the Decendents named one of the most important punk records of the '80s, Milo Goes To College, after its frontman Milo Aukerman's departure from the band to study biology at UCSD. Hailing from Huntington Beach, the Offspring's frontman Dexter Holland was class valedictorian in high school and went on to the Ph.D. program for molecular biology at the University of Southern California.
Greg Graffin, Ph.D., frontman for Los Angeles melodic-hardcore pioneers Bad Religion has lectured a few courses at UCLA, had an ancient bird fossil named after him -- Qiliania graffini -- and is slated to teach Evolution this fall at the classy Ivy League institution of Cornell University. Somehow, in the midst of all his studies he managed to release 15 studio albums, tour the world dozens of times and help define what punk rock is today.
One thing's for sure, this guy has never played dumb. His lyrics are loaded with words the average 15 year old punk fan -- or average 32-year-old -- may not understand. In honor of his new teaching gig, we took it upon ourselves to define some words Graffin has used in Bad Relgion classics.
"You Are (The Government)"
You are the government.
You are jurisprudence.
You are the volition.
You are jurisdiction.
And I make a difference too.
jurisprudence - The philosophy or science of law.
volition - The faculty or power of using one's will.
"1,000 More Fools"
I heard them say that the meek shall reign on earth,
Phantasmal myriads of sane bucolic birth.
Phantasmal - apparitional: resembling or characteristic of a phantom.
myriads - A countless or extremely great number.
bucolic - Of or relating to the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life.
"Delirium of Disorder"
The anechoic nebula rotating in my brain
is persuading me, contritely, to persist.
anechoic - characterized by an unusually low degree of reverberation; echo-free.
nebula - a mist, vapor, cloud.
"I Want To Conquer the World"
Hey moral soldier you've got righteous proclamation,
and precious tomes to fuel your pulpy conflagrations.
pulpy - fleshy or soft.
conflagrations - large disastrous fires.
I am one big myoma that thinks,
my planet supports only me
myoma - A tumor composed of muscle tissue.
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Wow, that's just a handful of the Bad Religion mouthfuls. We offer our felicitations to Dr. Graffin on his hard work, life effectuations and kick ass fucking songs and shit.