An album about sly diversion.

feint is an action, usually aggressive, which is meant to divert one’s attention and hopefully cause a reaction.  This reaction is then taken advantage of by the initiator of the original action, often in unexpected ways.  It is a con, a diversion, and is meant to cause vulnerability.  It is cunning and not nice.  It is related to the word “feign”, which means to pretend, but not to the word “faint” which means to pass out or that which is barely perceived.  “Feint” is often used in a competitive athletic context, but can also be used in a general social context.

I am not a big fan of transformative ideas, or intellectualism in general.  I believe that people’s rationale and tactics don’t change very much.  Though mankind is capable of highly inventive cultural innovation, the basic humanity behind those innovations is the same as that which existed hundreds and thousands of years ago.  I am not saying that I think modern man is stupid.  On the contrary, I am just saying that the formula for humanity’s success was baked into our genes millennia ago, and is not going to change with new technology, opportunity, or political rights.  I read an article where the author asked, “When did it become an accepted business practice to con, lie, and deceive customers?”  When was it not?

There have been a number of archeological discoveries in recent years which shed light on the industry and inventiveness of Paleolithic and Neolithic man.  The so-called “Iceman” found in the Italian Alps in a remarkable state of preservation showed evidence of highly advanced skills with intimate knowledge of his environment.  A recent study of Neanderthals was able to isolate DNA from food caught behind the tartar on their teeth.  An individual with an abscessed tooth was found to have eaten plants known for their antibiotic and pain-killing properties.  This “caveman” was self medicating 50,000 years ago!  When you examine the cave paintings at Lascaux, France, you see not only the tremendous skill of the artists, but also how they used the idiosyncrasies of the cave wall medium with the same inventiveness that would be used by artists of today.  People have always been smart, cunning, creative, and opportunistic. 

Today, our continually evolving culture and technology make us susceptible to ever-evolving victimizing schemes.  Some are after money, but others are after attention, influence, power, or simply a distorted sense of justice.  The cleverness hides the fact that those responsible are merely responding to the same old basic human needs and impulses in new and creative ways.  This album showcases several examples, some of which are not so obvious.