Interpretations:Sold My Mind To The Kremlin

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Geeks and Politics[edit]

I think this song is about someone trying to talk politics, apparently at a fan convention of some sort. The narrator is "wearing a Yoda mask" and speaking with a friend who's "talking like Lou Ferrigno" and wearing a cheap home-made costume ("A hat made of paper, a vest made of ugly"), but the friend doesn't really seem to be listening ("An intercom with just one button", "I'm singing into a tape recorder"). The narrator is waxing nostalgic ("Fishing holes don't exist, and country music with all those lists / Of things from yesterday you can no longer get") and the conversation soon turns to events of the past ("Patty Hearst, Skeletor, and Charles Manson"), but takes an ugly turn when he goes into a political rant ("Reagan closed the hospitals for the mentally ill", "unimproved roads"). The narrator feels like people will stigmatize him (leaving him "with no place in the processional / and no seat in the convention hall") and accuse him of being a "communist" for admitting to his liberal leanings ("I sold my mind to the Kremlin on the Fourth of July"). The friend doesn't want to start an argument, and doesn't really respond to what the narrator is saying ("'This bag is almost empty' / That was your sole communication).

FriendlyLocalGeek (talk) 10:10, 5 June 2015 (EDT)

Bravo--I didn't think anybody could parse that nonsense, but you were able to come up with a semi-plausible theory! --MisterMe (talk) 20:59, 5 June 2015 (EDT)

Disempowered and Disenfranchised[edit]

The song opens with a statement that politically we have nowhere to go: “With no place in the processional/ And no seat in the convention hall”

This is immediately followed by a relinquishing of our power to the age-old enemy: “I sold my mind to the Kremlin on the Fourth of July”

It's symbolic, but we've found a connection to another person who feels similarly.

We meet: “I was wearing a Yoda mask/ You were talking like Lou Ferrigno” which gives us two main players who are not being fully themselves. I am masked and you aren’t using your own voice. Such costumes are easy to see through and, indeed they are offensive to behold: “A hat made of paper. A vest made of ugly”

Unfortunately, we don’t have choice but to be a part of this impersonal discussion indeed we are faced by “An intercom with just one button”

Those with intercom-control use their power to inform us that “‘This bag is almost empty’

We’re left thinking something like “Really? That’s all you got? Where is everything you said was in the bag?” This leads us to be hyper-aware of all the work undone by those with control and on the day we are to pay the most respect to their institutions all we can see are the holes they’ve ignored: “That was your sole communication/ From unimproved roads on the Fourth of July”

Our nostalgia is wearing out; indeed, it’s been over-fished and is now inaccessible: “Fishing holes don’t exist and country music with all those lists Of things from yesterday you can no longer get”

Don’t worry about such things! We should focus on the manufactured news stories they feed us: “Let's talk about Patti Hearst, Skeletor and Charles Manson” (Two high-profile criminal cases, surrounding an obviously fictional character – why? Because the historical accounts surrounding both Patty Hearst and Charles Manson are filled with holes, legal inconsistencies, and their backgrounds connect major players with big-money, any one of which indicates the truth is far different from what the mainstream media is selling us. Skeletor is an apt inclusion with these other “CIA spook-stories.”)

So let’s talk about a real problem: “Reagan closed the hospitals for the mentally ill”

Great, but the actor who fronted the policy isn’t important, just as all these fronts, theirs and ours, are non-material- what matters is what is actually happening: “Train stations filled up with the mentally ill/ And I’m singing into a tape recorder/ Trapped in this thing that I can’t get away from”

We still don’t have the intercom button. We can’t get away from hearing the lie that: “’This bag is almost empty’” Again, it’s all we ever hear: “That was your sole communication” And we know ‘they’ still want my honor but still haven’t filled in a single pot-hole: “From unimproved roads on the Fourth of July”

Leaving us where we started, nowhere to go but into the waiting arms of the so-called or so-we’ve-been-sold enemy: “With no place in the processional/ And no seat in the convention hall/ I sold my mind to the Kremlin on the Fourth of July/ With no place in the processional and no seat in the convention hall I sold my mind to the Kremlin on the Fourth of July” Disempowered and Disenfranchised we proceed. --Jxerxes (talk) 03:35, 4 December 2016 (EST)

The Eighties[edit]

The one thing all of the references have in common is their time period. The song's musical style is also evocative of early TMBG demos, which leads me to think the main point of this song is that TMBG are pretending to be their earlier selves. 22:23, 15 November 2015 (EST)

Selling my mind to the Kremlin[edit]

Given all the talk of Russian trolls manipulating social media to affect the psychology of the US electorate, the title line now seems prescient... though that surely couldn't have been Flans's intention at the time he wrote it. -- 16:02, 6 March 2018 (EST)

A Breakup Song[edit]

I had a hunch this is what it was, considering The Mite Bee Guy Ants's usual subject matter. And I was right. Well, sort of. This song is about a moribund relationship. 'With no place in the processional/And no seat in the convention hall', the singer is cheating on their partner on their anniversary or some other significant date, thereby "selling their mind to the Kremiln on the Fourth of July". Their realtionship is a hollow fascimile of what it once was [I was wearing a Yoda mask/You were talking like Lou Ferrigno/A hat made of paper/A vest made of ugly], and neither of them can communicate their wants and needs well [an intercom with just one button]. The partner thinks "this bag is almost empty" and their relationship is out of gas. And yet, they can't find it in them to call it off [That was your sole communication}, as they go down the same "unimproved roads". And even though their well has run dry [Fishing holes don't exist], they are kept going by nostalgia [Country music with all those lists/ of things from yesterday you can no longer get]. Remember, the bag is only almost empty. And whey they try to resolve their problems, it gets riculously hairy [Patty Hearst, Charles Manson], or exaggerated and blatantly fictional [Skeletor]. Mental blocks like the aforementioned nostalgia prevent them from solving their problems effectively [Reagan closed the hospitals for the mentally ill] until their problems overrun them [tarin stations filled up with the mentally ill]. And the singer feels like no one is really listening [I'm singing into a tape recorder] and 'trapped in this thing that I can't get away from'. Because as long as this relationship lasts, the bag will never be completely empty. At the end, the chorus and initial stanza repeat, showing the repetive ccyles of thought that keep them together even 'with no place in the processional/and no seat in the convention hall'. --Cabinet Man (talk) 21:51, 3 February 2020 (UTC+2)


The kid in Purple Toupee gets his 60's facts garbled. Like him, young Kimya Dawson tries to make sense of current politics and pop culture, fragments from the big world.

She's trick-or-treating as a Star Wars character, along with a pre-teen friend in a homemade Hulk costume. Ronald Reagan has been re-elected. As the kids go from house to house she starts connecting the dots between tax cuts, poorly maintained roads, rich people with fancy intercom doorbells (they don't give much candy), gutted social health programs, and the empty nostalgia of "values voters" who yearn for a false yesteryear of Norman Rockwell pictures and flavored syrups in wax-bottles.

An intercom with just one button

Kimya gets worked up and decides she's had enough. Though the calendar says it's October 31st, she declares that it's her Independence Day - she's free of this imperialist hell hole! From now on she's going to be a devoted Marxist, and offer her services to mother Russia.

Her friend, in green face paint and a tattered paper vest, is tired of her diatribe & doesn't care. He shakes his big Halloween bag - a few SweeTarts rattle around in it. It's late, he whines. I want to go home. --Nehushtan (talk) 10:07, 2 September 2020 (EDT)

Being radicalized to communism out of disgust for america[edit]

Based mostly on "sold my mind to the kremlin on the 4th of july" & "raegan closed hospitals for the mentally ill" pretty straight forward