No Rules for Life – School of Rock (2003)

Dewey Finn – Agent of Chaos (aka Faery Godmother)

For your consideration today is the character of Dewey Finn and the lyrics to the song “Teacher’s Pet” from the 2003 comedy, School of Rock.

I’m going to begin by specifying that I believe that all organized religions – specifically Evangelical Christianity – have spirituality warped and backwards. The typical religious model is that you go to church or a priest or pastor or the missionary comes to you and somehow or other they’re supposed to bring Order to your life.

Now, I’ll admit that for some people this model works. Their life is in complete disarray and religion…or any ideological list of rules for that matter…enables them to attain some kind of order and stability.

However…and this is a really big HOWEVER…this model does not work for everyone. I don’t care who says it does, I know from experience that it doesn’t work for everyone. The sheer number of people leaving organized religions these days also attests to the fact that an ordered and ordinary life full of rules doesn’t work for every person.

This is where inner spirituality and gurus and shamans come into play, because this is where we have to admit that true spirituality is Chaos. Diving into one’s soul is supposed to shake up your life and crumble the ordered “Normal Existence” of the Potential Hero within you.

This is exactly what happens in the movie, School of Rock. Dewey Finn absolutely is an Agent of Chaos. He’s the “magic man” that comes into Horace Green prep school and upsets the extreme order of the curriculum and daily lives of his students.

Instead of keeping the children on “the straight and narrow path” and keeping them in their drudgery, Dewey brings the creative art and rebellion of Rock and Roll into their lives.

Now, one could make the argument that Dewey just used the kids to further his own agenda – as is true with most anti-heroes – but we can see by the lyrics that Zach writes in the School of Rock “Teacher’s Pet” song how they were all stuck in a “dumb daze” and that they were living lies and feeling hypnotized. They all got amazing grades and were supposedly successful, but they had no soul.

Then the Magic Man, the Shaman, Dewey Finn the Agent of Chaos, came to town and spun their heads around and now they may not be perfect sons and daughters, but they have passion and they feel alive and they have the soul and artistic expression that they craved, not just the learning by rote and extreme Order that kept them bound to what everyone else thought was best for them.

Yes, the Antidote to too much Chaos may be an injection of Order into your life, but the Godfathers and Godmothers of fiction and the artists and the filmmakers have been telling us for decades that Extreme Order is dangerous and soul-killing and that a Whale of Chaos may be just the thing we need to shake us free of our bondage.

We need some Order in our lives and we need some Chaos. Without a bit of both we’ll be stuck in a dumb daze and rock and roll…and all other art…will be non-existent.

Lyrics to School of Rock’s Rock Got No Reason

[Verse 1: Jack Black]
Baby we was making straight A’s
But we was stuck in a dumb daze
Don’t take much to memorize your life
I feel like I’ve been a hypnotized
And then that magic man he come to town
(Woo Wee)
He done spun my head round
He said recess is in session
2 and 2 make 5
And now baby oh I’m alive
Oh yeah
I am alive

And if you wanna be a teachers pet
Well baby you just better forget it
Rock got no reason
Rock got no rhyme
You better get me to school on time
OH YEAH (yeah)

[Verse 2: Tomika (Jack Black)]
Oh you know I was on the Honor Roll
Got good grades
And got no soul
Raise my hand before I could speak my mind
I’ve been biting my tongue too many times
(And then that magic man said to obey)
Uh huh
(Do what magic man do)
(Not what magic man say)
Say what
(Now can I please have the attention of the class)
(Todays assignment) Ahem
Kick some ass

[Chorus] x2
And if you wanna be a teachers pet
Well baby you just better forget it
Rock got no reason
Rock got no rhyme
You better get me to school on time

Oh yeah! (yeah)

[Outro: Jack Black]
This is my final exam
Now you all know who I am
I may not be that perfect son
But y’all be rocking when I’m done

(Instrumental solo)

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