Turn Down for What? A Philosophical Inquiry

in Culture

By Tom Lloyd, UAlbany

The phrases turn up, turnin’ up, and even turnip are entrenched in the vocabulary of college students all across America. These terms render up images of fun, sometimes celebratory, and often illegal, activities. Turning up has become one of the youth’s favorite pastimes; it’s actually been nationally ranked second for favorite things to do among the youth right after texting while driving. When one turns up so much, it begs the question when and why is it necessary to turn down? Sure, we’ve all been there- 2 AM on a Wednesday morning and our roommate boldly asks us to turn down so they can sleep. This interaction with our sleepy roommate might make us want to turn down in order to keep a peaceful relationship. But, dear reader, I urge you to never turn down.

John Locke famously wrote in his Second Treatise Concerning Civil Government that humans have the basic rights of life, liberty, and property. The first two, life and liberty, go hand and hand. Humans have the right to live their life, and liberty allows them to fill it with whichever experiences they choose to fill it with, without restriction. Property, as Locke defines it, is natural in the state of nature if one puts in manual labor to attain the end result. For example, if someone plants an apple seed, the apples that will eventually grow belong to he who planted the seed.  Now, Locke had no idea what turnin’ up was, but I’m pretty sure he did it. It’s not hard to imagine him sitting down with a pint of ale, and smoking a pipe of some all natural tobacco, or some good old fashioned hemp. John Locke, a man who wrote such powerful, revolutionary books against mercantilism that he didn’t even take credit for them until he passed away, would protect your right to turn up. It is your liberty, Locke would argue, to turn up, to act as you please, and to twerk if you want to. A step further, the altered state of mind one has while turning up is not a natural state of mind. To turn up, one has to laboriously alter the chemistry of their body to achieve the feelings associated with turning up. This manual labor, necessary to turn up, makes the result (being turnt or turnt up) our property. Turning up is the people’s property, it is the people’s liberty, and it is the people’s right.

Now John Locke’s ideas are just bibble-babble philosophy and would never hold up in court. There is, however, an official, more respectable document, which protects our rights to turn up.  The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, includes the phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” Now, it’s clear that Jefferson adopted and altered Locke’s idea of life, liberty and property. Jefferson’s addition of “the pursuit of Happiness” protects the right to turn up more thoroughly than any other argument. It is widely known that turning up is wildly fun and exciting, and results in a very happy, euphoric feeling. It is obvious Thomas Jefferson turned up, hell; he probably turned up with John Locke. The reason the Declaration of Independence was written was because Britain wasn’t allowing Colonial America to turn up. So, our founding fathers said “you do you, Britain, and Imma do me”, and it is this philosophy which carries down today protecting our right as American citizens to turn up when and where we please.

On a sadder note, we’re living in a failing nation which is doomed for demise. Soon, the whole world will be uninhabitable due to radiation in the oceans, air pollution, overpopulation, war, and filthy Communists. Everything you have ever known and loved will eventually come to its inevitable destruction. So, adopt nihilism and turn up because why the hell not! Nothing really matters anyway, even your sleepy roommate at 2 AM on a Wednesday morning.