Steely Dan: detached, absurdist, mordant, and anthropological

Here is the ever thoughtful Ed Feser on the death of Walter Becker. Ed is one of those commentators with a knack of being able to excavate and articulate ideas without going off on overly obscure or whimsical tangents.

[T]he typical Steely Dan song represents some character type, usually hapless, disreputable, or marginal . . .

Fagen and Becker are not the kids organizing protests.  They are the kids in the back of the classroom making smart-ass remarks about the other kids, including the ones organizing the protests.