You could burn your former life
You could see the Eiffel Tower
You could learn to paint
You could write your name on walls
Underneath the seats of power
You could build a house
Deep into the woods you’d go
Never to return again
You could burn your checks
You could siphon gasoline
And ride off with your closest friends
What must we do?
Should we flee or should I die with you?
Should we stand and transcend
This mortal coil as we meet our end?
And if we live
And if we live
You could paint your face
You could leave behind your name
You could rule the land you’re on
You could find your love
You could populate the Earth
And teach your children right from wrong
You could set the rules
Or you could leave them all behind
And watch as nature rules itself
You could be a god
Or you could be a human being
A citizen of nature’s wealth
And what of the Earth
And who remains to witness her rebirth?
And what of the young?
What do we tell them of the Earth that was?
Calm down! No, I’m not quitting Mount Everest. It’s just that with the world coming to an end sometime this Friday, none of us can expect to be alive this time next week. Sure, unless the planet is outright destroyed, there are likely to be survivors of whatever calamity awaits us at the end of the week. But even if I’m fortunate enough to be among the living when the dust settles, we probably won’t be able to count on a functioning internet (or even electricity) since society is likely to be in an unrecognizable state of lawless decline. So while I may live to write another song, this will be the last one that will reach your ears over broadband or 4G or however you prefer to access websites. That is, unless the Mayans were totally wrong… and what are the chances of that? After all, they were very clever. More so than us, I imagine.
As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the apocalypse. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been willing it on or anything, but most of my favorite books, movies, comics, and TV shows have all had something to say about it. I love pop-culture images of shoulder-pad-wearing, sword-wielding gas-masked badasses making their way in a harsh world, climbing over the rubble of a fallen America, while struggling to revive those things worth keeping, and battling to suppress the human fallibility that brought about our society’s inevitable demise. I grew up when the false specter of Y2K gave way to the horrifying reality of 9/11, and ever on the horizon was 2012.
Maybe we invent these apocalypses because in some way we all believe that if it really happens, those who survive would be somehow better off. We’d cast off our modern burdens and first world problems, and we’d embrace an honest struggle to survive. It would be a struggle that would reveal the essence of our character, which we would discover to be truly noble. That is what this song is about. The world isn’t going to end this Friday (knock on wood). Next week I’ll release another song on this website, and we’ll all feel a little bit silly. We’ll feel that way because the part of us that wanted to see it happen will be equal parts disappointed, and excited to revive the fantasy. We’ll pick a new date, and again we’ll anticipate the end. Just like we always do.