I’ve always been a fringe REM fan. Lots of other bands have come and gone and caught my fancy for a time. But, REM has maintained a timeless spot in my psyche. And, sometimes the best thing about the ‘shuffle‘ function is that certain songs get played exactly when you need to hear them. It is eerie how often this happens to me, in fact. I call it the Law of Serendipitous Musical Coincidence. A song plays and influences my thinking right when I’m receptive to the consequence. Kind of like what happened when I heard this REM song recently…

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aero plane and Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn – world serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs. Feed it off an aux speak, grunt, no, strength, Ladder start to clatter with fear fight down height. Wire in a fire, representing seven games, a government for hire and a combat site. Left of west and coming in a hurry with the furies breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered cropped. Look at that low playing! Fine, then. Uh oh, overflow, population, common food, but it’ll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs,listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and the revered and the right, right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty psyched.

It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it.It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o’clock – TV hour. Don’t get caught in foreign towers. Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn. Locking in, informing, book burning, bloodletting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle, light a votive. Step down, step down. Watch your heel crush, crushed, uh-oh, this means no fear cavalier. Renegade steer clear! A tournament, tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions,offer me alternatives and I decline.

It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it.It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I dreamt of knives, continental drift divide. Mountains sit in a line, LeonardBernstein. Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs. Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic, slam book neck, right? Right.It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…fine…(It’s time I had some time alone)

But, what if we aren’t feeling fine? What if we can’t be glib or poetic about the situation anymore? There are bad things goin’ on!!! Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, poverty, disease, wars, genocide, political scandals…the list goes on and on…

Maybe Lenny Bruce WOULD be afraid now.

Ya ya…I know I know…news of the demise of the planet have been greatly exagerrated before. We’ve heard it so many times, it is merely background noise now. Communism is defeated. Facism has been eradicated. Idealism is no longer necessary. The wheels of progress DO turn ever forward. It’s just that they turn too slowly for us to notice most of the time, right?

Not Right.

The folks of two generations ago, labeled The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw, had to endure so much pain. They suffered through two horrible World Wars. They lived through the Depression. Most diseases were still very real and very mortal, not just something read about in history books. Familes with ten kids would sometimes lose half of the kids before they reached adulthood…not to mention the mothers sometimes didn’t make it either. Women lived hard lives. Minorities lived hard lives too. There was very little leisure for any of them. Despite ALL THIS ADVERSITY, however, they persevered. They prospered. They got Humankind to the Moon. They created a life that was better than the one they’d inherited.

The Boomer generation that then followed can take pride in many things too. They came of age during the Sixties. They enjoyed freedoms never before seen in history. They challenged the wrongs. They fought for the rights. That generation can take credit for African-Americans finally achieving equality. Women finally gained control of their bodies. They can take credit for getting the Vietnam War stopped. Nixon resigned because of them. And let’s not look past their claim to sex, drugs, and rock n roll.

So, now we have present day…Earth…in a universe floating through the galaxy…

(Part 2 to come soon)

Copyright (c) 2005 Jamoker. All rights reserved.