Bad Religion Song of the Week

Modern Man
Bad Religion
Against the Grain

I've got nothing to say
I've got nothing to do
All of my neurons are functioning smoothly
Yet still I'm a cyborg just like you

I'm one big myoma that thinks
The planet supports only me
I've got this one problem:
Will I live forever?
I've got just a short time to see

Modern man, evolutionary betrayer
Modern man, ecosystem destroyer
Modern man, destroy yourself in shame
Modern man, pathetic example of earth's organic heritage

When I look back and think
When I ponder and ask, "Why?"
I see my ancestors spend with careless abandon
Assuming eternal supply

Modern man, evolutionary betrayer
Modern man, ecosystem destroyer
Modern man, destroy yourself in shame
Modern man, pathetic example of earth's organic heritage
Just a sample of carbon-based wastage
Just a fucking tragic epic of you and I

I’ve posted these lyrics a long time ago on the message board I ran freshman year. I was really into Bad Religion then and I still am. This is one my all time favorite BR songs. It’s short, catchy, and it’s got great lyrics.

My Take:

We are apathetic lemmings, just following along with everyone else, but we are not imbeciles. We could make better decisions but we do not.

We are self-absorbed as a species. All we care about is ourselves and we believe that everything in nature belongs to us. We are concerned with our own preservation at the expense of everything else.

Evolutionary betrayer – in the process of evolution organisms adapt to their changing environment, but humans change their environment to adapt to their lifestyle.

Ecosystem destroyer – humans are responsible for the ruin of many ecosystems and the extinction of countless species.

However, we, the current generation, were not the ones who created this mentality. Our ancestors, either due to ignorance or greed, consumed natural resources as if they would never run out and with no regard for the environmental impact of their gluttony.

An aside: It was once said, by someone, that before Europeans came to the New World a squirrel could travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River without touching the ground.

We are a waste of life. We evolved such a powerful intelligence and thus far we have used it only for evil (as far as the environment is concerned).

We don’t have to continue on this course though. I think that we are slowly but surely mending our evil ways and learning to become a cooperating member of the global ecosystem. We need to speed up the process.


Unknown said...

I like Bad Religion as well, and agree with your take on this song (with the notion that we are capable of doing what is much better for the world, and ultimately ourselves, but still do nothing)... for the most part.

Mark Weston said...

Hey Justin,

I didn't realize you were still updating this! I'm enjoying your project and posts. I'm currently a bit more negative than you - it's possible that we're already too numerous and collectively stupid to take the appropriate actions needed to save ourselves and this planet. Population growth is a big one and we can’t continue to rely on technology to extend what is ultimately a finite resource. I’m also skeptical of the ability to actually colonize another star, if only because of the gargantuan distances and timescales involved. I hope, however, that I am wrong!

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