Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Rules Are Changing

Naked soil, barren earth
The sun is shining down for what it's worth
Writhing field, funny crop
Flailing, scrambling just to stay on top

Full and fat today by forcing fields to fallow
Bodies pressed together meet a hungry end tomorrow

The rules are changing
The rules are changing

Chasing blackness, dripping gold
Guiding sparks inside the things we hold
Making journeys sitting still
Entrusting labor to an easy fill

Speeding South today by spinning wheels with smoke
Tomorrow journeys screech and halt as fires cough and choke

The rules are changing
The rules are changing

Sweating earns phantom power
Trading numbers for a safer tower
Rules are set, deals are made
Symbols printed, everyone gets paid

Paper notes in piles today make bags and pounds of plenty
Tomorrow numbered paper just won't fill a mouth that's empty

The rules are changing
The rules are changing


A pretty straightforward song. It's probably not inaccurate to say that overpopulation is at the root of almost every major problem facing the human race, and the curve shows no signs of tapering off. Unfortunately, food and energy aren't unlimited, and there's a good chance many of us will live to see serious crises on both fronts. If we do, the things we take for granted (labor made easy with the help of cheap power, cheap and abundant food) will be even harder to come by than they already are today (for much of the world's population, that is). In that kind of situation, the basic economic system (money=goods or services)--in which we all have so much faith--could poof-be-gone like the illusion it truly is. At that point, I'm not sure exactly what the rules will be (Cormac McCarthy's The Road might be onto something), but they're sure going to be different. What can we do about it? I wish I knew. The head-in-the-sand status quo doesn't seem to be doing us many favors. This song has music but something's missing--it might just be too straightforward or too unrelentingly dark, but I do like some of the words and the rhythm. I'll see what I can do. Meanwhile, please enjoy this tea-stained lyric sheet.

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