Under The Blood Red Moon, Songs For The Apocalypse
Last Sunday, we broke some record temperatures in California, 115, 120 degrees, it was an unbearable meltdown all weekend long, it was as if the sun wanted to commit murder. I usually love the sun, I love the heat, but that was another level of heat, a walk outside was almost asking for heatstroke and I was thinking about all my favorite songs worshiping the sun, Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘My God is the Sun,’ The Stranglers’ ‘Always the Sun,’ The Ramones’ ‘California Sun,’ Katrina and the Waves’ ‘Walking on Sunshine,’ The Kinks’ ‘Sunny Afternoon,’ ‘X’s ‘Under the Big Black Sun’… there are many songs about the sun, most of them are positive, uplifting and filled with confidence because the sun is everything, right? It gives life to everything, but sometimes, it wants to kill us.
Today, fires are raging all around me, Los Angeles is surrounded by the Bobcat fire (only 6% contained) the Lake fire (almost entirely contained), and the El Dorado Fire (only 31% contained). Since Tuesday, the sky has taken a smoky yellow color, and the sun has disappeared behind thick layers of smoke and ashes. You inhale a smokey smell every time you put your nose outside, and with this pale red sun piercing behind a fat coat of ashes, outside just looks and feels like doomsday. This is not normal you repeat to yourself, and this upcoming weekend could be even worse. Of course, every time such a disaster happens – these are not the first or the last Californian wildfires – the Bad Religion’s song ‘Los Angeles is Burning’ comes to mind. However, the song is so upbeat that there is a complete disconnection between my current mood and the triumphant tone of the tune.
Los Angelenos should nevertheless feel lucky in comparison with North California and Oregon, the photos coming from San Francisco are just horrific, red hellish skies coming straight from the apocalypse while the entire state of Oregon is on fire. This has all the drama of an Ozzy Osbourne song, the prince of darkness could appear in the sky and sing ‘Fire in the sky, can’t you see that all my castles are burning?’ and nobody would be surprised.
People have already died, plenty of people have lost their homes, and this is especially nerve-wracking to learn that the El Dorado fire, one of the largest fires in California history, started with fireworks during a gender reveal party. What were these people thinking? Can we be hopeful when people are stupid enough to use pyrotechnics during last weekend’s triple-digit temperatures? I have never understood what Guided by Voices exactly meant but I want to sing ‘Cretinous number ones’ with Robert Pollard for the sake of sanity.
The most horrifying part is that this current disaster could only be a preview of what climate change will continue to bring in the future. Temperatures will continue to rise and climate change will increase the occurrence of wildfires… and it is not this current president who is going to reverse the trend, on the contrary… Will people finally understand that climate change is the most urgent threat against humanity right now? ‘Everything is changing?/And there’s nothing I can do/My world is turning pages/While I am just sitting here,’ Kevin Parker certainly got it
A few nights ago, the moon was bloody red, because of the smoke, or the dust or the extreme heat, I don’t know but I had never seen this before. It could be a natural phenomenon since the Hives have sung about it, but this time it didn’t look natural at all. If ’Blood Red Moon’ sounds like a light spaghetti western, an upcoming war can’t be avoided say the lyrics, and this red moon was certainly announcing the battles with fires. I am sorry to say, the future doesn’t look good, this is really happening, Thom was right.