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“Waiting for the End of the World”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 20, 2012

Okay, so it’s already 12-21-12 in some parts of the world, and there hasn’t been any out of the ordinary bad news reported.  Yet.  I don’t believe in doomsday prophecies.  It just seems like such a cop-out.  “Oh, well, the world’s going to end tomorrow, so I guess I don’t have to be responsible for anything I do.”  Although I suppose, strictly speaking, this isn’t really a doomsday prophecy.  The Long Count calendar simply indicates that this is the end of one period and the beginning of a new one.  It’s not their fault that some have chosen to view that as some sort of apocalyptic catastrophe.  And I guess I should really wait until the end of tomorrow to count my chickens.  (Hmm, maybe I’ll get some chicken at the market tomorrow.)  Hence, today’s song.

“Waiting for the End of the World” was off Elvis Costello’s utterly wonderful debut, My Aim is True.  The whole album is filled with anger, sarcasm, and vitriol, and there is not a clunker among the thirteen taut tracks.  “Waiting for the End of the World” is less manic than some of the other songs, but no less bitter.  England in the late 70s was in bad shape, and Costello reflected the anger and despair of that time a lot more articulately than his punk contemporaries.  (Costello has always been considered one of the first New Wave acts.)  There’s an overwhelming sense of stagnation and frustration.  The first verse of “Waiting. . .” tells the story of a blackout on a subway line, where the train passengers sit waiting in the darkness for something to happen–anything–to happen.  You get the feeling the apocalypse would’ve been welcomed at that point; at least it would be something different.

Since the world probably isn’t coming to some sort of fiery end tomorrow, I suppose we’re just going to get more of the same again.  I kind of hope The X-Files was right and the aliens land.  Maybe not the invasion Mulder and Scully feared, but more of an intergalactic tour bus.  “And on your left, ladies and gentleman, is Earth.  Among the highlights of our visit today will be the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and the temple of Angkor Wat.  For lunch, we’ll be stopping at McDonald’s to sample some of the local cuisine, and then we’ll be moving on to The Mall of America to pick up some souvenirs.  Make sure you bring your cameras to get some pictures with the natives!”

At least it would be something different.




2 Responses to ““Waiting for the End of the World””

  1. sandee said

    Yes, that’d be nice, if tomorrow meant the dawn of a new age.

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