Waiting for a War – The Morning Benders – 2008

There’s this concept in sort of fringe American social and political groups that there will be a civil war in our lifetime.  This concept has probably been around since before the country was even founded.  Perhaps it’s even a human condition, but I don’t really know.  Mostly it seems like a bunch of white guys talking about the coming apocalype.  I have been around this scene quite a bit and even believed it for some time.

“It feels less important when you want to wait it out”

And really there can be almost nothing more ridiculous than this belief system, but it’s something encouraged every day in little fringe scenes, partisan talk radio and general water cooler talk.  I’m not sure why it’s so prevalent in the American democracy.  It’s really almost embarrassing to think about.  Every time a group of people does not get what they want from our government, talk of fascism and totalitarianism come up.  And people even start preparing for war.  Buying guns because the liberal president is going to make guns illegal or because the conservative president is going to jail all dissenters.  The details are amazing and true, and I have seen and participated in this kind of irrational behavior.  It took some doing for me to realize that when the government was doing things that I agreed with, I thought the revolution people were insane.  And when the government was doing things I thought preposterous, I was ready for war.

“I had enough, either give me what I want or put me on the streets”

Well the war isn’t coming.  At least not today.  And all of the people that think it’s coming won’t be proven right if it starts tomorrow.  If you make constant predictions about the future, eventually one of them will be right.  I am guilty of this as well.  And I certainly like it when I get my way, but I am pretty sure that the one thing that is true is that if there is some controlling mastermind wanting to take control of our lives and thoughts, the first thing they would want would be for us to be paranoid.  An easy way to do this would be to encourage any propaganda that was misleading – talk radio, fringe scenes, etc…

“I’m getting tired of living my life like nothing’s happening.”

The truth of our lives is much more obscene.  I wake up passionless and tired most days.  This makes me angry, but I don’t know what to do about it.  I want to blame someone.  But there is no one to blame, even the government when it does things I disagree with.  And most of my disappointments have been self-imposed by my own fear, self-loathing and malaise.  I don’t have what it takes in most cases to live a life I would deem worth living.  And the president, my neighbor, my strange family have nothing to do with that.

“There’s nothing left to talk about but there’s plenty left to do.”

So I’m pretty sure that in most cases, I am just trying to escape the fact that I don’t do the things that I want to do on a daily basis.  I seize so few opportunities and make such a big deal out of the opportunities that I do take.  And my definitions for success are so narrow and close-minded, and they are usually the definitions that were marketed to me by corporations.  I invent so many excuses for continuing a mythology that has given me nothing.

“And if it’s all the same to me then you know it’ll be different to you.”

The thing that makes me think of this is that when a real change is thrust upon my life, I really feel the passion for life that I think we all crave.  And right now that change is a baby girl that wants to come early.  And my recognition of all of the passion that we ignore is in my son’s eyes.  Even completely exhausted at the end of a day, the world is his oyster.  And yes it’s easier to do when you are young and everything is new.  But it’s also easier to do when you haven’t filled your life with the preemptive disappointment of “I can’t do that.”  Or the disappointment the pending civil war will bring – better not to try.

“I’m getting tired of living like I’m dying while the world is moving on.”

The Morning Benders have a deceptive garage band psychedelia going on.  Their music is tight and well composed.  There is a lot of musicianship in the band.  The instrumental performances are very impressive but you have to pay attention because whatever dexterity they put across is always in the context of the song.  The guitar, bass and drums are working on the same motifs and compliment each other without being boring.  And the vocal performances are catchy melodies with unexpected lyrical phrasing that catch me off guard.  It’s a lot of fun to listen to, and they put together a pretty complex tapestry of light hearted discontent.  It’s an ironic sound with ironic lyrics.  I’m not sure that they were after as much of the direct context that I have read into Waiting for a War, but I like where my head goes with this song.  It’s the idea that I am my own obstacle.  That the coming apocalypse is my own personal apocalypse that I am living right now.  I don’t need to predict anything.  My self-destruction is imminent and planned by the cabal in my own head.

“Here I am in a graveyard waiting for a war.”

And really part of my rebellion against my own malaise is this blog.  Rather than sitting around waiting for someone to listen to me, I am finding ways to listen to you.  I will make your music part of my soundtrack.  And I have to say it’s one of the more difficult things I have ever done.  But by far this is one of the most rewarding and optimistic highlights of my life.  I have discovered so much about myself and music that I didn’t even have an inkling about before.

“I’m here, I’m calling out your name.”

One way or another, my daughter is coming soon.  I am excited and scared.  And I should have it no other way.

“I’ve been here before.”

buy Waiting for a War

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