Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Really. There are songs about the end of the world. I’ll tell you about a couple.

Most folks are going to think of hardcore, death metal, or otherwise barely coherent lyrics that may or may not be about apocalyptic forebodings, and the bands themselves acquired the look from The Road Warrior. Or there are always bands like Nuclear Assault, whose name says it all. Not all of the great tunes about the end of the world as we know it (not R.E.M.’s end of the world, thanks) come from that corner of the thunderdome.

When I served in the Navy years ago, I had the privilege of meeting all kinds of people from across the entire country I otherwise might not have met. Before the internet and all the social media, when we can connect with people across the country at any given moment, this was a huge deal, as they brought with them a lot of influences I might have otherwise missed.

One of these gents introduced me to Kate Bush, and I’ve been grateful ever since. Only recently did I find out how her early career intertwined with Pink Floyd, and the album The Wall served as a soundtrack staple for games that didn’t have one, like Wasteland. While I loved her music, I hadn’t really discovered the depth of her subject matter until I found her album, The Whole Story, a collection of songs from previous albums. “Breathing” is the single that addresses the effects of fallout after the bomb.

We’ve lost our chance

We’re the first and last

after the blast.

Chips of plutonium

are twinkling in every lung.

While not technically correct, the song is brilliant and so radical from the rest of the “he loves me, he loves me not” pop crap everyone else out there sang at the time. Her song “Experiment IV” is also worth a note too, not as post-nuclear but as a song about a weapon of mass destruction. A very young Hugh Laurie happens to be in the video as well.

Several years ago, a co-worker got me interested in Steve Wilson and his band, Porcupine Tree. The first album he allowed me to borrow, Stupid Dream, featured a song called “A Smart Kid.”

Winter lasted five long years

No sun will come again I fear

Chemical harvest was sown

The reference is to the purported nuclear winter* which would happen in the even of such a conflict, but there is also the reference of chemical warfare. The “kid” later tells aliens who came to visit that he doesn’t know what happened to the people but that there was a war and he “must have won.”

*This was researched in depth by the TTAPS team, including Carl Sagan, but criticized and refuted by later studies post the conflicts in Kuwait.

 

(Originally published on The Meltdown Cafe 5 AUG 2009)

Advertisements

As (what I hope to be) the worst of the winter weather and that vile beast known as the Polar Vortex retreats from the US, I gave pause to reflect on what has happened during those times we are most effected. For several days, many folks, including most of my family, endured without power. We were fairly lucky, as we had an alternative heating source that didn’t require electricity to operate, so we huddled next to the fire as the snow and ice coated our little slice of civilization. Meals consisted of soups, toasted cheese sandwiches, scrambled eggs -things which needed only simple preparation. We had plenty of water for tea and cocoa, not just from the on hand bottled water stores. Water for flushing the toilet came from outside where we would scoop snow into buckets and let it melt near the fireplace. So we survived until the power companies cleared ice and fallen trees and limbs from the lines and restored power.

In all of that, the one thing I missed most was the running water. Not because we needed it to drink, but we needed it to shower. I’m a hot shower person myself, and the thought of a splashdown sink bath using ice cold water made me numb just thinking about it. After the first day, I called around to relatives to find one with power and running water and asked if I might come over to use their facilities.

Analysis: One of two things is going to have to happen: 1) I would be killed in the first wave of nukes/zombies/mega virus and have little to worry about or (because I couldn’t possibly be that lucky) 2) on top of all the other prep work, I’d have to kludge a shower which would provide us with hot water.

Hot showers are entirely underrated.

Now to find a way for the protagonists of my upcoming novel, Umbra: A Post-Apocalyptic Mystery, to deal with the horrors of unwashed bodies.