Since I was a kid, I've been utterly fascinated with - and terrified of - tales of the end of civilisation. Whether brought about by natural disaster, plague, war, climate change, supernatural forces or even some kind of religious apocalyptical event, I would read about it, watch it, listen to it, imagine it and even dream about it on a few occasions. I've dreamt about vampires taking over the world, zombie outbreaks, alien invasions, exceptionally large tidal waves and, on one strange night, a Godzilla-sized Satan laying waste to cities.
Oh well, I'd think to myself. The chances of anything actually making society crumble away happening in my lifetime is relatively pretty slim. Don't worry about it. And then a year ago people started punching each-other to get their hands on toilet roll and loads of people lost their jobs and there were protests and riots and for a few weeks it was believed that the mighty economy itself might be about to self-destruct out of sheer depression and it looked like society was beginning to crumble away. Aaah, I thought. Balls. This is like the Police Academy franchise. We all thought it would last forever, but it didn't (and to be fair, many saw that as a blessing... but that's a topic for a different day).
Wear your mask properly, you yoghurt-huffing twonk.
So for awhile I thought I was actually going to live through what I have feared for so many years (the end of society, in case you've not been paying attention) but thankfully it doesn't seem to have gotten quite that bad. If you know history, and you know about things like the Black Death which pretty much wiped out a third of the population of Europe in Medieval times, then you'll know that this whole Corona thing could have been much worse. I mean, things were so bad back during the days of the 'Death that some people would look around them and genuinely believe it was the End Of Days, the literal end of the world. They didn't even have toilet paper to fight over. And just to be clear: I'm not dismissing the poor souls who have sadly succumbed to Covid-19, or those who have died or are dying indirectly through the impact Corona is having on, well, everything. Every death is a tragedy, and as the whole world is affected by this virological disaster (and some are still neck-deep in it - just look at India), I thought that maybe this would be a rallying cry for humanity, that finally we all realised that life is fragile and the things we take for granted can be taken away at the drop of a bat (yes, a pun). Maybe, just maybe, we would all be a bit more nicer to each-other. More understanding. More compassionate.
Arseholes are still being arseholes, while innocent people, stuck in the middle, suffer. The unending catalogue of military conflicts around the world is a prime example. Smaller yet no less impactful examples can be found closer to home too, with people assaulted simply, it would seem, for just existing. The list is almost endless: people attacked for wearing a mask, people attacked for not wearing a mask, people attacked because they look like the kid from Mask... It all seems to be getting worse somehow.
"Do I look like a freak to you?"
No, Cher. I think you look fine.
So is the human race buggered? Are we doomed to eventually die out, either through our own actions (or inactions) or by something out of our control? The answer is probably 'yes.' Entropy proves that, eventually, everything comes to an end and we aren't going to be the exception to the rule. And as we'll continue to fight each-other over which imaginary god is better or whether we should be wearing a mask or not or if someone should be treated differently because of the colour of their skin, The End will come and we probably won't even notice it until it's too late. The only thing that isn't certain is whether it will be quick (e.g. a giant meteor hitting the Earth) or dragged out over time (e.g. all the Police Academy sequels). Personally I'm hoping for the giant Satan ending, mainly because that dream was actually pretty calming and at one point he appeared in normal human size and shook my hand and yes I am seeing a psychotherapist.
Anyway, it's this rather negative attitude which inspired the latest - and probably last - entry in the "Love In The Time Of Corona" digital mixtape series. "Vol 4: Death Rides Forth" (yes, another pun) features songs about anxiety, depression, illness, The End and much more, deliberately chosen and mixed to invoke an oppressive, anxiety-inducing experience. Basically, all the negative aspects of life which latest events have heightened but instead of dealing with them Humanity has instead just devoted more time to destroying itself... which if you haven't noticed was kind of the theme to this blog. Oh you want to know what the tracklist is? Sure! But I should say, you may find the mix more rewarding if you go in blind. You can listen to it for free on Mixcloud, either via this link here or using the handy embedded widget below (tracklist underneath).
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA VOL. 4:
DEATH RIDES FORTH
Mark's Musical Malarkey
John Carpenter & Alan Howarth - This Is Not A Dream [from the film "Prince Of Darkness"]
Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker
Godspeed! You Black Emperor - The Dead Flag Blues (Edit)
John Harrison - Opening [from the film "Day Of The Dead" (1985)]
Gorillaz - M1 A1
Pop Will Eat Itself - Everything's Cool (Youth 7)
Scorn - Silver Rain Fell
Emika - Count Backwards
Gary Numan - Ancients
Little Sap Dungeon - Behind The Mask
The Future Sound Of London - Dirty Shadows
The Glove - Relax
Mr. Scruff - Friendly Bacteria
Nine Inch Nails - Hyperpower!
Marshall Applewhite - Prostrate
Laibach - Ende
Moby - A Season In Hell
The Prodigy - Claustrophobic Sting
The Cure - Cold
Nine Inch Nails - Leaving Hope
Angelo Badalamenti - Silencio [from the film "Mulholland Drive"]
Cult Of Luna - Back To Chapel Town
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - The Last Voice
Mortiis - Asthma
Pink Floyd - The Great Gig In The Sky
Max Richter - On Reflection [from the TV series "Black Mirror" (episode: "Nosedive")]
Brian Eno - An Ending (Ascent)
Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around
DJ Shadow - **transmission 3
Take care of yourselves, and just as importantly, each-other.
- Mark Anthony Finch