You Wouldn't Download A Human Connection (excerpt) - Echidna Shrubbery
My voice is not back yet, and my cold also meant that I've been slow to write more #quintaland songs, in no small part because being sick also meant I wasn't accumulating new experiences to sing about. So I'm switching to one of my alternative concepts that I had in mind prior to this FAWM: a festival of fictional bands that I'd come up with for a comic I'm working on. All bands are thinly-veiled parodies of existing bands so to create their songs, all I have to do is put my mind in a place of "What if [Band X] but dumber?" Just what I need as I recover from the cold.
Somewhere in the middle of the festival's bill, we find Echidna Shrubbery, a modern prog-rock band. Their half-hour slot was filled by a single song, of which these lyrics are a brief excerpt. When main songwriter Will Stephenson contemplates our technology-and-media-driven society, he doesn't like it much. His heart is in the right place but the analysis that underlies his lyrics comes out surprisingly facile and reactionary.
So with that idea in mind, I spent an hour this afternoon practicing a bass riff in 7/4 time. I did not record any instrumental parts but kept my brain in that groove to write the lyrics below.
Upload /a visceral experience
Oh no, you couldn’t do that
Download / a humanoid connection
No way / you wouldn’t do that
Your phone is giving you ADHD
Which you cannot hold in your hands
Hardware cannot be truly digitized
Or made to bend to your commands
The internet is evil because none of you can hug it
No need to ask about the structural constraints
Don’t talk to me of corporatism, there’s no explanation offered
You can’t punch corporations in the face
iPads are stealing your humanity
The metaverse just puts it up for sale
Blockchain, is nothing but inanity
YouTube Will make you weak and pale
Pick up a bass guitar and go to town
Touch grass and put it all on tape
Touch skin and take disinformation down
Touch base and ponder your escape
Technology is evil and is building a panopticon
It’s hubris, nemesis and telos
There is no man behind the curtain pulling strings
There’s just the curtain here to sell us.