STARDUST TO DARWINSTUFF
♬ Evolve Viva La Résistance
Evolve Viva La Revolution ♬
It has been 13.8 billion years since the dawn of our observable universe; 3.7 billion plus years since the first life on earth burst into fruition; and millions of years in the evolutionary making for our human consciousness to fathom out that we have become the stewards of the only known home of life in said universe.
And yet our industrial machinery and bombs can tear up an ecosystem in a matter of minutes and hours, visiting devastation on our landscapes and extinction upon an escalating number of our fellow species. Whilst we have been lurching towards the precipice for the past few decades, it has never been more apparent that our human condition requires something extraordinary of us if we ourselves are to survive as a species.
The dangers are ever more pressing as President Trump seeks to expand fossil fuel extraction anywhere and everywhere, at the same time as defunding climate science and environmental protections. Moreover, this comes packaged with the outright lie that such budget cuts are necessary to increase spending on a US military that is ‘falling behind,’ when in fact the US war machine has long been, and by far, the most over armed and destructive capability the planet has ever seen.
In the coming months ‘we the people’ of the US will need to continue to evolve as bedrock of resistance to prevent President Trump’s executive orders becoming our daily reality. And, as ‘we the people’, wherever we are on the planet, connected by our fragile atmosphere, and in the cause of a fairer, more sustainable existence, we will need to stand with those peoples who resist and refuse to be bowed by the planetary hegemony of this ‘American way of doing business.’
For, despite all his propaganda to the contrary, Trump is but the latest manifestation of what we might call US brand predator 'capitalismos.' That is, the wholly bankrupt and myopic capitalist world view powered alike by the operating fictions of recent neo-liberal and neo-conservative orders, which continue to present "endless economic growth" as 'the' unassailable ‘truth’. Divorced, as this worn out mantra is, from the scientifically measurable consequences of reality; manifesting, as it does, in governance defined by a lack of separation between state and corporation; and buoyed as it is by the prosecution of perpetual war, if left to continue its daily operations, capitalismos will kill us all.
Our leaders know what they are doing, for they have helped bankroll and perpetuate the disinformation campaigns which have long obstructed social justice and derailed environmental well-being. For at least the last forty years our political leaders have been aware of the predicament they are putting us all in, and in doing nothing or making token gestures at best, have chosen to enable the empire of fossil fuel slam down hard on the accelerator. And in that time concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have spiraled upwards at alarming rates and now threaten to spin completely out of control.
Perhaps the oligarchs think that their wealth will protect them? Perhaps they believe their own mythologies that they are destined to live out their lives in luxury and perhaps the current crop of demagogues will, but they will be the last generation that does, because deep down they know. They know that in building new fossil fuel infrastructure designed to work for the next fifty years, that they are sacrificing their own childrens’ and their grand-childrens’ futures, along with all of ours. And guess what? They don’t care. Or they don’t care enough to challenge the group-think. Like the guys in the room when the US elite made the decision to drop the atom bombs on Japan and not one of them stood up to offer a dissenting voice.
In opposition to the enforced normalcy of this obscene imbalance of power, art and science, those fraternal twin explorers of the human condition, are key tools in our collective workbox.
Science and our basic humanity tell us that capitalismos’ live experiment with endless economic growth using us as guinea pigs, and the planet as a petri dish, has been a catastrophic failure, across all measures of basic human decency and planetary sustainability. Quite simply if we continue to ignore the destructive forces unleashed by military industrial capitalismos then we are headed to a tipping point where the fragile balance of our ecosphere lurches forth into unstoppable un-habitability for our, and many other species. For all our sakes then, in the new world we now are compelled to make, future governments must abide by the scientific method as our best means of gauging the health and sustainability of our shared planet.
And, our birthright of play, imagination and creativity will be vital in forging, not only the scientific models, but also the art, which rallies us to the defense of our planet. During these same last four decades a new chapter in science has emerged exploring the ultimate deep evolutionary history of why we humans came to exist in the first place, and not least why we ever came to make art. This latter sub-field, further sub-divided into literary Darwinism, evolutionary aesthetics and bio-musicology, et al, investigates the evolutionary and biological reasons as to why we create narratives, make paintings, and write songs etc. in search of artistic truth. Therein is much evidence to suggest that art evolved from play as a universal human behavior because it is adaptive, because it helped us survive as a species.
And, in this humble stab at a consilience between art and science—in the themes on this record—I wonder whether the prevailing fictions of capitalismos will lead to our collapse as a species, or whether art again will be a part of what helps us survive the twenty first century threats to our continued existence?
As an artist I truly feel part of a global axis of dissent to the prevailing order that ceaselessly extinguishes life for the sake of a cheap bottom dollar. As someone who almost became a scientist I know that science is our best hope of monitoring and managing the health of our planetary ecosphere. And, as a teacher I strive to be on the creative side of H.G Wells’ never more prescient description of “Human history,” as being “more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
Motivated by our—as far as we know—unique human capacity to wonder, in these times it remains vital that we try and shed light on the human condition and the meaning of life, in our long, and hopefully ongoing, journey from Stardust to Darwinstuff.
released April 21, 2017
THE AXIS OF DISSENT
on this record are:
DANBERT NOBACON - vocals, acoustic guitar and then some
(Chumbawamba, Chimp Eats Banana)
MIRANDA ZICKLER - vocals
(Kuinka, Rabbit Wilde, The Seattle Rock Orchestra)
ANNIE EMMENEGGER – vocals
(Okan’ Annie, Wild Mountain Nation)
HOLLY BRIELLE – vocals
(Liberty Bell Drama Company alumni)
JIMMY BERG - vocals, accordion, keyboards.
(The Bad Things, The Pickpocket Revue)
ANNA DOOLEY – violin
(Nobacon and Dooley, The Pipestone Orchestra)
GREGORY MILES electric guitars, banjo.
(The Bad Things, Low Hums)
STEVE KAMKE – drums, percussion
(The Bad Things, Cascadia Liberation Front)
AUSTIN QUIST – stand up bass, bass
(The Bad Things, Bakelite 78)
BRENDAN PATRICK HOGAN - trumpet, upright piano.
(The Bad Things, Mamie Lavona the Exotic Mulatta and her White Boy Band)
ANDY LOWE – stand up bass
(The Pickpocket Revue, Devilwood)
AARON J. SHAY - banjo
(The Mongrel Jews, The Pickpocket Revue)
BELLOW WING – saw
MASON HERBERT – mandolin
(The Bad Things alumni, Lotties’ Lounge)
BRYN CLAYTON JONES – voiceover
(Liberty Bell Drama Company alumni)
EDWARD ZARGASTERLEY JONES – voiceover
(The Mystery Motel, The Shifting Sand)
MELANIE GOOGELLE – voiceover
(The Femi Smartbots, Brain Circus)
Written by Hunter, N. Directed by Nobacon, D.
except lines from
"Hamlet" by William Shakespeare,
"Inferno" by Dante Alighieri,
"The Masque of Anarchy" by Percy Bysshe Shelley,
"The Outline of History" by H.G. Wells.
Produced by Mell Dettmer. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Mell Dettmer at Studio Soli, Seattle WA, Oct-Dec 2016
“Revolution 9.01” original recorded, engineered
by Mark Miller at The Tank studio Black Diamond WA Oct 2009, re-voxed, at Soli, Dec 2016, and re-engineered by Mell Dettmer.
“Tricky Trickledown” originally recorded by Danbert Nobacon at The Mystery Motel April 2014. Re-jigged by Mell Dettmer at Soli, Dec 2016
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