Endless Loop: We Are the Dead

bowieHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“We Are the Dead” by David Bowie

There’s this joke internet theory that we’re all currently residing in some kind of false narrative, an alternate reality of sorts created by a rip in the fabric of space and time that opened when the Hadron Collider began operating.  It’s a fun theory I suppose, ripe for Sci-fi situations and metaphysical conundrums, and an amusing accounting of why everything is so fucked.  But it lets us all off the hook way too easily.  The truth is that everything seems so fucked because the world is full of greedy and malicious assholes, and a lot of them are in charge of things.  That, combined with our booming, ever-expanding technological landscape and humanity’s penchant for rampant, untethered consumerism, and we find that we were always just barreling towards this modern dystopia anyway.  It was just waiting for us to get there.

“People will hold us to blame.  It hit me today, it hit me today.”

I’m sure the signs were there, both literal and metaphorical.  And the oracles of our art and pop culture threw up flashing warnings throughout the decades in their prose, visuals, and songs before ultimately succumbing to the whole inevitability of it all.

These days, I’m drawn to the darker moments of David Bowie’s 1974 album Diamond Dogs, the Orwellian imagery abounding as the record was assembled from the remnants of a proposed and rejected 1984 musical.  The album’s glammy rock n’ roll aesthetic cushions the darker, gloomier themes it explores before coming to a head on the record’s second side with the foreboding and doom-fueled “We Are the Dead” in particular.  The song slinks and oozes, a hopeless and dreadful lament for what was, what is, and what will be.  There is no escape.  There will be no survivors.

“Because of all we’ve seen, because of all we’ve said.  We are the dead.”


And I could end the column there, cold and devoid of all hope, our fates sealed, and the sun setting one last time.  It’s where the song ends after all.  But I have to believe that there is still a sliver of light to be seen, a crack to break through, a chance to right the ship.  We do not live in an alternate dystopian timeline.  We live now.  And we make our own reality and our own narrative, and we can fight the assholes before they shit all over everything.  We just have to do what’s right and never stop fighting.  Don’t give up.

“Trusting on the sons of our love, that someone will care, someone will care.”


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>