All Purpose Survival Cracker
Updated: Feb 3
Lately I’ve been writing and throwing out too many half completed songs. A kind of writer’s block I couldn’t break through. So I asked myself, self, what are you trying to express here? Well, I answered myself, there’s all this strife and disaster and forboding in the world and there’s got to be a story-telling way to express that, to open people’s eyes to what’s going on. But when I tried, songs ended up sounding too serious, preachy or pedantic.
Also, my perspective has shifted, my sense of time, identity and mortality expanding geologically, evolutionarily. So often when I look at the human experience now I see a too clever, frustrated, chattering hairless ape, whose capacity to destroy has exceeded its ability to understand itself. An evolutionary experiment on the edge of failing. And probably good riddance for the rest of the planet.
How do you express the absurdity of the big brained bipedal ape mindlessly bent on destroying itself and a good part of the world with it?
You express it in a song with humor, craziness, a measure of sonic joy and a Strangelovian dose of its own absurdity. And so was born All Purpose Survival Cracker.
I knew that was a good song title when I read how the U.S. government developed nuclear war survival food back in the early Cold War years. I remembered my innocent confusion as a Cub Scout passing out civil defense nuclear war survival pamphlets to our neighbors in the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis. They explained how to survive an atomic bomb attack. How to build your very own atom bomb shelter. What to expect when you emerged from your miraculously effective survival structure. Of course, you must have something to eat. Survival cracker, emergency biscuit, carbohydrate supplement…and don’t overlook the prime protein source of America’s pet population.
The absurdities stacked one on another like tins of bulgur wheat biscuits in a 60s bomb shelter. Then a riff emerged, and slanty lyrics that were fun to write, and a silly sing-a-long refrain.
It’s called All Purpose Survival Cracker. Sometimes we have to laugh through the tears, dance through the madness, turn the amps to 11 and sing-shout to the world: “Give me the biscuit!”