As I climb mount Pearl Jam, I reflect on how glad I am that there’s no God. I mean, Christ, wouldn’t it be awful to be tormented with disease, injury, natural disasters, racism, cognitive bias, and psychological abuse by a thing with the power to make it go away. Wouldn’t it be awful to live in the same universe as an omnipotent being that demanded constant worship? Wouldn’t it be upsetting to live in the same universe as a creature that watched mankind, something created supposedly in its own image, sputter aimlessly for hundreds of thousands of years before leaving behind vague clues? A being that demands reading and re-reading and re-re-reading of a book less captivating than Ulysses or The Lorax? Imagine the symphonies we could hear with an auditory range greater than 20-20,000 hz! Imagine the paintings we could make if we could see ultraviolet and infrared light! Imagine how many awesome worlds there could be for us to inhabit if the universe wasn’t 99% empty space! Oh, and thanks for a planet supposedly made for us that allows for living only on the very outer crust that’s made mostly of water.
But since there is no God, there’s something to live for. There’s laughter and happiness to offset all the pain. We’re free to follow whatever purpose in life we seek. There is psychology, and depth, and sensuality. This is a neat accident we have here. The plane is harsh but bearable. If this were a test where the rewards were continued existence around people praising the goodness of God then I’d either ready my ass for Satan’s pitchfork or (if God were truly good) I’ll be drinking with Jimmy Joyce in any case. The Sun City Girls were riiiiiight.
“I Am Mine” and “Down” are both brief songs, and both songs about our individuality, and attempts to live the curious and relatively brief phenomenon called life. They’re rock songs, but breezy ones. The single track in particular has a nice hook and one shining moment (around 2:20) where Eddie Vedder sounds actually excited. Then the ending solo is like a modern guitar solo should be: pointed, piercing, and over the fuck before we get sick of it. If I didn’t know better I’d say the boys were back in town.
I know better.