I really love this song a lot. It’s over four-decades-old, but it will resonate for the rest of human history whenever there appears in one’s life the coming of the end of history. In Christianity, we learn that God knows all things and knows how our lives will end and how things will come to pass. I hope human civilization can last generations more, but I must admit it appears we have some serious challenges. The first is with the climate situation, but the second is important as well and that is our propensity to use violence to solve our problems. So many countries are armed to the teeth. We can make laser-guided weapons and awesome aircraft carriers but building a car that gets 100 mph on the gallon and putting it on the road, now that’s a tricky one. I’m a part of the problem too. The worst thing is self-righteousness and Lord knows, I ain’t very righteous.

Barry Maguire was singing about self-righteousness, the thing that allows people to turn their backs on their own shortcomings and propensity towards violence. This shooting yesterday in Virginia raises questions in people’s minds and people will understand it as an abomination–as they should–but we may miss the point altogether, which is that we use violence so liberally, like it’s confectioners sugar to be coated and sprinkled about our food. But it’s our violence, so it’s alright.

My favorite line in Eve of Destruction is “Look at all the hate there is in Red China/Then take a look around at Selma, Alabama.”

I think that’s a great sentiment. Some violence serves our needs well–or at least it’s acceptable, so we roll with it. My brother’s good friend, apolitical as you can get, said to him sometime in 2004, when reason would lead anyone to realize that the war in Iraq was ridiculous, said of the conflict, “I’m against it man, it hasn’t made my gas any cheaper.”

That’s crazy talk! Because your gas is expensive or you feel scared of some far off threat you support war. It’s good for you at that time and place and there for can be justified. That type of thinking is something that we have to eradicate from our psyche, particularly because we’re packing some serious stuff. It’s not just America. Actually, there are far worse culprits, although maybe so on a smaller scale. We’re just armed better and are the most prosperous nation in the West. I have no doubt that if Sudan had the ability to they’d bomb the crap out of their minorities with laser-guided missiles. What about Indonesia? What about Russia? These are belligerent nations. We’re all belligerent…Even Canada. Have you seen Donald Brashear? Well, I’m just gonna snap my fingers to this song because I kinda like the way it sounds, even if the message can bring you down.