Toxic Love: Seven Anti-Earth Day Songs

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Photo by the National Park Service

Today is Earth Day, and your newsfeed is inundated with calls to protect the environment and uplifting memes involving trees. And if you live in Texas, you need to stop that. Stop it right now.

Clearly we are not the good guys, okay? We're drilling so hard it causes earthquakes; we elected to the office of governor a man who did all he could as attorney general to make sure there were fewer ways to find out if you lived near a hazardous chemical manufacturer; and, even though we're a wind power-generating powerhouse, plenty of folks in the legislature are trying hard to undo that.

In short, Texans are basically like that episode of Captain Planet, when all the villains made rings and summoned the evil Captain Pollution. Let's just embrace it, okay. Come on and screw Earth Day with these seven pro-pollution songs to jam by.

TIM CURRY, "Toxic Love" There are two kinds of people in the world; those who remember Ferngully and love it, and people with gaping holes where their souls should be. The eco-friendly flick starred Tim Curry as the villain, who busts out this incredible love song. It's all lounge and sax and glory, truly one of Curry's most underrated musical moments.

DEAD KENNEDYS, "Cesspools in Eden" The genius of the Dead Kennedys was that they wrote songs about terrible things but played and sang them in such a way that it sounded like they were gleefully thankful for them. "Holiday in Cambodia" isn't a sad song, it's a ridiculously happy one. No one pulls off that level of musical satire anymore. "Cesspools in Eden," from 1986's Bedtime for Democracy, pulls the same thing.

TOXIC CRUSADERS, "Theme Song" You'll notice I use a lot of cartoons to talk about being anti-Earth Day, and that's because you have to be a childish idiot to act the way we do. If you happen to remember the short-lived Saturday morning cartoon spinoff of the famous Troma creation The Toxic Avenger, you might be wondering why I chose the rockin' tune from the show by Dennis C. Brown and Chuck Lorre (Who, no bull, also did the theme song for Barnyard Commandos!). Sure, the show is supposed to be about mutated superheroes stopping pollution, but just listen to the lyrics. Every single one of them is actually as excited for life in a polluted dystopia as it could possibly be!

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TALKING HEADS, "(Nothing But) Flowers)" I don't know what it is about final albums from '80s powerhouses that makes them want to jump on the anti-ecology train (Bedtime for Democracy was also the last Dead Kennedys album), but that sure seems to be the case. You can take "(Nothing But) Flowers" as a kind of anti-hippie tune that sadly laments the loss of human progress after everything reverts to an Eden-like natural world.

It is, I suspect, one of the reasons things be like they do be. What's nature's majesty without Wi-Fi?

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THE LORAX, "How Bad Can I Be?" In general, the CGI version of The Lorax is not as well-regarded as the one for Horton Hears a Who, but it's a big hit in my house at least. Ed Helms kills it as the Once-ler, and hearing him bust out this ode to empire-building was particularly fun to listen to in 2012 when I could pretend it was the song Mitt Romney was secretly psyching himself up to in the morning.

VNV Nation, "Carbon" I guess that you could take this tune to be pro-Earth Day. Obstinately it's about how we burn everything for light, but also how that will kill us and leave us in the dark with no one to see it. Yeah, you could take it that way, but the problem is that that sentiment expressed with the lyrical skill of Ronan Harris makes it sound, well, metal as hell. You kind of start to root for the fire after the first line.

RUSH, "Red Barchetta" Let's leave it with Rush's 1981 track from Moving Pictures. Inspired by Richard Foster's short story "A Nice Morning Drive," it follows a man who inherits a forbidden sports car from his uncle. Such gas-guzzling monstrosities are forbidden after the Motor Law that gives birth to cleaner machines, but the song's undeterred protagonist secretly drives it by night in defiance of the law. No better anti-Earth Day song exists or better sums up why we have the holiday in the first place: Because what we want is apparently way more important that a silly planet.

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