Black Sabbath’s War Pigs is an almost eight-minute masterpiece, describing the abuse of war and politics.  But, in the last few seconds of the song, maybe they weren’t sure how to end it, maybe it was part of the overall message, the music goes into hyper drive and ends in a disturbingly abrupt manner.

Hang on to this, we’ll come back to it in a bit.

It’s not just war and politics; we maximize almost everything: Food, news, pharmaceuticals, weapons, television, sneakers, our “careers”, alcohol, tobacco, and residential square footage to name just a few.  We’re using space as a garbage dump.

Hey, I’m no yogi and I don’t think we need to be minimalists.  But, we do need to minimalize maximalism.

It’s pretty recent, too.  Take smoking for example.  I can hear the villagers with their pitch forks now at the mere mentioning of it; “Smoking kills!”  So does life.  Anyways, smoking dates back to almost 5,000 BC.  Move forward almost 7,000 years to the early 1800’s where on average, people smoked about 40 cigarettes a year.  A year!  But then, about a hundred years later, it’s 40 a day (14,600/year).  What?!

Over the past 33 years, worldwide obesity rates increased by 27.5% in adults and 47% in kids and adolescents.  We’re maximizing consumption.

The news used to be something we watched at 6:00pm or 11:00pm to receive important and unbiased information that could help and enhance how we approach our lives.  Not anymore.  24-hour highly biased and inflated “news” that is sold and shoved down our throats to maximize profits.  It’s tragedy, death, and division in the name of politics, religion, and race.

“Death and hatred to mankind.  Poisoning our brainwashed minds.  Oh, lord yeah!”  See what I did there?

A 40-hour work week is frowned upon.  Workaholics doing more with more for more.  More or less.

Just ran your first marathon?  Sorry; that’s not impressive anymore.  Now we’re running 135-mile ultra-marathons.  Why?  Seriously … why?  Bodybuilders and pro athletes are maximizing results through steroids and performance enhancing drugs, exploding the boundaries of bigger, faster, and stronger.

This human song has been playing for a while now and all things considered, it’s quite a masterpiece.  But, lately it seems to be speeding up into hyper-drive.

To create the hyper-drive ending of War Pigs, someone held their finger against the post of the analog tape machine (old school), to prevent the tape from moving away from the playback head, while fast-forward was pressed.  Then, when they pressed “stop”, the reverb carried on.

Genius effect for a song, but it put undue stress and strain on an expensive machine that wasn’t built to do that.  Hmm.  Sound familiar?  One finger is on fast-forward, while the other is trying to keep the music playing.  It may feel good right now, but something is going to break.

In fact, we’re seeing the detrimental effects in real time:  Diabetes, cancer, heart attacks, depression, misery, air and water quality, divorce, knee and hip replacements, hatred, division, irritability, discord, disconnectedness, more war, even more politics, cirrhosis of the liver, road rage and the list goes on.

You don’t think I’m being “Paranoid”, do you?

There’s nothing wrong with sugar.  Bourbon is good, tobacco has its good qualities, exercise is good, money is good, oil and gas are good, the pursuit of whatever we call “success” and the advancement of our species is good, but this hyper drive into maximalism isn’t.

So, are the news, oil, food, and pharmaceutical corporations war pigs?  “Treating people just like pawns in chess …”  Look; we can blame Betty Crocker all we want, but who’s eating the damn cake?  Who’s watching hours of “news”?  Who’s smoking and drinking way too much?  Who’s tearing their shoulder, trying to bench 350?  Who’s taking too many prescribed medications?  Who’s paying $150/month for that storage unit, full of shit we don’t need?  We are!

We need to release the fast-forward button and allow our song to play on naturally, so that there’s no disturbingly abrupt ending.  If not, the universe will hear nothing but the reverb of our existence.

Take it away, Ozzy: “No more war pigs have the power …”

Photo by Mathew Henry on Unsplash.

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