2011: The Video

Remember this post? Hah! Now we’ve got a video.

Here’s the background: In 1981 after Reagan was inaugurated, I wrote a song called “2011” [pronounced twenty-eleven] about a dystopian future I was sure would follow. Riffing on a film based on a Harlan Ellison novel called “A Boy and His Dog,” the idea was, I’d be 65 years old 30 years after this unimaginable disaster, and what would the world be like? As it turns out, I described it perfectly!—the low points, at least: oil, bombs, Iran, financial collapse, losing your home, the works. Pretty spooky, eh?

The demo I used for a soundtrack in this video is the result of several sessions in David Eske’s basement with me on rhythm guitar and lead vocal, John D’Aquino on lead guitar and vocals, and Dale Trusheim on drums, sometime in the early 1980s. (I have another mix on cassette with Mike McBride on bass.) And be sure to listen through the final seconds—that drummer can count. Lyrics and other notes below, in case you’re interested.

All the video clips are mine, as are most of the photos. The few that aren’t are easily recognized, although they only appear for a second or two: two by now iconic oil spill images (heavily processed) and a shot from Iraq—all three of which I must give credit for—a satellite view of the Persian gulf, the atomic cloud at Nagasaki, and a bizarre image from Czarist Russia I found at EnglishRussia.com. (I’ll be swapping all these out in version 2.0, anyway.)

2011

2011, and I’m on my own, 2011…
2011, haven’t got a home, 2011…
2011, got no dog, no bone, 2011…

they said it wouldn’t hurt us
if we spent it all on oil and bombs
they said it wouldn’t matter
if we used a few to nuke Iran…

2011, and I’m on my own, 2011…
2011, haven’t got a home, 2011…
2011, got no dog, no bone, 2011…

they said it wouldn’t matter
if the forests and the mountains came down
and you really couldn’t see ‘em
for the waving of red, white, and brown…

2011, and I’m on my own, 2011…
2011, haven’t got a home, 2011…
2011, got no dog, no bone, 2011…

  • Ken Webb December 30, 2010, 5:03 PM

    I like it. You ought to put on more of your songs.

    What’s “red, white and brown” in the context of “waving”? Speculate that you intend dirt/shit/pollution in place of the pure blue sky in reference to the flag and, by extension, the U.S. of A. and its ideals.

    • JHF December 30, 2010, 8:31 PM

      Glad you like it. I had fun editing video clips to match the music

      I think you’re pretty much there on the lyrics. Remember that in 1981 Reagan was all for monetizing the national parks and selling off all kinds of natural resources and licenses to corporations and good old boys in the West. I’m sure I anticipated that this weakened connection with Nature would result in disaster. To me it amounts to “giving up” as human beings when we excuse earth-raping for financial gain.

      But the metaphor must breathe freely. 🙂 Hearing the words now, for instance, they have even greater weight. The corruption is overpowering now. It was always bad, but now they’re killing the middle class. That doesn’t say “America” to me.

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