On the song “Crimson Tide,” Dan Bejar (a.k.a. Destroyer), says the title 16 times. “It was a loaded two words,” he told Apple Music, “and it felt good to sing it at the end of each verse. It has an end-of-the-world ring to it, as like blood on the horizon, or some kind of apocalyptic incoming.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this interview recently, and the distortion of words in the time of crisis. Partly, because I’m in graduate school and have to think about word use a lot, but also because of coronavirus, and the fact that I’m stuck inside listening to the doomsday song made because the writer who wanted to sing the phrase “crimson tide” a ton of times because he thought it sounded cool.
Crimson Tide, “has specific connections in America,” Bejar said in that same interview, “like a college football team or a submarine movie, which are really dumb. And so I think that’s important to point out, when there’s dumb American things that take over language.”
It’s important not to go crazy at a time like this, and it helps to point out the dumb American things that have been taking over language: “social distancing,” “shelter in place,” “only in a time of National Emergency.” There is a severity to the virus, like a crimson tide sweeping the globe, but there’s also a cocktail of paranoia and silliness around us. Coronavirus panic feels as scary as it does ridiculous. Walking around a barren city and being stuck alone with my thoughts, the past week has felt like a Destroyer song, and I’m coming down with cabin malaise.
I don’t know if it’s healthy or crazy to think about a song this much, but it’s tough to stay calm, creative, and motivated during doomsday. This could last awhile, no one really knows, but don’t let it all sweep over you and pull you under. Let’s help each other out. Let’s stay connected.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.