To add to the catastrophic numbers of mass deaths of birds and fish in 2011, recently over 500 penguins washed up on the Brazilian coast. Their death is presumed to be due to a combination of starvation, environmental pollution, and climate change. We still have not been able to reasonably ascertain an integral scientific reasoning behind the massive deaths of birds and fish happening around the world, except with the word ‘Harakiri.’ That is what I decided to call my song and record in discussing these events. The possibility of massive species committing ritualistic suicide based on the unavailability of food and/or adverse environmental conditions is not beyond the scope of today’s reality. The term is also reflective of our unconscious lifestyle-related human suicide that we seem to be committing together on this planet with our carbon footprint, excessive consumption and waste. The dying off of these species, like the dangerous disappearance of bees, is a foreboding omen of our own death.

Overall, we are quite ignorant of the interconnectivity of events around the world. For example, the lack of rainfall in equatorial, especially sub-Saharan, countries will lead to further northward immigration causing more political problems in Europe and pushing political parties and populations further to the right. Job creation in the fields of polluting resources to satisfy immediate economic concerns will lead to less investment in renewable energies and endanger the long-term survival of all species. Climate change has turned into the arch-enemy of civilization and rightfully so, since civilization has excluded concern for the environment until recently. Civil strife, occupation, economic downturns, and the slide in the economic index are minor issues to the increasing accelerated rate of environmental devastation occurring before our very eyes. Overpopulation’s net carbon output cannot be overcome by the Kyoto protocol nor slight changes in our lifestyle. We need to start thinking about what’s next because this model is irreversibly broken.

A journalist recently asked me if I was referring to the end of the world. Instinctually, I replied, no, I’m referring to the end of our WORD. We have tracked the ascendance of all former civilizations through their writings, from cave drawings, to papyrus manuscripts, to books, and now to digital. The earth is billions of years old, humanity millions of years old, while all known civilizations have only been around for about 10,000 years. All modern religions were created within the constructs of the city of civilization, having similar constructs and limitations, all patriarchal. We are missing the intuitive, maternal sense of our indigenous past. Humans were placed on this planet as caretakers, not takers, which is what we’ve turned into on a global scale. Civilization has fueled progress in psychology, technology, and the sciences, all left brain activities. We will not be able to come to grips with the changing tides without a good balance of our psychological, technological present with our intuitive, indigenous past.

The dominant animal has overproduced and is causing havoc on his own environment. That is how we would be viewed by an alien race or other species. We turn on the television and see mass deaths, bombs, war, starvation, floods, and still make it to our 2 p.m. meeting without a glitch.

Reset time.

Serj Tankian

I should add that his new album Harakiri is quite good. Also, change the guitar tone to a heavier tone on some songs, especially Uneducated Democracy and Figure it Out and you have System of a Down songs.

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