James Shinra – At the End of the World

On a day like today, it’s hard to feel like the world isn’t repeatedly sending us the same gruesome message.

That justice isn’t real; murderers will go free while innocent people will languish. And we’re supposed to be thankful that at least the state didn’t sanction the murder of one innocent black person today, it will only keep him in prison forever; even while it simultaneously gleefully rewards an actual killer for his whiteness.

That no amount of collective work and personal responsibility will save the world; if the powerful continue to insist on sacrificing the world to pursue their own mania, it won’t. And we’re supposed to be thankful that one of those maniacal villains decided to share 1/3rd of what he’ll leech today with actual humans, instead of only building spaceships for his friends–but only today.

I don’t have any words to alleviate any of these feelings. They’re justified and terrifying. All I will say is that it’s no less ethically excusable to route those feelings into something superfluous or numbing than it is to muster the energy required for active vigilance.

A segue here is impossible, but I want to at least mention what an impact this song had on me a couple of years ago, when it was released. Among others I picked up at the time, it gave me the itch to start writing about music again. There’s something simple and right about it, and its name seems to imply that Shinra might have been using it as a way to express his own apocalyptic anxieties. He’s one of those artists that should be a household name, so here’s me contributing to that just a touch.

James Shinra – “At the End of the World” (sc)

For good measure, here’s another older song of his that I’ve also gotten comfort from.

James Shinra – “Plannt” (sc)

Both 12″s are unfortunately long sold out, but you can buy them digitally and support James Shinra on bandcamp.


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