The Paper Chase: Interview with John Congleton

A lot of the album also deals with things that people do to try to prevent the inevitable. A lot of lyrics mention superstitions and little rituals people do that they think will control their lives and keep death away.

A lot of people haven’t picked up on that-I guess they thought I was just trying to use clever words or something. But that was totally intentional. We all have these little superstitious things that we do that we think will keep us safe. Even people who claim not to be superstitious at all, there are things that they do or don’t do.

Sometimes, it seems that things we do, to preserve the environment or counteract coming natural disasters is largely symbolic.

Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely think we should be taking care of the Earth and I think it’s odious what we’ve been doing to the Earth and I think that needs to change and I’m hopeful that it will change, but I think everyone needs to get off this high horse that we’re trying to save the Earth. Humans don’t give a shit about the Earth. People care about staying alive. We care about our children’s children having some kind of future. That’s what we care about. I mean besides the small minority of hippie culture that truly believes that there is like this Mother Earth connection.

I get angry when people talk about the Earth, it’s totally self-serving. The only reason people get upset when an animal goes extinct is because it’s an alarm bell for us. Or they’re worried that it’s going to mess up the food cycle and affect us. It’s self-serving nonsense to talk about saving the Earth. You have to pick one or the other. Save ourselves or save the Earth; because if we really wanted to save the Earth, we should probably just kill ourselves.