The Mother of All Problems

Fellow bell-wetherers,
Former fetuses, and nocturnal emissions:
I tell you, there’s a crime currently in commission!
Oh, yes! We’ve been robbed!
Robbed of something that doesn’t exist
Conspicuous in its absence
Yet universally missed
I’m talking about the subjunctive tense
The world as it would be
If the shot-callers and their minions
Gave half a rat’s ass about you and me

Wood, yeah, let’s talk about wood:
Let’s cut to the clear and plunder
With how much wood
Would the world be good
If we wouldn’t have pulped the lumber
To print the Globe and Times
Into wastelands of woodless wonder?
And would we wonder nevertheless
How in the world we ever got into this mess?

Pull yourself up by your bootstrap molasses
Climb the K2 of class mobility
If your numbers didn’t happen to land
When you played the birthday lottery
Well, it’s easier to scale a mountain
Than to pay-scale out of poverty
When all you have to sell is sand
When the Man hands you lemons
And then raids your lemonade stand

We’re being squeezed
Like blood from a turnpike
We’re being squeezed
Like milk from an overwrought udder
We’re being squeezed
Through bursting birth canals
We’re being squeezed
Like an extra commercial on the comedy channel
We’re being squeezed for our attention
Consuming our years and hours
Squeezed for forced allegiance
To the pyramids of power

So by the hearsay vested in me
I declare a state of heresy
I call for a status coup!
Let’s ask the nuclear questions
And set off the hydrogen bomb in the room
Like, did anyone ask if you wanted to be?
To be? To be born in this war-torn reality
Does anyone even think to consult
The preconceived notions
Swimming around in Shrödinger’s ocean?

Hey there, little embryo,
Are you ready to go?
Are you ready to be pedigreed?
To be summoned forth and graded
On your origins instead of your deeds
Are you ready to be delivered
Your brain on a platter
So that zombie faiths can feed?
You’ll probably be assigned
A costume and nominal creed
But if you pray hard enough,
You could be graced with an atheist family
Here’s a name and a number
That’s your identity
So your slack can be tracked
By the appropriating authorities

Be fruit flies and multi-ply
Cause diapers aren’t cheap
And the private jets won’t fly
Without a servant class to keep
We know that there’s too many
But don’t lose any sleep
We’ll need you in the office early
To teach the robots how to sweep

That’s one small footprint for a person
But a massive crater for eight billion
Anyone have some solutions
For this sort of unbalanced equation?
It’s the mother of all problems
An ever-expanding population
Popping out fresh priorities
At the rate of imagination
Fires and floods swallow our cities
Temperatures rise ever faster
Yet we’re only starting to face the reality
That we’re the actual natural disaster

R.S.V.P, 23 & me
Sign up for your pre-fab destiny
Get set with a shiny Ivy League degree
Or else stuck working out a ten-year plea
That’s all more or less foreordained
If we’ll be speaking statistically
Build your castles of silicon sand
Your dreams are in high demand
In the land of lost opportunity

There comes a time when the fabrication
Of the means of production of the next generation
Unravels in the racks of sweatshop looms
Do you smell that elephant lurking in the room?
Looking for a heartbeat and forgetting the heart
Left in abandoned shopping carts
Claiming eminent domain on human terrain
Mining the irony flowing through our veins
Baby chasing bathwater right down the drain

Fate is just another word for nothing left to choose
Pick it! Pick it!
We’ve got ourselves a hostage situation
Pick it! Pick it!
And there’s no womb for negotiation
Pick it! Pick it!
Until we can name some terms and conditions
Those hand-me-down expectations
Can take an extended vacation

We’re raising no buns in this oven
Selling the next dammed generation
Up the river and down the pike
For I’d better be more than a revolving door
Churning out another set of standard deviations
These chromosomes shall undergo no distillations
My mitochondria have gone on labor strike
This uterus will issue no birth certificates
Instead of replicating life, I choose to live it
As a sparkling marvelous art exhibit
Pick it! Pick it! Pick it! Pick it!
You can’t fire me, oh, you can’t fire me, I quit!
Pick it! Pick it!