Apropos of the rather destitute, emotionally moribund inquiry on the part of Gorillaz of “Are we the last living souls?”, I have a couple of rather ironic but I think juicy perspectives that I’ve gathered and aim to frame toward a more enlivening discourse. In summation, there are three rock songs that I’ve thought of that, at least implicitly, handle the topic of whether or not life exists on other planets. Now, just through a sort of strange, accidental osmosis I did stumble on the theory that the universe is too BIG today to support extraterrestrial life — it’s so da** cold in outer space and the sheer distance between two given stars and galaxies, given so much red shift expansion, makes for a pretty tumultuous physical landscape. I mean, this planet we live on here isn’t exactly an exemplar of ideal weather. But we do get both extremes which, even if not pleasant, are at least livable. This would yield the deduction that were our winters or summers “ideal,” the other extreme would be extremely, extremely comfortable. That is to say, if you took 30 degrees and made it 70 degrees, you would have to add 40 to the average summer temperature too, or vice versa if you were to transform summer into an ideal climate. Anyway, Gorillaz take a sort of petty, childish compunction to the idea that we’re the “last living souls,” a stance which I guess is ultimately arbitrary but whose disapproval is probably made more arguable by the fact of the next track being “Kids with Guns.” This is juxtaposed starkly against “Across the Universe,” in which alien formation is implicitly betokened as a portal to human existence, a tale of wildly euphoric and meaningful hallucination wherein the size of the “universe” is trolled into a little metaphorical teacup sitting by John Lennon’s bed. The message is: this is it. He’s weaving this incredible tapestry of images and conquests and their destination, in all its gargantuan clarity, is his own mind, capable of incredible, astonishing perception. We will forever own this phenomenon, as music listeners, as long as we can put this song on and behold the staggering breadth of lyrical strangeness which comes to a simple, beautiful head in the chorus of “Nothing’s gonna change my world”. It’s like yeah, life will always be this beautiful. The claims he makes are postmodern and jagged in their discursive convolutions but the song I’m REALLY stuck on is “Graffitia,” off of Green Day’s last album Father of All… Verse one traipses along with a vague, uninspiring sense of the political, of corruption and money-hoarding in the uppers, giving way then to the first chorus of “This city isn’t big enough for dreamers / We were all believers / It’s the perfect crime”. The “perfect crime” he’s referring to here is simply life itself as a human being on planet earth, with what’s probably a sense of validation and depth making play with a generally embraced malady of significant suffering and loss of meaning among people he sees or perceives around him. “Graffitia” by and large seems nonsensical and this is appropriate because it’s a song that’s perfectly and pertinently just ABOUT life itself and life itself can also seem nonsensical. But it subscribes to the ethos that suffering on earth will be rewarded in the afterlife with the quip that “All souls go to heaven in graffitia” but that expression and exploration are required for entrance into the promised land. The exploration here is embodied just by the desire to travel through outer space, typified by the line “This city isn’t big enough for dreamers”, and the expression, quite simply, is the art of graffiti visible everywhere in Billie Joe Armstrong’s city of San Francisco.