by Roger L. Simon
It must be something in the air.
Or maybe it’s the air itself.
Nevertheless, country legend John Rich and rapper Tom MacDonald of Hangover Gang fame—in their new two-genre music video “End of the World”—and major conservative thinker David Horowitz in his latest best-selling book “Final Battle” are all singing from the same playbook.
Though radically different in style, both are first-rate, even brilliant works, unfortunately with the same apocalyptic vision embodied in their titles.
Grim as that message is, I suspect in all three cases it is delivered by men who are optimists in their souls. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be doing it.
“End of the World”—released March 17 as song and video—is one of the best combinations of Country and Rap I have seen, on the level of Kid Rock at his best. Its message is timely.
MacDonald—who, miraculously, is able to rap without dropping the f-bomb—begins by telling us “I know the end is near,” later explaining “This is Biblical. I talk to God, but it’s long distance and I lost reception.”
Rich comes in with the chorus “If it’s the end of the world, I will do better next time,” adding “We had a thousand chances.”
All this against a montage of UFOs flying over our cities, natural disasters on beaches, chemical spills (we know where they got that idea), and global chaos in general.
I had an interesting and complicated reaction to the use of the flying saucers. Were they coming to rescue us, mock us, or take us over? It was hard to say.
You can see the video here and decide for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
Sometimes you think the arts are dead or are just purveyors of “woke” bilge, especially in this Academy season, but MacDonald and Rich are proving they still have relevance to the world in which we live. Rich had already shown this with his number one hit “Progress” last year.
My reference to “Apocalypse Now”—Francis Ford Coppola’s classic film of the Vietnam Era— was not casual. It contains arguably the most famous line of dialogue from that period—“I love the smell of napalm in morning!”
That was written by screenwriter John Milius, whose daughter Amanda directed the film version of Lee Smith’s “The Plot Against the President.” Oh, the generations!
As for Horowitz, the subtitle of his “Final Battle”—“The Next Election Could Be the Last”—is also obviously apocalyptic.
The author, whose stellar abilities as a writer are often overlooked because of his often controversial (to some, not to me) ideas, earns this seemingly extreme vision by taking us through piecemeal the mind-boggling excrescences of the Biden era.
I needn’t enumerate all of them here from the open border, the Afghanistan debacle, unchecked BLM and Antifa violence to COVID used to lock us all down and wear handkerchiefs on our faces like good little Maoists.
We are on the road to socialism/communism and therefore decline, Horowitz shows us as well as anybody. He writes: “Empires and states rise and fall while everybody is watching. Although the watchers may be surprised when the actual collapse occurs, with the hindsight provided by the end itself, everybody can see how it fell.”
What was it that Hemingway wrote in “The Sun Also Rises”?
“How did you go bankrupt?”
“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
Rich and MacDonald have put this all into song, and Horowitz into literature.