Saturday, May 9, 2020

Tucson, AZ: COVID-19 Unfolding, Part 18: Signs of these Times

COVID masked dinosaur, McDonald's at Grant and Tanque Verde, Tucson, Arizona. May 2020.

On today's weekly hunting-and-gathering foray, I saw signs of the COVID times. They ranged from the whimsical to the utilitarian to the ... ironic? wry? earnest? apocalyptic?

COVID mask and gloves bucket, Food City, Tucson, Arizona. May 2020.

COVID shopping carts, Food City, Tucson, Arizona. May 2020.

COVID biotech sticker, Sprouts parking lot, Tucson, Arizona. May 2020.

Two artists for the above sticker? The second unknown to the first?

"Biotech is Godzilla" is a cultural reference for fans of 1980s-90s thrash metal, which presaged death metal.  The Brazilian band, Sepultura, who birthed Biotech is Godzilla, was a thrash metal band. There is even an Arizona connection here, as the band spent some time in Phoenix writing songs for its Chaos A.D. album.

From a 2017 article in Revolver, 5 Things You Didn't Know About Sepultura's 'Chaos A.D.':

Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra wrote the lyrics to "Biotech Is Godzilla"

As a longtime fan of early punk-rock bands, including Black Flag, Bad Brains, Circle Jerks and especially Dead Kennedys, Cavalera was excited by the idea of having DK frontman Jello Biafra contribute to the album. He didn't want him to sing, he just wanted lyrics.
"I don't think Jello is a bad singer, I just think his lyrics are so great. They're so sarcastic and smart. So I asked him to write the lyrics and he said, 'What should I write about?' I said, 'Anything you want to, man.' So he came up with 'Biotech is Godzilla,' which is about the 1992 Rio Summit, where all these politicians got together and talked about technology. Jello's big theory was that AIDS was invented by scientists in laboratories. It was a disease created by us."

The lyrics to Biotech is Godzilla

Rio Summit, '92
Street people kidnapped
Hid from view
"To save the earth"
Our rulers met
Some had other
Secret plans


Say what?

Strip-mine the Amazon
Of cells of life itself
Gold rush for genes is on
Natives get nothing

Is Godzilla

Mutations cooked in labs
Money-mad experiments
New food + medicine?
New germs + accidents!
Like Cubatao
"World's most polluted town"
Air melts your face
Deformed children all around
Ain't what's so bad
Like all technology
It's in the wrong hands

Cut-throat corporations
Don't give a damn
When lots of people die
From what they've made

Is A.I.D.S.?


So you just never know what you're going to discover from a simple sticker slapped onto a pole in a grocery store parking lot.

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