Is the world becoming a scarier place?

When driving, I love to surf the radio for songs that I haven’t heard for awhile – mostly golden oldies.  However, sometimes I channel surf for stations that play new music, to hear what is happening in the contemporary music scene.  Often, the songs are rap music-like and I don’t really relate to the beat +/or the lyrics.

But one day last week my attention was grabbed by a song with lyrics like:

  • we checked our guns at the door   
  • psychopath sitting next to you   
  • the murderer sitting next to you
  • newcomers have a certain smell
  • they can smell your intentions
These two young girls were part of a Saturday afternoon Zombie walk in Mexico City that included many young children and very graphic costumes.  The amazing thing was that it was a fun family event with over 10,000 people of all ages having fun? These two girls with their parents permission willingly posed for this photo with big smiles. 

These two young girls were part of a Saturday afternoon Zombie walk in Mexico City that included many young children and very graphic costumes.  The amazing thing was that it was a fun family event with over 10,000 people of all ages having fun? These two girls with their parents permission willingly posed for this photo with big smiles. 

Yikes!

The words haunted me for the next hour. Then, later that same day, on my drive home, the song was on again. Once home, I immediately looked up the song online to get the title and lyrics…

Heathens by Twenty One Pilots

All my friends are heathens. Take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don't make any sudden moves
You don't know the half of the abuse

All my friends are heathens. Take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don't make any sudden moves
You don't know the half of the abuse

Welcome to the room of people
Who have rooms of people that they loved one day
Docked away
Just because we check the guns at the door
Doesn't mean our brains will change from hand grenades

You'll never know the psychopath sitting next to you
You'll never know the murderer sitting next to you
You'll think, "How'd I get here, sitting next to you?"
But after all I've said
Please don't forget

All my friends are heathens. Take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don't make any sudden moves
You don't know the half of the abuse

We don't deal with outsiders very well
They say newcomers have a certain smell
You have trust issues, not to mention
They say they can smell your intentions

You'll never know the freakshow sitting next to you
You'll have some weird people sitting next to you
You'll think, "How'd I get here, sitting next to you?"
But after all I've said
Please don't forget
(Watch it, watch it)

All my friends are heathens. Take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don't make any sudden moves
You don't know the half of the abuse

All my friends are heathens. Take it slow
(Watch it)
Wait for them to ask you who you know
(Watch it)
Please, all my friends are heathens. Take it slow
(Watch it)
Wait for them to ask you who you know

Why'd you come, you knew you should have stayed
I tried to warn you just to stay away
And now they're outside ready to bust
It looks like you might be one of us

Link: Heathens video

Twenty One Pilots:  Background

Twenty One Pilots is an American musical duo from Columbus, Ohio that was formed in 2009.  The duo brings a mix of piano (sometimes an electronic keyboard or a keytar), synthesizer, drums (sometimes mixed with electronic drums), vocals, and occasionally a ukulele. Their songs are usually poetry-based (written by duo Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun); Joseph has stated that when poetry is too long, he needs to start rapping to fit the lyrics in. 

People typically have trouble affiliating the band to a specific genre to describe them, since they bridge so many. However many fans (and themselves to a degree) have labeled their genre as "Schizophrenic pop" (also known as Schizoid pop), a technically unofficial subgenre of pop

Although many of their songs contain allusions to Christian theology and have messages (even if implied) about God, and all members of the band (past and present) are Christians, Twenty One Pilots is not considered a Christian band

The successful single “Heathens” was recorded for the soundtrack of the 2016 American superhero film Suicide Squad now playing in theatres and reporting strong box office success - $732 million US to date. 

Link: Wikipedia Twenty One Pilots

Link: What does “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots Mean

Calgary the new Detroit?

I am not known to be an overly sensitive guy (some might argue I’m not a sensitive guy at all). Maybe I am just a little moreso, these days given the Calgary shooting death of Mylan Hicks, a member of the recent Calgary Stampeders football team or because of all the senseless violence that seems to dominate the media today.

For a long time, Calgarians and Canadians have believed (and many still do) that senseless violence, religious and racial hatred doesn’t exist in our communities.  I think our bubble has burst, or at least mine has.

Ironically, Hick’s mother thought it was great that he was getting out of Detroit and living in Calgary where he would be safer.  While nobody would confuse Calgary with Detroit when it comes to personal safety, we shouldn’t stick our heads in the sand - our city is not as safe as it once was – and neither is the bigger world we share.

And that is an opinion echoed by Calgarians in the Calgary Foundation’s recent 2016 Vital Signs Report.  Citizens were asked, “In what ways if any, has the quality of life in Calgary declined noticeably over the past two years,” and answered with “increased violent crime, gangs and drugs.”

Last Word

More and more, I hear friends and colleagues say they are planning their vacations based on where they perceive it is safe to travel. When I told people I loved Mexico City, they would respond, “I would never go to Mexico City or anywhere in Mexico. It isn’t safe?”  Others have said they won’t travel to Europe, as you never know when or where the next suicide bomber will strike.  And they can’t be blamed, as tourist terrorism is a reality in today’s world.

Link: Soft Targets and Tourist Terrorism

Is it just me? Am I becoming overly sensitive in my old age? Or do others feel the world we share is becoming a scarier place?

I’d love to hear what you think.

If you like this blog you might like:

Mexico City vs Calgary: Private Space vs Public Space

Mexico City: Full of Surprises