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Brutal Planet (Brutal Planet, 2000)

“Brutal Planet” Lyrics:

We’re spinning round on this ball of hate
There’s no parole, there’s no great escape
We’re sentenced here until the end of days
And then my brother there’s a price to pay

We’re only human, we were born to die
Without the benefit of reason why
We live for pleasure – to be satisfied
And now it’s over there’s no place to hide

Why don’t you, come down to
It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such an ugly world
Why won’t you, come down to

Chorus:
“This world is such perfection” (What a sight)
“It’s just like paradise” (For my eyes)
“A truly grand creation” (What a sight)
“From up here it looks so nice” (For my eyes)

It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such a living hell
It was a holy garden
That’s right where Adam fell
It’s where the bite was taken
It’s where we chose to sin
It’s where we first were naked
This is where our death begins

We took advice from that deceiving snake
He said don’t worry it’s a piece of cake
And sent us swimming in a burning lake
Now we’re abandoned here for heaven’s sake

Why don’t you, come down to
It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such an ugly world
Why won’t you, come down to

(Chorus)

Here’s where we keep the armies
Here’s where we write their names
Here’s where the money god is
Here’s our famous hall of shame
Here’s where we starve the hungry
Here’s where we cheat the poor
Here’s where we beat the children
Here is where we pay the whore

Why don’t you, come down to
It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such an ugly world
Why won’t you, come down to

(Chorus)

Right here we stoned the prophets
Built idols out of mud
Right here we fed the lions
Christian flesh and Christian blood
Down here is where we hung ya
Upon an ugly cross
Over there we filled the ovens
Right here the holocaust

Brutal Planet‘ was released on June 6, 2000.  It is one of Coop’s darker, more substantial albums – focusing on the demise and destruction of humanity. This album reveals what life would look like apart from God and His plan. The product of such an equation is a burning wasteland ruled by Satan – a spinning ‘ball of hate’.

“The story starts right where we are – it’s the future. I think it’s pretty obvious that we’re picking up here. It’s the future, and it’s a mystery how we got here. All we know is that we are here, and we don’t know how we got here, but everything is destroyed.” – Alice Cooper

Judging by today’s state of affairs, it’s as if Alice prophetically wrote both Brutal Planet and Dragontown with almost pinpoint accuracy. It’s a “what have we become?” question that demands an answer – an honest one.

“Brutal Planet,” the title track, has become a fan favorite in Alice’s live shows and focuses on the atrocities of humanity. It historically details the fall of man, original sin, the crucifixion of Christ, wars, the holocaust, false idols, etc. 

In a nutshell, it’s the narrative of creation waging war against its Creator. C.S. Lewis summed it up in a beautifully worded quote:  “A creature revolting against a creator is revolting against the source of his own powers–including even his power to revolt. It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower.

It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such a living hell
It was a holy garden
That’s right where Adam fell
It’s where the bite was taken
It’s where we chose to sin

It’s where we first were naked
This is where our death begins

We took advice from that deceiving snake
He said don’t worry it’s a piece of cake
And sent us swimming in a burning lake
Now we’re abandoned here for heaven’s sake

Why don’t you, come down to
It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such an ugly world
Why won’t you, come down to

Here’s where we keep the armies
Here’s where we write their names
Here’s where the money (our) god is
Here’s our famous hall of shame
Here’s where we starve the hungry
Here’s where we cheat the poor
Here’s where we beat the children
Here is where we pay the whore

Notice in the lyrics, a choice was made by humanity. “We chose to sin.” This song points that out brilliantly with a litany of sins we’ve committed since our initial fall.

It’s funny how society is continuously posing questions to God. How could He ever allow such things like famine, abuse, disease, injustice, inequality, etc. to happen? 

Wouldn’t the better questions be – why don’t we listen to Him? Why don’t we follow His guidelines? Why don’t we seek His Love? Why don’t we seek His Will? 

While the Word has much to say about rebellion, this post will focus on two particular passages: 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”  – 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)

In those above verses, Paul writes about the last days. The last days began after Christ’s resurrection and will continue until His second coming. Until then, it will become more and more comfortable to slide into the ways of the world. 

Loving God requires us to lay aside our pride and our accomplishments – giving Him credit and the glory for the things we do and achieve in this life. Take some time to look at that verse and compare your life against Paul’s list.

Are there areas where you struggle? We can easily find ourselves slipping into many of the adjectives and emotions Paul is condemning in those verses. It’s easy to disobey, hold grudges, give in to selfish pleasures, etc. Walking with God, learning to love one another, seeking His will over your own – those things are difficult. 

They require effort, sacrifice, focus, drive, etc. Paul warns us about others that match the characteristics he lists, but Christ still requires us to love them. Don’t be too hasty about writing off others for their shortcomings and failures. They often define us apart from the Spirit, and we are still called to LOVE them as ourselves. 

There is NO scenario in which the Bible requires or asks us to hate a fellow human being. Any theological idea or discussion that does not expect us to love is not from God – it’s demonic.

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (NIV)

In these verses, we find the Thessalonians on the edge of hopelessness.  Paul is discussing with them the nature of evil, false prophecies, misinformation, and the final judgment. Paul was laying out some details of what was still to come, and he was trying to teach them not to only focus on what was going on around them. He wanted them to understand their role.

God is in control and will be victorious.  The state of the world and the darkness that consumes much of it are no match for His Glory, yet in this passage, the Thessalonians could not control their excitement and anticipation for Christ’s return. 

One day they would be stagnant in their faith, seizing to be productive, anticipating His return minute by minute.  Then the next day, they would lose all hope because He had not yet arrived. 

Paul urged them to balance those emotions and not focus solely on the events unfolding around them. He instead taught them to concentrate on their faith and to share Christ’s Love and the Gospel with others.

Wrapping this up, how often do we think more about the events of the world than we do our faith? How often do we focus on the state of our nation instead of the state of our spiritual journey? The sins of our fellow brothers and sisters? The future?

When we focus on such things, our faith is tested (often by elements we have no control over). Have you ever heard someone say, I would believe in God if He would just  *fill in the blank* ? Or maybe, I just can’t believe in God because of  *fill in the blank *.

There is a myriad of answers to the above listed fill-in-the-blank questions and scenarios.

But God has given us a gift. He’s bestowed upon us free will.

We are NOT forced to live or obey Him. He wants us to come to that conclusion on our own. He wants us to seek Him. He wants us to learn more about Him. He wants us to follow His lead, not succumb to our desires (James 1:13-16).

The truth is, it’s petty of anyone to blame God for the shortcomings of humanity. In retrospect, it makes more sense to blame ourselves.

Had we followed Him and His lead and learned from our mistakes (instead of repeating them) – wouldn’t we be better off?

If we, individually, would focus on our individual lives and walks – meeting our Creator with compassion, love, and obedience – would that not spill over into the lives of everyone else around us?

Until His Triumphant Return, He’s entrusted us with this “Brutal Planet.” Can we really blame Him for this “ugly world?” Or are we the ones to blame for the transformation of this “holy garden” into a “living hell?”

In conclusion, when Brutal Planet was first released, it was a futuristic, science fiction-based concept – the musical equivalent of Orwell’s 1984, if you will. However, it’s fascinating and a bit disturbing to see so many of the lyrics come to fruition in recent history.

“I’ve never really written anything science fiction, and I wanted this one to be in the form of a futuristic novel. So ‘Brutal Planet’ is basically what this planet is going to turn into. And I have to go not by what I feel. I’m very optimistic. Alice is very pessimistic. I have to write the way Alice would think. He thinks we’re flying toward a brick wall at 100 miles per hour.” – Alice Cooper

Brutal Planet was followed up by Dragontown in 2001. The two albums are connected. Dragontown takes a closer look at the worst parts of Brutal Planet. From those two albums, we see the fate of humanity apart from God. It’s a depiction of what “choosing sin” has done to us. May we all recognize that and know there is a better way – His way.

That’s it for this week. Be Well and Catch You Next Friday!

Until then, Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice.

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"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

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