Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, The Flaming Lips
Warner Bros. Records, July 16, 2002
Track Listing: 1. Fight Test, 2. One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21, 3. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1, 4. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2, 5. In the Morning of the Magicians, 6. Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell, 7. Are You a Hypnotist??, 8. It’s Summertime, 9. Do You Realize??, 10. All We Have Is Now, 11. Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)
“I don’t know where the sunbeams end
and the starlights begin
It’s all a mystery”
-from “Fight Test”
It’s the first day of spring and it’s snowing like hell. At this rate, spring might last all of a few weeks and the dog days of summer will be nothing more than a silly rumor. It’ll be no wonder that July or August pollinates a strange new strain of seasonal disorder. When you wait for something this long, it has no choice but to end too soon.
And I can understand
if you still feel sad”
-from “It’s Summertime”
The first time we visited him at the hospital, he was stuck in a bed in a room that seemed to be riddled with germs that seemed like they must have hung around for centuries. The stale stench of inevitability in the sick ward is much like it is at a nursing home, only we weren’t visiting Grandma. He wasn’t yet thirty.
“You and me were never meant to be
Part of the future
All we have is now
All we’ve ever had is now”
-from “All We Have Is Now”
You went white as you looked at him. It was as if he was already gone but somehow still here, in there somewhere, hiding behind deep black holes where movie star eyes once beamed bright. The eyes were now shields that refused entry to any more pity.
“She’s gotta be strong to fight them
So she’s taking lots of vitamins”
-from “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1 ”
They warned about the dolls, how they wouldn’t work forever. Enemies live for the fight, mutating relentlessly. Their only goal is complete and utter destruction, to render a resounding defeat. They deplete ammunition and spirits with routine ease. And they were nothing if not efficient in their meticulous annihilation.
Calculations chart the never ending shift taking place on the blood-soaked battlefield. Soon it is time to call in the reserves, followed in short order by second and third opinions. Trial and error maps out new strategy. But flanking cocktails designed to ambush and surround the enemy don’t always work as planned.
“As the dawn began to break
I had to surrender
The universe will have its way
Too powerful to master”
-from “In the Morning of the Magicians”
Another morning brings us to a different land, a different battle. I saved the note. The paper on which you wrote those strange words to me is now an artifact. I am an unwilling archaeologist. I am a fossil. I am extinct. It was as if my own ghost had beaten me to the finish line, perhaps in a race to find you once again, so we could pull off a new gag. Our laughter scales dimensions.
The note brings me back, knowing that you touched it with your warm hands. I try to touch the ink, the letters, as if to connect to a lost world.
“I was waiting on a moment
But the moment never came
All the billion other moments
Were just slipping on away”
-from “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell”
I hear the music now and turn it off quickly. It is too heavy a dose. One day soon, I might even take it off my iPod altogether so that it will never be able to shuffle through the debris and find me again.
“Do you realize
-from “Do You Realize??”
No rain. No snow. Certainly no snow. It’s the tenth hole, and we are just starting out on the back nine. Your cigar is half gone—chewed up good as a result of the tee shot that found water on 8. Of course there were fumes in the vicinity of your ears. I had to look the other way and bite down hard not to laugh.
But now on the 10th, there is nothing ahead but green, save a few traps of golden sand that will surely not get in our way.
I know that you’ll recognize
-from “It’s Summertime”
It’s just you and me and the sun.