Let’s Build a Future, While Supplies Last

A going-out-of-business sale for all time.

The degradation of the natural world began at a time we were more beholden to nature than it was to us. I won’t call it an innocent time, because man’s innocence has long been in question, and was anyway always placed at a time before now. But, working against the elements, and sometimes against our fellow humans, we brought homes, townships, cities, and a new civilization to this new-to-us old world.

Our vaunted frontier spirit became a national creed. Through these simple, natural, rural, down-home, out-in-the-country, back-to-the-land impulses and exploits, amid our seemingly endless bounty, we have slowly and inexorably taken much of the non-human world to the brink of extinction.

I had two realization a few years ago: First, that to end our destruction of nature, we’re going to have to abandon a lot of it, to not live in it. To not build a house in the middle of a forest and a fire zone, or lay a road through a wildlife sanctuary. Let alone tear it up for mining, or put a pipeline through it. It became clear that living in nature was not always congruent with honoring and worshipping it.

Second, I saw that to transition quickly off fossil fuels is ironically going to take a lot of fossil fuels. The infrastructure for a sustainable world will need massive energy inputs. And I saw that in both these ways, it was a race against time. It’s like when you realize, just after you’ve poured yourself a second bowl of cereal, there’s barely enough milk. Except the cereal just keeps pouring.

“While Supplies Last” is an attempt to take this subject on. John thomas Oaks is a brilliant, versatile, musically restless and incredibly prolific songwriter I met in the BMI Lehmann Engel Musical Theater Workshop in the late ’90s. He is a Christian who writes both religious and secular songs. Though I’m not religious, I respond deeply to Christian music, and I think Jt’s background brings a deep spirituality and a rich Americana to his setting of the lyrics.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 thoughts on “Let’s Build a Future, While Supplies Last”

  1. Hi
    We might have met years ago
    I used to live with Jennie Williams and Peter kondrat in park slope in the 80s for a little bit
    I’ve reconnected with Jennie and somehow came across your music…such great songwriting
    And that song….It will get betterL…is in my ears …
    I be written and some recordings out in the world….
    But thanks for your songs
    Deanna Kirk

    1. Thanks so much, Deanna. It’s good to hear from you. I recall you sang on one of my recordings back then. Glad you’re still making music.

Scroll to Top