“Purge the Poison,” the latest single off of MARINA’s forthcoming album Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land (to be released June 11th — you can preorder here) sounds like the auditory embodiment of reselling thrifted clothes on Depop for twice their original price.
Mind you, it’s a decidedly catchy track, the driving drum beat reminding me of Charly García’s No Me Dejan Salir. Already in the first verse, we get some of Marina Diamandis’ trademark subtlety: “Quarantined all alone, Mother Nature’s on the phone / “What have you been doing? Don’t forget I am your home / Virus come, fires burn until human beings learn.”
Oh yes baby, someone’s discovered ecofascism!
Granted, the pop song is perhaps not the most apt form for unpacking the nuances of eco-feminism, or at least MARINA’s approximation of it, but implying that 2.97 million people are dead because of some divine punishment from Mother Nature is…well, pretty terrible. Because Indigenous people have already shown us that it is possible to live in balance with nature. Making up around 5% of the global population and managing an estimated 20% to 25% of the Earth’s land surface, they protect 80% of global biodiversity. It’s not our humanity, but larger systems of white supremacy that threaten our planet’s biodiversity.
To her credit, MARINA does namecheck racism and capitalism as the destructive systems that they are, but it rings hollow. It still feels like, given the right set of circumstances, she might very well end up collaborating with Kadie Diekmeyer of “That Vegan Teacher” fame — or at the very least, joining a white vegan cult.
The rest of the track offers this same vague probe into leftist girlboss politics, with a general aura of “we are the granddaughters of the witches you couldn’t burn.” As she meditates, “I just want a world where I can see the feminine / We only make up one-quarter of the government” (it seems the master’s tools will dismantle the master’s house).
Still, it’s important to count one’s blessings. It’s with every inch of my being that I am thankful that MARINA has not fallen down the (utterly unsurprising) path of Lana Del Ray because, may God bless and keep me always, I know I will continue listening to both of these women regardless of what they do. I simply am not strong enough for the guilt of listening to “Born To Die” to manifest itself in “The Family Jewels.”
By Fiona O’Reilly (she/her), who also runs “across the 8th dimension” (Wednesdays, 12:00 -2:00 pm)! It’s a very big deal.
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