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Father John Misty Questions Virtual Reality And Religion On ‘Saturday Night Live’

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Above Image: Father John Misty opened his performance on Saturday Night Live with "Total Entertainment Forever."
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Joshua Michael Tillman, a.k.a. sentient-thinking emoji Father John Misty, performed two songs on Saturday Night Live this weekend that questioned two of the bedrocks of Western civilization: entertainment and religion.

“Total Entertainment Forever” and “Pure Comedy,” both from his upcoming album Pure Comedy (due out April 7 on Sub Pop), are thought-provoking, tongue-in-cheek criticisms of societal opiates. Given the state of American political discourse right now, Tillman’s booking on late night’s premier stage — which typically hosts musicians much more popular than the Los Angeles-based songwriter — was a clear message from the SNL staff bookers.

Watch the videos of each performance below, and read the accompanying lyrics.

“Total Entertainment Forever”

Bedding Taylor Swift

Every night inside the Oculus Rift

After mister and the missus finish dinner and the dishes

And now the future’s definition is so much higher than it was last year

It’s like the images have all become real

And someone’s living my life for me out in the mirror

No, can you believe how far we’ve come

In the New Age?

Freedom to have what you want

In the New Age we’ll all be entertained

Rich or poor, the channels are all the same

You’re a star now, baby, so dry your tears

You’re just like them

Wake on up from the nightmare

Come on

Oh ho oh

Oh

Oh ho oh

No gods to rule us

No drugs to soothe us

No myths to prove stuff

No love to confuse us

Not bad for a race of demented monkeys

From a cave to a city to a permanent party

Come on

Oh ho oh

Oh

Oh ho oh

When the historians find us we’ll be in our homes

Plugged into our hubs

Skin and bones

A frozen smile on every face

As the stories replay

This must have been a wonderful place

“Pure Comedy”

The comedy of man starts like this

Our brains are way too big for our mothers’ hips

And so Nature, she divines this alternative

We emerged half-formed and hope that whoever greets us on the other end

Is kind enough to fill us in

And, babies, that’s pretty much how it’s been ever since

Now the miracle of birth leaves a few issues to address

Like, say, that half of us are periodically iron-deficient

So somebody’s got to go kill something while I look after the kids

I’d do it myself, but what, are you going to get this thing its milk?

He says as soon as he gets back from the hunt, we can switch

It’s hard not to fall in love with something so helpless

Ladies, I hope we don’t end up regretting this

Comedy, now that’s what I call pure comedy

Just waiting until the part where they start to believe

They’re at the center of everything

And some all-powerful being endowed this horror show with meaning

Oh, their religions are the best

They worship themselves yet they’re totally obsessed

With risen zombies, celestial virgins, magic tricks, these unbelievable outfits

And they get terribly upset

When you question their sacred texts

Written by woman-hating epileptics

Their languages just serve to confuse them

Their confusion somehow makes them more sure

They build fortunes poisoning their offspring

And hand out prizes when someone patents the cure

Where did they find these goons they elected to rule them?

What makes these clowns they idolize so remarkable?

These mammals are hell-bent on fashioning new gods

So they can go on being godless animals

Oh comedy, their illusions they have no choice but to believe

Their horizons that just forever recede

And how’s this for irony, their idea of being free is a prison of beliefs

That they never ever have to leave

Oh comedy, oh it’s like something that a madman would conceive!

The only thing that seems to make them feel alive is the struggle to survive

But the only thing that they request is something to numb the pain with

Until there’s nothing human left

Just random matter suspended in the dark

I hate to say it, but each other’s all we got

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.