“Is everyone afraid? Is everyone ashamed?” So begins “Doomsday Clock” the first track from Zeitgeist, the first new release by Chicago’s giants of alternative rock, Smashing Pumpkins. The “Doomsday Clock” is a symbolic clock face maintained since 1947. It uses a clock as an analogy to describe how close the human race is to extinction. Since it’s introduction, the clock has appeared on every cover of the “Bulletin of Atomic Scientists” depicting the number of “Minutes to Midnight”. The “Midnight” of humanity represents the “catastrophic destruction” of humanity. Originally, the Doomsday Clock represented the looming threat of Nuclear Warfare, but has since been expanded to include destruction by “Climate-changing Technologies” and “New Developments in the Life Sciences and nano-technology”. The clock is currently set to five minutes to midnight after having been advanced by two minutes on January 17, 2007. The cover of Zeitgeist is a representation of the Statue of Liberty under water. The theme of impending global catastrophe seems to be a recurring theme throughout the Album and it’s artwork. If you are familiar with the Pumpkins, you’ll note that the Band’s seven-year hiatus has done little to change their sound. “Doomsday Clock”, “Starz”, and “Tarantula” sound similar to songs found on the Band’s 1995 double-disc epic, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”. However, Zeitgeist has a sound and message that is unique to the Pumpkin Catalogue. It seems that the melancholy, anger, and general malaise that was so typical of the band prior to their break-up in 2000 has been channeled, directed and focused into a beam of white hot fire that seeks the truth by burning down the lies. The magnum opus of this record is without a doubt the track titled “United States”. It speaks to the fears generated by a post 9-11 world-wide war on terrorism. Writ of Habeus Corpus is suspended (this means regular citizens can be detained without reason indefinitely). “I don’t know what I believe. But if I feel safe, what do I need.” In the chorus of the song, Pumpkins front man, Billy Corgan calls for “Revolution”. Benjamin Franklin once said that those who would give up freedom for security deserve neither. In the past seven years, our civil liberties have dwindled away like water swirling down a drain. When asked to testify in front of the 9/11 commission, Resident Bush and Vice-Resident Cheney were allowed to appear together, in private, and the Bush administration got to reserve the right to decide the contents of the final report. How is this Justice? It’s terrifying to me to think that our government (not Al-Quaeda) planned and carried out the attacks on our nation’s military and financial centers, but if the Bush Administration is innocent, what is the reason for all this secrecy? Lennin said, “When you’re looking for someone to blame, look for the person who has something to gain and you will usually find your culprit.”The only group that seems to have benefited from the events of September 11, 2001 is the Bush Administration. They have used 9/11 as a platform for launching two wars that have lasted longer than any prior U.S. Military Operation. Bush and his Cronies created the Department of Homeland Security and Drafted the Patriot Act, both of which allow the government of the United States of America to roll back the Civil Liberties of it’s citizens and engage in domestic espionage. Zeitgeist is a German word that means literally, “The Spirit of the Times.” The Zeitgeist of America under the Bush administration is an elitist secret society in which those with power bear no accountability to the people they govern. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Politicians are like Diapers. They should be changed often and for the same reason.” The real power in America doesn’t lie with politicians. It never has and it never will. The power lies with the people. This is the message of Zeitgeist. I highly recommend this album (and film of the same name) to anyone who still thinks.