I realize that Radiohead likes to engage in their cynicism more often than optimism, so the megalomanic lyrics in “Airbag” is probably something we shouldn’t take for its face value. But the underlying music is so heroic and expansive, I can’t help being more naïve than cynical.
Religious cliché aside, if you really stop and think about the concept of being born again, you’d have to admit that the idea is attractive. Being born again is to be given a second chance. It also means to wipe the slate clean and start over. Many of us will jump at a chance to start anew from a clean slate.
And the idea of saving the universe. Maybe most of us aren’t tasked with such a big mission, but many of us live our lives thinking we’re meant to do something else — something bigger or more important. A savior of the universe is important, because he has an important mission. In the same manner, you are important. You are important to you.
Now let’s stop and think about that for a moment. Are you really important to you? I don’t see why anybody will say no, but do you really act it? Do you treat yourself like an important person, with an important mission? We support people with important missions. We may take care of them, support them, and nurture them. Do you really do that to yourself?
I must confess, I forget sometimes. In the name of being helpful and cooperative (which are important, too) I neglect the most important person to me. It’s a balancing act, of course, but I’m the only person who can carry out the important mission tasked to me — so I need to support myself in that pursuit, too. And even ask for support from others.
So I listen to this song, remind myself of my importance. And get back into the daily battle to balance things out, make things right.