If Saturday is truly the end of times, then I've been ready for judgment day for most of my adult life. Aside from my hard drive, my family and my SLR (because when that Rapture comes, you need you some high-quality digital images, right?), the only two things I need to grab are: The Ramones and "The Simpsons."
If I have to spend eternity cooling my heels in heaven or sweating it out somewhere else, is there really any better musical accompaniment than the Ramones' 1976 debut album? Perhaps the most perfect punk disc ever recorded, this classic has been the soundtrack to my life on Earth, so why not in the great beyond?
From "Blitzkrieg Bop" to "Beat on the Brat," "Judy Is a Punk," "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" and "Loudmouth," not to mention "53rd & 3rd," "Let's Dance," "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You" and the apocalyptically pop "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World," this album has it all. Chainsaw guitars, pinhead-dumb lyrics repeated ad nauseum, just the right patina of girl-group love, deviant behavior and the perfect combination of power-pop, surf, punk and New York attitude.
And speaking of dumb, what trip to the Great Beyond would be complete without the smartest dumb thing every created by man: "The Simpsons"? No sitcom in TV history has been as consistently funny, amusing, shocking and just plain brilliant as Matt Groening's so-dysfunctional-they're-back-to-functional nuclear family. I'd take all the seasons with me if I could fit them in the Great Celestial Glass Elevator, but if forced to choose, I'd definitely grab #3, with such classics as "Stark Raving Dad," which featured the voice of Michael Jackson.
I'd also pack up season four, which was highlighted by "A Streetcar Named Marge," (in which Marge realizes Homer may actually be the real-life Stanley Kowalski) and one of the all-time classics, "Marge vs. the Monorail." I, literally, reference this episode on an almost weekly basis almost 18 years after it first aired. Why? So many reasons. But mostly its genius "Music Man" homage and the cameo from "Star Trek" alum Leonard Nimoy (and a sly reference to his amazing 1970s E.T.-hunting show "In Search Of") and sly allusions to everything from "Star Wars" to "Beverly Hills, 90210," "The Silence of the Lambs" and Tim Burton's original "Batman."
It may be the most perfect "Simpsons" of all time. And if you turn down the sound and play The Ramones at the same time. Forget about it.