Yossarian from Joseph Heller’s Catch-22: Listen here.
Arcade Fire – “(Antichrist Television Blues)”
Win Butler may be referring to a different set of planes than Yossarian’s B-25 bombers in Arcade Fire’s epic post-9/11 meditation, but the dread in his voice as he doles out disdain for the government, church and other American institutions could just as easily come from Heller/Yossarian.
Kanye West – “Black Skinhead”
Like Heller, West goes for the jugular here, constructing a song that’s somehow both militant and chaotic. The world Yossarian inhabits in Catch-22 is centered around the Army, the supposed acme of unshakable structure, and yet, is batshit crazy.
Modest Mouse – “Dark Center of the Universe”
Every time (and there are a lot of times) Isaac Brock’s barks, “And I’m really damn sure that anyone can equally, easily fuck you over,” you wonder if he lifted it from the pages of Catch-22. Constantly curtailing the possibility death, Yossarian finds himself in a crisis of faith, health, humanity, everything. So does Isaac.
MGMT – “Your Life Is a Lie”
Apparently, Yossarian and Isaac aren’t the only ones having existential dilemmas. Oh, hey, everything’s meaningless. Cool.
Jay Reatard – “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me”
Deceptively upbeat and fueled by paranoia, the song mimics the tics of a nervous breakdown. Yossarian has determined he’ll soon be killed no matter what, allowing the line, “All is lost, there is no hope for me” to resonate as Jay Reatard skittishly sings it over and over like a lunatic.