Monday :: Jan 16, 2006

The Unresolved Crisis


by Duckman GR

Life is often a series of unrelated events that end up twining themselves about a central theme, a construct within our DNA that gives rise to an understanding about some part of our daily toil. Just the other day I grabbed a couple of CD's, somewhat randomly, for the drive to work, two oldies, "Chicago II" and "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere." I didn't get to Neil. Yet.

So I'm crawling down the Freeway Blogger Canvas listening to Chicago, hard to describe a band so musical, so soulful, so, like their original name, a Chicago Bus driving roughshod over the rock landscape in 1970. Brilliant sound, just riveting and full, Terry Kath's growling, snarling guitar, those horns just driving at full roar, high, low and left, er, middle, clean and powerful and raw, when the simple 60’s lyrics started to ping in my head.

If you really understand
Then come right over to me
We can play together for a while
And still be free
"The Road"

got me thinking. What was it Alito said, "It was a time of turmoil at colleges and universities. And I saw some very smart people and very privileged people behaving irresponsibly. And I couldn't help making a contrast between some of the worst of what I saw on the campus and the good sense and the decency of the people back in my own community." And what was Digby's post the other day on this subject?

Sex and drugs and Anti-Establishment protests overturning the Leave it to Beaver mentality of Middle America. And people like Alito showering disdain and outrage, OUTRAGE! I tell you on those damn liberal liberals. All the while denying the reasons behind the tumult and turmoil. Yes, it wasn't the lying, people, it was the Blow Job. No, it was the lying AND the Blow Job. It wasn't the torture, it was the oil, (oops, how'd that get in here?)

The same damn liberal wars of the 60's are being fought today with many of the same circumstances; Democrats hopelessly divided, wars in far away places (Vietnam, Iraq), protests, student committees (bloggers), the War Pigs Crawling, isn't it just great, 30 some odd years later, the same fight, the same dying, the same greed and lies and blood, and for what?

Power. Under the cover of A Brave New World.

I'm so excited, don't you see, that we've progressed from my formative years when I was too young to be a hippy or an SDSer, active and aware. I didn't watch the Chicago riots, didn't understand the ITT/Nixon scandal, Pentagon Papers, didn't really sabe that whole Watergate thing until my brother brought home National Lampoon's "The Missing Whitehouse Tapes," so in a way it's great that I can live out a simulacrum, sans the protests, riots, Kent State's, the burning ROTC buildings and all that untidiness.

Can't stand it no more
The people cheating
Burning each other
They know it ain't right
How can it be right
Better end soon my friend
It better end soon my friend
"It Better End Soon"

When Walter Parazaider blows his lungs out through his freakin flute and Robert Lamm screams his pain and anger you can't help but feel it. It ain’t right, and it’s happening again,

Hey, everybody
Won't you just look around
Can't anybody see?
Just what's going down
Can't you take the time?
Just to feel
Just to feel what is real
If you do
Then you'll see that we got a raw deal
They're killing everybody
I wish it weren't true
They say we got to make war
Or the economy will fall
But if we don't stop
We won't be around no more
They're ruining this world
For you and me
The big heads of state
Won't let us be free
They made the rules once
But it didn't work out
Now we must try again
Before they kill us off
No more dying!
No more killing
No more dying
No more fighting
"It Better End Soon"

But it's more than the culture wars, its the political war. The same one. The parallels between Nam and Iraq are depressingly familiar. Why did we go into Vietnam anyway? To prop up the French Colony? To stop the Spread of Soviet Terrorism? So we bungled a war we shouldn't have fought because we didn't know what the hell we were fighting for. Ignorance of the Vietnamese and their society, their desires as a people, replayed today with the Iraqi's. Last time it was "Communism," nows its "Terrorism." And to the same affect.

A monumental cock-up at the expense of thousands of lives and billions of dollars and for what gain? A Fundamentalist Shiite state with all that oil and allied with a nuclear powered state (Iran) with all that oil.

The Kurds will get some kind of a state that their neighbors will hate and conspire against, the Sunni's will come to America just like the Boat People and then the Terrorists will indeed be in America.

Because we stick our nose in other peoples business based on OUR calculations, based on OUR ignorance, for OUR comfort and gain. And people die and seek vengeance and kill and continue the cycle.

The reason people love Star Trek, after it had sunk in a bit, was the way it gave some space (ooh, that’s a good one, eh?) away from the issues it was reflecting in America. Just like Athenae and her love of Battlestar Galactica, there’s lessons to be learned. Capt Kirk had the Prime Directive, because some Earthlings understood the lesson of Vietnam, understanding the consequences of imposing your vision on a strange land.

But in a greater sense America hasn’t, has never settled the fight about Vietnam, and now, glory be, we've repeated the same damn thing, with the same tragic yet predictable results.

If the people only knew
If they could visualize
Just open their eyes
Even stop to think about
If they could open their minds
They could get beyond
The world's a funny place you know
Most of what goes on
Is rarely funny
Rarely funny
"Poem For The People"

The Vietnamese wanted their freedom from the Chinese, the Japanese, the French, the Americans, wanted to live their lives their way, and fought with what they had at hand, assasination, guerilla warfare, ambushes, psychological warfare on the population. Are the Iraqi's doing anything all that different?

But we thought then, and we think now, well some do, in our moral righteousness, that we're doing the right thing in bringing "Democracy" to the Iraqi people.

Remember when it was Better Dead than Red? Now it's Better Safe and Secure than Free. My, the progress we've made since then, since kids were chanting in the streets "The Whole World's Watching." (Yes, I know that was in Chicago at the Democratic Convention) The actions that those damn long haired hippies were protesting then was the wrongheaded thinking that brought us to that place completely ignorant of what the fight there was about. Was Vietnam really a domino in Russia's drive to world domination? Or was it something else entirely? And was the behavior of the "kids" really that un-American, that "irresponsible?"

Look at those lyrics, earth shaterring in their complexity!

Well I'm talkin' bout life
And livin'
And the beautiful earth
And givin'
Talkin 'bout the natural things we've had since birth
That's lovin'

...

Well it's a beautiful day
And I'm on my way
Oooh, thank you lord, for the country
"In the Country"

Shocking, just shocking! Love and Clean Air and Love and Reverence for the Country. Damn, can't have that, must destroy and kill and maim, and .......... hate?

We made a horrible mistake by fighting the Vietnam War, horrible, tragic, devastating to a whole generation of Americans and Vietnamese. Those unquestioning supporters frightened of disorder and "irresponsibility" now Swift Boat and smear and ridicule American Hero's, from Joe Wilson to Richard Clarke to Kristin Breitweiser to John Edwards, without even knowing why, just lashing out in dutiful response to the call of their "leaders."

Not so the Democrats, who have no leaders. That's our double edged sword, that, which gives us innovation, Howard Dean, Paul Hackett, Brian Schweitzer on one hand, and Senator "Terrell Owens" Biden and others, on the other hand, the Capital "T" of Team without the parts sticking out to the sides.

So there it sits, an unresolved, losing, war. Raised up on the backs of those 58,249 names etched into the Vietnam Memorial. Unreconciled with our supposed innate goodness as Americans, Americans who would never torture our enemies, never kill the innocent, never start a war but to defend ourselves, no the unresolved conflict remains as full of contradictions now as it did then, when the enemy threatened our very existence as a nation, as a species.

Well, it's long past time we settled this mess. Are we decent, good Americans, or lust filled savages slavering at the prospect of riches and power, our national DNA propagated at swordpoint, or by the strength of our example?

Full lyrics below.

2) The Road (3:10) - T. Kath

If you'd like to get together
Then come right over to me
Ooh, We can do anything
That you like to do

If you'd like to give your love
Then please just feel free
Because I may be gone tomorrow
And not even know your name

Now please don't misunderstand my loneliness
Let's never ever talk of time
Cause friends may fade away
And our hopes will say goodnight
And our friendship would be lost
It would be such a waste of time
So let's just
Let's have a good thing girl
And let's not worry
Let's do everything we want
And let's not cry
When it's over
When I leave
Our thing won't die

If you really understand
Then come right over to me
We can play together for a while
And still be free

3) Poem For The People (5:30) - R. Lamm

If the people only knew
If they could visualize
Just open their eyes
Even stop to think about
If they could open their minds
They could get beyond
The world's a funny place you know
Most of what goes on
Is rarely funny
Rarely funny

Could the people understand
In only whisper and screams
And colorless dreams
Could they finally comprehend
If they could suddenly see
And suddenly feel

The world's a funny place you know
Most of what goes on
Is rarely funny
Rarely funny

4) In the Country (6:33) - T. Kath

Oh my reasons
And my ways
Keep on changing
From day to day
As I grow
It becomes so clear
Why I'm here

It's all here
for you and me
The beauty of life
Someday you'll see
Then you'll join in
And sing along
And you'll understand why I sing this song
Let me tell you now
I do love you
I do love you
I do love you

Well I'm talkin' bout life
And livin'
And the beautiful earth
And givin'
Talkin 'bout the natural things we've had since birth
That's lovin'
Well I'm talkin' 'bout a walk in the country
'Bout an angel's sweet charm
The smell of her perfume
And they both comin' on
Let me tell you now
I do love you
I do love you
I do love you

Well it's a beautiful day
And I'm on my way
Oooh, thank you lord, for the country

Well my thoughts
Are like ripples in a stream
I see myself so free
My eyes and spirit say hello
My soul goes dancing by, oh hello

The clean fresh air
Goes jumping through my head
The sun is smilin' down
If you have ever lived out here
Then you know why I say
I do love you
I do love you
I do love you

So come on let's move
Out to the country
Yeah, let's go live out there
Let's get funky
Come on people
Come on people
Yeah, let's be free
We got to be free
In the country
You and me
Come on people
Come on people
Better have a good time (background: oh baby, good)
We'll have a good time (background: let's give 'em life (?)
We got to be free (background: come on now)

19) It Better End Soon 1st Movement
20) It Better End Soon 2nd Movement
21) It Better End Soon 3rd Movement
22) It Better End Soon 4th Movement

Can't stand it no more
The people dying
Crying for help for so many years
But nobody hears
Better end soon my friend
It better end soon my friend

Can't take it no more
The people hating
Hurting their brothers
They don't understand
They can't understand
Better end soon my friend
It better end soon

Hey, everybody
Won't you just look around
Can't anybody see?
Just what's going down
Can't you take the time?
Just to feel
Just to feel what is real
If you do
Then you'll see that we got a raw deal
They're killing everybody
I wish it weren't true
They say we got to make war
Or the economy will fall
But if we don't stop
We won't be around no more
They're ruining this world
For you and me
The big heads of state
Won't let us be free
They made the rules once
But it didn't work out
Now we must try again
Before they kill us off
No more dying!
No more killing
No more dying
No more fighting
We don't want to die
No, we don't want to die
Please let's change it all
Please let's make it all
Good for the present
And better for the future
Let's just love one another
Let's show peace for each other
We can make it happen
Let's just make it happen
We can change this world
Please let's change this world
Please let's make it happen for our children
For our women
Change the world
Please make it happen
Come on
Come on
Please
Come on
It's up to me
It's up to you
So let's do it now
Yeah
Do it now

Can't stand it no more
The people cheating
Burning each other
They know it ain't right
How can it be right
Better end soon my friend
It better end soon my friend

23) Where Do We Go From Here? (2:34)

Every day just gets a little shorter don't you think
Take a look around you, and you'll see just what I mean
People got to come together, not just out of fear

Where do we go
Where do we go
Where do we go from here?

Try to find a better place, but soon it's all the same
What once you thought was a paradise is not just what it seems
The more I look around I find, the more I have to fear

Where do we go
Where do we go
Where do we go from here?

I know it's hard for you to
Change your way of life
I know it's hard for you to do
The world is full of people
Dying to be free
So if you don't my friend
There's no life for you, no world for me

Let's all get together soon, before it is too late
Forget about the past and let your feelings fade away
If you do I'm sure you'll see the end is not yet near

Where do we go
Where do we go
Where do we go from here?

Duckman GR :: 5:47 PM :: Comments (29) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!