Tuesday’s Theme Music

Today’s song is a natural for the times. I started to add, IMO – in my opinion – but isn’t that redundant? This is my post, so it should be my opinion. Yet, I took the time to writesplain that to you.

Ten Years After released “I’d Love to Change the World” in 1971 as a response to the violence, protests, emerging counter-culture, resistant establishment, and war. Gosh, does any of that have any echos in today’s world? Naw, probably just me.

Like most of TYA’s offerings, the song features some powerful Alvin Lee guitar work, which is always good to hear. Beyond the rock essence of guitar and dream, these lyrics, and how they’re presented in the song, plaintive, accepting, and reflective, spoke to me as a fifteen-year-old when the song came out, but still talks to me as a sixty-three-year-old.

I’d love to change the world

But I don’t know what to do.

So I’ll leave it up to you.

I think most of us want to change the world. We also know what to do, but it’s an embattled, relentless, and exhausting process. It seems more so in the Internet era, where lies and bullshit gains instant traction and never seems to die, like the Terminator rising again and again.

So I’ll leave it up to you.

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Killing in the Name

Here’s an explosion from the past. One thousand musicians assembled and played Rage Against the Machine’s song, “Killing in the Name” (1992) in Frankfurt. Pretty damn good time for such a song. Repeat after me, “Now do as they told ya. Now do as they told ya.”

Hah. Now the outre:

“Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.”

Repeat.

Louder.

LOUDER.

Rage against what’s going on and how the world is twisting. Stop the killing in the name. Insert whatever conclusion you want for the name – hate, nationalism, religion, money… There’s quite a list of absurd reasons for why people kill for you to select from.

 

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I’m stuck in a sour war mood, which prompts recall of my military days.

This song, “Civil War” by Guns n’ Roses, came out two years before I retired from the U.S. Air Force. I retired because the military personnel powers-that-be wanted to move me to a new duty station. I was first offered a position with Air Force Space Command’s Inspector General team. A prestigious position, it would mean a lot of traveling, but it would take me to places that I’ve always wanted to see. Although I was keen, my wife was weary of me being away all the time.* So they instead wanted to send me to manage a missile site command post in the northern boonies. No, thanks.

It’s curious. We stood ready for war, but we didn’t want war, right? That’s what we told ourselves. But we spend all of our time and money preparing for war. That leaves us little prepared for anything else. This trend has gotten way out of hand since I retired in 1995. More and more resources are turned toward preparing for war and fighting war; less goes to social nets, education, infrastructure, etc. And we’re constantly being told that preparing to fight and going to war is what must be done to keep us safe, but as we do so, we’re fighting to save a collapsing nation.

Guns n’ Roses’ lyrics sums it up better than I do.

Look at your young men fighting
Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying
The way they’ve always done before

Look at the hate we’re breeding
Look at the fear we’re feeding
Look at the lives we’re leading
The way we’ve always done before

h/t AZLyrics.com

 

* Ironic side note: I retired from the Air Force, and became a customer service/sales operations manager for a medical device startup. Two years later, the company offered me an associate marketing product manager position, and I ended up on the road visiting hospitals, doctors, and trade shows…

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Reading news about the Middle-East puts me in a martial mood. Military.com wondered if war between the U.S. and Iran is inevitable, and have thoughts on how that war would play out.

*snark alert* I know that most believe that war with Iran can be avoided because John Bolton is on Trump’s team. One of the architects of PNAC, Bolton was a prominent voice in demands for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He thinks that went well. He also wants preemptive war with North Korea. With Bolton in place, surely the lessons of other wars will be learned and war will be averted.  *end snark*

All that reflecting introduced a 1970 Black Sabbath tune called “War Pigs”. A taste of the lyrics that Ozzie sings:

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait ’til their judgement day comes
Yeah!

h/t to lyricsfreak.com

 

TGIF

It’s been a week, hasn’t it? Peggy Lipton, Doris Day, and Tim Conway all passed away this week.

Losing stars isn’t anything new. Although I didn’t know them, they were part of the magic that we thought we had going for us after World War II. They helped us cope as the shit started happening. McCarthyism and the red scare. Korea. JFK’s assassination. Demonstrations and riots. Gulf of Tonkin incident. RFK and MLK’s assassinations. Vietnam. University of Texas shootings. USS Pueblo. Kent State. Watergate. Recessions and energy crises. Iran-Contra scandals. Iran hostages. John Lennon’s murder. Attempted assassination on Ronald Reagan. KAL 007 shot down. Beirut Barracks bombing. Challenger disaster. Operation Just Cause. Desert Storm. Oklahoma City bombing. Monica Lewinsky. Move On. Columbine. Hanging chads. Enron. 9/11. Hurricane Katrina. Virginia Tech University shootings. Housing bubble burst. Global banking meltdown. Umpqua Community College shootings. Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Global warming. Isla Vista, 2014 shootings. Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Wildfires. Sutherland Springs Church shootings. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings. Sante Fe High School shooting. Las Vegas shooting. Thousand Oaks shooting. Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting. Measles outbreak. College cheating scandal.

And that’s all just a small bit of America’s piece of it. To think of what’s happened in the rest of the world during those years is numbing.

Now, Conway, Lipton, and Day gone. What a week.

Thank God it’s Friday.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

After reading some news last night and this morning, my anger spilled over. “You must be evil,” I said in my head to several of the articles’ principals, evil for how their minds work, evil for their indifference about what their actions do to the world or other creatures, evil for their willingness to rationalize murdering and victimizing.

From that came, quite deliberately, Chris Rea’s 1989 song, “You Must Be Evil”.

 

Thursday’s Theme Music

After watching some televised testimony in Congress yesterday, I walked away thinking, yeah, but who will save your soul for these lies that you told?

Cue Jewel with “Who Will Save Your Soul”. Although it was released in 1996, the lyrics’ sentiments are timeless and easily apply to our current era.

People livin’ their lives for you on TV
They say they’re better than you and you agree
He says “Hold my calls from behind those cold brick walls”
Says “Come here boys, there ain’t nothing for free”
Another doctor’s bill, a lawyer’s bill, another cute cheap thrill
You know you love him if you put in your will, but

Who will save your souls when it comes to the flowers now?
Who, who will save your souls after those lies that you told, boy?
And who will save your souls if you won’t save your own?
La da de da de da la da da da da

We try to hustle them, try to bustle them, try to cuss them
The cops want someone to bust down on Orleans Avenue
Another day, another dollar, another war
Another tower went up where the homeless had their homes
So we pray to as many different gods as there are flowers
But we call religion our friend
We’re so worried about saving our souls
Afraid that God will take His toll that we forget to begin, but

h/t to genius.com

Another day, another dollar, another war, sometimes it’s civil, sometimes it’s civic, but religions and hate guide our killing.

 

 

Deliveries

The delivery trucks were lined up on Main Street as he took his morning walk. The doors opened up. The ramps came down. People began walking down them.

It wasn’t encouraged to stand and gawk, but slowing, he watched with a sly side gaze. The newcomers seemed like an older lot and mostly white, which gave a grimace to his face. He preferred it when they brought in young people, especially when they brought in young men. Spilling out on the sidewalks, they had the befuddled look that he’d seen before on others, the look that asked, “Where am I? How did I get here? What’s my name? Do I know you?”

He wondered who they’d be, and whether any would become friends. Ambivalence hedged his thoughts about the answer. On the one hand, he wasn’t supposed to remember these things. Meeting a new delivery always fueled temptations to share his secrets with them. He wanted to whisper to them, “Psss, did you know that you died and were resurrected? You’re just like Jesus.” He always wanted to giggle about it.

Not that it was a laughing matter, having a dead population that was always being resuscitated and put into communities to give them a lived-in look. That’s how it goes when you lose the war.

The victors dictate the terms for peace.

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