Posts tagged '1994':

Gil Scott-Heron, Work for Peace

If everyone believed in peace the way they say they do, we'd have peace.

Here in the USA we recently passed the 15th anniversary of our state of National Emergency. That's right. For 15 years now we have been officially in a state of emergency, continuously, 24 hours a day for 15 years. And counting. Gil Scott-Heron recorded this song more than 20 years ago and unfortunately it's as relevant as ever.

They took the honour from the honourary,
they took the dignity from the dignitaries,
they took the secrets from the secretary,
but they left the bitch in obituary.

After the September 11 attacks, this was probably justified. For a while. Fifteen years later it's business as usual. It's an emergency situation, everywhere in the country, all the time. "Terrorism" has replaced the old USSR as the excuse for unending, unlimited military spending. If one opponent falls, it's no problem, they'll find another one. Don't worry, the bombs will keep on falling, and it doesn't seem to matter where. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, and now Syria. Maybe we'll beat ISIS into the ground, maybe not. If we do, rest assured that some other enemy will be presented as the next target. Iran maybe? North Korea? There's no shortage of possibilities. Ever since Bush's cronies went to the UN and lied to the world to start a war this has been just how things are around here.

Peace is not the absence of war,
It is the absence of the rules of war and the threats of war and the preparation for war.

Gil Scott-Heron is probably best remembered for "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". It's an amazing and powerful song. But he wrote and performed a lot more that was amazing and powerful besides, so have a listen. I first encountered his music watching reruns of Saturday Night Live many years ago when they re-ran his live performance of "Johannesburg". In his flowing, poetic, often jazzy style, he pioneered political rap. He was a powerful, inspiring voice, sadly gone too soon.

Nobody can do everything,
but everybody can do something,
everyone must play a part,
everyone got to go to work, Work for Peace