In presenting Vladímir Putin’s 21st Century equivalent to Khruschev’s “We will bury you.” the CBC last night failed to read Putin’s macho but desperate attempt to show the whole world that no one, not even the US, can come out of a nuclear war unscathed.
Our CBC only approximated fairness last night. Still the same, implied, refrain meant to be innately picked up by couch potato feelers:
“See? Putin is, as we said, ruthlessly scary etc.” A deliberate misread, in my opinion.
The real NATO threat that has forced Russia’s hand: America’s broken promise not to expand NATO Eastward beyond Germany, made to Eduard Shevardnadze by James Baker in 1990 and illustrated by this brilliantly sarcastic image:
The answer to a friend’s worthwhile tweet question “Can’t we all just go home and respect others’ need for security?” is, I believe, in Simon and Garfunkel’s “people talking w/o speaking” (the weaponized mainstream media) and, since 2001, largely for profit FBI and CIA: the “Neon god they made.”
Disturbed’s inspired, intensely visual, version of Simon and Garfunkel’s amazingly prescient (so clearly now) The Sound of Silence…
And the original by Simon and Garfunkel… with high praise for their poetic insight.
This is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans’ Day in the States. If you’ve never seen the Canadian monument at Vimy Ridge, it is an enormous, beautiful, monument that pays tribute to the courage of the Canadian and allied soldiers who died there 100 years ago in and around deep trenches fighting the Imperial German Army. I visited it in 2009 and took the above photo. Then, it was about “never again.” Now we have politicians using Vimy to glorify Canada’s coming of age. Having “come of age,” Canadian troops are part of a super-aggressive NATO in – wait for it – Latvia. Latvia, for Pete’s sake! ‘Nuff said here. I digress.
Anyway, this post is about a song I wrote in 1983, when I learned that the Russians had so many ICBM missiles pointed at them so close that a Russian human could never respond to an American first strike in time to retaliate.
Vulnerable because of this proximity, Russia was forced to develop a computerized “launch on warning” system that would virtually, for them, take the decision out of human hands. Very scary…
So, to “save the world” like Arlo Guthrie, I wrote this country blues song called Radiatin’ A-bomb Blues and started contacting publishers. In those days we mailed them cassettes…
In 1984 this light-hearted song was pitched by Mark Altman of Morning Music to Doc Watson for his Sugar Hill blues project, but it was heard too late to be considered. I performed it also live on the CBC’s Metro Morning radio program and was interviewed by its host Joe Coté, one of my all-time favourite CBC Radio people.
Then by 1991, the Cold War over, the Doomsday Clock had been moved back to 17 minutes before midnight.
I stopped singing this song, and look whats happened since!
Its now two and one half minutes to midnight, just 30 measly seconds farther than the closest it’s ever been!
So here is my 1983 song, which I sang again on Thursday. I asked the audience to sing the chorus with me and they DID. One of my listeners reminded me that Arlo said “If you want to end war and stuff, you gotta sing LOUD.”
So it would be lovely if, while you’re listening to my song you can sing along as loud on the chorus as you can:
In 1983 I wrote One Planet. It was during the height of the Cold War and addressed the immediate and long term risks that the extremely profitable arms race was creating for Planet Earth and, by extention, Homo sapiens.
Now the risks are multifaceted and include many other threats, such as for example, the chemical and mechanical ruination of our environment for extremely short-sighted corporate goals. The arms race continues apace and the wars of scarcity have begun. Agribusiness and the extraction of fossil fuels and minerals have caused pollution and population displacement to an unprecedented degree.
There are far fewer toe holds available for those of us who continue to grapple for hope, but there is no choice but to “keep the faith.”