My 1983 pro-environment anti-nuke song has gained new, urgent relevance.
Back in 1983 the situation was so scary that I wrote two songs on the nuke issue.
Note on March 7, 2022: even more perilous.
In 2016, I replaced the old One Planet video with a much better video produced using new equipment and software. It contained new, HD photos taken by me with the same great, old, quotations from gifted female and male thinkers on world issues.
Having done a very small editing of the 2016 version II I now call the video,
Dr. Vandana Shiva, author of the above photo’s quote, born in November, 1952, is a brave, brilliant agricultural activist from India, known as the Seed Lady for her successful securing of seed banks of key, traditional plants against their extinction. Traditional seeds are now threatened by the patenting of seed for profit perpetrated by powerful corporations like Monsanto. This article from 2019 indicates that the valiant seed battle continues. The older ways are sometimes less threatened by flooding and the “food crusaders” are fighting hard to preserve India’s heritage of a vast variety of plants and seeds.
I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.
Vincent Van Gogh
I am going to try to spend much less time on exposing what I consider to be the crimes of our wealth-dominated Mother Earth. It is starting to take over way too much of my life and is having no noticeable effect other than to piss off the majority of those close to me.
I will be able to spend much more of my time time on family, musical performance, visiting the sick and imprisoned, reading and tai chi.
If I needed proof that The National are pure and simple toeing the anti-Assad, anti-Russia line – I certainly got it last night. The White Helmets Acting Company put on their slick multi-million dollar show once more, getting prime coverage in the phoney (since 2013) “WMD-use” assault on Assad.
The CBC presented or ignored other issues in this segment designed to minimize awareness of the deadly, horrific interference committed during the continued, uninvited American presence in Syria. We all know the consistent history of US-led criminal wars upon many other worldwide regime-change binge targets.
But to my point: I am now convinced in the insincerity of virtually all CBC TV hosts. There have to be some doubters among you. Most of you are much too smart not to realize what is going on. So isn’t it about time for some resistance from at least some of you who are caving in or playing along with the relentless distraction and dumbing down (yes, you too, Carole MacNeil) of TV viewers to the point that they swallow or obsequiously read/hear what you and all of the international “quality” media are dishing out via the long-familiar, must be tired and jaded, faces on RussiaGate, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq etc.
This sort of stuff is so bad it has probably been responsible for breaking up some homes, where one partner retches loudly while the other simply keeps swallowing.
I remember as a pre-teen in the early 1950’s thinking that Russians were sub-human. Working in Britain in the early 1970’s I learned how much contempt the Brits once had for refugees from Eastern Europe. Do we want to go back to that? Seriously?
Perhaps your justification for weaponizing the news comes from a “patriotic” feeling that couch potatoes should be primed with propaganda as preparation for WWIII.
As a grandparent in these times, I can only shudder.
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:
This article honours Jack Kennedy for his brave initiative to seek common human ground with Russia. Going against the powers that preferred war got him killed. It is written by a former CIA agent, Ray McGovern. It laments, by comparison, where we are today. It quotes key parts of Kennedy’s surprise Peace Speech of June 10, 1963. It is beautifully written and valuable also for the links that thoughtful commentators have provided.
The following two paragraphs are quoted from a New York Times tribute to George F. Kennan on March 18, 2005. Kennan, who died at 101 in 2005, was a major architect of the Cold War. He was no friend of Russia and was hard-nosed about waging political warfare with the USSR, but had a healthy respect for the importance of avoiding unnecessary, stupid conflict with that powerful political adversary.
“In February 1997, Mr. Kennan wrote on The New York Times’s Op-Ed page that the Clinton administration’s decision to back an enlargement of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to bring it to the borders of Russia was a terrible mistake. He wrote that
expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold war era.
Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking,” he wrote. His views, shared by a broad range of policy experts, did not prevail.”
That was waaayyy back in 1997. What we see now is the U.S. and the E.U. playing serious “chicken” games with/against each other and Vladimir Putin in a dangerously destabilizing game of craps for the Ukraine. Forcing a bear into a corner is never a smart move.
Here’s a YouTube link to an old song of mine: Radiatin’ A-Bomb Blues – a crazy upbeat sort of blues piece that expresses the potential result of a really scary cold-war period we went through in the late 1980’s when the nuclear Doomsday Clock got perilously close to midnight, due to a game of nuclear chicken being played out between the, then two, nuclear superpowers.
Russia – closely surrounded by American nuclear missiles pointed at its major targets – astutely realized that no merely human Russian premier could decide quickly enough whether it was under attack in time to launch a counter-attack. So its boffins invented a computer-driven system that would quickly analyze radar results and launch a huge retaliatory strike at US and NATO targets if this non-human apparatus decided it was warranted. This system was dubbed “launch on warning.” Human judgement became a non-factor.
Pretty wacko scary on both sides, I thought, so I wrote the above song and immediately felt a whole lot better 😉
I will also post this on my My Songspage. Finding appropriate pictures to accompany my songs is the main holdup to posting the rest of them. I’m too parsimonious to opt for the WordPress upgrade.
Any suggestions on how to easily find photos that aren’t encumbered by restrictions on use?