Poetry – It was Fifty Years Ago Today

It was Fifty Years Ago Today

It was fifty years ago today

Revolution took to the streets

In Grosvenor Square and Paris

Students sang to different beats.

In Prague too they were coming alive

Digging the jive as establishments swayed,

Responding with an iron fist

As those rebellious songs played.

They used tanks against the Czechs

And armed guards in Ohio

Tear gas in London

And swung clubs in Chicago

Give Peace a Chance

For the Street Fighting Man

As the Unknown Soldier

Asked what was the plan in Vietnam?

Fifty years on from that protest and change

Now the psychedelic colours are muted.

What is the legacy of the great revolution

In simple terms that can’t be refuted?

Environmental movements and Women’s Lib?

Or just fashion, music and wind?

The establishment’s firmly back in control

And revolution’s been binned.

Opher 2.1.2018

Yes it’s like the sixties never happened.

All across the world there was a new vibe. The young were up in arms protesting. They turned their backs on the greediness and warmongering of their establishment thugs. They reached across oceans to unite in the building of a new world. Nations did not matter. Race and colour did not matter. Money was not the be all and end all. We wanted something more meaningful, more tolerant, more compassionate, more real and less hypocritical.

All you needed was love.

When we met up we found we could all get along. Differences melted like summer snow.

There was a vibe of peace and love. There was no need for violence and conflict. We were all people. We all felt the same. We shared, laughed, grew, talked and learnt.

We cared about the planet. We demanded equality. We demanded rights and freedoms. We demanded that we be allowed to enjoy life.

There was a sexual revolution. A drug revolution. A political revolution. A music revolution. A social revolution.

But they bought it off. They took over. They sold us out. They undermined. They misrepresented. They made their profits. They took back control. And our idealistic dream was bought and sold, betrayed and soiled. Now the fascists are in control and it’s like the sixties never happened.

Poetry – Catered for

Catered for

I am catered for.

They take me into account.

I am tolerated

Ridiculed

And ignored.

I am allowed,

Taken into consideration

And exploited.

As if my rebellion is part of the scheme.

They have that smug, knowing smile

As if I am senile.

I am part of the equation

Whatever I do

Will be used against me.

There is no escape.

It is all-consuming.

That is why they are so smug.

They welcome my protest;

It lets off steam

Gives the appearance of radical

Thought

Yet is benign

And can be incorporated

Into chic fashion,

Like Che,

Like Mao, Marley and Lennon,

Wind from the arse of humanity!

Harmless!

Just wind.

Opher 21.1.2016

Catered for

I find it scary to think that this global machine that mankind has created is now out of control. There are a tiny elite of the rich and powerful who, either directly as a consortium (the illuminati), or indirectly directing us towards the scene of a mighty downfall. All they want is more. More money, more influence, more power, more possessions. It is a disease and they will never have enough.

This small group own the world. They buy off, bribe and control. They influence the politicians, the media and create their version of ‘the truth’. We are bought and sold. We are directed. We are told how to vote and what to think.

They steal our dreams.

These faceless psychopaths have amassed wealth at the expense of everyone else. War, poverty, pollution, environmental destruction – it is all a by-product of their activity.

All rebellion, revolt and opposition is predicted, absorbed and nullified. The rebels become icons of the establishment and exploited for profit.

The whole world is becoming a theme park.

I can shout until I pass out from lack of oxygen but they will merely deal with me in their myriad ways.

We are the docile majority queuing at the gates of Dachau.

I am harmless!

Poetry – We Service the Machine

We Service the Machine

I was thinking about how the rebels of yesterday, who made the walls of the city tremble, were bought off and incorporated into the very structures they stood against; their rebellion and anti-establishment stances becoming the icons of consumerism, their wealth buying access to the higher echelons and their posturing as trendy designer chic.

You cannot go anywhere without images of Elvis, James Dean, John Lennon and Che Guevara staring you in the face. Even Sinatra is in from the cold, Marylyn has her skirt blown in the air and Marx is the beard to wear.

The celebrity culture parades Mick Jagger as the epitome of revolutionary cool as he deploys his hairdresser and fitness trainer to prolong his marketability.

The establishment is adept at absorbing the blows and deflecting them so they are turned upon us. Johnny Lydon sells butter and the rebels become commodities to milk for profit.

There is no escape from the machine. We all service its insatiable needs as if busily gobbles up the earth we tread upon, the air we breathe and the life that sustains us.

My wails are pointless until they become exploitable.

We Service the Machine

Che is on the T-Shirt,

Lennon on the mug.

Quotes are plastered on our mouse-mats

To give our minds a hug.

But the profits from these baubles

Are siphoned to the State,

As the establishment exploits our tastes,

Our dreams, and finally our fate.

We are numbers to be deployed

In a pointless, superficial scheme

Where hypocrisy rules

As we service the machine.

Opher 2.9.2015

Today’s Music to keep me SsSAAaaNNnnEEee in Isolation – Fela Kuti – Zombie

Fela was the father of Afrobeat and a very brave man who stood up to the horror of Nigerian government tyranny.

Zombie sums it up for me. Who are these government goons who always prop up tyrants?

Fela Kuti and Afrika ’70 – Zombie (1976) FULL ALBUM – YouTube

What to do with one’s life of rebellion.

When I was in my youth I woke up to the evils of the society I was living in with its hypocrisy, warmongering, greed and destructive ways. I saw that the constant striving for growth was destroying nature and that most people were snared into a life of mindless consumerism. The tenets of the culture were based on greed and selfishness. I wanted none of it.

 

The music I was listening to reflected the attitude I had towards the evils of that society – ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’, ‘McGoohan’s Blues’, ‘Maggie’s Farm’, ‘The Unknown Soldier’, ‘Who are the Brain Police’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’.

 

I had no desire to be part of that machine. I despised its pointlessness. I wanted something more fulfilling. I did not want to have anything to do with a machine that was so destructive. I did not want to spend my time working for a society that I believed was basically evil. I wanted to opt out. I wanted to live a more meaningful life which was more in tune with nature.

 

I set out to try to divorce myself from the whole of that culture. I wanted something better. I thought I could live outside of that society, to live simply in a more natural way and make a living out of creativity. I had no desire to get on that consumerist treadmill. I did not aspire to be rich, or even comfortable; I wanted to be happy and fulfilled; I wanted to find something that felt more spiritually significant. I saw the life my Dad was living as empty and pointless. I saw what society was creating as a concrete nightmare.

 

As I grew older I discovered that my dream was just that – a dream. I discovered that one could not live outside of society. Whatever you did it pulled you back in. There was no outside.

 

Living simply off the land was not idyllic and 7.6 Billion people could not live like that. Making a living from creativity was not possible for most of us. Regardless of what you did society went on with its inexorable destruction. We were caught up in it whether we liked it or not. War, poverty, the destruction of nature, pollution, overpopulation and mindless greed went on all around. No man was an island and it was no use to try to blot out the suffering that was the result of this relentless striving for power and wealth.

If you don’t like something you can either try to ignore it and divorce yourself from it or you can try to make it better.

Ray Davies – Now a Well Respected Man? or still Kinky?

Back in the 60s, when I was a mere slip of a lad, and the Kinks were the height of rebellion I used to endlessly play ‘Well Respected Man’ and ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’. Those two songs seemed to summarise my feelings towards the bourgeois society that was going on all around me.

I wanted no part of that status-ridden culture – mowing the grass in straight lines, polishing the car, looking neat and tidy and carving the Sunday roast. I wanted freedom and adventure and the Kinks represented full-blown rebellion.

I was only fifteen. I hadn’t discovered Kerouac yet and I was only just getting into Dylan but I knew they were out there waiting for me with a new perspective on life. I wanted it to rage!!

It is quite a shock to find the rebels of yesteryear being absorbed into society and becoming part of the establishment – Sir Ray Davies – Sir Mick Jagger.

It is how the revolution is subverted; it is absorbed and becomes fashion.

It is worth a revisit to the lyrics of ‘Well Respected Man’ to see how well they fit with a knighthood. It described the hypocrisy and double standards of respectable society. I loved it:

“A Well Respected Man”

‘Cause he gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same train every time.
‘Cause his world is built ’round punctuality,
It never fails.

And he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And his mother goes to meetings,
While his father pulls the maid,
And she stirs the tea with councilors,
While discussing foreign trade,
And she passes looks, as well as bills
At every suave young man

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he likes his own backyard,
And he likes his fags the best,
‘Cause he’s better than the rest,
And his own sweat smells the best,
And he hopes to grab his father’s loot,
When Pater passes on.

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he plays at stocks and shares,
And he goes to the Regatta,
And he adores the girl next door,
‘Cause he’s dying to get at her,
But his mother knows the best about
The matrimonial stakes.

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

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If you love Rock Music you will find this interesting. I started getting into Rock when I was ten years old with the likes of Little Richard and Buddy Holly. I went to my first gigs when I was fourteen seeing the British Birds (with Ronnie Wood) and Them (with Van Morrison). It was a baptism of excitement. Since then I’ve been to more gigs than I care to think about and I’ve seen nearly everyone worth seeing close up and personal. I’ve been a regular at Abbey Road studios, behind the scenes in festivals and mega-concerts and met most of the major players.

Rock has been a great passion to me.

I’ve lived through it all from Beatles to White Stripes, Bo Diddley to the Kills, and I’m still at the front!

The masses of LPs and CDs I’ve collected are testament to my love of the music. I ran Britain’s first History of Rock Music course (An excuse for me to play loud music) and introduced it into the school curriculum.

Rock is not life – it’s more important than that!

This book tells that story:

In the UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1502820455/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477299594&sr=1-1&keywords=opher+goodwin+in+search

In the USA

https://www.amazon.com/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00O4CLKYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477299823&sr=1-1&keywords=opher+goodwin+in+search

Poetry – Catered for – a poem of despair

P1030176

Catered for

I find it scary to think that this global machine that mankind has created is now out of control. It does nor operate for our good. There are a tiny elite of the rich and powerful who, either directly as a consortium (the illuminati), or indirectly are guiding us towards the scene of a mighty downfall. All they want is more. More money, more influence, more power, more possessions. It is a disease and they will never have enough.

This small group own the world. They buy off, bribe and control. They influence the politicians, the media and create their version of ‘the truth’. We are bought and sold. We are directed. We are told how to vote and what to think.

They steal our dreams.

These faceless psychopaths have amassed wealth at the expense of everyone else. War, poverty, pollution, environmental destruction – it is all a by-product of their activity.

All rebellion, revolt and opposition is predicted, absorbed and nullified. The rebels become icons of the establishment and exploited for profit.

The whole world is becoming a theme park.

I can shout until I pass out from lack of oxygen but they will merely deal with me in their myriad ways.

We are the docile majority queuing at the gates of Dachau.

I am harmless!

 

Catered for

I am catered for.

They take me into account.

I am tolerated

Ridiculed

And ignored.

I am allowed,

Taken into consideration

And exploited.

As if my rebellion is part of the scheme.

They have that smug, knowing smile

As if I am senile.

I am part of the equation

Whatever I do

Will be used against me.

There is no escape.

It is all-consuming.

That is why they are so smug.

They welcome my protest;

It lets off steam

Gives the appearance of radical

Thought

Yet is benign

And can be incorporated

Into chic fashion

Like Che,

Like Mao, Marley and Lennon

Wind from the arse of humanity!

Harmless!

Just wind.

 

Opher 21.1.2016

If you enjoy my poems or anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of anecdotes for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anecdotes-Weird-Science-Writing-Ramblings/dp/1519675631/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457515636&sr=1-3&keywords=opher+goodwin

Or a book of poetry and comment:

Rhyme and Reason – just £3.98 for the paperback or free on Kindle

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rhymes-Reason-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1516991184/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457515636&sr=1-4&keywords=opher+goodwin

My other books are here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1457515636&sr=1-2-ent

Thank you and please leave a review.

Long Hair and the Sixties Rebellion.

A passion for education cover

Long Hair and the Sixties Rebellion

This was the time of long hair and flares. We were the rebels in the school. The establishment was finding it hard to deal with us.

In the early part of the sixties I was sent home for having trousers that were too tight or too low. As the sixties progressed I began to get sent home for having trousers that were too wide and too low. The girls had to kneel down in assembly to have their skirts measured to see if they were too short. There was much pulling and adjusting prior to assemblies.

The major bugbear with the boys was hair. The school rules were that your hair should not touch your ears or your collar. Clearly this was ridiculous. My hair covered my ears and was down to my shoulders. I certainly wasn’t giving in. Consequently I spent a lot of time at home. My parents eventually negotiated a truce. The school grudgingly turned a blind eye.

Then there was the business of beards and sideburns. You were not allowed to have a beard and your sideburns were not meant to be below your earlobes. Well I grew my first beard at the age of fourteen. After that it was growing time every holiday. I would return with my new beard each term and we would play a little game. The Deputy Head, one Miss Mclouchlan, would hunt me down and I’d hide until caught. We’d see how long I could get away with it. On one occasion I was peering round a corner in the corridor when there was a tap on my shoulder.

‘Looking for someone?’ Miss McLouchlan enquired.

I was send home and told not to come back until I’d shaved off my beard. After three weeks the twagman came round to find out why I had been off school.

‘I was told not to go back until I had shaved my beard off,’ I explained to him pointing to my chin. ‘I haven’t shaved it off yet.’

On another occasion I was sent home to shave it off. I shaved an inch strip down my chin and went back.

‘I thought I told you to shave that beard off!’ Miss McLouchlan boomed.

‘I have,’ I explained, indicating my sideburns and moustache. ‘These are my siddies and this is a moustache. For some reason she was not amused.

I wonder what she would have made of me becoming a Headteacher?

Poetry – We Service the Machine – a poem about rebellion.

Antitheist's Dictionary

We Service the Machine

I was thinking about how the rebels of yesterday, who made the walls of the city tremble, were bought off and incorporated into the very structures they stood against; their rebellion and anti-establishment stances becoming the icons of consumerism, their wealth buying access to the higher echelons and their posturing as trendy designer chic.

You cannot go anywhere without images of Elvis, James Dean, John Lennon and Che Guevara staring you in the face. Even Sinatra is in from the cold, Marylyn has her skirt blown in the air and Marx is the beard to wear.

The celebrity culture parades Mick Jagger as the epitome of revolutionary cool as he deploys his hairdresser and fitness trainer to prolong his marketability.

The establishment is adept at absorbing the blows and deflecting them so they are turned upon us. Johnny Lydon sells butter and the rebels become commodities to milk for profit.

There is no escape from the machine. We all service its insatiable needs as if busily gobbles up the earth we tread upon, the air we breathe and the life that sustains us.

My wails are pointless until they become exploitable.


We Service the Machine

Che is on the T-Shirt,

Lennon on the mug.

Quotes are plastered on our mouse-mats

To give our minds a hug.

 

But the profits from these baubles

Are siphoned to the State,

As the establishment exploits our tastes,

Our dreams, and finally our fate.

 

We are numbers to be deployed

In a pointless, superficial scheme

Where hypocrisy rules

As we service the machine.

 

Opher 2.9.2015

Rock Music – Rock rebellion? Where is it?

537 Essential Rock Albums cover IMG_0727Opher's World tributes cover

I have repeatedly said that I find most of what is going on in the Rock scene bland and overproduced. It doesn’t say anything, stand for anything or inspire anything.

Rock Music was rebellion. Now it has become establishment. The rebellion has been consumed and regurgitated. It’s become a spectacle. Rock musicians appear on Test Match Special. They are there at the Queen’s bash and Olympic Games. They are recognised with OBEs and Knighthoods. They’ll be getting Victoria Crosses soon!

There were, in my book, three main periods of Rock rebellion.

The 1950s was a visceral rebellion where sex was let loose and threatened to shake the stolid conformity of society like a fifty on the Richter scale. The establishment were shocked into reflex prohibition.

The 1960s exploded with the Beatles. They blew strictures imposed by the Payola scandal out of the water and heralded the greatest period of youth rebellion ever seen. The values of society were challenged and found wanting. This was a philosophical rebellion combined with that basic sexuality and once again the establishment were shaken. There were marches, sit-ins, and anti-establishment rhetoric. In France the students and workers had barricades in the streets. There was talk of revolution.

The establishment were canny. They absorbed the protest, handed out their awards, and assimilated it into the commercial enterprise. The rebellious stars of the sixties Underground, who sang of street-fighting, were rubbing shoulders with the hoi-polloi.

In the later seventies it was the turn of the snarling nihilistic Punks. They weren’t likely to be lauded or to play at any banquets. Sid Vicious was never offered an OBE for contributions to the British economy. They were seen as vulgar, crude and offensive and that’s just how they wanted it. Their attitude to the establishment was to annoy them.

So where’s the next rebellion coming from? Is Rock Music dead? Has it been successfully incorporated into the establishment and castrated?

Who’s saying anything?