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 – We Were Just kids

We Were Just kids

We were playing revolution,

Making rules as we lived each day;

Throwing out the constitution

Laughing all the way.

We were just kids.

We knew we were immune

We had the bravado of youth.

We could write any tune

And sing it on the hoof.

Rejecting all the leader’s men

Institutions and the laws.

Throwing out the court’s pen

The rules and the scores.

We were just kids.

We knew we saw a better path

One without greed and power.

A way that was full of laughs

Making love by the hour,

Full of naïve innocence

That provided amazing clarity.

We were certain it all made sense

Armed with great hilarity.

We were just kids.

We were just kids.

Opher 1.8.2015

We Were Just kids

I often think back to the days of my youth when everything seemed so clear. I looked at the way the world was being governed and thought it was completely insane.

I’d met people from a range of cultures and discovered they were people just like me. We could laugh and love without hatred or prejudice. So where did all this fear, violence and paranoia come from?

It had to be the politicians, the media, and the institutions. The world was being run for people to exploit and make money, for power and wealth. It created nations, wars, inequality and led to distrust, paranoia and hatred.

I believed there was a better way. But I was just a kid. I thought it would be easy. All you had to do was explain it well enough and everyone would understand. It isn’t as easy as that. A small minority of people are vicious, deranged, damaged and indoctrinated. They need to feel good about themselves and they do that be placing themselves in positions of power. We are governed by sociopaths and psychopaths. They set the tone for everything that happens. Too many people are traumatised by abuse, war, bereavement, ill-treatment, bad upbringing or bad experiences. They need assistance.

I was young. I believed everyone had a core of humanity and was open to reason. I had faith that I could talk my way out of any bad situation.

I’m not so young any more. I think it isn’t quite so easy. But I still believe that most people are good and that those who aren’t are sick and damaged. That should be our priority; to heal the sad and traumatised. That’ll make things better.

I’m not so young anymore.

I know it’s a big job.

Poetry – The Time Comes

The Time Comes

 

Dictators fall.

Even tyranny has its limits.

Like a pressure cooker

With the heat turned up –

Something gives.

 

Oppression creates fear

But fear can rapidly change to fury

When a certain point

Is reached.

 

People crowd the streets

Encased in teargas clouds,

Facing down

The faceless goons.

 

Shields are thumped.

Adrenaline flows.

Rubber bullets fly.

Trained robots charge.

Batons thud on heads.

 

But if the people are united,

Determined and resolute

The regime falls.

 

Opher – 17.8.2020

Revolution, Civil Unrest or Civil War? Poem.

Revolution, Civil Unrest or Civil War?

 

As the hatred and division ratchet up.

As Trump feeds the cauldron.

As Brexit stokes the flames.

As the emotions rage.

As the inequality grows.

As people become less and less rational.

As there is no empathy.

As compassion is dissipated.

As there are no solutions.

As the Republicans wage war.

As the Democrats wage war.

As the Tories wage war.

As the media wage war.

As the belligerence grows.

As logic and rational thought are discarded.

As fake news holds sway.

As all experts are disparaged.

As the tribes gather.

As they reinforce the fury.

As more people are thrown on the scrapheap.

As the rich selfishly grab all they can.

As nobody cares……………………..

As nobody cares……….

As nobody cares…………….

 

Opher 4.1.2018

Is there going to be a revolution? Just rioting? Or a civil war?

Automation and globalisation, coupled with excessive bonuses and exorbitant pay for entertainers and sportspeople, has created a divided society and that is only going to get worse. We have such inequality that it is creating hatred and hopelessness – not a good combination.

The workforce is no longer needed. Cheap labour can be exploited in the Third World at a fraction of the cost. Their work conditions and health and safety do not have to be of the highest standard.

Automation means that far less people are required. Even the army is best run through drones. War is automated.

We live in a consumer society where goods, services and entertainment is aggressively sold to us and we pay excessive amounts for the privilege.

The end result is that we have more extreme inequality. Society is divided into different bands:

  • The super-rich
  • The rich
  • The doing OK
  • The poor and struggling
  • The down and outs

It used to be the case that through education and hard work you could rise up to being either rich or OK. That is no longer the case. Too many people are locked into struggling or going under through no fault of their own. The jobs are going.

The super-rich are becoming increasingly richer. The wealth is being channelled to the top end.

Now I believe that either something is done to address this or there will be great social unrest.

It has already resulted in both Trump and Brexit as exasperated people opt for populist fixes. When these fail, as they will, what next?

Riots? Civil unrest? Civil War? Who knows?

Only Opher has the answers!!

What does it take to create a revolution?

To be successful a revolution does not only have to create a mass sense of injustice at the unfairness of the current situation but also a highly organised replacement.

 

This is what invariably goes wrong. The mass popular uprisings of the communist era were hi-jacked by highly organised groups who stepped into the vacuum, simply took over and proceeded to replace one corrupt system with another that is equally as bad but favoured a new different elite.

 

A good example of this is the Egyptian uprising. The people rose up and used social media to coordinate protest. It was very effective at gathering people together in large numbers but lacked any structure and organisation. The only two groups with structure and organisation were the Muslim Brotherhood and the military. So Mubarak was displaced but not replaced by a fair, democratic government representing the interests of the people. First we had a thinly veiled theocracy of religious extremism and then by an equally bad military junta.

 

The difficulty in creating a highly organised replacement is extremely taxing. The media and social machinery of the state convinces most people that there are no alternatives and that it cannot be done. According to them all the alternatives are doomed to failure – as supposedly proved by history. In reality surveillance of revolutionary groups prevents them getting off the ground.

 

The end result is that most people come to grudgingly accept their lot as minions and paeans in an unjust society, moan and bitch, but believe it is probably the best they can hope for and that the alternatives are worse.

 

The elite give as little as they can get away with without driving the population into revolt and there is an uneasy stability.

Quotes – Jerry Rubin – The other Radical Sixties Revolutionary!

Jerry was the Yippie revolutionary who loved attention, used theatre and took on the whole capitalist war-machine that is still gobbling up the planet – then he sold out and opted in!
It was fun while it lasted and it pointed out some truths about the greed and stupidity that is running this planet!
Don’t trust anyone over thirty.
That’s a worry! I’m over thirty! But I never did trust myself too much!
Most men act so tough and strong on the outside because on the inside, we are scared, weak, and fragile. Men, not women, are the weaker sex.
That’s why men buy guns, play with fast cars and motorbikes and have to show off so much!
By the end, everybody had a label — pig, liberal, radical, revolutionary … If you had everything but a gun, you were a radical but not a revolutionary.
We love to put people in pigeon-holes!
Exactly!! Your life is a statement of your philosophy! Be positive and change the world.
My life is a revolution.
I would be copping out if I stayed in the myth of the ’60s.
But the sixties gave me the fuel!

Quotes – Abbie Hoffman – A sixties Revolutionary

Abbie was quite a character. Back in the sixties revolution the Yippies set a tone of theatre, lunacy and revolution.
We thought we were establishing a new attitude and rejecting the warmongering, profit-driven society and replacing it with something kinder, more caring and compassionate – based on sharing and camaraderie. It was an ideal that did not last but there were some good friends made and good times. It was a time of peace, laughter, fun, thought, discovery and madness. Quite an adventure. I loved it.
The music was great, the friends brilliant and optimism ruled. What more could you want?
Another sixties would be a great idea but I fear the world has become far too cynical.
Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.
Adventure and change – a wish for something better!
You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.
How true in this age of greed, selfishness and hatred.
Free speech means the right to shout ‘theatre’ in a crowded fire.
I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.
Avoid all needle drugs, the only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.
I can think of a few more! (But I’m not advocating shooting anyone!)
Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.
The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.
To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.
There is something evil about the greed and vandalism of the global corporations who would sell the future for a quick buck – and are!
The ’60s are gone, dope will never be as cheap, sex never as free, and the rock and roll never as great.
The only way to support a revolution is to make your own.
How true!! Let’s all make our own revolutions!

Russell Brand – Revolution – A few things that struck me.

Photo credit: David Gilbert.

I am not a fan of Russell Brand. I find him a bit of a twat. But I was intrigued enough by what he was saying about the establishment and the need for revolution that I bought his book.

It is very readable and interesting (though good old Russ can get on your nerves a bit).

these are some of the things I picked out when I was reading a section today. They really make you think.

In the USA – 95% of all the gains in income since the recession has gone to the top 0.01%. I bet that’s the same in Britain. The top are doing very nicely out of austerity. They’ve never had it so good.

Makes a bit of a mockery of Cameron’s – ‘We’re all in it together’, doesn’t it?

In the USA the 400 richest people have as much wealth as 185,000,000 of their fellow countypeople (185 million) – 185 million make up 60% of the American population.

I don’t know about you but I find that obscene. That is capitalistic greed verging on madness.

 

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?