Today’s Music to keep me IIiiNNnnnSSssaaaannNNEee – Bob Marley – Small Axe, War, So Much Trouble,

I feel like a bit of uplifting reggae today. Bob Marley was extra special.

Phil Ochs – I Ain’t Marching Anymore – meaningful lyrics.

Phil Ochs


Phil Ochs was one of my heroes – a man who was prepared to speak out for what he believed. The establishment labelled him a Protest Singer. There is a lot to protest about. What they meant by their demeaning label was that he was a man who put meaning into his songs. They were not trite. They had feeling, passion and purpose.
Phil sung to raise awareness and change the world.
He wanted it to be better.
He was an optimistic idealist. He believed you could change the world.
I’m an optimistic idealist too. I want a better world and I believe you can bring that about through singing, writing and raising awareness.
I believe we do change the world.
The only problem being that there’s lot who want it just as bad as it is. They profit from it. They are pushing the other way.
I believe if we don’t continue to push it will slide into being ven worse. But if enough of us believe in making it better we can change the zeitgeist.
It’s that simple,.
Phil believed that the warmongering of nations was wrong. There are better ways to deal with issues. Violence breeds violence. History proves him correct.

This is his most famous anti-war song:

I Ain’t Marching Anymore

Oh, I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British war
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing
But I ain’t marching anymore

For I’ve killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying, I saw many more dying
But I ain’t marching anymore

It’s always the old to lead us to the war
It’s always the young to fall
Now look at all we’ve won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all

For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes, I even killed my brothers
And so many others
But I ain’t marching anymore

For I marched to the battles of the German trench
In a war that was bound to end all wars
Oh, I must have killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain’t marching anymore

It’s always the old to lead us to the war
It’s always the young to fall
Now look at all we’ve won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all

For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning I knew that I was learning
That I ain’t marching anymore

Now the labor leader’s screamin’
When they close the missile plants
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore
Call it, Peace, or call it, Treason
Call it, Love, or call it, Reason
But I ain’t marching anymore
No, I ain’t marching anymore

Read more: Phil Ochs – I Ain’t Marching Anymore

Manilla – Inside the Fortress

Manilla

Always makes me shake my head. Everywhere you go around the world it’s the same.

Fortresses, destruction and war.

How much wealth is spent on such negative things?

Why can’t we all get along without killing each other?

Build things up.

Knock things down.

There is no hope for us.

We are supposed to be intelligent!

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Standing in the Killing Fields

Standing in the Killing Fields

I’ve stood in the Killing Fields

                And seen the piles of skulls.

I’ve been sickened

                By the torture camps of Pol Pot.

I’ve looked into the ovens

At Dachau

Where they fried six million jews.

I’ve been on holiday

                To Vietnam

                                And crawled along the tunnels

Of the Vietcong.

I’ve peered out of the trenches

                In Belgium

                                Stood in the craters

Where artillery shells

                Blew living people

                                Into shreds.

I’ve stood in many a military graveyard

                British, German, American and Argentinian.

I’ve read the names

                On the cenotaph, the Menin Gate, Tyne Cot, and a thousand memorials.

The dead of a million wars.

I’ve visited the sites

                Of the pogroms

                                The holocaust,

                                                The public burning of witches,

Catholics, Blacks, Jews and Native Americans.

I’ve walked past the basement

                In Prague,

                                Where the KGB tortured prisoners.

I’ve wandered across Tiananmen Square,

                Visited Amrita,

Stood in Turkey where the Armenians were massacred.

                Walked through the battlefields

Of Waterloo, Bannockburn, Hastings and the Somme.

I’ve read about Wounded Knee, Sand Creek and Little Big Horn.

                I’ve read 1984, Das Kapital, Brave New World, Mein Kampf, Animal Farm and A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovitch.

I’ve read Silent Spring, The Biological Time Bomb and looked at the bear-pits, the bullrings and watched a live snake eviscerated on Snake Street.

There was always a good reason for all of it.

So, for me,

                The message is clear:

Be tolerant,

                Respect life,

                                Love each other,

                                                Love everything.

The other way is torture, war, repression and death.

The history of mankind is the history of pain, torture, war, massacre, hate and intolerance.

Unless we actively change that we are destined to live it again and again.

Let’s make the future better than the past.

I’ll drink to that with anyone!

National Interests

National Interests

National interests always come first –

Territory, oil or eliminating threat.

Enemies require neutralising.

We have to address the national debt.

Behind our leaders are financiers

Whose business interests run the game.

They pull the strings, rig elections

Use the media to point the blame.

They like wars; wars make them rich –

All that matters is power

Soldiers are expendable,

Cities lie in ruins,

As the turn the future sour.

Opher – 3.5.2022

It’s not national interests at all, is it? It’s the interests of a small elite.

War is a big money-maker.

They sell the arms. They sell the products to rebuild.

They knock it down and build it up. Win Win.

Their shares go mad. Their wealth increases.

Who cares about the people when there’s money to be made? Who cares about the death, destruction and maimed. Pawns in the game.

The stock market runs the show. Profit is the motive.

They are dicing with death.

Without a Care for Tomorrow

Without a Care for Tomorrow

They sit behind their desks

                Distributing order

                                To the goons who

                                                Put them into action.

Safe within their bunkers

                They unleash destruction

                                To wreck the lives

                                                Of those from other factions.

Aloof from death,

                Apart from agony,

                                Unmoved by misery

                                                Unleashed.

They quaff their wine,

                Eat their banquets,

                                Bask in luxury

                                                While people quake in horror.

Selfishly they stash the cash,

                Secure the power,

                                Spread the propaganda

                                                Without a care for tomorrow.

Opher – 26.4.2022

The ones who unleash the horrors of war are not the ones who fight it or suffer from its consequences. They are safe, miles away, secure in underground bunkers, far from the action.

They do not get to see the results of their orders, to hear the screams or see the grief. They do not feel the terror. They are far away from the smell of cordite, the sound of explosions and the horror of exploding bodies.

They do not have to pick up the body parts of babies or bury the dead.

They live a life of opulence while their orders ruin lives far away.

They are evil personified.

Unseen Wounds

Unseen Wounds

The wounds unseen

                Bleed into the mind.

Some will bleed forever

                Others leave a deep scar.

Lives have disappeared,

                Homes smashed.

Possessions lost,

                Stolen by a Russian Czar.

What help can we give

                To those who have

                                Been hurt so much?

Who mourn their loved ones?

Who can heal

                Wounds cut so deep

                                Into the tissues of brains?

Where do we find the funds?

Opher – 26.4.2022

The physical damage is obvious – the destroyed houses, the blown up schools and hospitals, bleeding, broken bodies and heaps of corpses tossed into mass graves.

The physical destruction wrought by war is devastating.

What is not so obvious are the wounds cut into peoples’ minds.

Those grieving for destroyed lives, for loved ones killed or maimed, for what should have been. Those who have lost so much.

What cannot be seen are the traumas created by witnessing the horrors, seeing death, seeing the dead bodies of those you have loved.

These images cannot be erased. These fears and grief cannot be comforted away.

These ae the injuries that destroy minds and last a lifetime.

War creates trauma.

Nineteen Fourteen

Nineteen Fourteen

It is twenty twenty two

                But in Ukraine

                                It is nineteen fourteen.

Russia has unleashed

                A reign of terror

                                Like we have rarely seen.

In Chechnya and Syria

                They practiced

                                Their Evil art.

Firing shells and missiles

                To blow

                                The cities apart.

They are digging trenches

                One again

In European cities civilisation

                Is down the drain.

Putin is gaily singing

                Death’s refrain.

It is twenty twenty two

                But in Ukraine

                                It is nineteen fourteen.

Russia has unleashed

                A reign of terror

                                Like we have rarely seen.

Opher 22.4.2022

We like to think of ourselves as civilised – but we’re not.

We like to think we are intelligent – but we’re not.

We like to think that human civilisation has become advanced – but it hasn’t.

We like to think we have become wise and sophisticated – but we haven’t.

We’re still the same aggressive, violent, stupid, greedy, paranoid apes we’ve always been. We’re still the short-sighted idiots who fight.

Everything is a thin veneer.

Forecast of War

Forecast of War

The government has issued a red alert.

The approaching storm is forecast to bring much devastation to the whole area.

It will start with a hail of incoming missiles, squalls of rockets, and gusts of smoke interspersed with light, patchy, infantry.

This will be followed by prolonged showers of shells along with localised bombing, accompanied by blasts of intense heat. There will be a loud droning and stratospheric vapour trails inducing intense periods of terror.

People are asked to stay under cover until the storm has passed and all tanks are empty. There is danger of falling masonry and low flying helicopters.

Shortly after the first onslaught another front is forecast to charge through, bringing strong winds of disillusionment, a severe rise in blood pressure, with localised tornados of fear and horror, caused by drifts of corpses, leading to floods of tears.

Once the storm has passed it will leave heavy bursts of permanent trauma and emotional whirlwinds in its wake. The aftermath will entail dealing with much psychological debris and emotional damage.

There is concern among forecasters that these extreme events are merely the beginning of political climate change. The normal interchange of current affairs has been knocked off kilter by large flurries of greed, lust and paranoia, leading to extensive frosty relations. They are concerned that we are heading for a new age where underlying trends are much hotter and more volatile.

Forecasters are presently studying the skies for any clouds of ballistic missiles which could herald a cataclysmic event likely to result in a permanent winter.

They remain hopeful that we can avert disaster through global cooperation and good will.

First, we must weather the storm. Stay safe. We are subject to forces beyond our control.

Opher 2.4.2022

This has to be read in the voice of a weather forecaster.

I’m not sure that it is a poem, as such. But then what is?

I was also not sure whether it was making too light of something that is so horrific.

Why are human beings so mindlessly nasty?

Can violence ever be an answer to anything? I’ll ask Will Self.

War is diabolical and all who practice it should be locked up! The damage it does to human minds is permanent. No wonder so much of human civilisation is such a mess. Most people are screwed up due to violence.

The victims become perpetrators.

Kill to Liberate

Kill to Liberate

We come to liberate!

                But our brothers hate us!

Sent to save them;

                They abuse and bait us!

It’s not a war –

                A military manoeuvre!

Ridding neo-Nazis

                Could have gone smoother.

Ungrateful people

                Don’t want saving.

Call us fascists.

                Say we’re enslaving.

We’ve had to bomb them.

                Kill them, rape them!

That will teach them!

                We’ll liberate them!

Opher – 31.3.2022

Putin told us that this was merely a military manoeuvre to liberate the Ukrainian people from neo-Nazis enslavement.

He rapidly discovered that the Ukrainian people did not want ‘liberating’, indeed they saw the Russians as enslavers. The resistance was ferocious. The ungrateful population took up arms and fought the invaders off.

The Russian superpower proved to be impotent. They were killed by the thousand. Their tanks and planes were destroyed. The war rapidly turned into a disaster.

Frustrated, the Russians took to long-distance destruction of Ukrainian cities, to deliberately targeting women and children, to raping and killing.

Kill to liberate.

Kill to liberate.

War crimes galore!