Monday, October 13, 2008

Now it's a monster and will not obey

No, you are NOT expected to listen to all 7 minutes.

Offering this as Exhibit A, in my efforts to prove to people that revolutionary talk was all the rage in 1970, the year Bill and Bernadine were cooking up bombs in Greenwich Village and blew up three of their friends... and for the record, those are the only people they ever killed. Themselves.

As I said in the comments of my post titled the Bradley Effect, everyone got in on the act.

I wrote the following, in that thread, which I am reproducing here:

Did you ever hear the song "Monster" by Steppenwolf? I mention it (as a totally random example) because I first heard it at a redneck* party with a bunch of bikers drinking beer. I thought, WOW, since some of them were enthusiastically singing along with it, even the ones with confederate flag tattoos. And this was Bill Ayers' era.

[Mike commented on the thread]: "but that that class of radicals think different from mainstream America."

Speaking of 2008, you would be right... in fact, any time after Reagan was inaugurated, you would be right. BUT AT THE TIME???? You are dead-ass wrong. As the poet-laureate of the age so memorably sang, "There was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air." Hippies, bikers, housewives who frequented the same beauty salon my grandmother did, my neighbors, et. al. talked about revolution as if it might be inevitable, and there was even a revolutionary faction of ex-GIs against the war. Even serial killers (think: the most famous of our time) believed in revolution and made that part of their psychosis. IT WAS VERY DIFFERENT THAN NOW, and even my Republican grandfather from West Virginia thought there could be revolution.

Can I ask how old you are, and if you were there at the time? How old were you in the 70s?

As I wrote [in my Bill Ayers post linked above], I am getting fed up with the rewrites of history by people who have it wrong in countless ways. In addition, you are applying the morality of NOW to the morality of THEN, and as we all know, 20/20 hindsight is perfect.
And I offer the lyrics, also, to "Monster" (below) for those who can't get through the whole song. Musically, starts off like gangbusters alright, great middle-section, then at the end, turns into a sing-along... but again the SING-ALONG aspect was the POINT. Regular people, not Weatherman, but REGULAR PEOPLE bought this album and used to SING ALONG!!! The video I have selected, however, is pretty good. There are several versions, suggesting this song is as much of a landmark in other people's lives, as it was in mine.

This song represents so much. I wondered, as a teenager, if it meant there really might be revolution, which excited me. I was a working class kid from Ohio, and that's what I thought. The concept of revolution was not APART from the masses of mainstream America, at that time... just as now, "ordinary, mainstream America" is suddenly learning the intricacies of Wall Street economics, whether we really want to or not.

Dammit, stop rewriting history!


*one of those words I am allowed to use, but you aren't. :)


~*~



Words and music by John Kay and Jerry Edmonton

(Monster)
Once the religious, the hunted and weary
Chasing the promise of freedom and hope
Came to this country to build a new vision
Far from the reaches of kingdom and pope
Like good Christians, some would burn the witches
Later some got slaves to gather riches

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

And once the ties with the crown had been broken
Westward in saddle and wagon it went
And 'til the railroad linked ocean to ocean
Many the lives which had come to an end
While we bullied, stole and bought our homeland
We began the slaughter of the red man

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

The blue and grey they stomped it
They kicked it just like a dog
And when the war over
They stuffed it just like a hog

And though the past has it's share of injustice
Kind was the spirit in many a way
But it's protectors and friends have been sleeping
Now it's a monster and will not obey

(Suicide)
The spirit was freedom and justice
And it's keepers seem generous and kind
It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin'

Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who's the winner
We can't pay the cost
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching

(America)
America where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster

11 comments:

screamin puma said...

LOVE this!

RamoneSmith said...

>Regular people, not Weatherman,
>but REGULAR PEOPLE bought this
>album and used to SING ALONG!!!

Yikes, I remember being about fourteen and singing along with the last choruses of that song. I guess I wasn't quite a regular person, though... (and not a very good singer, either)

mike4mike said...

Daisy, I remember cranking up the stereo LP with this when I was in college, and we sang along. We agreed with the message, because it was a different era and the leadership really was corrupt (not like the current president, who is merely incompetent with incompetent advisers clueless about how to run a peacekeeping operation).

I was a radical at the time, studied socialism and Marx, read "The Right of Revolution", got a degree in 20th century history, and worked as a Democrat party activist and in the (Teddy) Kennedy for President campaign. The world changed and I watched the protests lose out.

We grew up, all of us, and learned that "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose," unless we ourselves took personal action to make our own lives better.

We learned that the only way to effect change was from within. I got my Masters and joined the Government and learned what it took to make a difference. I have personally saved the taxpayers a couple Billion dollars by my hard work, without needing to send a press release. My community is better for my activism there, and I don't need self-serving children who only know the CD re-release of a song to tell me what it was like.

In the final analysis, as a student of history and government and society for over 30 years, is that life never gets better - long term - living off "the man's" promises, but only when "guvernment" stays out of my pocket. (That's why I support McCain, not Obama.)

(BTW: I'm not personally a redneck, but my cousins are, as I grew up in town but they stayed on the Oklahoma farm. Are you old enough to remember why "M is for the mudflaps on my pickup, O is for the oil upon my hair..."?)

Daisy said...

Mike: The world changed and I watched the protests lose out.

Exactly what do you mean by "protests lose out"?

We grew up, all of us, and learned that "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose," unless we ourselves took personal action to make our own lives better.

That's called growing up. As far as I know, it happens to both liberals and conservatives.

I have personally saved the taxpayers a couple Billion dollars by my hard work, without needing to send a press release.

Awesomeness.

My community is better for my activism there, and I don't need self-serving children who only know the CD re-release of a song to tell me what it was like.

Umm, are you calling me a CHILD? I'm 51 years old, sir.

In the final analysis, as a student of history and government and society for over 30 years, is that life never gets better - long term - living off "the man's" promises, but only when "guvernment" stays out of my pocket. (That's why I support McCain, not Obama.)

If that's true, why is everything going to hell in a handbasket with your people at the helm?

We'll have to agree to disagree.

LarryE said...

Daisy -

I saw the title and immediately thought "Cool - you remember 'Monster?'" Only to discover that of course you do. (Do you also remember the song from that same album about draft resisters, or am I the only one?)

Mike4Mike -

I'll note first that even leaving aside Iraq, the Shrub administration is not merely incompetent, it is indeed corrupt - unless you consider things like approving of torture, firing federal attorneys for refusing to do your political dirty work, undermining the Constitution, defying the courts, and feloniously breaking federal laws on electronic surveillance to not be examples of corruption.

As for the rest of it, I'm not that surprised that you came out the way you did; a lot of supposed "radicals" in the '60s actually had politics that could be summed up as "Leave me alone!"

You, I assume, would agree with Winston Churchill's declaration that "Anyone who is not a liberal at 20 has no heart; anyone who is not a conservative at 40 has no head."

However, I would commend to you my own extension of that: "And anyone who's not a left-wing radical at 60 hasn't been paying attention."

mikeb302000 said...

Daisy, I love this post and your connections. I find Mike's saving the taxpayers billions of dollars awesome too.

Thanks for the video and lyrics; it's one of my favorites.

Dave Dubya said...

The American Military Industrial Complex Monster and its right wing war profiteers have nearly destroyed our country. If it is unchecked soon, it will take us down.

Republicans were not the sole culprits for the credit meltdown. There are Democrats who share the blame.

However, the war of aggression was a republican engineered debacle.

Their blood money should pay for it.

Anonymous said...

fuck me, that is probly the most patriotic thing i;ve seen or heard ina long time. thnks daisy

JoJo said...

*sigh* I wish I had been born a few years earlier so I could have experienced the 60's as it happened.

No fair on the "redneck double standard" Daisy. LOL!!! :P((hugs))

YogaforCynics said...

Thanks for reminding me of "Monster"...I know it from my own time in high school, early in the Reagan/Bush/Bush era that I can only hope is finally ending now, listening then and wishing I were living at a time when this kind of stuff rather than Van Halen was what people were listening to.... At the same time, much as I've wished I could've been there, given the fact that so many of the 60's radicals sold out completely and ended up voting for Reagan and the two Bushes, I can only imagine how much worse my disillusionment would have been with the "revolution" if I'd been there for it. Perhaps the incredible idealism of the younger generation now out in the streets for Obama is due, to some extent, to a distance from that betrayal.

LarryE said...

YogaforCynics -

Just a word or two in defense of the dreaded '60s:

The idea that "so many of the 60's radicals sold out completely and ended up voting for Reagan and the two Bushes" actually a media-created myth. A convenient myth for some, to be sure, but still a myth.

Rather, those of the '60s generation went disproportionately into the so-called "helping" occupations such as educator, doctor, nurse, public interest lawyer, counselor, and so on - even cop or fire fighter. And based on voting patterns, that generation remained clearly more liberal than those older or younger throughout the Reagan-Bush years.

There was no "betrayal." There was a certain exhaustion, a failure to reach the full measure of what was possible, but no betrayal.