April 2, 2008

Body of War

I have been meaning to write an extensive post about the soundtrack for the new movie called Body of War. I doubt I will see it until it is available on DVD. But the soundtrack includes heroes of mine: Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Bright Eyes, Neil Young, Tom Waits, John Lennon, and Tori Amos, so buying it was a no brainier.

This is not meant to be an extensive post with philosophical, political, and intellectual arguments against corporate sponsored warfare and American Imperialism. Nor is this post a song-by-song analysis of new artists like Immortal Techniques and Lupe Fiasco who are rapping and singing reggae songs with enough information to teach anyone the true nature of this war.

No. This post is meant to be a quick in-and-out. I have been tired and need rest, but I had to get this post off my chest before I crawl into bed for some much needed rest. I am off to Thailand tomorrow for some time with my family and I needed to post this before I left.

There are two songs that have been haunting me since I bought the album a few weeks ago. I play them over and over as I drive around town, eat my dinner, or as sit and listen to the click clack of these keys. I cry. I get angry. I pound my chest. I shake my head and simply live another day. I am not proud or ashamed of these emotions. They are real and that is enough for me. They remind that there is a criminal war going on a few hundred miles from where I sit in an air conditioned house. I am too exhausted to know what else to do but listen to these songs and cry and write.

So I that is what I do on these lonely afternoons after I spend my time driving in my car listening to these songs; I share them with you. In hopes that if we carry the weight of these crimes together, it will lighten the load and we can bring this war and all wars to an end.

Okay, I can feel this one getting away from me here. The first song is called Hero's Song by a new-comer named Brendan James. I will not say much about it, except that this doesn't appear to be the official video, but I think it goes with the song quite well and says all it should on its own.



Here I am
In the desert again
A compass and a weapon
A lost American

I started out with a simple plan
And a locket in my hand
But the sun is so unforgiving
And the wind so hard to stand

Fall out, fall out
With the rest of your brothers
With the rest of your sisters
Heroes on the line

Carry out what your leader says
For what his leader says
Is that his leader says
This is right for the people

No one will ever understand what
Thousands of beautiful healthy young statues must fall
Smoke and explosions surround me
A flood of hate, it drowns me
I cannot live this way
No I cannot live with
Doubt and confusion
They find me
They run up right behind me
I cannot die this way
No, I cannot die this way

In the water, in the sand
Is the blood of a culture
Is the blood of an ancient people
In whose holy war I stand

I hear the world like a cannon roar
Say I can win this war
I promise them this
Isn't what I signed up for

No one will ever understand what
Thousands of beautiful healthy young statues must fall
Smoke and explosions surround me
A flood of hate, it drowns me
I cannot live this way
No I cannot live
With doubt and confusion
They find me
They run up right behind me
I cannot die this way
No, I cannot die this way

No one will ever understand what
Thousands of beautiful healthy young soldiers must fall

Smoke and explosions surround me
A flood of hate, it drowns me
I cannot live this way
No I cannot live
With doubt and confusion
They find me
They run up right behind me
I cannot die this way
No, I will not die this way

My only qualm about the video is that it only shows the war from the side of the American soldier, but let's be honest, American sympathy for the victims of their adventures has never stopped the wars. It is always seeing "our" boys dying that brings them home. Either way, whatever works right? This CD is teaching me to have compassion for the soldiers themselves. They are simply ignorant of what is going on. I wish every soldier in Iraq would listen to this CD and talk about it before they signed up, or once there. They would be back home sooner than we think.

The second song I have to share is called No More by my two favorite artists out right now: Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper. It was penned by Vedder and I saw it performed this summer in Chicago and Lollapolooza. There are several versions on youtube. This may not be the best one; deal with it.



Here are the lyrics:

No More War

I speak for a man who gave for this land
Took a bullet in the back for his pay
Spilled his blood in the dirt and the dust
He's back to say:

What he has seen is hard to believe
And it does no good to just pray
He asks of us to stand
And we must end this war today

With his mind, he's saying, "No more!"
With his heart, he's saying, "No more!"
With his life he's saying, "No more war!"

With his eyes, he's saying, "No more!"
With his body, he's saying, "No more!"
With his voice, he's saying, "No more war!"

Yeah, nothing's too good for a veteran
Yeah, this is what they say
So nothing is what they will get
And there's no American way

The lies we were told to get us to go
Were criminal... let us be straight
Let's get to the point where our voices get heard
And I know what I'll say

With his mind, he's saying, "No more!"
With his heart, he's saying, "No more!"
With his life he's saying, "No more war!"

With his eyes, he's saying, "No more!"
With his voice, he's saying, "No more!"
With his body, he's saying, "No more war!"

No more innocents dying
No more terrorizing
No more eulogizing
No more evangelizing
No more presidents lying
No more war

With our minds, we're saying, "No more!"
With our hearts, we're saying, "No more!"
With our lives, we're saying, "No more war!"

It can't be any more simple than that. No matter where you stand politically we must simply say No More War! Readers of this blog know, that I understand things will never be that simple so please stay tuned for a song-by-song breakdown, with full commentary, coming soon. I actually would like to make a podcast. Anyone want to join me just leave a comment. We will be in touch. In the meantime, get the CD and prep yourself, maybe you can join me on Skype and we can talk about it together. The technological revolution has arrived, when will it lead to the one that changes the world?

Can people handle a three-Youtube-clip blog post, a CD and a book recommendation? I hope so; The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein is a MUST read book to accompany your journey. Here is the preview for that:



I have a very long blog post about that book brewing in my crowded head, but now is not the time. These suggestions should keep you busy for a while. This was meant to be a quick in and out blog post. BE WARNED! Content may force you to think, feel, and act to stop war, and once you know the facts it is hard to live without doing something about them. Even if all you do is sit and cry at a red light in your hometown, wherever that may be.....

4 comments:

  1. bz honey- my heart breaks on a regular basis. i don't know what, if anything, will work to make people see that killing others isn't the way. but there is safety in numbers and there is support in numbers.

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  2. I totally agree the shock doctrine is a MUST READ..your blog is beautiful, you sound beautiful and i invite you to visit me too, though be fore warned my writing skills will make an English Teacher cringe.

    fondly proudprogressive.

    one of our authors has a CD that is now out and available for purchase,its called Pariah, you like music, y'all may like this.

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  3. see video: See Body of War, Hear Body of War
    Help Phil Donahue promote this important movie, directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, send this video link to others to make people aware of Tomas Young's story.
    http://representativepress.googlepages.com/bodyofwar

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  4. Anonymous4:57 AM

    A person's view of war is very different than a person who's boots are actually on the ground. That song is very powerful, but there's alot that people don't understand. #1 Soldiers are not ignorant, nor are they stupid. I remember on Sept. 11th, 2001, I looked my 2 year old daughter in the eye, and turned to my wife. Shortly thereafter I joined the Army. That was a choice I made. There are others who can't find a job, or who are struggling to pay for school, we all have our reasons for raising our hands. The thing you don't see is what's beyond that point. We train together. We live together. We are proud of what we do. Sometimes it sucks, but we suck it up and drive on because of the people standing to your right and your left. I don't fight for George Bush, let alone agree with all of his policies, I do however soldier on because the parents of the soldiers in my squad depend on me to bring them home alive, and I will do everything in my power to do that. Because if one day my own child decides to stand up in the ranks, I will depend on his/her leaders to bring them home. If I'm ordered to go, I'll go. But If I do go, I'll be proud to be there alongside some of the greatest Americans to ever live.

    -A young SGT in the United States Army. Baghdad 2009, 1st Team!

    ReplyDelete