Monday, November 01, 2004
ĎFIXINí TO DIEí REVISITED
'When I was a teenager in the U.S. Navy in Japan I pressed cherry blossoms one spring and put them in plastic in my photo album. I still have those blossoms from Atsugi, Japan.
There is nothing like a baby bunny and spring blossoms. I hope the bunnies get along, the blossoms give us good fruit and the soldiers come home from the war.'
From: ĎOf Speedyís Downfallí- An essay by Country Joe McDonald Ė Berkeley Daily Planet
The following interview is a transcript from a TV broadcast of the US Presidential Election by Dutch VPRO TV Sunday 31 October.
Dutch sociologist and reporter Abram de Swaan talks with Country Joe McDonald about the current American political sentiment, the Woodstock generation and the war in Iraq.
Location: McDonalds home in Berkeley. In the first scene both men are seated at a lounge table- having just reviewed McDonalds legendary 1970 Woodstock protest performance:
CJM: It still sounds contemporary, doesnít it?
S: I think so..
CJM: Yes, It still sounds shocking.. blasphemous.. unpatriotic. ..But soldiers love it.
S: Is that so?
CJM: Even now.Yeah, soldiers love the song.
S: And is it being played now in Iraq?
CJM: I donít know if itís being played in Iraq, but that generation of soldiers, Iím sure has heard the song before..and they.. they love the sentiments of it.
Because there is no, thereís no anti-soldier sentiments in the song, it doesnít blame soldiers for war.. I say, blaming soldiers for wars, is like blaming firefighters for fire. Firefighters donít start fires.
S: Thereís a war going on right now..
CJM: Well, thereís many wars going on.
S: Thatís true..
CJM: But the one that takes everybodyís attention of course is Americaís war. Americaís...well one of many of Americaís wars. But.. I suppose youíre talking about the Iraq war.. George W. Bushís war.
S: Itís his war?
CJM: Itís his war.
S: If not for Bush, it wouldnít have been there?
CJM: I believe so.
S: And, is it worthwhile?
CJM: Itís a waste of... I was gonna say time, but itís a waste of life. Its a waste of energy.
Itís a waste. And it will accomplish nothing.. in my humble opinion.
S: I was watching the movie today in the bus; and it occurred to me that even unbeknowest to these people they may have frightened very very many other Americans, who suddenly saw this sort of primal force emerging, cause itís very forceful.. What do you think, that it has it caused a reaction on the other side?
CJM: Absolutely.. absolutely. And it is still alive today, That is what the Iraq war is about. But America is divided completely in half. The people against the Iraq war and with John Kerry, and Democrats.. Even the Democrats are divided, are the people who embrace and embody all the issues of the Woodstock Festival, of the Fixiní To Die Rag, and of the decade after that, which includes feminism and gender issues. A lot of things that Dutch people have taken for granted for a century. But America is still very primitive and old fashioned. And so still I believe that George W. Bush and his friends are fighting the war in Iraq to prove that Woodstock was bullshit. It was immoral, it was decadent, and it was something that was never going to last. Because the good old fashioned ways of WWII supposedly... Of monogamy, of the good countries and the bad countries, of the good religion and the bad religion, and bravery and honor live on and on forever.. bla bla bla bla, Winston Churchill..blah..
And for that reason he is forcing the world, in spite of the fact, that the United nations, and all of the middle-class countries and other countries wonít back him at all.
Heís convinced, heís convinced just like Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon were convinced that these dirty rotten Hippies, and they like to blame Hippies, you know for everything, cause who the hell knows what a Hippie is? I donít know what a Hippie is.. I guess it would be Provos you know? But even thatís you know... The Netherlands are a small country. The Provos were a little tiny group you could like, identify. You canít identify hippies. Millions and millions of people, you know. But they wanna blame the Hippies... And Rock and Roll of course.
S: I think George W. Bush's war is too easy. He has the chance to be re-elected by 50% of the electorate, itís their war too.
CJM: Oh yes. But they are... like you know, they believed the world was flat, and when the news came back that the world was round, a lot of people didnít want to believe it, and so they probably got in a lot of fistfights about it; and George W. Bush is having a flat world war here. He wants to believe heís no part of the world community. He wants to believe that thereís only one God. That God is on his side. He want to believe heís doing the right thing, bla, bla, bla, bla. In the end history will show that he was wrong, And in the end these people from Woodstock will win,...the Globe and the Planet. I do believe, I do believe that.
S: You know, whatís on my mind, when you evoke this image of the Hippies like the Righteous marching on to a bright future.. Somehow it looks as the spooky mirror-image as those other people who march with the Saints- Bushís army. And Iím all the time wondering if thereís a common ground? Is there a way these people can talk to another?
CJM: (Laughs) Well! Itís a little bit of Dutch paranoia out here I think, you know. Because you think that the Hippies can organize!? Hippies canít organize. They can hardly organize a spaghetti dinner!! You donít have to worry about the Hippies marching on anything!
S: ..I am not worried about them..What worries me is the lack of a common ground, and the lack of a dialog.
CJM: Between who?!
S: Letís see.. These people called Hippies, and those people, say, reborn Christians.
CJM: Well. I donít think youíre gonna have a lot of dialog. For instance, letís go back to the flat world concept. So, you believe in a flat world. I believe in a round world. So letís reach a happy medium: letís call it (laughs) a triangular world!!
(both laughing) You see what Iím saying. One person is completely wrong and one person is completely right, you know. So, there you are! If you believe that.white people are the superior race on this planet, and all black people- and by the way homosexuals, should be killed and deserve to get Aids.. Well, youíre wrong and thereís no happy ground for..
S: (interrrupts) But thatís not Bushís message. He wouldnít say such things.
CJM: But thatís his underlying belief. I think.. you know, heís, heís not a nice man.. I donít think... I havenít met him you know (laughs)... Heís not a smart man, well actually, people want to argue.. they say heís really crafty... I think.. (trailing off) Heís not... But, Iím not... Iím just a musician. I am not a philosopher. I am not a social scientist.. Unfortunately.
CJM: Well, I think you like me to engage in this philosophical conversation. I donít have an answer for that, you know..
(Camera cuts to a kitchen scene, McDonald singing and playing the guitar- faced from the back)
posted by Walter at 11/1/2004
Sunday, October 31, 2004
"Fortune lies upon the surface of the earth as plentiful as the mud in our streets. We look for an addition within the next four years equal to at least One Thousand Million of Dollars to the gold in circulation"
Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune in 1848- the year of the Californian gold rush
ALL THAT IS GOLD
Gold, Eloquent Gold
Ruthless and Luminous
Gold, Abdominal Gold
-Muse of the Dubious-
Gold, Intrepid Gold
Mutable and climactic
Gold, Presumed Gold
Gold, Incendiary Gold
Grenadine and Lime
Gold, Pampered Gold
Gold, Herculean Gold
My Consort and Glitz
Gold, Smirking Gold
-Porter of wit-
Gold, Mannerist Gold
Rakish and Louche
Gold, Orbital Gold
Gold, Credible Gold
Forceful and Lame
Gold, Demonic Gold
Gold, Opulent Gold
Spirit of Arabia
Gold, Rejuvenated Gold
-Cataclysm in Asia-
Gold, Potent Gold
Floating and Sculptural
Gold, Intellectual Gold
-Vigilant and Seminal
Gold, Sleeveless Gold
Compass to the Damned
-Tarnished and Dark
Guiding the Spark-
© 2004 Walt
posted by Walter at 10/31/2004