Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Three Important Things You Probably Won't Understand

There's so much going on in this little thing I like to call "my life" that I haven't had time to do much research or writing today, but I do have a few important but mostly incomprehensible things to share with you.

The first is a very interesting 9/11 video called "ZEMBLA: Net Complot Van 9/11", which you really should watch, even though your ears probably won't understand very much of it. But if you can read, you should be ok. (It's Dutch with English subtitles.)

And then there's this page -- an account of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center written by Daithí Mac Lochlainn, author of the excellent "Pastor Niemöller in the 21st Century", a modern variation on the classic German poem, which we all read a few days ago -- didn't we, class? -- when I quoted it here.

In the original version of "Pastor Niemöller in the 21st Century", as posted on "The Gaelic Starover", this page is linked to the text "World Trade Center". I changed the link, substituting a different page, when I reposted the piece here, because I thought you probably wouldn't understand it. But then I found out that it was written by Daithí Mac Lochlainn himself, who happened to be in the WTC on 9/11. So I want you to see it, even though I don't undertstand any of the text, and nor do I understand why the page is "watermarked" with a photo of two young women wearing ... what are they wearing, anyway? And why are they on this page?

Third, and perhaps most incomprehensible of all, the Pentagon's budget for fiscal year 2006 contained $20 million earmarked for a celebration to mark our victories in Iraq and Afghanistan. Needless to say, the money wasn't spent this year (and quite fittingly, in my view, considering that we haven't yet declared victory and hauled ass). Therefore, and with the prospect of an eventual victory growing ever dimmer, the $20 million has been "rolled over" into next year's budget. Is your head spinning yet? If not, consider these words of wisdom, from Rebecca M. Kirszner, communications director (i.e. professional mouthpiece) for Democratic Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, as quoted by the New York Times:
“If the Bush administration had spent more time planning for the postwar occupation of Iraq, and less time planning ‘mission accomplished’ victory celebrations, America would be closer to finishing the job in Iraq,”
Did you catch that? The "postwar occupation of Iraq" used to be a verboten phrase, back in ancient times (eighteen months ago) when we were "Liberators, Not Occupiers". Way back then, Republicans consistently denied that America was interested in any such thing as "postwar occupation of Iraq"; nowadays we are so modern that even a well-trained Democratic ventiloquist's dummy can utter the phrase as if it's the most natural thing in the world.

As the incomparable Peter Hammill (pictured above, during his famous half-a-beard phase) would say: "And this is progress? You must be joking!!"

Speaking of Hammill, at a time when we all badly need both some sanity and some good music, I hereby present a lyric of uncommon power and beauty. Except for the reference to the date, at the beginning of the first verse, this song could have been written yesterday. Or tomorrow.

The Future Now

Here we are, static in the latter half
of the twentieth century
but it might as well be the Middle Ages,
there'll have to be some changes
but how they'll come about foxes me.

I want the future now,
I want to hold it in my hands;
all men equal and unbowed,
I want the promised land.

but that doesn't seem to get any closer,
and Moses has had his day...
the tablets of law are an advertising poster,
civilisation here to stay
and this is progress?
You must be joking!
Me, I'm looking for any kind of hope.

I want the future now,
I want to see it on the screen,
I want to break the bounds
that make our lives so mean.

Oh, blind, blinded, blinding hatred
of race, sex, religion, colour, country and creed,
these scream from the pages of everything I read.
You just bring me oppression and torture,
apartheid, corruption and plague;
you just bring me the rape of the planet
and joke world rights at the Hague.
Oh, someday the Millennium!
But how far is someday away?

I want the future now
I'm young, and it's my right.
I want a reason to be proud.
I want to see the light.
I want the future now,
I want to see it on the screen,
I want to break the bounds:
make life worth more than dreams.

Why half-a-beard? OK, already. Four important things you probably won't understand!!