Wednesday, July 18, 2012

masters of war

required listening

I have been thinking a lot about Bob Dylan’s Master of War.

We live in a world of smart people who write books and appear on serious news programs. They wear nice clothes and talk with an air of authority about our economy, our society, our foreign policy and our role in the world. They all went to prestigious schools like Columbia and Brigham Young University, they calmly and logically articulate the challenges within our present system, they weigh the options and they set forth their conclusions. Sometimes these corporate overlords will even claim God as their inspiration.

And then I listen to Masters of War and it all falls apart. Dylan wrote this song almost 50 years ago, and it shines a light on everything those smart people say and do, and the hypocrisy is transparent. Everything we need to know as citizens of the human race are in these lyrics.


I look at the world and I see a train speeding toward a cliff. The smart, well-educated, well-dressed engineers on that train are calmly and logically declaring, “Faster, faster...”


Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.


(an excerpt from Masters of War) 
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More from George Carlin, saying the same thing in different words.
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11 comments:

Diana Manister said...

Nice. Two of my culture heroes. Dylan's songs often look like nothing in print but this lyric works as a poem.

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

have you seen Tom Shadyac's movie
"I am" ?

http://iamthedoc.com/

I think you will like it Mike.
He is saying the same thing in a way.

Red Pill Junkie said...

Just found my quote of the day. Thank you, sir :)

Red Pill Junkie said...

The thing that makes my blood boil, is that these CABRONES know fully well their masks are off, and we can see through their lies.

And they just don't fucking care anymore.

Delorus said...

This has always been one of my favorite songs and one of the first I learned by heart to play and sing with my guitar.The chords were so simple and straightforward and it said exactly the way the world was run. I agree RPJ- those in power really don't give a rat's ass for the results of their actions because that private island is so worth it.

I resonate with every word in that song.

I'm pretty sure that album had WW3 talking Blues too-"I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours.."

Annalie said...

Thanks for sharing this Mike. I have this album on vinyl, have for years, and while I remember the song, i'd never studied the lyrics. Awesome. Dylan had so much to teach, still does.

One of my personal 'anthems' I'd sing, starting at about age 15, was his ballad 'Idiot Wind'....

Anyhow, as always, thanks for your work. I'm also glad to see Mac Tonnies work has been preserved. The internet archives of the work of individuals is like a fragile Alexandria Library... who knows what will one day become of the tales.

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

Carlin and Bill Hicks I always saw as lay preachers who could bring a smile to my face.
May their memory live on.

...love Dylan too,it was a honour that I'll never forget,to watch him play live,less than 100 feet from where I stood at the Byron Bay Bluesfest last year.
Surreal experience indeed.
If anybody had told me a few years ago that Bob would play Byron,I would have thought they were dreamer's.

Brownie said...

Brizdaz, Oh yeah - Bill Hicks...absolutely amazing = funny and incisive. Some of his gigs are on youtube.

Wasn't Hicks also rumored to possibly have seen a ufo, up close. Or maybe I'm thinking of another comedian. I know Rosie O'Donnell, years ago, had spoken briefly of a sighting she had when she use to live near the Hudson River slightly upstate of NYC. But she hushed up about it. I think it may have been Whitley Streiber who first mentioned this (could be wrong though - sorry if I am).

~ Susan

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

@Brownie,
I'm not sure if Bill saw a UFO,but he has a fair bit of material on UFO's in his acts...and lots on mushrooms .-)

Here is a similar clip of Bill Hicks gags to what Carlin did in the above
clip titled,
" Bill Hicks on: UFO Encounters, "NWO Elite", US Presidency, Unconditional Love & Existence".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GaDa6RzJEc

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

@Brownie...again,
I did find this post on the internet about a book written by Bill Hick's friend Kevin Booth called,
" Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution"

http://www.maybelogic.org/maybequarterly/03/0303Review32Years.htm

" Kevin has been a tireless promoter of the memory and legacy of Bill Hicks, and he was wise to save all of his great inside stories for his own book. This was one of the failings of American Scream, which seemed to me a rote, perfunctory biography, with little in terms of true revelations concerning the life of Bill Hicks. For example, there is the legendary true-story of Bill and Kevin's Harmonic Convergence experience of the summer of 1987. This was the UFO experience about which Bill often spoke in his stage act. While Cynthia True reported this episode through hearsay alone, in Agent of Evolution, Kevin takes us directly to the Booth family ranch for what he himself described as "the most important event of Bill's life." I won't ruin the books' many surprises, but suffice to say that Kevin brings this event into proper perspective, where he describes total telepathic communication between Bill and himself, while they were both aboard a UFO. One might even imagine that this event was itself precipitated by the five-gram heroic dose of psychedelic mushrooms they both had taken earlier that same afternoon."

Bright Garlick said...

Mike - I've never been a Dylan fan but that song rocked. I might just have to revisit Mr Dylan and spend some time getting re-acquainted.

Everything happens at precisely the right time.

Thanks buddy !

Bright. ;-)