We want war

How do you think it feels being an American general..?
You wake up in the morning hungry for war.
You constantly hark back to Vietnam and refuse to accept that your military lost that particular extended conflict – it was the politicians’ fault – and you wonder how you can make sure the same outcome never occurs again.
You consider how greater carpet-bombing would have laid greater waste to the entire country and silenced entirely those commie Vietcong; how a better manner of winning hearts-and-minds might have worked out…
And then you ponder how you might apply all these ways of thinking right now in Syria, say, or Afghanistan – or in some other theatre of war…say, IRAN!!! Or – better still – RUSSIA!!! (China will have to wait.)
Conveniently, you forget what carpet-bombing did to the Korean peninsula in the early 1950s when the military’s efforts laid waste to the entire country of North Korea to the extent – by your own calculations – there was nothing left to bomb…and yet the DPRK re-emerged, more resourceful than before, having learned their own lessons (that the USA cannot be trusted), just as the Vietnamese people re-emerged from their underground warrens after you had destroyed all that existed above with your chemical and conventional weaponry…
And then you get to dreaming about the A-bomb…
All you need now is an excuse – and, oh, lookee here…our friends at UN, SIS and BBC are lining up the perfect opportunity…

If ever a piece of so-called reporting from a major media source warranted being called ‘a piece of war-mongering’, this is it from the BBC. Shocking journalism at any time from any national news organisation.


usa bombing syria
US bombing of Syrian target (Huffington Post)



Be aware, or beware

It kinda starts with socio-political thinking…
Some thoughts you may or may not agree with:
It took Baader-Meinhoff to make the Germans woke.
It took the Red Brigades to make the Italians woke.
It took the ’68 riots to woke the French.
The British never woke – just partied.
The Americans never woke – not even after MLK and Vietnam.
Neoliberalism creates highly passive power in concentrated elite groups – Marx-time is nigh.
Learn a language – cut out the middleman.
Be a buddha – stop wanting stuff.
Neolib + neocon = planetary destruction.
Neolib has created concentrated ownership, which means time for revolution.
Did you ever believe in the trickle-down effect of ne-0-liberalism?
Did you really believe the neoliberal rich wouldn’t increase their wealth?
Do you believe it is only by inflicting violence on the planetary rich that they will they take notice?
Whoever believed in social mobility?
Don’t be naïve – the political class have always lied.
You cannot trust the belief systems of others.
You have to work it out for yourself.
Politics has never solved issues concerning equality.
Only fear has resolved issues concerning social equality.
The rich only ever want to get richer.
The rich protect their wealth by any means.
The rich kill whole nations rather than see equality.
The rich enslave whole peoples rather than share resources.
The rich are destroying the planet.
The rich continue to plunder the planet.
Nothing but revolution or death will prevent the rich from destroying the planet.
The rich cheat and lie in order to sustain their influence.
The rich use armed force to maintain the status quo.
The rich will never willingly give up their wealth.
Only force will make the rich give up any portion of their wealth.
We live in a plutocracy – wealth means influence.
Anyone standing in the way of the rich will be obliterated.
The rich have no care for others.
The rich want inequality.
Only by force will the systems endorsed by the rich be annihilated.
The rich you will always have over you – unless you take control.
You cannot reason with the rich.
The rich start wars.
The rich promulgate wars.
The poor die in wars, not the rich.
The rich look down on the poor.
Check your sources.


And leads onto…

The Secret of Eternal Life

There is only one question in life worth asking (to paraphrase Camus, Il n’y a qu’un problèm philosophique vraiment sérieux…) and that is…
What happens to the human soul after death?
Physically speaking.
electron image
First, the human soul is actually an information pattern based on memory and is stored in the sub-atomic structure – more specifically within an electron, or electrons, and this information continues to be stored following the dissolution of the body’s molecular makeup (as described in Answer, where the human soul is described as a scintilla within the body). Since an electron has no mass there is no known limit to the amount of information that may be stored in this manner; certainly a lifetime’s worth of memory is virtually zero. There is consequently no problem of storage.
As sub-atomic matter electrons do not conform to human sensory efforts of measurement and may appear as discreet particles or waves. Still, electrons are constrained by some kind of law, and that law is one of circularity. Electrons do not disappear forever, nor are they eternal (as far as is known). They appear and reappear. And when they reappear within the context of another human body they carry over the information contained within them from the previous occasion. In this way, they transmit information to the ‘new’ human being. This human being has access to the information stored as memory within the electron, or electrons. That is the human soul, and that is how ‘reincarnation’ occurs.
So, back to our question: What happens to the human soul after death?
Quite simply, it remains contained within the electron or electrons.
People may ask, Where does the soul go?
Well, you have your answer here. It ‘goes’ nowhere – remains part of the universe.
The electrons follow a cycle of reestablishment and this has been worked out through the ancient mystery schools (just as various planetary motions were) to last through periods of one hundred and forty-four years. If you want to work out when your soul last incarnated in an individual human being doing the math is really quite simple. Then, if you want to access the information contained in the electron/soul you have to involve yourself in memory exercises which are more commonly called meditation. Through forgetting your present ego-bound self, you are able to recall previous selves (assuming such exist; if you are a new-born soul then it will not even occur to you to try this exercise, since you will have no knowledge of, or any idea concerning, a previously existing self.)
All that needs to be added here is to say that all new experience you have is added to your store of memory. In this way, through accumulated self-knowledge, you are able to comprehend the universe as it exists – and as you exist in it – and thereby attain the perfect mystic dream of never having to return to a physical human existence.
You have the formula for perfect liberation – of attuning your individual soul to the universal oversoul.
Prior to achieving this state of perfect liberation it ought to be possible to consciously form a memory-pattern that will continue to exist as a waveform after the dissolution of the body and that has nigh on eternal permanence. This waveform – or pattern – will in turn be accessible to any human soul that can obtain the means of recognising it.


electron colour

A peace packed a.m..!

After a full night’s sleep with no disturbances…
A cup of tea in bed and chat with my beloved about a personal matter which has been bothering her…
A shower. A shave. Getting dressed in freshly-laundered clothes…
A bowl of porridge oats and a handful of nuts and dried fruit. A cup of green gunpowder tea from China…
Sitting in the English mid-February sunshine reading Holger Kersten’s ‘Jesus Lived in India’ in preparation for a visit to that wonderful country soon…
Two years ago – almost exactly to the day – I was involved in a car accident that might well have killed me, while last year I was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening condition (and not for the first time either). And yet here I am sitting on an armchair in my living room enjoying the bright warmth and looking forward to a trip across Dartmoor to the castle ruins in Tintagel where King Arthur is reputed to have had his Round Table surrounded by his knights and the Lady Guinevere.
Some little while ago – during a one-to-one lesson on the very first day of that year – a Russian student made a comment concerning the artist Roerich (he of the Peace Pact contract signed in 1935) and a quick bit of research revealed where he lived at that time in Himachal Pradesh, so that I have wanted to visit the place ever since…
Think: precisely two thousand years ago, before his ministry started in Palestine, Jesus had been studying Vedic texts there and was wandering around the same area we will be heading to.
Myth and legend and reality all bound up in one tiny time frame and space.
Ain’t life just wonderful sometimes…


peace pact banner

Freedom Music becomes Literature

Think about it…

Peace & Love

Rock music was so sixties…so seventies…and its voice was freedom and anti-war – which all got gobbled up in the eighties and beyond; so that now we are returned to the rhetoric of let’s-have-war and clamp down on dissent. People are returned to their rubbish fear of no genuine enemy and a willingness to be subsumed by a fear of non-existent threats – funnily enough, the same ones of yore: Iran, Russia, N Korea.
There has been no British or American novelistic literature of the past forty years – not worth mentioning – or, really, post-war. Orwell and Kerouac set their stuff in the forties. Everything has been manipulated to sustain the Establishment. Literature is the Establishment. A couple of Russians have made their forays into the full-frontal consciousness of Westerners, Solzhenitsyn and Pasternak (Bulgakov goes way back to Stalin), and that’s about it.
No apologies – there HAVE BEEN NO liberationist writers of any substance in this era, the one being referred to; there have been feminist, gay and black writers, as there have been south american, turkish, arabic novelists and so forth, but they have concerned themselves with ghettoised not universal concerns. Only rock music has traversed the divide.
Think of how Hendrix doing Star Spangled Banner epitomises the whole anti-war pro-freedom movement and sentiment strong at that time.
The FBI, CIA and SIS did not concern themselves overly with any writers around then. The literati could not convey meaning in the manner that the musicians were able to accomplish.
But today – or soon – I hope these secret intelligence services will have to concern themselves with what is being written by bona fide spot on writers who have the graphic intelligence to grasp and grapple with contemporary matters in a fictionalised mode that encapsulates and transgresses the masses’ hopes and fears in the way the rock musicians were able to do fifty years ago.
Since music has now become a spent political force…

sorry r n r
The literati failed – not r n r

Let Rock music become literature.


Well, it’s gotta come – that feeling of…of…
Let me say, first of all, ‘rock’ ain’t rock and roll. R n r is originally blackspeak for sex – you know, the orthodox heterosexual kind when a man and woman get it together and they rock and they roll and they get the feeling real good.
Whereas Rock is a kind of philosophy of freedom which dates back to the French Encylopedists but probably finds its most recent and clearest ratiocination in the writings of Soren Kirkegaard (b. Denmark, 1813-55).

“Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.”

You’ve just got to look at this guy to know he would have been the ultimate rock star, with his big dreamy eyes, pouty lips and masses of quiffed-up hair. Really, he makes someone like Mick Jagger even in his prime look positively ursine. What’s more, after being reviled by the media, he died young! That boy was born to rock. But not to roll. Early doors, he gave up on love – and the love of his life – owing to a crisis of faith. The Copenhagen philosopher contained sheer inner angst no popstar of the last seventy years could possibly match – not even Elvis ‘The King’ Presley, in all honesty.

Referring to his beloved, the Danish heart-throb wrote in secret, ‘Everywhere, in the face of every girl, I see features of your beauty’ (Journals & Papers of Søren Kierkegaard, 11 August 1838), which could very well have been the inspiration behind Bell & Creed’s ‘You Are Everything’ (Avro, 13 May 1971) as performed by the Stylistics. ‘Today I saw somebody, Who looked just like you, She walked like you do, I thought it was you.’

As the daddy of modern existentialism and rock philosophy, Kirkegaard concerned himself greatly with ideas of ‘authenticity’. By this, he mostly meant being the person you can be (not necessarily ‘the best’ you – just the real you). Later, this translated into applying your energies to a cause you would be prepared either to live for entirely, or indeed die for. An oddly oxymoronic notion, I’ll grant.
Coming across a band, performer or music, you are looking for just this ‘authenticity’. Which means? Well, do they have sincerity in what they are playing or saying? Do they believe it? Or are they just approximating something they think they ought to be conveying? A thought. An attitude.
That’s the thing. It doesn’t matter if they can’t play their instruments like virtuosos, look like gods, hit all the high notes or wear the proper gear.
Do they mean it?
Do they convey it authentically?
Or is the act a sham? An ‘act’, in fact.
The problem here concerns rock n roll. On rock, we ought to be be on safer ground.
For a start, we know r n r is all about sex; so an r n r performer who does not convey this basic requirement is failing. That’s straightforward enough. Their performance is not authentic. They can of course save the whole issue by forgetting the roll and bringing forth something out of the ‘rock’ component, and if they do this then all is not lost. This, then, essentially means attitude. If they are not making you think about sex, then what are they making you think about? Of course, the passive partner in the entertainment – the observer, listener – may only want to lose all sense of feeling, so that a few hits of some chemicals followed by a series of head-banging chords, a soaring chorus or a carefully orchestrated dance routine is all that is required (maybe even without the chemicals, in some cases). To be fair, no authenticity at all is being required here, since what is being sought is pure knock-out escapism. But, if we are going to allow ourselves to rather grandly draw principles developed by first-rate thinkers of whatever century or nation into our calculus, then sheer entertainment is not what we are talking about. Remember, we are talking about life and death – about something to live for, something to die for – about being who you proclaim to be. Your very inner being projected to the outside.
‘Who Are You?’ as Peter Townshend asked.
Now, the other thing about authenticity is that the label attached to it may be altered.
Rock is about freedom. It is all about freedom. Nothing else. The first stirrings of freedom are that you are able to do and have thoughts not designated by somebody else. Your thinking is your own thinking, your actions similarly your own. That’s the first thing. That’s the initial element of rock – that it creates independence (however fleeting). If exposure to a rock performance of some kind doesn’t induce liberation in its audience then it has signally failed. End of. That is why simply being entertained and merely forgetting your everyday life for a short period does not count as freedom. That is just nullity. Freedom requires action of some kind, even if that action only refers to brainwaves.
Which pretty much brings us on to the point of this blog. Watching the old-timers who started out with an idea of liberating their audience, at least in part, you are always left with the impression of watching a bunch of guys going through the motions, no matter how much they or their audience are apparently enjoying themselves, and not unnaturally after all these years. You shouldn’t really expect a whole lot that’s new. Although, it would be great if that still occurred. Simply going over the same ground over and over again is not really particularly satisfying to those who really do constantly seek liberation. You can be lulled. You can be annulled. But you cannot have it all. You cannot be free and safe at the same time. Not here.


Nuclear War – so what!

As on old man who just sneaked in as a baby-boomer during its final year, I am no stranger to the threat of nuclear war. We were brought up on the myth that the Americans dropping A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki actually saved human lives. Imagine that! The mass destruction of two of the most developed cities in the world with populations of over 400,000 and 250,000 respectively was promulgated as an act of kindness. God bless America, that most humane of all the nations.

Life-saving A-bomb

Similarly, MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), whereby a simple slip by one side would be matched by the other and the entire world would disappear in one single conflagration, was sold as the most certain way of ensuring it – the end of the world – would never happen. You have to admit, there is a certain kind of sanity in such a calculation; the sanity of a madman who believes that by killing everyone in the world he will never be caught or held accountable.
Such were the imbecilic beliefs the authorities tried inculcating within us.
My hometown of High Wycombe had the dubious distinction in the nineteen-eighties of being the foremost UK target for annihilation by the Soviet Union. First Dusseldorf in West Germany, where NATO housed an early warning system, followed by the USAF base up on Marlow Hill (near my secondary school) where I used to play in five-a-side football tournaments, since NATO had its secondary European communications nerve centre implanted there. Note that Washington DC in America was over three-and-half thousand miles away. The Americans always were cowards, as may be seen by every military campaign they have ever conducted since the inception of their country.
Actually, growing up in the sixties, us boys seriously believed we were still at war with Germany – wanted to believe we were at war with Germany, an attitude encouraged by the adult men around us who always wanted to be regarded as heroes of some kind, whereas in reality they were simply factory-workers being exploited in the newly-built local industrial estates. Some heroes! Still, you gotta look up to someone, aintcha? Might as well be those guys.
In the village we moved to in my mid-teenage, just five miles from where I was born, the UK government under Thatcher decided to build an underground nuclear bunker to shelter them when the Soviets fired their nuclear warheads at us (assuming the immediate destruction of Dusseldorf). SS-22s, were the missiles to which they were attached. See, our Government were just as cowardly as their American counterparts; they would only initiate a nuclear conflagration if they knew that they were personally safe and would not be hurt by it all. While the rest of the nation was being burnt to a frazzle, they’d be safe and sound half-a-mile underground sipping their PG Tips and munching on cheese and pickle sandwiches. The site they opted for was the Bomber Command base used by Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris while conducting the RAF’s fire-bombing campaign of Dresden (not to be confused with Dusseldorf) forty years earlier, in nineteen-forty-four. Which was another bombing operation that we were supposed to believe saved human lives. I know, incredible, isn’t it? Yet another act of kindness, on this occasion carried out by the British.
Some people weren’t too happy with the proposal for the military bunker – saw it as an act more likely to make nuclear war happen – and as such began a campaign of their own, to stop the bunker’s construction. A peace camp was established and protests held on a daily basis, to which the local constabulary responded with harassment and arrests. Until the site had been sold at great personal financial gain to the RAF by a local landholder with – surprise, surprise – previous connections to the military, there had been only woods and meadows. By now the land was occupied by a massive military complex known as Strike Command, surrounded by vast housing estates inhabited by the squaddies who worked there, along with a compound of imposing residences taken up by the officers. A straight ridge road linking our village with the next village two miles away was the only access, making any obstruction of the lorries and earth-moving plant required for the bunker’s construction a straightforward process, the activities of the constabulary notwithstanding. To offset this, a new access lane was built off the valley road running parallel to the ridge road a few miles west. This access route was far more difficult to block and the construction of the bunker carried on apace, as the diminishing group of disillusioned protestors either abandoned their posts or were dragged off to court and turned into criminals by the law enforcers in their blue serge suits and helmets, aided and abetted by the county judges.

SS-22 destined for my hometown

All the while, we were being assailed by propaganda concerning the malfeasant intentions of a trio of nations later christened the ‘Axis of Evil’ by George W. Bush, with one of them being singled out as the main protagonist within an ‘Evil Empire’ according to the incumbent old Hollywood has-been and soon-to-be dementia-addled President of the United States of America. The names of those nations are all too familiar: North Korea, Iran and Russia. The first was bombed flat by the United States military using conventional weapons shortly after they – the USA – had dropped their humane A-bombs on Japan, to the extent that when no more military targets remained the Americans turned to destroying the country’s entire infrastructure instead, starting with the hydro-electric dams and moving on from there, committing a whole string of war crimes for which they were never prosecuted, in the process; the second contains a culture so ancient that it pre-dates written records; while the third straddles a land mass stretching from Asia to Europe and has been the only bulwark to contain US hegemony since the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allies. Also, films were issued by the UK government about how we good people should protect ourselves in the event of a nuclear conflagration by hiding under tables and such like (while they would be comfortably ensconced in their underground bunker drinking PG Tips…) and the media made us feel even less safe with their daily reports of imminent war and destruction.
And all for what? To make us feel happy that we were living in the free world. To distract us from the neoliberal agenda that was patently undermining our well-being with its promises of a drip-drip down effect of wealth creation, as though the rich wouldn’t be getting richer and the poor getting poorer and us apathetic morons having all the hard-won rights of the past hundred-and-fifty years or more stripped away as the government waged war upon those whom the country’s wealth had been built: the miners and steel-workers and all those other hard-pressed types who had left the fields to go and work in the factories and foundries and who stupidly believed they were regarded as heroes. Just as the country’s police force had been set upon those individuals whose only aim was to halt the likelihood of nuclear war and create a peaceful world where societies of people sharing different backgrounds could live alongside each other both locally and supra-nationally (the ultimate horror of any ruling elite group), so were the bastions of law and order in all their blue-serge glory deployed to intimidate and if called to beat up their fellow workers – so degraded had we become.
So, no, to an end-of-an-era baby-boomer like myself of nearly sixty years standing, the threat of nuclear war and the way it is used to demonise ‘the other’ and cower the population while distracting us from the real social issues confronting the nation, comes as no surprise.
It ain’t nothing new. The surprise is – it still works..!



All Hail the Flag

union jackThe Union Jack was always shameful to us. Rightly so. That flag was – and is – the symbol of empire and therefore nothing to be proud of. As children growing up in a little South Bucks village we knew as much, despite what the adults might try to teach us. Those unearthly, archaic crosses of three patron saints combined in one panel has fluttered over some of the worst atrocities ever committed by mankind against fellow human beings. We were aware of that. Watched it on our tv screens. Images of khaki-clad British soldiers were seen patrolling the sun-drenched streets of Aden – part of Yemen – while threatening the local population with their rifles.aden soldiers Even as a kid, you could see this was wrong, a misuse of power. Only later did I discover the British Army were stationed there to protect the oil interests of the privately-owned British Petroleum conglomerate and to help the Saudi royal household sow seeds of religious discontent amongst a growing pan-Arabic movement led by their shared arch-enemy, Nasser. Just as the British Army are there now for much the same reason, helping out their oil-producing Saudi allies as they blockade the old Aden port, destroy Yemen’s infrastructure and condemn hundreds of thousands of human beings to death by bombing, starvation and disease. With that in mind, can you possibly say that you are proud to be British or that you hold any reverence whatsoever for the Union Jack?

who jack
How to look cool in GB circa ’67

Growing up, I never could understand how The Who permitted themselves to use the Union Jack as a symbol of the band; although I got how Mary Quant and Swinging London might adopt it as a logo to increase brand awareness and increase sales. Maybe The Who wanted to make clear they weren’t American, I don’t know. The Jam used the same image a decade later, as did Oasis twenty years after that. Somehow, I cannot link youthful rebellion and the desire for freedom to think and act with such a profound image of conservative establishment authority. And I don’t think that I am alone in this anymore. At last, it is being recognised by a new generation as such. This modern anti-Brexit, pro-world generation is waking up to the awful overtones contained in those crosses, as did the German youth during the nineteen-seventies gain an understanding of what had been done in their name – and then conveniently glossed over by a previous generation – under the aegis of a black swastika emblazoned on a white circle set against a red background. If you think the Union Jack is cool – as it was considered during Blair’s Labour government, the same one that lied to a public supposedly represented by the saintly crosses in order to launch wars against the old anti-British-imperialist foes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria – then you are a fool. As a matter of fact, I could only take to the Who after they released ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. Hah!

oasis union jack
Quasi-military pose set against the Union Jack adopted by the fun-loving Gallaghers

I watched the collapse of one empire – the British one, and now it looks as though I may be privy to the collapse of yet another empire, this time the American one.
If the Union Jack is the emblem par excellence of British imperialism, and nobody could possibly argue with that as a statement, then the Stars and Stripes, too, conveys the image of brutal military dictatorship and underhand espionage deployed to subjugate whole nations and peoples, those who have no desire to be ruled so. American governments, like their British counterparts use of the Union Jack, have had no compunction about raising the Star Spangled Banner above the heads of those whose lives they despise and whom they would control through the use of unbridled force and lies. And that’s just their own people. Look further abroad and you will discover a whole litany of dirty tricks and military might deployed against the better wishes of peoples around the globe, from Pyongyang to Kiev to Tehran and all the places in between. Full-spectrum dominance means just that, and when the cowardly American generals and politicians feel they can get away with it, they will plunder and utterly dismantle any person or persons or country that stand in their way. Just as the British taught them to do, and still would, if they could. Killing and torture, lying and subterfuge, are second nature within the American republic. Their only goal, like the British before them, is to cower humanity and rob the planet of all its resources while they bestride their imperial thrones and military hardware, lording it while saluting the imperial flag and looking over the remaining quivering mass of virtual human slaves.
usa flag
Nota bene. Just as the Americans had to leave Vietnam, routed by a determined resistance movement prepared to fight back and develop its own ideology , so the British finally had to leave Aden/Yemen in nineteen sixty-seven, driven out by the organised resistance of the nation’s Arabs (although the current activity of the British government shows that old colonial sentiments continue to exist.) Like I said, my first images of British imperialism came by way of the tv screen when I was growing up; they, the politicians, the armed forces and the mainstream media are not prepared to make that same mistake again, showing virtually no footage of what is actually happening in present-day Yemen, and only occasionally providing an – extremely skewed – analysis of the situation. You – and they – have been warned.
All hail the flag!


Top six songs 2017

And so, a little late, cos I’ve been on my winter hols, here are my top six songs from 2017 (as listed by Spotify);

Holy Guardian Angel, Van Morrison
My Only True Friend, Gregg Allman
Here I Go Again, Whitesnake
Fortunate Son, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Witch’s Promise, Jethro Tull
Coal Mine, Syd Arthur

They are pretty much what you might expect from an old guy of 58, I reckon. All the artistes, if they’re not actually dead, have been round the block a time or two. Old Van is still at it, as is lead singer/composer for JT, Ian Anderson (in fact the band are celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a bunch of tours in 2018). The exception, of course, is Syd Arthur, who were formed in the early-mid 2000s (tho their name harks back to a whole bunch of earlier references).

Time to look at a few of the lyrics. You never know (as has been intimated in one of my books where characters discuss rock lyrics) they may even reveal the very meaning of life..!

Fortunate Son, Creedence Clearwater Revival pretty much lays out what we need to fear: nationalist zealotry and the psychotic impulse to diminish and overpower all other peoples, with the view to annihilating them if they fail to submit to our earthly demands. I’m talking to you America.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail to the chief”
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer More! more! more! Yo

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, one

As Syd Arthur see it in Coal Mine (recorded some fifty years on) you’ve got to dig deep if there’s any hope at all of finding an answer to all this psychotic militaristic mess (what Americans require are not political or economic analyses, but a Jungian one… At this rate, with their mixture of avarice and paranoia they are going to destroy the world, either with their perpetual world war, pollution or in one giant conflagration…see ON RELEASE)

Coal mine. Deep in a coal mine. I heard them say
Someone found a golden chain

Coal mine. Deep in a coal mine. A golden chain
Around your neck keeps you safe

Cradle. Oh cradle. Cradle of mankind
What have you got left to hide

Coal mine. Deep in a coal mine. The unexplained
Buried deep beneath the earth. A golden chain

Fly like a bird. Over the sea. Bringing treasure back to me
You say the world’s not what it seems
Life’s an endless mystery

All of which, leads us directly to the mystery of the supernatural experience of life, as painted by a couple of guys who started out in the sixties and are still going strong. Although, as a matter of fact. these two compositions are very nearly fifty years apart. Now, earthly life, as every human being knows, means trouble, pain and sorrow– just as Guatama Buddha would have it (and how many people would argue with him?) Both of their songs in this list refer to the process of time as it emerges diurnally and seasonally in a cyclic motion on this planet. So that only by appealing to the unearthly forces outside of this endless return can anything like freedom and peace be accessed. Escape from all the pain and suffering that material existence entails is possible only through supernal intervention in the context of time.

In Holy Guardian Angel, Van Morrison cuts right to the chase:

I was born in the midnight
Long before the break of day
Born in the midnight hour
Called the witching hour, they say

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody but me

So I pray to my holy guardian angel
Come what may, to my holy guardian angel
So I pray to my holy guardian angel
In the witching hour

Well my restless mind starts to wander
Known it all of my days
Need lifted up by the spiritual
When I begin to think on these things

Holy guardian angel
Holy guardian angel
Holy guardian angel
In the witching hour

Jethro Tull’s Witch’s Promise pulls no punches either:

Lend me your ear while I call you a fool.
You were kissed by a witch one night in the wood,
and later insisted your feelings were true.
The witch’s promise was coming,
believing he listened while laughing you flew.

Leaves falling red, yellow, brown, all are the same,
and the love you have found lay outside in the rain.
Washed clean by the water but nursing its pain.
The witch’s promise was coming, and you’re looking
elsewhere for your own selfish gain.

Keep looking, keep looking for somewhere to be,
well, you’re wasting your time, they’re not stupid like he is.
Meanwhile leaves are still falling, you’re too blind to see.

You won’t find it easy now, it’s only fair.
He was willing to give to you, you didn’t care.
You’re waiting for more but you’ve already had your share.
The witch’s promise is turning, so don’t you wait up
for him, he’s going to be late.

Next, in a further attempt to alleviate all that pain, onto the classic rock n roll trope of the road – constant searching and journeying, flattening out the sphere of the Earth in one long endless ribbon which, as a matter of fact, can only – eventually – meet itself, like the Uroboros chewing at its tail.

I don’t know where I’m going
But I sure know where I’ve been
Hanging on the promises
In songs of yesterday

And I’ve made up my mind,
I ain’t wasting no more time

Here I go again
Here I go again

Though I keep searching for an answer,
I never seem to find what I’m looking for
Oh, Lord, I pray
You give me strength to carry on,

‘Cause I know what it means
To walk along the lonely street of dreams

Here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known,
Like a hobo I was born to walk alone

In My Only True Friend, Gregg Allman (who actually begins his song with the image of a river flowing into the sea) says:

I hope you’re haunted by the music of my soul
When I’m gone
Please don’t fly away and find you a new love
I can’t face living this life alone
I can’t bear to think this might be the end
But you and I both know the road is my only true friend

Another night alone but I see you in my dreams sometimes
No matter where I go lord knows
You were always on my mind

But you and I both know the road is my only true friend

Still on and on I run it feels like home is just around the bend
I got so much left to give
But I’m running out of time, my friend

Yes, time, looking back, looking forward, always from the point of now, travelling along that old, lonely road where there is only spatial distance and you; a point from which you hardly ever emerge. Anybody who looks in the mirror only ever sees the same thing we all see: time, space and fear. In the reflection is both Question and Answer. In relation to this blog, CCR’s Fortunate Son would apply to the social Question, while all the other songs may well relate to the individual Answer.

Happy 2018