Sunday, April 6

Monster's Design: Steppenwolf's Question "America, Where are You Now?" for 1970 Applicable Today

America where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster


--John Kay, Jerry Edmonton, Nick St. Nicholas & Larry Byrom, US rock group Steppenwolf, "Monster," 1970


If we dare believe musician-author Alex Constantine, the appropriately paranoid Richard M. Nixon, on acquiring the White House in 1968, immediately let loose FBI and CIA attacks dogs on rock artists who dared write and sing protest ballads against the Vietnam War; the better lyricists died mysterious deaths.

Amazon.com's online blurb for Constatine's book The Covert War Against Rock (Ferral House, 2000, pp. 280) notes that
Since the sixties, musicians have been outspoken and powerful proponents for social change, making them a threat to those eager to maintain the status quo. Typically fond of drugs, they also make easy targets for investigation and exploitation. In this comprehensive look at more than a dozen suspect rock star deaths, conspiracy researcher Alex Constantine delves into the secrets that the record industry, organized crime, and even the FBI and CIA don't want uncovered. Unearthing recent - and successful - assassination plots against Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. as well as new information on the tragic deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and John Lennon, this long-overdue report offers disturbing evidence that there may be more behind these deaths than accident, psychosis, and indulgence.
Since the Bush White House just celebrated its fifth anniversary in Iraq compared to the 30-year commitment made by earlier US administrations--Truman (1945-1953), Eisenhower (1953-1961), Kennedy (1961-1963), Johnson (1963-1969), Nixon (1969-1973) and Ford (1973-1975)--to a similarly contrived horse shit war in Vietnam*, I deemed it a pros pro to reprise Steppenwolf's 1970 anti-war song "Monster" (lyrics below the YouTube player).




Once the religious, the hunted and weary
Chasing the promise of freedom and hope
Came to this country to build a new vision
Far from the reaches of kingdom and pope
Like good Christians, some would burn the witches
Later some got slaves to gather riches

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

And once the ties with the crown had been broken
Westward in saddle and wagon it went
And 'til the railroad linked ocean to ocean
Many the lives which had come to an end
While we bullied, stole and bought our a homeland
We began the slaughter of the red man

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

The blue and grey they stomped it
They kicked it just like a dog
And when the war over
They stuffed it just like a hog

And though the past has it's share of injustice
Kind was the spirit in many a way
But it's protectors and friends have been sleeping
Now it's a monster and will not obey

(Suicide)
The spirit was freedom and justice
And it's keepers seem generous and kind
It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin'

Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who's the winner
We can't pay the cost
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching

(America)
America where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster

===

*Anyone who studiously tracked the Bush White House's "fixed" course to war in Iraq from 2002 up to March 2003 will find author Peter Dale Scott's passage below attesting to the manufacture of war in Vietnam (and throughout Indochina) eerily reminiscent:
... The initial false picture [of the Vietnam War's origin] is of a peace-loving America reluctantly drawn into Asia through a series of "responses" to various acts of aggression by "socialist" countries, such as: a "massive" North Vietnamese invasion of Laos in 1959, an impending invasion of Thailand in 1962, an unprovoked attack on two US destroyers in 1964 [the Gulf of Tonkin incident after which the US Congress gave LBJ war powers] and an imminent invasion of South Vietnam from Cambodia in 1970. Today every single one of these separate allegations is now generally recognized to be untrue, and their refutation (in Chapters Two, Three, Four and Seven) need not delay us here. They will, however, not be understood until they have been seen in their context as part of a process or syndrome, the repeated use of intelligence agencies and their allies to prepare the conditions for escalation. This covert preparation, through provocation, connivance and deceit, is the process which, at the risk of oversimpliying, I have called "the war conspiracy."
--"Introduction," The War Conspiracy: The Secret Road to the Second Indochina War (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1972), p. xv. (partially cited here)



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