Friday, October 15, 2010

Publish or Perish

Publish or Perish Getting a Read on American War By Nick Turse and Tom Engelhardt

"Quick — name the five most important, influential, and best known books on the Afghan War. Okay, name three. Okay, I’ll settle for two. How about one?"

Recently, I've wondered about something very similar: the fact that there isn't a single anti-war song being played anywhere. I'm not seeing any anti-war movies either, but it seems to me the missing songs are the more important. You do remember John Lennon, right? Remember "Age of Destruction", which could have been written today.

Is it possible there is no passion out there? Am I, and the writers at the anti-war sites I visit regularly, the only ones that feel a sense of passion over what's happened to America? Are film and song writers not among us - at all?

Or is there a deeper, darker, more insidious truth? Is it possible that the channels of distribution for songs and movies are controlled by the same people who control the mainstream media's editorial content?

On the subject of poignant anti-war writing, a reader comment to this article submitted by Jeff Davis quotes from "Johnny got his gun"

""Of course a lot of guys were ashamed. Somebody said let's go out and fight for liberty and so they went out and got killed without ever once thinking of liberty. And what kind of liberty were they fighting for anyway? How much liberty and whose kind of liberty? Were they fighting for the liberty of eating free ice cream cones all their lives or for the liberty of robbing anybody they pleased whenever they wanted to or what? You tell a man he can't rob and you take away some of his liberty. You've got to. What the hell does liberty mean anyhow? It's a word like house or table or any other word. Only it's a special kind of word. A guy says house and he can point to a house to prove it. But a guy says come on let's fight for liberty and he can't show you liberty. He can't prove the thing he's talking about so how in the hell can he be telling you to fight for it? No sir anybody who went out and got into the front line trenches to fight for liberty was a goddamn fool and the guy who got him there was a liar."

"Was it freedom from another country? Freedom from work or disease or death? Freedom from your mother-in-law? Please mister give us a bill of sale on this freedom before we go out and get killed. Give us a bill of sale drawn up plainly in advance what we're getting killed for... so we can be sure after we've won your war that we've got the same kind of freedom we bargained for."

— Dalton Trumbo (Johnny Got His Gun) "


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