Posts Tagged ‘protest’

When I watched The Vietnam War, the PBS series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, in October 2017, I was naturally drawn to the music. Here is the list of the 120+ songs that were included in the 18-hour program, which you can listen to at Spotify, or find on YouTube.

Some were very familiar, others not, but I was fascinated that there were at least five Beatles songs – Tomorrow Never Knows, Revolution 1, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, and Let It Be, which can be expensive to license. (I swear I also heard Piggies, but maybe I was just hallucinating.)

Coincidentally or not, Robert S. Hoffman posted Protest music: Music you can resist to, which include three of the songs on the Burns/Novick roster: Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire, For What it’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield, and Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, the powerful outro for episode eight.

As Dustbury pointed out: “For about as long as there have been protests, there have been protests of protests. This 1966 wonder, on the real-life Are You Kidding Me? label, lays out its agenda before the very first verse… The Beach Bums were Doug Brown and the Omens, plus a different frontman than usual: Bob Seger, who probably wrote this under the ‘D. Dodger’ pseudonym.”

But The Ballad of the Yellow Berets was WAY too close of a ripoff of the tune that was #1 for five weeks on the Billboard pop charts in 1966, longer than any song that year.

The Ballad of the Green Berets [listen] was co-written and performed by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler, From the Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson: “He was sent to Vietnam, where his fellow soldiers showed little interest in his songs…

“His Vietnam duty was cut short when he fell into a booby trap while on patrol….Lapsing in and out of consciousness, he treated the [leg] wound himself.”

Robin Moore, author of the book The Green Berets, got hold of Sadler’s 12-verse song about the army combat unit and edited it down. Initially released to the military, it was so popular, Moore took the track to RCA, which “agreed to finance a full recording session, complete with orchestra.”

The new documentary The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, which I am watching, though not in real time, reminded me of the time I might have seen John Lennon but did not.

I have noted that I participated in a number of antiwar demonstrations between 1968 and 1974. (In 1967, it would not have occurred to me.) A few were in my hometown of Binghamton, NY, which got bigger and bigger as the war dragged on.

But most Vietnam prtook place while I was a student in New Paltz, NY, starting in 1971. A handful took place in town or around the area (Kingston, Poughkeepsie). But most were in New York City, with a fair number in Washington, DC.

It was at one of the New York City rallies – there were so many, I no longer remember when – that a bunch of us took a charter bus to New York City to stand up against what was the latest incursion. And after we rallied for a couple hours, we got the bus home.

Someone was listening to the rally on the radio – I’m guessing WBAI-FM, which makes sense, given its history. An organizer at the announced John Lennon and Yoko Ono, only ten minutes after we had reboarded the bus. We were still in Manhattan, but, of course, there was a schedule to keep.

I don’t what he said specifically that day – it was probably similar to the ideas expressed here – but we were all disappointed to miss it first-hand.

John Lennon’s struggle against war I thought was brave, not because he had been a Beatle, but because he was facing deportation from the United States because of what was likely was a bogus drug possession arrest and conviction in the UK a couple of years earlier.

Hmm – interesting how what would have been the the 77th birthday of John Lennon converges with the now-controversial celebration of Columbus Day, given the often xenophobic polices of the current regime.

Listen to:
Give Peace a Chance – Plastic Ono Band here or here.

There’s been a LOT of advice out there about what to do, and NOT to do, in response to the current American regime.

As someone who’s gone to more than a few demonstrations, and written some letters, in his time, some observations:

We all have different gifts; it’s Biblical. So it is unrealistic to suggest that we ALL should act on a list of ALL things ALL the time. Among other things, that will create burnout, which is the enemy of change.

Find the thing or things you can do. Be aware, though, that it may be something you’ve never done before. There was a guy on NBC Nightly News this month, who looked to be over 35, who had NEVER been to a protest march before 2017. Now he is getting guidance from the Indivisible guide every day. Or you could sign up for ACLU ACTION TEXTS. e.g.

Keep repeating the narratives, especially the ones you don’t think are getting adequate coverage, on social media. I was reading a piece in fivethirtyeight about what makes a story stick. Sometimes it’s just timing. “Persistence matters.”

One story I’d personally like y’all to beat to death is Read the rest of this entry »

Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world – the US President’s sole ideology is corporate autocracy with a populist facade

More than half of his voters say the nonexistent Bowling Green Massacre is proof his immigration ban is necessary. BTW, it never happened, and Kellyanne Conway’s remark wasn’t a slip of the tongue, as she has said it before

DMV Glitch Registers Green Card Holders to Vote

Yes, honorably-discharged veterans of the U.S. military have, under certain circumstances, either received deportation orders or been deported

If You Liked the Inquisition, You’ll Love the House Science Committee

How Each Senator Voted on Trump’s Cabinet and Administration Nominees

How to Become a Paid Protester

Americans Now Evenly Divided Read the rest of this entry »

siena.billboardThis is one of those stories that wasn’t particularly interesting to me UNTIL other people piped up.

Some students at Siena College, at a suburb north of Albany, protested about a billboard they found offense. I was unaware of the controversy until the local media guru posted the response from one the local radio deejays, a guy named Chuck, with whom I was unfamiliar, on her Facebook feed:

I believe apathy is a dangerous thing and it’s particularly depressing when I see it so frequently exhibited by young people. For that reason, I actually admire the fact you are willing to take action against something you deem offensive and misguided.
With that said, here is my unsolicited advice. Devote your energies to a cause that might actually make a difference in someone’s life.

Read the rest of this entry »

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