Tuesday, April 30, 2013

we create men who don't give a damn

I just read this story on Slate, "The Guantanamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi." Read it here. This is only one of the many stories of false imprisonment and shameful behavior by our government. I note that he began his link to his tortured future by aiding the United States in its battle against Russia in Afghanistan. He is only one man. A man whose story is now known. How many more are there who will die in disgrace and agony and innocence?
The contempt of the United States government towards people who once worked on its behalf is legendary. Remember the lines of Vietnamese who were abandoned at the U.S. embassy in Saigon? They had served the interests of our government. They had been promised they would be protected. We left them to the Communists.
Here in the United States we imprison hundreds of thousands of people for the same crimes that the rich get away with. Nonviolent people who are busted for pot possession. Innocents whose DNA evidence, once uncovered, is ruled inadmissible and retrials denied. It seems that every week there is a new man released after proof of his innocence is uncovered. How much of this will it take before We the People rise up in support of political candidates who will restore honor to our criminal justice system? When will the voices of those military leaders who know that torture is wrong if only because it invites the torture of Americans?
In my album "Contrary" I envision a man who is released after 20 years of unjust punishment. I sing of his outrage, his desire for revenge finally resolving into a desire to escape society altogether. His need for inner peace winning out over violent revenge. Here is where you can stream the songs for free on a Weebly website. And here is my YouTube video of the song "Fear the Man."

Monday, April 29, 2013

about innocence lost and George W. Bush

Hearing so much said about George W. Bush and his new library brought to mind my song cycle "Contrary." It's about an innocent man falsely accused and imprisoned. I had in mind the Guantanamo prisoners as well as all those falsely imprisoned in America - men, mostly - and men who know the wrong done to them. How the hell can one suppose that a man can emerge from such a trauma and not have revenge on his mind? Isn't that the true reason America still has prisoners in Guantanamo? But should we not fear the reprisals of their friends and families even if we keep them imprisoned until they die? How much deliberate wrongful suffering can be inflicted on innocent people IN OUR NAME before WE THE PEOPLE of the United States put an end to the shame? Our national policy in countries, like Iran and Cuba for instance, is based upon denying to the common people the commerce that we freely bestow upon Red China!! We visit poverty and suffering upon the common people in the expectation that they will rise up against their governments. What a shame on us! We create suffering and condemn those who seek revenge. We should be so lucky as to create men who just want to get away and live their lives, like the hero of "Contrary."
You can hear my homage to George W. Bush here on YouTube.
You can stream the album here for free.