Sunday, October 03, 2010

They Started This First

To the tune of "The Star-Spangled Banner":

They started this first
We are not to blame
It was all their fault
Why aren't they ashamed?

Yes they started this first
We must do as we must
Who do they think they are?
We shall blast them to dust

And the rocket's red glare
The bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night
That the fault was all theirs

O remember Hiroshima and get out of the waa-aaay
For they started this fiiiiiiiiiiirst!
We are noooo-ooooot to blaaaaaaaaame!

Was taking a walk in Oakland one day, came into the apartment, sat down and wrote this (plus some other verses) for no particular reason, except that I'd had a sniff of George H.W. Bush at the time. He had that kind of infantile personality. When he finally wound up in the White House, my re-write of "The Star Spangled Banner" turned prophetic. The sick man had a publicity company invent a tale that Iraqi soldiers invaded a premature baby ward in neighboring Kuwait, threw babies all over the floor and stole the baby-saving equipment.

The whole story was a total phony, spieled before Congress and the media by the daughter of some ambassador in with Bush. But so what? The media lies now as much as it ever has, and people without worthwhile lives of their own love fantasies of good versus evil. So Dubya Senior raped Iraq -- probably because his old business partner Hussein started buying weaponry from the Chinese instead of Bush's own weapons concerns, and a few other items. Flags waved everywhere, although the protests of millions of people in the major cities across America never got televised (I checked). Still, "They Started This First" never really caught on. It got on local radio in the San Francisco Bay Area for a little while.

Years before any of that happened, I had an inkling I might do something with this song, so I answered an ad for comedy troupe member wanted and sang it a cappella for my audition. I passed. Their show, which ran successfully for months, opened with it. I wound up in all but one of the skits to packed houses before I quit with something better to do. (The show closed with one of my satires too, which also turned out "prophetic" -- a satire on the "fundamentalist Christian" hysteria which was just getting started at the time.)

Bernie Weiner, who was theater critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, panned the show and singled out "They Started This First" as "appallingly simple-minded."

I thought Bernie was appallingly simple-minded not to notice that the song is supposed to be "appallingly simple-minded." How did Bernie think wars ever started? Complicated people doing complicated things too complicated for simple patriotic cannon fodder to understand?

By the way, how is it these complicated people who understand all the complications never get their butts shot off in the complexities of a war they've started?

Bernie eventually became a fairly noted left-leaning political analyst. He was that when I ran across him while perusing the internet after "9/11," looking for information that might seem a lot more probable than the simple-minded nonsense the newsmedia was feeding the simple-minded about how that particular "attack by freedom-haters" had happened. Two-and-some wars later now, Bernie admitted my simple-minded satire was spot-on after all. He apologized for the bad review. He also edited an independent piece on the child-sex-slavery trade I'd written, now stored on this blog. I think he printed it on his own blog, too.

All this was 18 years after I'd left the comedy troupe. (It was called The Plutonium Players. Don't know whether they're still around. Could be.)

You'd be surprised who is simple-minded, despite displays of intelligence and high articulation. But let me give you a clue. If you're vehemently taking sides in this country and creating imaginary enemies out of people who are pissed off about things that don't affect you personally (and never mind how "compassionate" you think you are), you're really fucking simple-minded. Cut it out, before this becomes your own adipose anthem in the middle of a civil rebellion.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And this very morning I get a "breaking news" instant message from MSNBC saying that the US warns Americans of potential terror attacks in Europe. This is only the beginning of the brain twisting paranoia building propaganda of the next country/religion to hate. How long before we're in Iran? The sheeple will gladly enlist their sons and daughters (hey, they can't find work anyway). I thought this president was smarter than that, but we'll see, probably before his term is out.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Yeah. Watch for a sudden "surprise" from Iran, which they'll probably swear they didn't do, since they didn't.

Some "sheeple" are capable of knowing better. Let's talk to 'em.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried that. Spoke to my best friend about sending her son to Iraq. Said she was being fooled and there were no wmd's, no involvement in 9/11, it was only revenge for daddy Bush and probably some because of oil contracts. Someone told her from the pulpit to obey/believe authority because God put them there. I lost my friend who literally hates me now, but luckily her son came home. They may be capable of understanding, but I sure don't know how to help when they'll send their own children to fight for lies.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

Well that's funny. My hay guy just came over and while we were unloading he told me about his nephew who's going to be shipped out with the marines somewhere next month.

So I told him about a couple marines I knew who were in Dubya junior's war a few years back. How they both came back with the same story: they're nothing but guard dogs for the Bush family oil companies, and neither re-upped.

Hay guy believed me. He's gonna tell his nephew when he gets back.

So ya win some, ya lose some, but you don't try, you up the odds for losing.

2:49 PM  
OpenID litdreamer said...

For those of you who haven't read The Mysterious Stranger (Paine version) by Mark Twain, here's a quote from that story about war, from the mouth of Satan (nephew of the real Satan):

"There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful--as usual--will shout for the war. The pulpit will--warily and cautiously--object--at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, 'It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.' Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers--as earlier--but do not dare say so. And now the whole nation--pulpit and all--will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a brilliant "rewrite." I remember when the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador (I think) whose name was Nyera (I think) testified before congress about the Iraquis raiding the nursery of a Kiwaiti hospital. Sold the idea, many representatives got all huffy about it and gave ol' GHWB the go-ahead for Iraq I. Soon thereafter 60 Minutes aired the story debunking the whole thing, but of course it was too late.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

In the meantime, "60 Minutes" produced a totally phony item pretending to interview a Saddam relative who supposedly knew all about Saddam's rampant sexual perversions.

Steve Krofft sat there interviewing a mannequin, earnestly asking questions to a pre-recorded tape that was made in France.

I stopped watching "60 Minutes" altogether right then and there.

The documented events of decades of high sexual perversions of the Bush family have yet to reach the mainstream media.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't see or hear about that 60 Minutes until your post. Would like to find it online somewhere. I stopped watching 60 Minutes after their bow to the tobacco industry.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Tom Dark said...

I googled around a bit. CBS News appears to have chucked the "interview" down the memory hole.

This bit is interesting: http://dailycensored.com/2009/12/13/on-the-demonization-of-saddam-hussein-and-manuel-noriega/

Noriega and Hussein (as well as the bin Ladens) are all longtime Bush family business partners.

1:55 PM  

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