Flowers are better than bullets

Oh, the 70’s, …lots of nostalgia there.  Seen a bunch of “new” fashions that hark back to that era, I hear tunes that are some 35 years passed their prime that still have a groovy beat… (read the blog prior to this for more on that thought).  Then there are the golden oldies television programs that cause people to lament “they don’t make ’em like that anymore”.  But  politics seem oddly the same.   How does that old saying go?  You can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time?  Looks like we DID get fooled again.  (sorry Pete Townshend)

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Where have all the flowers gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the flowers gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the flowers gone?

Gone to young girls, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

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37 years ago this May,  4 students were killed at Kent State.  ( Google this: “the Kent State Massacre” )  I wonder if that could happen again?  Were the times really all that different then compared to now?  Un-armed American citizens shot dead by American soldiers on American soil in broad daylight and you know what?  Nobody was to blame,  nobody was at fault and nobody was charged with a crime, but innocent people lay dead and I wonder if it could happen again.

I’m not so naive as to think that we shouldn’t be defending ourselves as a country.  I know there are factions out there that hate us and want to take what is ours.  But I also know there are politics at work that would make tricky Dick look like a schoolboy and where is the outrage?  I think our empathy for other nations has lessened since 9/11 where as that tragedy could have aided in bonding us.

.

Where have all the young girls gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the young girls gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the young girls gone?

Gone to young men, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

.

We are pacified as a nation.  We have all the distractions of wealth and influence, we are oblivious because we have pampered ourselves and our children.  The generation of the 70’s was astutely aware of what was going on with the war in Vietnam because it could touch and effect their very lives.  Two words come to mind… selective service.  A forced call to arms that most lower and middle classed men had to face and that was a reality that could not be ignored.

.

Where have all the young men gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the young men gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the young men gone?

Gone to soldiers, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

.

As long as we have conditioned ourselves to be dis-interested or preoccupied, the world may be taking a spin that we cannot correct …right under our very noses.  But the propaganda of the day is slanted, we remain in the status quo… everything is under control.  I wonder if anyone else has noticed…

.

Where have all the soldiers gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the soldiers gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the soldiers gone?

Gone to graveyards, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn? 

.

Allison Krause was one of the 4 students killed that May day 37 years ago.  She was shot in the back as she attempted to flee the bullets fired by National Guardsmen over 300 feet away.  The only reason I singled her out from the rest of the victims dead and the 9 wounded was because of what she reportedly said to one of the Guardsmen the day before. 

.

Where have all the graveyards gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the graveyards gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the graveyards gone?

Gone to flowers, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?  words and music by  Pete Seeger

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Movement requires force which begets motion that builds momentum requiring direction and control.  In 1970 a movement that had been set into motion began to build momentum.  In the later part of April in that year President Nixon had authorized the invasion of Cambodia.  The war in Vietnam wasn’t winding down, but gearing up for more bloodshed.  People began to question authority and the validity of the war. Those that did so were deemed traitors, much the way people that didn’t originally jump on the war wagon were being labelled over the war in Iraq in our day and more recently because of the troop “surge”. 

I wonder if we would have been so quick to jump into that war if there had been a draft like the one instigated back in the sixties? If young people today were cognisant that decisions being made for war were going to directly effect them, would they be more interested in the world around them?  and would parents show more of an interest because of the possibility of their children going to war?   Would they allow this?

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Allison Krause

4-23-51 / 5-4-70

“Flowers are better than bullets”

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One Response to “Flowers are better than bullets”

  1. candiceshane Says:

    I really like reading through your entries, Chris. 🙂

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