Friday, October 20, 2006

The Times, They Indeed Have Changed....

Yesterday when I met my friend Jeannie for lunch, we got into quite a discussion about the 60s, how it affected us, the differences and commonalities and how we both have the feeling we will see something similar in the near future as tensions rise over the war in Iraq.

Still, we wondered, where is the energy? What is going to be the spark that sets it off? Many of us believe we need to get back to the streets, so to speak, and begin showing a commitment to the ending of this war and to improving living conditions for all working people, elderly and poor in this country. That means health care, housing, jobs, protection for pensions (I'm still not convinced Ken Lay is really dead) and take our lives back from the corporatocracy that seems to have taken hold and strangled all efforts toward progressive social change.

We did agree that the music of the time certainly drove us in the 60s, 70s and early 80s. It kept the spark alive.

I decided to spend some time this morning tracking down a few of my old favorites, the music "from the day". Below I have included a list and links to some of my favored old protest songs. They are not all by the original artists because I found some that are better or the originals are not available. At any rate, give them a listen and see if it doesn't bring about some fire in the belly ~ and, no, I certainly don't mean heartburn. :)
Lives in the Balance By Jackson Browne. This song defines the 80s.
Masters of War - Bob Dylan
Where Have All The Flowers Gone - Kingston Trio
Ohio - Neil Young's song about Kent State
I Ain't Marchin Any More - Phil Ochs
Eve of Destruction - Barry Maguire
Feel Like I'm Fixin To Die Rag - Country Joe and the Fish. Who can forget this? "Gimme an F..."
The Times They Are A'Changin - Peter, Paul and Mary with John Sebastian
A Change Is Gonna Come - An excellent version by Vel Omarr
Blowin In The Wind - Sam Cooke (watta voice!)
If I Had A Hammer - Trini Lopez

And finally: Who can forget this one?
Click on it and find out!


Hope you enjoy and that these songs will bring back some good memories. If the songs get a few people off their butts, all the better!

May we all remember what's really important ~

Thailand Gal



Stephen Newton said...
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Stephen Newton said...

Gal, I could have been sitting with you at the lunch. I not only have been wondering the same thing, I also said just yesterday, "How do I know Ken Lay is really dead and not on some island somewhere?" I protested against the Viet Nam war several times. The most memorable was when I lived in San Francisco. We marched to the Presidio and had our pictures taken by Army photographers as well as the targets of stones and insults from dock workers. It was fun times.

As far as marching today, forget it. We wouldn't get any media coverage. Did you know that during the Republican convention in NYC there were more than 100,000 protesters and the only converage they got was a few seconds on CNN. The real coverage was on the Internet. The protestors of the future will have to be on the Internet, in much the same way as the extreme Islamists use the Internet to get their point across.

I'm glad you're out there thinking about these things. I don't feel like such a relic. I loved the songs you chose as well.

Lucia said...

I was talking to some young people at work yesterday about this very thing. Bernadine Dorn and Bill Ayers (Weather Underground) were in town. And we talked about the '60s and protest and what happened here in Madison. And we talked about why people aren't on the streets. The core seemed to come down to not feeling like it would change anything. I feel that way. They feel that way. We were out on the streets before the war in Iraq, and it seemed to do nothing. It makes me really sad to feel that politicians don't pay any attention and to feel like I don't have the power to change anything.

Patricia said...

But, friends, we ARE out on the streets! Why aren't you with us? I am a 64 year-old woman who uses a disability scooter and I've been in more demos--both group and solitary--than I can shake a stick at. And I'm not talking about the 60s; I'm talking about now.

I was out on the streets on Wednesday protesting my Democratic Senator--Debbie Stabenow from Michigan--who voted for the horrendous Military Commissions Act of 2006. She was debating the Republican candidate here in Detroit and 30-40 of us made our feelings known out in front while the "suits" were inside listening to lies and political posturings.

Later today (Saturday) I'll be outside Comerica Park here in Detroit with my sign--"Sweep the Cards AND the Republicans"--as folks go into Game 1 of the World Series between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cards. Yes, I'll be by myself, but I've found that to be a very effective way to get folks thinking. Besides it invites dialogue.

In two weeks I plan to drive by myself to DC to join Cindy Sheehan and the Gold Star Families for Peace for a Gandhi-like "Sit Down for Peace & Justice" from November 4-9.

All this to say, we ARE out there. And I'm not doing it to get media attention either; I'm doing it because I couldn't live with myself if I didn't. I don't want to look back and say I didn't do everything I could to try to save our democracy. Because, dear friends, that democracy is under attack and is quickly slipping into something unrecognizable.

Join us if you want to say a loud resounding NO to what you see going on in DC. Please don't just look back and wax nostalgic about the peace movement of the 60s: we need you now!

My blog has lots of helpful links for activists. The URL is

in peace

Thailand Gal said...

Lucia.. :)

In many respects, I agree with the young people you talked with yesterday. It is questionable in the practical sense whether our demonstrations, letters to congress people and senators, editors and so on really do have an impact. My inclination is to agree fully that it does not. Particularly with the regime in the saddle at the moment.

Still, at the same time, I believe there is value in having contact with likeminded others. When we gather, it helps us to feel less alone and isolated. That in itself has some intrinsic value. Despair is deadly and only feeds the beast of fear. (Been there, done that, as they say...) Additionally, when we gather we find resources and outlets to help us create at least an enclave of the world we'd like to live in. It also shows the outside world that we do indeed exist, we have a voice and are not afraid to use it. We do have the power to change things. We have the power to change our own lives.

That's just my initial take on it. :)

Love your blog, by the way. I'll be looking for your next entry. You do, indeed, have something to say!


Thailand Gal

Thailand Gal said...

Stephen, I don't think we're relics. We've just allowed the overwhelming drone of the neo-cons to drown our voices.

Maybe we do need to get back out on the streets. If nothing else, it will prove that we're here, we're alive, we're loud and not afraid of the bogeyman.


Thailand Gal


Patricia said...

You'd think by now I'd know enough to keep my big mouth shut when I don't know to whom I'm speaking.

I've just spent the past half hour reading Lucia's blog-- am mesmerized by her stories and glorious writing!

Now I plan to visit Stephen Newtons' blog-- I am sure to meet another interesting individual.

Please accept my apologies for coming off like such a know-it-all.

Patricia the embarrassed