Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Today's Fin de siècle moment

History will forever record Elizabeth Brooks' bat mitzvah as "Mitzvahpalooza."

For his daughter's coming-of-age celebration last weekend, multimillionaire Long Island defense contractor David H. Brooks booked two floors of the Rainbow Room, hauled in concert-ready equipment, built a stage, installed special carpeting, outfitted the space with Jumbotrons and arranged command performances by everyone from 50 Cent to Tom Petty to Aerosmith.

I hear it was garish display of rock 'n' roll idol worship for which the famously irascible CEO of DHB Industries, a Westbury-based manufacturer of bulletproof vests, sent his company jet to retrieve Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from their Saturday gig in Pittsburgh.
The party cost an estimated $10 million, including the price of corporate jets to ferry the performers to and from. Also on the bill were The Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh performing with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks; DJ AM (Nicole Richie's fiance); rap diva Ciara and, sadly perhaps (except that he received an estimated $250,000 for the job), Kenny G blowing on his soprano sax as more than 300 guests strolled and chatted into their pre-dinner cocktails.

What -- no vomitoria? No human sacrifice?

And get this: DHB is the parent of Point Blank Body Armor, one of several manufacturers of "Interceptor" body armor. And wouldn't you know -- the vests are apparently crap.

On May 4, 2005, the U.S. Marine Corps recalled 5,277 Interceptor vests manufactured by Point Blank Body Armor. On July 20 Point Blank received an additional $10.1 million contract from the U.S. government for even more Interceptor vests. At the time of this report Point Blank has not responded to a DefenseWatch inquiry.

So, to cut to the chase: (1) obscenely wealthy war profiteer throws ostentatious-beyond-belief affair, where (2) lots of very high-profile rock/pop musicians accept blood-stained war profits to play to honor his 13-year-old daughter.

OK, I'm convinced. This situation really is nothing like Viet Nam.


Blogger Dave said...

And it definitely wasn't Woodstock. Kinda makes you want to cry

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FINALLY someone else put a voice to my thoughts exactly as a baby boomer who was 13 years old when my brother was drafted for Vietnam. The war related songs from then are still in my head to this day,as a mom of 2 sons age 27 and 12 they have definitely not disappeared! I swear I feel like yelling at people to wake up! This is JUST LIKE VIETNAM! Credit needs to go to "Green Day" though,their album "American Idiot" is the closest thing to antiwar i've heard so far....the one re. Nam that sticks with me the most is "whats goin on" Anybody else with a favorite antiwar song from the past?

12:46 AM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

What the hell was Don Henley doing there? He's generally pretty good at doing good work for good folks...

I'm saddened that the man of former golden showers is now bathing in blood money.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh filthy jews. Makes me pine for the days of Hitler.

1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who listen's to Tom Petty anymore?

He sucks, the rich guy can have him.

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Masters of War" by Bob Dylan is a classic. "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" condemns war more metaphorically. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2 is another good one. there're really tons of anti-war protest songs out there when you start thinking about them. "Jenny Ondioline" by Stereolab is a great example of that.

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, i meant "Ping Pong" by Stereolab; "Jenny Ondioline" is not really anti-war, although it's a social/political critique.

2:40 AM  
Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

First - Tom Petty does not suck.

Don Henley, eh, I don't know anymore. But he did pen:

"My grandson, he comes home from college
He says, we get the government we
My son-in-law just shakes his head and says,
That little punk, he never had to serve."

And I always think of that as ab anti-war song.

Anyway - there's an obvious one missing - Pete Seeger Wait Deep In The Big Muddy.

For this war, there's a lot, I think - Eminem's Mosh, and a couple that were released but I don't think made any albums - John Cougar did To Washington:

John 'Cougar' Mellencamp
To Washington
Written by - John Mellencamp
Eight years of peace and prosperity
Scandal in the White House
An election is what we need
From coast-to-coast to Washington

So America voted on a president
No one kept count
On how the election went
From Florida to Washington

'Goddamn,' said one side
And the other said the same
Both looked pretty guilty
But no one took the blame
From coast-to-coast to Washington

So a new man in the White House
With a familiar name
Said he had some fresh ideas
But it's worse now since he came
From Texas to Washington

And he wants to fight with many
And he says it's not for oil
He sent out the National Guard
To police the world
From Baghdad to Washington

What is the thought process
To take a humans life
What would be the reason
To think that this is right
From heaven to Washington
From Jesus Christ to Washington

And the Beastie Boys did "In A World Gone Mad" as a free download on their web site.

In a world gone mad it's hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
It's not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back 'cause I think they smoke crack
I don't doubt it look at how they act

First the 'War On Terror' now war on Iraq
We're reaching a point where we can't turn back
Let's lose the guns and let's lose the bombs
And stop the corporate contributions that their built upon
Well I'll be sleeping on your speeches 'til I start to snore
'Cause I won't carry guns for an oil war
As-Salamu alaikum, wa alaikum assalam
Peace to the Middle East peace to Islam
Now don't get us wrong 'cause we love America
But that's no reason to get hysterica
They're layin' on the syrup thick
We ain't waffles we ain't havin' it

Now how many people must get killed?
For oil families pockets to get filled?
How many oil families get killed?
Not a damn one so what's the deal?

It's time to lead the way and de-escalate
Lose the weapons of mass destruction and the hate
Say ooh ah what's the White House doin'?
Oh no! Say, what they got brewing?!
Well I'm not pro Bush and I'm not pro Saddam
We need these fools to remain calm
George Bush you're looking like Zoo Lander
Trying to play tough for the camera
What am I on crazy pills? We've got to stop it
Get your hand out my grandma's pocket
We need health care more than going to war
You think it's democracy they're fighting for?

That's no Seeger or Dylan, but it's for my kid, not for me, you know?

3:12 AM  
Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

How about who we would like to hear an anti-war song from?

I'll toss out Jewel, Radiohead, REM, and Jack Johnson because I'd love to hear it.

Ideally, it would be from Toby Keith, George Strait, Faith Hill, and Garth Brooks. I wouldn't buy it, but it might reach more people who need to hear it and get them thinking.

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's this:


But it's a couple of punk rockers who hated Reagan, too, so that probably only supports your argument.qr

3:35 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Umm, War by Edwin Starr as obvious and repetitive as it may be does make me think every time I hear it.

I can't believe Henley was there, wasn't Nugent available?

4:39 AM  
Blogger Lloyd Hart said...

I filmed Pete Seeger, Richi Havens , Patti Smith and the Welfare Poets who all performed at the big peace rallies that were organized prior to the beginning of hostilities in Iraq. Musicians , Actors, Poets and soldiers all got together at those rallies and continue to do good work. So, they are out there but the media is hush hush about it.

You can see a trailer for the film at the link below.

Lloyd Hart

5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two words: Clear Channel

You could list anti-war songs all day that bands are writing now, they just won't ever be on the radio.
Even supposedly college radio is corporate since at least 1990. Look at KEXP, one of the biggest purportedly college radio stations, owned by Paul Allen.

How many anti-war songs do you remember from 1961 to 1966?
How many of the songs that you remember as being the great anti-war songs of the past even made it to the top 100 of the year?
There were quite a few songs like this one during that time period:

Soldier boy
Oh, my little soldier boy
I'll be true to you

You were my first love
And you'll be my last love
I will never make you blue
I'll be true to you
In this whole world
You can love but one girl
Let me be that one girl
For I'll be true to you

Wherever you go
My heart will follow
I love you so
I'll be true to you
Take my love with you
To any port or foreign shore
Darling, you must feel for sure
I'll be true to you

Soldier boy
Oh, my little soldier boy
I'll be true to you

I would imagine we would start hearing quite a few more anti-war songs (even on the radio) if we had a draft now. But we don't.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Butterbone said...

System of a Down - BYOB.

That is a great anti-war song.

Why do they always send the poor?
Barbarisms by Barbaras
With pointed Heels
Victorious victories kneel
For brand new spanking deals

Marching forward hypocritic
And hypnotic computers
You depend on our protection
Yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth
La la la la la la la la la la
Everybody is going to the party
Have a real good time
Dancing in the desert
Blowing up the sunshine
Kneeling roses
Disappearing into Moses' dry mouth
Breaking into Fort Knox
Stealing our intentions
Hangars sitting, dripped in oil

Crying freedom!
Handed to obsoletion
Still you feed us lies from the tablecloth
la la la la la la la la la la
Everybody is going to the party
Have a real good time
Dancing in the desert
Blowing up the sunshine
Everybody is going to the party
Have a real good time
Dancing in the desert
Blowing up the sunshine
Blast off, it's party time
and we DON'T live in a fascist nation

Blast off, it's party time
And where the fuck are you?
Where the fuck are you?
Where the fuck are you?
Why don't presidents fight the war?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why don't presidents fight the war?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
Kneeling roses
Disappearing into Moses' dry mouth
Breaking into Fort Knox
Stealing our intentions
Hangers sitting, dripped in oil

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, was shocked seeing some big names appear at an ostentatious event put on by a defense contractor, of all people! These artists should be ashamed of themselves; they're old enough to remember Nam, Woodstock, etc. Back in the day any self-respecting musician would have been insulted at such a premise. Now apparently, it's take the $$ and run.

Any musician or band who played at this disgusting event should be boycotted. And yes, I deliberately refer to a Bat Mitzvah party costing this much $$ as disgusting. A Bat or Bar Mitzvah is supposed to signify the passage into adulthood, and any 13 year old who would agree to this is still a spoiled kid, not an adult.

6:47 AM  
Blogger anthony berrow said...

What about Steve Earle's "The Revolution Starts Now".

Sounds pretty anti-war to me.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then there's always Don McLean's "Everybody Loves Me, Baby". Check some of those lyrics:

Fortune has me well in hand, armies 'wait my command
My gold lies in a foreign land buried deep beneath the sand
The angels guide my ev'ry tread, my enemies are sick or dead
But all the victories I've led haven't brought you to my bed

Now the purest race I've bred to be to live in my democracy
And the highest human pedigree awaits the first-born boy baby
And my face on ev'ry coin engraved, the anarchists are all enslaved
My own flag is forever waved by the grateful people I have saved

Now, no man is beyond my claim when land is seized in the people's name
By evil men who rob and maim, if war is hell, I'm not to blame!
Why, you can't blame me, I'm Heaven's child, I'm the second son of Mary mild
And I'm twice removed from Oscar Wilde, but he didn't mind, why, he just smiled

Yes, and the ocean parts when I walk through, and the clouds dissolve and the sky turns blue
I'm held in very great value by everyone I meet but you
'cause I've used my talents as I could, I've done some bad, I've done some good
I did a whole lot better than they thought I would so, c'mon and treat me like you should!

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out Eliza Gilkyson

Her Hiway 9 off "Land of Milk and Honey" is a blistering anti war song. and this from

"Man of God." Sample lyrics:

“The cowboy came from out of the west/with his snakeskin boots and his bulletproof vest/Gang of goons and his big war chest,/fortunate son he was doubly blessed/Corporate cronies and the chiefs of staff, bowing to the image of the golden calf/Startin’ up wars in the name of God’s son/gonna blow us all the way to kingdom come."

CHORUS: "Man of God/Man of God/That ain't the teachings/of a man of God."

"You never have to tell them how the money's spent/You never have to tell them where their freedom went/ Homophobes in the high command/Waiting for The Rapture like it's Disneyland."

9:27 AM  
Blogger Meowomon said...

Musicians, just like members of congress, are capable of pandering to the top 1% in an orgy of conspicuous consumerism. And for some reason the majority of Amerikans are sucked into believing that things will make them happy like the bright happy shining people who are placticized with silicone and botox. The ones who flash their bling-bling don't care that it is bought with the price of the blood and sweat of real African men. It disgusts me to my core, but it seems like the majority of this country are mesmerized and hypnotized by the sparkly lights. Until we really wake up spiritually in this country, and I am not talking about the "religious right" (WRONG!) type of spirituality either. Compassionate rational thinking about the true meaning of why we are here. Just my humble observation.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The absolute best anti-war song (IMHO)is Buffy St. Marie's "The Universal Soldier." I am surprised someone hasn't recorded it recently.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Ed Drone said...

This ain't by anyone you've heard of, but you can sing it without needing the music:

Turn the Boat Around
(to the tune of Yellow Rose of Texas)

Our leader landed on the deck dressed in a soldier suit,
A banner stretched above his head, he looked so doggone cute.
But San Diego could be seen, right there in the background,
So the order soon was given, “Turn the boat around.”


It’s time to turn the boat around, that’s what the people say.
The course our leader’s setting is exactly the wrong way.
The compass reads “disaster,” he’s run us hard aground,
It’s time to fire the skipper, and then turn the boat around.

He claimed that he’d found danger, as plain as white and black,
And the source of all that danger was in far-away Iraq.
Terror, weapons, poison gas, nukular missiles, too,
All waiting, primed and ready, to use on me and you.


So we went in a-shooting, and soon had ‘em on the run,
With bought-and-paid-for press along, to show us all the fun.
We never found those weapons, the poison gas and such,
And the folks whose land we shot to hell don’t like us very much.


Now, here at home, the policies are tilted toward the rich,
Big tax cuts and a deficit that’s grown to be a bitch.
But there’s a plan to fix it, to help both you and me –
They’ll spend it all, and take it from Social Security!


This is the “ship of state,” not another “photo op,”
And when it gets to going, it’s damn-all hard to stop.
But if we can turn a carrier to try to fool the press,
Then we can turn the country ‘round, and get out of this mess.


Copyright ©2003 Bob Clayton & Ed Drone

11:56 AM  
Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

I think this thread may have set a record for quantity of comments, quality of comments, and sheer length of comments.

Can one of our hosts confirm this? At least the quantity part?

1:59 AM  

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