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CUTS TRACKS & BRUISES: an
EASTER AFTERNOON PLAYLIST

TIM BUCKLEY
I’ve Been Out Walking
[from dream letter live in london]

JOHN MARTYN
Dancing

BEBEL GILBERTO
Samba da Bancao

MWARD
Transfiguration of Vincent
but esp. Lets Dance

JOHNNY CASH
Live At San Quentin LP
[and I do mean LP: my original gangster CBS-orange-label vinyl copy, fanboys…]
Highway Patrolman/Singin’ In Vietnam Talkin’ Blues
[tracks 22 & 23 from Johnny Cash The Man In Black Definitive Collection cd]

DAVID BAERWALD
Triage cd
but esp. The Postman
Here Comes The New Folk Underground cd
but esp The Crash, which I woke up this morning singin’ which must mean I guess that a collection I thought consigned to ‘massive letdown’ after the tragic non-pareil brilliance of Triage is slowly seeping into my [un]consciousness and so but expect more soon on THE PERFECTLY PERPLEXING SECOND NATURE OF DAVID BAERWALD …

BOB DYLAN
- well virtually anything everything right now, but today it’s
side one of John Wesley Harding

THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND
Oh Lord How Happy I Am

and NOW playing:
ARTO LINDSAY
PRIZE [1999]
- still a real desert island disc, nicht war, mon ami?

thanks 2 c_c for mentioning JOHNNY CASH … I dug out my old original gangster vinyl copy of LIVE AT SAN QUENTIN. . . & oh, what an all-round unconfined JOY!
(Including, I must say, on a fanboy note, the joy of vinyl… this being the first time in eons with any record I’d played Side One all the way through, got up, flipped it over, and played Side Two all the way through too…)

I’d forgotten what fun it was: there’s a laugh riot goin’ on here, amongst other things.
The whole thing makes you smile inside… especially the prisoners own rowdily aired reations e.g. the massed BOOOs when a prison guard appears with a glass of water for Cash + later when JC thanks the guards & officials & the Warden: “BOOOOO!”;

+ on WANTED MAN, I myself concur heartily with the eco-gnomic couplet:
“Well I’ve had all that I wanted of a lot of things I had
and a lot more than I needed of some things that turned out bad”

+ the Great Moment when the lines
“I got sidetracked in El Paso , stopped to get myself a map
Went the wrong way into Jaurez, with Juanita on my lap –“
seem to go down unexpectedly well, are greeted w/ mass laughter & hooting,
and so but as JC tries to gearchange into the next line, “And I went to- “ he himself cracks mightily up. . . how often any more do you hear such unguarded (so to speak) guard-down gen-u-wine off-hand pleasure in the musical moment. . .?


One JC thing I love, one of those tracks you revisit habitually when you’re in a certain mood is his version of the Bruce Springsteen song HIGHWAY PATROLMAN. I’m no Springsteen fan, it has to be said; but JC makes this sound like one of the best songs ever written. Springsteen’s own version of this song [on his stark weather 1982 NEBRASKA collection*] is like an earnest diary entry; Cash brings to it a majesterial poise, lifetime air, huge mood.
Followed on the greatest hits CD I own by the great “SINGIN IN VIETNAM TALKIN BLUES” [“As I had another helping of country ham / She said: ‘We ain’t been to Vietnam…’”] which has some pretty timely meditations you catch my drift… [“I hope they all come back home / to STAY / in … PEACE.”]
and followed THEN by MAN IN BLACK which ditto and I havent even mentioned “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine / I keep my eyes wide open all the time …” which paen to personal/political VIGILANCE sentry duty sentience survival you might print here alongside the Walter Benjamin quote we opened with & which flies skull & crosswhiskers like in the breezes over the barracks here at the edge of the desert…

“There is no document of culture that is not one of barbarity as well.”

[*This song was also the inspiration for Sean Penn’s directorial debut in 1991 with the Nebraska-set THE INDIAN RUNNER … which has a great Jack Nitzsche soundtrack and makes lovely musical mise en scene use of the Jefferson Airplane song “Comin’ Back To Me” – a song RICKIE LEE JONES covered, beautifully, also in 1991, on her otherwise rather disappointing POP POP covers album. . .]


A BOY NAMED (S)PONGE
+ Pedants note:
In ‘A Boy Named Sue’ why wouldn’t couldn't doesn't the guy just change his name?
Is this JC's proto Derrida-like disquisition into the nature of the GIVEN name?
Of precisely what such GIVENS entail?

Name as annulment, taunt, unrefusable but unrealisable gift, thing, intractable nature, destiny, struggle, shadow, doppleganger, name-is-the-father-of-the-man etc…?


SHIFT COORDINATES


What in the heck does NEO Conservative actually mean anyway, brass tacks?
Newly Conservative? A new sort of Conservative?
My Websters sez in re “neo” -
1b new and different period or form: in a new or different period or form or manner
1d new and abnormal [aha!]
I don’t know but that NEO and/or POST often just mean the same old things served up under a new or different or deceptive banner or wrapper or hype which with moden art say who gives a tic but with malign realpolitick it could be more urgent nicht war…?

The Hawks in the Bush circle, their Neo Conservative hoodoo seems to mean Rome will rise again, we won’t back off from saying what we’re secretly thinking (even if we introduce scarily inclusive legisaltion making governmental secrecy practically a given, of which more soon here at the PILLBOX…


OPERATION AD HOC?
But with all this NEOCON enthusiasm outbreak hosannah aint there you’d think some to spare they might deploy to whup MUGABE’s ass big style before any more little 12 year old girls lose what little remains of thr childhood in state sanctioned RAPE CAMPS...?
I mean you don’t think even BASE line say that such an ‘intervention’ under the general banner of OPERATION WORLD WIDE DEMOCRACY might be more of a vote winner strategy for you-all Bush Blair Chirac than standing firm and silent by Israel as it slowly knocks off your own peace protestors like sitting ducks and snipers little 12 yr old Arab boys and [FACT] tests out new and strange and vile and evil nerve gas on unarmed civilian popualtions and then refuses to give the details of same to the perplexed doctors TRYing to treat those same civilians?

+++++++

PillboxARCHIVE 6
Document extract:
NOTES made
21st March 2003

FASTER FASTER, PUSSYCAT…
+faster and faster American film. American everything. Fast food (don’t think about what it is, where it comes from, the shit it becomes, the shit it is, the where from and what of…); fast fast faster films/tv/video: so fast that you don’t notice the ideology of it, you don’t notice JUST HOW MANY GUNS there are - even in ‘artier’ films as the only thinkable solution or interruption. And that even in things like ‘friends’ – where the QUIP the punchline is the EQUIVALENT of the gun – because it’s always handily there somehow, to hand, improbably and impossibly fashioned, finished, no awkward silence, no stray ends, no unravelling, everyone always has an answer, pithy, puissant, punchy, economical, NO DISCUSSION, everything settled with a shot-like quip…


Fast fast fast (a swift return)
OK – so this is being presented as an improvement: War without or with less casualties.
(Or, look at it in another way, wars so severely and massively mismatched, that one side’s role is simply to provide the ‘better’ casualty statistic; and/or turn to ‘sneakier’ ‘terrorist’ means as the only possible answer, which conveniently in turn makes them easy to label as ‘terrorists’ and wage crush-down war on them…)
As opposed to regimes with 1,000s of tortured and disappeared … over which the US & UK have presided for decades, probably selling the instruments of torture, the expertise, etc.

Simultaneously, War against your own civillian population.
Cold war. War not as conflagration, but – surveillance.

Doesn’t this ring a bell, I thought – bombs without casualties?
Ah, yes: Just like films without cinema and art without culture and beer without alcohol and air without texture…
(On holiday in Lisbon in the 90s:– strong fags, ruff espresso, raw steaks, lush cakes, brandy. The excluded middle, the excess of exchange, reintegrated, without guilt. You had to love it (even if you abjured any or all of the above; which I didn’t). Everywhere you went there were SMELLS in the air – real, tangible, genuine, life invoking smells! Now, even Paris and New York strugge against this homogenision process; even there - the threat to stop people smoking in bars & cafes. The ludicrous thing is, the US will now prosecute you for smoking a cigarette in a bar … but won’t absolutely will NOT sign any Kyoto type agreement. (I just guiltily deleted two “fucking”s from that last sentence: my own form of clean air fascism?) Killingly ironic.
But doesn’t this somehow seem the very OPPOSITE of what any ideal USA should represent? That the INDIVIDUAL should have the right to ‘x’; while the State should simultaneously set a wider macro example?

Thus comes our inability to somehow consider this war in isolation. (No matter what benefits accrue to oppressed people.) Hain inadvertantly gave the game away last night on QT. “There ARE things where we disagree with the Bush administration…” and he reeled off a half dozen things [inc Kyoto]; in other words, the picture presented is of a country/superpower/administration that likes to say NO – screw you. We will do what we want with or without yr support. This also slipped out this week in a US press conference. ‘The U.K. might not join in? Ha! like we give a shit…!’ was the only just subliminal message. What you gonna do? The You-S can always con or bully or coerce or bribe someone to “support” it; in the same way a pirhana ‘supports’ parasites or victims that live in its asshole or between its teeth…


PillboxFACTSHEET 1
Documents extracted
From The Week
[www.theweek.co.uk]
22.3.003

1]

“There is a real danger that last week’s breakdown in diplomacy at the UN could “hole multi-LATERalism below the waterline”, says Larry Elliot. If so, the ramifications will be huge, threeatening a range of international initiatives. French hopes that next month’s G8 leaders’ meeting in EVIAN will lead to an agreement on drugs for the Third World look doomed. Is it realistic to expect Bush to offer concessions to Chirac that affect the profitability of US drugs firms?”
quoted The Week frm: larry elliot @ the gaurdian

+2]
The Iraqi conversions and tests of “pilotless aircraft” as weapons have been a “smoking gun” known widely in aeronautical engineering circles for at least a year.
Among the 660 aircraft predominantly supplied by France and Russia to the Iraqi Air Force (listed in the 2003 Aerospace Source Book published by Aviation Week & Space Technology) are 50 Aero Vodovhody jet aircraft. […]
The type name of these aircraft is “Albatross”.
quoted The Week frm: Kenneth Warren [Chairman Iraqi Super-Gun Inquiry 1992]

+3]
As a result of BUSH’s “clumsy economic stewardship” The You-S is facing a financial “debacle”.
When Bush took office, the Congressional Budget Office forecast a ten-year surplus of $5.8 trillion. Now [the You-S is] looking at a ten-year deficit of “as much as $3 trillion.” Two million jobs have disappeared during Bush’s tenure; foreign investment in the US is down 85% since 2000.
BUSH is now proposing to CUT taxes again – by around $726bn over the next ten years.
Many states are already making drastic CUTBACKS in SERVICES to deal with their collective budget deficit, which stands at around $80bn for the coming fiscal year. Conservatives hope a bigger deficit will force liberals to curb their appetite for new programmes and thus lead to smaller government.
Republicans describe this formula as “starving the beast”.
But does the theory work [?]
During the 1980s the federal govt ran huge deficits, yet real federal spending rose about twice as fast under Reagan as it did under Clinton, who presided over a budget surplus. And spending is inexorably rising again under Bush. “The administration may claim it’s STARVING THE BEAST. But somehow, the critter gets fatter every day.”
quoted The Week frm: New York Observer / Washington Post [david s broder] / Chicago Tribune [steve chapman]

+4]
The US plans to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure within a year – with most of the work being done by private American companies. According to confidential documents leaked to the Wall St Journal, non governmental organisations and the UN will receive just $50m, a tiny fraction of the $i.5bn being offered to private firms.

+5]
Gaza City: […] young American woman killed in the Gaza Strip last weekend. Rachel Corrie was crushed by a bulldozer while acting as a “human shield” to try to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Rafah camp. The Israelis insist that her death was an “ACCIDENT” But her fellow peace activists claim that she was in plain view of the driver, who kept on advancing even when her body was dragged under the bulldozer’s treads.

+6]

I recommend you buy or subscribe to THE WEEK for their excellent resumes and background briefings – the kind of in-depth context-setting sadly ALL too absent from most mainstream TV News eg; but I make no apologies for the length of this next compendium/quotation…

On 17 September, just six days after 9/11, BUSH signed a secret document directing the Pentagon to begin planning military operations aginst Iraq.
This stance - advocates pre emptive use of force against any perceived threats to US security – is known as the “Bush doctrine’ and is spelled out de facto [not just in the minds of conspiracy nuts ie] in the GB administration’s National Security Strategy of the United States of America.
The principal architects of the Bush doctrine are v-p Dick Cheney and Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. The latter is an East Coast ZIONIST and academic who joined the Pentagon after the Yom Kippur war; Chaney was defence secretary under GB Snr. Circa 1991 the 2 drafted a document on how the US should conduct itself in the post cold war period. In pursuit of main goal quote “to prevent the emergence of any new rival”, Europe must be deterred from seeking its own security arrangements; and the US should have the right [this is 1991 remember] to strike against ANY PERCEIVED threat from chemical or biological weapons.
The report was SO hawkish the Pentagon tried to pass it off as “low level”
Circa 1997 a group of NEO-CONservative Republicans, now all close to GB, formed a think tank called Project for the New American Century [PNAC, but I hear PEANUT there, don’t you?] PNAC includes: Wolfowitz, Cheney, Defence Sec Donald Rumsfeld and Jeb Bush.
In 2000 PNAC produced a report called “Rebuilding America’s Defences” [and in that title I hear a kind of sniggery in-circle in-joke don’t you? I mean – come ON. Given how much money the You-S has earmarked each year since the 50s for its military budget…] that envisaged a worldwide Pax [ditto] Americana – under which “DEMOCRACY WOULD BE SPREAD BY MILITARY DOMINATION” and called for a VAST INCREASE IN ARMS SPENDING [is this any coincidence? I mean: let’s check the share portfolios of a few people behind this report, mmm? And who payed the piper for the GB close-run election uh? And who does GB Snr owes from CIA days, and…].

“Rebuilding” bears the imprint of one Richard Perle, a hawk and long term advocate of intervention in Iraq. Perle chairs the influential DEFENCE POLICY BOARD which advises Bush on strategic defence issues [and BUSH gives the impression, uh – let’s say – that he needs to rely on ADVISERS more than most…] whose report is said to have become a kind of GEOPOLITICAL BIBLE for Bush, its USA FIRST uni-lateralilsm prompting him, among other things, to repudiate the KYOTO PROTOCAL and ANTI BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY and to scorn the UN.
It is this report which is the missing link or smoking gun or zebra waterfall between 9/11 and the War on Iraq, altho the report doesn’t confine itself to Iraq. Other countries spotlit for regime change or “regime change” are CHINA [“it is time to increase the presence of American forces in Southeast Asia” – is it just me or does that phrase send a chill up the spines of other people of a certain age?] SYRIA LIBYA NORTH KOREA IRAN.

Under Sec. for Defence Policy Douglas Feith – a protege of Perle – foresees a You-S occupation in Iraq of between 18 + 24 months, with all sorts of goood knock-on domino effects in the surrounding Middle East region : the process of “Democratisation” is a key element in neo-con thinking.

But not everyone on the right or in the military seems to agree:
the CIA for one are deeply dubious and believe free elections will only lead to victory for Islamic fundamentalists. [And as noted already, they may be right.]

Surprisingly, most of those most opposed to the “Bush doctrine” are veterans of the first Bush administration like Brent Stowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger. The latter described Perle and Wolfowitz as “DEVIOUS” in their efforts to persaude the president to go to war with Iraq.




posted by Ian 4/21/2003 05:37:00 PM

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