Eve of destruction

I do not know how many of you remember the protest song written by Barry McGuire entitled the eve of destruction. I am copying the lyrics at the end of this post and if you have 3 minutes and 42 seconds to spare do listen to the song. I guess way back in then I too was one of those who did not want to believe that we were on the eve of destruction. I was 13 when the song was written but 16 when I heard it along all the other protest songs by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and so many others. They touched my heart because I had lived in Vietnam in the early to mid sixties and seen with my young eyes the immolation of monks - one immolate himself just in front of our home - and gone to sleep lulled by the sounds of bombs that became so much a part of me that it took me a long time to get used to sleeping without the sound of that sinister lullaby. But it was the sixties and we did not want to think that we would be the ones destroying all that is good in the name of misplaced freedom, misguided religious zealots or simply hubris. Today aged 62, I am find myself believing that we are on the even of destruction, it is only a matter of time before that morning dawns. All it would take is the wrong finger on the right button and we will have no one to blame but ourselves as we crated buttons after buttons in a frenzy of megalomaniac hubris.

Yesterday a missile created by human intelligence was shot at a plane full of innocent passengers including infants whose right to live were usurped in our folly. I do not care who it was and I am sick of the usual blame games we love indulging in. A few years ago it was planes full of innocent beings that were rammed into buildings full of innocent people; then it was armed terrorist who went on a killing spree in Mumbai now it is a missile shot at a target that flying at 33000 feet. Yes we have such contraptions that can kill you in the air, across the sea and across continents. Gone are the days when wars were fought by the brave and when rulers and generals went to battle face to face. Our hubris is cowardly.

Military budgets are zillions times higher than education or health budgets. We fight over pieces of land whilst children die of hunger. We have enough arms to kill all humans many times over. We are incapable of learning any lessons because we do not want to.

Now every time a loved one takes a plane, I will spend anxious hours hoping they make the journey safely. Is this the way we want to live. Looks like it. As Barry McGuire says: This whole crazy world is just too frustrating!

lyrics: Barry Mc Guire

The eastern world it is exploding
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill but not for votin'
You don't believe in war but whats that gun you're totin'?
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'

But you tell me
Over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say
Can't you feel the fears I'm feelin' today?
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin' away
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around you boy, it's bound to scare you boy

And you tell me
Over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction

Yeah my blood's so mad feels like coagulating
I'm sitting here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth it knows no regulation
Handful of senators don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'

And you tell me
Over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for four days in space
But when you return it's the same old place
The pounding of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don't leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor but don't forget to say grace

And tell me
Over and over and over and over again my friend
You don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction
Mmm, no, no, you don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction