Reader Response: Persepolis (Graphic Novel)July 16, 2010
Memoir: Significant Moment (What Really Matters)July 25, 2010
Search For Truth
This assignment asked that we create a playlist of five songs that speak to our lives and who we are. I feel that each of these songs speaks directly to who I am, the issues that concern me and what I believe as an individual.
1. “Why”, Jadakiss
2. “Lives In The Balance”, Jackson Browne
3. “Eve Of Destruction”, Barry McGuire
4. “If You’re Out There”, John Legend
5. “Imagine”, John Lennon
“Why” dares to challenge people to do the most effortless yet important of all actions. It dares individuals to simply ask the question why. I am a critical thinker and understand that the single greatest strength any individual bares is his or her intellect. The trouble with the political world environment we’re currently living in, is that the majority of Americans have stopped asking why. We saw a great tragedy unfold on September 11, 2001, and since then Americans have seemingly stopped asking questions and are fearful to challenge popular thought, let alone the doctrine of our government. As a result, evil people have propagated evil and oppression around the world in the absence of resistance and sadly, it is our own inaction that fuels it.
“Lives In The Balance”, Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne is a talented songwriter who does a phenomenal job identifying just how naive the majority of people are. Not just Americans but people in general. By and large, the majority of the world is uneducated and ignorant. This is by design because, simply put, ignorance is bliss and an ignorant person is a lot easier to manipulate and control then an educated individual who would dare ask why before performing the tasks that those in power demand of them. At one point in the song, he says, “They sell us our president… like they sell us our clothes or our cars”. This simple yet undeniably true statement summarizes the efforts of the powers that be to deceive people into believing they have a democracy. When in fact, the decisions are made by a handful of people well before an election is ever held. The idea that a vote counts anywhere in this world, let alone in America, is just a part of the deception that they use to control the masses of blissfully ignorant people.
“Eve Of Destruction”, Barry McGuire
This song was written during the Vietnam War. For me personally, it serves as a reminder that those who fail to learn from history are almost certain to repeat it. We went into Vietnam under the guise of a police action and as a matter of fact, to this day, Vietnam has never been declared a war by the United States government. This falls back in line with my assessment of Jackson Browne’s song “Living In The Balance”. Ask yourself how much were you taught about the actions of our leaders or our soldiers during the Vietnam War. This is again by design. If they never speak of the atrocities that were committed in our name, then no one can ever be held accountable. This same model has been applied to more recent political events as well. For example, if the punishment for treason is the death penalty, why was Cheney’s chief aide Lewis Scooter Libby not sentenced to death when it was revealed and confirmed by the United States Justice Department that he leaked the name of an active undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson? It’s because he was never charged with revealing her name. Instead he was charged with giving false statements and perjuring himself in front of a Grand Jury when he lied about not revealing her name. The idea that we can trust the in power government with policing itself and holding itself accountable is a laughable suggestion. Instead of being held accountable, an effective misinformation campaign aimed at keeping the public in the dark was executed flawlessly by our government. This is the same reason why people are constantly reminded not to speak of religion or politics. If people were to begin openly discussing these things, they might expose themselves to different perspectives as opposed those that are carefully disseminated through a variety of government-controlled media outlets. In the end, people continue to be ignorantly blissful about the state of our nation’s domestic and foreign affairs.
“If You’re Out There”, John Legend
This song shares a powerful sentiment with the world. “I was looking for a leader… But the leader was me…” I as a person cannot sit idly by and wait for others to blaze a trail for me to follow. If I believe in change, then I must set out to make change. Instead of following the path of many, I will set out to create my own. Only unlike those before me who sought to have others follow, I will seek to inspire others so that they might set out on their own. We need a world full of free thinkers to set out and write the future. Not a bunch of obedient sheep who get their cues from a manual, be it fictional religious text or a heavily edited history book.
“Imagine”, John Lennon
Out of all the songs in my playlist, this is my favorite and in my opinion one of the most important offerings ever made to mankind. Its lyrics transcend time and geography. “Imagine” sets out to awaken individuals to the process of radical thought. John Lennon sets out to paint an image of a world without religion or possession, without hunger or oppression but rather “a brotherhood of man”. Slowly the listener is challenged to ponder some of the most prophetic thoughts ever posed by man in a way that often inspires others to set out and do the same. Our history is littered with examples of great men who gave mankind great intellectual and inspirational gifts. Unfortunately, history is also littered with the dates of their assassinations.