Part 1 and Part 2 now together for a not so long 20 minute read.
“WAR! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin!”
(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin) uh-huh, uh-huh
(What is it good for?)
Say it again, y’all
(War) h’uh (h’uh) look out!
(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin’) ………………….
Compulsory to click Play!
“WAR! What is” ….
…..and so starts with “The Temptations classic song WAR (March 1970), made famous by Edwin Starr’s version above (June 1970) and first heard by not so pasty faced white boy (me), downtown Hobart Tasmania in 1976. Local Pub band -Kokomo were doing their best cover version at “Travellers Rest” across the car park from Australia’s only legal Casino. With 100- 200 sweaty patrons doing Chorus line it was truly a groovy uplifting experience.
Most weeks were like that. Collecting and washing Glasses was the job. Try to be Mr Invisible collecting glasses through the noisy good time crowded rooms. Mr Invisible worked for some of the time. Sometimes not, getting abducted by others to the dance floor. As long as I didn’t stay too long “shakin the booty” and kept clean glasses in good supply to the Bartenders, the Boss was okay.
True confession, I love a semi clear or empty dance floor. Far less people means more room to move. It is something to be taken advantage of, not to stand on the sidelines watching floor space opportunity to slip away. Now don’t be bashful you sideliners! It’s okay. 1st on the Dance floor? Icebreaker you become and others will eventually join to make sure the Ice is well and truly melted! I digress..
“Travs” was a fun loving and welcoming place with little aggro among the patrons. Group love to have a good time permeated the ether. Yes, there were a couple of not so lovely moments, one which involved the full Riot control arm of Hobart Police Force, when Police at “Travs” called in a Riot situation when there was none!
I swear! I witnessed every moment of this growing Idiot Drama show by the two Plain clothes Police. They had declared War on us! Couple of friends arrested and ended up in Court. Judge threw out the charges and admonished the Police for badly inflaming the situation that night.
“.. it good for”?
Yeh, “What is WAR good for? Nothing but hatred, mistrust and bitterness. 200 odd people from that night have kept a level of mistrust for particular Hobart Police ever since. Most of these people are now retired, many with successful careers behind them including the Police Force.
If in conversation we visit that night, frowns of bitterness appears on the assembled foreheads. Mistrust of authority, we still have in common. Is it right that this measure of bitterness and mistrust still nags? Of course not.
Our War was a tiny pimple compared to other’s life experiences. Photos of the Ruin of Homs from the still ongoing War in Syria attest to Reality that is impossible to imagine for many, but so real to those living with War.
Both Grandfathers fought in WW1 (Europe) and WW2 (New Guinea). Still have some of their medals that come out to the light of day on Anzac Day. “Lest we Forget”. Pop had a bit of paranoia about emergency sirens for some years after WW2. He worked as Airfield ground crew that was subject to almost daily bombardments for months on end. Did his more than fair share of diving to safety when the air raid Siren sounded.
Dad mentioned that he was disappointed he just wasn’t quite old enough to volunteer and enlist to fight in WW2. Him and mate seriously contemplated lying about their age to get in. Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Atomic bombing of) saw to those War dreams, with the War finishing abruptly in 1945. If the War had gone into 1946, Dad may not be my Dad today. This was some time before he met my Mum. I seriously Love the Dad that I have and am very happy his War dreams failed to turn into reality.
Sister’s friends were birthday conscripted to serve in Vietnam via a daily Radio announcement. Am pretty certain more than a few were Conscientious Objectors. This was during the then well known later stages of the Vietnam War. By that time few wanted to go at all. If it had been Dad, even he most likely would have become a Conscientious Objector.
There was an increasing bitterness about forcing us to shed blood in other places, especially this War to stop “Communism” in it’s tracks. Funny (not), that Independence from Colonial Masters was all the Vietnamese wanted once and for all, to Govern their Country in their own right. Simple! Spreading Communist Ideology to other Countries? The Vietnamese had no interest.
Working with China against America and the rest of the grim ‘Defenders of Democracy’ in Vietnam was a bit like: “Your enemy is my enemy”. History long before and since Vietnam War shows that Vietnam and China have never really seen eye to eye.
A special mention goes to the American and Australian Governments who chose to forget or were willfully ignorant of the history of the region when they started the War. It really didn’t take long to descend into a War of: “My manhood is bigger than your manhood”. Loosely translated as a Wanking War. The worst kind, that has ad-nauseum repeated itself over the Centuries.
They keep on repeating the same formula and cannot be trusted to not do it all again. What is that old proverb or was that a Paint Ad? “When you are on a good thing stick to it!”
“..Say it again, y’all”
Origins of the use of the word “War” are found in the English language from roughly the 11th Century, with the names of wyrre and werre. It is related to Old Saxon: Werran, Old High German: Werran and German: Verwirren – meaning to confuse, to perplex, to bring into confusion. Latin version translates as – strife and struggle. (Wikipedia, Etymology.com) Very stiff upper lip places, these origins.
War is all those things – strife, struggle, perplexing and confusing. It describes the life of a Victim never to rise out of these cold hard circumstance of their existence. War as a term and action is ingrained within all Societies crafted over many Centuries of blood soaked verification.
The World is still full of War. It has diversified from traditional concepts of physical War to mean many things. Our devolving Online World is now full of War from the humble chat, tweet, FB comment to big conspiracies and hacks. War as a term has seeped into our collective society conscience. Marketing tools, Slogans and big one liner Anthems – “War on AIDS”, “War on Drugs”, “War on Terror”, “War on small Furry things” and other stuff like that. Well, maybe not the “Small Furry things“.
Maybe declare: “War on ‘Hollywood’ Dive and Cry Soccer players”. Is a War with good intentions. Difficult to descend into a traditional “Wanker War”, when their actions are so blatantly Pathetic. Yes, lets declare War on that!
For those inventing Politician and CEO scripts, slogans and anthems – all you are doing is promoting to society a grim struggle, set jaws, determination to fight fight fight so that we can have strife and struggle while feeling perplexed and confused. This is in so called Peace times!
Instant downer so to speak. This is the War that is consistently reinforced into our psyche. For those making decisions on behalf of the rest of us – Government and their influencers, it does suit them to have the population feeling grim, maybe even a bit confused and struggling a bit.
War takes our mind from other matters that Govern a reasonable life. Base ethics of truth, respect, honesty, freedom and equity are diminished and submerged by War. With War now on multiple fronts 24/7, there is little way to escape it’s impact. Love is submerged and bruised by War, but not broken. Love does survive as only Love can.
To be able to live a peaceful ethical life that really doesn’t bother anyone is a reasonable base expectation for us all. To be able to exist without a measure of fear is just as reasonable. “Love not War“, is my strangled scream of increasing futility, or so it seems.
Can we change the tradition? While you contemplate this, just keep on Loop: “War! What is it good for?….. absolutely nothin!!, Say it again…!”
Two, one two three four
Everybody’s talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism, this-ism, that-ism, Ism ism ism.
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout ministers, sinisters, banisters and canisters, bishops and fishops, rabbis and pop eyes, bye bye, bye byes.
All we are saying, is give peace a chance
All we are saying, is give peace a chance
Let me tell you now
Everybody’s talking about, revolution, evolution, masturbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations, meditations, United Nations, congratulations.
All we are saying is give Peace a chance …..and repeat.
“Everybody’s talking About …”
Next line in the song “WAR” featured in Part 1 “WAR”, is : “(War) h’uh )h’uh) look out!” One interpretation is that “Look out!” means: “War! You better Watch out. Absolutely yes!” Say it again!” You better watch out as some have declared War on War. “So, watch out!” Sung with as much WAR gusto as possible. “H’UH!! ………”
Recently, ABC Aus News interviewed a Ukrainian Border Solider who stated: “You know what they say- If you want Peace, then prepare for War”. This is quite disturbing. Here we are in 2022, yet still we have to defend and fight for our right to Peace. “Give Peace a Chance” was released half a Century ago. Even now, Peace is defined by War.
I love Peace. Simple. It is a wish for just about all of us to have a peaceful life. From much confirmed observation War is revolting at any level. Many within War had peaceful lives before. Now? forced to fight for their lessening memory of peace. Many have never lived without War. What is Peace but a name to them? What a useless word! Pointless really. War still dominates the conversation and has exploded into Online world, never to be caged again in traditional terms.
Has Peace exploded in society conscience such as War? No. It appears that Peace can do nothing but defend the right to it’s very existence. Peace is ever alert for that “W” word. “If you want Peace, then prepare for War”. That’s it! I volunteer, I must do it, you know – declare War on War.
“Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism….”
All sorts of irrational and many times nasty and illogical Wars are now available ‘for free’ and to all, within the cyberspere. 2012/13, I found an FB Page dedicated to denigrating Julia Gillard while Australian Prime Minister and MP. Titled- “I Hate Julia Gillard” Not much imagination, brutally to the point, not much beyond a nasty Primary School yard. Quite a few people commenting. Commenting? Not really, it was just hardcore pathetic menace. Worse than bad taste with “guns shoved up between the buttocks..etc..”, being described more than once at Julia.
Julia Gillard is a peace loving person. She never starts the War. She doesn’t mind “calling a spade, a spade” if required, and does it well. JG is A-OK in my books . It affected my peace of mind to think that haters in online World were this bad. These humans had declared War on Julia in the most despicable cowardly way. War was declared back at these crass revolting human specimens for more than a few months.
There were a few other regulars who took them on as well. Even though we didn’t know each other it felt like we were a loose band of resistance fighters more than holding our own against a much larger force.
My keyboard War was full of peace, love and questions to the other side. Sometimes handy hint to improve their atrocious grammar. Could never understand why they seemed to dislike me even more after I did. Was really hoping their grammar might improve a bit. Call that one a loss.
Would cast out the ‘fact- bait’ of Redneck, many biting, becoming personally offended and swearing they were nothing like the American variety, when in reality they were. It was quite a shock to me at the time, that these people did not recognise the traits and yet in many ways looked down at USA variety Rednecks. It was the online Redneck gang from the USA that had motivated this Aussie lot and their War on Julia.
Eventually I stopped. Some had started commenting and FB messaging about the family in a very personal and abusive manner. Enough was enough. Finished with a grammatically correct final message. Job satisfaction, I had. No blood was spilled. Just the keyboard after all.
I recall FB finally taking down the Page not long after. Back to an uneasy peace though knowing these people still existed with their hate, ideology and irrationality that would not budge even a millimetre.
Julia Gillard Hater Demographics: majority from regional and country areas of Aus, with focus on Queensland, NSW and West Aus third. Most had regular FB posts in their love of all sorts of Weaponry and Vehicles, happy smiley children and grandkids pics. Vast majority of profiles were public. A fair representation of both sexes with ages from 16 – 60. A real cross section of Australia’s conservative right wing regional underbelly. No different to many other places around the World.
.. Ragism, Tagism, This-ism, That-ism, Ism ism ism.
I fell into the same trap as many others had before in declaring War for all the wrong reasons. By participating I had descended to a variety of “Wanker War”. This was about keyboard smarts/arse. Getting one up in petty arguments was the aim. Is still a case of my manhood is bigger than your manhood “Wanker War”. Even though my message was Peace, love and happiness, it was done in such a way as to deliberately irritate people. The irritated dig in their heels even more.
Nothing was resolved, people did not move on from their warlike stance. War vs Peace? War was the only word on lips, tips of fingers and in the brain cells.
Why did I choose to irritate angry people online? It was the only way I could find some small inner peace, knowing I just didn’t stand idly by and do nothing. I had to defend the Peace and let people know that Peace if forced, does bite back. Grrrrrrr…….
Being properly peaceful, is a most difficult thing to do. There lies the conundrum of Peace. Peace cannot avoid War. Peace is never the aggressor. Peace can only react in defence of itself. War has taken up all our conscience space. Peace is that little back thought floating around the brain fringes. War is centre of attention. For Peace to at the least share the stage with War, Peace must be noisier.
“All we are saying is …..”
Concept of Peace has been with us for as long as War. Greek Goddess of Peace was Eirene. So many words since then, but to what end? War has not stopped. Some have tried to redefine Peace as War and War as Peace.
William James circa 1890 (USA) presented a paper: “The Moral equivalent of War”. In it he argued to Conscript the young into Nation Building work (a Peace War) rather than violent War. Get them into the Foundary’s and workshops. To quote James himself: “So they have done their part in immemorial human Warfare against Nature ….. so they have paid their Blood Tax“!
It indicates the pervasive and traditional Society thinking in 1890 of the need to have War against and conquer Nature. Deep Christian philosophical roots back to the Book of Genesis Day 6 (Google it) still had a stranglehold on the conversation. This stranglehold may have diminished over the years, but the “Domain of Man” tradition is still having an impact, with no better example than Global Warming and it’s Climate after effects.
Modern times and James is credited as being the Father of the “War on War”, with this alternative War on Nature. He is fortunate to not be described as the Father of Global Destruction! If the Industrialists and War Generals of the day had taken on James ideas, perhaps our deteriorating environmental quality of life on Earth would be far worse than it is now!
Concept of Peace received a huge boost in the 1960’s thanks to War.
“Make Love, not War“ started at Berkely Univeristy in the US, during 1965 Anti-War protests. It swept across the World for all us peace loving humans to remember and yell forever. During “Avengers Endgame” movie of 2019, Marvel Boss, Stan Lee (R.I.P) in a cameo drive past Fort Leigh, shouted “Make Love, not War”! (Wikipedia) Wonderful.The Peace symbol still fronts modern generation artwork and clothing.
From 1981, United Nations declared 21st September each year as World Peace Day. Has it helped us think of Peace as much as we think of War? No. But, please don’t stop. One day out of 365 days is better than zero days.
Peace symbol still alive and well in 2012 commemorating World Peace Day (21st September) at Flagler College (Florida) in the USA (pic from Google images)
UNESCO in 1986 released the “Seville Statement on Violence”. In it they stated the following:
· It is scientifically incorrect to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestors.
· It is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behavior is genetically programmed into our human nature.
· It is scientifically incorrect to say that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection of aggressive behavior more than for other kinds of behavior.
· It is scientifically incorrect to say that humans have a violent brain.
· It is is scientifically incorrect to say that war is caused by instinct or any single motivation.
The statement concluded: “Just as Wars begin in the minds of men, peace also begins in our minds. The same species who invented War is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with us all.” (Unesco website)
“…Give Peace a Chance”
The five statements are clear. War is not DNA engineered into us. War is culturally engineered. Our origins are in survival first and foremost. Culture of War grew from this to mean other things such as to have power and/or wealth over others and their resources. God was and still is being used as a convenient excuse not to have Peace but War with anyone deemed to not agree with a version of Gods word. Yet, all the major religions preach Peace. The very same have spread much blood and grief through War on behalf of God. Peace is the Sermon still camouflaging Wars that are still raging.
Cast the mind back to the Ukraine Border solider’s statement. Is it true that when considering Peace we must consider War? One cannot exist without the other? Maybe it is truth. Otherwise how to define Peace?
I want Peace. Peace from ongoing strife, struggle, perplexion and confusion. Peace from online Wars, from real conflict, Peace for our natural environment, the Peace of Home, Peace from ideologues, Peace from the all pervasive name of War and Peace when the wife has her siesta. (Will she read this? Will War be declared?)
Next time we light our inner fuse of anger over an incompetent politician’s message, another conspiracy theory seeing the light of day or angry ignorant people letting out their base instincts, just reflect for a short moment on what it means to light this fuse of War. Nothing is resolved and War is perpetuated.
Yes, please hesitate and think about Peace before the Tweet or online forum comment. Do we need to contribute and build hate and anger that brings on more confusion, strife and struggle? (see definition of War in Part 1) Or would it not be better to try to contribute in a non-partisan way, aimed at smoothing the issue at hand that has you so riled up?
“.. All we are saying is give Peace a Chance ..” and repeat ….
Look past the ease of the smartarse retort and go the harder route of Peace, love and happiness. It is not easy. Am still working on that myself and probably for life. It takes more brain synapses firing to decide what to state or write. It takes a longer time to form words and structures around Peace than what it takes for War. As with most things, it gets easier with practice and time, but feel I am on perpetual guard against the W Word seeping in to the extent of “Wanker War” days. Temptation is always there.
Our inherited culture must be challenged to accept that Peace has far more of a say now and into the future than it ever did before. The more the principle of peace is applied to the conversation, culture of Peace will grow to a tradition.
We have to be smart with this War on War. Ego needs to take a regular walk. We are a weird bunch though. Can make for quite a frustrating conversation when people only have the best intentions. Equally, it can end up being a very satisfying experience. It helps stay the course.
We need to be realistic and recognise that the word – “War” is here to stay forever. Culturally or not, we do have a great (not) history of arguing with each other. Do we still blindly let this harsh word dominate our conversation? I don’t want that. A balancing of the conversation is required. We must. We are not DNA printed with War. UNESCO says so!
How much balance? Cannot answer. The right balance will be one that works for the place, context and time. “One size does not fit all”, as the saying goes.
My preference is Peace 95% dominating our War and Peace conversation, with War almost relegated to the History books. Am a bit idealist and extremist in that regard. Must be my ‘Greenie’ roots in Tasmania twining through the feelings and memories of happy home life without War.
Be noisy about Peace when the need or circumstance arises. You never know, maybe the days of “Make Love not War” are just around the corner and here to stay. “You don’t know if you don’t have a Go”, sums up my little “War on War“.
All I want to do is give Peace a chance.
4 thoughts on “War …… Peace ….the Book”
Looking forward to taking my time reading this one. You should find JG’s podcast talking with that other great gal Helen Clark of NZ. It is superb
Sent from my iPhone 0429315281
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The obscure thing with this was, that it was supposed to be a 3 minute read, while working on a much longer different piece. Now that other piece is turning into the 3 minute read.
Loved this Chris Round
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Cheers Lynda. Reckon I need a serious chop-chop editor to prune the length though. War was easy to write about. Peace? Much harder.