Sunday, September 21, 2008

Song: Pledge Your Allegiance -- New American Century

This is an admittedly strange blog post for me. On the side (when the mood strikes) I will sit and write poetry, even songs. While I play very little guitar, I couldn't tell you one note from another -- I don't read music. I wrote these as two pieces -- the first a march-like intro, the second more an emotive ballad-rocker suited for a duet (think Bruce Springsteen / Patti Scialfa typed pairing).

These were things I'd written in the summer of 2006 and just squirreled away with all the others, but drug these two out as they seem appropriate today. With what we just witnessed with the major bank failures, and now a $700 billion dollar bailout pending -- and with no guarantee that won't bankrupt the tax fund if other countries decide they want out of our little Wall Street / Get-Rich-Quick scheme. What happened to their preciously guarded "free market economy" and "no welfare state"?

What really depresses me (now after getting online and seeing news, post Hurricane Ike) is how after all this economic disaster, the geopolitical morass, and the cumulative erosion of sustaining our previous "strong middle class" economy, the Republican candidate is actually tied or slightly ahead of the Democrat!
Even though it's been Republican leaders and Republican Social Experiments vis a vis laws that make business irreproachable and unlimited, Democrats are doing no better than a tie. People are so afraid of Obama's color or name or whatever urban legend they try to affix to him that they will vote in another four years of what we've just suffered through for the last eight.

I just don't get it.

Hell, the McCain campaign and RNC in general is so "values-oriented" they misappropriate other people's voices (like Katie Couric, and some Faux News guy's voice for a commercial), and even steal songs from artists for their speeches or news bites when they come on stage (e.g. Heart's Barracuda for Sarah Palin, or John Mellencamp's Little Pink Houses for McCain). I still recall hearing "Running on Empty" as background for one of McCain's "Drill, Baby, Drill" speeches and was depressed as hell that Jackson Browne had turned and supported conservative philosophy! Thankfully, I found out different a few weeks later when he filed suit to have them "cease and desist."

No, McCain didn't start it. President Reagan did when he misappropriated Bruce Springsteen's Born In The U.S.A. for his re-election speeches.

So these are songs that I know wouldn't be appropriated by Republicans -- they're not into self-deprecation. Who knows, maybe the Springsteens would pick it up and record it? (I highly doubt it) If they do, I'll donate my proceeds (until the cut-off time) to the Democratic Election Fund, or 527's to ensure they are elected.

This is partisan, I'll admit. When have they ever not been? Ultimately, I just can't sit idly by and take this crap any more. At least this is a release.

Pledge Your Allegiance

I Pledge ... Allegiance
To ... the Flag
Of the United States
of Corporate America,
And to the Republicans
For which we vote.
One corporation,
Equal ... to God,
With Liberties ... and Profits
For all the top execs!

The New American Century

Remember liberty?
Remember freedom of speech?
Remember those innocent days of our youth
Back when teachers would teach,
Before the pastors
Took their jobs away?
Remember De-mo-cra-cy
Before it became … “Pay to Play”?
Elections weren’t suspect –
No shill partisan mobs.
Remember Dads going to work in the morning?
They all could find jobs!
Now there’s outsourcing, onshoring, productivity
And the race to the bottom.
And nothing’s domestically owned here anymore –
Foreign countries all have bought ‘em.

Now we build K Street Projects,
Tear down housing projects,
Hedge low on stock futures,
Indebt grandkids’ futures,
Find time in our homes less,
Rid cities of homeless,
Insure companies' health,
Choose between food or health.
Welcome to … the New … American Century

Recall summer vacations?
Kids had twelve weeks to play …
Before global competition made those
Days of leisure passé?
And before censorship,
Profit, greed and control
Killed innovation, the challenge and
Spirit of ... Rock & Roll?
Remember equality?
How we once felt empowered?
Remember how we felt anything's possible
Before those dreams soured?
It was a brave new world in those days of our past,
But our leaders all now run scared.
We slept while they gave away our golden years,
Now we should’ve been better prepared.

Congress votes themselves raises.
Child poverty rises.
Rich pundits cry “vengeance!”
While the poor get no vengeance.
Business begs “education!”
Feds slash education
And they meld church and state
Health care’s in the worst state
Welcome to … the New … American Century

Remember the choices
Before market monopoly?
We believed in the American Dream,
Now we know oligopoly.
Remember when media
Broadcast truth and decorum,
Before money ensured only privileged views
Worthy a forum?
Remember government
Accountability –
No demands to expand President’s powers,
Just open civility?
Remember days before terror became our new pastime
And the long, endless wars?
Common goals, humane minds, days of so much less ego,
No hubris, no settling scores?

Bankroll national security.
Kill Social Security.
Nation shoved to the right
Rescinds all civil rights.
Leaders treated like prophets.
Fire workers, raise profits.
Sweetened deals before closed.
Watch our dreams be foreclosed.
Yes it’s true … it’s the New … American Century

Vanessa Edwards Foster © June 2006

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