Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Satan's Truck

I'm going to shout
I'm going to cry
I'm going to pout
I'm telling you why
Satan's truck is coming to town

He's making a list
He's checking it for
The kids who are rich
The kids who are poor
 Satan's truck is coming to town

He haunts you when you're sleeping
He taunts when you're awake
Don't matter if you're bad or good
Its kerching for goodness sake 

I'm going to shout
I'm going to cry
I'm going to pout
I'm telling you why
Satan's truck is coming to town

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Pray with Standing Rock



Standing Rock is where Native American Water Protectors stand between the greed and recklessness of big oil and the future of our planet. The American government needs to know that the world sees the ongoing injustice towards Native Americans, the state sanctioned terrorism perpetrated by law enforcement and its utter disregard for the health and wellbeing of its citizens.

However, in keeping with the principles of the Water Protectors we stand, not a aggressors but as protectors. Our prayer vigil looks for love and peace to win over hatred, greed and violence.
I am planning a vigil on the Millenium Bridge in Lancaster at 9pm on 26 November. A silent prayer for the Water Protectors and the future of our planet. I propose we gather just before 9pm, pray in silence for 2 minutes and then simply communicate with each other.

This event has a spiritual element but is not religious. It is not promoting any religion, god or creed. If you are supporting another event in the city you can always turn up at 9 and go at 2 minutes past.
Or you can pray wherever you might be at that time. If you do so it might be nice to share your thoughts on the Facebook Page
 

The following excerpt is taken from the MiniPlanet.




The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was originally established as part of the Great Sioux Reservation under Article 2 of the Treaty of Fort Laramie of April 29, 1868. In 1877, the U.S. government initiated the still ongoing process of chipping away and dividing the land it had granted to the people of the Lakota and Dakota nations, with significant reductions taking place in 1889 and then again during the 1950s and 1960s, when the Army Corps of Engineers built five large dams along the Missouri River, uprooting villages and sinking 200,000 acres of land below water.

When the Corps of Engineers returned to Standing Rock in 2015, it was to assess whether or not it should approve a path for the Dakota Access Pipeline across the Missouri River, a project that would involve construction on some of the land that had been stripped from the Sioux, who still regard it as sacred — although, that fact seems to have been ignored, maybe even intentionally, in the assessment.

Because the Corps neglected to consult the Standing Rock Sioux, as it was required to do under the National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106), the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Interior, and the American Council on Historic Preservation all criticized the assessment, but the project was eventually approved. The decision was a major victory for Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based parent company of Dakota Access LLC, which estimates the pipeline will bring $156 million in sales and income taxes to state and local governments and create thousands of temporary jobs.

For the Standing Rock Sioux, the Dakota Access project poses two immediate threats. First, the pipeline would run beneath Lake Oahe, the reservoir that provides drinking water to the people of Standing Rock. (An earlier route that avoided native lands was ruled out in part because it posed a danger to drinking water.) Second, according to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the building of the pipeline would destroy the sacred spots and burial grounds that were overlooked in the Corps’ assessment. But as the protests have intensified, and more outsiders, including members of more than 200 Native American tribes from across North America, have become involved, Standing Rock has, for some, come to represent something much bigger than a struggle between a disenfranchised people and a government-backed, billion-dollar corporation. It’s a battle to save humanity from itself.

“Mother Earth’s axis is off and it’s never going back,” says Phyllis Young, a Sioux tribal elder. “And we have to help keep it in balance for as long as we can. I am a mother and a grandmother. Those are my credentials to ensure a future with clean drinking water — a future of human dignity, human rights, and human survival.”

Friday, November 18, 2016

Forever Arms

Hold me in arms that trust

Beyond the trust that I deserve

Beyond the trust that I have earned

Beyond the fear that lies dead deep

The dark primaeval fear of death

Lay cold in quiet familiar grave

 

Show me scenes of wanton hate

Callous acts of naked spite

Flaunted in religious garb

With glee that would have Satan blush

Christ still warm nailed to his cross

And in his name poor wretches crushed

 

I will beat the wailing wall

Until my hands are torn and scarred

And shame the lying bastards

Who pimp the Holocaust for what?

Excuse their callous disregard

For life they think so lightly of

 

Christians, Jews and Muslims all

Fanatical, their virtues strained

Rebuke us for our moral filth

While we show flesh and choose our mates

They scratch and spit at flesh and bone

And whore their faith for pen and ink

 

Read me a Psalm, I'll share your Eid

I'll tabernacle for a while

Sustain me with your words of hope

Instead of laws that I must break

So I must beg your moral god

and owe a debt I cannot pay

 

Let me drink till I am drunk

I'll not forget but for a while

I'll know the truth without the pain

And know my heart without the shame

I'll find some respite in that haze

And pay a price that's mine to pay

 

Hold me and speak my name

I sometimes wonder at my state

It seems that words define my soul

Yet I know better of it

Be the ferry to my island

The mainland to my strait

 

I cannot share my humanity

with racists, murderers and moralisers

without the cleansing of your love

Save me from my ghosts

Of future, past and present

in forever arms

 

© Chris Price 2015

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Neoliberalism Must Die

I was born into an age where a slap on a woman's bottom was neither condoned nor condemned, where there was no such thing as a chair person. We laughed with black and Irish comedians who weren't just self deprecating, they were perpetuating the racism we now find totally unacceptable. Homosexuality was illegal. Equal pay wasn't even a policy, never mind a reality. But we got free health care and there was an extensive stock of council housing. There were soup kitchens for down and outs but no food banks for working families. We were still celebrating our victory over Nazi Germany, the civil rights movement was cutting its teeth and the mighty British Empire was being dismantled.

There wasn't a great deal of money around but there was hope. There were real opportunities for working class people (albeit mainly for white, heterosexual men) and the wealthy and successful had no choice but to feed back into the economy. The post war economic model not only gave rise to unprecedented wealth across the nation, it provided a seed bed for social reform. The great struggles of the 19th Century were finally bearing fruit.

My predominant memories of news broadcasts of the time were the anti-Vietnam protests. All those students who should have been getting on with their studies were out on the streets of London, clashing with police and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Of course I didn't realise how significant this was with Pete Seeger singing "We Shall Overcome" over in the US and the Beatles telling us that all we need is love. The old paradigm of white privilege and unchallenged respect for the establishment was being exposed for what it was as democracy took hold.

But as we were enjoying the spring of a new era, the establishment were biding their time. Our mere 2 decades of Keynesian prosperity under Clement Attlee and FDR would quickly give way to the monetarism of Thatcher and Reagan. The lie of trickle down economics (its no myth) saw all the wealth generated by the 98% trickle up to the 2% and stay there. Through the 80's and 90's we were awash with money but little did we appreciate how we'd mortgaged the wealth that was ours to reinvest. Instead of being satisfied with our daily bread we bought the cake. We could have had the social reform along with economic prosperity but now are looking to loose both.

The nightmare US election ended up as a contest between the [liberal] establishment that has cheated us out of the wealth we created and the [fascist] beast of self interest. It was a choice between the bad and the ugly and we got the ugly. We know who the casualties will be. It will be every section of society that has gained ground over the last century as the powerful play out their Olympian chess game, regardless of who the players are. They don't care whether its Trump or Clinton - either will do.

While sexism, racism and all manner of ugliness has found a 'respectable' stage over the last two years, these are the pawns. Only behind the rooks of economic stability and bishops of reason can our freedoms and liberties march forward. In Trumpland freedom means being able to say what you want and discriminate against who you want with impunity. But what was the alternative?

The North Dakota Access Pipeline is near completion and despite the UN being on the ground; despite the brutality of the police against peaceful protectors being seen by the world; despite the oil company publicly declaring they will flout the law, the current President is sitting on his hands. The Bundys, who effectively declared war on the USA, walk free while Native Americans are being shot, tear gassed, falsely imprisoned and criminalised for camping on land that is legally theirs. Hillary Clinton is cut from the same cloth as Obama. There will be more Flints and North Dakotas while these corporate lackeys remain in power.

We need to call Trump what he is: a fascist, bigoted sexual predator and con man who should be behind bars, not in the Whitehouse. The world should not recognise him as President, as the USA has so many times not recognised democratically elected governments and planted fascist murderers like Pinochet in their stead. We need to condemn his misogyny, racism and fear mongering but at the same time understand that the big players who brought about this disaster simply have new trolls to do their bidding.

Bringing Trump down and putting a woman in the Whitehouse will just paper over the cracks. Just like Ghandi broke the will of the great British Empire and Martin Luther King confronted the American establishment we need to demand real change and not settle for compromise. We want to see more incremental positive change like we have seen over the last 100 years but we need a political climate in which our liberties can thrive. Trump has got to go but so has big money in politics. Wall Street and the multinationals need re-regulating, the media moguls need to be made irrelevant.

We have our own monsters in the UK but we have a common purpose with our friends across the pond. Its time for neoliberalism to crawl back under its grubby stone.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Lancaster Music Festival event


I'm Fine

I had a heart for dreams
A head for heights
Not risk averse
Not one for scripts
Or destinations life predicts

But with no desire to wake
Afraid to fall
Or to rehearse
Fluffing every line
Eyes on the map, missing every sign

Being untrained and unprepared
I hit the rocks
And what is worse
I could not own
Whatever I'd defused or I had blown

I was subdued by guilt
Who knows what for
A petrifying curse
Where every corner hides a threat
Round which no expectation might be met

Its hard to change
Or shed a skin
Forsake the nurse
Detach the safety line
Append no 'but' when I reluctantly declare "I'm fine"

© Chris Price 2016

Horns and Islands

Smaller now the island seems
The refuge, once, of hopes and dreams
Is just a pile of bricks and beams
Where doorways in are doorways out
And certainties give way to doubt
While reservoirs defer to drought

The paper trail has washed away
The oracles have much to say
But not pertaining to today
The path that led us hence is clear
But where we are to go from here
Needs wisdom that we must revere

But we revere the seers no more
Nor trust the mantle that they wore
Our hope is not the hope of lore
The orators in birthday suits
Sew leaves of figs but bear no fruits
We'll beat our drums, not heed their flutes

We'll board a crusty ship of fools
Defy the odds and break the rules
With hasty plans and makeshift tools
We'll chart a course around the horn
Where bows are broke and sheets are torn
Where futures are destroyed and born

© Chris Price 2016