This is a special wartime edition of
T h e M u s e a n d W h i r l e d R e t o r t
Volume 4 issue 7
Meeeep maneeep neep neep...insert graphic graphics of an American
soldier running slow motion through the desert to rescue a crying
Chiron overlay: "Americans wipe out Iraqi propaganda machine."
The Iraqi Horror Picture Show!
Hey everybody, it's that time of the month again...
It's crazy out there, folks. (As if you needed to be told that.)
This time last month Anne and I were hopeful that this might just be
the first peace movement to actually stop a war. Ha! Reality makes
it extremely hard to try to be funny.
Believe me, I would much rather be writing about the first day of
Baseball – and the fact that the Orioles played their opener in the
Here in the nation's capital the snow is falling and the cherry
blossoms are in bloom. Perhaps Mother Nature herself is responding
with her own set of ironies. Happy spring. Perhaps this is Mom's own
April Fool's joke. We could all use a good laugh about now.
I stand in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House, just as I did
12 years ago. I was 26 and had been living out of a car for four
years, playing guitar on the streets and in subway stations, in
picket lines and at political rallies. Oil War I® started on my
birthday. Phil Rockstroh and I had camped out in the park for the
weeks leading up to the war, singing "Bush Lite," "Talkin' Lafayette
Blues," "Leave Iraq and Roll," and "Emotional Dyslexia."
At any given time, there were around 100 people staying 24/7. Our job
was to entertain the "permanent" residents of the park. We thought of
ourselves as George's nearest neighbors - thought he might drop by
sometime for a cup of foreign policy.
As with this war, there were "events" when our numbers would grow.
But always the drums rang out. George the First told a reporter that
our drums were keeping him up at night. We all thought that was
nothing compared with the sound of Patriot missiles falling on
Baghdad. (George the 2nd was at a Texas Ranger's Baseball game at the
When Oil War I® started, thousands of people came out to the park in
defiance. A spontaneous "snake march" erupted. We circled throughout
the city, calling out for others to join us. And they did! Boy
did they! We grew from a thousand to ten thousand in a couple of
hours as we marched through the streets.
The thing about marching through the streets, though, is that we
abandoned Lafayette Park and it filled with about a hundred counter-
demonstrators. As we rounded the corner returning back onto
Pennsylvania Avenue, we were met by mounted police, who began to spin
their horses in a 360, pushing us back into the park among the pro-
war folks and their shouts of "USA! USA! USA!"
Rocks and bottles began to fly. Fights erupted everywhere. It was
mayhem. I was on the front line where, we were all linked arms. When
the police swung their horses around, our lines broke. I was linked
with an 18-year-old kid. He fell on top of me as a horse ran us
over. He accidentally became my shield - he got beaten with a billy
club. I never did get his name. A friend, Barry the Balladeer, saw
us lying in the street, and he pulled us to safety.
The fights between the protestors, counter-protestors, and police
lasted for hours. It was clear that the police had caused the
disruption by forcing our ranks right into the middle of a hundred
counter-demonstrators. The next day when I read the paper, the
banner headline read, "It's War," of course. However, under the fold
was a minor article that read, "A couple of dozen protestors hobbled
down the street pelting police with rocks and bottles." It taught me
a valuable lesson: I knew then the support for that war was not near
what the paper claimed. This is doubly true for George the Second's
Oil War II. I think about this these days as I stand out in Lafayette
Today the snow has dampened the number of folks, but there has been a
24-hour vigil in front of the White House since the war started. A
couple of days ago, there were 65 arrests, including three Nobel
laureates. The next day, 25 people linked themselves together with
PVC pipe and blocked traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue. People handed
leaflets to commuters apologizing for the "inconvenience," but
compared with the inconvenience of bombs falling in public markets,
it seems pretty small. There were more than 200 arrests in New York
City a couple of days ago. In all, there have been far more arrests
of people protesting this slaughter than coalition casualties.
(OK, it's time to cut the "coalition" crap. No one else is on our
side it is the Anglo/American forces. Let's be honest here.)
Still, folks, I feel safer (yes, safer) because of the protests. At
least on some level, we are telling the world which is so justifiably
outraged at American arrogance that we Americans are not all
warmongering, shortsighted global capitalists. Thank God there
is worldwide condemnation. And those of you out on the streets
around the world, I hope you hear us in the Streets of Washington DC,
New York City, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Boise, and Peoria, Illinois
louder than you hear the Tomahawk® missiles.
Hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets across this great
country telling the world: We did not elect him and we are sorry for
what that mean-spirited child of privilege is doing. We support our
troops by trying to get them home.
You might be interested to know that while we "ANTI-AMERICAN RABBLE"
were out in the streets not supporting the troops by demanding their
immediate safe return, the patriots in Congress were busy actually
CUTTING veterans' benefits.... REALLY.
Though I did hear one congressman (I will let you guess which one)
say at a gathering I attended, "If you want to support our troops,
pay taxes on your dividends."
The awesome shock of the American military will take down a tiny,
impoverished country. Yet we have the audacity to say we will rebuild
that country with the profits from ITS oil! No, really: We say this
and no one bats an eye. Though it does make me realize that this is
not JUST about oil - it is about global capitalism. Those are not
refugees fleeing across the border - those are customers. Iraq has 24
million potential customers in it.
From that perspective, wouldn't we be making better customers if,
instead of spending $200 billion to destroy a county of 24 million,
we just bought it? The way we did Kuwait® and the United Arab
Emirates®? Or even better, we just gave the Iraqis $8,300 apiece?
That is what it works out to. Maybe we could open up a McDonald's in
Umm Qasr, the way we did in Kuwait City®. There, they just
introduced the McArabia Burger®. Really! Hell, with the exchange
rate that would be 20,000 McArabia burgers for each Iraqi. That is 4.8
TRILLION McArabia burgers.
How did that Biff Rose ditty go?
"Goin to McDonalds, Gonna stand in line.
Order a billion burgers and watch them change the sign."
Want an Apple Pie or Freedom fries® with that? (BTW, French's mustard
has released a new slogan: "The only thing French in French's is the
As we drive through our fast-food fairyland, we have Basra -a city
the size of this one - fully under siege, and a humanitarian crisis
of biblical proportions rages just outside of Babylon. We seem to
be having trouble getting humanitarian aid in yet our "smart bombs"
have no trouble whatsoever. Hmmm…. at $40 million apiece, doesn't it
seem as if our money would have been better spent with precision-
guided food bombs?
Now, why is it they hate us?
We complain that Iraqis in civilian clothes attack us. Yet look to
our own history: What were the battles of Lexington and Concord? If
it were not for civilians taking it upon themselves to attack an
"occupying" army the shot heard round the world would have been the
shot heard round the mulberry bush.
We complain about Iraqis flying a white flag and then attacking us.
Yet look to our own history: Crazy Horse was lured out of the
Canadian wilderness by the United States Army under a flag of
truce...and then murdered.
How can we claim that Iraq is violating the Geneva Convention in a
war that itself is a violation of the Geneva Convention?
We scratch our heads, befuddled, when the Iraqi people do not rise up
and join the invading army to rid themselves of Saddam's tyranny. Yet
look to our own history: Southern slaves and free blacks actually
joined the Confederacy en masse (larger numbers than joined
the North though it is not PC to say as much, nor does it make good
Hollywood movies) to stem the tide of an invading army even though it
meant the perpetuation of their own slavery.
Isn't the lesson obvious? Invasion trumps tyranny. You cannot
liberate a country that does not want to be liberated.
It is as if in 1959 Red China invaded Alabama to liberate African-
Americans from Jim Crow. Would you really expect American blacks
running through the streets of Birmingham waving Chinese flags and
shouting, "Long Live Chairman Mao?" Get real, folks.
An Iraqi taxi driver attacked American supply lines with a suicide
bomb and the U.S. media called it a terrorist attack. What I want to
know is, When do they get to be defenders and not terrorists?
Yes, I do have sympathy with the young men who lost their lives, and
their families. But they were soldiers in the line of duty who were
killed by the Iraqi militia -- not terrorists. And while we are on the
subject: As I sit here in Washington, D.C., under Homeland Security
Code Jolly Olly Orange® - my duct tape and plastic sheeting always
close at hand I wonder if, when an Iraqi national drives a gasoline
truck or chemical truck or worse into a military base (or, for that
matter, any target as loosely defined as we have defined "military"
targets in Baghdad) right here in Washington, D.C., will it be
called a terrorist attack?
I will not feel safer with Saddam Hussein "out of the way." I will
feel safer with George Bush® out of the way. My god, how can one
lose a popularity contest with Saddam Hussein? We will not have any
better luck carving up Iraq than Winston Churchill did at the end of
the First World War.
The only thing that makes me feel safer is the hundreds of thousands,
yes, millions of voices out there on American streets telling the
world loudly that WE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS WAR!
Our Live CD "Live From the Wholly Stolen Empire" is being finished!
Last chance – if any of you have a recording you thing might could
make it on the CD! We are aiming for a May release – in time for
Kerrville and the kick off of summer festival season.
Anne is still not smoking! (and she never mentions it)
Chris' Retrospective ("If I had any hits these would be the greatest")
is in the works. It will be interactive and contains two previously
unreleased music videos of "This is not a folk song" and "Evil (is
My friend Jim Infantino has created this for your amusement – Ifing
ya gotta decent computer check out http://www.slabmedia.com/slab.html
then click "state of security"
In general we are looking for work in the Washington DC area… if you can help!
HERE IS DA DATES!
April 9-11 Holed up in a studio mixing and mastering our new CD! "Live from the Wholly Stolen Empire."
if any one there knows of some stuff for us to get into please let us know!
Saturday, April 12 - Dogwood Festival - Atlanta, GA
http://www.dogwood.org/ Piedmont Park. 2:00 PM
Sunday, April 13 Atlanta, GA Java Monkey 9:00 PM (Downtown Decatur)
Fri. April 25th 8:00 pm UW-Madison Memorial Union
(TITU) Earth Day to May Day Concert with troubador
folksingers: Anne Feeney, Chris Chandler, and Vicki
Guzman. Part of the Madison Earth Day to May Day
Celebration. Info? #262-9036 or #255-1800.
Sat April 26th noon - Picnic & Rally for striking UFCW workers at Tyson Foods in Jefferson.
Sat. April 26th 6:30 - 11:00 pm James Reeb
Unitarian Universalist (2146 E. Johnson) Community
Commemoration of the Bombing of Guernica.
Refreshments, open mic, and Sing-a-Long with Anne
Feeney, Chris Chandler, Vicki Guzman, Dave Stoddard,
Kristine Pettersen, Ben Manski, and others. Part
of the Madison Earth Day to May Day Celebration.
Info? #262-9036 or #255-1800.
Monday, April 28 - Milwaukee, WI - WisCOSH & the Milwaukee Labor Council commemorate
Workers Memorial Day. Concert at Zeidler Park (5:00 pm to 6:00 pm) and marching over to
Postal Union Hall for a dinner (6:00 to 8:00 pm)
Thursday, May 1 - Mayday at the American Labor Museum, Haledon, NJ - 7PM
Friday, May 2 - NY Pinewoods Folk Club; Adm: $13 (members, $10, Polytech students and staff free). At: Polytechnic University, Wunsch Student Center, just over the Brooklyn or Manhattan bridges in Brooklyn; Info: 1718-549-1344 (after 11 AM).
Saturday, May 3 - House Concert - New York, NY
Contact Mark Aaron James details TBA
Sunday, May 4 - Cherry Tree Folk w Jim Page!
3916 Locust Walk – U Penn 215 386 1640
May 9-11 (Anne solo) - Regina Polk Leadership Conference for Union
Women - Chicago, IL
May 11 - 12 North of Baltimore MD, Susquehanna Fest
Ramblewood Park near Havre de Grace 301 847 1523
Saturday, May 11 3:00 PM Pavilion Stage (Chris solo)
Sunday, May 12 12:00 PM Pavilion Stage (Chris and Anne in a workshop)
Sunday, May 12 3:00 PM Stage 3(Chris and Anne in a concert)
We are mapping our trip to and from Kerrville as I write this and are
looking for dates in Louisville, KY, Cincinnati, OH, St Louis, MO,
Tulsa, OK, Lexington, KY, Little Rock, AR, Nashville, TN, Dallas, TX,
Houston, TX and not in that order! If you have some ideas and or
offers – PLEASE let us know asap!
Thursday, May 29 - 8 PM - Kerrville Folk Festival - Kerrville, TX
Threadgill Theater with The Road Dog Divas!
Coming in July – The Oregon Country Fair, Music Fest (Courtenay, BC)
and a full west coast tour! If you have any ideas or offers here –
please let us know ASAP!