Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Burnin' and lootin'. . .

This blog post is a song request from +Justin Roberts 

This morning I woke up in a curfew
O God, I was a prisoner too yeah!
Could not recognise the faces standing over me
They were all dressed in uniforms of brutality

I've written about Bob Marley in a previous blog post (see Redemption song).  I can't imagine how it would feel to have my liberty stripped from me and suffering at the hands of authorities who would dish out physical brutality.  It happens in other parts of the world more frequently to the point that sadly it is a way of life for countries in political and social turmoil.  Living at the bottom of the globe, we are so far removed from such atrocities (we suffer in our own ways, but nowhere near the gravity and injustices of our fellow indigenous cultures in today's day and age, historically speaking you'll have another story on your hands).

How many rivers do we have to cross
Before we can talk to the boss, Eh!
All that we got, it seems we have lost
We must really have paid the cost

When you are part of the oppressed, you are much more keenly aware of the hierarchy that you are unwillingly participating within - the dominant discourse and paradigm of might over right.  When you are fighting for justice, for the greater good, because those with significantly more money and the means to justify the kind of living that celebrates opulence and excessive waste are juxtaposed alongside those at the other end of the spectrum - who struggle to receive adequate food, shelter, clothes and quality of life - it is hard to see faith in humanity.  To do good in the world, it sometimes comes at a price.  What costs do we really pay when we value money, ambition and greed much more highly than caring for our fellow man, giving to those in need and sharing what we have with those less fortunate?  What do we stand to lose if we can give rather than take?  Why is it easy to be more upset about the firing of reality TV judges rather than have the level of incense aimed towards the treatment of the indigenous people of West Papua?  How much more blood needs to spilled into those rivers that we are trying to navigate across to get to the bosses who make decisions that can contribute to the greater good?

(That's why we gonna be)
Burnin' and lootin' tonight
(Say we gonna burn and loot)
Burnin'-and a lootin' tonight
(one more thing)
Burnin'-and a lootin' tonight
(Oh, yeah, yeah)
Burnin' all illusion tonight

Oh stop them!

Give me the food and let me grow
Let the Roots Man take a blow
I must say: all of them - all them drugs gonna make you slow;
It's not the music of the ghetto

We would be buying into fuelling of the fire if we were to start burnin' and lootin' but I can totally see what happens when we are constantly following everything to the letter, trusting in law and order to keep us citizens safe.  How can we continue to be "civilised" in this way, being law abiding citizens or politically correct civilians when we are surrounded by the powers that be who consistently break the laws to suit their own ends and notedly when they disregard their obligations to people who are supposedly in their care?

This must be the limit that everyday people reach.  This must be what tips them over the edge and forces us to really reflect on what we are prepared to accept.  Most definitely we must burn all illusions that seek to derail us and lull us into a false sense of security and continues to put us at risk of not being true to ourselves anymore.  The music of the common man tells a story that is peppered with struggle, earnestness and voices that need to be heard clearly.  We must be careful not to allow our judgement to be clouded with those drugs that make us slow - how else will you grow?

Weeping and a wailin' tonight
(Who can stop the tears?)
Weeping and a wailin' tonight
(We've been suffering these long, long-a years!)
Weeping and a wailin' tonight 
(Will you say cheer?)
Weeping and a wailin' tonight
(But where?)

I hope that we can allow ourselves the necessary period to weep and wail.
It is important to cleanse our spirits and renew our faith in humanity - but this is a long process and it can't be rushed.  When we are aggrieved and feel subjected to hate crimes, abuse and loss of dignity - we are well within our rights to weep and wail.  If there is nobody that can be relied upon to provide the necessary comfort and support - what mechanisms do we have in place to develop self-managing skills within ourselves?  How will we be able to break the long, long-a years suffering that we have felt?  I hope that whichever path you choose, that you do so because it's where you want to go, rather than because you had no other choice or you couldn't be bothered.  You do yourself no favours with indifference.

We can choose whether to burn and loot or weep and wail, or burn and loot first before we weep and wail.  Which path would you choose?  We must have really paid the cost. . .