Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Crow in Egypt

It was very irritating to hear the US government in concert with Israel had suggested the Egyptian people weren't ready for democracy. Are we supposed to have forgotten Iraq and Afghanistan were ready once we'd prepared the ground? Naturally, my friend Crow has taken another detour on his way home. Some events he prefers to see for himself; the rest of us have Al-Jazeera and Common Dreams among many others.

This is not an anti-American revolution but a revolt against an American backed regime. It appears that another piece of the Empire has removed itself from control and that's a good thing. As Pepe Escobar said yesterday, "This is about the millenarian heart of the Arab world possibly on the verge of a seismic shift."  We should wish them well and look to their methods when our turn comes. The heart of the world longs for change.

I hesitate to write about larger issues in the political world because there are so many better equipped than I but I would like to share a song by another Canadian whose heart was forged here and honed in the US - Leonard Cohen:


It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.


  1. Doesn't matter what the US or Israel say at this point. Egypt has decided to work out it's own destiny.

  2. I'm reminded of Henry Kissenger's ghastly hubristic comment after the Chileans elected Allende president:

    "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."

    Magnificent music choice!

  3. It is arrogant to decide for others what they are capable of.
    I hope that Crow and/or some of his friends or something can drop some olive branches of peace.

  4. Great song. I think the governments around the world are watching the scene in Egypt trying to figure out how to prevent an uprising in their neck of the woods. Yeah, I'm so jaded--I'm nearly faded.

  5. Crow is looking very worried yet wise. I hope that wisdom will allow outsiders to let Egypt take care of its own affairs. Thanks for the great song!

  6. mrmacrum - The South American countries finally did it and the world improved. I'm sure the Likudniks and the Saudi royals aren't sleeping quite as well these days.

    francis - Between the British and the US empires, a lot of damage has been done in the world this past century or more. It's kind of funny that they rise and fall faster now, isn't it?

    I think it's amazing that Leonard Cohen keeps getting better.

    belette - Arrogance is definitely the right descriptor but the US war machine has proved itself unable to rule the world by force. This groundswell against US funded dictators is a wonder.

    liberality - I'm glad you enjoyed the song. The governments who are getting nervous are corrupt and the good news here is that there'll be no more renditions to Egypt or Tunisia and the Egyptian border to Gaza could be re-opened.

    marja-leena - Crow always takes the long view and hopes things will be different this time. Leonard Cohen gets better with age, doesn't he?

  7. The old will give way to the new, no matter who tries to stop it.

  8. Bah. A country is only ready for democracy when we say they are or, more preferably, after we invade.

  9. I'm glad Crow's on the scene since the world media is being harassed by government-backed forces.

    And oh, Leonard. How I love thee.

  10. as always, love this drawing! very fitting as is the post, given it's now a few days later [many apologies on that-been 'away' depressed...] and it has been a disheartening and sad week watching the bravery as well as the disgusting nature of those in 'power', of human ''nature".... someday the world may change but i fear i won't see it as it will be many lifetimes before this type of ignorance, the lust for power and money, and the illusory prejudice of people ever disappears............. a sad day, a sad week, sad.
    be well, my friend and have a good weekend away from media of ALL kinds. xoxoxox

  11. nancy - We can only hope change for the better comes sooner rather than later :-)

    randal - Yeah, look how well that's been working out.

    lisa - Somehow they keep on imagining they can throw disguised subversives into protests and nobody will notice their tricks.

    Isn't that a great voice?

    linda - Nice to see you back again and I hope you're feeling better. It is very sad to watch what's going on in the middle east but between the British empire and the US one the Great Game maneuvers have been going on over a hundred years. Maybe the people who live there will begin to see some of the changes we all hope for. Agreed it will be a long time but we can hope and witness the truth. xoxo

  12. I've been watching the events unfolding in Eghypt, and wishing them the kind of success Jefferson would have wished for them. Jefferson who said the tree of freedom must sometimes be watered with blood and revolution...

    And how can one people know whether another people are ready to rule themselves?

  13. Fantastic post! Agreeagreeagreeagree.

    We saw Leonard Cohen perform this song in Portland last December. All the songs were high points but this one was one of the super-high points.

  14. steve - Yeah, people who had Pharoahs up until 1963 when Liz Taylor got to be Cleopatra obviously have no clue about self-rule. I do hope things will go well for them but there are heavy forces arrayed against.

    lydia - I know you do but that doesn't mean our governments will listen to us any more than Mubarek's gang will listen to the Egyptian people.

    I was hoping Leonard would come this way too but sadly, that didn't happen. It is a wonderful song.

  15. Whatever the last straw was--and I suspect that the very passage of time was a factor--the Egyptian people decided that change was needed now. And they've actually made themselves heard, to an amazing degree.

    Love the song, as well.

  16. ben - There's a large percentage of young people in Egypt who have never known a government other than Mubarek's gang. I have my fingers crossed for them.

    Tower of Song is another excellent one :-)

  17. Enlightening post, Susan, and - as ever - LC is fantastic.

    "Sail on," indeed!

  18. Leonard Cohen has the sexiest male voice on the planet. melt.

  19. the crow - I think many westerners are going to have to look elsewhere for the mechanics of change but it will come. Be well.

    gfid - Now that he's older I hear his voice in places other than just my ears :-)

  20. It is definitely for the people of Egypt to decide their future. What angers me are the right wingers who think that the status quo is in the West's interests (and sod the people!).

    As bad or worse are the cheeerleaders on the left who cheer only because they view the protests as anti American

  21. I could not get your player to work but I know that song well. I believe I've featured it on my blog as well.

    It says a lot of what I've felt for so many decades or ever since I've been able to think for myself.

    U.S. attitude toward Egypt is typical. I hate to sound so pessimistic but there just is no justice. I've been asking myself where it's gone because I've not even been posting about it and it's one of the things I claim to blog about on TPS. Sigh.

  22. jams - I feel much the same. I wish the people of Egypt well and hope time is on their side.

    pagan sphinx - Sorry the player wouldn't work for you but I know you're familiar with that song. It's sad to see the proud experiment failing because of the greed of a few.

    I think your blog is just fine as it is. We need more reminders of beauty rather than less and you provide a good measure of that. I read a lot of political and economic analyses but generally I prefer to keep phantsy light hearted or at least - just a little ironic.