It’s Always the Old To Lead Us To the War

Phil OchsAfter all these years I still maintain my appreciation of the late, great Phil Ochs. My copy of the album, I Ain’t Marching Anymore, is lost in the years of moving, changing media, and the demise of the good old record player, but I still remember the picture of Phil sitting with his back against the wall covered with posters and peace signs. Ah, the sixties.

But the whole concept of war still exists—it’s brutality, unfairness, deviousness and corruption—and what Phil Ochs wrote fifty years ago it still true:

It’s always the old to lead us to the war
It’s always the young to fall
Now look at all we’ve won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all.

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XFX: Pfitz and Alternate Realities

Back in the sixties we would lounge around our apartment in West LA squirting red wine from a cheap bota and blowing curiously aromatic smoke into the mouth of our half-naked girl friends whose names might not be prominent in our address books if we even knew them. Those were the days when it was common to make your bed and uncover a sleeping left-over from the previous night’s entertainment who must have been good because you couldn’t remember anything about it. Come to think of it, that’s a false memory … we never made our beds.

universeInevitably our deep and serious rap sessions would devolve into that oft repeated inquiry into the nature of the universe and whether the ball of snot we just rocketed into a well-worn handkerchief might actually be a tiny universe and, as our brains continued to percolate, whether our own vast universe might actually be contained in a festering zit on the ass of god? I can still see the drooping eyes around the room and the long, slow, drawn-out sighs from some of the best minds in West LA admitting that we were so deep and, of course, embarrassingly cool.

For a Hollywood treatment of just such visions, rent a copy of Men In Black or read the original if you (or your parents) saved it from oblivion.

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