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May 8, 2007

Subculture: Anonymous CD compilation of renowned music artists, passed out at a peace rally, 72 mins. The compilation is recommended as a well-constructed piece of counter propaganda that motivates and inspires, fostering the right amount of pain, sadness, anger and courage. 
The 911 poem, entitled “Self-Evident” by Ani DiFranco, evokes the mood of 9-11 within New York City, and is transcribed below. Also included on this bootleg CD is Melissa Etheridge’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” Eminem’s “Mosh,” some Black rap, British rap, a clip of Jon Stewart asking, “Dr. Rice, does the buck stop anywhere near you?,” and an excellent parody of “I Am the Walrus,” called “I’m the Decider” (see http://decider.cf.huffingtonpost.com/

John Fogerty’s “Déjà Vu All Over Again” also appears on the disc. Many recordings of Bush, Condi, Cheney and Rummy lying to the American public are set to ominous or soulful music, and interspersed with TV news clips. 

The compilation is recommended as a well-constructed piece of counter propaganda that motivates and inspires, fostering the right amount of pain, sadness, anger and courage. 


King gives his compelling “Silence is Betrayal” speech (also transcribed below), with tinny scratches lending authenticity to the words. Also included is his “Now Is the Time” speech. 

Now is the time for collaboration, perhaps, instead of competition. Now is the time to train the thousands of captains who will lead coordinated acts of withdrawn consent, sharing strategies and resources across broadly diverse groups. 

This compilation achieves that, reminding us that the revolution is not being televised, and alternative voices will not be found on the radio. 

Self-Evident (by Ani DiFranco)

Us people are just poems. We’re 90% metaphor with a meanness of meaning approaching hyper-distillation. And once upon a time, we were moonshine rushing down the throat of a giraffe. Yes, rushing down the long hall despite what the PA announcement says. Yes, rushing down the hall, down the long stairs, in the building so tall that it will always be there. It’s part of the pair. 

There on the bow of Noah’s Ark, the most prestigious couple just kicking back parked against a perfectly blue sky on a morning beatific in its Indian Summer breeze on the day that America fell to its knees, after strutting around for a century without saying thank you or please. 

And the shock was so sonic and the smoke was deafening between the set up and the punch line ’cause we were all on time for work that day. We all boarded that plane for it to fly. And then when the fires were raging, we all climbed up on the windowsill and then we all held hands and jumped into the sky. And every borough looked up when it heard the first blast and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed. And the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar looked more like war than anything I’ve seen so far… so far… so far… so far.

So fierce and ingenious – a poetic specter so far gone that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling over, “Oh, my God,” and “This is unbelievable,” and on and on. And I’ll tell you what, while we’re at it, you can keep the Pentagon. You can keep the propaganda. 

You can keep each and every TV that’s been trying to convince me to participate in some frat school punk’s plan to perpetuate retribution, perpetuate retribution. 

Even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution is still hanging in the air and there’s ash on our shoes and there’s ash in our hair. And there’s a fine silt on every mantle from Hell’s Kitchen to Brooklyn and the streets are full of stories – some twists and near misses. And soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters with tales of narrowly averted disasters. And the whiskey’s flowing like never before. As all over the country folks just shake their heads and pour. 

So here’s a toast to all the folks that live in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, El Salvador. Here’s a toast to all the folks living on the Pine Ridge Reservation under the stone cold gaze of Mount Rushmore. Here’s a toast to all those nurses and doctors who daily provide women with a choice, who stand down a threat the size of Oklahoma City just to listen to a young woman’s voice. 

Here’s a toast to all those folks on death row right now awaiting the executioner’s guillotine, who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads to find peace in the form of a dream, peace in the form of a dream, peace in the form of a dream.

’Cuz take away our play stations and we are a third world nation, under the thumb of some blue blood royal son who stole the Oval Office in that phony election. I mean, it don’t take a weatherman to look around and see the weather. Jeb said he’d deliver Florida, folks, and boy did he ever. And we hold these truths to be self-evident: 

No. 1. George W. Bush is not president;
No. 2. America is not a true democracy; and,
No. 3. The media is not fooling me.

’Cuz I am a poem heating hyper-distillation and I’ve got no room for a lie so verbose. Yes, I’m looking out over my whole human family and I’m raising my glass in a toast. Here’s to our last drink of fossil fuels. May we vow to get off of this sauce. 

Shoo away the swarms of commuter planes, find that train ticket we lost. ’Cuz once upon a time, the line followed the river and peeked into all the backyards. And the laundry was waiving and the graffiti was teasing us from brick walls and bridges. We were rolling over ridges, thru valleys under stars. I dream of touring like Duke Ellington in my own railroad car. 

I dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches in a Grand Station that blow with grace and then standing out on the platform and feeling the air, the air, the air on my face. Give back the night, its distant whistle. Give the darkness back its song. Give the big oil companies the finger finally and relearn how to rock and roll. 

Yes, the lessons are all around us and the truth is waiting there. It’s time to pick thru the rubble, clean the streets and clear the air. Get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand of someone else’s desert. Put it back in his pants, put the hypocritical chance of “freedom forever…” 

’Cuz when one lone phone rang in 2000 and 1 at ten after nine on 9-1-1, which was the number we all call when that old phone rang right off the wall, right off our desk, and down the long hall, down the long stairs in a building so tall that the whole world turned just to watch it fall. 

And while we’re at it, remember the first time around? The bomb, the Ryder truck, the parking garage, the princess that didn’t even feel the pea? Remember joking around in our apartment on Avenue D, “Can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their design following a fantastical reversal of the New York skyline?” It was a joke, at the time. 

And that was just a few years ago, so, let the record show that the FBI was all over that case, that the plot was obvious and in everybody’s face, and that scoping that scene religiously, the CIA – or is it KGB – committing countless crimes against humanity, with this kind of eventuality as its excuse for abuse after expensive abuse… and they didn’t have a clue? 

Look, another window to see thru, way up here on the 104th floor. Look – another key, another door. Ten percent literal, 90% metaphor. Three thousand some poems disguised as people on an almost too perfect day. They must be more than poems in some asshole’s passion play. 

So now it’s your job, and it’s my job to make it that way, to make sure they didn’t die in vain. 

Shh, Baby, listen. Hear the train?

Silence is betrayal
By Martin Luther King, Jr. 

What I will be discussing today is one of the most controversial issues confronting our nation. I’m using as a subject from which to preach why I am opposed to the war in Viet Nam. I would make it clear in the beginning that I see this war as an unjust, evil and futile war. I preach to you today on the war in Viet Nam because my conscience leaves me with no other choice. 

The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. 

Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for our superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. “Ye shall know the truth,” says Jesus, “and the truth shall set you free.” 

I’ve chosen to preach about the war in Viet Nam today because I agree with Gandhi that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence is betrayal. The truth of these words is beyond doubt. 

Silence is betrayal. 

Listening to that on a loud stereo, in the alley where we all park, brought special pleasure in our sunlit, racially-integrated neighborhood. If you can’t find this particular bootleg, make your own and pass them out to your neighbors, or at fairs, rallies or high schools. Be the media. Much thanks to Sherry of Columbus911Truth.org.