For Paris, the masses, and P.F. Sloan

weeping woman

As we struggle to make sense of events in Paris this weekend; an ill-conceived decision to invade Iraq, which caused the birth of ISIS; on-going police shootings of unarmed black men; anti-immigration legislation aimed primarily at Hispanics; attacks on women’s rights; and an economic system that encourages primarily idle stockholders to amass unrestricted wealth while denying the masses a living wage and failing to address a generation’s crippling college-loan debt, I’m reminded of a rallying cry penned by a teenage P. F. Sloan, who died Sunday at the age of 70.

But then again, I’m led to believe, it’s naïve to think we’re on the Eve of Destruction:

The eastern world it is explodin’, violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’

But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
Can’t you see the fear that I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away
There’ll be none to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy

But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’
I’m sittin’ here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation

And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

And you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
Ah, you may leave here for four days in space
But when you return it’s the same old place

The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor but don’t forget to say grace

And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

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