Death is Everywhere

Last night I got a little bored with a book I was reading so I decided to flip through a book I just purchased which is a compilation of Walt Whitman’s poetry. I was immediately attracted to the poems that had to do with the Civil War.

It wasn’t long before I began reminiscing about the Gulf War. One of the more poignant moments of the war for me, strangely doesn’t have anything to do with combat action but of one of my best friends and I sitting atop my tank listening to Depeche Mode. We were listening to the Black Celebration album when Flies on the Windscreen came on and the reality of what we were facing really set in.

The first two verses set the stage for a very surreal song when you’re in the middle of a combat zone:

Death is everywhere
There are flies on the windscreen
For a start
Reminding us
We could be torn apart

Death is everywhere
There are lambs for the slaughter
Waiting to die
And I can sense
The hours slipping by

London Calling

When it comes to music, I am hopelessly stuck in the 80’s. In my opinion both punk and alternative (New Wave) music were at their peak at this epoch. As such, there are about a dozen songs that kind of rotate as my favorites.

One of them is London Calling by The Clash. Few bands in history had better frontmen than Joe Strummer. His song writing is politically charged, like most good punk music, and has a simple eloquence that resonates with the listener. My favorite line in this song is “phony Beatle mania has bitten the dust.” That simple, seven-word line is so full of angst and says so much about how the hippy 60’s turned into the decade of despair; the 1970’s…