When America became a dimming beckon of fading potential.

I was discharged from the Army in November 1969 thus ending my conscripted service as a small arms infantry spit receptacle and derided baby killer. A homecoming to a remember. The song “Ball of confusion” was released in 1970. I was twenty two and healing. The lyrics put a bright light to the lives of the marginalized. The social and economic underclass were rightfully pissed and took to the streets by the tens of thousands. Riots irrupted in the ghettos of our major cities. In some cities peaceful protesters were gassed, beaten and jailed.

People were becoming increasingly fragmented into social and political camps. A convenient straw man in the form of “those people” or the loathsome “takers” were taking root in the conservative culture became a successful tool in altering public opinion on social welfare. All of our public social services programs were targeted. Public employees were derided and labor unions vilified for their successes in elevating their members to the middle class at the expense of the nonunion public.

The nanny state was part of the lexicon being employed by fiscal conservatives and became a pejorative targeting the disenfranchised. For the coming red staters these programs were characterized as the waisting of their hard earned tax dollars. Minority’s were targeted and labeled as unworthy, lazy and felonious welfare system abusers. African Americans were institutionally marginalized. Women were struggling for a semblance of social, sexual and political equity with men. Gays were ruthlessly persecuted and subjected to the primitive musings of the religious communities. The phenomenon of the “value voters then moral majority” was proffered by the political Christian Right. The Vietnam war was reaching a crescendo. The number of Americans KIA and WIA had eclipsed 250,000 with no end is sight and we weren’t winning.

It was a time when white privilege was unimagined and chauvinism was the latest male failing. If only.

Oh ya, bell bottom pants and big hair were a thing with the youth of the era. This song is a window into our seemingly unending struggle for a universal baseline for human rights and responsive nurturing public institutions.

Please enjoy.

https://youtu.be/zQLdDfU_FNk

Sing along.


People moving out, people moving in

Why? Because of the color of their skin

Run, run, run but you sure can’t hide

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

Vote for me and I’ll set you free

Rap on, brother, rap on

Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher

And it seems nobody’s interested in learning but the teacher

Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration

Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to my nation

Ball of confusion

Oh yeah, that’s what the world is today

Woo, hey, hey

The sale of pills are at an all time high

Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky

The cities ablaze in the summer time

And oh, the beat goes on

Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul

Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon

Politicians say more taxes will solve everything

And the band played on

So, round and around and around we go

Where the world’s headed, said nobody knows

Oh, great Googamooga

Can’t you hear me talking to you?

Just a ball of confusion

Oh yeah, that’s what the world is today

Woo, hey, hey

Fear in the air, tension everywhere

Unemployment rising fast, the Beatles new record’s a gas

And the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation

And the band played on

Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors

Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills

Hippies moving to the hills, people all over the world are shouting

‘End the war’ and the band played on

Great Googamooga

Can’t you hear me talking to you?

It’s a ball of confusion

That’s what the world is today, hey, hey

Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya

Sayin’ ball of confusion

That’s what the world is today, hey, hey

Let me hear ya, let me hear ya

Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya

Sayin’ ball of confusion

Temptations – Ball Of Confusion Lyrics | MetroLyrics


Food for thought: Why should anyone feel compelled to be subservient to a benevolent benefactor? Put another way, what kind of jerk expects to be worshipped for doing what came naturally?

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3 thoughts on “When America became a dimming beckon of fading potential.”

    1. You are welcome. If you ever need to talk….it took me twenty years and a trip the memorial before I told anybody anything other than I made some very close relationships and had a great R&R. Believe me live is so much better when you give yourself permission to let it all out and it’s ok to have survived. Peace.

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