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Hate and war – the only things we got today

An’ if I close my eyes
They will not go away
You have to deal with it
It is the currency

-“Hate and War,” The Clash

Hard to believe, but it’s 35 years since The Clash penned this song about society playing out in microcosm the wars taking place in the macrocosm and beamed to every TV screen in the land. The hate and wars, shouted The Clash, we not just the things of politicians and their armies anymore, but a disease that gripped anyone with an axe to grind against the “other,” anyone with a different view or even a different hair style:

An’ if I get aggression
I give it to them two time back
Every day it’s just the same
With hate an’ war on my back

Take it one step further and it’s not hard to see the powers that be, what William Burroughs labeled “Control,” quite satisfied with this state of affairs. Keep the populace frightened, divided, angry, paranoid; lock them down under the guise of “national security”; and make off with the loot as they shut themselves up in prisons made of their own fear.

So, yeah, 35 years on and today I’m waking up to the news from Norway.


Every day it’s just the same
With hate an’ war on my back

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised the perpetrator is a self-described right-wing Christian conservative. The right these days seems to have cornered the market on hate, violence, and murder in their misguided attempts to push an impoverished political agenda. But it could have come from any political quarter and the net result would be the same: humanity is diminished.

So, 35 years after The Clash banged out “Hate and War” and the same foul human behavior persists. Indeed, the argument can be made it’s far, far worse than it was in 1976. Can you blame me if I’m somewhat less than optimistic that the vast majority of tolerant, peace-loving people of the world will finally say “enough” and work together to overcome the hate, the war?


I don’t dream of a holiday
When hate an’ war come around

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