Friday, May 16, 2008

Layer 38 License To Kill

Bob Dylan - Infidels

License To Kill

Man thinks 'cause he rules the earth he can do with it as he please
And if things don't change soon, he will.
Oh, man has invented his doom,
First step was touching the moon.

Now, there's a woman on my block,
She just sit there as the night grows still.
She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Now, they take him and they teach him and they groom him for life
And they set him on a path where he's bound to get ill,
Then they bury him with stars,
Sell his body like they do used cars.

Now, there's a woman on my block,
She just sit there facin' the hill.
She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Now, he's hell-bent for destruction, he's afraid and confused,
And his brain has been mismanaged with great skill.
All he believes are his eyes
And his eyes, they just tell him lies.

But there's a woman on my block,
Sitting there in a cold chill.
She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Ya may be a noisemaker, spirit maker,
Heartbreaker, backbreaker,
Leave no stone unturned.
May be an actor in a plot,
That might be all that you got
'Til your error you clearly learn.

Now he worships at an altar of a stagnant pool
And when he sees his reflection, he's fulfilled.
Oh, man is opposed to fair play,
He wants it all and he wants it his way.

Now, there's a woman on my block,
She just sit there as the night grows still.
She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Violence 1

Do soldiers have a license to kill?

“Waltz With Bashir” is “a daring new animated documentary that follows Israeli director Ari Folman as he tries to piece together memories of the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps“.

It’s in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Folman was on the radio this morning explaining how he intends to do everything he can to persuade his sons never to take part in any violence whatsoever, regardless of any demands that the State or the Army may make of them. He wants his work to persuade everyone that violence can never be a solution to conflict.

“Folman was a soldier in the Israeli army when it invaded Lebanon earlier that year. It allowed Christian militiamen into the refugee camps and stood by as they went on a killing spree shortly after the assassination of their leader, Bashir Gemayel.”

Well there’s still hope for the Middle East, and for the world, when artists like Folman are able to release powerful films that highlight State and military atrocities, and make the case for shunning violent solutions to problems in all circumstances.

Violence 2

Bob sings, “Oh, man is opposed to fair play,
He wants it all and he wants it his way.”
(License To Kill)

Well this now clearly includes girls and women, as we know it always has, though maybe to a smaller degree.

This week we’ve been hearing news reports that more and more girls are behaving aggressively and violently, and being generally anti-social. Factors are assumed to be alcohol, our ‘pushy, acquisitive age‘, an ‘economy driven by competition’, and an attitude that’s usually described as ‘laddish’, which presumably means being loud, crude, cocky, rude, insensitive, threatening, gangsterish, binge-drinking, insulting, bragging, attention-seeking, inconsiderate, lacking self-control, over-sexed and generally disgusting.

Clearly what we’re dealing with here are girls who completely lack emotional, social and spiritual intelligence, and we need to ask ourselves why. It’s not hard to see that there are issues about role models, cultural influences, values, greed, sensation-seeking, etc.

And still our education system does nothing to provide for the real developmental needs of these young people, which are to do with substantial amounts of time to consider themselves and others objectively, philosophically and psychologically; to learn something about desirable human values; to learn techniques of self-restraint and self-control; to learn how to relate in positive ways to others, including those outside of the immediate peer group, etc.

None of the above work and learning is really happening, and where it is timetabled in schools it isn’t done well, and it generally isn’t taken seriously, either by the kids or the teachers, and especially the kids who are most in need of it. Neither are schools offering one to one and small group counseling sessions, or opportunities to explore kids’ levels and aspects of EQ and SQ with sympathetic adults. It’s not in the National Curriculum, you see. Kids often have to actually get themselves permanently excluded from mainstream schools before they can access some of the good things and the good teachers that may be on offer in Special Schools. How mad is that?


Here’s another stanza of Bob’s to think about, from another track from Infidels, a track called “I and I”.

Took an untrodden path once, where the swift don't win the race,
It goes to the worthy, who can divine the word of truth.
Took a stranger to teach me, to look into justice's beautiful face
And to see an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Note the words “worthy”, “truth”, and “divine” - which are favourite words of mine.

As in

“And think not that you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”

It’s always good to re-read “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran from time to time.

Collins defines “divine” as:

“To perceive or understand (something) by intuition or insight” (spiritual intelligence) and
“To discern (a hidden or future reality) as though by supernatural power”.

The whole notion of hidden realities I find very interesting. This is fertile territory for reflection and meditation. As is the whole realm of the spiritual, the metaphysical, the supernatural, if you like. This is indeed the realm of intuition and insight. Looking within, not without.

We must train ourselves to let insight pierce and illuminate the dark areas, where logic, reason and the senses cannot penetrate, since our knowledge is always so limited and so open to interpretation, since our senses often fail to make sense of what’s around us, since reason is often based on false premises.

We need these things on the school curriculum.


Another song to check out on Infidels is “Man Of Peace”.

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