Were children consulted on the "rules" of war?
A song - This Star-Spangled Life of Mine
Below you will find a video of this morning’s acoustic rendition of my song, Star-Spangled Life of Mine. The lyrics are below that.
This morning I made the mistake of looking at anything besides my programming project.
I saw a picture of Ukrainian children sleeping in a bomb shelter. I’m not sharing it.
There shouldn’t be a need to share it. The phrase, “children sleeping in a bomb shelter” should be disgusting enough.
As comedian Sam Morrill points out, we get upset when a leaf blower starts too early in the morning outside our window. The comfort of where I live outside of Los Angeles gives me the privilege of such a skewed perspective.
As I contemplated my children and Deb’s (and by proxy, my) grandchildren, I moved right past anger to a heartbroken sadness that is stifling.
Children sleeping in a fucking bomb shelter! That is a thing! Why is that a thing?
We have “rules” for war - typically broken, of course.
I am ashamed to admit that a few years ago, I watched (and cheered - so fucking gross) as precision bombs were shown to go right down a chimney or through a window, with “surgical precision”, to get the “bad guys”. Yay for the bombs!!
But the only surgery I can think of right now is the messy, imprecise, piecing together of a child (or of a soldier - a soldier who’s leaders typically have NEVER been war) - fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to “survive” war.
I wrote Star-Spangled Life of Mine after listening to a mother speak with her son, a soldier in Iraq, over Skype.
By then I have moved past the jingoistic naivety that applauded the “glory” of war. My goal was to capture a more human and transparent perspective. I can’t write a “kickin’ ass” song on the topic.
This morning I just set up my video camera and recorded this, very rough, morning voice, acoustic version.
I’m was struck with this thought, if we asked children to write the rules of war, what would they look like?
STAR-SPANGLED LIFE lyrics
Boots on the ground. Dust in the air
Sometimes I wake up at night and think what the hell am I doing here
But day after day, I toe the line
Dreamin’ ‘bout that girl back home, my family, and those friends of mine
Some days I’m lonely, some days I’m scared
Most days I’m just bored out of my mind
I’ve seen the red glare of rockets, bombs bursting in air
I pray that proof will see me through the night
I’m not trying to be a hero. I’m only trying to survive
This Star-Spangled Life of Mine
My buddies John and Del, both served their time
One is pushing paper down in New Orleans, one is pushing up daisies in Birmingham
I promised them I’d visit. It’s what I hope to do.
A promise born of selfishness. I pray to God I make it through
This is for the ones who never make it home
This is for the ones who do, but leave something of themselves behind
This is for the prayers of those who wait for the return
The fear, the pride, the worry, and the love....