Friday, June 11, 2010

The Ballad Of The Republicans

Hear the bombs bursting all through the night
Bush is bombing Baghdad, says he has the right
Thousands will die like many thousands before
Only problem is they’ll never know what for…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Where men like Lincoln once took a stand
But now they took all that they could
Pretending it was for our good
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

The stealing starts on election night
Bush flies to victory on a Florida flight
Though exit polls say in fact he lost to Gore
Supremes give him the crown and so much more…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Eight years of plunder down in Washington
And now they hope that you’ll forget
All the blunders, crimes and debt…
That for eight long years nearly brought this country down!

The CIA says Bin Laden will strike
But Bush is out that day riding his bike
Not till 9/11 does he figure out the score
Sees thousands lying dead, Twin Towers no more…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Rumsfeld, Rice and Cheney take a stand
Take us to Iraq thru Afghanistan
Can’t take our asses back out again
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Did you see the scowl on Dick Cheney’s face
When someone said torture is a human disgrace
That’s no longer torture, he tells Fox news
Those Amnesty wimps are just singing the blues…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
They read our mail and tapped our phones
Said they could send anyone to jail
Then erased all White House email…
That showed eight long years of bringing this country down!

They never find any W.M.D.’s
They even search Abu Ghraib detainees
Turns out Saddam had run out of gas
And we’re just bullies kicking his sorry ass…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Acting like the ugliest Americans
Paul Wolfowitz lusting at The Bank
Larry Craig tapping at toilet tanks
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

By now the middle class is feeling poor
Can’t afford college or doctors anymore
Wages shrink but the rich keep getting fat
They even try to take social security back…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
They told us lies, rewarded their friends
Like Halliburton, Goldman Sachs and more
Then sent ill-equipped soldiers off to war
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Back in New Orleans the wind starts to howl,
Water is a-rising, Brownie’s on the prowl,
Bush is on a plane heading west for the coast
Flies over the waters just to see if blacks can float…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
They ran our country like a Christian scam
Tried to keep Terry Schiavo undead
Pulled the plug on stem cell research instead
For eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Where are you when Wall Street gets the bends?
They’re in the vault handing billions to their friends
Some of those billions simply disappear
The rest go to bonuses for needy millionaires
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
The ones who told us not to lie or sin
And then were caught with pants askew
Ensign, Foley, Vitter to name a few who…
In eight long years nearly brought this country down!

Then there’s forgetful Alberto Gonzales
In all of Bush’s gang none needs more solace
‘Cept Harriet Miers in her Supreme Court mess
Or Scooter Libby lying for his V.P.-ness
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Said global warming would improve our tans
Their senior drug plan was so nice
‘Cept they made the U.S. pay list price
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Their biggest crime isn’t Katrina or Iraq
Or turning U.S. Attorneys into G.O.P. hacks
Or leaving Afghanistan with the enemy still intact
It’s torturing the truth till they break its damn back…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Eight years of plunder down in Washington
They turned our surplus into debts
Gave shoddy care to wounded vets…
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Now look at this mess the Bush gang leaves behind
Two wars in limbo, Wall Street flying blind
An economy gasping, the states in default
Obama tries to clean up and they claim it’s all his fault…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
They pray that you can just forgive their sins
And vote them back in power again
Forgetting all the lies, the graft and pain…
That for eight long years…
eight god-forsaken years…
nearly brought this country down!

The above lyrics pretty much speak for themselves. I wrote them to be sung to the tune of Bob Dylan's "Hurricane". With any luck, I'll soon make a video featuring photos and footage of the events and people mentioned in the song. I am sorry if my brash lyrics disturb your peace of mind. I do not claim they represent the Truth as much as they do MY Truth. All these events happened just a few short years ago, yet so many appear to have conveniently forgotten them. Hence the need for someone to write "The Ballad of The Republicans". I'm pleased it was me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Commencement Speech

To The Graduates Of The Class Of 2010:

You are here today at a critical crossroads of your life. For most of your 22 years you’ve been taught to work hard, obey the rules, listen with respect to your elders and to trust that every effort you make will receive an ample and just reward.

You recognize that sound, don’t you? A few of your parents and teachers couldn’t keep their opinions to themselves it seems…but let us examine the cause of their laughter.

Yes, I am afraid that for most of your life you’ve been handed a script from “Leave It To Beaver” and that all those wonderful principles I enumerated earlier won’t take you very far down the Road of Life in today’s America. In fact, if you insist on playing by the rules and trusting in the fairness of others you’ll very quickly get run over and flattened like so much road kill on that very same Road of Life.

All across America speakers like me are admonishing new graduates like you to live up to principles that are no longer relevant or practical. Principles that are no longer even acknowledged in today’s business world. Principles which, like fragile Louisiana marshlands, cannot survive today’s overwhelming inflow of dark, viscous wealth-making ideas and ventures.

Go ahead, take a deep breath and smell the oil vapors. That’s America! That’s your future! It ain’t roses but it sure smells sweet.

Yes, other commencement speakers would tell you to work hard, play fair and be nice as you emerge from college to make your way in the world; I’m here to advise you to look both ways before crossing the street and to pick the other guy’s pocket before he picks yours.

Those other commencement speakers are frozen in time, spouting axioms and adages that long ago ran out of gas on the American Road of Life. Like scenes from an old black and white Hollywood movie they make us smile but they don’t prepare us for a world that’s more reminiscent of “Jaws” than it is of “Flipper.”

“Be nice,” they say.

I say “Be nice when it helps, cruel when necessary, vicious when it counts.” Bernie Madoff was a nice guy, I am told, but he never forgot to take all the money off the table before he went home.

“Don’t forget the Golden Rule” they say, most of them unable to keep a straight face while saying it.

“I say “Don’t forget the Golden Rule”, only my Golden Rule is a little different from theirs. My Golden Rule says “Go for all the gold, and screw the rules!”

They would tell you to, “Follow your bliss” in choosing a career.

I would advise you to follow the money.

So in short, members of the graduating class of 2010, I advise you to live richly as well as wisely, to always give to yourself first (and maybe keep it all anyway), to always take the largest slice of the pie, to choose financial gain over spiritual growth, and to always want more physical possessions which, even though they rust and corrupt (as Jesus pointed out), they also clean up pretty easily these days. You can’t complain about that.

So yes, graduates, feel free to live lives of unbridled hunger, unquenchable thirst and unfettered avarice, happily unburdened by a commencement speech that urges you to seek out greater challenges while building strength of character.

For those of you who would like greater instruction on how to achieve your own wealth-based lifestyle filled with houses, boats and servants, see me at Webster Hall immediately after Dean Whiting hands out your diplomas. And don’t forget to bring your checkbooks.

Inspired by my minister Ken Read-Brown's sermon last Sunday, "The Commencement Speech I Would Give", which happily offered more sane and soul-enriching advice than I offer in my speech. I was also inspired by the fact I'm giving a reading in NYC tomorrow night and wanted to create something new for the occasion.