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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Monster.

“And, though the past had it share of injustice 
Kind was the spirit in many a way
But, it’s protectors and friends have been sleeping
Now it’s a monster and will not obey.”

Yesterday Monster by Steppenwolf, came on the stereo in the car. A fantastic song describing the rise and fall of a dream. An imperfect beginning, a troubled middle passage and a disastrous end. All the elements of a great story. I really like the song, the power, the imagery, the story.

Today, I saw the director of Homeland Security defend the actions of the agents on the southern border, taking children from families, locking them in little prisons. “Just doing our job,” was the message. And by God, she was sick of people criticizing these fine men and women for just doing their job.

And I thought of another song, Who Killed Davey Moore by Bob Dylan about a boxer that died in the ring from traumatic head injuries, in a fight that should have been stopped. Everybody from the referee to the trainer to the boxing promoter denied any responsibility, just doing our job, was their reason. 

And I wondered how many times throughout history that was the excuse people used, “just following orders,” for some heinous action, and separating children from their families is an indefensible act of tyranny. No amount of righteous indignation, legal subterfuge, or biblical justification will change that. It is not the way a country founded on freedom and liberty should behave. 

And I worry about what it means for our future, I worry what it means for our present. To what depths have we sunk, and how much lower can go?

“The spirit was freedom and justice
And its keepers seemed generous and kind
Its leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
Now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told”

I watch the news and I wonder if maybe John Kay’s prophecy is coming to pass. Empires rise and fall, Rome, Babylon, Jerusalem, we managed, through sheer American know how and determination to write the Rise and Fall of the American Empire in less than three hundred years. We are such over achievers. It makes me a little melancholy to see it end this way. I hope it isn’t too late.