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a political song by David Rovics

Before the Oil Wells Ran Dry

Were you drinking wine from Argentina or Indonesian coffee
Did you take some in a plane, and go fly across the country
Did you go to work the next week, drive your daily 20 miles
Stop at Sears to see the latest Chinese styles
When you did these things, did you wonder how or why
In the years before the oil wells ran dry

Were you watching the news, did you wonder when
They'd bomb another country or start up the draft again
As you tried to stop the war ??? might decide the plan is fate
Did you ever stop to question how that food got on your plate
As you stuck your fork into that slice of pie
In the years before the oil wells ran dry

When you went back to college to get another PhD
Or you went into the studio to record one more CD
Did it occur to you that your time might be spent better
Digging in the earth or learning to knit a sweater
Did you prepare for all the changes or at least pretend to dry
In the years before the oil wells ran dry

You can download this song and lots of others FOR FREE from his website: http://www.davidrovics.com/


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
Huh. I wonder if this guy goes on tour to promote his music? I wonder if he wears clothes, lives in a house, uses appliances?
Jul. 6th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
sure he does
Didn't you get the line about going into the studio to record one more CD was him taking a jab at himself? He's a hypocrite right in there with the rest of us, and he knows it. Interesting guy.
Jul. 6th, 2006 07:26 pm (UTC)
Re: sure he does
Yes I noticed. I don't consider myself to be a hypocrite, nor do I consider most of my friends or family to be. Most of us are just trying to LIVE a life the best way we know how. Being judged and put on a guilt trip for trying to live a decent life is wrong.

If I'm a hypocrite, what exactly am I hypocritical about?
Jul. 6th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
Our culture is hypocritical and to the extent that we live unquestioning in it we are complicit.


In wanting world peace and driving a car, heating a big house, and drinking wine from Chile, mate from Ecuador, wearing fleece, paddling kayaks...

In despising what has happened to our government and letting rigged elections slide by without so much as a phone call or letter in protest.

In saying that we care about the fate of the planet and still using far more than our share of the resources. It's easier to buy grass fed beef from New Zealand than it is to go out there and hunt for meat. But the real impact of those two actions on the Earth is radically disparate.

In believing anything the corporate media says, after all we know about corporations.

In taking luxury for granted, and thinking that we have a right to be so rich. It's the American way. We can't even imagine living sustainably. The memory has been lost in just two generations.

I know that you find this opinion offensive. You don't like being called a hypocrite. Nobody does. To knowingly participate in the bounty of modern America is to be a hypocrite. Wasn't it Jesus who said we are all sinners? I sin too.

There are many in America who are not hypocrites: those who are blissfully ignorant. They are not hypocrites because they don't know any better. Your initial enculturation came from people like this. It is possible to be highly intelligent and skilled in your realm and have absolutely no clue what impact your actions have in the world. Most people never look beyond the basic values & assumptions they are taught as children. You are better informed than the teachers of your origins, and more of a thinker. So in a sense my calling you a hypocrite is a compliment--because I know that you are not ignorant. You have educated yourself, and you continue to look and learn.

What is a decent life? How many people should suffer in order that I can drink expensive protein powder? I know that I am a cog in a machine that is taking our species (and many others) toward the cliff of extinction. A certain amount of guilt is inevitable. I am guilty. I am not judging you, nor trying to "guilt trip" you. It's just a reality of the times in which we live. Every bit that each of us can live more consciously is a little less damage that we inflict.

It's easier to remain ignorant, or to pretend ignorance even when we know in our guts. It's normal to take the pleasant and easy route......It's unpopular to speak out that what we are doing en masse is wrong. It is hypocritical to know it is damaging and pretend it is AOK. It's our national hobby.

Recently a visitor from Tucson reminded me that none of it really matters, and that is what I must continue to remind myself. Ten out of ten people die. I have lived a life of relative comfort and pleasure. I am grateful. To worry about future generations is not my job. So really, I shouldn't berate myself or you over our participation in the oil-fueled feast. Let's just enjoy it! Maybe if I drink enough wine from the Maipo Valley I can return to ignorance and forget my own guilt...
Jul. 7th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
You are right - I do take offense. The opinion attacks me and everybody I know and hold dear. Perhaps it is the use of the word "hypocrite". By definition, hypocrite means a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he does not hold. A person who does not practice what he/she preaches. I don't fit into that definition. I don't say I will do one thing, and then go do another. I don't think you do, either. And, it is completely untrue that I live my life and just let everything slide by.

I refuse to self-loathe because of circumstances that were out of my control, such as being born American, and circumstances that are IN my control, such as continuing to live in this country. I will not feel guilty for having food to eat or clothes to put on my back, or a roof over my head. I will not feel guilty for enjoying the things I enjoy, or enjoying my life.

OK - so... what are you going to do about it? Continue to feel guilty every time you drink a protein shake? Live in the woods and wear leaves? Or become involved in something that makes a difference? The choice is ours to make. The reason I made my first comment in this thread is because I don't feel talking/singing/protesting does a whole lot of good. The word doesn't get out to the ignorant people. It just riles up the people who already know (you), and gets them pissed off at the wrong people. What do you propose we do? Live completely locally? Raise our meat and vegetables and fruit, get nothing from anyplace else? People can't survive that way - they haven't for thousands of years... people have been trading goods for thousands of years. What about the grassroots movements, such as the CSA and local organic farms? Aren't they doing something right?

It saddens me that you hate America and Americans so much. This is happening all over the world. It's not just here. And there are people who care all over the world, and those who do not care, and those who do not know what to do. That last paragraph is pretty provacative. Those are decisions you have to make for your own life. I know what my choices are. And at this point, I don't know what else to say.
Jul. 7th, 2006 06:56 pm (UTC)
Re: hypocrite
Well I hear you. I understand, and I am sorry that my approach is so offensive to you. I do not "hate America and Americans" and that is a bogus thing to say. No need to start talking like Shrub. Americans use by far more resources per capita than anybody else on the planet including developed nations. Without burning oil for transportation most of us would not be able to live here (in the desert SW) because we could not get enough food. Oil wealth has made it possible for great numbers of people to settle in areas where we cannot sustain ourselves without it. Trading goods got lots easier only 150 years ago with the internal combustion engine, and it will get lots harder without it. It's a long way from the CSA farm by horse.

Our situation is complicated and we each do what we believe we ought. I am fearful that the changes will come sooner than anyone wants to think, and that there will be a terrible crisis in my lifetime. I am fearful that my friends and family and yours will suffer because not enough people saw it coming, and not enough people took action to take care of their own dear ones. My rabble rousing is an attempt to take care of you, though it seems I do a better job of irritating you than provoking you to take additional action.

I personally believe that singing songs is a good way to get the word out. I am collecting song lyrics. I like to sing. When the power goes out and the TV doesn't work anymore and you can't drive to the movies, maybe somebody around will have a guitar. I think this song is worth hearing the words to. You hated it. Do you have a song for me?

You don't like my perspective that we are guilty by virtue of participating in mainstream American culture. But I do not have to convince you. And you won't convince me that the mainstream today is headed in the right direction, or that going with the mainstream absolves anyone from responsibility. I just worry that the cost will be higher than any of us want to pay.

Can we leave it at a difference of opinion? Is there anything that we can agree on?

How about this: Plant fruit trees.
Jul. 7th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC)
Re: hypocrite
I'm sorry I am unable to write in such a way as to make you understand my point of view. I do not believe that mainstream today is headed in the right direction. I do, however, have faith that people are not stupid, and many, many of us are doing things that we believe will change the future. I do not see as bleak a future as you do... call me an optimist, I guess. Maybe we can talk about it sometime face-to-face, because you simply kick my ass with written words and I can't articulate what I want to say.

So yes, let's leave it at planting trees.
Jul. 7th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
Re: hypocrite
Oh - and I meant to change the word "hate" to "dislike". I know you're not a hateful person.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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