There Is Something About Endings …….

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT ENDINGS

I’M SLIGHTLY STONED

LISTENING TO THE ALABAMA THREE

I GET TO THINKING

DO WE REALLY NEED THE QUEEN?

DO WE REALLY NEED

THAT WHOLE ROYALTY SCENE?

CAN ANYBODY TELL ME

WHAT THEY’VE EVER DONE FOR ME?

THEY USE MY TAXES

TO MAINTAIN THEIR LUXURY

I WILL NEITHER BOW DOWN

NOR WILL I TIP MY OLD WOOLY HAT

I DON’T LEAD AND I DON’T FOLLOW

HEIRARCHY MEANS NOTHING TO ME

LET’S GO WALKING SIDE BY SIDE

TURN THEIR PALACES TO MUSEUMS

TAKE BACK ALL OUR COMMON LAND

MAKE DUCHYS INTO PEOPLES FARMS

NEVER PLACE DYNASTIC FAMILIES

AT THE HEAD OF ANYTHING AGAIN

NO MORE GHASTLY ACCIDENTS OF BIRTH

LEERING AS THEY POCKET OUR CASH

GRINNING AS THEY SLIP ON THE CROWN

THERE IS MORE THAN A WHIFF OF SCANDAL

ABOUT INHERITED POSITIONS OF POWER

BRING ON THE END OF ALL MONARCHY

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT ENDINGS

THE DELICIOUS FINALITY THAT COMES

WITH DRAWING LINES IN SAND

FORWARD TO THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC

Weird Naked Indian

I wrote this in January 2010 and Marc Gordon and I recorded it for the first Chilly Dogz CD album of Performance Poetry “Boom-Time In Dystopia”. This is the demo version recorded on my hand held Olympus WS-560M digital voice recorder.  It’s so sad all those poor bankers who had breakdowns and never got it back together again…..isn’t it?   Ha ha ha…..

Here is the poem:-

WEIRD NAKED INDIAN
There’s a weird naked Indian living in our wood
Yesterday he told me he’d like to stay for good
He lives on nuts and berries and a handful of brown rice
He tells me that he’s found the keys to paradise!

I watch him from my window, foraging for food
Strolling through the bushes, completely in the nude
He says he’s had enough of living in the West
And who am I to tell him that he doesn’t know what’s best!

He’s weird,He’s naked

And he says, He’s an Indian

Pitched up by the stream in his tie-dyed bivouac
He’s given up the booze, the cocaine and the crack
He’s got a lot of stories, waiting to be told
I hope that I can hear them all before I get too old

Tales of town houses and his gleaming Maserati
Of Kruger Rands and parties with the banking glitterati,
Bent shares and dodgy mortgages, and how he lost it all
And the minor role he played in Lehman Brothers fall

There’s a weird naked Indian living in our wood
This morning I told him, he could stay for good

He’s weird, He’s naked
And he says, He’s an Indian
If he says
He’s an Indian
He’s an Indian!

Copyright: Harry Rogers – Aberbanc – 27/01/2010


The Modern Privateers – The Chilly Dogz

Another track from The Chilly Dogz second album with Marc Gordon on guitar and Roland Guitar Synth.  I wrote this after visiting a particular tower block in Swansea as part of my job as a social survey interviewer for ONS.  The dealers in the courtyard are really scary with their dogs just itching to get at you as you gingerly make your way to the lifts.  I was warned not to carry my laptop into the lift on my own on this estate, I did and luckily nothing happened but it is very representative of certain forgotten parts of the Coalition nightmare we all inhabit today.  Of course heroin has been rife in these areas for decades now….. as have the money lenders!

MODERN PRIVATEERS

This is the story of the Modern Privateers

Be careful ‘cos it just might, fill you up with tears

The Lift it is broken

We gotta use the stairs

This is because

No-one fuckin’ cares

(about) Who makes all the laws

Or who owns all the shares

(and why) Public it’s yours

And private it’s theirs

Living up the tower

For at least another year

Giving loads of money

To some goddam privateer

Outside in the courtyard

Stands an illustrated man

With his heavy chained bull-terrier

And his new black windowed van

In the flats on all the balconies

The casements have gone rusty

All the winter rain gets in

The furniture smells musty

Legions of people living here

Just can’t take it for much more

They’re reduced to spending all their time

Scrabbling around to score

The illustrated man has

A friend named Sharkskin Jack

Who will always loan you money

When you need to buy some smack

But, when you borrow money

Off of men like Sharkskin Jack

No matter how much you give to them

You’ll not finish paying back

They’ll string you out upon their rack

For years and years and years

Those two bastards and the rentier

Are the modern Privateers.

Copyright: Harry Rogers, 24/05/2010

Old Red Volvo Car – The Chilly Dogz with Dave Sutherland

I wrote this on the day I heard about Johnny Edgecombe’s death.  I was in the South of France on holiday at a place called Banyuls Sur Mer and sat in a bar drinking pastis and thinking about the 1970’s when Johnny and I had a lot of adventures in his vintage Volvo.  Recorded at Red Kite Studios with Dave Sutherland on Guitar and Marc Gordon on Roland Guitar Synth and on The Chilly Dogz 2nd album.

OLD RED VOLVO CAR

Playing chess with Johnny Edge

In The Tolly public bar

We spoke of blue nosed schooners

Sailing Caribbean seas

Johnny dreamed one day that he

Would journey there from Africa

 

He brought me a brown leather jacket

From the market in Amsterdam

He said “Harry man this fits you

Much better than it fits me,

I think that you should keep it

It won’t cost you a damn.”

 

Now Johnny had become a gentle man

In spite of his violent past

He loved his three children

Truly with all his heart

He was always a father

Right up to the last

 

Bringing Greenwich and Bermondsey

The finest in jazz

From Dudu, Django and Stan

Not forgetting Paraphernalia

The Edges were smooth, the music so cool

Johnny had living p’zazz

 

Now, no more pints of Guinness

Downed in one, by the jar

No more tastes or toots

To brighten up our days

No more midnight cruising

In that old red Volvo car……..

 

Goodbye Johnny

My Brother!

Copyright: Harry Rogers – Banyuls Sur Mer – 03/10/2010

Don’t Come To Me

When I heard Bob Dylan was playing in Tel Aviv I was absolutely incensed, I know his supporters and sycophants argue that their beloved Bob is just a song and dance man but I have to say to them that there is such a thing as artistic integrity and in my view Bob Dylan demonstrated a crass lack of that when he played in Israel.  I was filled with such a feeling of disappointment that I wrote the following poem:-

DONT COME TO ME

Don’t come to me

When you’re crawling to your god

Don’t come to me

When you’re writing rotting cod

Don’t come to me

When the princes have all fled

Don’t come to me

When the riders a-rri-ved

Don’t come to me

Now the watchtower has burned down

Don’t come to me

Now there’re barbarians in the town

Don’t come to me

As I dodge and duck and dive

Don’t come to me

While  I struggle to survive

Whilst Edgars imp’s

Still poking in the corner of your mind

Some of us are

Trying to work out how to save mankind

Don’t come to me

Whilst thousands lose the will to live

Don’t come to me

After you’ve played in Tel Aviv

Don’t come to me

Whilst the howling wind is roaring

Don’t come to me

Now the re-writes are so boring

Don’t come to me

Whilst Israel’s crucifying

Don’t come to me

Whilst Palestinians are dying

Don’t come to me

Until their freedom flags are flying

Don’t come to me

‘Cause you just might find me crying

Copyright: Harry Rogers 31/05/2011 

What The Tories Want, and What to Do to Stop Them.

Posted on Facebook on Friday, 1 July 2011

It is absolutely clear what the Tories want, namely a massive increase in the reserve army of labour so that wages will be forced downwards and their privatising pals can make massive profits on back of the emisseration of the masses. I listen to their measly words on the BBC saying they want to make sure the lowest paid public sector workers get the very best pensions. That is such a lie and is insulting. As a low paid civil servant I take home £702 a month, I will get about £800 per year as a pittance pension from my job. What would really help here is for a campaign on wage levels across the country to increase, for tax avoiders like Phillip Green to be disenfranchised, for part time workers to be given equal rights no matter how many hours they work, for all defence spending to be frozen pending a referendum on what we need it for, and for a state pension that really reflects the respect we owe to our senior citizens, as they do in Germany and other European Countries. And let us not believe that the country can’t afford it, it can if it taxes the rich until the pips squeek (to coin a phrase), and if the rich bastards try to hold us to ransom by saying they will leave, then nationalise them, seize their assets and send them off on a boat to a destination of their choice. It is time we stood up for ourselves. The teachers and other public sector workers who struck yesterday are heroes in my view, and I hope the rest of the workers in this country have the will to join them in solidarity when the current talks inevitably break down (as they surely will as I believe it is Camerons plan to take on the Public Sector unions in a fight to a finish). This current dispute is not like the Miners Strike in one major way, Margaret Thatcher was able to stockpile millions of tons of coal in the heart of the Yorkshire coalfields prior to the miner’s strike, thus enabling the power supplies to remain turned on. Cameron however does not have the luxury of hundreds of thousands of trained public sector workers waiting in the wings to step in and keep the services running. This is why I believe the current dispute is winnable, what it needs is for all of us to mobilise support and have the argument with as many people as possible. I want a pay rise, a decent pension and decent publicly owned and run services, and I will fight tooth and nail for them. Public opinion is our opinion, we are the public so when you hear people trotting out the Tory propaganda, don’t just stand there, take them on in argument, we have right on our side this time, it is time to make a stand.

Have you got all the footage you need….

Another post from Facebook written on on Saturday, 11 December 2010

As I watched the coverage on BBC news 24 of the students protesting in Parliament Square it seemed as if the police were deliberately allowing, indeed cajoling people making, acts of destruction and disfigurement in order that the media could have something to focus on.  The BBC journalists spent all day talking about the violence coming from the protestors and filming students smashing windows and trying to batter down doors on government buildings.  At the end of the day in Parliament Square the damage was superficial, some broken windows, a couple of phone boxes smashed up and dabed with paint and a few slogans sprayed onto buildings and monuments.  This was portrayed as if the country was facing the break down of law and order.  Not true, in fact the state want to be able introduce much tougher legislation in case there is more serious unrest against the ideological attack on the public services that the people of this country have spent generations nurturing and building.  The Coalition want to destroy common ownership and replace it with privatisation in as many areas of state provision as they possibly can get away with before 2015.  It was amazing to see the polce stand back whilst “students” were allowed to aim a battering ram at the doors of the Supreme Court building for half an hour whilst Sky News and the BBC filmed it, eventually the police cleared the doorway and there was a policeman politely asking the camera operators “Have you got all the footage you need?”.  How revealing, the police had an agenda here as they did on a previous demo where a police van was deliberately allowed to be vandalised in order that pictures could be posted in the organs of the yellow pres, (Sun, Mail, Express, Star, Standard, Telegraph, Times, Standard etc) and used in TV programmes all across the globe to show what a lawless bunch of people the police are having to deal with.  Kettle the students in confined space, club a few of them, terrorise them with mounted officers weilding battons, and generally wind people up in order to provoke civil disobedience, this is the tactical approach of the police now that they have a sympathetic government in power that will not hesitate to give them whatever powers they need.  Political change is in the wind, young people are too clever to be hoodwinked by this approach, they are now getting organised in a way that was not envisaged so soon by the Tories.  In the new year when the ramifications of cuts start to hit people full force and mass redundancies start accruing, when VAT increases hit people in the pay-packet, when housing benefit cuts been people start losing their homes Cameron and his cronies want to ensure that they have the necessary powers to enforce order on the streets.  Of course as the events of Thursday 9th December 2010 show sometimes things get out of hand as the Chas and Camilla episode shows.  An unelected government bringing in policies made up on the hoof that were never put in front of the people is a recipe for disaster, either there will be an early election or there will be the impletation of a total police state, keep the cameras rolling, I need a little bit more footage…….

Freedom For The Pike Is Death To The Minnow

 

<a href="https://harriseeingred.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/all-in-it-together.jpg”>This is another of my previous notes from Facebook.

We need to protest about the way that the blue and yellow Maoists are imposing their outlandish policies upon our country without any democratic mandate whatsoever. Of course the media in the this country are prepared to roll over and allow what is in effect a right wing coup to occur without any real protest. We need a general election and we need it now, it is time to demand a rerun of last May’s debacle immediately.  When people voted Liberal at the last election most of them did not vote for a Thatcherite coup.  Nobody asked me, or anybody else, whether we accepted the idea of a coalition government.  Nobody voted in favour of the Big Society and yet it is being imposed in a truly gung ho approach to politics.  I read the prime ministers article in today’s Observer where he talks about moving away from state imposed controls.  He sees the decimation of public services a some kind of delivery of freedom to the people.  He says he is going to set up financial arrangements where people can bid for funds to run post offices, schools, leisure facilities, anything they feel like bidding for.  But these things already belong to us, we have paid for them with our taxes over the years and they are not in the possession of transient politicians to do what they will with, giving them away willy nilly to any group who comes forward to run them.  All those people who have invested their lives to being public servants from University and college onwards, being trained and educated to manage and implement services in ways that have the benefit of collected wisdom from practioners acquired over years of experience are being tossed aside with the kind of attitude one expects from a bored two year old tossing aside a toy they have got fed up with.  I fully expect to see all kinds of organisations and political whiz kids trying to spin the Egyptian revolution to suit there own ends.  I predict that Cameron and the rest of his cadre will be extolling the virtues of freedom inherrent in their Samuel Smiles Self Help approach to running the economy and the state in the same way way as the shiny representatives of the current Arab revolution are doing.  There is, quite rightly, a feeling of euphoria flashing around the world in the belief that the people of Egypt have, through the use of people power, overthrown a hated despotic and corrupt dictator, and this is true, Mubarrak has gone.  However, how quickly the airwaves in the West are filling up with right wing exponents of US style democracy claiming that this is what the people of Egypt want and that things will be great when the elections come.  I see all those American Republican spin doctors the BBC love to trot out on Newsnight etc emerging into the light of day claiming that this is the kind of thing they believe in whilst at the same they have acquiesced in the rendition of political prisoners for torture by the secret police of the very regime they are now reviling.  Freedom of expression is something that everybody wants until it gets to a point when their own point of view is being overturned by the wishes of the majority.  Those people who are in a state of reverie believing that democratic freedom is just around the corner need to wise up in my view.  Democracy is something that is hard to define, let alone implement.  The Western media have already embarked on their spinning and twisting, rewriting events and conducting interviews in slidy ways with untrustworthy pundits.  In Britain we see the wholesale destruction of the welfare state taking place in front of our eyes.  All those Butskellist rewards given to the people as a result of the deprivations suffered during the titanic straggle against fascism culminating in the second world war are being taken away trashed by lunatic idealogues who want to give all their school friends massive tax breaks and ensure that they maintain their, unearned, hegemony in what they laughably call a liberal democracy.  I am reminded, yet again, of this quote from R H Tawney, “Freedom for the Pike means Death to the minnow”, We all want freedom but there needs to be a bit less rose tinted spectacle wearing during this period of global economic crisis.  Elections in Egypt and Britain are needed ASAP and then maybe we can find out what the people want.  Of course the real debate that democrats everywhere have trouble with is not being talked about about in the open at present, namely that of the General Will versus The Common Good, that is for another day………..I hope that they manage it in Cairo, we may see but not if Murdochs minions have anything to with it……

Copyright: Harry Rogers 13/02/2011, all rights reserved. Permission is granted to download, forward electronically, or e-mail to others, provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed

It’s Boom-Time in Dystopia

Another poem I posted as a note on Facebook which is hard to find now. Title track to the first Chilly Dogz CD and just as valid now as it was two years ago.  I just love the languid way the guitar makes this track sound, Marc was on very good form by the time we got round to recording this track.

http://thechillydogz.bandcamp.com/track/boomtime-in-dystopia

BOOM-TIME IN DYSTOPIA

The ship of state lies crashed upon the rocks

The rich and the famous are checking their locks

One hundred starlings fall from the sky

Some precious darlings say “We’re all gonna die!”

The world is getting dopier

We’ve emptied cornucopia

We never reached Utopia

And it’s Boom-time in dystopia!

Whilst we lie sleeping in our beds

Drones are flying above our heads

The CCTV is watching me and you

None of us are quite sure what to do

No-one stops to think about the honey bee

Only the cult of celebrity

Airheads all scream, and shout “Hooray!”

“Jordan’s got a new pair of tits today!”

We lie around drinking pomegranate smoothies

Watching brand new counterfeited movies

Nobody pays for their music anymore

Nobody believes that they’re breaking the law

And what does it matter any fucking way

There aren’t enough cops to nick everyone today

And now the Assembly’s gone extra craven

They’re gonna pour boiling water into Milford Haven

The world is getting dopier

We’ve emptied cornucopia

We never reached Utopia

And it’s Boom-time in Dystopia!

Copyright: Harry Rogers, 11th March 2010

Zombies in the Beatles Graveyard

I just thought I would add this one to the poetry category here as otherwise it will just get lost in the morass that Facebook has become, especially since the new timeline came in.

Zombies in the Beatles Graveyard

There are Zombies in the Beatles Graveyard

Laughing and crying at the inescapable conspiracy

 The seed of understanding germinates the meaning of meaning

Where nothing is certain anymore except for the existence of smoke and mirrors

 We spent our leisure time searching for reason whilst sucking nihilist gobstoppers in the giant sweet shop of life

 We might think that we are in control of our destiny but Capitalism is uncontrollable, anarchic and beyond belief

 As the gleaming castles of Mammon close their giant chromium plated doors to the overpaid minions that have already got themselves alternative employment teaching ecstatic dance to other minted assholes who are forced to live on their saved bonuses somewhere in the Peloponnesian islands we watch in horror as the remaining vestiges of everything our parents ever fought for are finally swept away in a last despairing attempt to shore up the whole stinking edifice of privilege and class structure

 Slavering Barbarians are in the courtyard with their glinting scimitars newly sharpened on the ever turning grindstone of privatisation, waiting  for that most sumptuous of prizes known as the NHS to fall into their greedy clutches whilst the rest of us are expected to go whimpering back to those hyper mortgaged lairs we call our homes and console ourselves with the ultimate propagandists obscenity that “We are all in this together”

 Well fuck that for a game of soldiers, it’s time for us all to stand up and sing out in one voice that we are neither stupid nor complicit and we are, as that old movie classic “Network” taught us, as mad as hell and we aint gonna take it anymore. 

Copyright: Harry Rogers September 2011

Like Lazarus Rising

You know what, it gets on my nerve endings the way that racists assume that because you are the same colour as them then you automatically have the same obnoxious views as them.  I wrote this poem about it the other evening so here it is:-

LIKE LAZARUS RISING

LIKE LAZARUS RISING
SOMETHING DEEP AND DARK
REARS IT’S UGLY HEAD
CRAWLING ON IT’S BELLY
OUT INTO THE LIGHT OF DAY
FROM BENEATH THE GUTTER
SEEPING RACIST FILTH
AND SPREADING IT LIKE BUTTER
THERE IS A ROARING MURMUR
YOU CAN HEAR IT EVERYWHERE
THE SOUND IS SICKENING
LIKE A CANCER IN YOUR EAR
THEY’RE BLAMING STRANGERS
AS THEY’RE WHIPPING UP FEAR
THEY THINK IT’S OK TO TELL YOU
BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT OTHER
AH BUT THEY LOOK CONFUSED
AS THEY SLOWLY DISCOVER
THAT IN THE PAGES OF YOUR BOOK
IT’S THEM THAT ARE THE OTHER

Happiness is a Blue and Yellow Smokescreen

On sunday morning I pulled the Observer out of the letter box and into the hall and saw that they had given me a free book called “Happier” by Tal Ben-Shahar Ph.D.  Subtitled Can you learn to be happy?  As I worked my way through my boiled eggs I idly looked at the index of this tome under Karl Marx (I always do this just to see if the great man is mentioned) and sure enough there is one entry, so I read it whilst dipping my soldiers and this is what it says:-

“I believe that the spread of happiness perception can bring about a society-wide revolution, no less significant than what Karl Marx had hoped to achieve.  The Marxist revolution ultimately failed, though not before claiming millions of lives and making many more miserable.  Because the means it used were immoral from the outset – taking away freedom from the individual – it was doomed to bring little more than destruction and unhappiness. The Happiness Revolution, when it comes about, will lead to radically different outcomes, through radically different means.

In contrast to Marx’s proposed revolution, which was going to be externally driven, the happiness revolution must come from within.  Marx was a materialist, he believed that history was driven by material conditions and therefore that change had to come from the outside, through material means.  The happiness revolution, which is about the change from material perception to happiness perception, is mental and therefore internal.  No outside force is required to bring about this change.  Conscious choice – the choice to focus on happiness is the ultimate currency – is the only change agent.”

So that’s all right then, as long as each individual is happy everything will be hunky-dory.  I then started to think about the Blue and Yellow coalition and it’s well-being policy agenda .  There is currently an ongoing social survey programme being carried out by the ONS following David Cameron’s conversion to whole idea of changing peoples perspectives of what makes them feel good about themselves and their lives summed up in the term “well-being“.  This survey asks four very basic questions about perceptions of happiness and anxiety.  What is the political reasoning behind this addiction to what people are calling “fluffiness”?  In my view I think that the Tories want to be able to tell the world that despite the real deprivation and hardships that their programme of austerity is wreaking on society there are large numbers of people in all sections of society that still feel relatively happy and that anxiety levels are low amongst even the poorest in society.  Ben Tal-Shahar sums his book up thus:-

“To realize, to make real, life’s potential for the ultimate currency we must first accept that “this is it” – that ALL there is to life is the day-to-day, the ordinary, the details of the mosaic.  We are living a happy life when we derive pleasure and meaning while spending time with our loved ones, or learning something new, or engaging on a project at work.  The more our days are filled with these experiences, the happier we become. THIS IS ALL THERE IS TO IT.”

This is all there is to it?  What if you don’t have a job, what if you don’t have enough to eat?  What if the educational system is failing your children?  What if capitalism is collapsing?  Cameron is a con-man of the highest order and this whole Big Society, all in it together, happy clappy agenda is just the biggest smokescreen attempted by the ruling class in a long time.  I will write more on this later, meanwhile comments are welcome.