Sunday, January 25, 2009

Living in a world of pigs

This post is for Sally who left a wonderful complimentary comment on my blog a few days ago. [See bottom of article for comments.] I tend to cringe when I get notified of a new comment. The internet is famous for the bluntness of comments and I have drawn my share of critical comments. Occasionally I will delete the more derogatory ones, but generally I've found that critical comments can lead to interesting and at times even meaningful discussions. But it's always especially nice to get a complimentary comment. It definitely motivates me to continue writing. I hope you enjoy this post Sally.

It's a short poem which was intended to be the lyrics to a song which I never quite completed. The truth is I always wanted to be a singer/song-writer like Bob Dylan. It seems like an easy thing to do, but actually it is the most difficult of all professions. Mostly because it seems to require some sort of God given talent which I don't seem to possess in any great amount. I marvel at the ability of Paul McCartney and John Lennon to turn out song after song with insightful lyrics and striking melodies.

The other day, around the start of the Israeli shelling of Gaza, I woke up with these lyrics in my head and tried to write them down quickly before they evaporated from my mind. I heard them in a dream, but unfortunately I have never had the ability to remember my dreams. So I wrote down what I could remember and tried to fill in the empty spaces and add some more content to make it into a short song or poem.

"A rich rogue, is like a fat hog, who never does good til as dead as a log."
- Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733

Living in a world of pigs

We're living in a world of pigs
Trying to run me down
I'm not going to let them - Oh no!
They have to go around me - That's right!
I'm going to get in their way.

Gaza got bombed today
What does Israel have to say?
They're the ones that started - Oh yeah!
We're defending ourselves - Uh huh!
Can somebody give me a break?

My neighbor just lost his house
What does Paulson want to do?
Give a trillion dollars - Say what?
To his friends on Wall St. - Ka-ching!
And who do you think's gonna pay?

The car industry is ready to cave
What does Congress plan to do?
Drive home in their Honda's - Zoom zoom
Watch it on their Sony's - Snooze snooze
Say "bye" to cars made in USA

Maddoff stole 50 billion and change
How do you think he's going to pay?
Arrested in his penthouse - Oh nice!
Instead of going to prison - That's right!
Is there no justice today?

Dalai Lama's calling for peace
China says he's a terrorist
Do you believe in Karma? - I do!
Then you know what's coming - Tell me!
An earthquake to make China pay

The cops are takin' over my town
They say to keep the terrorist down
What about my freedom? - Bye-bye
And the Constitution? - Sigh-sigh
Is that just a paper today?

(C) Frank Hope - 2009
When I showed this to a friend, he asked if I really believe that we are "living in a world of pigs"? Well yes I believe that the world is controlled by an elite that has little regard for humanity, but I also intended the lyrics to be somewhat of a comic relief.


Sally said...

Hello Frank,

Do you know the blog by Syd Walker in Australia? I find yours and Syd's voices to be complementary. I left a comment about the artist Ben Heine in Belgium on Syd's blog, and Syd was good enough to devote a post to Ben's political artwork, which you should definitely check out if you're not familiar with it already.

I am most honoured to have a post on your blog dedicated to identifying me. Thank you for your kindness, but it is far easier for someone like me to engage in the 'passive' act of praise, when the real accolade goes to people like you and Syd who are making a real difference, as indeed the pen is mightier than the sword.

Can I share these two favourites with you and your readers from my personal library devoted to Palestine:

"They Are Human Too...A Photo-essay on the Palestinian Arab Refugees" 1957 book of b+w photographs by the Swedish photographer Per-Olow Anderson.

"Sands of Sorrow" -- 1950 American documentary on Palestinian refugees, available widely on the internet, incl @

"This footage was shot in the late 1940s to educate the public about the plight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who had been made homeless as a result of the violence and intimidation that accompanied the founding of the state of Israel.

What most Palestinians thought would be a temporary dislocation lasting only a few weeks at most became permanent. Homeless with just the clothes on their backs, they were left in the desert without food, water, and medical care to die."

Palestine in Words said...

Sally - I cannot thank you enough for sharing Sands of Sorrow with everyone. While we all know about the history of the crisis and the conditions of the refugees over the decades, to see it documented in this manner over half a century ago, brought both tears to my eyes and shivers down my back. The disturbing truth that the circumstances of the refugees have - for lack of a better phrase - been ‘put on hold’ for the last 50 years or so, screams out at you from every scene. The humanitarian crisis is still playing out in front of a silent world, the waiting for a ‘permanent resettlement and lasting security’ lingers on unheeded, the number of broken families and orphans continues to rise at phenomenal rates, the rations, the unemployment, the children’s loss of will to live... History is not only repeating itself in this case, it has not stopped repeating itself for a single day in the lives of these people.

The poem also really hit a nerve with me in its frank portrayal of the decline of human ethics, which parallels something I wrote recently...

Frank Hope said...

Hi Sally and Palestine in Words,

I watched Sands of Sorrow a few months ago. PIW summarizes my reaction perfectly when I saw it.

I visited Syd's blog at:

I found some interesting articles and links. He has a very lively writing style.

Here is an article from his blog that highlights the ADL response to the choice of Mitchell to be the US envoy to Israel-Palestine.

I couldn't believe it when I read that Foxman had complained because he thought Mitchell might be too fair. Unbelievable. So I tracked down the original article.

Mitchell As Envoy Could Split Center

The article includes this quote regarding Mitchell.

"That neutrality, more than any anti-Israel bias, is what’s likely to worry some pro-Israel leaders the most."

Huh? Since when is being neutral a bad thing?

I looked up the book you mentioned and found this reference to it on Amazon, but it appears to be out of print.

THEY ARE HUMAN TOO... A Photo-Essay of the Palestine Arab Refugees


Sally said...

Hello Frank,

"They Are Human Too" is available from Not many people seem to know about that site, but it is an excellent source of OOP books, and I do price comparisons between it and amazon.

It turns up on ebay as well.

You just have to be patient for a copy at a fair price, and in reasonable condition.

It is TRULY worth acquiring!

Syd Walker said...

Just found this superb blog, thanks to Sally. If only Sally started her own blog the rest of us could retire. :-)

The article I just read about Goldman Sachs (modern day Trojan Horse extraordinaire) has my head in a spin. I know little about the world of high finance, but your take smells right to me Frank.

All very grim.

I'd like to hear the song. My only musical talent is humming in the shower, but I do write the occasional nonsense poem. Here's one I penned a couple of months back. It probably needs updating:

Advice to Unhappy Investors

A cheery guy called Bernie
Lost fifty billion bucks
Of other people's money
And now they think he sucks

That clever Mr Madoff
Who wore a wizard's sheen
Has pulled the biggest ripoff
The world has ever seen

If you just lost a billion
Try harder not to moan
Your money is in heaven now
And it is not alone

Your money has found endless bliss
And you can join it soon
You'll get it back with interest
On the Dark Side of the Moon

You may jump out of buildings
Or load your face with pills
Some like to shoot their heads off
(They do it for the thrills)

Oh, kick yourself, for now you've seen
Old Bernie was a crook
You just fell for a Ponzi scheme
How silly you must look!

It is a shame so many folk
Lost money in this scam
Some charities are now quite broke
Does Bernie give a damn?

It goes to show the 'market'
Needs referees and rules
(We'd all know this if history
Was ever taught in schools)

Frank Hope said...

Hi Syd,

Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed your poem. I was watching Bernanke testify today and I was thinking the they should get Madoff to run the Fed. You need a con man like that to convince the American people that any of this bailout crap is good for you. Alan Greenspan was the perfect Fed con man. He managed to fool the American people for years. He was always able to cover it all up and keep it from blowing up while he was running the Fed. Alas, nobody believes Bernanke.