Communique 8-27-2020 Who Put The Dill Weed In The Mix?
By Philip Drucker
Have you ever had one of those days where all you want to do is listen to the same song on an endless in a good replay musical loop kind of way? As it turned out, today was the perfect afternoon for nothing other than Simon & Garfunkel’s version of “Scarborough Fair”. The interpolation of the main lyrics with anti-Vietnam war lyrics of “Canticle” was IMO a stroke of genius showing two examples of the strength of the human heart and conviction even when faced with the real possibility of an unobtainable love, or unwinnable war.
I say this as the various tasks described in the main ballad are all but impossible. To prove his love for her, first she asks him to make her a cambric shirt without any seams or needlework. Impossible. Next, she requests he find her an acre of land presumably to build a house upon. Unfortunately, the acre must lie between the sea and the seastrand, or what we refer to modernly as the beach. This would place the land on which to build their home in the middle of high and low tide. Again, impossible.
The call to reap refers to harvesting grain but cannot be done with a leather sickle. Leather is not nearly sharp enough of a material from which an adequate blade can be fashioned. Once harvested, heather is far too fragile a material to use for making a rope or string proper for bundling and hence, all but impossible.
Over the years many different versions of Scarborough Fair have contained many new and different undertakings, regrettably all virtually if not outright impossible and our tale becomes that of ultimate failure and in this instance, unrequited love.
The Vietnam War is in many ways presented a similar situation. With the release of the Pentagon Papers, we now know the generals (who order their soldiers to kill) knew we were mired in an unwinnable war. They pretended otherwise and threw away in an abject and shameful display of callous indifference the lives of so many brave souls who for their part were unaware of the reality (sleeps unaware of the clarion call) went to fight a war they could not win and from where too many would never return (washes the grave with silvery tears).
Perhaps it was the imagery of a soldier cleaning and polishing a gun he is too young to have and hold. I see this soldier as brave and patriotic. He believes he is fighting for his country and this alone is a just act requiring immense love and dedication for one’s country. To this soldier fighting as best he can in an unfamiliar and inhospitable foreign land, I would also grant him the benefits and blessings of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
When Scarborough Fair was first written, each herb was associated with a positive trait. Parsley represented comfort, sage for strength, rosemary, love and courage with thyme. However, that is where the appropriate associations between the ages ends.
Make no mistake, we too are living in dark and uncertain times and we find ourselves in a war while the blatant racism of the Trump Party and their delusional and demented propaganda fest is seeping down from the screens and onto our streets. The events in Kenosha, WI should be deeply disturbing and cause for alarm, cause for a wake up clarion call, now.
Suspected caught on video shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, is not a soldier. He is at best a teenager who after gaining easy access to an assault weapon capable of great carnage and destruction was driven by his mother across state lines so he could participate in walking the streets in the morning hours on a search and destroy mission aimed at the enemies of the people, the enemies of the white race, and importantly, the enemies of Donald J. Trump, whomever and wherever he told him they were.
In his misplaced zeal to defend whatever good and righteous cause he thought he was defending, upholding life, well, not life but at least liberty, justice and the American way, his vengeance was swift, harsh and final. Death. Death to the ones who would replace us. Death to those who threaten our way of life. Death to the ones who would oppose us for it is order of things and God’s will that Donald J. Trump will lead us back to the promised land. A land where white superiority is not challenged and everyone else, well, they’re just along for the ride.
Soon, their chosen savior will take the stage. He will continue his façade for as long as it benefits him personally, no matter the cost to our health, our economy and yes, our very lives. Trump is a coward. His cause is founded in fear and self-doubt. He hides behind chaos promising to fight the very forces of evil he himself has visited upon us while he continues to exhort his followers to new levels of social and political erosion with no logical ending other than destruction of more human lives and ending in a complete loss of our humanity and brand of uniquely American spirit. He is cancer incarnate, believe me, I know and I shudder to think what this madman might say tonight.
Our cause is not lost. For there are still many of us who still believe what we see and can judge for ourselves whether the act, the actor and the motives be a true expression of what it means to be an American. Unlike what Jr. says (or thinks, does he think?) there are no true Americans. There is only one America and if it is necessary to break down Americans into two categories, history has shown us there are those of us who believe the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness includes everyone and those who don’t. The Those Who Don’t crowd usually positing America as a country club, or a by invitation only, no shoes, no shirt, no white, no service type of establishment and not open to the public at large.
As for the latter, time and time again their blind hatred has and will always lead to their downfall. As for the former, us, know this, their animus only burns for as long as we tolerate it. Our patience ran out in 1860 and we know how that ended. Our patience ran out in the 1950’s and the 1960’s and we now how those decades turned out. Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Feeling a bit impatient? Me too. Don’t worry, our time coming, soon. In the meantime, I wish you, my fellow resisters and brothers and sisters in arms, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Our cause is just. We will prevail.