I TRIED TO STOP THE WAR – BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!

UrbanLoveWarriors In the comments to a photo uploaded to the ole facebook, remember that shit?, Lisa Mischke quoted this brilliant peace of writing by Keith Hennessy from 1991. Keith performed this during the protests against the first Iraq war, it has lost nothing of its urgency, still!

I TRIED TO STOP THE WAR

Oh yeah, I tried to stop the war
I tried to stop the war
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried marching in the street
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried yelling my head off and beating a drum
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried blaming the war on George Bush
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried exposing the war at home
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried calling Saddam Hussein an evil wicked tyrant
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I wrote letters connecting George Bush
to the corporate shadow government
that hates its own people
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried saying Peace is Patriotic
and War is not Peace
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried voting
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried not voting
BUT THAT DIDN’T WORK EITHER!
I tried to learn about Iraq
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried to learn from history
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried to blame the borders
i tried supporting self-determination
I tried hating imperialism and refusing to rape
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
NOTHING WORKED!
I COULDN’T STOP THE WAR.
I tried healing my inner child
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried healing Saddam Hussein’s inner child
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried blaming the war on Saddam’s mother
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried blaming the war
on Bush’s emotionally dysfunctional father
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I COULDN’T STOP THE WAR.
I tried sharing my fears with friends
I tried calling home and bonding with my family
I tried late nite prayers in circles and ritual bathing
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried raising sexual energy
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried minding my own fucking business
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
cuz the war invaded my dreams
and all my friends were talking about it
and all the papers and air waves were full of it
so I tried to blame the war on racism
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried to blame the war on male violence, homophobia,
and gross warrior romanticism
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried to blame the war on penis size
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried to blame the war on sexism
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried to connect sexism with disasters in the environment
I called the earth my mother
I warned about oil spills and endless fires and dead dolphins
and screaming birds
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried complaining about the costs
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried exposing the profits of oil and guns
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I chanted, Money for AIDS not for war
Money for AIDS not for war
Money for AIDS not for war
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I said think of the children, listen to the earth, think of the future,
listen to veterans, listen to womyn, listen to queers,
think of the future, look at the past,
remember Hiroshima, Tienanmen Square, Bangladesh, Soweto
I said think look listen feel
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I said think look listen feel
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I promised to think positively
to focus on light
to do good
to respect all my relations
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
I tried to escape the war
I tried to keep working
not to get distracted by the war
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
Everywhere I could sense the war
Every siren was a death I could feel
Every flag was a child in flames
Every headline was a community in prison,
a family separated, a history forgotten
a family separated, a history forgotten
I expected the police at my doorstep
I expected the church in my bed
I predicted heroes and parades and speeches by serial murderers
and it came true
IT CAME TRUE!
I COULDN’T ESCAPE THE WAR
When I yelled no one heard me.
When I walked on stilts only my friends saw me.
I COULDN’T STOP THE WAR
Nothing seemed to work
We returned to the streets
We blocked the federal building
We took the bridge
We exploded a cop car
We made art
We refused to make art
We sat down
We stood up
We walked and walked and talked and talked
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
We hugged and healed and felt and witnessed and blessed and learned
BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
WE COULDN’T STOP THE WAR.
Not the war in iraq
Not the war at home
Not the war inside
Not the war between womyn and men
Between animals and people
Between property and freedom
We couldn’t stop the war against sex
We couldn’t stop the war against art
IT DIDN’T WORK
IT DIDN’T WORK
IT DIDN’T WORK
WE COULDN’T STOP THE WAR!”

Keith Hennessy, 1991, The Mission, SF

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.