Almost forty years ago, the British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd released its masterpiece titled "The Wall". The double-album rock opera has proven ageless already, and will very likely remain the conscience of a generation for decades to come. It was not just the music, and it was not just the words. The Wall is a work of art that transcended music as entertainment. It was to be one of the world's most powerful anti-war statements. A sobering rock-lullaby that for ninety-five minutes transforms us to witnesses of humanity's worst enemy: itself.
Almost forty years later, the world seems to have forgotten the pain from totalitarian destruction, from fascism and delusions of racial supremacy. Today, not-so-small segments of so-called developed nations revisit that dark past with nostalgia, emboldened and empowered, as if it was a movement that had simply become a sleeper cell for a generation or two.
It is not the mere fact that destructive sleeper cells can lie dormant for so long that is disturbing. It is the realization that a single man can rise to power, and with a dog-whistling code awaken the hate. Every major war has a post-war dream. "The war to end all wars". This anxiety was best expressed by Pink Floyd on their last studio album, released in 1982, titled "The Final Cut":
Is it for this that daddy died?
Was it you? Was it me?
Did I watch too much T.V.?
Is that a hint of accusation in your eyes?
If it wasn't for the Nips
Being so good at building ships
The yards would still be open on the Clyde
And it can't be much fun for them
Beneath the Rising Sun
With all their kids committing suicide.
What have we done, Maggie what have we done?
What have we done, to England...
Should we shout? Should we scream,
"What happened to the post war dream?"
Oh Maggie! Maggie what did we do??"
- The Post War Dream
Almost forty years later, well over sixty million Americans are asking themselves the same question, like a broken record... Oh America! America what did we do??
In His Own Words:
"Mother Should I Run for President?"
(A Video Blog)
Music by Pink Floyd: "Mother" ("The Wall", 1979)