Stevieslaw: We Didn’t Know

Stevieslaw: “We Didn’t Know.”

The day after the storms finished off Kansas—not too long after the American Gulf Coast has joined the lost city of Atlantis and a few billion people have tried desperately to leave Southeast Asia—and failed, human induced climate change will finally be recognized by almost all Americans as a bit of a problem.

And how will the climate skeptics and the enablers of big pollution live with themselves, you might ask? What will they tell their grandchildren?

That’s an easy one—they will deny ever knowing. They will swear no one told them. As hail the size of a bus pounds what’s left of Topeka, they will sing to their grandchildren something like:

“We didn’t know said the climate skeptic
About the coming Apocalypse.
It was Trump and his advisors
That tore the the whole damn planet down…

OK. So I’m not much of a lyricist. But, once again, we have Tom Paxton to remind us of just how easy it is to deny. Remember this one?

We Didn’t Know
Words and Music by Tom Paxton
We didn’t know said the Burgomeister,
About the camps on the edge of town.
It was Hitler and his crew,
That tore the German nation down.
We saw the cattle cars it’s true,
And maybe they carried a Jew or two.
They woke us up as they rattled through,
But what did you expect me to do?
[Cho:]
We didn’t know at all,
We didn’t see a thing.
You can’t hold us to blame,
What could we do?
It was a terrible shame,
But we can’t bear the blame.
Oh no, not us, we didn’t know.
We didn’t know said the congregation,
Singing a hymn in a church of white.
The Press was full lf lies about us,
Preacher told us we were right.
The outside agitators came.
They burned some churches and put the blame,
On decent southern people’s names,
To set our colored people aflame.
And maybe some of our boys got hot,
And a couple of niggers and reds got shot,
They should have stayed where they belong,
And preacher would’ve told us if we’d done wrong.
[Cho:]
We didn’t know said the puzzled voter,
Watching the President on TV.
I guess we’ve got to drop those bombs,
If we’re gonna keep South Asia free.
The President’s such a peaceful man,
I guess he’s got some kind of plan.
They say we’re torturing prisoners of war,
But I don’t believe that stuff no more.
Torturing prisoners is a communist game,
And You can bet they’re doing the same.
I wish this war was over and through,
But what do you expect me to do?

 

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6 Responses to Stevieslaw: We Didn’t Know

  1. Denial has reached epidemic proportions, hasn’t it? The problem with knowing is you feel responsible for doing something about it. There’s an attitude that the individual can’t make a difference, so why try? I figure that’s a cop-out, but I also know how hard it is to overcome institutional resistance. Members of your own philosophical team will turn on you if you embarrass them.

    Like

    • stevieslaw says:

      Yes. I feel guilty for doing so little. I also feel I am being assaulted by so much wrong on so many fronts. It’s exhausting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. That may be part of the denial in other people–not knowing where to start. It seems the problems are so inter-connected that there’s no good place or beginning or of resolution. Just talking about it helps, though.

        Like

  2. ivors20 says:

    It’s a world wide problem Steve, but we have to overcome, and work on changing attitudes… and thanks for the Tom Paxton song, from over 50 years ago, oh, when will they ever learn…..

    Like

  3. stevieslaw says:

    Too bad that singing won’t change a thing (except perhaps one’s attitude). Do you know the Tom Lehrer song “Folksong Army”?

    Like

  4. stevieslaw says:

    Talking helps. Talking about it in Toronto would really be a help

    Like

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