Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. These were Cockburn’s rules for how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, CounterPunch will get a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC (This photo of Alexander Cockburn and Jasper, on the couch that launched 1000 columns, was taken in Petrolia by Tao Ruspoli)
 Day 19

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)

pp1

or
cp-store

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

War...What Is It Good For?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHIN’!

by Dave Marsh

Clear Channel radio network issuing a list of 150 “questionable” (i.e., banned) songs to its multitude of programmers in the wake of the terror attacks is far less remarkable than the response to it.

I don’t mean Clear Channel’s insistence that the list represents nothing more than “guidelines.” The company’s stations being among the most stupidly programmed in history, how many times a decade do you figure they play “Disco Inferno” or “Dead Man’s Curve” under any circumstances?

Two other things are what grabbed people’s attention. First, the way the list lumped together songs that might genuinely hurt or enrage somebody-Third Eye Blind’s “Jumper,” Filter’s “Hey Man, Nice Shot”–with songs that might even be healing: “Enter Sandman,” “”My City Was Gone,” “Morning Has Broken,” “Rescue Me.” If you suspect the people who program the radio are by-and-large morons, here’s proof.

Second is the ideological nature of the list. Rage Against the Machine is banned in its entirety; the only act so honored. Forbidden are “War” in either the Springsteen or Edwin Starr version, Cat Stevens’s “Peace Train,” Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.” How they forgot either Pearl Jam or Bob Dylan’s version of “Masters of War” is hard to figure.

I suspect it is this political aspect of the potential ban that really fascinates. After all, it is the beginning of what we would expect in war time. And since few of us have ever lived in the U.S. in an actual war, we don’t know what to expect.

We’re not about to be given the time to figure it out, either. The reasons for the terror attack and the options for response need open debate. Instead, we have a stampede. Of the 535 members of Congress, only brave Barbara Lee of Oakland, CA refused to sign the blank check giving the Bush administration the right to tear off in any direction it wants to, using any degree of force. The barrage of propaganda that makes this seem inevitable is so ceaseless that I’d rather watch reruns of the previous nadir of Western civilization, Seinfeld.

Listening to antiwar music-or even “action” stuff like “Another Bites the Dust” or “Some Heads are Gonna Roll,” both on the list-would cause people to reflect. Which might lead to wondering why we are just going to do as we are told by the same people who created the mess that led to the attacks and the total lack of readiness for them.

That there ought to be some response to the terror bombings is entirely obvious. That our options are exclusively military, that we need to rush into who knows what kind of war against who knows what and who knows where, and surrender fundamental civil liberties in the process, without changing a single other aspect of our foreign or domestic policy, is anything but obvious-if you stop to think. We haven’t been given much chance to do that-the Clear Channel list, whether it’s put into effect or not, gives us a chance to do that.

To think thoughts that are not approved. It is this that the government and the corporations really fear about popular music. And should. CP

Dave Marsh is the editor of Rock and Rap Confidential.