Lives in the Balance

I would like to focus on my current attempts to redesign, which currently is simply a truncated copy of In a Dark Time that was accidentally set up when I transferred my site to a new ISP provider. Doing so, for me at least, entails learning how to use Macromedia’s Fireworks, Dreamweaver, and Flash because I’m not willing to simply patch together a new site using an outdated version of Adobe GoLive.

Truthfully, I’m looking forward to creating a number of new photo-essays using Flash, and I’m using the redesign of to force me to start learning skills I will need later.

I’ve also begun Robert Lax’s book of poems entitled Love Had a Compass, but I’m constantly being distracted by the latest stories coming out of Iraq, and an accompanying state of depression

Lately I’ve found myself listening more and more to old Jackson Browne records, particularly:


I’ve been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you’ve seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war

There’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runs

On the radio talk shows and the T.V.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends–
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can’t take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

There’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can’t even say the names

They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

Do you think Jackson forsaw the Bush administration in 1986 when he wrote the lines “There’s a shadow on the faces/ Of the men who send the guns/ To the wars that are fought in places/ Where their business interest runs” ?

Do you think he foresaw the latest Israeli attempts to “disengage” from Gaza when writing “There are people under fire/ There are children at the cannons/ And there is blood on the wire.”

Worst of all is this dreadful sense of deja vu, this feeling this is just one more turn of the crushing wheel of life, despite our best efforts, none of this will ever change, the innocent, and not-so-innocent will continue to die while others continue to cash in on their misery.

8 thoughts on “Lives in the Balance”

  1. I equate rich men with the robber barons of old. They dress better now and have better table manners. I guess some of them may even have the trappings of Culture, though I’ve never really heard of Bush liking anything remotely cultural–books, movies, or music. His cultural connections are arranged by White House officials, and that’s the extent of it. Never have the robber barons been so pleased to have one of their own in office pursuing, as the song suggests, their business interests with other people’s blood.

    I’d go on, but I’d start to rave on your blog. But, BRRR! They freeze my blood.

  2. Hey, if you’re redesigning your web site, here’s a vote for larger print. I guess it’s my fault that I’m old, but all this tiny print designed for young perfect eyesight tires my eyes. And the truth is that (my guestimate) about 90% of web content is very tiny, as if somehow people just think it’s cool to squeeze as much as is humanly possible into each square inch of screen space. I’m crazy, and don’t care who knows it, bu I vote for a little larger font! Let’s have more white space!

  3. I’m older than you are Ron and my eyesight, particularly, with my regular glasses on is anything but great.

    I never read a web page without adjusting the type size so I can read it easily. On Safari and Internet Explorer I just hit “command + “+” or “command + “-” to adjust the font size to whatever I want it to be.

    I suspect there’s a similar command on your chosen browser.

  4. Loren, two helpful resources for Dreamweaver and Fireworks are

    project seven (–lots of tutorials in addition to add-ons to Dreamweaver

    Playing with Fire (–Linda Rathgeber’s site to go with book of same title

    Also, a number of your readers do site work, including, um, me.


  5. Thanks for the tips, lisa. I’ll check both of them out.

    Actually, one of the reasons I’ve been able to maintain an interest in blogging is the technical challenge of maintaining a site.

    If I’d merely stayed with Blogger, I’m sure I would have quit writing years ago as it’s the technical part that’s the most challenging, and the part that somehow meets the “mathematical” side of myself that I was never allowed to indulge when teaching English.

  6. Was looking around for Circus of the Sun on the web and found your site. I’ve enjoyed reading. I think and feel sorrow with you! These are sad times. Your photography is lovely. I too am a photographer.Would love to find the above book. Can you tell me where to find it. I think it’s out of print. Thanks.

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