Elder Brother Tom Hayden died Sunday. (Senator / Professor Thomas Emmet Hayden, December 11, 1939—October 23, 2016, age 76.)
Our world is a better place because of Tom, and a poorer place because of his passing. I’m sure he’ll be back very soon, following a brief, well-deserved rest in some heavenly buddha-field, coming back stronger than ever, ready to resume raising some more much-needed hell, passionately waging peace as ever for human rights and civil rights and animal rights and planetary rights, for eco-social justice, peace, progress, equality, and freedom for all. Picking up right where he left off this past time around. We await your return, further along, brother Tom, bodhisattva.
“All my life I’ve been involved with racial politics. I was a Freedom Rider in the South. I was the author of books on gang violence. I was a community organizer in Newark, New Jersey. And when I spoke to the Black Caucus, congressional and state, I realized they were going all the way for Hillary and so was the Latino Caucus in Sacramento. And I asked myself this question: ‘Do I really want to cast my vote against these people who have been central to my life and to the soul of the country?’ And so I went with them. Period.”
–Tom Hayden, California State Senator and Assemblyman, author of some 40 books, professor at Harvard, UCLA, and several other universities and colleges, Civil Rights Freedom Rider, Anti-war peace activist, animal rights activist, eco-warrior, co-founder/ first leader of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), practicing Buddhist, and all round Irish American mensch.
Oh! a storm is threatening my very life today! If I don’t get some shelter, Lord! I’m gonna fade away! War, children! it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away!
Oh, see! The fire is sweeping our very street today! Burns like a red coal carpet, mad bull lost his way! War! children, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away!
Rape! Murder! It’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away! Rape! Murder! It’s just a shot away, a shot away!
A flood is threatening my very life today! Gimme, gimme shelter, or I’m gonna fade away! War, children! It’s just a shot away! It’s just a shot away!
I tell you–love, sister! It’s just a kiss away! It’s just a kiss away, a kiss away!
–Sir Mick Jagger (b.1943) and Keith Richards (b. 1943), “Gimme Shelter,” first recorded 47 years ago, on 23 February, 1969, included on album, Let it Bleed, released December 1969
(from wiki article):
Of Let It Bleed’s bleak world view, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone:
“Well, it’s a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War. Violence on the screens, pillage and burning. And Vietnam was not war as we knew it in the conventional sense. The thing about Vietnam was that it wasn’t like World War II, and it wasn’t like Korea, and it wasn’t like the Gulf War. It was a real nasty war, and people didn’t like it. People objected, and people didn’t want to fight it…” As for the song itself, he concluded, “That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It’s apocalypse; the whole record’s like that.”
Similarly, on NPR in 2012:
“It was a very moody piece about the world closing in on you a bit…When it was recorded, early ’69 or something, it was a time of war and tension, so that’s reflected in this tune. It’s still wheeled out when big storms happen, as they did the other week [during Hurricane Sandy]. It’s been used a lot to evoke natural disaster.”