The Bravery of Being out of Range

I’ve been planning for some time to post the lyrics of the song The Bravery of being out of Range by Roger Waters (ex Pink Floyd) as a response to the  ongoing covert war being waged by the United States, which has claimed thousands of innocent lives in Pakistan and elsewhere. The terrible events at the Boston Marathon yesterday reminded me of this intention.  Violence always  begets violence, but the circle becomes all the more vicious when the agressor doesn’t have to display a jot of personal courage. And that goes just as much to those who planted the bombs in Boston as those who aim the drones in Pakistan. Regardless of whether the Boston bombs had anything to do with American policy, when violence is made easy there’s bound to be more of it.

You have a natural tendency
To squeeze off a shot
You’re good fun at parties
You wear the right masks
You’re old but you still
Like a laugh in the locker room
You can’t abide change
And you’re home on the range
You opened the suitcase
Behind the old workings
To show off the magnum
You deafened the canyon
A comfort a friend
Only upstaged in the end
By the Uzi machine gun
Does the recoil remind you
Remind you of sex
Old man what the hell you gonna kill next
Old timer, who you gonna kill next

I looked over Jordan and what did I see
Saw a U.S. Marine in a pile of debris
I swam in your pools
And lay under your palm trees
I looked in the eyes of the Indian
Who lay on the Federal Building steps
And through the range finder over the hill
I saw the front line boys popping their pills
Sick of the mess they find on their desert stage
And the bravery of being out of range
Yeah the question is vexed
Old man what the hell you gonna kill next
Old timer who you gonna kill next

Hey bartender, over here
Two more shots
And two more beers
Sir, turn up the TV sound
The war has started on the ground
Just love those laser guided bombs
They’re really great for righting wrongs
You hit the target, win the game
From bars 3,000 miles away
3,000 miles away
We play the game
With the bravery of being out of range
We zap and maim
With the bravery of being out of range
We strafe the train
With the bravery of being out of range
We gain terrain
With the bravery of being out of range
We play the game
With the bravery of being out of range

7 Responses to “The Bravery of Being out of Range”

  1. Well said. The world’s bully boy didn’t listen in 2001 and is still not listening.

    • Note sure which one you mean; there is more than one. In any case, killing children is not the way to advance one’s cause, or even to call attention to it. Not even if someone kill’s my children is the appropriate response to kill his.

  2. Michael Kenyon Says:

    I hope writing those lyrics didn’t ‘tax’ him too much, is he still ‘out of range’ of the Exchequer?

    • I think he lives on Long Island now because his wife lives there. While personally I am a proponent of unified tax laws* and the abolition of offshore tax havens etc (such suggestions within the EU are usually vetoed by the UK, though recently, stimulated in part by “Offshore Leaks”, but also because of increasing evidence that such constructions are often used for money laundering as well, there is increased activity to finally do something concrete about the problem), I think one has to differentiate between illegal tax evasion and making use of loopholes which are legal. With corporations, the latter is almost necessary, because if the competition makes use of them (and they do), then one cannot be competitive.

      There is much German money in Switzerland for the purpose of tax evasion. This has been difficult to investigate in part because of the famous Swiss bank-secrecy policy. In an extremely successful propaganda action, Switzerland spread the story that this was implemented to allow German Jews to prevent the Nazis from confiscating their fortunes. The intention, of course, was to play the anti-semitism card should Germany complain about this. This actually worked for decades, but has now been exposed as mere propaganda.

      *At least for taxes on capital gains, the capital on which this is based being easily movable from country to country for tax optimization. Of course, individual countries should set their own tax rates for other purposes based on democratic processes. However, one cannot have non-uniform taxes, free movement of people, goods and capital and at the same time the feeling that everyone is paying the tax they should. My own solution would be to have the tax rate independent of the source of income (capital gains, wages, whatever) and citizens of a country liable for tax on all their income from all sources at that rate. If they have paid tax elsewhere, then this could be deducted. If they don’t like it, they can give up their citizenship. (This still doesn’t solve the problem of people benefiting from tax-funded services until they are rich then resolving themselves of obligation by giving up their citizenship, but it is still better than the current situation.)

    • telescoper Says:

      I don’t know. I’ve only just found out that Pink Floyd isn’t a person, but a popular beat combo of some sort.

      • Prior to your enlightenment, you must have believed that Roger is no longer pink.

        How about this real-life Spinal-Tap experience of Trevor Bolder (from Wikipedia):

        While on tour with the Cybernauts he painted his face blue but then found out the paint was semi permanent and would not come off. Bolder had to sell his car to raise the money needed for a specialist skin peeling process at a Swiss clinic. To this day he still has traces of blue paint behind his left ear.

  3. You are my new hero Phillip.

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