Cat Stevens, the Terrorist

For days now I've been quietly seething. Cat Stevens was probably my first (but never forgotten) crush, over thirty years ago - I still love his music. How dare a bunch of petty bureaucratic tyrants embarrass the US by harassing Cat Stevens? I'm appalled.

Why Cat Stevens? Because his name was "on a list" of people with "potential terrorist connections," I guess.

God help America. Bless, us every one… we once had founders, and now we're lost.

The Nazi death camps were full of people whose names were "on a list" of the politically disfavored… so was the Bastille. Every gulag and internment camp has been constructed for the purpose of containing some unpopular minority. Once upon a time, we - US here in the USA - were better than that. We talk about loving minorities, but we're all talk and no memory. So easily forgotten the McCarthyism, the witch burnings, the camps full of Japanese immigrants… the smokers, the gun rights enthusiasts, home schooling parents - anyone who fails the collective thinking course and cherishes individual rights.

Love America or leave it? How about loving America enough to want to see it return to its senses again? How about leaving being the easiest way out of a hostile, broken home environment, like running away from home - however sensible it may seem to leave? It seems too much like asking an inconvenient conscience to go away. Decent people don't do that - they listen all the more carefully when they don't like what their conscience has to say. Does America still care for her conscience, or is America's conscience homeless and seeking a new land of opportunity? A land where the restless, weary and poor can plant themselves and cultivate a sense of liberty, free of tyranny?

Cat Stevens spoke beautifully enough for himself through his lyrics.

Achtung, America: presenting the scary new face of terrorism… be afraid, be very afraid.

"I've gotta show the world, world's gotta see. Show all the love, love that's in me - I said Why walk alone. Why worry when it's warm over here. You've got so much to say, say what you mean. Mean what you're thinking and say anything." (From Can't Keep It In, Catch Bull at Four)

"You've got too much deceit. And deceit kills the light. Light needs to shine, I said shine light, shine light." (From Can't Keep It In, Catch Bull at Four)

"Don't you feel the day is coming and it won't be too soon when the people of the world can all live in one room when we shake off the ancient shake off the ancient chains of our tomb we will all be born again of the eternal womb." (From Changes IV, Teaser and the Firecat)

"Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass for your lorry loads pumping petrol gas, and you make them long and you make them tough, but they just go on and on, and it seems that you can't get off. Oh. I know we've come a long way, we're changing day to day, but tell me where do the children play. Well, you've cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air, But will you keep on building higher 'til there's No more room up there. Will you make us laugh, Will you make us cry, will you tell us when to live, Will you tell us when to die. I know we've come a long Way, we're changing day to day, but tell me, Where do the children play?" (From Where do the Children Play? Tea for the Tillerman)

"Miles from nowhere, not a soul in sight, oh yeah, but it's alright. I have my freedom, I can make my own rules, oh yeah, the ones that I choose." (From Miles from Nowhere, Tea for the Tillerman)

"All the times that I've cried keeping all the things I knew inside it's hard, but it's harder to ignore it. If they were right, I'd agree, but it's them they know not me…" (From Father and Son, Tea for the Tillerman)

"Now man may live, man may die searching for the question why, but if he tries to rule the sky - he must fall." (From Tuesday's Dead, Teaser and the Firecat)

Herd Cats? Any species that does herds doesn't have the sense to stick together in the face of adversity. And people who keep herds usually want to fleece them or eat them. I like the "sheeple" better than bad shepherds who terrorize peace-loving people. I'm with you, Cat… I've got a peace train to catch.


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