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The other night Michael Jackson’s song came on the radio, “Billy Jean”! When I hear that song from the "Thriller" album, or especially this one, “Human Nature”, I’m reminded of Tel Aviv, Israel, the month I spent there when I was 26! Music can transport you to another place and time, there's alchemy between those notes!

"Looking out across the nighttime
The city winks a sleepless eye
Hear her voice shake my window
Sweet seducing"

 It was during the time of the Lebanon War, one of the Lebanon Wars I should say, because that area seems to have wars every 5 to 10 years or less. Do they look at people like one would look at dust, take their military weapons, guns, explosives and use them like a dust cloth to do a form of spring cleaning? Is that where Mel Brooks got the idea for his title, Springtime for Hitler, the musical within his musical, The Producers?

"If they say, "Why? Why?"
Tell 'em that is human nature
"Why, why, does he do me that way?"
If they say, "Why? Why?"
Tell 'em that is human nature
"Why, why, does he do me that way?"

That war was an especially violent war, NATO sent troops from all over, I’m not sure how many countries were represented, but NATO forces wear their respective countries military uniforms, so it was like a military version of “It’s a Small World After All”. When I’d go to the square next to the Hilton Hotel for an espresso, it was like sitting in an English garden made up of troops instead of flowers! Over there were the Tunisians, over there the Algerians, the French, the Spanish, the Italians, all so young, I too was so young!

"Looking out across the morning
The city's heart begins to beat
Reaching out, I touch her shoulder
I'm dreaming of the street"

I still recall the first day I was there and went jogging, I sat down on a park bench to watch some young children play soccer, in the far off distance I could hear the sound of bombs exploding, the children were oblivious to it, focused only on that soccer ball. How do you live day in and day out with the threat of violence, do you become numb, does it just become a part of life, no different than waking up and hearing a bird sing, or just a car backfiring? Do air raid sirens become as common place as our ambulances in which we know to pull to side of the road, do you just go on living because you’re living?

"Reaching out to touch a stranger
Electric eyes are ev'rywhere
See that girl, she knows I'm watching
She likes the way I stare"

 Why those songs remind me so much of Tel Aviv, is seeing those troops dancing down the street with a boom box under their arm playing "Billy Jean", bombs going off to the north but young boys dancing in the street to "Billy Jean". I realized then and there the power of music, it’s ability to connect us, to cross borders, to bring together those of different religious persuasions, to lift our spirits! How universal music is, what tied all these NATO troops together was music, they loved American music and they loved Michael Jackson.

"If they say, "Why? Why?"
Tell 'em that is human nature
"Why, why, does he do me that way?"
If they say, "Why? Why?"
Tell 'em that is human nature
"Why, why, does he do me that way?"
I like livin' this way yeah"

Last night I thought again of that area of the world, wondering about the family of the young man I met while I put together a world unity drum circle, we’ve stayed in touch through social media, he’s a documentarian but wants to document mans goodness not its anger. I wonder about the young children, will they grow up like the other Palestinian I knew many years ago who watched the brother-in-law he loved shot and killed, he grew up to hate humanity, to become a violent individual, never forgiving what was done to his family. I wonder how many more angry young men this round will create, how anyone in their right mind can think that bombing can resolve issues. I also recall meeting an Israeli attorney, he fought for Palestinians, represented them in court, fought for their rights! His mother survived the concentration camps, he as an Israeli didn’t want to inflict similar acts of degradation towards another human being, like that which was inflicted on his mother, he did not want to be aligned with hatred of his fellow man.

"If they say, "Why? Why?"
Tell 'em that is human nature
"Why, why, does he do me that way?"
If they say, "Why? Why?"
Tell 'em that is human nature
"Why, why, does he do me that way?"

 I then thought of the children in El Salvador, orphaned from the war there back in the 80’s, how I cried, not just cried but sobbed when I saw a documentary on the orphans of the war.  The man I was dating at the time asked me if I knew anyone there, you’re so emotional. I said no! He then said, well why are you so upset, if you don’t know anyone. I remember thinking, do you have to know someone, do they have to be part of your family for you to care about the pain and suffering inflicted on other human beings, on children, aren’t all the children of the world our responsibility? Wouldn’t you as a parent want another parent to care for your child if you no longer were able to, if you were shot and thrown into a huge pit while your child was made to watch? Where’s mans humanity towards his fellow man?

"If they say, "Why? Why?"
Tell 'em that is human nature
"Why, why, does he do me that way?"
If they say, "Why? Why?"

Tell 'em that is human nature
"Why, why, does he do me that way?"

Is it human nature, because if it is I don’t like living this way!

Originally posted to Nicoletta on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by An Ear for Music.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, blueoasis

    for this evocative cri de coeur, Nicoletta. I, too, cried - often and vigorously - for the children of El Salvador, in those days. And because the President of the United States repeatedly told bald-faced lies in his speeches to support the very men, who were persecuting and murdering those little ones.

    Never let anyone get away with excusing any kind of behavior by calling it "human nature." If human nature were an irresistible force, we would all be defecating in the streets every day and not giving it a second thought. There would be no laws of any sort, because "nature" would trump every other force.

    "Human naure" is something we must rise above, in order to become fully human.

    "[T]he preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country." - John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law. (1765)

    by AnacharsisClootz on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:49:50 PM PDT

  •  Too sad. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, blueoasis

    But such is the world today. Nicely done.

  •  Department of Peace. Silly idea, huh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    too many people

    I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk. - Kasper Gutman

    by rasbobbo on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:27:05 PM PDT

  •  Is it human nature? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    I think it depends on the circumstances.

    We have grossly overpopulated the planet, to the extent that other humans, not other animals are our greatest threat. Just as overcrowded rats turn on each other, humans have done the same. We are killing each other because by distorting the natural world we have become the problem.

    Groups of primates have been observed transitioning from a culture of violence to one of peace. The catalyst was the death of several violent members of the troop. Perhaps we will revert back to our better nature one day, but I fear that day won't come till we cause much more suffering.

    •  Yeah, but then you have the people saying that ... (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, but then you have the people saying that Malthus was Wrong and that overpopulation is a myth.

      So which is it? Was Malthus wrong? Was he right? Is overpopulation really an issue? If it is, why are certain countries experiencing sharp demographic fall-off?

      I'm not an optimist really, but I have felt for a while that the Earth is big enough to handle us all. Certainly it can't handle our pollution or our noxious fossil fuel sludge, or radiation, but it can handle more human bodies.

  •  Hey, people are cruel. It's an unfortunate fact... (0+ / 0-)

    Hey, people are cruel.

    It's an unfortunate fact. That's why it's cool and subversive to be nice to your fellow human beings

  •  Man will try and man will fail (0+ / 0-)

    Because mankind lost their way along time ago and no matter what anyone thinks these times have been prophesied. Man has used religion to manipulate the masses, Matt. 24:24: “False Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones.” Matt. 7:21-23: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name...?’ And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness.”Matt. 7:15-20: “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them. . . . Every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit . . . Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.”

    Michael believed in these words and many others, in 1978 and 1979 during and after the making of Michael's off-the-wall album, we would sit in Bible study in Woodland Hills with his sister Maureen i.e. Rebbie, Teresa Graves, Larry Graham and many others.

    Ms. Graves especially fought against man's inhumanity to man until the day she died way too young, they were both too young.

    “Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.”->The apostle Paul to the Hebrew Christians in Judea! 61 CE---- “sufficient for each day is its own badness"->Jesus Christ

    by jonnybullet on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 12:53:36 AM PDT

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