Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pittsburgh's G20 Soundtrack: #4

The world leaders have begun to arrive, and it is just about showtime for the protesters, which means it is time for the substantive portion of the program.

With Pittsburgh police and the boy mayor providing a small-timers' display of abuse of power on the plywooded streets of downtown Pittsburgh, and leaders of the worst offenders among global bullies ready to assemble in a single room, an obscure but worthy nugget from the catalog of the world's greatest rock and roll band confronts an uncomfortable truth that probably will remain unspoken among the powerful and the more powerful in Pittsburgh this week. A studio toss-on from the Rolling Stones' Flashpoint live album, at #4 on the Pittsburgh G20 soundtrack: Highwire.

We sell 'em missiles, we sell 'em tanks
We give them credit, you can call the bank
It's just a business, you can pay us in crude
You'll love these toys, just go play out your feud

We've got no pride, don't know whose boots to lick
We act so greedy, make me sick, sick, sick

(So) Get up, stand up, out of my way
I want to talk to the boss right away
Get up, stand up, who's going to pay?
I want to talk to the man right away

We walk the highwire
Sending the men to the front lines
And hoping they don't catch the hell fire
Of hot guns and cold, cold nights

Our lives are threatened, our jobs at risk
Sometimes dictators need a slap on the wrist
Another Munich we just can't afford
We're going to send in the 82nd Airborne

We walk the highwire
Sending the men to the front lines
Hoping that we backed the right side
With hot guns and cold, cold nights
G20 leaders should consider Keith Richards' summary of the message: "This is not about the war. It's about how you build up some shaky dictator. You can't build them up, 'cause then you've got to slam them down."

Or, as Bush Jr. learned the hard way, try to slam the lid back on.

UPDATE: Another Stones-G20 angle: The only reason one G20 leader had any shot at Carla Bruni is that Mick Jagger had tired of her.

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