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  • Andy Valeri; Big Beef Productions

The 'Vietnam' Episode

The Vietnam episode of the IAH series, released last month, was one in which the public release was not really planned to coincide with any particular personal or global events, but in many ways managed to do just that.  Personal in that the nation and its history had become a topic of prominence again recently in my own personal sphere of connections and experience. Globally for the fact that many of the reasons behind that seemingly eternal conflict, one inflicted upon a resilient nation for generations, has been coming to the fore again what with the tragic experiences unfolding in our current moment.

"Vietnam" is a word which has to so many western ears, the resonance of something from a generation past; an old trauma, a failed conflict, a painful memory. But alas, there's unfortunately nothing 'past' when it comes to war and the organized killing for power, profit, and ideological triumphalism committed under its banner.

The IAH episode was another of the original production run of the program from back in 2022, before Dr. Strangelove Kissinger finally departed this mortal coil, and well before the current genocidal catastrophe being unleashed in the Mideast. A genocidal mass murder that has some related antecedents with the profiteering warfare of the time during the French-American wars in Indochina.

But the story of Vietnam (and Cambodia, and any and all nations that have been the target of various exploitative imperial ambitions and delusions) can and should be instructive, and one could argue even inspirational, in light of the persistence of eventual successful resistance to centuries of foreign occupation and domination.

This is another of those episodes (as they pretty much all are) which endeavors to present some truths to an audience outside the normal talking head format, where music can be used to amplify the narrative by adding it’s more emotional component.

One of the numbers featured prominently in this episode is by the late, great Terry Hall and his band The Specials, who made clear with their cover of one of the earliest of works by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, that there's no way to delay the trouble coming every day.

And that trouble comes when we as a society turn our backs on reality itself, choosing to cling to our own self-serving narratives in the face of it.  We become condemned to perpetual war and conflict when our so-called 'leaders' attempt through violence and coercion to impose those narratives upon the rest of humanity, rather than working to align our own needs and truths to harmonize with - not dominate over - others. 

But alas, here we are, and so one thing we can do to ward off that kind of unhealthy evil uncool is to turn the music up. In our lives. In our world. In our spirits.

Here's to letting music help us do those very things - understanding the realities we live within, and then having the courage and confidence to change them. Let’s contribute to that effort by amplifying an audiophonic cultural campaign for some liberation from a world run by people who amass power and profit off of weaponry and destruction, instead of serving the forces of healing and peace.

Here’s to some full spectrum dominance for the new Strategic Air(waves) Command - where Giving Peace a Chance is our Profession. [And while we're on the subject of Vietnam, there's many great literary and cinematic works on the subject, but few as rivetingly engaging as Peter Davis' Academy Award-winning documentary Hearts and Minds - which you can watch HERE]

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