Oh What Is That Sound?

by Simon 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • Simon

    O what is that sound which so thrills the ear
    Down in the valley drumming, drumming?
    Only the scarlet soldiers, dear,
    The soldiers coming.

    O what is that light I see flashing so clear
    Over the distance brightly, brightly?
    Only the sun on their weapons, dear,
    As they step lightly.

    O what are they doing with all that gear,
    What are they doing this morning, morning?
    Only their usual manoeuvres, dear,
    Or perhaps a warning.

    O why have they left the road down there,
    Why are they suddenly wheeling, wheeling?
    Perhaps a change in their orders, dear,
    Why are you kneeling?

    O haven't they stopped for the doctor's care,
    Haven't they reined their horses, horses?
    Why, they are none of them wounded, dear,
    None of these forces.

    O is it the parson they want, with white hair,
    Is it the parson, is it, is it?
    No, they are passing his gateway, dear,
    Without a visit.

    O it must be the farmer that lives so near.
    It must be the farmer so cunning, so cunning?
    They have passed the farmyard already, dear,
    And now they are running.

    O where are you going? Stay with me here!
    Were the vows you swore deceiving, deceiving?
    No, I promised to love you, dear,
    But I must be leaving.

    O it's broken the lock and splintered the door,
    O it's the gate where they're turning, turning;
    Their boots are heavy on the floor
    And their eyes are burning.

    - W.H.Auden

  • Phizzy

    " O it's broken the lock and splintered the door,

    hide ye not, tis too late you wanker,

    swallow you not will the floor,

    you're buggered at last, thus spake Ivanka".

  • shepherdless

    Centuries ago, people were regularly convicted and executed (via various brutal means) for witchcraft.

    if you look up the crime, you pretty quickly realise that it is basically an impossible crime to commit.

    Convictions stopped, when Courts developed rules of evidence; in particular the hearsay rule. Essentially, rumours, gossip, and in this day and age, what an anonymous person spouts on the internet is not admissible evidence in Court, because of the hearsay rule.

    Thankfully, in this day and age, if someone wants to make allegations (say hypothetically to take a current example) that someone witnessed voter fraud (just a hypothetical example as it appears to be a current topic), a Court would require testimony from the person who claimed to witness it, not second hand or third hand accounts from people who hear a rumour in the local town market place, or read it on the internet. This was a game changer, in terms of the conviction of witches, in the past.

    The obvious problem with hearsay is that it can not be verified. The more subtle problem with hearsay is that it can not be verified by more and more hearsay. Larger and larger groups in the town market place repeating each other’s stories do not make those stories more true. Also, larger and larger internet circles repeating the same conspiracies in an echo chamber do not make the conspiracies more true.

    Further, some of the vocal participants may have an agenda. To take another hypothetical example, a bad actor may spread stories that he or she has hundreds of affidavits confirming (for example hypothetically an election fraud) but never show them to anyone, even sympathetic media such as Fox News. Perhaps the bad actor has a hidden agenda, such as raising large amounts of money from the gullible? Perhaps we can detect the bad actor when he or she not only does not produce copies of such affidavits to the Courts, but does not produce such copies of the affidavits to the public either.

    In this day and age, I am not concerned about the Courts or any modern country being fooled by such behaviour. What does concern me is that out in the community, where hearsay is still valid evidence, and there is someone with a loud enough megaphone with malicious intent, we are all at risk of the mob attack described by WH Audin, as Simon quotes above.

  • Simon

    The soldiers are not any old mob, they represent the government or anyone the government allows to attack people or deny rights to.

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere


    Very much like the oft quoted " first they came for....."

    That can be applied either way; the rightists consuming foes until the center is in the sights, or (as I see right now) the radical leftists pushing their agenda until noone can object.

  • slimboyfat

    Auden is excellent,

    Epitaph on a Tyrant by W H Auden

    Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
    And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
    He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
    And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
    When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
    And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

  • shepherdless
    The soldiers are not any old mob, they represent the government or anyone the government allows to attack people or deny rights to.

    WH Auden lived in Berlin in the late 1920s and that poem was published in 1934. My interpretation would be that he was describing the “Brownshirts”. Of course, each person to their own interpretation.

  • FFGhost

    Will you be there January 16?

  • Simon
    My interpretation would be that he was describing the “Brownshirts”

    Exactly. Not any old mob of random people, and organized force to quash any dissent.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    When they kick at your front door
    How you gonna come?
    With your hands on your head
    Or on the trigger of your gun

    When the law break in
    How you gonna go?
    Shot down on the pavement
    Or waiting on death row

    You can crush us
    You can bruise us
    But you'll have to answer to
    Oh, the guns of Brixton

    a bit later

    You know it means no mercy

    They caught him with a gun

    The Clash - The Guns of Brixton

    That song was written in the late 70's about the paranoia of living in an apocalyptic version of Brixton within the context of a Cold War while all sorts of rights were quickly eroded away by the government. The whole album is just chilling if you compare it to what policy makers have actually already done in London and the UK in general (the constant surveillance, the erasure of property, speech and gun rights)

    It seems those things have come so close to true, not just in the UK but across the 'western world' where democracy once reigned.

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