Got Your Back, Global Province Letter, 23 July 2014

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.  ---Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116

Fission at Every Turn.  Wherever we turn, things are asunder. The NATO Alliance takes halfway measures against Iran and does little or nothing about the devastating crisis in the Ukraine. Governments of the West cannot put forth any programs—left, right, middle, wrong, or right—to deal with inert economies and legions of unemployed workers.  Lives are still rent by divorce and acrimony, and an epidemic of depression weighs about the shoulders of millions. Ever since the first angry atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, it has become all too easy to tear things apart, much more difficult to pull them together.

Never have we so needed alliances between countries, but alliances that work.  With the plethora of crises afoot in the world, we need countries and people pulling together. No country, not the United States, not anyone, has enough resources and power to curb a world splintering. There is a need for the many to pull together.

Got Your Back.  We marvel and bridle, however, at how easily people let themselves be put asunder. Maybe inside our lobes we even cry a little, as we register the pain of others at war with themselves and others. In just the past two weeks, we have seen several friendships of long standing fray, even break, as distrust and calumny creep in, brought on by rather petty disputes. And the chemists do not seem to have made a glue that will secure nerve endings and make human connections seamless again.

We know instead that true friends have to excuse each other’s faults and cheer each other’s victories. Above all, a friend, and an alliance partner, must show unstinting support in good times or bad, no matter the hue and cry of others who stir up disarray. Indeed, “Love is not love /Which alters when it alteration finds.”  It is tough perhaps to offer unquestioned support when a friend has done something highly irregular, maybe even a tad bad, and above all unpopular. But love and friendship call for it. Otherwise we wind up with the polarity and alienation that flourishes, all too well, in the marketplace today. We need close unions between people if we are to have unity and comity inside a nation and amongst civilized nations across the globe.

Stand By Me.  Some artists at least do understand that we have to be there for each other, especially when the chips are down. Maybe that is why the song “Stand By Me” has captured so many hearts: indeed there are over “400 recorded versions” of it.  We cite a few here.  It takes such a song to simply remind us of what will make for fewer divorces, for less mean-spirited politics, and for stronger global alliances that can contain the thugs who egg on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse each day. We have to stand up for each other.

Stand By Me

  1. Seal  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY6Np0nqgkk
  2. Roger Ridley   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM
  3. The Drifters   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaqjpfZJjpk
  4. Mohammed Ali https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtIF0OqRnOE
  5. Ray Charles  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEq3cn8L6W8
  6. Roger Daltrey & Gary Moore at Ronnie Scotts  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qss1ShjDnVY
  7. Otis Redding  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XYoUfHW9-U
  8. Sam Cooke  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29049lYFSQQ

P.S.  The year 2008 offered depression and we called it recession.  It and a growing scarcity of resources have put people at odds with each other. But we cannot blame economics for it all.  In our media driven marketplaces men have simply picked up the habit, even the odd joy, of being at each other’s throats. 




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