We live in an age where life
Has truly become just a video game
We live in a time where the horrors and disasters
Of the previous century fade into the
White noise murmur of ancient history

We live in a moment
Where killers kill for sport

We live next door to the desensitized
Whose every gripe puts
Your house, your family, your entire town
In the gravest danger

Who are these people who carry weapons
That rip human flesh from bone
With the skill of a Swiss watchmaker

Who puts food on their children’s table
By selling weapons of war to fifteen year old kids
Living on cul-de-sacs

What strange dream do we find ourselves in
When there’s no time to mourn for Dad
Who never returned from coming out of the 7-11 at the wrong time and place
At what precise moment did the hunger to die
Become stronger than the thirst to live

Blessed are the peacemakers
For they will lead us on
Blessed are the peacemakers
For they will carry us on

At this moment scientists are working
on nano-technology which will pave the way
To quasar-technology for the robot people
10,000 years in the future who will populate
a fully paved planet
That they ironically call Earth

At this moment in time we stand as never before
on the precipice of deciding whether such notions as
Humanity, and decency, and compassion
Are carried into the collective memory
Of our great-great-grandchildren and their great-grandchildren
Or are lost, smoothed over by time
Replaced with a new Darwinian survival of the vicious
Dispensable worker bees in servitude to
The queen and the hive

Yesterday never was and tomorrow never comes
And I spent all day today
In the radiant passivity of the television
Craving the raw hydraulics of sex
And the sweet dumbness of mother’s milk

I wonder if at some point even
God throws up his hands in despair
And moves on to some happier planet
And I wonder if everything would be okay
If I just stopped reading the papers
And I think of Socrates, and Michelangelo and my Dad
And I’m kind of glad they never had to think about
Suburban snipers trained by the US Army
Or use an ATM machine
Or feel like their work was a useless distraction
From the real problem
Which was getting the hostages out of the building
Before it explodes

Like it or not
We live in times of danger and uncertainty
Like it or not
Our own lives sometimes feel as cheap
As a spent shotgun shell

And we walk through acres of stolen land
Plowed over with dandelion concrete,
Through a steady acid rain
Skyscrapers on all sides
Cameras capturing our every thought

And we try to recall what it felt like to be a human being,
Before the video parlor grew, and grew, and grew,
And finally took over
Our lives, and our country, and our God

Blessed are the peacemakers
For they will lead us on
Blessed are the peacemakers
For they will carry us on

(lyrics: Dan Bern)

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