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Date: 17/02/20

Time Stood Down?

Ethical dilemmas can come at you from the most surprising directions.

(Note that I always prefer the word 'ethical' to the word 'moral' in such contexts; 'moral' carries an awful lot of excess baggage, implying as it does the necessary presence of a priest of some sort, even one who - for all his pretense at holiness - has had his hand either in the Poor Box or down some poor altar boy's boxers. In any case, 'ethical' has a more philosophical ring to it).

I'm afraid that this is yet another follow-up to the death of Neil Peart, in addition to the 'it's not an overview or an analysis of Rush's albums, no really' which I perpetrated here.

I have a mooch through YouTube most evenings, and last night - in between the football, baseball and controlled demolition clips which are my regular diet - I saw what follows.

I was more than a little wary when I saw that it was a clip from the US military. After all, the army of the Untied Struts of Amnesia has been the prime single cause of the slaughter of innocent civilians across the world since the Cultural Revolution, and those directing it have varied from amoral ass-covering dullards to outright psychopaths.

Still, curiosity got the better of me - it being a cover version of one of my favourite Rush songs - and I clicked the link...

...to find that, five minutes or so later, I was sobbing like an eejit. Sergeant Tim Whalen has arranged what was already one of Neil Peart's most moving lyrics into what amounts to a chamber piece which points up the poignancy of the words to such a degree as to make the sentiment absolutely irresistable.

My ethical doubts remain, along with thinking that it is a pity that such obvious musical talent displayed by this ensemble should be found in an enterprise dedicated to subjugating the planet to the wishes of American corporations and the governments they own and control. The comments under the video are full of the "Thank you for your service" robo-bullshit that we have come to expect from members of a society which has been encouraged or impelled by peer pressure to fetishise their military (always the sign of a country on the skids). And I wish they hadn't performed in uniform either; I don't think The Professor (as Peart was nicknamed) would have approved, and it distracts from the message of the music itself. That having been said, Geddy and Alex themselves posted this to their Faecesbook page, so I suppose that makes it sort-of OK.

Anyway, judge for yourself:

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