Eco-communities as a social vision

Eco-communities as a social vision
Egalitarian and ecological communities, like the pictured East Wind (, are very close to our vision of an ecological society

29 August, 2007

Greek forest fires and the tradegy of environmental indifference

In Greece, these days (late August 2007) we are all in a state of shock by the widespread forest fires that have devastated a large part of the country (especially Pelloponese). More information can be retrieved by other sites (e.g. wikipedia or bbc), but here we would like to make some angry comments.

We are angry by the current government's indifference about environmental issues, something that is reflected to the incompetence to deal with natural disasters like this one.

We are angry by the current goverment's inability to take fast action in the first hours of the disaster.

We are angry by the current governmment's decision to hold elections at 16 September. The decision was taken at 16 August, within a period of high vulnerability of Greek forests to fires. Instead of being in a state of emergency to natural disasters from fires, the government set the administration in a state of preparation for elections (with its only criterion how it will have electoral gains in order to be re-elected!), which means that everything else falls behind...

We are angry with the incompetence of the international community to take serious measures against climate change and greenhouse emissions. Greece has done nothing to reduce its own greenhouse emissions. For us it is more than obvious that climate change has as one consequence hotter and drier summers in mediterannean countries. This record high hot and dry Greek summer, with three heat waves, set the scene of the tradegy. The environmental indifference and incompetence completed the image.

We want to protest and we want to see change. We support the Greek Green Party (Oikologoi - Prasinoi, which means Ecologists - Greens) as a means to increase environmental awareness and press for changes in environmental policies. You can learn more about this party at europeangreens or wikipedia (here for their greek site).

Furthermore, we ask you to send us your opinions, and seek for ways to help the recovery of the affected areas. Already, many American-Greeks are organising relief aid. Volunteer workers, especially in the medical care, are needed. We would also say that volunteer workers in nature rehabilitation would be needed. The whole region of Western Pelloponese would need a plan of environamental economic (sustainable) reconstruction.

you can see in youtube 2 shocking videos from the fires in Greece:

27 August, 2007

Ship of fools by Doors (Αλμπουμ: Morrison hotel 1970)

The human race was dying out.
No one left to scream and shout.
People walking on the moon.
Smog will get you pretty soon.

Everyone was hangin' out.
Hangin' up and hangin' down.
Hangin' in and holdin' fast.
Hope our little world will last.

Along came Mr. Goodtrips Looking for a new a ship.
Come on, people, better climb on board.
Come on, baby, now we're going home.
Ship of fools, ship of fools.

The human race was dying out.
No one left to scream and shout.
People walking on the moon.
Smog gonna get you pretty soon.

Ship of fools, ship of fools. Ship of fools, ship of fools.
Ship of fools, ship of fools.
Ship of fools.

Yeah, climb on board Ship's gonna leave ya far behind
Climb on board
Ship of fools
ship of fools

This song ridicules quieting ideas of indifference about earth pollution and of consequent escaping planet earth after it became unbearrable for inhabiting. The presumptuous "survivors" will be driven to nowhere as it was happened in Medieval Age when the ship of fools was o boat filled with mentally-deranged people who were shipped to open sea and to inevitable death.

you can hear this song in youtube:

23 August, 2007

Βig yellow taxi by Joni Mitchell, Αλμπουμ: Ladies of the canyon 1970

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put them in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see ‘em
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that d.d.t. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

This song was the first of our collection that exclusively deals with the human-nature relation in western culture: The devastation of natural environments and the creation of heavy urban ones. Pure nature was reduced to an only of economic importance spectacle and we now view it as a profitable museum exhibit. But soon we pay the price of the inevitable climatic change, either topic or global.

In another point, there's a call to farmers not to use toxins in order to produce huge and of "perfect" shape fruits. The organic small and with spots and some deformations on them are healthy, more tasty and in harmonic balance with the other creatures.

We thought that we build a paradise of safety and order away from the chaotic "horrible wilderness", but we realized at last that we only appreciate something only when we have lost it.

You can hear this song in youtube:

22 August, 2007

Black Sabbath: War Pigs, Electric funeral, album: Paranoid 1970

War Pigs

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death's construction

In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait 'till their judgement day comes, yeah!

Now in darkness, world stops turning
As the war machine keeps burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of god has sturck the hour

Day of judgement, god is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings

Electric Funeral

Reflex in the sky
warn you you're gonna die
Storm coming, you'd better hide
from the atomic tide

Flashes in the sky
turns houses into sties
Turns people into clay,
radiation minds decay

Robot minds of robot slaves
lead them to atomic rage
Plastic flowers, melting sun,
fading moon falls upon

Dying world of radiation,
victims of mad frustration
Burning globe of oxyn fire,
like electric funeral pyre

Buildings crashing down
to a cracking ground
Rivers turn to wood,
ice melting to flood

Earth lies in death bed,
clouds cry water dead
Tearing life away,
here's the burning pay

Electric Funeral
Electric Funeral
Electric Funeral

And so in the sky
shines the electric eye
Supernatural king
takes earth under his wing

Heaven's golden chorus sings,
Hell's angels flap their wings
Evil souls fall to Hell,
ever trapped in burning cells!

These songs are similar in their narrative and thematical structure. War Pigs refers to the war in general with strong description of scenes and the mind corruption of the people who were left themselves to be treated like pawns in chess by generals and politicians. Electric Funeral refers to a nuclear warfare where the atomic menace is broken loose and the massive destruction was described with very powerful words as scenes. There is also reference to corrupted and robot-acting minds. In both songs, in the end a salvation comes afterdeath as God, speeds the Judgement Day and condemns the evil responsibles to eternal Hell.

Despite it’s naive revelation end as we also have noticed in previous song-lyrics of the 60s, both songs are still classic in anti-war movements because of their powerful descriptions and their truths that are present anytime in human history: the mind-control, the consent and the submission to the commands of generals and politicians.

you can hear these songs in you tube:

Electric Funeral

War Pigs

21 August, 2007

In the court of the Crimson King (1969) by King Crimson

21st Century Schizoid Man

Cat's foot iron claw
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
At paranoia's poison door.
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Blood rack barbed wire
Polititians' funeral pyre
Innocents raped with napalm fire
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Death seed blind man's greed
Poets' starving children bleed
Nothing he's got he really needs
Twenty first century schizoid man.


The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams.
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams.
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams,
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
As silence drowns the screams.

Between the iron gates of fate,
The seeds of time were sown,
And watered by the deeds of those
Who know and who are known;
Knowledge is a deadly friend
When no one sets the rules.
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools.

Confusion will be my epitaph.
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back
and laugh.
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying.


Call her moonchild
Dancing in the shallows of a river
Lonely moonchild
Dreaming in the shadow of the willow.

Talking to the trees of the cobweb strange
Sleeping on the steps of a fountain
Waving silver wands to thenight-birds song
Waiting for the sun on the mountain.

She's a moonchild
Gathering the flowers in a garden.
Lovely moonchild
Drifting on the echoes of the hours.

Sailling on the windin a milk white gown
Dropping circle stones on a sun dial
Playing hide and seekwith the ghosts of dawn
Waiting for a smile from a sun child.

We perform some tracks of this classic masterpiece of progressive rock because we believe that they perform a strong antithesis between a mind-collapsing alienated unnatural socio-political environment “civilized” humans always create and the ideal calmness and free-playing (as performed by the free-playing of the instruments in the song) of pure nature.

The 21st century schizoid man is a heavy song, a strong accusation of the status of devastating wars with reference to Viet Nam, of the suffocating mind-collapsing environments that humans create and of the never-satisfying consuming substitutes he tries to fill his internal “turbulent void”

The melancholic Epitaph is a lament for all this situation. Of the worshiping of war (Upon the instruments of death, the sunlight brightly gleams: a strong imposing metaphor) and of the insecure Future that is obvious despite the optimistic technocratic science that promises a “Brave new world”. The line: “When knowledge is a deadly friend if no one sets the rules” refers to the threat of nuclear warfare, but comes today to remind us the –mindless (the fate of mankind is in the hands of fools) and of unknown risk- enormous human and environmental experiment of the release of GMO so “we fear tomorrow we’ll be crying” because it has been always obvious that ecosystem and society has limits that have been always ignored and now have been surpassed : The seams of the apparently eternal rigid wall, as the first lines of the song point as metaphor.

The song Moonchild, is in great contrast with the above songs. It’s a vision of escaping this nightmarous situation and of returning to nature in an ideal dreamy situation in search of piece of mind, free playing and roaming free, as performed by the long random playing of the instruments which reminds the calming nature sounds of birds, water, etc

you can hear this songs in youtube

21st schizoid man


an instrumental performance of Moonchild

14 August, 2007

Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian) by Paul Revere & the Raiders, 1968 (*)

They took the whole Cherokee nation
Put us on this reservation
Took away our ways of life
The tomahawk and the bow and knife
Took away our native tongue
And taught their English to our young
And all the beads we made by hand
Are nowadays made in Japan

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

They took the whole Indian nation
Locked us on this reservation
Though I wear a shirt and tie
I'm still proud red man deep inside

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

But maybe someday when they've learned
Cherokee nation will return, will return, will return, will return, will

From wikipedia:
"Indian Reservation" ("The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian") is a song written by John D. Loudermilk. It was first recorded in 1968 by Don Fardon, a former member of The Sorrows and it went to #20 on the US charts and #3 on UK charts [1]. In 1971 Paul Revere & the Raiders released it on the Columbia Records label and it became #1 on USA charts [2]. RIAA gold certification on June 30, 1971 for selling over a million copies.

This beautiful song with very simple and comprehensive lyrics cries out the culture decadence of indians Cherokee and the imposition of the western way of life to them, which was considered, even nowadays, “superior”, “highly-civilized” and the only “meaningful” that worth to exist. Their culture and art reduced to have only commercial interest and their weapons and artifacts are now massively produced "in Japan" (today in Taiwan or other poor countries where the native people work under very bad almost slaving conditions to produce false-ethic and such other stuff).

In the end, the “under costume and ties” Cherokees visioned their future culture revival. Still today, no matter the alienation and adaptation to western way of life of the majority of the Indian descendants, many tribes all over the world struggles for their ownership of the lands and for keeping their traditional way of life.

The Indian affair is a very common theme in rock lyrics, not only as a cry for social justice, but also as a basic inspiration of the vision of freedom and connection with nature of the social movement of 60s.

You can hear this song in youtube:

(*) We also read in wikipedia that the lyrics of this song are under copyright. We apologize for the use of them, but we do it in order to analyze/comment them.
Also keep in mind that our action is in great favour of the artists or the today owners of the rights, because we contribute to a possible revival of the audience’s interest about an almost forgotten but very beautiful song. Things change in time, and the protective reason of the copyright in 1971 probably has not only lost its meaning after 36 whole years but also could turn against owners purposes because of the inevitable oblivion of the work, on the contrary, a violation/copycrime could turn in favour of the owner.
We also make clear that our total effort of this blog is not profitable, but is a hobby in our leisure time and has educational purposes concerning a new synthesis of the information in the web: in our case, the ecological perspectives in rock music.

13 August, 2007

In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)" by Zager & Evans, 1969

In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive
They may find

In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie
Everything you think, do and say
Is in the pill you took today

In the year 4545
You ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes
You won't find a thing to chew
Nobody's gonna look at you

In the year 5555
Your arms hangin' limp at your sides
Your legs got nothin' to do
Some machine's doin' that for you

In the year 6565
You won't need no husband, won't need no wife
You'll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long glass tube

In the year 7510
If God's a-coming, He oughta make it by then
Maybe He'll look around Himself and say
"Guess it's time for the judgement day"

In the year 8510
God is gonna shake His mighty head
He'll either say "I'm pleased where man has been"
Or tear it down, and start again

In the year 9595
I'm kinda wonderin' if man is gonna be alive
He's taken everything this old earth can give
And he ain't put back nothing

Now it's been ten thousand years
Man has cried a billion tears
For what, he never knew
Now man's reign is through

But through eternal night
The twinkling of starlight
So very far away
Maybe it’s only yesterday

This all time classic futuristic song of the one-hit artists Zager & Evans reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, in 1969. The song was written by Rick Evans in 1964 and originally released on a small local record label in 1967. Two years later, an Odessa, Texas radio station popularized the disc, which RCA Records quickly picked up for nationwide distribution.

The overriding theme, of a world doomed by its passive acquiescence to and overdependence on its own overdone technologies, struck a resonant chord in millions of people around the world in the 1960s.

The song is based on a nightmarish vision of the future as man's technological inventions gradually dehumanize him. It references examples of technologies that were not fully developed but were known to the public in 1969, such as robots, as well as future technology that would come into existence long after being prophesied in the song, the science of test tube babies and genetic selection by parents of their future children. Such a concept had been explored in a few science fiction novels but had not yet been mentioned in the mainstream media until "In The Year 2525" was released in 1969.

It is not common for a recording artist to have a number one hit single and then never have another chart single for the rest of their career. "In the Year 2525" gave Zager and Evans this dubious status twice. They were, and remain, the only act to do this in both the U.S. and UK singles charts. Their followup single on RCA-Victor, "Mr. Turnkey" (a song about a rapist who nails his own wrist to the wall as punishment for his crime), failed to chart.

This song has been covered many times after it’s first release and is still famous and popular about it’s prophetical visions which came true or threaten to come true too much earlier than the songwriters had foreseen.

The basic concept that runs through the lyrics is strongly from religious point of view, about the human arrogance and ignorance that abuses Nature as God’s creation, with specific references to Judgement Day, as many rock artists like to sing in 60s and early 70s.

But the specific underlying environmental message of the song is quite interesting because it foresees the impacts of the devastating model of progress and outlines the concept of sustainability as moral necessity: In the year 9595, I'm kinda wonderin' if Man is gonna be alive. He's taken everything this old Earth can give, and he ain't put back nothing, whoa-whoa...

You can hear this song in youtube in an old video with the original singers and in a slide presentation which successfully reproduce the meaning of the lyrics.

10 August, 2007

Going Up the Country - Canned Heat - 1969

I'm going up the country, babe don't you wanna go
I'm going up the country, babe don't you wanna go
I'm going to some place where I've never been before
I'm going, I'm going where the water tastes like wine
Well I'm going where the water tastes like wine
We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time
I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away
I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away
All this fussing and fighting, man, you know I sure can't stay
Now baby, pack your leaving trunk, you know we've got to leave today
Just exactly where we're going I cannot say, but we might even leave the USA
'Cause there's a brand new game that I want to play
No use of you running, or screaming and crying
'Cause you've got a home as long as I've got mine

This song was created by the leader of the group, Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson. He used to sleep outside, so he could be closer to nature and often carried plant samples around with him in his pockets. He loved to read books on botany and ecology. Wilson was a fanatical conservationist. In 1969, he wrote and recorded a song, "Poor Moon", which expressed concern over potential pollution of the moon. He wrote an essay called 'Grim Harvest', about the coastal redwood forests of California, which was printed as the liner notes to the Future Blues album by Canned Heat.

you can hear this song in youtube

06 August, 2007

Mother Nature's Son – The Beatles - 1968

Born a poor young country boy
Mother Nature's son

All day long I'm sitting singing
songs for everyone

Sit beside a mountain stream
see her waters rise

Listen to the pretty sound of music
as she flies

Find me in my field of grass
Mother Nature's son

Swaying daises sing a lazy song
beneath the sun

Mother Nature's son

Included also in the White Album, this song is reflecting a feeling of connection with nature, with a rather naive and lazy mood, which characterised the hippy movement. However, it is an indication of the "back to nature" movement, which will take more diverse forms (eg. agro-communes and intentional communities) that we may explore in later postings. According to Paul McCartney, the inspiration for writing this song came from a lecture of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, when the four Beatles were in India, following the Transcedental Meditation courses of Maharishi. Lennon wrote a song of a similar lyrical theme (not published then), which later would transform to take the form of the widely known "Jealous Guy".

you can hear this song in youtube with beautiful slide presentations: