No more

Eddie Vedder performed this powerful song “No More” at the Toronto International Film Festival following the inaugural screening of Body of Warin 2007. From the film’s synopsis:

Body of War is an intimate and transformational feature documentary about the true face of war today. Meet Tomas Young, 25 years old, paralyzed from a bullet to his spine – wounded after serving in Iraq for less than a week. Body of War is Tomas’ coming home story as he evolves into a new person, coming to terms with his disability and finding his own unique and passionate voice against the war. 

Props to Phil Donahue who was one of the documentary’s producers. He was one of the pioneers of daytime talk shows and vague memories of him and Sally Jesse Raphael (don’t judge) permeate my youth. Good to see that he has not gone gently into the night.

“No More”

I speak for a man who gave for this land
Took a bullet in the back for his pay
Spilled his blood in the dirt and the dust
He’s back to say:What he has seen is hard to believe
And it does no good to just pray
He asks of us to stand
And we must end this war today

With his mind, he’s saying, “No more!”
With his heart, he’s saying, “No more!”
With his life he’s saying, “No more war!”

With his eyes, he’s saying, “No more!”
With his body, he’s saying, “No more!”
With his voice, he’s saying, “No more war!”

Yeah, nothing’s too good for a veteran
Yeah, this is what they say
So nothing is what they will get
In this new American way

The lies we were told to get us to go
Were criminal … let us be straight
Let’s get to the point where our voices get heard
And I know what I’ll say

With our minds, we’re saying, “No more!”
With our hearts, we’re saying, “No more!”
With our lives, we’re saying, “No more war!”

With our eyes, we’re saying, “No more!”
With our voices, we’re saying, “No more!”
With our bodies, we’re saying, “No more war!”

No more innocents dying
No more terrorizing
No more eulogizing
No more
No more evangelizing
No more
No more presidents lying
No more war

With our minds, we’re saying, “No more!”
With our hearts, we’re saying, “No more!”
With our lives, we’re saying, “No more war!”

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13 Responses to No more

  1. Very moving song. Donahue has always been one of my heroes. Both for supporting Nader’s candidacy in 2000 and for opposing the war in Iraq, which got him fired from CNBC.


    • Jeff Nguyen says:

      Yes, I vaguely remember Phil Donahue getting fired for something controversial. My respect for him just shot up. This song almost makes me forgive Eddie Vedder for stumping for Obama’s second term.


  2. A fine haunting song indeed. Body of War is deeply moving as well. But excruciating to watch. The things we collectively do to our children, or let our so-called representatives do to our children, are beyond disgrace and depravity. Yet we somehow congratulate ourselves on our exceptional, humane, civilized society. And we regard with horror and contempt the primitive rites of savage cultures that practiced such abominations as human sacrifice.

    If we can stand it, this might be a good time to view such a film, as wee embark on four years of commemorative propaganda glorifying World War I. Not to mention the future wars we’re being so subtly prepared for.

    Thank you for this timely reminder Jeff. – Linda


    • Jeff Nguyen says:

      From Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States…”It seems that the media, themselves controlled by higher-education, higher-income people who were more aggressive in foreign policy, tended to give the erroneous impression that working-class people were superpatriots for the war. Lewis Lipsitz, in a mid-1968 survey of poor blacks and whites in the South, paraphrased an attitude he found typical: “The only way to help the poor man is to get out of that war in Vietnam. . .. These taxes—high taxes—it’s going over yonder to kill people with and I don’t see no cause in it.”

      The media has buffaloed us into believing it’s working class, flag waving Americana that is the most pro-war when in reality it’s the affluent, highly educated class that is “more aggressive in foreign policy.” My working hypothesis is that the almost upper class has been conditioned to identify more strongly with the truly upper class through the myths of rugged individualism and the infamous American dream and are, therefore, the ones most susceptible to fear and “threats” to national security, which really means threats to the status quo of the dominant/power culture.


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  4. mjh333 says:

    Not seen Body of war I will look out for it! Eddy Vedder is an amazing artist one of my favourites. Thanks


  5. Just Saw PJ in concert Nov. 2013. What an amazing experience! Vedder’s rendition of this song along with the message of the movie is a powerful statement.


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  7. No more war. There’s been too much. We’re past due for learning to do things better. What is lacking is the WILL to stop making war. We have created the tools of our own destruction. Can we create the means of our survival for meaningful living?

    Phil Donahue was forced off television for his liberal anti-war stance

    PHIL DONAHUE: Well, I think what happened to me, the biggest lesson, I think, is the—how corporate media shapes our opinions and our coverage. This was a decision—my decision—the decision to release me came from far above. This was not an assistant program director who decided to separate me from MSNBC. They were terrified of the antiwar voice. And that is not an overstatement. Antiwar voices were not popular. And if you’re General Electric, you certainly don’t want an antiwar voice on a cable channel that you own; Donald Rumsfeld is your biggest customer. So, by the way, I had to have two conservatives on for every liberal. I could have Richard Perle on alone, but I couldn’t have Dennis Kucinich on alone. I was considered two liberals. It really is funny almost, when you look back on how—how the management was just frozen by the antiwar voice. We were scolds. We weren’t patriotic. American people disagreed with us. And we weren’t good for business.


  8. Jeff Nguyen says:

    Unfortunately, the ones who have not only the will but the means to continue these endless wars are the true shot callers in America. But the numbers are not on the side of the ruling class/elite. Eventually, if things continue to deteriorate economically, more people will be forced to choose sides. Every single drop of water is needed to bring down the levees.


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