Friday, June 4, 2010
"Should have taken warning"
The Fixx, an 80s group if there ever was one. I am trying to post, at least during these inaugural weeks, songs from 1980-85, songs that I liked, that formed a big part of my own experience of those times. Red Skies At Night alluded to the Cold War, as did many songs in those days.
While détente went some distance to allaying fears about a huge war involving the Soviet Union and the U.S., the fear of mutually assured destruction was still a great concern to everyone. It's weird that a little more than 20 years since the fall of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact that so little of this is spoken about these days.
Leonoid Brezhnev, who had led the Soviet Union since the ouster of Nikita Krushchev in 1964 (he was part of a governing trioka from 1964-1977, and led the Soviet Union himself from 1977-1982), died in 1982, he was replaced by former KGB head Yuri Andropov, who died less than two years later and was succeeded by Konstantin Chenenko, another old man, who died a little more than a year after becoming the Soviet leader. This leadership crisis, though it was not apparent at the time, was the initial fissure that showed that the Soviet Union was not invincible. It was in 1985 that Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union.
Of course, communism was not aided by the election of the Pole, Karol Wojtyla, who was chosen to be Pope in 1978. I know there are often mixed feelings among Catholics about JPII. I for one unabashedly love him and thank God for his long pontificate. Regardless of your feelings about him, he knew Soviet-style communism for the evil it was, for its gross inhumanity, and, refusing to remain passive in the face of evil, he played no small role in the demise of the evil empire, brushing aside, as did Reagan and Thatcher, all the Ostpolitic, realpolitic nonsense that really amounted to appeasement and rapproachnment with evil. This is something our current administration could take a lesson from in dealing with the likes of Iran and their proxies, namely Hizbollah and Hamas, along with Syria, and, sadly, Turkey, which has increasingly, as it turns more into an Islamist state under the rule of Erdogan and the Freedom Party, gotten in on the antagonism. JPII was also the first to warn the recently liberated peoples and governments of central Europe to trod a new path and not be content to replace a totalitarian system with a western consumerist model, which is arguably just as inhuman, some ways maybe more so.
Not a terribly inspiring choice of song, but one very rooted in the era.