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"There were demons with guns who marched through this place. -- Killing everything that breathed, they're an inhuman race. -- There are holes in the walls, bloody hair on the bricks. -- And the smell of this hell is making me sick"
- Brutal Planet is the twenty-first studio album by Alice Cooper.
- Doug Van Pelt, editor of the alternative Christian music-oriented HM Magazine, found that the lyrics communicated biblical morals "in a very powerful way".
- In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier.
THE HOT TAKES
The way I hear this is a tale of the absolute destruction from war. Most of is just gruesome description. But "there were demons with guns who marched through this place," certainly suggests a military. No matter which side you are on, war only destroys. Even the winners are losers.
This hellscape of a song, is written from the point of view of the aftermath of a battle. As the singer sifts through the debris collecting the bits and pieces of what is left of the bodies of his family in an old pillow case, he is faced with his memories of his family against the harsh reality. His fathers strong arms, the legs of his sister, the disembodied hand with a ring that tells of his grandmother's death, a friends ear. In this tragedy, the singer finds the strength to give them what little dignity he can by burning what remains he can gather. The anguish that this song stirs in me is palpable. I think of all of the people in the world right now, that at this moment, walk through a similar surreal landscape in blank faced in shock and horror sifting through the ashes of their lives for the remains of their kin, to do one last act of love for them. To offer their bodies up in the smoke of the cleansing fire.
I think of another fire too. The fire of hatred that is kindled in the heart of these left behind to bear witness of the horror. Far too often the demons with guns that march through terrorizing, or the bombs that destroy, have the symbols of the “land of the free.” How brave is it to bomb school buses, weddings, hospitals? How is it a service to you or I to terrorize people across the planet? To guard poppy fields, and take natural resources, oil, lithium, natural gas? There is no honor in that “service.” The only thing left behind is the fire in the hearts of those who will seek justice. “God Bless the USA” is a common phrase, but more honestly it should be “God help the USA.” The men and women who orchestrate this bloodshed for profit will probably never pay the price for their crimes. No, that will fall to us and our children to pay that price. Ending these damnable wars should be at the top of every libertarians agenda.
Hard to argue with Alice Cooper. Personally I'm a big fan of all things creepy and gore but there is something extra grotesque about the depictions of the aftermath of war. Perhaps the very human nature of it. Death is natural, mass slaughter however is anything but. There is something incredibly powerful in the matter of fact nature in which he talks about the bodies of his family members laid to waste by the inhuman forces who would perpetrate such an act. Sadly I think it's the most human part of this. No other creature I'm aware of wages war. As a political anarchist I'm often accused of being utopian, but nothing could be further from the truth. My inherent distrust of humans because of acts like this is specifically the reason I beleive a monopoly on violence is about the most insane idea imaginable.