All’s Quiet On The Inner City Front

All’s Quiet On The Inner City Front
Bruce Cockburn

Blue billboard on the roof next door
Makes a square of light on the kitchen floor
Smokes rises from a cigarette
There’s a dull glisten where the table’s wet
Soft breath rises from the bed
A thousand question marks over my head

Turn on the tube but there’s nothing new
The usual panic in red, white and blue
“Military advisors” marching in the square
Knife-sharp trouser creases slicing air
Private armies on suburban lawns
Shoulders braced against the tidal dawn

All’s quiet on the inner city front
I don’t know why I should but I feel content

Bell in the fire station tower
Rings out the measure of the racing hours
I slip through the door to the roof outside
To gaze at the sign hanging in the sky
That sailor on the billboard looks so self-possessed
Doesn’t have a thing to forgive or forget
All’s quiet on the inner city front.

I was listening to this classic Bruce Cockburn song while preparing a balsamic chicken.

And it hit me.

All’s quiet on the New Brunswick front.

It’s certainly not booming but it’s not busting either.

A slow burn.

Good enough for us.

I don’t know why I should but I feel content

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0 Responses to All’s Quiet On The Inner City Front

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think that middle class image says it all about the view. There’s a reason the middle class are rarely involved in revolutions (necessary or not).

    At the level below that balsamic chicken image there is a whole other rage going on, and it doesn’t stop when a decent meal and some complacency arrive (that’s not meant to be insulting, the simple reality is that change happens in organizations, not from individual action).

    Charles Leblanc is arrested for covering Atlantica for his blog and is the only one facing charges. The only person facing charges at the Fredericton demonstration which has a police officer being charged with assault is a guy across the street who was taking pictures and not even involved in the ‘parade’.

    His camera no longer works and all pictures were destroyed, just like Charles.

    The Fredericton soup kitchen is already seeing record crowds, the emergency shelter frequently has no beds. And as you’ve pointed out, this is during a time of unprecedented industry growth in this country. And more than one commentator has already mentioned those two words ‘expected recesssion’.

    More people have been banned from the legislature than at any time in its history, the government still refuses to even study ritalin use in schools, and the government still refuses to implement its own legislation, the residential tenants act.

    The list there goes on and on, fires don’t start with green wood, but with kindling. The ironic thing is that it would take only a tiny little bit less greed on the part of those 1% who hold massive amounts of resources and power to change that. But as they say, greed knows no bounds.

    I know the Atlantica revolution is a metaphoric one, mostly because all their ideas would actually exacerbate the problems, however, for many the daily reality of staying alive is becoming acute. That is not a good or desirable thing. Economic changes need to first start at the human rights level, otherwise they are whitewash. This province, this country has some serious issues it is facing, if people don’t wake up, it’s going to get bad.

    As a metis, I can tell you the best news is that the only growing population is on reserves. That means as more white people leave, more political power will accrue to those who are truly ‘tied to the land’, who won’t leave it no matter how green the grass out west. Acadians are also growing in the cities, which means what is really dying out is the loyalist traditions of the past and just maybe those scottish plutocrats as well, if the next generation can use their elders wisdom to learn to challenge them.

    So I’d like to conclude with a song with a bit more ‘edge’

    LIVE – 1994

    The weavers live up the street from me
    The crackheads, they live down the street from me
    The tall grass makes it hard to see
    Beyond my property

    Hey man, this is criminal,
    This hard line symmetry of people and pets

    We dont bother anyone
    We keep to ourselves
    The mailman visits each of us in turn
    We dont bother anyone
    We keep to ourselves
    The mailman visits each of us in time

    Gotta live, gotta live, gotta live
    In shit towne
    Gotta live, gotta live, gotta live
    In our town.