This peaceful persistence has quietly grown and today finds new ears among those profoundly dissatisfied with the government of the United States of America. Tom Chelston is part of the Folk-Rock tradition seeking peaceful alternatives to violence, death and destruction.
Looking back over history it would seem that we have been caught up in the cycles of growth and collapse. Regardless of how it may appear, this time is significantly different that all those that have gone on before.
This time the crisis surpasses the idea of nations and states to encompass regions and the world. The entire world has been subsumed by merchant’s and banker’s interests so that there is no longer an outside terrain belonging to outsiders.
Everything and everybody has been engulfed within a single exploitative system and it is only social relations that lag behind and expose themselves to collateral damage. Old forms of exploitation crumble and harsh new international cartels barely pause to consume whatever flesh remains intact.
In this expanding field of carnage lives an opportunity. During this period of transition we will witness depravity and greed show themselves and become vulnerable.
Each of us will have opportunities, we will all have choices, to join in the madness or to seek a peaceful revolution. In this time of new beginnings people like Tom Chelston can trigger events that will take decades to unfold.
Please listen to these songs by Tom Chelston:
* * * * * Artist’s Statement * * * * *
Why are you passionate about creating peace?
A Peaceful Solution is the one true solution.
Peaceful minds and hands lend a “Midas” touch to every daily challenge and every human encounter. Beyond the human and environmental toll of war, the global economic impact of the ever-growing military industrial complex transcends logic.
So, peace is a much cheaper and efficient solution!
I was mostly angry for my first 30 years and fighting was always an available option to me. I wish I could return to a handful of bad episodes and apply a peaceful solution.
How long have you been working for peace and why have you chosen the path of Art for Peace?
Six years as Navy Medic stationed with a USMC infantry unit changed my perspective about war but the real epiphany struck shortly after the towers fell. My initial response to 9/11 (like most Americans) was to get behind my president and ‘let’s go kick some terrorist ass”. I did a record (like hundreds of other artists) and performed a number of shows for the 9/11 Families and First Responders. I had charted with a few mainstream songs over the years but this new music was different on so many levels.
Family members were connecting with my songs and sharing them in a therapeutic fashion. “Since September” has been downloaded more than 1 million times since 2001 and for the first time, I witnessed the amazing power of a song. After dozens of conversations with these incredible Families, my music soon turned from compassion to outspoken advocacy. Many Americans are unaware of the human remains from 9/11 that “remain” buried in the Fresh Kills Landfill mixed with city trash.
Most Americans are unaware of the scores of First Responders who died and hundreds more that continue to suffer as bushco stonewalls on health coverage for the afflicted.
As a Veteran, I have also witnessed the horrendous treatment of our returning Soldiers and Veterans. I wrote “Veteran” in 2005 and the song serves as another example of bushco’s blatant disregard for humanity; in this case, to the detriment of our brave Soldiers and their brave Families.
Imagine my surprise when I realized that our president and bushco have mastered the use of terror and fear to manipulate the masses. The math is quite simple. Who is responsible for the murder of more soldiers and civilians; Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein or George W. Bush? (And I sincerely believe bushco is not done yet….Iran…Russia)
What motivates you to work for peace and the environment?
The return on (human) investment is compelling.
What are your ideas for peaceful solutions?
Informed consciousness is paramount to developing and sharing peaceful solutions. One’s ability to tune out the bullshit and the noise (often intentionally hurled upon us) is critical to unlocking the power of a peaceful solution.
Impeach! Treat this like cancer. A skillful localization and removal of the cancer is the only way forward. It’s the most immediate Peaceful Solution. And of course, I wrote a song about this process….aptly titled…”Impeach”.