And the Winner Are….. before we announce the winners of the Antiwar.me Art of Sedition Contest, We want to thank all of the entrants for their creative work. There is a lot of really amazing talent.
Protest artist is an important agent of change, capable of opening closed minds and awakening dormant ones. It speaks truth to power. It creates energy out of apathy. It is for this reason that we encourage the talent out there and try to provide a platform for it’s delivery.
A special thanks for our sponsored: Bitcoin.com, ZenCash.com, Roberts and Roberts Brokerage inc, StudentsForLiberty.org, Liberty Mugs, Wry Guys, Buttons Fresh Daily, FPP.cc and Antiwar.com’s own Scott Horton.
And now, here are our winners:
Music entries Judged by musician and peace activist Jordan Page.
1st Place: Anaetoh Peter, No More War South Sudan.
2nd Place: The Squatches, Only One Here.
3rd Place: The Bitcoin Rat.
Runner up: Krishna Norgbedzie, We Can Do Better.
Honorable Mention: Bentley Kalaway, An Awakened World.
Visual Arts Judged by Peace activist Christina Babb.
1st Place: Matthew Silber
2nd Place: Shyam Mael
3rd Place: Iyaniwura Adetunji Teslim
Runner Up: Michael Previs
Honorable Mention: Heather Poppe
Written winners, Judged by Caitlin Grimes, Global Communications Director at Student for Liberty.
Kym Robinson, A world apart
“I love you Daddy” she held his hand firmly, he kissed her cheek before he let her go. As he left the house he took a moment to compose his uniform.
The drive was not long, he travelled for over thirty minutes to the base. Once inside he received his briefing and joked with his uniformed familiars, his other family.
Behind the screen his expression dimmed as his face became illuminated, on the other side of the glass was another world. Thousands of miles away, he watched it and controlled a piece of it with the movement of his hands.
The hours passed, boredom and routine. The waiting and tedium was harrowing despite any present fears. Voices murmured around him as others crackled into his head set, he spoke back dull and professionally.
He looked to the photo of his family that rested alongside the screen, the only glimmer of personality in an otherwise sterile techno hub. Their smiling faces stared at him from a place and past that seemed a world away.
Though he was less than an hour away and would see them again in the morning, right now in this moment as he watched the screen he was beyond their reach.
Beyond the screen, the cameras attached to the Predator drone showed a keyhole into the other side of the Earth. The mighty bird of prey though not cloaked, was hard to see and despite the hum of its engines it was seldom heard.
Far below the Predator a village lazed in the sun, unaware its inhabitants lived as they had for generations. He could see their motion on his screen. New information came rushing into his ears and eyes.
The voices in his headset invaded his mind, he could engage. Behind him his uniformed familiars clamoured around, excited to see the unfolding spectacle. The boredom washed away, his stomach swirled with elation.
He pulled the trigger, twice.
Two fast moving missiles guided in their paths, soon found the village, consuming all that was inside their fiery grasp. He could see the destruction from his screen. Once the smoke cleared he could see the rubble and bodies strewn apart. Some writhed while others lay limp.
His shoulders pushed forward from the thumping pats, jeering applause celebrated the strike. He smiled emptily as he looked to the photo of his family. He had done his job, for them.
On the other side of the screen, far away on the ground, among the debris as flames walked and the survivors stumbled in anguish. A child squirmed from among the ruins, holding her small hand lay a man.
“I love you daddy” she cried as his bloody broken fingers slowly let her go.
2nd Place: TJ Thompson, Bad Guys
Bad guys must die, so
Good guys must kill them
To protect freedom
And every good thing
We’ll shower them with
Democracy and civilization
Bombs and missiles, too
Just one more war
But what really happens?
War, rinse, and repeat
Maybe the next war
Will be the war to end all wars
War, rinse, and repeat
We annihilate communists
We annihilate terrorists
We annihilate the annihilators
But the annihilation never ends
Because of the never-ending supply
Of bad guys, bad hombres
Whose blood we can spill
All right, destroy the bad guys
But destroy the label, not the flesh
Replace it with:
The war to end all wars
Is the war raging inside each of us:
The tendency to label and demean
Versus the courage to love and forgive
Whose side am I on anyway
Good guys or bad guys?
None of the above: I choose peace
3rd Place: Matthew Muñoz, Republic Revisited
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s
Also unto God, what’s God’s
This great Republic, shadow of Rome
Boldly calls itself home
Of the brave, the free
The needy refugee
I won’t deny those words sting my eyes
Hope, pride, shame and compromise
America has lost her way
And in some ways that’s OK
My Homeland is no longer England’s Bride
But there is another shame she hides
Her Father hungered for land and would
Trade it With the Bands if he could
Bands bound for misery
Bands caged by savagery
Bands who roamed, but did not own lands
Bands in need of Liberty
Baptism into Modernity
A baptism of flame and blood
A tear-stained trail of pale-faced love
From coast to coast the blood was let
Savages tamed, her eyes were set
Upon herself where rot had spread
She stoked the flames, the blade she whet
With discipline and iron will
She struck her mind and heart until
No queer or treasonous word would spill
From lips who pledge to fight and kill
Roused to anger, she marched once more
To battle through seas and trample shores
The martial drum beat time and times
Displacing all her Father’s lines
Lines that tie
Lines that bind
Lines round necks were cast aside
Lines were drawn, crossed, moved and held
Till her foes, her children felled
In her bosom she embraces
All the genders, tribes and races
Letting down sweet mother’s milk
Wrapping each one up in silk
Everyone gets their own star
They see the stripes, but not the bars
The cost of all this? Not so high
Just that they return her love
And share her light
By sprinkling blood
Of Patriots who fight for you
And me so what more can we do?
Light a candle, snuff it out
Cry in the wilderness
Spread your doubt
Don’t take a knee
Stand and shout
This is enough
Fight for peace
Let them think
You a traitor
Be a Savior
Get fleeced by Caesar, hear her laughter
As she leads you to another disaster
Be a bother
Are we any more free?
How’s our security
Is it brave to look away?
Did you forget you have a say?
Runner Up: Morgan A. Brown, IN TEMPORI BELLI
I have read of the marcescent blossom, which clings to the autumn twig
Ever after it flowers and withers, and how desperately it persists.
How it withers without falling; in a sense, collapsing back upon its calyces
To find itself in shadow of a shade, cast in the darkness of its parent tree.
The Heavens declared the glory of war, and History showed its handiwork,
Day unto day while Senators uttered speech, and night to night volleyed knowledge.
Hence, the Heavens parted with a curtain of fire while the brimstone pastors preached,
And rained with an almost visible hatred upon the hapless tenants of foreign sod In an Age where wars are fought high in the heavens,
No more by gods.
Never again the old man’s pslams sung each-to-each;
No more a buckler burnished by the Sun;
No more vague visions explained to the disbelief of Chaldean ministers.
Never again the Sibylline prophecy
And the horn of our salvation on a Cumæn papyrus leaf,
Or a visionary Tower leaning towards the stars;
Never again the glory of War.
King David’s lyre is stilled, as is blind Homer’s chord.
Lichens creep around the bole where Absalom is hanging;
And his upstart glory, a pall, now passes as a sort of transcendent shadow
Dragged around an ageless wall, circumscribing the present.
A kinder Age was s’posed to come to bear for each extinct.
But Miseries seize the golden spokes and churn Dame Fortune’s wheel.
I see, coming over its hump, our Age; I see walls falling,
and chaos in the streets.
Yesterday: the mending of threads on an Abyssinian tapestry.
And now a cluster bomb is falling.
Ploughshares lie encrusted in rust, abandoned,
And the tillage untended by its usual Master
Round a blasted farmhouse near Diyala.
Never again a triumphal procession, ambling through the arches of Byzantium.
But there are nightly prayers which are whispered over the corpses of the dead
Who are yet unaware that they are dying, withering beneath these skies of fire
and lead Which are falling.
And the blood still fresh on these commended bones declare as ours:
The consortiums of folly that were Greece and the travesties of Rome.
I beg of you, now sing for me, you ballad-spinsters,
A happy psalm to mark this Age of ours.
Point out to me the glory:
How the hiemal months pandered and passed,
And the chidden leaves slept where they willed,
Still cleaving to the vestiges of headstrong youth;
Perched, as it were, upon a deathly sill.
Or sing how the threshing breeze benumbed the roots
Of every blossom still clutching to the twig.
Sing of this and sing no more the dirge of war
For we are withering on a renewed sprig—
Withering, but not falling.
Honorable Mention: Lewis Mckeever, War (What is it good for?)
War, the act of sending young, naive men to sacrifice themselves for the political elite isn’t noble, virtuous, or something to be commemorated. War isn’t something to be celebrated or cherished. There is no glory or honor in war; only broken bodies and perpetually tortured souls.
To ‘fight for one’s country’ is, in actual fact, to carry out the will of the tyrant. To be used as a disposable pawn in an ongoing, seemingly never-ending game of human chess where the ‘kings’ and ‘queens’ remain free from harm’s way and make a banquet of all the suffering, death, and destruction on the battlefield. To those in power, the ‘heroes’ in war are no more than ‘dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy’, as ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ winner Henry Kissinger once chillingly said.
The soldier doesn’t fight for freedom, ‘democracy’, or the common good, he fights for the Kissingers, Blairs, and George Bushes – the very enemies of freedom and all that is good in this war-torn world of their making. The tyrants, like vampires, feed off all the fear and pain, the suffering and torture, but their bloodlust can never be satiated. The wars never stop, the graveyards of young and broken men keep filling, and peace and freedom remain a pipedream.
Ending the horror and healing the trauma“Within each one of us lies the key to our own salvation or damnation”.
How do we wake up from this nightmare and put an end to this horror? We must, as a species, regain our sanity; for we lost it a long time ago when we relinquished our power to tyrants, having mistakenly believed that our human potential is limited to voting ballots, petitions, and political theatrics. The power to create real, positive change and cultivate the conditions for peace, freedom, and prosperity in this world lies within our own hearts and minds, for we are the masters of our destiny.
We must open our hearts and minds to new possibilities, to a world where peace, freedom, and compassion is valued over war, aggression, and perpetual violence and bloodshed. A world where each man and woman is respected as sovereign, as beings of unlimited potential and unbridled sovereignty. A world where the average American doesn’t see his neighbor across the pond in Iraq as an enemy, but rather a brother of the same human family with the same basic wants and needs as himself. A world where the simple and eternal wisdom of The Golden Rule triumphs the political dictates of tyrants, and people treat each other as they would want to be treated themselves. A world where a true warrior is one who champions the ideas of freedom, peace, and non-aggression, rather than nationalism and a blind, patriotic allegiance to the state.
A world without war.