Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible Track by Track Song Meanings Pt 1

by JoHarrington

It's the 20th anniversary of 'The Holy Bible'. Song meanings should be dated in their grim 'reality as it is' expose of our world. Yet most seem even more relevant now.

'The Holy Bible' by the Manics is probably my favorite album of all time. Which doesn't mean it's all that accessible to those hearing it for the first time - 20 years out of context and without knowing there was ever a fourth Manic Street Preacher.

There are back stories here - some personal, some impressed - which aren't always easy to discern, when James Dean Bradfield gabbles lyrics with all the velocity of a machine gun.

Some references are timeless. Others date irreversibly to its time and place - a world reeling in the immediate aftermath of Reagan and Thatcher, when Yugoslavia splintered, the Iron Curtain fell and we lost a poet, possibly to the waters beneath the Severn Bridge.

I want to pass on the good news of each hallowed track on 'The Holy Bible'. But my own brand of evangelism needs some help in setting the scene, telling the stories and reaching Richey. The missing Manic now, and then - or nearly then - for whom this album acts as an extended swan song split into thirteen tracks.

The Holy Bible is a hard-hitting social commentary kind of album. Please be aware that some of the songs contain strong language, which will only become evident if you listen to the YouTube videos provided. Also there are trigger warnings inherent for self-abuse, human rights violations, alcoholism, genocide and eating disorders.

The Manics' Holy Bible in Context

'The Holy Bible' was released in Britain on August 29th 1994, and thereon around the world. From the outset, it was something different, something great.

The Holy Bible marked a sea change in the way the Manics operated. The alterations came on several different levels, some subtle, some ostentatious, some minute and some great.

For a start, musician James stopped editing Richey's poetry to better suit the tunes composed for them. Even when said lyrics read more like a stream of consciousness than perfectly metered stanzas. The result is something much rawer than all that had gone before.

Plus it gave The Holy Bible its signature effect of seeming like James spends half his time cramming too many words into too short bars.

Secondly, there's the fact that it's mostly Richey writing here. The previous two albums had seen the lyrical content shared almost equally between Richey and Nicky. Though The Holy Bible now has the reputation of being Richey's work, Nicky wasn't entirely ousted.

Trawling through old notebooks, the latter now estimates that he wrote about 30% of the words. In real terms, that constitutes most of 'IFWHITEAMERICA...' and 'This is Yesterday', plus occasional lines in 'Of Walking Abortion'. He also came up with most of the song titles.

It wasn't that anyone was feeling particularly anti-Nicky's lyrics. He was getting married during this period, hence his focus was understandably elsewhere.

Richey was more than ready to fill the void. His creative output went into overdrive, no doubt driven by a sense of cathartic relief.

Only a fraction of what he wrote that spring and summer was used for The Holy Bible.  The rest bulged from notebooks and ring binders, to be poured over for clues later when everything went seriously wrong.

This precious stash was plundered decades on for isolated Manics song lyrics. Finally the band took the plunge with a whole album composed around Holy Bible era pages lifted from Richey's files.

It's not The Holy Bible, but Journal for Plague Lovers (2009) which remains the only Manic Street Preachers album with words penned solely by Richey Edwards.

By then, he'd been missing for fourteen years.

Journal for Plague Lovers

Manic Street Preachers return with their ninth studio album, Journal For Plague Lovers.

View on Amazon

That's the rub, and the major context for The Holy Bible. It's indelibly marked as Richey saying sayonara, or else it's a cry for help. But that's hindsight casting shadows upon an already darkened musical stage. No-one during this album's recording knew what would happen next. None of us listening upon its release could have even guessed, despite the seemingly blatant hints scattered throughout.

The Holy Bible was never going to be cheery pop fare, not with Richey writing the words; especially while he was in such crisis. A great deal of the lyrical content came from a pen clutched within the confines of various hospital wards. Richey was in rehab., getting help. Or else he was scribbling in the studio, already drunk before his band-mates had finished breakfast, sobbing between stanzas, or waking shaken from a snooze to record his nightmares in verse.

Richey doesn't sleep in a bed, quipped drummer Sean Moore at the time, but in 'the abyss'.

Yet for all the dry humor, Richey's issues were playing right into what the Manics wished to achieve. There was a feeling, particularly concerning James Dean Bradfield, that the band's pursuit of stardom had led them to somehow selling out - drifting too far from their roots into songs too safe and packaged.

They'd dismissed all record company offers of a big, posh studio somewhere hot to produce The Holy Bible. Instead they opted to rent a low grade space in Cardiff, devoid of most hi-tech mod cons, which they traveled to each day from home. Their feet so firmly planted on the ground, it was hoped that this third album would sound raw, punk and utterly challenging to the BritPop status quo. They were up against the likes of Oasis (who released Definitely Maybe on the same day as The Holy Bible), Blur and Pulp.

Richey's '4 real' angst was the Manics not-so-secret weapon in creating an album to stand the test of time. It would be meaningful and sometimes difficult to hear, but in its darkness lay reality and truth. "We knew people wouldn't play it at parties," commented Sean, clearly on form.

Yet it was hoped that folk like me would still be listening to it twenty years on, writing articles on sites like Wizzley; over-excited because I have tickets to see the Manics perform The Holy Bible in its entirety as part of the album's 20th anniversary celebrations.

That panned out well.

Nor were any of them being overly insensitive to Richey's needs. His lyrical intensity seemed cathartic. The Holy Bible conversely signaled an upturn in his mental well-being. He went from unable to function - let alone face the public - to appearing live on stage in concerts and conducting interviews again.

The Manics, their manager and his family had pulled out all the stops to place him on the road to recovery. Richey had received so much help and support, including being busted out of The Priory rehabilitation center when his incarceration was patently doing more harm than good. Now for all watching close by and afar, it really felt like a corner had been turned.

Richey was calmer, brighter, much more coherent and less likely to sink into self-abuse. He was apparently gung-ho and positive about the future.

It's only in retrospect we can know that's because he'd made plans of his own - though when, how involved and their precise nature none will ever know - and they didn't involve continuing on in the life he was currently leading.

Wherever Richey is now, The Holy Bible is generally perceived as his swan songs set to music by James and Sean, entitled, polished and provided with a back beat by Nicky, then left behind. A glorious finale that really did stand the test of time, but one which even the most ardent Manics fan would pass up, if it had kept him home safe. I know, because I would.

Manic Street Preacher Biography and Books about Richey Edwards

Richey Manic went missing in February 1995, just a handful of months after 'The Holy Bible' was released. He's never been seen since.

The Full Story of Richey Manic's Disappearance Twenty Years Ago

If you read these first, then forget that you know what happened during those dark days following 'The Holy Bible's' release. We didn't know then.
On February 1st 1995, Richey Edwards of the Manic Street Preachers booked out of his hotel in London. He was seen in various locations in Wales, then never seen again.
Theories abound about what happened to Manic Street Preachers' missing lyricist and guitarist Richey James. But in truth nobody knows.

The Manic Street Preachers: Yes

A song about selling yourself body and soul for fear of saying 'no'. Nominally about the sex trade, possibly about the music industry.

The Manics intended 'Yes' to be their fourth single from this album, but the plan was shelved in the aftermath of Richey's disappearance.

For a few months there, no-one knew much about what would happen next. It certainly wasn't the moment to release and promote a brand new record. So 'Yes' as a single was relegated to the realms of 'what if'.

We can safely speculate that the lyrical swearwords would have prompted much whining from radio DJs - met with sneering disdain from the Manics, forced to soften the sounds or lip-sync pretty alternatives - a point already made by band biographer Simon Price.

... Solitude, solitude,
the 11th commandment.
Don't hurt, just obey,

lie down, do as they say.
May as well be heaven this hell,
smells the same.
These sunless afternoons
I can't find myself...

~ Yes

Mind you, James Dean Bradfield had a head start on that one, as regards this song. When Richey handed him the lyrics to 'Yes', James recalled thinking, "You crazy f**ker, how do I write music for this?!" Apparently his concerns were not shared aloud at the time. Given Richey's fragile mental state, that might not have gone down well.

Evidently, James rose to the challenge once he'd had chance to contemplate matters, thus providing The Holy Bible with its opening track.

'Yes' is a cheery ditty about prostitution. It opens with sampled dialogue from Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and their Johns (1993), a Channel 4 documentary by Beeban Kidron - now Baroness Kidron of Angel (Islington) - about New York's sex industry. Kidron kept it non-judgmental; juxtaposing high class escort agencies with back alley rough trade, showing them to be fundamentally the same thing, but otherwise omitting insofar as possible all value judgments.

Richey watched it on television when it was aired, and found himself squirming over the sight of British tourists leering over Thai sex workers in New York City. One even had himself fooled that the lady in his sights genuinely fancied him. It was that cringe worthy.

The stream of consciousness mini-essay followed soon on.

Manic St Preachers: Yes

Lyrics in the YouTube video description.

Yes (Acoustic Live Version)

Slow enough to discern all of the words!

'Yes' is ostensibly about prostitution in the sex industry, as told from the point of view of a sex worker. The tone of it is false bonhomie, practically plastered on, when you delve beneath the cheerful melody to realize what's actually being sung. So both musically and lyrically, the prostitute's facade is maintained.

Yet there are times when the brutally honest wording sounds less like an unnamed escort and more akin to shades of Richey himself peeping out.

'Can't shout, can't scream, hurt myself to get pain out' is one such example; another is 'these sunless afternoons I can't find myself'.  While they could technically still relate to the narrator sex worker, their relevance to Richey's own life has led some to speculate that 'Yes' is a veiled dig at the music industry.

There are certain parallels, insofar as record company agents and pimps both seek to sell those under contract to them. The masses demand and bands must deliver, if they want to remain popular. There's tremendous pressure to say 'yes'.  (Only recently, Richey had been in a terrible situation where fans - who'd come to expect his self-abuse as part of the show - handed him a roll of knives live on stage. So he cut deep grooves into his own chest.  Giving them what they wanted.)

Therein lies the secondary layer and over-riding theme of this song.  How we're all socialized into always saying 'yes', even when the stakes are ridiculous and it's certainly in our own best interests to refuse. Hence the refrain about mutilating a male, in order to physically mold him into the female that his purchaser demands.

Plus there's the Capitalist view of human beings as commodities, who lose the right to say 'no', if the customer desires and there's a profit to be made. A harsh reality, as true in most lines of work as it is in either the sex industry or the music trade. This one isn't fan musing on the subject. Richey said as much in an interview in 1994 - 'the majority of your time is spent doing something you hate to get something you don’t need'.

Along the way there are further cynical swipes at religion ('purgatory', 'heaven and hell' and 'the 11th commandent') and secular authorities too. Our would be rescuers aren't throwing us life-lines. Society is arranged so that ambulances are waiting at the bottom of the cliff. It's cheaper and easier to clean up after a tragedy, than work out how to prevent it in the first place.

In short, only those in power can afford desire, and they get anything they want. While the weak are shafted in every which way they turn, despite their grasping hold on common decency (saying thank you and standing on buses for old ladies to sit). It's money, not goodness that's master here.

Books about Prostitution and other Wage Slaves

Question: Which historical period saw the highest volume of human beings bought and sold as slaves? Answer: This one. Right now. The early 21st century. Yes.


I know about the dodgy apostrophe in the title. It does my freaking head in, NICKY WIRE! He's been trolling us with it since 1994. Git.

...Vital stats -
how white was their skin;

Unimportant -
just another inner-city
drive-by thing

Morning - fine - serve
your first coffee of the day
Real privilege, it will take
your problems all away
Number one - the best -
no excuse from me
I am here to serve
the moral majority...


I've witnessed forums absolutely erupt in flames over this song. It'll always be one of two categories of people. 

The first are black Americans who glance at the title, hear the chorus, and start cheering. Somewhere in their smugness, they'll be racist against white people, then it'll all veer semi off course into discussions about white privilege. 

Then a white American will react and bam! The rest of the world are left watching wide-eyed, as issues beyond our ken are hurled across cyberspace. It's usually an argument, not a debate, fueled with fear and plenty of evidence less assumptions, insofar as I can tell.

But that doesn't happen very often. In fact, I've only ever seen it once. The second group is much more common.

These are gung-ho Americans, who'll read the title, skim-read the lyrics, then kick off big time.

Frankly I find them hilarious, because they're actually exemplifying what the song is all about. The blithe acceptance that a) America is the greatest country on Earth; b) it's a paragon of freedom and democracy; c) none of the rest of us have that; and d) we're all picking on them.  All bit through with a resounding, 'How dare your stupid British band come up with a title like that! They need to go *insert aggression* themselves!'

They didn't. It's a quotation. The speaker was Lenny Bruce, a comedian, from the USA.

I've encountered this so often (though by no means in the majority of Americans) that I will admit to some creeping watchfulness the other day, when this song came on while a US friend was sitting beside me in the car.  I didn't expect her to erupt, though I did wonder how she would react.

She listened keenly without my prompting. At the words she could make out (it's James at his most fast paced verbalizing, gushing vocals like lyrics are going out of style), she nodded sagely and smiled; at those she couldn't, she asked for clarification. After all, most of it referenced history and issues current before she was five years old.

Then she accepted it as fair comment. She also noted the thing that most eludes those flaming before understanding - the commentary isn't solely about the USA. Britain's right there in the mix too, while similar cultural mindsets are implicitly included.

So why even shift the main focus upon America?  Because The Holy Bible was meant to be the one which brought the Manics to the States. Richey went missing on the eve of them flying out there. The Manics had built a whole career to date upon being provocative, sloganeering and generally giving journalists cause to provide the band with a lot of publicity.

The first two albums targeted Britain for all the same reasons.


The video includes the lyrics. Usual warning for strong language applies, even more strongly now you can easily decipher the words!

'IFWHITEAMERICATOLDTHETRUTHFORONEDAYIT'SWORLDWOULDFALLAPART' opens with a real world sample broadcast on the Republican's GOP TV channel, in the lead up to Ronald Reagan's 83rd birthday gala.

Notably we hear that Margaret Thatcher was in attendance, which is the first big clue that this song isn't just about the USA. We also discover that the whole event will be televised live. The whole nation is 'invited' to glorify such a pairing of political entities.

Reagan and Thatcher shared a vision for their respective countries, which they applied with cynical disdain for society. As far as the Manics are concerned, the rot set in then, building on equal corruption in the past.

Now 'an empty culture' (Nicky's words) has settled like a miasma upon the West, self-glorifying and treated as the norm, even as it papers over real concerns and social issues. We've been trained to care more for Hollywood gossip than lives lost in another city. We're directed by politicians and media into feeling so afraid that we don't even blink as civil liberties are taken from us. Divide and conquer has turned different races against one another, until we need to know the color of a victim's skin before we can ascertain whether to care about their Fate.

Moreover, it's a vision expressed in jingoism and national self-importance, which can be taken into bloody wars across the world. We're so dazzled by celebrity, that we barely question our governments, as they trample international human rights underfoot in pursuit of profit.


IFWHITEAMERICATOLD... links British Empire with US globalism. It could easily be about any self-entitled nation with ruthless leaders and a distracted populace.

There are so many references in this track (Nicky knows his history and his pop culture, even if he struggles to deal with a blasted apostrophe!) that I'm just going to list them. I'll trust in your intelligence to assemble each inference into the overall theme.

... and Napalm

A chemical weapon created by and synonymous with the USA. Used in various countries throughout the 1940s, '50s and '60s, until an iconic and shocking photograph from the Viet Nam war prompted a domestic backlash. It was last used by the US in 2003 against the Iraqi people.

The nation finally rendered its usage illegal on January 21st 2009 - President Obama's first full day in office. Though it reserves the right to disregard all international human rights treaties at the discretion of its military commanders, including the right to suddenly start deploying napalm again.

Learn More about Napalm and the USA

Napalm: An American Biography

Napalm, incendiary gel that sticks to skin and burns to the bone, came into the world on Valentine’s Day 1942 at a secret Harvard war research laboratory. On March 9, 1945, it c...

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After a domestic uprising ousted the government of Grenada and installed a new one, the US invaded on October 25th 1983. With much superior firepower, it didn't take them long to control the country and replace the prime minister with one more favorable to US interests.

The action even shocked Mrs Thatcher, let alone the rest of the world. A UN resolution to prosecute the US under international law received 108 votes in favor, 9 against and 27 abstentions. But the USA used its right of veto to dismiss all charges against itself.

US Invasion of Grenada Book

Grenada: An Eyewitness Account of the U.S. Invasion and the Caribbean History That Provoked It

Read the book: this shabby pocket tragedy had a number of lessons to teach, and by no means all appear to have been learned.

View on Amazon

Books about Haiti and the USA

Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment

Long before a devastating earthquake hit in January 2010, Haiti was one of the most impoverished and oppressed countries in the world. However, in the late 1980s a remarkable po...

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Papa Doc: Portrait of a Haitian Tyrant

Dr. Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier, former self-appointed President-for-life of Haiti, was the most brutal tyrant of his time. His pervasive secret police, the Tontons Macoute, we...

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... - Haiti - ...

Where do we even begin?  Haiti was created when slaves overthrew their owners and seized control of the island. The USA refused to recognize its sovereignty from 1804-1914. During that period a total of 19 military incursions from the US ensured that Haiti's economic development was constantly disrupted.

Then, on July 28, 1915, the United States invaded Haiti; seized its national treasury (and deposited everything in a New York bank); took control of all Haitian banks, customs and exports; repealed its 1804 law forbidding foreigners to own land; and declared the whole country part of the USA. The Occupation continued until October 1934, when President Roosevelt decided it wasn't worth the hassle of constantly putting down the on-going civil disobedience of the Haitian population.

In 1957, Haiti fell under the repressive dictatorship of Papa Doc (followed by his son Baby Doc). The US supported him, despite horrific human rights abuses and Disappeared people, because he wasn't a Communist.

However, even Baby Doc eventually fell out of favor during Ronald Reagan's regime, mostly because Haiti had risen up against him. The US withdraw support, forcing Baby Doc to flee to Miami on an American plane. He took most of the Haitian treasury with him.

From 1990 to 2005, the US continued to force its will on Haiti's political spectrum, ensuring that only its favored candidate ever reached (or remained in) power.

... - Poland - ...

During World War II, the country was Occupied by the Third Reich. However, the government in exile naturally sided with the Allies, as did the Polish Resistance Movement. Towards the end of the Second World War, the Red Army moved in and seized the country. The USA - along with every other Allied nation - recognized the Soviet government of Poland, thereby instantly dispossessing the government in exile and abandoning the Polish people to their Fate.

Skip forward to the 1980s - during the decade prior to The Holy Bible - and the US basically used the promise/transfer or withdrawal of foreign aid to compel the Polish government in its decision making.

I'm a bigger hypocrite than the Manics, as my blind eye turns half away, as the compulsion concerned enforcing human rights and lifting the ban on Polish Solidarity. Nicky (quite rightly) drew the line at interfering with another nation's sovereignty.

The Allied Betrayal of Poland Books

I Saw Poland Betrayed

US Ambassador to Poland 1944-1947 Resigned to tell this story

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No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland's Forces in World War II (General Military)

There is a chapter of World War 2 history that remains largely untold: the story of the fourth largest Allied military of the war, and the only nation to have fought in the batt...

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... - Nicaragua...

This relates to the Iran-Contra Affair, plus the wider issue of US support of the Nicaraguan Contras, with a side order of illegal US mining in the South American country. The United States was ultimately tried over this and found guilty by the International Court of Justice, thus ordered to pay compensation to Nicaragua.

However, the USA refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the ICJ. When the UN attempted to impose the judgment, the US vetoed the resolution and that was that.

Though entitled to compensation, Nicaragua has still not received it.


US President Jefferson was planning to invade Cuba in 1820. Relations between the two countries went downhill from there.

Skipping past several attempts at conquest throughout the 19th century, we reach the early 20th century, wherein the US temporarily succeeded.

Here we find the enforced Platt Amendment; the appropriation of Guantánamo Bay; Cuban Independence thwarted by the US governor who refused to step down as leader of the new republic; thirty odd years of US troops regularly deployed as a show of strength on the island, usually to help US business people secure ever more stakes in the Cuban economy.

Nicaragua and the USA

Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up

In its chilling and unsparing revelations, Firewall is the definitive account of the most dangerous breach of presidential authority since Watergate. With Ronald Reagan's knowle...

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Then the military coup of the Cuban General Batista, supported by US artillery, which finally succeeded in handing over the rest of Cuba's market to US profiteers.

Finally we get to the Cuban Revolution; repeated American attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro; the Bay of Pigs; the Cuban Missile Crisis; an economic and trade embargo lasting decades; and - just two years before The Holy Bible was written - the Cuban Democracy Act banning all US citizens from traveling to Cuba.

Discover More about US Aggression Against Cuba

Voices From The Other Side: An Oral History Of Terrorism Against Cuba

Since the early 1960s, few other countries have endured more acts of terrorism against civilian targets than Cuba, and the US has had its hand in much of it. This book gives a v...

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The Castro Obsession: U.S. Covert Operations Against Cuba, 1959-1965

At the height of the Cold War, the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations made removing Fidel Castro’s regime one of their highest foreign policy priorities. The Castro Obsessio...

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Mexico Can't Cauterize our Discipline

Half of Mexico is in the United States now. Enough said?

In truth, I've just been staring at a whole raft of US and Mexican history (I used to be a blogger for a Mexican tour company, so I have more data than you'd imagine). I honestly can't think how to reduce this all to a mere few paragraphs. Cuba was bad enough.

Let's just say that I doubt there's been a single Mexican government, which operated without interference from its northern neighbor.  Presidents tend to rule with the tacit approval of the USA. If they aren't, then they're soon removed (up to and including one being openly assassinated by the US ambassador). 

And in the years just prior to The Holy Bible being written and recorded, relations between Mexico and the US were even worse than usual. Over-simplified to the point of idiocy, here we go:

  • President Reagan threatened to prohibit the sale of Mexican oil into the States (which accounted for most of the country's economy), unless President de la Madrid fell into line behind US foreign policy;
  • The US ambassador loudly and publicly denounced Mexico for not joining the War on Drugs;
  • Violence flared in Chihuahua in July 1989, after it became clear that US cash had altered the result at the ballot box;
  • A series of public committees in the US Senate saw Republicans accusing high-ranking Mexican officials of everything from electoral fraud through to drug trafficking (the governor of Sonora was declared a purveyor of marijuana and opium);
  • President Reagan called upon President de la Madrid to resign forthwith;
  • US Congress passed a ruling which demanded that the Chihuahua electoral result be annulled, after a recount returned the candidate the US didn't like.

On the one hand, the whole thing backfired, because such heavy-handedness played right into the hands of President de la Madrid. He was able to present the USA as a common enemy against which all Mexicans should band together. A great spirit of Nationalism overcame the country with Madrid as its figurehead, despite a counter backlash plastered all over the American media.

On the other, Madrid's predicted shoo in as President for another term floundered at the next general election. The whole electronic ballot system crashed and when it came back up, Reagan's top choice surprised everyone by apparently netting most of the votes! 

President Salinas de Gortari promptly entered into a Free Trade agreement with the USA (and Canada), and undid all of that Neo-Liberal stuff that Madrid had inserted into the legislate. By the time Salinas left office, most of Mexico's wealth served US interests and the economy crashed within weeks of his stepping down.

Of course, there's absolutely no proof whatsoever that the US administration had anything to do with that system crash. Nor is there any evidence linking the computer's supplier - Unisys Corporation of Pennsylvania, USA - with any suggestion of electoral sabotage.

I told you I wouldn't be able to do this in just a few paragraphs. But yay! We've got to the end of the first verse (and a line from the second).

Books about the USA in Mexico - Dominance and Interference

In the Shadow of the Giant: The Americanization of Modern Mexico

At a time when immigration looms as a leading hot-button issue in American politics, the time is ripe for examining our influences, for better or worse, on our neighbor to the south.

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A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico

Often forgotten and overlooked, the U.S.-Mexican War featured false starts, atrocities, and daring back-channel negotiations as it divided the nation, paved the way for the Civi...

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More References from the Manics Song IFWHITEAMERICA...

So what had the American people so distracted that they didn't seem to notice and/or mind that atrocities were being committed in their name?  Oh yeah.

Big Mac:  Headline burger on the McDonald's menu.  Or brand chain restaurant culture, and the trust in globalized corporations.

Smack: Heroin (read all drugs here).

Phoenix R:  River Phoenix - extremely famous late '80s/early '90s actor, who died of a drugs overdose.  (See also the first verse, which references 'Hollywood tragedy'.)  For this part, just insert 'celebrity', with all attendant razzle dazzle and gossip.

'Everything is alright':  This isn't a lyric, but it's covered in plenty of variations on a theme - 'perfection', 'please smile y'all', 'fine', 'groovy' etc.  Hear it often enough and you might just believe it.

Tipper Gore was a friend of mine: Tipper Gore led a much publicized campaign to get those parental advisory stickers put on CDs, DVDs etc. The American people were so caught up in the danger posed by their teenager accidentally hearing a cuss word, that it barely registered that Nicaraguan teenagers were getting killed by US sourced Contra machine guns. Distraction by social scare at its finest.

What you see on the news reels and in your papers may not always be the truth. It might not even be an approximation of it. Yet it forms the basis of your world view.

Patriotism:  Wave your flag a little higher!  Love your country! You're free!  Wave it! If you don't lift that flag up now, then how do you expect to have it obscuring your view long enough to miss the bloodshed in Grenada. Un-American... ah! There you go!  Stars and Stripes and an apple for mommy.

Divide and Conquer: The big focus here is on race.  Really, it could be anything that works according to your place and time in history. If you spend your lives worrying about what your neighbor is doing, then you aren't bothering to look at what your government is doing.  If the drip drip of division is very well done, then you'll cease to even notice what happens to people who don't look, act, speak or think just like you.

Plus it's all adding up to the break down of community - an ideology firmly espoused by Reagan, Thatcher and their successors Bush and Major.  Strong communities are so bad at being controlled. Better to break such unity in individualism, where people are more vulnerable to being scared out of their wits, or distracted into safe pursuits.

Zapruder:  The man who filmed the assassination of President Kennedy. 

The Brady Bill: Aka The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (November 1993), which required all gun owners in the USA to have a license for their firearm.  It also laid out a list of prohibitions against selling weaponry to people.  Sounds sensible, doesn't it? But there's a context.  

The Brady Bill came into force in February 1994, when Nicky wrote this song and the debate raged concerning poorer people, especially those of color.  It was believed that the bill sought to remove hand guns from the possession of these people, on the basis that they wouldn't be able to afford the license. That would mean that weaponry was only ever in the hands of the rich. Hence the defiant refrain by the Manics.


After all that, I figured you might want another chance to hear the song with all the context laid out!

Harold Pinter's Politics and IFWHITEAMERICATOLDTHETRUTH...

The influence of British playwright Harold Pinter has been discerned in the Manics' lyrics to 'IFWHITEAMERICATOLDTHETRUTH...'.

During the 1980s, Pinter became increasingly politicized - not coincidentally because he was living in Thatcher's Britain and Reagan's world - which emerged in both his writing and his activism.

The New World Order was a ten minute play, published and staged in 1991, which forced theater goers to confront the reality of torture. The interrogators justified it as making 'the world safe for democracy'. This rhetoric would have been recognized by contemporary audiences as pertaining to the USA.

I Spat Out Plath and Pinter...

In terms of influencing Nicky Wire lyrics on The Holy Bible, even more relevance may be found in another of Pinter's political plays from the same period.

Premiering in London in August 1991, Party Time juxtaposed an elegant gathering of the privileged classes, sipping cocktails and discussing summer houses, with the terror and squalor experienced on the streets below.

The policies of the elite have caused such desperate poverty, yet they do not wish to face the consequences of their actions and decisions. They've safeguarded this distancing too. A sinister militarized police force ensures that the repressed, enslaved and downtrodden are kept out of sight. All dissent is ruthlessly put down.

Meanwhile, the privileged few continue to party through their culpable indifference; their apathy only stirred in order to politically disrupt anything which would inconvenience their lifestyle.

Pinter's script is practically 'IFWHITEAMERICATOLDTHETRUTH...' dramatized.

Party Time was televised in Britain on 17 November 1992. Performances were staged in Washington DC in 1994. The play undoubtedly sat at the back of Nicky Wire's mind, as he penned the lyrics for this song.

It's also intriguing to ponder if Pinter heard Nicky's song. The playwright's commentary for The Guardian newspaper, The Biggest Bully in the West (December 1996) reads like 'IFWHITEAMERICATOLDTHETRUTH...' as an editorial. Perhaps not. A cross-fertilization of ideas, truths and viewpoints was unnecessary, when both Pinter and Wire had as their source the same historical and contemporary realities.

Harold Pinter's 'The New World Order'

The play adapted as a New York Film Academy short movie.
No excuse from me, I am here to serve the moral majority...

The Manic Street Preachers: Of Walking Abortion

Atrocities do not occur in a vacuum. They requires people to be complicit, either openly supportive or silently not standing in their way.

On June 3rd 1967, Valerie Jean Solanas shot Andy Warhol three times. The first two missed, but the last seriously wounded him.

Then she shot art critic Mario Amaya, who just happened to be present, wounding him too. Finally she turned her gun, at point blank range, onto Warhol's manager Fred Hughes. Had it gone off, he would have been killed outright. The gun jammed.

Her reasoning lies in a mess of paranoid delusion. That doesn't matter. She got her fifteen minutes of fame.

... Little people in little houses
Like maggots small, blind
and worthless.

The massacred innocent
blood stains us all...

~ Of Walking Abortion

What is important here is that she used that fame to promote her SCUM Manifesto.  It was a self-penned tract which passionately exhorted all women to rise up against the government, seize control of the country and exterminate all men.

Or how Solanas put that:

The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.

Hence the title of this track - mostly written by Richey, with some lines inserted by Nicky. The Solanas reference is almost certainly Richey. He quoted her in Generation Terrorists too. It probably appealed to his sense of self-worth (as a man, and as a human being), or else he was applying the slur to the whole of mankind (as in humankind).

The main point being that Solanas accused us (females too, extended by Richey) of being 'emotional cripples'. Moreover, she thought the answer to that was mass extermination.

She shot three people. Only providence meant that she didn't kill three people. She felt entitled to that violence and potential killing.

Richey doesn't think she's alone in that. We all feel entitled to murder and maim for our own convenience. At best, we might contemplate or approve it within some sense of justification - whatever justification we may find.

The most heinous aren't the infamous dictators in genocidal totalitarian regimes. It's the 'little people in little houses', whose casual evil passes unremarked.

At least it does until they're caught and their viewpoints or practices condemned. Until then, the petty evils might even seem quite seductive, perhaps even to the point of complicity. 

During the mid-1960s, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley embarked upon a child killing spree on the outskirts of Manchester, in Britain. They also befriended seventeen year old David Smith - who had married Myra's sister Maureen - without her family's consent. Smith's alienation, plus his juvenile convictions for grievous bodily harm, led Brady to believe that he'd found a kindred spirit.

Smith was so appalled by the reality finally revealed by Hindley and Brady, that he went to the police. Thus the Moors Murderers were caught. But only because some moral line had been crossed in Smith's mind.

Brady's attention not only left Smith in awe, but also highly suggestible to certain perceptions concerning the world. As evidenced by Smith's poetry recorded in his diary at the time:

Rape is not a crime, it is a state of mind.
Murder is a hobby and a supreme pleasure
God is a superstition, a cancer that eats into the brain
People are like maggots, small, blind and worthless.

That last line was co-opted to serve time in this Manics song.

David Smith's Autobiography about the Moors Murders

The man who wrote the poem above is a hero now. Who knows how many children's lives he saved? Remember this for when we get to 'Archives of Pain'.

'Of Walking Abortion' begins with a twice repeated sample of author Hubert Selby Jr talking in a televised interview. Richey cited Selby's Last Exit to Brooklyn as one of his favorite books.

The influence of the novel runs like a seam throughout The Holy Bible, not least in the fact that Biblical verses (of the scripture kind) preface each segment of Last Exit to Brooklyn. Selby's book is split into six parts, each harshly detailing the quiet brutality half hidden in Brooklyn. His stories cover alcoholism; domestic violence; gang rape; embezzlement of union funds to pay for hedonist personal pleasures; prostitution; closet homosexuality; transvestism; drug abuse; gangland violence; family rejection; and the banality of everyday life.

In short, it might as well be the literary version of The Holy Bible. They both ping off the same themes, not at all coincidentally.

'The nation's moral suicide' is inherent in all of us, Richey bleakly observes. It's not enough to say that you've never abused nor murdered anyone, because you've probably been complicit in something reprehensible. If only by sheer negligence.

That's the 'acedia' reference in case you missed it. Acedia, from the Greek, meaning 'negligence' and applied specifically to those who are too apathetic to care for their position in the world.

In 'acedia's blackest hole... no-one cares, everyone is guilty'. It's a standpoint which reaches a crescendo of repetition in the coda, 'who's responsible, you f***king are!'

It's not just in ignoring the world's more dramatic atrocities, as not affecting us. We'll openly facilitate the same by not caring enough to investigate the consequences of our actions, thus preventing on-going tragedies.

For example, a contemporary commercial showed OJ Simpson washing his car wearing brand baseball boots.  They were quite the rage, sparking a surge of people buying them in the name of fashion and celebrity endorsement. Hence Richey writing:

A moral conscience - you've no wounds to show
So wash your car in your 'X' baseball shoes...

The shoes were made in sweat shops. Everyone who bought a pair was complicit in the evils of semi-slavery. They just hadn't taken the time to discover that and/or shrugged it away as irrelevant if they did know.

Their name means 'cry from the heart'. Their Eco-friendly fashion shoes have been featured in the pages of Marie Claire and Vogue. Check them out!

I'm reminded of a situation in my own life, a decade or so ago, when my friend's four year old daughter had expressed the desire to receive a Disney product for Christmas. I knew that Disney out-sources the manufacture of its merchandising to sweat shops in Asia. I refused point blank to buy the doll for her.

Which unleashed a lot of pressure from the people around me. That's what the girl wanted. She's only a baby. She can't know about politics.  I'm foisting my views on a kid. Get her the God Damned Disney gift! I still refused.

Her mother - belatedly realizing she'd passed this suggestion onto the wrong friend - stepped into the fray.  She gave me another tip, assuring me that it was fine. She would get her daughter the Disney doll herself, so that I wouldn't have to compromise my morals.

Like the issue was ever about the compromising of my morality. I thought it was about facilitating the horrors of a sweat shop.

Peace loving parents, who love their children, see no boundaries in their behavior. Not if the atrocities are out of sight - and out of mind.  Then it's 'Shalom Shalom, there are no horizons' - Holocaust hint fully intentional.

Manics: Of Walking Abortion

In the midst of the song comes an oft-quoted quartet of lines name-checking World War Two era Fascist leaders. For this reason, 'Of Walking Abortion' is often viewed as being about totalitarianism. Personally I don't see that at all.

The trick is looking at what's actually being said, then cross-referencing Richey's reading list at the time. Some deeper clues to his mindset and meaning are thus revealed.

'Mussolini hangs from a butcher's hook...' 

Benito Mussolini, Italian Fascist dictator, was shot dead by firing squad in 1945.  His body was taken to Milan, where it was strung upside down on meat hooks attached to the forecourt canopy of an Esso garage.

The fine, upstanding citizens enacted their revenge upon his remains by hurling stones and other missiles - including a hefty invective of words and spittle - until Mussolini's corpse was a unrecognizable carcass.

Ditto the other former party leaders (plus Mussolini's mistress Clara Petacci) executed and dangling alongside him.

Humans, pigs, they all hang from the same hooks in the end; looking from one to the other, 'I can't seem to tell the difference'.

So who here has shed a tear for Mussolini and his ignoble Fate hanging from an Esso forecourt canopy?

How about the bit where he was stripped naked and hung upside down from a wall? 

Or are you already mentally correcting that 'he' to 'his corpse', while inserting justifications regarding his own regime's atrocities? Is it a matter of triumph that this occurred?  That's certainly how it played out in this American newsreel

'Hitler reprised in the worm of your soul...'

But we're not really talking about Mussolini here. There's no value judgment attached to the dictator himself in Richey's lyric. He's already dead.

We're talking about the mass of people who thought it right to a) shoot dead; b) string up; and c) gather beneath to unleash their aggression upon a human being and his Earthly remains.  If you concur with those people, then here's another gory picture for your gratification.

Or if you want it really hammered home, there's another Nazi era leader - Miklós Horthy - whose corpse finally made it home to Hungary in 1993. His reburial ceremony was televised, while tens of thousands turned up to witness it first hand. Far fewer activists marched in Budapest protesting what was clearly a whitewashing of Horthy's wartime regime.

Richey watched on, writing The Holy Bible.

Hungary: The Far Right Pays Tribute to Miklós Horthy

This news report comes from 2012. While there are only a handful of right-wing extremists here now, in 1993 Horthy's reburial saw a sea of people paying tribute.

Also during The Holy Bible period, Czechoslovakia had just shed Soviet Communism. The nation was in the process of re-evaluating its own World War Two history, including a revival in the hero worship of its Nazi era leader Jozef Tiso. The man had once been publicly hanged for treason. Now an anti-Communist backlash justified the redemption of his reputation by Czech and Slovak apologists.

'Tiso revived...'

If anyone ever needed another blatant example of violence, cruelty and death normalized into a mass spectator attraction, then what about a bullfight? Defended as traditional in Spain and elsewhere, the blood sport continues to lure millions of tourists into those grisly arenas. Each one self-entitled and feeling justified in their right to torture and kill bulls as entertainment.

'...the horror of a bullfight...'

However, Richey was mostly referencing Ezra Pound. The American poet  had been so appalled by the horrors of World War One that he renounced his own country and England too. He blamed everything on international Capitalism and usury overseen by Jews.

Like many people feeling disillusioned and victimized, he fled into far right wing politics. He admired Germany's Nazi Party, as well as Oswald Moseley's brown-shirted Fascist Party in Britain. But Italy became his spiritual and literal home. Pound was hired by Mussolini to broadcast hundreds of radio shows in support of his regime.

Pound was arrested, but quickly handed over to the Americans, who now occupied part of Italy.

Their native poet was placed inside a reinforced steel cage, measuring 6ft by 6ft, exposed to the elements in the open air. During the day, it seared in the fierce sunlight; during the night, over bright floodlights were trained directly upon it.

He was not released from his cage for anything, not exercise nor toilet/ablutions. He was prohibited from conversation with anyone but the complex chaplain.

After two and a half weeks, Ezra Pound went insane.

His Pisan Cantos were started in that cage, scribbled on toilet paper once he'd heard the news about Benito Mussolini strung up in Milan.  Canto LXXIV begins,

The enormous tragedy of the dream in the peasant’s bent
Manes! Manes was tanned and stuffed,
Thus Ben and la Clara a Milano
by the heels at Milano
That maggots shd / eat the dead bullock
DIGONOS, but the twice crucified
where in history will you find it?

yet say this to the Possum: a bang, not a whimper,
with a bang not with a whimper,
To build the city of Dioce whose terraces are the colour of stars...

Pound's mental breakdown all too obvious, his compatriot military captors finally released him from the cage and placed him in a medical facility. There he was given a Bible as reading matter - another name-check for The Holy Bible - but also obtained access to a typewriter, upon which the rest of the Pisan Cantos were completed.

He was eventually transferred back to the United States, where Ezra Pound spent the next twelve years in an asylum.

So he was in a hospital, writing poetry about Mussolini and maggots, while being spiritually force-fed Christianity. A little like Richey Edwards, who wrote a large proportion of The Holy Bible's lyrics while in various hospital beds, being forced - though an Atheist - to choose a religion with which to proceed through the Priory's curative program.

Ultimately then, we're back where we began - with Richey considering himself in terms of Solanas's 'walking abortion', emotionally crippled and worthless, just like Ezra Pound.

Who's Responsible? You F***ing Are!

Incidentally, Nicky added that final repeated refrain. That's his contribution to the song's lyrical content.

The Manic Street Preachers: She is Suffering

A spiritual concept whereby desire brings suffering, therefore we must strip ourselves of worldly distractions. Or else a failed counterfeit Police or Tears for Fears tune.

Beauty finds refuge in herself.
Lovers wrapped inside
each other's lies
Beauty is such a terrible thing;
She is suffering yet
more than death...

~ She is Suffering

Finally we get to a track on The Holy Bible which doesn't require an essay to reference and explain!

In fact, I could just quote its songwriter. Richey informed us quite categorically that 'she' isn't a human being per se, but any person, object or abstract thing which distracts us from our spiritual selves.

'She' is causing suffering, Richey explained, as she is  '... Desire. In other bibles and holy books, no truth is possible until you empty yourself of desire. All commitment otherwise is fake/lies/economic convenience.'

Nicky added, 'It's quite a simple song, both musically and lyrically. It's kind of like the Buddhist thing where you can only reach eternal peace by shedding every desire in your body.'

It was also the third single release off the album, reaching number 25 in the British charts. This necessitated a much maligned music video to promote the song - though they weren't aiming for 'much maligned' at the time - which seems to completely miss the point of the track.

Back in 1994, Nicky was telling Melody Maker that the video for 'She is Suffering' is 'absolute sh**e beyond belief'. But he's Nicky, so only non-Manics fans pay any attention to what he says, if it looks like something designed for headline grabbing value. Even if we concur with the sentiment.

Though I've also read reports that someone in the band was rubbishing this video as late as 2011. I can't find the source to verify who and what they said.

I can guess that it's in relation to the woman being portrayed as a puppet in Alfonso Doring's music video. She's an adult lady, clad in sexy clothes and cosmetics, whose bodily movements are governed by a young boy playing with a wooden mannequin.

It would be a decent enough visual commentary for 'Little Baby Nothing', but not 'She is Suffering', where the message is meant to be reversed. The boy should be played and consumed by her, as the personification of his desire.

Manics: She is Suffering Music Video

Based on the video, some reviewers have evaluated 'She is Suffering' as a Feminist song. It's purportedly making the point that males are raised to consider females as their property; a living doll to be moved only as their men see fit, or in this case boys.

They've then disdained the Manic Street Preachers for 'white knighting' - acting as the female voice themselves, rather than bring a female singer in to do so. 'Little Baby Nothing' received that, so why not this one?

Of course, the answer might be that the Manics messed up here. That the song was always about what the video portrays. Otherwise why would they have let such a contrary rendering leave the press office in the first place?  Then Richey and Nicky hurriedly embarked on a little creative, retrospective damage control, once their error had been made clear in early reviews.

That's certainly the interpretation formed by Simon Price (Manic Street Preacher biographer). He likened it to Tears for Fears' 1989 hit 'Woman in Chains', which was indeed a Feminist inspired tune featuring Oleta Adams.

That song's writer, Roland Orzabal, composed the lyrics after reading about matricentric societies and how they were generally less violent and greedy. Western style patriarchal societies are hampering themselves by seeking to control their women. 'Both men and women suffer' for downplaying the civic contribution of females, as well as vilifying 'feminine' attributes in males.

Did Richey read Orzabal's interview and write his own 'Woman in Chains'?  The lyrics seem to fit very well. Much more than the official 'desire' party line.

I also vaguely recall reading, hearing or otherwise being told sometime over the years that 'She is Suffering' was inspired by the creep fest stalker song 'Every Breath You Take' by The Police. However, I can't find anything intimating where I might have picked up that notion - though another writer repeated the same bit of trivia as fact, suggesting that I didn't actually dream it.

Framed Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible 10th Anniversary Poster

The Manic Street Preachers: Archives of Pain

It's undoubtedly about capital punishment, but whether pro or anti is a debate which has raged for the past twenty years and won't slow any time soon.

Richey wrote the lyrics to 'Archives of Pain', and Richey isn't here to explain himself. Therefore everyone else has leaped in to fill the void.

On the surface, it shouldn't be that hard. Skip back to 'Of Walking Abortion' and contemplate its meaning again.  Then come back here.

'Archives of Pain' describes the logical consequence of the attitudes so starkly highlighted in 'Of Walking Abortion'.  Solanas advocated the extermination of all men; all Richey preaches 'is extinction'.

Previously, we were told 'everyone is guilty', then 'the massacred innocent blood stains us all'. James now sings that 'the center of humanity is cruelty'. This is practically 'Of Walking Abortion part two'.

... If hospitals cure
Then prisons must bring their pain.
Don't be ashamed to slaughter -
The center of humanity is cruelty.
There is never redemption,
Any fool can regret yesterday.
Nail it to the House of Lords,
You will be buried in the same box as a killer...

~ Archives of Pain

So having asserted that every single one of us is responsible for abysmal cruelties, wanton negligence, apathy in the face of brutality, through to actual hands on petty murder or genocide, what should be our Fate?

Bear in mind that our punishment will also be devised by humanity. The very people blithely bloodstained with the slaughter of innocents, who have cruelty at their core. If there was any logic in it at all, then the answer is to hang us all. All I preach is extinction.

And who do we know with a history of bringing the entire human race to the brink of extinction? Oh yeah! God! Floods and all that.

'Archives of Pain' is the Manics in Camus mode, particularly circa The Rebel, and with all due reference to Nietzsche's 'God is Dead'.

Back in 1991, Richey was telling the press that Albert Camus's writing heavily influenced the philosophy of the Manic Street Preachers, especially the sentiments summed up in 'If there is no God, then I am God'.

The song opens with a segment lifted from a news interview with a mother outside a Leeds courtroom. Her daughter was killed by Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper:

'I wonder who you think you are. You damn well think you're God or something. God give life, God taketh it away, not you. I think you are the Devil itself.'

God is Dead >> I am now my own God >> You're not God, you're the Devil. And if we make God in our own image, then what does that look like in today's society? 'If man makes death then death makes man.'

So there's our leaping off point for 'Archives of Pain', now return to Albert Camus's The Rebel for the framework and the rest should follow quite easily.

Albert Camus's philosophy talked about dualism - light and dark, life and death etc - discussing how one state is defined by the other, particularly within the human condition.

All human life is spent within the shadow of death, which makes us appreciate life; all happiness is fleeting, which helps us endure unhappiness, as the same is equally true. Without experiencing unhappiness, we'd have no context for happiness. But this leads to paradoxes.

  • We value our lives, though we know we will die;
  • We value our lives, though no external force applies meaning to it (the universe remained silent despite all of our religions, philosophies etc.);
  • We can live with unhappiness because we anticipate we will one day be happy;
  • We cannot live with mortality without anticipating that we will one day be immortal;
  • We can find proof - or precedents and the likelihood of a pattern repeating - for the expectation that happiness will follow unhappiness;
  • We cannot find proof for the expectation that immortality follows death.

Therefore humanity is stuck in a position of dualism paradox, summed up in the phrase:  I think my life is of great importance, but I also think it is meaningless.

That condition cannot hold. One side has to give. Either life is inherently without meaning (in which case, what stops us committing suicide right now, thus rejecting the valueless thing?), or else we must create meaning. In which case, we have evaluated life. We are its architects. We're the ones who've come up with a design for life. We have made mortality meaningful. We have divined our own answers in lieu of the silent universe.

I wonder who you think you are. You damn well think you're God or something....

If life itself has value and meaning, then we have our reason not to commit suicide. But this must also be applied to all humanity. If the lives of everyone else also have value, then denying access to life becomes the ultimate punishment. Threatening such denial confers great power upon those able to wield it.

... God give life, God taketh it away, not you...

Examining the murky history and gruesome use of death by needle as a method of execution. Not an article for the faint-hearted.
Examining the murky history and gruesome use of asphyxiation as a method of execution. Not an article for the faint-hearted.
Examining the murky history and gruesome use of the firing squad or gunman as a method of execution. Not an article for the faint-hearted.
Examining the murky history and gruesome use of electrocution as a method of execution. Not an article for the faint-hearted.

Human beings are happiest in societies with a strong justice system, whereby life may be extinguished or its freedom to be curtailed. Because that implies value in living - meaning in mortality - which allows us to circumvent the fact of our eventual deaths.

  • We can appreciate our lives, because we know it has value;
  • We can find proof of its value and meaning in societal consensus;
  • We can find proof of its value in courtroom judgments and government legislation, which deem life meaningful enough to be the focus of punitive measures;
  • We can appreciate freedom in our lives, because the state may remove that freedom;
  • We can live with restrictions upon our lives, as we anticipate the state adding or removing those restrictions;
  • We can survive the knowledge of our mortality, as the dualism is deemed state execution, not death per se (if man makes death then death makes man); and we anticipate reason and sound judgement giving us a fighting chance there.

Which is the point to which Camus had contemplated his Absurdism philosophy, by the time he wrote The Rebel. If humanity is happiest when their lives may be extinguished or caged by judicial order, then what happens when it all goes wrong?

The dualism switches to Solidarity versus Rebellion, and humanity's inherent cruelty is thus revealed. None of us take kindly to our life's meaning being challenged, hence we tend to lash out.

(Pay close attention to this book, as it's openly referenced in at least two other tracks on the album. There's a school of thought which says that the philosophy explored in The Rebel runs as an undercurrent through every Holy Bible song. That and Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra.)

'The purpose of this essay is … to face the reality of the present, which is logical crime, and to examine meticulously the arguments by which it is justified; it is an attempt to understand the times in which we live.'

Albert Camus The Rebel

'If the Holy Bible is true, then it should be about the way the world is. And I think that’s what my lyrics are about, they speak about how the world actually is.'

Richey Edwards Interview in 1994

'One might think that a period which, in a space of fifty years, uproots, enslaves, or kills seventy million human beings should be condemned out of hand. But its culpability must still be understood.'

Albert Camus The Rebel

'Killers view themselves like they view the world, they pick at the holes
Not punish less, rise the pain
Sterilise rapists, all I preach is extinction...'

Richey Edwards Archives of Pain

Albert Camus's philosophy requires us to examine society as it is, approaching reality from all perspectives, including those held by our opponents. Then list each and every justification or 'crime logic' which allows such reality to exist. This is precisely what Richey James did in 'Archives of Pain'.

We've reached the very heart of The Holy Bible here, and it's not a pretty place to be.

Manics: Archives of Pain with Lyrics

There are some disturbing images in this fan-made YouTube video by dannywildheart.
'The Archives of Pain' was a chapter title in David Macey's biography of Michel Foucault, which was published in 1993.
The Lives of Michel Foucault by David Macey

When he died of an AIDS-related condition in 1984, Michel Foucault had become the most influential French philosopher since the end of World War II...

View on Amazon

"I like the idea in 'Archives Of Pain' I took from Michel Foucault, when he advocates a return to 19th century values of execution and capital punishment. You know, it appeals to me, but you shouldn't only bring back capital punishment.

It should be compulsory that your body be kept, have oil poured over it and be torn apart with horses and chains. It should be on TV, and four or five year olds should be made to watch it. It's the only way.

If you tell a child 'That's wrong', he doesn't really learn. But if you show a body being ripped to shreds, after 'Blue Peter', he's gonna know. But then, that's really right wing. Which I'm not."

Richey James, Melody Maker, December 3rd 1994.

Truth? Hyperbole of the usual Manic Street Preachers headline grabbing sort? Sarcasm? Camus driven role playing belief in an opposing point of view? Richey's actual opinion? Or a test to see who's paying attention?

Michel Foucault didn't advocate a return to capital punishment.

His Discipline & Punish lists nineteenth century execution methods solely to show how those heinous penalties - so shocking to modern sensibilities - aren't actually that divorced from what exists today.

Exactly as Richey does with his lyric:  tear the torso with horses and chains.

If 'crime logic' dictates that an execution is 'needed', in order that the corpse be a 'bloody vessel for your peace', then why be squeamish about the methodology?  The Romans chained people to four horses, each limb attached spread-eagle, then whipped the horses into galloping in opposite directions. Yet we now view that as being too barbaric or inhumane to have on our statute books.

Are the lethal injection, gas chamber, hanging, electric chair etc. really more humane than that? Foucault says no. Camus says it's all the same. Richey read them both.

Perspectives on the Death Penalty

Execution Crime Logic

  • If hospitals cure, then prisons must bring their pain. A lethal injection is humane. Its usage renders execution akin to healing. If we cured all prisons of their entire population with a lethal injection, then society's ills would be healed.
  • There is never redemption.  Some crimes are too terrible to forgive, even if the killer repents and regrets their actions.
  • Any fool can regret yesterday. Repenting is probably a ploy to get away with their crime anyway. Such gestures cannot be trusted.
  • Killers view themselves like they view the world, they pick at the holes. Give 'em an inch and they'll take a yard. They'll say anything to walk free. Don't be taken in by them.
  • Nail it to the House of Lords. Capital punishment is a deterrent, don't you know? Cicero's hands were amputated and nailed to the Roman Senate building, as a deterrent against other political dissidence. Then he was killed. Nor was it too long ago that heads were displayed on Tower Bridge, or quartered body parts on various city walls, in Britain. Each one belonging to someone executed within the judicial system, there as a warning to others. (The House of Lords is the final adjudicator in the British political system.)
  • Pain not penance and not punish less, rise the pain. It's the only way they'll learn.
  • Forget martyrs. The pros for execution always outweigh the potential for creating a martyr of the executed. (After all, no-one ever remembers Patrick Pearse, James Connolly and the others shot dead for the Easter Rising.)
  • A bloody vessel for your peace. The families deserve peace of mind. Society deserves peace from those subhuman, soul-less criminals.
  • Remember victims. None of those murderers had any mercy for their victims. Why should we extend mercy to them? The victims deserve retribution to be done in their name.
  • A drained white body hangs from the gallows is more righteous than Hindley's crotchet lectures. So the killer gets to live out their lives, all cozy, fed and comfortable, sustained in prison by tax payers' cash, while their victims lie dead. Where's the justice in that?! They should be made to suffer, just like their victims, then an end put them. (Moors Murderer Myra Hindley received life imprisonment. The death penalty was abolished in Britain while she was held in remand awaiting trial.)
  • Don't be ashamed to slaughter, the center of humanity is cruelty. It's in our human nature to kill - see 'Of Walking Abortion', and Albert Camus's The Rebel.
  • If man makes death then death makes man. Please don't take away the value implied for my life!  The threat and actuality of execution is part of the system conferring meaning on mortality.
  • The weak die young and right now we crouch to make them strong. Weak justice systems provide no proof that my life is meaningful. Camus's paradox is pinged and there's no reason that mass suicide shouldn't quickly follow. Either we morally stoop in solidarity, strengthening the system in all its flaws, or we rebel. In which case all bets are off. Revolution destroys everything.
  • You will be buried in the same box as a killer. The individual doesn't matter. No life has meaning. We're all the same when we're dead. The good and the evil are all buried in similar coffins, and we enter the oblivion of nothing. Mortality holds no proof for an afterlife.
  • All I preach is extinction.  Mankind is emotionally crippled. Exterminate everyone!
I consider judicial execution to be a 'cruel and unusual punishment', which is contrary to international human rights laws.
Have the Ninth Circuit and the EU just forced a de facto end to the death penalty in Arizona? And will the First Amendment be key to a moratorium throughout the USA?
Republican US District Judge Cormac J. Carney has sounded the death knoll for judicial killing in the Golden State after ruling it a 'cruel and unusual punishment'.

Reality as it is: Society Glorifies Murderers While Ignoring Victims

Give them the respect they deserve.

Entwined through the 'crime logic' perspectives of 'Archives of Pain' is a secondary observation. That is the human fascination with serial killers, dictators and other exponents of cruelty. Our focus seems to hint at where our real respect lies, and it's not with the victims.

As a society, we afford fame and endless attention to those we condemn as 'evil'. Half of the time, we couldn't even name the victims, even while we give lip-service to justice occurring for them. But we'll pore over interviews and articles, read books and watch movies about their killers.

Everyone can name Jack the Ripper and Ed Gein. Who now can list every one of their victims?

Richey makes his point by opening the song with the voice of a victim - or the mother of a victim anyway. Letting her set the framework and tone for what comes next, yet never once naming her in the sleeve notes, nor in any interviews.

Then his chorus lists infamous names, none of whom would require any introduction when The Holy Bible was released. Everyone knew precisely who they were. Notoriety had conferred celebrity. This is followed by the repeated refrain - give them the respect they deserve.

Some have heard that it in the literal sense. Richey asking us to afford them respect, which they deserve for being killers. Others have argued that he's disdaining the respect afforded via such publicity. The respect they deserve should be no respect at all.

Personally, I view this as Richey still in Camus mode. He's not guiding us in a value judgement. What respect do we think they each deserve?

Politicians: Give Them the Respect They Deserve

Boris Yeltsin - President of Russia 1991-1999. He presided over 'shock therapy' changes to the Constitution, which placed much of Russia's wealth in the hands of the Mafia and a few select oligarchs. In October 1993, while Richey was writing The Holy Bible, Yeltsin warded off an uprising by ordering the military to fire upon Russia's own parliament building. 187 people were killed outright. Yet Yeltsin remained acknowledged as a world leader by all other nations.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky - Leader of the Russian Opposition, the Liberal Democratic Party. An ultra-nationalist with alleged links to the Russian Mafia and/or the KGB, he's infamous for frequently advocating war. Particularly against countries once in the Soviet Union; whereupon he's threatened the populations with various retributions including forced relocation, genocide, incarceration or birth control measures. Yet Russia, and the rest of the world, continues to recognize him as a credible politician and potential world leader.

Jean-Marie Le Pen - Founder and president of the National Front in France. An extremely far right Fascist, who famously declared that the Holocaust was 'humane'. Despite this (and a host of policies which Hitler might have approved), Le Pen was frequently elected to high office in France. At the time of The Holy Bible, he was a member of the National Assembly; a French representative in the European Parliament; a Municipal Councillor in Paris; and a Regional Councillor in two separate areas of France. Patently viewed as more or less alright by the electorate and his fellow politicians.

Eugene Terre’Blanche - Founder and president of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (Afrikaner Resistance Movement) in South Africa. During the collapse of Apartheid, Blanche vowed violence to preserve the dominance rule of minority white South Africans. His party opposed any equality reforms or legal concessions for black South Africans, always politically - as he held office - and often via other measures too. This was alleged to include murders. They openly and publicly broke up political rallies, overwhelming participants with sheer numbers, beating up delegates and damaging property. Yet the far right Blanche still managed to keep his political office, and command many column inches in publicity across the world.

Idi Amin - President of Uganda 1971-1979. After seizing power, his regime embarked upon a reign of terror. Between 100,000 and 500,000 Ugandans were killed, and many more tortured, dispossessed, disappeared and/or enslaved. Yet he was not only supported in his rule throughout the West, but also served on the UN Commission on Human Rights between 1977-1979. A very respectful position!

Slobodan Milošević - President of Serbia 1991-1995; President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1997 - 2000. Milošević refused to accept declarations of independence from any of the former Yugoslav states (though his stance on Slovenia was a little half-hearted given how few Serbs lived between its borders). He backed up this refusal with military intervention, kick-starting and perpetuating the entire Yugoslav Wars, which were not run according to international law and the Geneva Convention. War crimes soon abounded. In addition, punitive measures in Serbia restricted several human rights in one foul swoop.  Yet Milošević was still a recognized world leader at the time when Richey was writing these lyrics for The Holy Bible.

Serial Killers: Give Them the Respect They Deserve

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady - the Moors Murderers. Between July 1963 and October 1965, they kidnapped and murdered five children. Four of which were sexually abused before they were killed. The couple were caught after attempting to recruit Myra's brother-in-law David Smith. He was with them as far as viewing people 'like maggots, small, blind and worthless', but drew the line at murdering Edward Evans. Hindley and Brady were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Whilst in prison, Hindley apparently held some highly successful classes in crochet, as reported in the press to an ever intrigued readership.

Colin Ireland - the Gay Slayer.  For three months in early 1993, Ireland picked up victims from S&M bars catering towards homosexual clientele. He knew he could easily persuade such gentlemen to allow him to restrain them in the privacy of his home, which made killing them so much easier. He killed five men before police gathered enough evidence to track him down. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Beverley Allit - the Angel of Death. In February 1991, Beverley Allit was taken on as a State Enrolled Nurse at the children's ward in Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, in Lincolnshire. Over the course of the next fifty-nine days, she killed four children, attempted to kill another three and injured six more. The death of the final victim - fifteen month old Claire Peck - was suspicious enough for colleagues to investigate the records. It quickly became apparent that Allit had been alone with all of the children who'd recently died, plus those who'd nearly died, but who had made complete recoveries upon transfer to another hospital. She was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Peter Sutcliffe - the Yorkshire Ripper. Britain's most infamous modern day serial killer was active between 1969 and 1981. During that time, he murdered thirteen women and attempted to kill another seven. He was actually arrested for driving with false number plates, but on a whim an officer asked if he was the Yorkshire Ripper. Sutcliffe duly confessed, shocking all concerned. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Jeffrey Dahmer - the Milwaukee Cannibal. From 1978 until 1991, Dahmer abducted, murdered and dismembered seventeen boys and men. He never actually ate any of them, but Silence of the Lambs was popular at the time. The newspapers saddled him with an epithet which would play into that cultural reference, thus selling even more papers. He was arrested after the 18th potential victim - Tracy Edwards - managed to escape, then lead police officers back to Dahmer's apartment. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Dennis Nilsen - the Muswell Hill Killer or the Kindly Killer. Between 1978 and 1983, Nilsen killed twelve men and attempted to slaughter another two. He did it for the company - arranging their corpses and having them around the house for a while. He believed that his murder methods (strangulation or drowning) were the most humane, hence the press conferred moniker 'Kindly Killer'. His crimes were uncovered after a service worker answered a call to unblock the drains outside Nilsen's home, and discovered that the blockage was caused by a build up of human fat and small bones. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Yoshinori Ueda. During 1992-1993, this Japanese serial killer murdered five people. When the fifth body was found by police officers, their inquiries led them to his front door. Whereupon he confessed to the other four and led the authorities to where he'd concealed his victims' remains. Initially sentenced to death, Ueda later claimed insanity and police coercion in his confession, and walked free.

Sensational Tales about Serial Killers!

I couldn't find a book about Yoshinori Ueda. The world must have become bored, once he'd been let off. Never mind, we can forget him if he's not really a killer.

Judges: Give Them the Respect They Deserve

Judge James Pickles - British barrister, judge and tabloid newspaper columnist. Surely we can't get much more respectable than a member of the judiciary?  He called himself The People's Judge. As one of the aforementioned people, I won't repeat what we called him.

Amongst his more interesting decisions from the bench were these:

  • Tracy Scott, teenage mother, jailed along with her 10 week old baby because she admitted to turning a blind eye, while friends shoplifted at the store where she worked. She got six months. Her friends weren't imprisoned.
  • Michele Renshaw, subpoenaed by police to testify in court against her abusive partner. She entered the box, but refused to speak up in evidence against him. Judge Pickles questioned her as to why and she admitted it was due to fear of retribution. So he sentenced her to seven days imprisonment for contempt of court.
  • A man released on probation after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a six year old girl. Judge Pickles commented that the girl was rather mature in her advances.
  • A constant stream of disdain regarding rape victims. He accused one of 'clever manipulation'; another 'asked for it'. One lady had dressed for the evening in a manner 'calculated to invite attention'. A hitch-hiking woman, raped by the man who gave her a lift, was deemed guilty of 'contributory negligence'. Her rapist was merely fined accordingly.

The newspapers couldn't get enough of it. Outraged editorials filled their pages during the 1980s and '90s. Readers flocked to discover what Judge Pickles had said now.

The Sun newspaper, and The Daily Sport, went one further and hired him to write their columns. In this full blaze of publicity, more and more dodgy statements and controversial sentences appeared, practically on a weekly basis. Yet still Judge Pickles kept his respectable establishment job.

Everyone conspired to egg him on. Who's responsible for such archives of pain? You f***king are!

James Dean Bradfield: Archives of Pain (Acoustic Version)

Manics: The Holy Bible T-Shirt

Manics: All I Preach is Extinction T-Shirt

The Manic Street Preachers: Revol

Your guess is as good as ours! In discerning the song meaning behind 'Revol', failure is its own impotence, even for one of the songwriters.

Mr. Lenin - awaken the boy;
Mr. Stalin - bisexual epoch;
Kruschev - self love in his mirrors;
Brezhnev - married into group sex;
Gorbachev - celibate self importance;
Yeltsin - failure is his own impotence...

~ Revol

Nicky Wire contributed some lyrics to 'Revol', and even he's stated that he has no idea what the song is all about. The spark for that lay more firmly in Richey's mind.

What most are agreed upon is that 'Revol' is 'Lover' backwards.  Which has led many of us to conclude that the song holds a dark mirror up to the reality of sexual relationships.

It's a view supported by the litany of sexual practices, approaches and things that can go wrong attached to each person name-checked in the verses.

Richey didn't have great success in romance - is the prevailing interpretation - and this is his way of describing that ongoing state of affairs.

The individuals mentioned were all political leaders. Those in the first verse headed the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, listed in chronological order - though two names are missing (Andropov and Chernenko) - from its inception until the release of The Holy Bible.

Those in the second verse branch out further, geographically and historically:

  • Napoleon Bonaparte - Emperor of France (1804 - 1814/1815);
  • Neville Chamberlain - British Prime Minister (1937 - 1940);
  • Leon Trotsky - Petrograd Soviet President (1917), better known as a Marxist revolutionary, founder of the Red Army and the eponymous thinker behind Trotskyism.
  • Che Guevara - Argentine Revolutionary and proponent of Marxism, instrumental in the Cuban Revolution; later a diplomat, military leader and government official in Cuba. Captured by the American CIA in Bolivia and shot dead (1967).
  • Pol Pot - Prime Minister of Cambodia (1976-1979);
  • Louis Farrakhan - Head of the Nation of Islam (1978-Present Day).

There is no discernible link between them, nor are they known to have suffered from the sexual and/or romantic relationship issues associated with them via 'Revol'. Our best guess comes from Nicky Wire, who proffered the interpretation that 'relationships in politics, and relationships in general, are failures'.

Then we have the chorus with its Fascist era German and Italian buzz words barked out by James Dean Bradfield:

  • Lebensraum - (German) Living Space. Infamously encapsulating the rationale behind the Nazi invasion of various European countries. They would be cleared of 'undesirables' and the land used to allow good Nazi Germanic folk to spread out a bit.
  • Kulturkampf - (German) Culture Struggle. Often referenced by Adolf Hitler, though it had been lodged in Germany's political lexicon since the 1870s, after Otto von Bismarck used it to justify the repression of German Catholicism in the name of Protestantism.
  • Raus! Raus! - (German) Out! Out!  Generally considered to have been inspired by the anti-Semitic posters in Nazi Germany, which read 'Juden Raus!' (Jews Out!).
  • Fila! Fila! - (Italian) Line Up! Line Up!  Or form ranks, or start queuing, or create rows. The assumption is that it's something to do with Mussolini.

Feel free to theorize a 'Revol' song meaning of your own, as it's one of the more common pass-times available to Manic Street Preacher fans.

Manics: Revol Music Video

If you'd prefer to hear 'Revol' with the lyrics, there's a version of that here.

It's a bizarre truth that, with the exception of 'Faster', the single releases off The Holy Bible tended to be its weakest tracks. 'Revol' was the second single thus chosen. It was the follow up to 'Faster', which must have made it seem even more tarnished by comparison.

The highest that 'Revol' made it in the British charts was number 22, a position attained on August 13th 1994.

The Manic Street Preachers in Words and Pictures

The Holy Bible Song Meanings Track by Track Times Two

I repent, I'm sorry, everything became way too big and unwieldy...

Image: Manics Holy Bible Tracks 1-6When I began writing this musical journey through the Manic Street Preachers' album The Holy Bible, I did envisage it being one Wizzley article.  What I hadn't factored in was the sheer depth and scale of the venture.

I've spent twenty years loving and analyzing every word, note and nuance of this album.  So has every other Manic Street Preachers fan. 

Not to mention the fact that Richey and Nicky managed to cram in so many references, which now need contextualizing.

For the sake of loading times and people's devices, I'm going to turn it into a two parter.   

However, for those of you reading at the time of posting, I have a slight technical hitch. I'm currently completing the Wizzley Challenge, which prescribes the nature of fifty articles in a row. This is my 42nd entry, so I'm in the home stretch. There's nothing (but it's my nothing) in the next eight which facilitates the second part of this trek through The Holy Bible song meanings.

In short, the time between now and when you see part two appear all depends upon how good I am. On the bright side, I'm freaking brilliant. *smirk*  Wish me luck as I knock out eight articles, become the first Wizzley author to make it through all fifty in order, then bag the second part here.

I am a pioneer....

Coming Soon to a Wizzley Near You!

Image: The Holy Bible Song Meanings Part Two
Image: The Holy Bible Song Meanings Part Two

More Wizzley Articles about the Manic Street Preachers

On August 29th 2014, we will be marking twenty years of The Holy Bible. This is probably the most important album of my lifetime. You'll either love it or hate it.
On February 1st 1995, Richey Edwards of the Manic Street Preachers booked out of his hotel in London. He was seen in various locations in Wales, then never seen again.
Theories abound about what happened to Manic Street Preachers' missing lyricist and guitarist Richey James. But in truth nobody knows.

Plus my Manics Articles Elsewhere:

  • 21 Years of the Manic Street Preachers means a Singles Collection
  • Manic Street Preachers:  End of the Road or a New Beginning
  • Music on the Internal Jukebox: Manic Street Preachers 'Faster'

Blithely Abandoned Here for Pinterest Pinning Purposes

Image: The Holy Bible Song Meanings Part One
Image: The Holy Bible Song Meanings Part One
Updated: 03/06/2015, JoHarrington
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


JoHarrington on 11/15/2014

In the West (and probably the rest of the world too), we're so entrenched in our ways that it's difficult to know where to start. In many ways, you have to pick your causes, or else you go insane. Not only do you have all of the capitalist world aligned against you, but also a society which can barely conceive of what's being said. Hence the confusion over the Disney doll. The issue wasn't my morality, it was the origin of the doll. Or perhaps that's just my viewpoint on it.

This is the epitome of what Joolz wrote about in 'Fuel to the Flame'.

Ember on 11/15/2014

Regardless of whether it is needed, it is interesting, so worth having.

If there is no Richey, are you Richey? I dunno, I'm pretty sure you just got me listening to Richey. And also you make a pretty BAMF Jo. In another sense, fair enough, it works.

LOL Yes that is what I am saying.

You brought up the Disney thing, and made a fair point to me with it the other day. I wonder just how many products we use in our everyday lives that were made in a similar fashion. I did set out once to stop using everything that was not fair trade and made in a place with ethical and fair working conditions, and I was quickly overwhelmed. I had to back out and start with small things. It started after watching this documentary, which I can't find (but I did find the trailer Led me to write an inflamed and enraged essay against globalization, for a sort of global sociology class I took for fun at the end of my degree...I think I argued that for all the potential good it could bring, mankind as a general whole do not have the ability to use self-control, they're too selfish and exploitative. >.> My professor told me he really enjoyed reading my essay HAH.

Anyways, relative to the documentary, I realized that clothing was probably a biggie but an easy one for me to start with (perhaps also because I don't do a lot of clothes shopping so easier also to control from that angle). So you mentioned when we were in Primark the other day, and that's even a more fair comment against me than Disney simply because I'd already decided to go that rout and now wasn't sticking to it >.> Back when I started, my sort of simple solution at the time had been that I'd only shop at thrift stores (usually because it also supported a cause, while directly did not support any companies that use sweat shops). In any case, I had at least looked up Primarks ethics, but it's just sort of this BS statement 'we're aware it's an issue, only one of our factories has problems in India and we're *trying* to fix it.' So... that's terrible on me.... >.>

JoHarrington on 11/15/2014

So I did need all of that extra Camus? I ummmed and arrrred about it, then figured that I should. Hence all of the extra time, plus Pinter. Mind you, I spat out Pinter. :)

Back to my question the other night: If there is no Richey, I am now Richey?

You think I'm joking about the Romans. You'd be amazed how much they're still influencing all manner of aspects in modern life. From certain points of view, the Roman Empire is not yet over, let alone the ripple effects.

What you're saying is that 'If white America told the truth for just one day, its world would fall apart?'

Ember on 11/15/2014

Oh I suppose I should add that I agree with how you explained Archives of Pain... LOL an outsider whose only just learning about the Manics.

Being a global superpower seriously goes to nation's heads. We're still not nearly over the Romans. LMAO

But seriously, if they even came CLOSE to actually teaching what our governments were up to in history or government classes...Well, then they'd be in trouble, so-- intellectually-- I totally understand why they do it (not saying I agree though). You know, apart from the few good teachers here and there who try to teach students the truth and get written off as cynical or whatever else.

JoHarrington on 11/15/2014

My work here is done.

Remember that I restricted this solely to the countries/incidents referenced in IFWHITEAMERICA. There are plenty of others. Plus there are plenty to fill, say, IFWHITEBRITAINTOLDTHETRUTH... or IFWHITEBELGIUMTOLDTHETRUTH... or IFWHITEANCIENTPERSIANSTOLDTHETRUTH... It's a condition of being a superpower. Being a global superpower seriously goes to nation's heads. We're still not nearly over the Romans.

Ember on 11/15/2014

Wow! There's so much info here. My jaw was hanging to the floor reading some of the things America has done... I mean I'm aware of some (such as attempting to privatize water in the Amazon-- and when people were too poor to buy their water and collected rain water in barrels etc, the company went around and like smashed their barrels or fined them for stealing etc. The people got mad and basically ripped the company president or something apart in a riot... I'm not sure on that final bit there... OR when we came in and took over corn farms in Mexico and then outpriced it to the locals when that is a staple grain for them, tortilla wars) SO it really shouldn't have shocked me reading all that as much as it did...but it did, with an angering and depressing effect... Wow. Especially Haiti. Manifest White Man Destiny. It's too bad this is a family site, else I'd have much more to say.

We kind of discussed Of Walking Abortion and Archives of pain the other day. Both good songs.

Okay, stand up and take a proud bow, you've officially got me really into the Manics. I'm looking forward to the next part of this Wizzley piece.

JoHarrington on 11/14/2014

I have been a little obsessed with this album for a very long time. >.>

WriterArtist on 11/14/2014

There is a wealth of information for "manic street preachers" here - not just books and soundtracks, but resources and articles too.

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