Song Of The Day: Everybody Knows, Leonard Cohen
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
It’s funny (to me) sometimes, to listen to folks speak of “truth,” as if “well, everybody just knows this is the way it happened, you know?? You must be an idiot to not accept the what ‘everybody knows’.”
Yup, I’ve come across this in so many different circles; circles of Evangelical Christianity when discussing Calvinism v. Arminianism, politics when discussing “right” from “left,” and of course, in matters of love and desire. No matter what, there is something that just “everybody knows” and you’re stupid if you don’t accept whatever it is that “everybody knows.”
And of course, “everybody knows” that America just had to drop the BOMBS on Japan in World War 2.
The argument goes something like this:
“Yes, I agree, that dropping the bombs killed massive amounts of life, but America really had to be courageous in doing so – just imagine the loss of life if the bombs were not dropped, and the war with Japan went on and on and on, and all the life – American life – that would have been lost if those bombs were not dropped, forcing the Japanese to surrender.”
Of course, everybody knows this, right?
The facts however, go against what “everybody knows.” The argument that “everybody knows” seems so clean, so simple, and so easy to accept, so easy to justify the hundreds of thousands of lives that were destroyed, perhaps millions if counting those after the official death tolls of the immediate bomb(s) devastation are officially numbered.
What is conveniently left out of the facts that “everybody knows” include the fact that Japan had, through both Sweden and Moscow, put out “feelers” for peace prior to the dropping of the bombs.
It is a fact, that because the American military had been able to break the Japanese cyphers at the time, that American government and military were fully aware of the desparate situation of Japan prior to the dropping of the bombs. It is an outright myth, that “everybody knows” as fact that Japan could have continued war against America, Great Britain, and the USSR and could have caused the same numbers of casualities that were suffered by the dropping of the bombs.
It is a fact that the Americans, both militarily and politically knew that Japan had put out “feelers” for a peaceful end to the war. It is also a fact that America, represented by the man Trueman, wanted nothing but an “unconditional surrender” on the part of Japan. There was to be no negotiation.
No negotiation meant the massive killing of hundreds of thousands. Children. Mommies. Daddies. Grannies. Grandpas. For political reasons. For reasons of who knows, exactly? A demand for “unconditional surrender.”
But everybody knows.
And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
And everybody knows, patriotism is good. It is good to know and accept that which everybody knows.