May 14th 2023
“When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb.”
I have this morning, with regret and a heavy heart, refused a request for an interview from an Iran-affiliated TV station. Why? I don’t speak Farsi, I don’t live in Iran, so I am inevitably somewhat at a disadvantage to understand the whole domestic picture there. Also I am an atheist, which colors my view. I am passionate in my support and defense of individual human rights. Yes, I’m talking about Mahsa Amini and all the other victims. The idea of a police force imposing draconian rules of dress on our Iranian sisters is an absolute anathema in the modern age. The Ayatollahs in Iran, slaves to their received dogma, like their counterparts in apartheid Israel, apparently don’t give a fig for human rights, and in consequence I cannot support them. Having said that I would defend the Iranian people’s right to self-determination with my life. If only the USA and the UK and big oil had left them alone in 1953?
The fleeting glimpse I describe in my song Comfortably Numb was, I now realize, a glimpse of freedom, a glimpse of free choice, a glimpse of a world free of all deadly dogmas, religious or secular. A child smells a flower, a young woman shakes out her hair in the sunshine, a people breathe in the air, step out of the shadows and sigh with relief.
Stop killing the children!
Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) on Instagram