Did Someone Say We Were Doing this for Our Health?

Blustery Mood Piece by Dylan for Chrysler, Sell Out of Our Times!

thYou bettcha, “[We] Ain’t in it for my [Our] Health.” It’s the Levon Helm story, told by Jacob Hatley. You gotta see it. The ultimate road master, Helm was a founding member of that group, The Band, which ended up in Woodstock. That Woodstock. The ’69. That one.

Speaking of opening up for Bob Dylan … and one of The Band’s members, Robbie “Robber” Robertson. You see, one of the band members committed suicide in his early 40s, and others died young. Significant others of band members living in one-room retirement homes. I Ain’t in this for My Health — a good flick. Watch it!

You see, I’ve been asked by these old hippies on a list serve, old guys and gals still in Frisco, out in Rainbow Land, the solar panel Barter Fair types, asking around about — “Did you see that? With the Seahawks and Broncos in New York?” Did you see the commercial that freak Dylan-Zimmerman came up with on this Super Bowl joke of a propaganda-zeitgeist, Bob Dylan pitching for that bullshit pro-war, anti-Anti-war auto union of pukes who have had zero in common with common humanity? A union, now, in this day and age of over-paid-for shysters running union political agitprops, you know, leaders with questionable roots, people who talk that east coast bullshit talk, lawyers or white or white-Jewish class, the same East Coast drone of endless prattling. In any case, now, unions paying for a pro-Chrysler piece of propaganda, with the screeching batty bat of a Dylan, montaged into silliness, all the self-referential pop rock icons to nowhere. Oh, yeah, I forgot, a poet.

Bullshit. Read his stuff outside the strumming and mouth organ – fleeting pop music for pitchmen, at the most. Popular, quasi folk music, maybe. But no poet. No rebel. No great gift to mankind, but a dollar maker, a thing of the one percent, the white class, the whine and shyster producers, VPs and the rest of the schmucks making money off of artists.

How much was the commercial that was produced for and thrown onto that rotten suck bowl? How much while some of us, mid-Baby Boomers,  educated, trench warfare, real human beings, teachers, writers, artists, journalists, poets, while we float into the effluence of the vanguard, the One percenters, the gifted and talented Hollywood-Media darlings? How much are those unions fighting for part-time labor? How much is a union worth when it has sold out to the top, the echelon, the political crass?

What little conversations are they having with other east coast prognosticators, the media, the political class, the economists, the vaunted voices of the tired schools of that Atlantic Seaboard? Right. Real worker concern!

So The Band’s Levon Helm, in the documentary,  is on the road into his late 60s to fight the usury class pulling apart his last deep breath, those dirty money souls, fighting off bankruptcy, bill collectors, the repo men of the devil’s breath, fighting to survive since he tackled throat cancer once, and in this film we see his voice box almost shredded, and the grit and the gift of an artist’s both fragile and strong continence, like a tidal wave, from a distance, crashing out at sea before making land.

Right, Dylan, sure, did he ever come to the aid of a fellow player of the siren song when they were down? The Band band member Robbie Robertson, well, he and his shysters, backers, the negotiators, the contract holders, the lawyers , the sellers, and swell, they got the 100 percent of the royalties for all the Band’s music. Not one penny coming into Helms’ bank accounts, nor any of the others’. Robbie stole the show, alright!

The rest got the shaft. The royal whining shaft of the Grammy-sucking kind.

“The ultimate survivor, he’s overcome drugs, bankruptcy, the bitter breakup of The Band and a bout of throat cancer -but then, as the rueful title indicates, he wasn’t in it for his health.”

Who gives a shit, really, with the mountains of drivel spewing forth from all the blogs, all those wasted pop culture zines and dailies? With the putrid TV charlatans, the putrid princes of peddling like Jeff Bezos and the Walled-In-Tons, or any number of rotten schemes this bragging capitalism a la consumopithecus anthropocene conjures up?

The great media madness, the cultural crap that rules, sucks the life out of almost everything, it pummels decency, logic, smarts. You can’t have an argument with the great white death, about anything countering their schemes and money-making pyramid plots, their kind of power and faux thinking. Here is a microcosmic example:  Think about the arguments given for terraforming Mars or Venus. You know what it is, terraforming. All the rage in Sci-Fi movies, but one that gets hundreds of millions of dollars of US tax dollars in the name of science (sic). A way to change the very atmosphere of Mars, or Venus, to accommodate the king rats of the mammal world, us!  Mining the moon to prepare another planet for human or other forms of life.

Think hard that this is a serious conversation with scientists, government pukes, the capitalists, the investment-preneurs. Getting our sad sack toxic asses up there, to Mars, setting off sulfur dioxide brimstone and plagues and quakes and neutron bombs and pathogens to shift the frozen red planet into some toxic soup of a warm bubbly cuddly place to take on the ever-bulging planet Earth’s rat species, humanity. Get going on that trillion-dollar military-app-software-resource-guzzling boondoggle with partners in the Google-sphere. Hell, Mars Book, a la Zuckerberg. It’s coming. Venus chat rooms. This Mars madness is a very real thing, talked about constantly now, in a world about to lose all its ice! We are kings of pollution, so terraforming with pollutants seems the next logical step for one giant leap for mankind on Mars, or Venus.

Zuckerberg loves things like this. Bloomberg, too.

How many ‘bergs does it take to finally awaken the lions on earth? Murderous ‘bergs, pathogens of the Billionaire class, meddling with the nothingness of money counting, junk spawners, oh so futuristic crap while we huddle in our sinking towns and plagued cities. We can’t even clear the snow in Portland, and yet, mars here we come . . . Or at least here they come, the special mutant things of a very genius variety. Kids who starve, kids who mine the coltan and gold for cellular smart phones, the kids who hoe the fields of sugar cane and cocoa, and, in the billions, barely on $2 a day, but we have our white species sights on Mars!

Helm, Levon, singing, riffing, opening up his and his wife’s place t local concerts, so they can still live with a roof over their heads. And the Grammy’s want to give him a life time achievement award, and in the documentary, Levon is crushed by the audacity of the cretins of the Grammy’s. The other The Band members forgotten in the haze of popular culture a la money changers. It’s in the documentary. Watch it.

 Rick Danko (bass guitar, double bass, fiddle, trombone, vocals), Levon Helm (drums, mandolin, guitar, vocals), Garth Hudson (keyboard instruments, saxophones, trumpet), Richard Manuel (piano, drums, baritone saxophone, vocals) and Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals).

What’s this say about this selfie society, this culture of wanting nothing but security, CTV and cuddly home life,  or some TV version of it, in this land of the lying CEOs, presidents, the entire mess of them, liars, pathetic souls, rotten brand spokespersons, looking for a buck to be made doing, well, not one rotten thing for society?

Oh, that’s right, billions spent on researching the possibilities of Mars colonization, while we barely understand the full force of ecosystem collapse, climate calamity, the very specter of a species more tied to the little digital blips of the android gods than our own kind on our own block.

There are so many of us, so many more wanting hucksterism as their daily bread, wanting to peel the back skin off the majority of the  world, those people trapped by the white death of capitalism, and, well, we mustn’t forget the capitalism murderers of the Chinese and Arab kind.

That is the front battle line, no? Another microcosm: Listening to Boardman in his piece over at Alternet, another conglomeration, aggregator of mostly cultural pap, info-tainment, or these foolish Zionist tomes and rotten little leftist asinine stories attacking cretins like Pat Robertson or Chris Christie, when the real enemy is them, the liberal lancer, the petulance of marketing shit, the drone and drone of the lost leftist writer, sitting at home, or in that East Coast office. Preening. Cultural preening. Madness. Here, quoting from William Boardman. Boy does he miss the entire mark.

Soda Stream and some two-bit actress? This is what we have succumbed to? Prattle about two-bit actors, two-bit sugar salesmen? Millionaires, and Board-man attempts to attack Oxfam, BDS, anyone who would dare critique negatively the Zionist:

The behind-the-scenes video of the SodaStream commercial for the Super Bowl shows no hint of the controversy it was about to kick up involving Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank. Underscored throughout with bouncy music, the video (2:30) was published on YouTube January 11, 2014, and is filled with sweetness and light right to the end. It begins with actress  Scarlett Johansson saying, “I never thought I’d be doing a Super Bowl commercial…. It’s fun, and something I don’t normally get to do, so it’s a whole new world.”

“We are partnering for the first time ever with a  global spokesperson, Scarlett Johansson,” says the  bubbly SodaStream CEO, David Birnbaum, in that behind-the-scenes promo for the slogan “better bubbles made by you.” The 50-year-old New Yorker adds, “We are announcing the empowerment of consumers around the world – now you can make the soda that you love….”

Since starting in London in 1903,  SodaStream has become a global corporation, with operations in 43 countries and its headquarters in Israel, near Tel Aviv. Fortissimo Capital, an  Israeli private equity firm, acquired controlling interest in SodaStream in 2007 and  took it public in 2010 (since then  trading mostly in the $35-40 per share range with peaks over $75 in 2011 and 2013). In December 2013,  The Motley Fool gave the company this assessment as an investment: “Despite the renewed pessimism of some analysts, SodaStream’s long-term prospects remain very promising, and should aptly reward patient investors.” The company has not yet paid any cash dividend on common stock.

his ending quote:

Reporters from various papers also talked to Palestinians, off site and unsupervised, but found little hostility to SodaStream. Unhappy with the occupation, these Palestinians were also grateful to have a job that pays them roughly twice as much as anything they can get in the Palestine Authority economy.

When SodaStream took over the former ammunition factory, the company put up a statue engraved with a verse from Isaiah: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Better the comments –


What a terrible article by someone who either knows nothing about the history of the region or does know and is lying. (For example, the author describes the Palestinians and their “Arab state allies” as the aggressors in 1947-48. In fact, immediately after UN declaration 181 in November 1947, Zionist militias began attacking Palestinian villagers as a part of Plan Dalet, drawn up by Zionist leaders with the aim of expelling as many Palestinians as possible from their homes. Declassified Israeli military archives reveal that Zionist forces carried out at least 37 large-scale massacres of Palestinians during this period, including the infamous Deir Yassin massacre on April 9, 1948. This was the background to intervention by Arab states in May 1948.) I expect so much better from Alternet.


I agree, it is a shame Alternet published William Boardman’s deceptions. Key facts expose how dishonest and deceptive his history is.

In practice, Zionists did not accept the UN Partition Plan. Zionists seized areas beyond the proposed Jewish State and did not recognize the International Zone. Using force and terrorism months before May 1948, Jews seized land beyond the UN proposed borders. The UN Plan was used as a pretense for taking over most of Palestine. 67% of the population had a right to reject a recommendation for dividing up their land into 7 zones.

NOTE: This is a critical fact often omitted when the history is presented and this leads to a very distorted view of what happened in 1948. The misleading story often told is that “Jews declared Israel and then they were attacked.” The fact is from November 1947 to May 1948 the Zionists were already on the offensive and had already attacked Arabs. In the months before Israel was declared, the Zionists had driven 300,000 non-Jews off their land. In the months before Israel was declared, the Zionists had seized land beyond the proposed Jewish State. SEE Sources for the Israeli/Palestinian situation 1947-1948 http://www.representativepress…

“The Zionists were by far the more powerful and better organized force, and by May 1948, when the state of Israel was formally established, about 300,000 Palestinians already had been expelled from their homes or had fled the fighting, and the Zionists controlled a region well beyond the area of the original Jewish state that had been proposed by the UN. Now it’s then that Israel was attacked by its neighbors – in May 1948; it’s then, after the Zionists had taken control of this much larger part of the region and hundreds of thousands of civilians had been forced out, not before.” p 132 Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky


The article reads like pro-Israeli propaganda. In 1967 the Arab states were not preparing to launch a war, that is a lie. The claim of Gaza being unoccupied is a lie, just because the inside of the prison doesn’t have guards doesn’t mean it’s still not a prison. Israel controls the borders and the airspace, it’s still occupying Gaza. The rest of the work is a long whine about how the occupiers are really just misunderstood.

What fluff, really, the great debate about a two-bit actress on TV, on the Super Bowl, and, well, two-bit Zionist, and, to be honest, the entire NGO, Oxfam thing, well, it is for sure the great leveler, capital, transnational banking, transfinancial collusions, is it not? Oxfam would want a movie star to do what for the world? What does this say about the entire global mess, that a talking head or talking body is a spokesperson for an outfit that is supposedly in the trenches trying to stop hunger and abuse?

There is not one sip or breath or shit or piss we can do or take these days without some tendril or giant leash connected to the great capitalist levelers, the bankers, the CEOs who pay to both sides of the limp aisle, who are the pimps of nonsense and junk, the prostitutes for our souls.

Ain’t in this for my Health . . . for blood money . . . for a middling moment gushed up by the media mush.

Oh, hell, these days are numbered but still the numbers slowly tick off, and we have to consume or at least feel and hear it all as white noise. Talentless, torrents of talentless billionaires.

While the Band had its Last Waltz. And Helm bit the dust, playing his heart and throat out. See the film! Ain’t In It For My Health

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.

2 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Paul Haeder said on February 11th, 2014 at 3:41pm #

    [Note: Again, since this is a day of action around who controls information, creative commons, the Internet, journals, our own lives, a la Aaron Swartz, hell, I take emails and comments seriously on all of my sly or soaring posts here at DV. Thanks for weighing in, all!] :


    As an “old hippie,” subject by nature of employment to Random-Piss Tests, please let me sincerely compliment your article “Did Someone Say We’re Doing this for Our health?” Like you, I see nothing surprising in Unions which have “sold out to the top echelon.” Had our New World Order a place for thinking, conscientious, brave, REAL union-leaders, Bob Dylan would be at home, counting his money, and you (Paul Haeder) would not have to state the obvious-absurdity of a “bull-shit pro-war anti-Anti-war auto union” picking-up the tab for a washed-up folk singer’s 2-minutes of Super Bowl attention.

    Surely, Bob Zimmerman-Dylan’s act came as no surprise. Remember Steve Earle? The honorable-author & critic Dave Marsh once described unruly-Steve Earle as “the real Neil Young.” Yes — Mr. Earle was a dissident on-the-roll, he recorded a terrific song, titled, “The Revolution Starts Now.” Soon afterward, the recording became theme song for a Chevy-truck T.V. commercial. (sigh… the money, the money) The position of unions looking to rock-stars for salvation on the Globalized-stage (Made in Bangladesh) is indeed tragic. All U.S. union members and leaders would benefit had they the time & principles needed to read your article, seek actual understanding of membership discouragement…, get to know KNOW why they fail, grovel & compete in a crooked economic-political arrangement, alienated from others, delight in Union facade.

    (sigh) For the road, one “old hippie” Teamster dockworker story, venue Roadway Express, Inc. break-bulk dock, Tannersville, PA, circa 1978?

    As labor-management hatred simmered on the dock, one evening, a few fellow Teamster friends and I went to a local Tannersville bar, indulged beer, pot, & spouted-off about how shitty was our Local Teamster Union Business Agent’s “sold-out” representation , and of course, the fascist management underway in the workplace, including the playing of “motivational” German march music on loudspeakers while orange-carts loaded with cargo drifted forth on a “drag-line” More beer, more raw emotion, and three Roadway Express foremen entered the barroom, rather bravely approached us. All went outdoors to talk.

    Outside, we spoke our “peace,” and so did the foremen. One foreman, Dan S., a former big & athletic Syracuse football player, got too mouthy for my dear friend’s taste, typically soft-spoken, hard-worker, never drove tow-motors much, Mr. Bob Lambert. Out of nowhere, totally unexpected, Bob Lambert reached down to knees with a fist, punched the foreman’s head (nose-cheek region) and who fell backward, lay immobilized and bleeding on the lot’s asphalt. Bob Lambert had a wife, two children. Roadway Express immediately fired Bob due to the fight. We Teamsters felt for sure Local 229 would file a “grievance,” get his job back, maybe back-pay. Bob did NOT… fired, gonzo. Word was passed that Roadway Express wanted Bob Lambert’s job very bad, they needed of course to protect aggressive & indoctrinated foremen from Teamster reprisals. After Bob was gone, out looking for work in the Poconos, I learned a shitty-deal was cut between the Union and management. “Give us Lambert’s scalp, and we’ll give you favors in return.” To this day, regrettably, I worry for Bob, do not know where he is, what he’s doing. I can only HOPE working-people in barrooms across the land can read and connect with your article, “Did Someone Say…” and maybe upset the backroom deals (packaged in pretty ribbons) which are gradually knocking everyone down to the pavement.

    Trust you BENEFICIALLY hit some raw-nerves, Paul, and I am convinced maybe 1 or 2 union leaders will find your words “medicinal.” In closing (finally!), FYI, in January 2012, I saw one of Levon Helm’s “Midnight Rambles.” Staged in his barn, the performance was simply unforgettable; Garth Hudson played, dressed in black, leather Flying Burrito jacket, he wore a Zorro hat, very cool white beard, he played pipes like Jimi Hendrix would. A suggestion — please consider emailing your article to Levon’s daughter Amy Helm? His web site is active, and I believe what you wrote will be meaningful to her. She’s a knock-out, eternal memory Levon Helm, & long-live Bob Lambert.

    Charles “Chuck” Orloski
    Taylor, PA

  2. Paul Haeder said on February 11th, 2014 at 3:44pm #

    [Note: Another comment on this story about art, the users, the non-performers, the money changers, bad Bob “Shelling/Schlepping” Dylan. How many people does it take to burn the world when “anything for the dollars” is their mantra?]

    Paul —

    I’m 77, a grandmother who makes literally a few dollars a month here in Bellingham, to do editing. I fancy myself really a writer but oh, well. All I want to say is Holy Shit! What fantastic writing, Paul. Never give up.

    Ellen Murphy