Anthem for the Year 2000
By Maureen

Disclaimer: characters belong to Disney, song is owned by Silverchair (I think), if not well, they perform it.

***

"So, Val," Tyler said, sitting on the sofa with her, while they waited for their next call. "Are you going to go to the fair tomorrow?"

"Maybe, Brooke wants to go and mom said I'd have to take her," Val replied.

"Cool, well, maybe the three of us could make a day of it?" Tyler said casually. He hoped she wouldn't think of it as a date, especially since Brooke would be there!

"Sure, it's a date. Come by about 10:00 tomorrow morning." Damn, she said the 'd' word.

"Oooh, does the Great Val Linear and the Supreme Tyler Connell have plans together?" Jamie said with a sly smile, as he walked into the room, history book underarm.

"We're taking Brooke to the fair tomorrow, James," Val replied, getting him back by using his given name.

"Really? Going to check out the bands or what?" he asked them.

"'What' most likely." Tyler replied. "Don't punk rock bands usually play at these things?"

"Yeah," Jamie replied, "I can't wait! No pun intended."

***

The next day, Val, Tyler and Brooke were walking around the fair grounds and had already run into several people that they knew. "Hey, Hank!" Tyler called seeing his best friend over by the corndog stand.

"Hey," he replied, "How's it going?"

"Everything's fine. What's up?"

"Not much, have you seen Jamie or Catie?"

"No, why?" Val replied, she didn't think town fairs were their kind of activity.

"Jamie's been running around here going crazy and Catie is looking for him," Hank replied, then pointed at a figure wearing loose jeans and a t-shirt running several meters away "and there he goes now."

Jamie veered over towards Hank, before stopping, out of breath. "Hey guys."

"Hey Jamie," everyone replied.

"What's so important?" Brooke asked.

"Here." Jamie handed her a flier for the upcoming bands. The feature band was called 'Article 9' and declared that they had a 'new, guest singer'. "I'm helping them set up, show starts in 30 minutes, it's supposed to be really good."

"Cool, we'll be there!" Brooke exclaimed.

"Great, see you in a few them!" and before anyone could reply he was off again.

"Um, Brooke, do you really want to go? Article 9 is not exactly N'Sync." Val warned. She'd seen a punk rock show before and was scared. The moshing and crowd surfing was dangerous.

"Yeah, we don't have to dance or anything, but we should see it."

"Hey Brooke, if you say so," Tyler replied, "Hank?"

"I'm in."

***

Thirty minutes later they had gathered in front of the makeshift stage along with almost everybody else at the fair. Other than a drum kit, a couple of microphones and a few speakers the stage was bare.

Suddenly, a black cloth background dropped down reading 'Article 9: how are some kids being taught about Peace?' written in white. The stage lights dimmed to a brownout and the shadows of four guys could be seen running onto the stage.

When the lights came up again they immediately began to play their guitars furiously, a nameless punk rock tune. The singer stepped up to his mic, and began to scream out the lyrics.

We are the youth
We'll take your fascism away
We are the youth
Apologize for another day
We are the youth
And politicians are so sure
We are the youth
And we are knocking on death's door

The crowd went wild and within minutes people were head banging and a moshpit had formed. Val spotted Catie as one of the head bangers but was reluctant to brave the other hordes of punks to get to her.

Brooke began to tug on Vals' shirt, "Hey Val!" she screamed trying to be heard over the music.

"What?" she yelled back.

"That's Jamie!" Val looked up at the stage and sure enough, Jamie was the one on lead guitar, screaming the words out that were inciting the crowd.

Never knew we were living in a world
With a mind that could be so sure
Never knew we were living in a world
With a mind that could be so small
Never knew we were living in a world
And the world is an open court
Maybe we don't want to live in a world
Where innocence is so short
We'll make it up to you
in the year 2000 with...

"Oh my god, it is!" Val exclaimed pointing up at the stage. In the thirty minutes since they had seen him he had dyed his hair to what could only be described as 'Chernobyl green' and had changed into long, frayed shorts with green and black striped socks up to his knees. On his feet were the rattiest chucks they had ever seen and he was wearing a green 'Article 9' t-shirt with a blue and red plaid shirt loose over it.

"He's green!" Tyler remarked, appalled at the change in his friend. This was a look that Catie might sport, not Jamie.

Never knew we were living in a world
With a mind that could be so sure
Never knew we were living in a world
With a mind that could be so small
Never knew we were living in a world
And the world is an open court
Maybe we don't want to live in a world
Where innocence is so short

Finally Val and Tyler were able to relax and were swaying slightly to the music when they realized, almost simultaneously that the message being put across was a good one. This wasn't some 'kill-everyone-because-the-world-sucks' song like they had expected from a punk band, but a cry for peace.

We'll make it up to you
In the year 2000
Build it up for you
In the year 2000
Make it hard for you
In the year 2000
Build it up for you
In the year 2000
Make it hard for you
In the year 2000
Build it up for you
In the year 2000 with you

As the last guitar screamed until silent, Jamie took the opportunity to explain what the band name meant. "Article 9 of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, more commonly known as the PLO states that 'armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This is an overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase'! Despite Yasser Arafat's promise to annul this, nothing has changed in over 10 years! Peace must be achieved in the Middle East NOW!! Petitions for peace are being circulated now and we'll be at a table in the back after we finish our set to answer any questions or help people get involved! This does not merely affect Jews and Muslims, but Christians as well! This affects everybody!"

The first cheers came from Val and Brooke. Soon everybody was cheering and the band began its next song, rallying for peace.

A/N: chucks are another name for 'Chuck Taylor All Star Converse' shoes. Palestinian children are being taught to die for the Jihad or Holy War against Israel:

"Indeed we are all candidates for holy martyrdom" - Yasser Arafat, Jan 19, 1998

"I have raised my children on Jihad (Holy War)" - Palestinian Authority TV (English broadcast) May 15, 1998

Peace can be had in the Middle East if EVERYONE wants it, which is obviously not the case. For more information on how you can help the peace email me at starsmore40@hotmail.com