There will be a time for war anthems but that time isn’t now. “Libertà” is a 1987 song from the second-greatest pop act of all time. Looking at the very serious faces of Al Bano and Romina Power, their performance is more fitting today’s mood than that of the 1980s. The preternaturally gorgeous Romina is just starting to show her years.

Liberty is when our land and our future are ours, and ours only. The song expresses the sadness before the hate. My imperfect translation from Italian:

Verse 1

Scende la sera sulle spalle di un uomo che se ne va
Oltre la notte, nel suo cuore un segreto si porterà.
Tra case e chiese una donna sta cercando chi non c’è più
E nel tuo nome quanta gente non tornerà.

A man walks away in the evening’s light
His heart carries the night and its secret
In homes and churches a woman searches for someone who’s gone
How many will perish in your name


Libertà, quanti hai fatto piangere 
Senza te quanta solitudine 
Fino a che avrà un senso vivere 
Io vivrò per avere te
Libertà, quando un coro s’alzerà 
Canterà per avere te 

Liberty, how many have cried out for you
Forsaken without you
So long as life makes sense
I shall search for you
Liberty, the rising choirs 
Will sing of having you

Verse 2

C’è “carta bianca” sul dolore e sulla pelle degli uomini.
Cresce ogni giorno il cinismo nei confronti degli umili.
Ma nasce un sole nella notte e nel cuore dei deboli
E dal silenzio un’amore rinascerà.
(Cercando te)

Into oblivion fall human lives and pain
Cynicism, not humility, grows each day.
But the sun will rise in the night and in the hearts of the weak
And in that silence love will be reborn.
(Searching for you!)

[Chorus outtro]

Articles in which I previously featured this musical duo:

29 thoughts on “Libertà

  1. “Most men do not desire liberty; most only wish for a just master.”
    — Sallust, Ancient Roman Historian

    IMO, all collective endeavor is driven by herd level, impulsive cognition. The only things that really matter are those in my immediate life: spouse, children and grandchildren, followed (at quite a distance) by neighbors and other assorted acquaintances. Everything beyond this is quite literally The Unknown, and my information about it is derived by hearsay and the propaganda Megaphone (in other words, likely to be wrong or outright lies.)

    War or peace, a robust economy or economic depression, all of the “Big Questions” with which wrestle the Big People I see on Big Tee Vee, are quite literally an environmental variable, something over which I have zero control. If those around me wish to all go jump in a lake (of water or of fire, it doesn’t matter) then they’ll move Heaven and Earth to drag me along with them. For evidence of this, all we need to do is look at the last 40 years of history, where all fundamental changes to the political economy were against my will and my wishes. Faggots marching in parades? F###ing lunatics who cross-dress in sports/locker rooms/bathrooms? Wave after wave of culturally alien freeloaders flooding in?

    What have they all in common? All occurred “over the horizon.” All were things against which no act undertaken by me would have succeeded in the slightest. We live in a Matrix all right, and I (like every productive person) is a battery to those who rule us. I labor so the sons and daughters of those who pull the strings can cavort on yachts in the Caribbean and split their time between homes in Mountain Village (overlooking Telluride) CO, Jackson Hole WY, Miami Beach FL and the South of France.

    We’re still building Pharaoh’s castles 2500 years later. Not one damn thing has changed, only the facade that hides the universal Parasite/Host relationship among men. The Romans had it wrong when they coined the saying, “Homo homini lupus est,” (Man is wolf to man), but I don’t know how to put “Man is parasite to man” in Latin. We’re enslaved by parasites, but in our case the Toxoplasma gondii eating our brains (and telling us what to do) are other human beings.

  2. — “Most men do not desire liberty; most only wish for a just master.”

    I agree with this, with the caveat that I disagree with its cynicism.

    Man isn’t supposed to be a master. “Like gods ye shall be” was Eve’s original temptation and all evil comes from that ambition. We’re supposed to serve something and someone. When we serve good, we’re living in the state of liberty. When forced to serve evil, we’re slaves to parasites.

  3. I accept your criticism; I wax between fatalism and cynicism, with interludes of Ode to Joy (spending time with family.) As much as I detest tautologies, the world is as it is, it is indifferent to my opinions, desires or complaints. The central folly of our Age is the belief that by collective action people can Make The World Into Eden.

    But then I repeat myself: “We” now look at the Jetsons’ Lifestyle enjoyed by Westerners and embrace the belief that if “we” can do this, “we” can do anything we set “our” minds to. The conceit contained within this epistemology is frankly astonishing. But then again, in a Godless Age, where Man-Is-God is literally the fashion that unites us all, conceit is the glue that holds it all together. Imagine what happens when the House Of Cards does finally topple.

    How ironic, that I see this (I am a self-described agnostic, preferring the view that organized religions look peculiarly like navel-gazing…i.e., the notion of an interested, unitary-minded creator strikes me as just another human conceit, just as ants in an ant farm would create a theology that explained the kid who puts the honey or sugar into the farm as an interested Ant-minded creator whose actions are placed into Ant-centric contexts in all times and places) and many “devout Christians” do not. [This is the attraction of Islam; it’s a very simple religion and so appeals to a simple people. Follow the Five Pillars, go to Heaven. Easy-peasy.]

    The world has rules. I don’t understand most of them. Reality is indifferent to this. Life is one of the “rules” of self-organization Reality uses to balance entropy. This is good enough for me. I’m an ant, riding on a leaf that floats down a wide river, who chuckles at the other ants who think they can change the course of the river by magic incantation, by brute force or by pleading with the River Gods. I think it’s better to simply make of myself a “better ant” so that I can best enjoy the ride. It is, after all, the only game in town.

  4. Racism is fueling this sort of violence.

    Police say this is not the first time they’ve had to respond to this particular apartment complex. Documents from Atlanta Police show officers have been dispatched there more than 130 times since last June. An overwhelming number of those calls were for shots fired, with 13 people shot. But there were also a handful of reports of other violent crimes, including stabbings and alleged rapes.

  5. Being an expression of the human heart, music helps explain our thoughts as well. Having thus explained them, it leaves us to mull over them.

    “The Prayer” by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli is another Italian-sung song which soars. Here it is:

    The English part of the song that is maintaining the backbone . . . keeps going as the Italian counterpoints it. When you compare The Prayer to PA’s selection of music, we can see that both songs are heavy on heart, with good lyrics, and a passion for nuance.

    Keep up the good posting, PA. I will return here more often.

  6. Train adventure storytime.

    The is vaguely on the topic of the MoA murder, because the perp used this train. The train and the mall-in-question, are suffering the classic problems of getting taken over by the dregs ——> feedback loop. In principle [ where is this store in Principle of which you speak? ] these trains rock because they run no time and provide a critical surface.

    In practice they suck because the experience of MINGLING and being around other people, is not like it used to be.

    The reasons why it’s not like it used to be, are variously attributed to

    1) niggers and their tax
    2) Scale
    3) civilizational cycle and decline
    4) Uncle Ted’s lament, aka technology has outpaced us and we no longer have the vigor and confidence to sit up straight and inhabit this world
    5) Oversocialization; what even is this, really?

    In summary it’s not just niggers. In summary, niggers are more of a symptom than a cause. In summary niggers are still a problem.

    Thanks in advance for reading. On the train on the way out, which is to say into town, is fairly empty. Just before my stop I stand up to stretch and get ready to go, and see at the other end of the train these two pleasant enough White females being accosted or something along those lines, by a ghetto-ish nigger. I vaguely go over there, and have a look, and decide whether or not to get involved. They are from the suburbs and “having a day” and being bothered by a nigger. I can’t tell exactly what he is doing or saying, but he is DEFINITELY in their space and forcing an interaction. I decide not to get any closer. They get up and move to the end of the train where I am at. It is a mother and daughter, and they make nervous and relieved laughter noises.

    Some guy at the library was in there on the piano and playing classical stuff, and well enough. I listen and watch. He had classical piano hands and classical training and classical moves. Also he was doing a good side job of rocking a trademark fairly unusual worn out eccentric hipster musician.

    I then took a turn. The one progression I would share is the classic Blues change —

    C C7 F Fminor
    C Aflat7 G7

    With emphasis on the concurrent chromatic walk down melody line, which has to be slightly syncopated and I prefer it on the bass clef —

    C Bflat A Aflat
    G Gflat F


    On the way back, same train. Some drunks get on the train. One of them is a big street Indian. These guys are a recognizable tribe and generally Sioux. They are very large-framed and not to be provoked. They are often drunk. I avoid eye contact with this guy, as he WILL say something, probably friendly but. I sit there for awhile in my seat, before getting up to move.

    Same ride shortly thereafter. Another guy gets on and he is also drunk. But White and good physiognomy. He apparently wants to talk. He saw Zeppelin live in 1974, and it was the best. He was from the South and asked me “where do you hail from?”

    See how archaic language is on the comeback. All the aged adults are using it.

  7. A fine selection, PA. One of the foremost Western m/f ‘pop’ duets is ‘My Summer Wine’ (Nancy Sinatra; Lee Hazlewood). One summery day I think I’ll do an Olde English cover of it.

  8. — ‘My Summer Wine’ (Nancy Sinatra; Lee Hazlewood).

    I looked it up… a good one! I heard that song before. it was the Ville Valo and Natalia Avelon version, I think.

    — Being an expression of the human heart, music helps explain our thoughts as well. Having thus explained them, it leaves us to mull over them.

    That is a good way of putting it.

  9. This was my first exposure to Romina Power. I felt an instant crush of sorts. Reminded me of when I first saw Ingrid Bergman, and wondered how such a babe of old could so captivate me.

    Looked her up. Partially Mexican. She shot a few holes through my “Hispanics are gross” standard. This was hard to swallow, but I embraced the truth of it. I couldn’t overcome those freaking beautiful collarbones, shoulders, arms…damn I love me a beautiful Amazon. And a contralto at that, it seems. My favorite.

    Was starting to get on board until I dug a little deeper.

    1. Daughter to Hollywood fvckups. Check.
    2. Mommy and daddy split early and she wishes she had a relationship with her daddy, Check.
    3. Sacrifices herself to the Hollywood ped0s by appearing suggestively n00d in a flick when 15, then fully n00d in a sick0 p3rvert movie [that was shocking at the time] at 17. Check.
    4. Marries an entertainment industry husb@nd. Check.
    5. Has a daughter who (brace yourself) decides to explore the world with nothing but a backpack and a lust for adventure–who goes missing in Nola after last being seen sharing a room with a melaninite. Check.
    6. Has another daughter who becomes an Instagram thot complete with slutty bikini pics and tramp stamp. Check.
    7. Becomes obese, divorced, and pitiful.

    I don’t believe she knew that all of these things would come about. We did. A stronger husband or father would have.

    Another sad waste of a woman, chewed up and spit out by (((the machine))).

  10. Her Mexican background is all Western European. She was exploited in “Justine” but that’s no discredit to her beauty. I just watched several 1960s videos with her and Al Bano. Worth a look just for her young face.

  11. As I said, “I embraced the truth of [her beauty].” So compelling. She was a cute teen, an exquisite young lady, and a mesmerizing woman.

    This is the one that showed me she is still feminine, despite her broad shoulders (matched by gorgeous wide hipbones). I don’t mean to be uncouth, but this pic stirs my siring instinct:

    However, this is the one that made time stop for me:

    Makes my sadness over her love life and family tragedies all the greater.

  12. Those people Bano and Powers both, get tops on their Charisma score. Al Bano is a great singer. Her voice is not nearly as strong as his. The format of their performance is the dinner club. Remember back when America was full of those things? Prime rib and a baked potato, with steamed broccoli and carrots on the side, is typically what was served. In Italy dinner would have been something more refined, we can imagine.

    Steamed vegetables were how Americans cooked their veges and pretty much exclusively in that manner, in the 50s and 60s. Now the better half is mostly roasting them.

  13. Off topic, but this is fairly interesting to students of American Studies. American Studies is what is called contemporary American History. This youtube channel

    David Hoffman

    Going by his picture and his voice he is a jew. His channel is his documentary films from his career in documentary filmmaking, the subject of which is American Studies. It’s mostly in the format of interviewing quote unquote real Americans and letting them talk. Something about his production technique REALLY brings out the perspective of these real Americans. He himself must be a sympathetic person. His posted videos number in the 1000s. Here are a couple titles from his channel —

    This Highly Decorated Vietnam Veteran Remembers ’60s America

    He May Be My Best 1950s Rite Of Passage Storyteller

    Yeah yeah yeah [ this is not a youtube title ] he is a boomer or older and a jew but his au revoir is impressive. Another interesting interview video he has is w/ Oliver Stone the filmmaker. Stone is a compelling character. By his own telling, he went to Asia as a teenager, to teach and but then enlisted in the army to go to war, and but then later figured that was a mistake.

    The featured chapter in these highlighted American Studies is the chapter of the Boomers. Them going to war in Viet Nam was effectively conscripting them in more than ways than one. Their parents seemed to think it was their patriotic duty to go fight “the Communists” but the young people themselves were divided. Stone says that in Viet Nam itself, among the troops, there was a divide among those who listened to Soul music, and those who listened to Country music, which divide was mostly black and White but with crossover. Stone aligned with the Soul brothers. He also says that the Soul brothers were less inclined to tear up, as in shoot kill and destroy, the Vietnamese countryside and villages. Whereas the country boys were more likely to “kick ass.”

  14. Hoffman is one of those surnames that real Germans share with Ashkenazis. Landan Hoffman was the boy at the Mall.

    Indiana or Ohio? Also note Jack’s “brutal” handsome face. That’s what they used to call those types of faces.

  15. — Their parents seemed to think it was their patriotic duty to go fight “the Communists”

    Just started watching that Vietnam Vets video above but will finish it later. Robert McNamara’s late-life talks on his work as Sectetary of Defense during that war are good to see too. In one, he describes his post-war dinner meeting with his Vietnamese then-counterpart. At first, they almost came to blows. Then they talked amicably and the Vietnamese dignitary, as McNamara quotes him and I in turn quote him here from memory tried to get thru the American’s hawkish assumptions:

    “We [the Vietnamese on both sides] didn’t care about capitalism or communism. What we had was a civil war. We’ve been fighting off the Chinese for a thousand years and we didn’t need America’s help.”

    The video shows unfamiliar photos of dead Vietnamese children and McNamara’s candid commentary.

    Hawk vs Dove was once a Right vs Left ideological split, from the time of the Vietnam war thru Dubya’s invasion of Iraq. What a con.

    — Whereas the country boys were more likely to “kick ass.”

    You feel for the draftees but the hippies had a point. Then the alternative Right recognized and denounced this Invade The World, Invite The World.

    US military that’s stationed in eastern Europe makes me nervous. I hope they leave soon.

  16. Al Bano is his stage name. His real name is Albano Carrisi. His mother gave him that first name because he was born while his father was a soldier with the Italian army in Albania during WWII.

  17. Mom filled perhaps the best and only duty of a woman in the military, she was, still is, a nurse, right out of high school and into the Navy (when you could be a nurse at 18 instead of requiring a BS to just about qualify).

    If only it wasn’t your mom I would make the joke that the only best duty for a woman in the military is, …

  18. It’s internet humor, as we all get by now. The problem of American Studies is that they are all seen through the eyes of boomers. That being the case is itself a large effort comment topic post; and what can be said anyways?

    Practically all commentary is irrelevant, or seems like so much distraction. We are on a collision course with disaster and besides, the past is the past.

    The Grateful Dead has got a good series up on Amazon. Pay Bezos some blood money and watch it and think of happier times. Jerry Garcia was totally White by the way. His dad drowned at sea when he was only five. In retro the implicit Whiteness of the Dead is pretty effing stark.

    I went through a Deadhead period, but never really took the pill. Now though? it’s like credit where due, man — they were great. Much love. The second show in the series is called

    Ep. 2: Act II — This Is Now

    and it features around the narration of their tour manager, 71 through 74, Englishman Sam Cutler. Cutler narrates the episode and not to put too fine a point on it, but the guy is a 3+ SD genius, going by the way he talks about things. It would be worth rewatching and pulling some of his quotes and doing a 5000 word Countercurrents essay, if those were still a thing (they’re not).

    He talks about how the Dead were utterly unconcerned with being celebs and how that “redounded” to their credit and allowed them to become what they did. He speaks with gifted eloquence in the way that some people do.

  19. One of my good friends from the old days actually sold the Dead some grass, on their stop. Or rather, arranged for them to get it. He was one of the sound guys for their show. I knew then that he had made it. (not really)

    How is old T____ doing these days? Did he ever have any kids? Of my five closest friends from high school, half of them did not have any and the other two had all girls. I can’t believe the odds of that. Not good. Not good at all. Most of us deteriorated our sperm sacks by wearing speedos for hours at a time, and some of us also by too much partying. “The past.” It’s all irrelevant but not to me it’s the only one I have.

    The fact of which, is why it’s so important to make something of yourself and your life. Because when you are old? if you don’t have a life to look back on, you are quite literally nobody. That’s the thing with this new fangled cell phone internet addiction. The consequences of not having a real world life, later on in old age, will be not good something fierce.

  20. “Grateful Dead”

    That’s a blast from the past, I was never a deadhead and I can’t name even one of their songs but in 1998 I knew a guy who made money following them on their tours and selling wholesale-bought hot dogs and beer in the parking lot outside of their concerts all over North America. Interesting guy: heavy beer drinker, heavyset in frame, IQ in the 160s. Very phlegmatic in manner. You’d ask him a question about political theory or the business of selling hot dogs, and he’d slowly explain it to you. He and I played chess regularly, he’d win 6 out or 10 times.

    He contacted me the following year after I had moved up to Boston, asking if he can crash at my place on his way to a Grateful Dead concert. I said “sure” and he did. Lost touch with him after that.

    In 1991, I worked in a restaurant with a hippie dude who was a hardcore acid dropper, hardcore Grateful Dead follower. I was 21, he was around 27. Tall, gaunt, long hair and beard. High charisma. Very likable guy. He had the cutest, sweetest girlfriend, about my age. Indelible memory: he and I went out for drinks one afternoon. He gets a serious look on his face and says “Man, PA, I got into some dirty pussy at one of the concerts and caught herpes…” He offered me some acid once but I declined.

    People I don’t even remember their names. Wonder what happened to them.

  21. More on the Grateful Dead and their boomer amazon documentary, and again drawing attention to the insight and perspective of their Tour Manager, Englishman Tom Cutler.

    No, not the Australian footballer.

    This guy —

    He said about Jerry Garcia and the rest of them, once they finally got on a profitable tour in England, after their Workingman’s Dead came out and paid back Warner Brothers Records with its hit Casey Jones — he said that they were “boys in a man’s world.”

    Jerry was an ace musician and the leader of the band. He also was something of a child. It became part of his persona and part of his generation, and then also all the drugs. But then over there among the English and society, and the money people, did he ever stand out. There is a clip of him meeting Mic Jagger, and Mic being a sophisticate, is embarrassed to suffer such an American fool.

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