Songs about the rain

The purpose of the entertainment (((industry))) is to corrupt everything it touches, starting with the talent that it recruits. In exchange for our balladeers’ souls it gives them the world. The Highwaymen, four talented men who made their careers in the diabolical industry. Kris Kristofferson likened Jesus Christ, approvingly, to Barabbas Che Guevara. Johnny Cash spent much of his long life extricating himself from the wreckage of his youthful hedonism. Willie Nelson pushed marijuana. Waylon Jennings never forgave himself for telling his friends “I hope your ol’ plane crashes.”


“Freedom’s just another word for…” That was then. There is always something left to lose. What follows is now.

Outrunning the rain:

… I walked five miles to meet a friend at a pub. This was at the height of last summer. Things were heavy after Charlottesville and there was an eclipse coming. At first, the heavy clouds to my south looked like they will pass me, but they were getting closer and blacker, taking on the greenish tinge one sees before a tornado. I walked in just as the downpour hit.

My friend arrived by car at the same time, as planned. We sat at a table by the window, with the thunderous pounding of the rain drowning out the conversation. He was in as somber a mood as I was that day. Our waitress stopped for a bit of small talk and shuddered, looking through the window. If anyone had asked me what’s on my mind, I’d have thought about if briefly and said: ___

The walk took place in the summer of 2017. That thought was completed for me in the comments:

so it will be before the walls of Gondor, the Great Battle of our Time

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Songs about the rain with no mention of the two greatest, November Rain and Purple Rain:

Adele, Set Fire to the Rain. One of the few fine recordings from the past 15 years.

Peter Gabriel, Red Rain. He has a lot to answer for, with his anti-Apartheid activism. Except if artists do not possess a free will, in which case he’s innocent. The artist as a passive conduit:

how does [art] become? I think there are three elements. One: the artist’s sub-rational openness to the transcendent; you can also call that authenticity, or sincerity. Two: artist the man as a medium; his purity or corruption, his originality in filtering the intangible on it way to material expression. Three: his technical skill [in delivering] the artifact faithfully to intent.

The artist is also susceptible to being manipulated by his handlers.

The Alarm, Rain in the Summertime. Northeastern Europe… childhood memory of birds singing after the summer storm passes.

Edie Brickell, A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall. Vocally, she’s to the song’s writer Bob Dylan as a mammal is to a scorpion. I haven’t listened to this in decades until just now and it was nice to hear it again.

Late 1980s, “Tommy” and I worked in a restaurant after school. Brickell’s What I Am was playing and the manager, a charismatic woman, said something flippant about that song. Tommy chuckled and said “Yeah, she thinks she’s God’s gift to alternative music.” I made friends with him earlier in high school. He had just moved in from another state and got sat next to me in math class. His intelligence as measured by the SAT was stratospheric. Soon enough he showed me his notebook of original poetry. There was an ode to the moon. Good times hanging out in his mom’s house, philosophizing to Pink Floyd (no drugs).

He dropped off the radar not long after high school. A mutual friend gets in contact with him thirty years later and learns that he had recently gone through a sex-change operation. If you knew Tommy, you’d not be caught off-guard by that. His once deep, resonant voice now sounds like a woman’s. He went to an extreme of self-injury seeking peace.

Willie Nelson, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. Shania Twain performs the vocals here, with the Old Master himself backing her on his own song. The highlight is Willie Nelson’s guitar solo halfway through the song. Talent is rare and you know it when you see it.

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Eighties Movies

I’m on a kick of re-watching 1980s films that I had not seen since I was in my teens during that decade. It’s a wild time-capsule experience due to the passing of time and my own age-related change in perspective.

Ten films are reviewed in this post, possibly in thematic order. There are spoilers, but there is a time limit on spoiler-warning courtesy.

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1. “Top Gun” – Saw it in a movie theater upon its release in 1986, never since. It’s next on my list because one of the best episodes of “Murdoch Murdoch” borrows its aesthetics.

2. “Animal House” – This 1970s comedy is a forerunner to Eighties’ sex comedies. I watched it for the first time about seven years ago. The story culminates on the collapse of the town dignitaries’ parade bleachers. The red, white and blue streamers falling with the collapsing structure is so obvious a disclosure of how they feel about America, her traditional institutions, authority figures, patriotic iconography. It was also weirdly evocative of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers 23 years later.

I was disgusted with the whole thing. All those years, having never had seen it but having cheered on to “food fight!” and “to-ga! to-ga!” with the bros… It wasn’t the humor. It was the – how to put it. Honor should always be in the backdrop of things, even in ribald comedies. Antagonists in fiction shouldn’t be humiliated and then destroyed unless they objectively deserve it the way some people deserve capital punishment. In other words, being a strict authority figure and a bit of a dick, or being tall, blond and rich aren’t good cause for total personal destruction. If you’re not a sociopath or a Gamma Personality, you will agree with me on this.

This is why Eighties teen- or sex-comedies tended to make me feel like I need a shower. Of course I loved the nudity and the dirty humor. But the question always bugged me: was it really necessary to so completely destroy the bad guy? Below my threshold of consciousness, an alternate script was writing itself, in which the enemies shake hands and say “Honest misunderstanding. I see your point of view.”

Back to “Animal House.” What’s even more special, is the movie’s coda, the end-credits notes on what everyone’s been up to since graduation. The special houseguest’s id on full display:

  • All-American Fraternity Brother No. 1: He goes to prison and gets raped! (hahahaahahah!)
  • All-American Fraternity Brother No. 2: He goes to Vietnam and gets fragged by his own men! (hahahahaah!!! – catch my breath – hahaha! hahahaaah!!!!!)

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3. “Forrest Gump” – A ’90s movie and a hurrah for civic nationalism. (I hate that term because it’s neither civic nor nationalism and it dignifies cuckservatism). To recapitulate my take on civic nationalism:

It was a moment in time, the American political order of the 1980s, which was a detente in the wake of 1960s disruptions. Official color-blindness, Whites run and own everything, minorities enjoy the benefits of White rule along with autonomy in exchange for knowing their place; Whites, in turn, keep the peace by not talking negatively about minorities.

An unstable peace because it was in essence a papered-over capitulation. They won the ’60s, so they weren’t going to be satisfied with White surrender terms of the ’80s, which weren’t all that bad for us. The flaw of that peace: it dictated that we must continue to cede ground, they get to continue encroaching.

“Forrest Gump” healed the national wounds of the Sixties by reconciling the political conflicts of that time. Doing so, it codified civic nationalism: violent radical leftism of the Sixties is condemned, drug-use and sexual promiscuity are shown as harmful. It’s okay to be pious and from a small town. That’s why the movie was called “conservative.” On the other hand:

  • Single motherhood is glorified through the characters of Forrest’s mom and then Jenny.
  • Fatherhood is personified in Jenny’s molester dad and Forrest’s involuntary absence during his son’s childhood.
  • A dirt-poor black family becomes rich and gets a White woman servant.
  • An American line of warriors ends on Lieutenant Dan’s childless interracial marriage.

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4. “Stand By Me” – One of the great boyhood coming-of-age stories. If you have a preteen son, nephew, or grandson, watch it together. The dynamic among the four boys, the freedom and exploration, and the majestic Oregon landscapes are unforgettable.

Racial diversity diminishes everything it stains, including conversation. Yet here we are, and I have to friggin’ talk about it because… that’s the war they brought to us. This is why, from today’s perspective, “Stand by Me” is so nice to see. Everything in that movie is in visual harmony with human expectations of storytelling. Taken for granted then, consciously cherished now: no diversity in that film. Not one nonwhite character.

Tokenism kills the friendship vibes in such stories today, like adding an element that knocks down the story’s chemistry back to exactly the sum of its parts, while in its racially-coherent form you get the magic of friendship and discovery. (More about that when you get to “The Breakfast Club.”)

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5. “Lucas” – The title character is a gamma male, repellent to Maggie when he leans to kiss her. She’s a gorgeous blonde Lucas befriended over the summer, before high school hierarchy reasserted itself in line with the laws of nature. Charlie Sheen’s alpha male quarterback is a sympathetic character, even though he is Lucas’ antagonist. That’s because the conflict here isn’t man vs. man, even as the quarterback “stole” Maggie and the other football players pick on Lucas. The conflict is man vs. himself. To earn respect, Lucas has to overcome the web of lies he had woven around himself and let go of his unearned entitlement to social status.

To achieve that, he joins the football team as a wide receiver. Due to his small size and lack of physical talent, he warms the bench for an entire season. And then — clutch moment. Final seconds of the game and his team is down by only a few points. Time for one play to get the come-from-behind win. The play call: go deep. Do or die. With one of the starters hurt, the coach puts Lucas on the field. The ball is snapped, all the receivers go deep. The quarterback (Charlie Sheen) scrambles away from pressure but can’t find an open man.

Except Lucas, who is all alone in the end zone. The opposing defense either doesn’t bother to cover him or they don’t notice him because he’s so small. The quarterback also ignores Lucas, who is wildly waving “I’m open!” Finally, in desperation, he throws a deep bomb to Lucas. A perfect throw. Lucas catc– drops – the pass! He’s instantly piled-on by the defenders, seriously injured, and taken to a hospital. His team loses the game.

Lucas eventually returns to school. Everyone’s eyes are upon him as he walks toward his locker. He knows that he had let them all down. The movie ends on a wonderful scene.

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6. “Vision Quest” – My favorite ’80s movie in the teen genre. On the personal level, I related to the main character, played by Matthew Modine. Even my hair was similar to his. The story is about a high school wrestler’s quest.

An interest I indulge in on occasion is to take a decades-old image of a landscape and compare it to that same place today on Google Streetview. The older image might come from a personal photo, my recollection of being somewhere during childhood, or a scene from an older film.

Journey’s Only the Young is on the “Vision Quest” soundtrack. The video opens with Modine’s character running along a city bridge with a compelling mountain background. I learned that the movie was set and filmed in Spokane, WA. Within minutes, I located the bridge in Streetview. If anyone is curious, it’s North Monroe Street, looking west. The view hasn’t changed that much in 33 years.

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Google image capture: Sep. 2018

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7. “An Officer and a Gentleman” – This is one of three films on this list that was shot in the Pacific Northwest and features the landscape in all of its beauty. Of the big themes in this excellent film, one stands out as anachronistic: the earlier generations’ dream of upward class mobility. That’s where Boomers and those who followed them fail to communicate with each other. We’re in a much bigger game than social striving: it’s now about survival.

To be triumphantly carried out of her factory job and become a Naval officer’s wife? Here is that final scene. We don’t have factories, we don’t have working-class jobs, except for mongoloid aliens. I haven’t seen that film since 1983. That factory floor… nobody is fat. God, it stings.

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8. “The Breakfast Club” – P.J. O’Rourke wrote an article in memory of John Hughes four years ago. There is a lot going on there. I’ll just excerpt the part in which he focuses on the ethnic integrity of the five main characters, the high school students serving their Saturday detention:

Imagine, painfully, a 2015 remake of The Breakfast Club. Latino-American, African-American, […] John kept his characters alike as possible, within the spectrum of high school anthropology, in order to make them as different as possible, within the spectrum of individuals. All five members of the Breakfast Club have Anglo-Saxon last names. All are attractive.

Imperial force-mixing of nations corrupts any fruit of human aspirations. And not just art, but even a study in human nature. Any higher endeavor degenerates to exactly the sum of its dissonant parts.

The world changed more dramatically between 1990 – 2020 than it did between 1500 – 1990. For us GenX’ers, those changes hit us just as we were entering adulthood, so our young sense of survival was attuned to the coming cataclysm. We felt it in our bones the way a wild animal feels the distant, silent advance of a storm. By that same time, Boomers’ animal instincts had been dulled with age and material satisfaction.

That disparity in perception of existential danger is why generations don’t see eye-to-eye. Understanding that dynamic makes it easier to have a more charitable perspective on the Baby Boomer generation over what we see as their callousness toward their grandchildren but which they see as something that they had rightfully earned:

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9. “Witness” – The story arc involves the growing sexual chemistry between the young Amish widow and Harrison Ford’s character. She has a nine-year-old son. Ford plays an honest cop who is being sheltered from crooked cops by the Amish, living as one of them until he recovers from his gunshot wound. The widow and the cop develop an attraction to each other, which over time they can barely control. A village elder warns her that people are noticing her subtle indiscretions and she risks shunning. But like a lioness in heat, she won’t have any of that and talks back to the elder with proud words of feminist defiance.

The film’s message is not feminist. To honor her people, to live among them with her little boy and to enjoy the comfort and protection of her folk, she had to not only be chaste, but also refrain from creating any appearance of fornication. As Ford’s character told her on the morning after she enticed him to spy on her bathing: “If we’d made love last night I’d have to stay. Or you’d have to leave.”

The film shows the classic conflict of Individual vs. Society. The judgment of “Witness” is cast in favor of society: woman’s feminine instincts may not be let unbound.

Amish men don’t get a free ride, either. They too must contain their masculine instincts. For one, they are not free to lay a beating on a bunch of local yahoos who regularly harass them. “It’s not our way,” an Amish elder tells the cop. In this powerful scene, these strong, prime young Amish men swallow their pride and force themselves to turn the other cheek, also for the good of their people.

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10. “Heathers” – Three decades later, Veronica née Sawyer still wakes up in the middle of the night with a racing heart and racing thoughts: “There is no statute of limitations on murder.”

Night Radio

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Suburban_elk paints the night brilliantly:


Local radio stations, New Year’s Eve! “count downs”

1. Classic Rock, KQ — the 100 best New Year’s Eve party tunes. No exag, that is what their list was called. Status signaling here: I enjoyed some classic rock on the way to the gym, but already can’t remember the specific tunes. But the takeaway is that this classic rock station, which is a classic rock station even by the dinosaur standards of classic rock stations, no longer hosts parties downtown, BUT hasn’t given up the ghost and is in fact, still, rocking out.

2. The Alternative Hipster Station, “the Current” — the 90 best Locally Sourced [I kid you not, that’s what they were billed as] songs from the past year. This station is so hipster central that it literally figuratively literally figuratively, literally, decreases the size of your already beset penis, simply by listening to it. Except sometimes they play some good stuff too.

It’s in the favorite alternative format of a college radio station that is super hip, because even though we went to college and are not still in it for a long time, we’re still young at heart; or something. I find it interesting how they have to try and strapple the line, which line consists of two or three or four, or five, quadrants, if you will. In one corner, good stuff by local Whites (who are not dead); and in another “world” type stuff which I am sorry to say, is often good, if one is able to put aside one’s politics.

It is what it is: sensitive African niggers sing songs.

The funny thing about that radio station is the “scene” that they try to represent and spearhead and figurehead. It’s the Hipster Scene, and as we know that scene is befraught with difficulties: trying to be White and celebrate diversity at the same time. One of said tension’s primary fractal expressions, is in the “cool wine aunt” personalities that the female DJ’s have, who try and put on a good voice despite their shriveling wombs.

One such miserably positioned show host was “literally” gushing from her vagina lips about this Ethiopian scenester musician immigrant who loves Bob Dylan and that’s one of the reasons he “chose” to live here. Levels of bugwoman confusion feelz that shouldn’t even be possible.

The song that the DJ played for us, and orgasm’d to, was actually a neat fusion world pop, and soulful. The guy in fact does have a well developed soulful singing voice. Those guys have a musical tradition which reflects their diverse history in the highlands of Ethiopia or something. This is new “good restaurants” and I don’t mean to promulgate this hipster meme as an excuse to celebrate diversity and ease us on off the World Stage to make room for the replacements.

Just a-sayin, it was a good song. I AM SORRY! … As a matter of principle, I try not to “like” other folkways anymore. It can be challenge though, refluffing the feathers of the Firebird, because it’s in such bad shape. Our own folkways done got paved over by “Progress”.

The Progress that paved them over was the Progress bemoaned of by Uncle Ted, and not the progress of cult Marx politics. It is interesting that the same word is sometimes used for both things. Those are separate problems but they conjoined to sweep in on us as a perfect storm.


Earlier thoughts about the two kinds of progress.

Push Away The Censorious Philistinism

Heartiste throws down the gauntlet in matching the characters in George Orwell’s Animal Farm with the dramatis personae of contemporary America. I recognize a good game when I see one so here’s my contribution, using the characters in Cobra Kai:

Western Christendom would be… (Daniel)

AltRight would be… (Johnny)

White countries would be… (Samantha)

Generation Zyklon would be… (Robbie)

What (((they))) want to turn us into would be… (Anthony)

The myth of assimilation would be… (Miguel)

Cowardly normies would be… (Dimitri)

AltReich would be… (Eli/Hawk)

Feminism would be… (Robbie’s mom)

Bugmen overclass would be… (Kyler)

The police state would be… (Kyler’s friends)

Wall Street would be… (Sid)

Free trade would be… (Zarkarian)

Shitlibs’ feverish nightmare would be… (Kreese)

Have I created an impression that I really like the series, at least the first ten episodes so far? Well yeah, I do. Here is my overall review of the show. But not everyone shares my enthusiasm. A commenter writes:

You have FAR too much faith in the overlords bro. They will subvert this show sooner or later. Season 2 or 3 they will start introducing the fags or magical negroes, etc. and turn the narrative on it’s head. Can’t have any wypipo show go un-pozzed for TOO long now, can we?

My reply, in part:

I’ve always said that. When Jews tell our stories, we just use the usable parts like cultural Viet Cong with discarded American [equipment].

… also beware the censorious philistinism. Everyone on the Right has those impulses. Keep in mind that I’m not a moron, other readers of CH aren’t morons. We know the entertainment industry just fine. The value of a little fun with explicating Cobra Kai is the exercise of imagination. It’s also an excellent ten episodes.

Populism has its philistine strains. As Matt King observes in that discussion, “As compromised as it is, we cannot give the culture over to those who want us dead.”

Despite the present condition of pop culture, all our stories are belong to us. After all, we have the great books for men and Murdoch Murdoch. They have… Beyonce, and they can have her. And when it comes to quality production such as The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, or Cobra Kai, we impose ourselves over what is ours.

Idle Thoughts On A Pop Ballad

This will be a bit free-form. The thirty-year-old artist Anna Jantar was survived by her baby daughter who also went on to became a pop singer. From Infogalactic, on the March 14, 1980 airplane crash:

On its final flight, the aircraft was piloted by Captain Paweł Lipowczan and First Officer Tadeusz Łochocki. Flight 007 … from [New York] Kennedy International Airport … was approaching [Warsaw] Okęcie Airport at 11:13 local time. During their final approach, about one minute before the landing, the crew reported to Okęcie Air Traffic Control that the landing gear indicator light was not operating, and that they would go-around and allow the flight engineer to check if it was caused by a burnt-out fuse or light bulb, or if there was actually some problem with the gears deploying…

Nine seconds later, the aircraft suddenly entered a steep dive. At 11:14:35, after 26 seconds of uncontrolled descent, the aircraft clipped a tree with its right wing and impacted the ice-covered moat of a 19th-century military fortress with the speed of about 380 km/h (238 mph) at a 20-degree down angle, 950 meters away from the runway threshold and 100 meters from a residential area.

At the last moment Captain Paweł Lipowczan, using nothing but the plane’s ailerons, managed to avoid hitting a correctional facility for teenagers…

I’m familiar with that correctional facility from childhood visits. I looked it up now, and it looks the same, it’s still a center for teens with drug addiction and criminal problems.

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Continuing with the Infogalactic article about the airplane crash:

Among the 87 fatalities were Polish singer Anna Jantar, American ethnomusicologist Alan P. Merriam, six Polish students returning home from an AIESEC conference in New York and a contingent of the U.S. amateur boxing team. According to the doctors who arrived at the scene, many of the passengers were apparently asleep when the plane hit the ground, but some of them – including many of the boxers – were supposedly aware that they were about to crash, as they held to their seats so strongly that on impact, the muscles and tendons in their arms became severed. Some reports suggested that some of the boxers actually survived the crash and drowned in the moat, but no evidence for this was presented.

On March 14th of this year, the correctional center hosted a memorial service on the anniversary of the 1980 air disaster:

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Living in Boston in 1999, I occasionally made a Saturday drive to a Polish store in New Britain, Connecticut, where I bought records. I formulated a rule of thumb: buy the CDs that show a plain-looking female artist on the cover — after all, if it’s not the looks that got her the record deal, it must have been the voice.

(That’s not how I rediscovered Anna Jantar, though. What happened, is that I visited Warsaw a few weeks earlier and riding in a taxi to a friend’s apartment, this burst of sunshine from 1974 played on the car’s radio and I asked the driver, “What song is that?”)

In 1977, ABBA gave a concert in Poland. A famous Western band’s appearance behind the Iron Curtain was a big deal. Here is their little-known song “Move On,” with footage from that leg of their tour. The song itself grows on you, and the video even more so when you catch the nuances of Boomers in bloom. Suburban_elk asks:

So they [Boomers] went on canoe trips in the Wilderness and tried to make sense of it, and all they found was hunger. (In their case, that was really all they found. There was not much of a resolution, except that wehn you get hungry enough you will eat just about anything, up to and including, well nevermind.)

The mindspace i am trying to suggest is the Boomers’. Is that still topical or not?

In a way it’s no longer topical. All those concerns that they had — which concerns were Aesthetics — are not the concerns that we have now.

But on the other hand, they are still there and unresolved.

You wonder, should Boomers have remained children — should they all have died before they turned thirty? They were beautiful and unprepared for what hit their world in middle age. For example, Björn Ulvaeus’ son was robbed not too long ago, and that spurred the ABBA veteran to advocate… a cash-free economy. Take Boomers for what they were: they gave us ABBA, the greatest pop music band in history.

And in Sweden… those schoolkids’ future has to be secured but who looks out for them? Sometimes their own parents least of all. Things to see in the “Move On” video linked two paragraphs above:

  • Agnetha Fältskog is a vision. Like just about every young woman, she has those little imperfections that modesty makes irresistible. (0:54)
  • Show time! The fatigue of travel and the stage-fright are forgotten; game-face on. (1:55)
  • Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad accepts flowers from a fan and chats for a moment in the middle of a song. (2:09)
  • Rock stars once tended to their own luggage. (3:00)

I can’t get enough of that “Move On” video. Young Swedes will take their country back once they decide that they’re better-off doing something than nothing. Our brothers across the Baltic Sea are intelligent people with a talent for cooperative action.

On my drive back to Boston, as I played the newly-bought Anna Jantar Greatest Hits double-CD in the car, the next song struck me as one that approaches the ideal form of a female pop ballad. Is it the perfect ballad? I dunno, the French classics are untouchable but no fair, they’re French. This one isn’t in French but its lyrics banish talk, praise the flawed man, are endearingly candid in their grasping for the right words to offer the truth about women, and in all this, she has no idea what she wants.

Nie wierz mi, nie ufaj mi / Don’t believe me, don’t trust me
(Anna Jantar)

Nim coś powiesz, zmilcz / Before you say something, don’t talk
Nim coś powiesz, zważ / Before you say something, reconsider
Bo mówiąc przegrałbyś / Because speaking frankly, you’d lose
A zmilczeć możesz jak poeta / And silent, you’re a poet

Tyle zalet masz / I see so much in you
Tyle zalet masz / I see so much in you
I tyle pięknych wad / And so many beautiful flaws
Cudownych tyle wad / So many wonderful flaws
A jednak / And yet…

Refrain: 
Nie wierz mi, nie ufaj mi / Don’t believe me, don’t trust me
Bo z rąk ci się wywinę / Because I’ll slip out of your hands
Nie jest tak, że w kilka dni / It doesn’t work that way, that in just a few days
Zdobywa się dziewczynę / You win the girl
Nie, nie jest tak / No, that’s not how it goes

Poprowadzisz mnie / You will lead me
Przeprowadzisz mnie / You will guide me
Przez zaufania próg / Over the threshold of trust
Gdzie już byś mieć / Where you can have me
mnie mógł za swoją / As yours

A ja umknę ci / But I will slip away from you
A ja wymknę się / I will sneak away
I ty nie będziesz mógł / And you won’t be able
I ty nie będziesz mógł / And you won’t be able
Mnie pojąć / To know me

[Refrain x2]

Nie wierz mi… / Don’t believe me… [spoken]

(The song was recorded in 1978. Lyrics: Andrzej Bianusz. Music: Antoni Kopff)

That thing I said earlier about modest attire amplifying a cute girl’s attractiveness… this live cover is pretty. Not just because of the song or the teenage girl performing it, but also because of the ethnic integrity of the spectators, without whom there would be no song:

Songs From Yugoslavia

Hej Slovani, naša reč / Hey, Slavs, our Slavic language
Slovanska živo klije / Lives on

Those are lyrics from the former Yugoslavia’s national anthem. The wording and language varies a bit between the different national groups that comprised “The Land of Southern Slavs.” Balkan experience is different from that on the northern plains. The mountains and the shadow of the Ottoman empire shaped things differently than our history did, with Germany to the west and Tsar/Stalin to the east.

Doris Dragović Željo Moja. I linked to a live performance at 1986 Eurovision because there is some vintage Euro stuff in the announcers’ prelude to this performance, including a shot of Norwegian reindeer-sledding. But you can look up the recorded version easily for a high-definition sound; it’s a pretty song. It is introduced in English and French as “Love is Fire” for some reason, but Željo Moja means “My Wish.” It’s interesting to compare languages. For example, the line before the chorus:

Croatian: “Tiho tiho, suzo, ne daj se”
Polish: “Cicho cicho, łzo, nie daj się”
English: “Hush hush, my tears, don’t give in”

1991 Yugoslavian Civil War. The wounded Serbian soldier in the footage below appears to have been conscripted and assigned to a unit that didn’t have much in the way of leadership. He was left behind by his platoon, interrogated here by a more professional-looking Croatian unit that found him:

Croat commander: “Don’t worry, we won’t kill you”
Serb: “Please don’t, brothers”
Croats [laughing]: “Brothers? we are not brothers”

Serbian and Croatian languages are nearly identical, though the former is written in Cyrillic and the latter in Roman alphabet. The enemy soldiers in the video communicate without difficulty. My fluency in Polish allows me to pick up many of the individual words but without the subtitles, I’d be almost, but not quite, able to understand what they are saying.

It seems nonsense to us now, to see Serbs and Croats at each others’ throats. We just don’t understand the Balkans of that period. It helps to envision things coming to a showdown right here. Compare their ethnic conflict to our incipient ideological one and think about the liberal down the street who’d have you fired from your job if he discovered that you comment on right wing blogs. In a hypothetical situation similar to the one in the video, we’d understand our prisoner’s English just fine and all the same, we’d laugh at his appeals to brotherhood.

I think a lot about this. I don’t want a civil war so I’ve tried to be patient with libs because our paths are not separate, we’re just having to wait out their hysteria. But neither reason nor compassion works. There is no communication. They want to go down, and take us with them.

“In the modern Europe there is no room for homogeneous national states. It was an idea from 1800s, and we are going to carry it [multiculturalism] through…and we are going to create multi-ethnic states.” — Gen. Wesley Clark

NATO’s bombing of Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim gangsters woke me up to the malevolent nature of the American empire. There was a news story about U.S. bombers hitting a downtown bridge in Serbia and people scrambling to help the wounded civilians. Then the planes made another pass, this time killing the bystanders who ran to give first aid. A man was quoted grieving over his teenage daughter, who was among the people who rushed to help.

Amadeus Band’s Moja Zemlja (“My Country”) features a contemporary HD video of a Serb special ops team rescuing a hostage in a hero-villain story. Watching it will increase your testosterone. As a commenter here once put it:

One thing that I’ve noticed about the music scene among the Slavs, is that a lot of mainstream music takes on nationalistic, militaristic, masculine/patriarchal and anti-“globalist” themes, and isn’t relegated to the fringe like it is in the western world. Love and pride of culture, country and people is promoted rather than outright ignored or even intentionally trashed.

There was a tired quality to Warsaw Pact’s and Yugoslavian armed forces. Since then, and especially as a result of several countries’ joining NATO, it’s been a different story. As dramatized in the video, the armed forces of these countries have modernized and some of them have combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. And arguably, morale and personnel quality is higher in east-central Europe than elsewhere on the continent.

Bijelo Dugme Te Noci Kad Umrem (“The Night I Die”). The great Bosnian band — I blogged about them a while back. The song is about different women’s reactions to the news of the speaker’s death. The guitarist (wearing a white shirt) in this 1987 fan-participation live performance, Goran Bregović, is now regarded in Europe as the Balkan folk-pop musician.

Divlje Jagode Krivo Je More (“The Sea is Wrong”) is a contemporary performance some years after the power ballad’s original release. Also from Bosnia. Something I find cool in Yugoslavian languages is the words that have an “r” but without any nearby vowel. They are spoken in a trochaic consonant burst. Examples: srce (heart), krv (blood), mrvica (crumb), or crni (black). Their equivalents in Polish are more pronounceable: serce, krew, mrówka, czarny.

Ti, ti si ga upoznala / You, you met him
jedne ljetne večeri / one summer evening
On, on te poljubio / He, he kissed you
dok more se pjenilo / while the sea was foaming
I ti si se zaljubila / And you fell in love
mada nisi htjela to / though you didn’t want to

Krivo je more / The sea is wrong
Znaj, ljeto je varljivo / You know, summer is deceptive
a srce ti zavodljivo / and your heart was seduced

Kući kad si došla ti / When you came home
znala si da si u zabludi / you knew you were lost
A to veče uz mora šum / But that evening by the roaring sea
Od sreće sva si blistala / you blissfully glowed
Krivo je more / The sea is wrong

Yugoslavian National Anthem, (1943 – 1992). Its opening line is at the top of the post. The melody is based on “Mazurek Dąbrowskiego,” which has been the national anthem of Poland since 1926, but the Yugoslav variation is at slower tempo. The video shows propaganda images from pre-civil war Yugoslavia, along with English subtitles.

***

“We are not brothers.”
— Croat soldiers laughing at a wounded Serb POW

Is that still true?

Laibach. Their pan-Slavic interpretation of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia anthem in English, from their 2006 “Volk” album:

“A Letter To Che”

I don’t get many of the allusions, but it’s fair to say that the song is about people who blindly follow fashion and revolutionary ideologies. It came out around the time of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, so there is that as well. “A Letter to Che” (orig. List Do Che) by the band Strachy Na Lachy is musically in the style of tango.

***

Celują mi prosto w serce / They’re aiming straight at my heart
Dziś kupców jest dyktatura / Today’s dictatorship of merchants
Oni mierzą do mnie jak do szczura / They aim at me like at a rat 
Tych złotych Czterdzieści i Cztery / Those golden Forty Four
Kod z kresek na parabelce / A code of notches on the pistol
Zwymiotowało moje serce / My heart vomited
Taka dziwna przebija je gwiazda [x2] / Such a strange star pierces it

Refrain:
Hej ty i cała twoja wiara / Hey you and your comrades
Zastyga krew na transparentach / The blood on the banners dries
Ja pamiętam cię tylko ze zdjęcia / I remember you only from a photo
Komendancie Che Guevara / Commandant Che Guevara

Mijałem targ na sygnale / I passed the market on lights and siren
Twarz twoją widziałem wspaniale / Saw your face clearly
Tam gdzie kurwy grzyby i krasnale / Among whores mushrooms and dwarves
Na szklankach i na firankach / And on knick-knacks

Aż tu pewnego poranka / Until one morning
SMS z okolic piekła: / A text message from hell:
“Czerń dzisiaj głodna i wściekła” / “Hungry and vicious is darkness today”
Tak napisała Zetkin Clara / So wrote Clara Zetkin

[Refrain x2]

Roll call of Cuban political prisoners c. 2003:
Raúl Oliverio Castañeda
Alejandro González Raga
Margarito Broche Espinosa
Fabio Prieto Llorente
Osvaldo Acosta

Zawalił się kapitalizm / Capitalism collapsed
Światu but na nodze już się zapalił / The world’s feet are on fire
W Gawroszewie robią bomby w barach / They make bombs in bars
I palą hawańskie cygara / And smoke Havana cigars

[Shabadabada]

Znów modna jest broda Jezusa / The Jesus beard is back in style
Na widokówkach z Nablusa / On postcards from Nablus
I znów odbiera wojsk paradę / And the military parade
Osama Bin Checko-Laden / Is reviewed by Osama Bin Chekho-Laden

A ja gdy z mego snu się zbudzę / And when I awake
Zaraz wam zdradzę to hasło: / I’ll reveal the slogan:
“Nie pozostanę wredną wszą / “I won’t be a wretched louse
W brodzie Fidela Castro” [verse x2] / In Fidel Castro’s beard”

[Latin music]

Ile ty chcesz za te szklankę [x4] / How much do you want for this glass

[Refrain x2]

Ile ty chcesz za te szklankę / How much do you want for this glass