Saturday, October 30, 2010


The Stranglers, Vladimir and the Beast:

From the Soviet escapade into Afghanistan:

Thank you, my fatherland
For helping me to be totally reintegrated and normalised
Only in the world’s greatest socialist democracy
could one hope to be forgiven for losing temporary sight
of the aims and goals of the of the Marxist/Leninist revolution

Two years it took me to be cured of my illness
Being still a relatively young and fit man
I was still in search of fulfilment
The memory of Olger, Sergey and my two children
Motivated me to seek an occupation
That would both repay my debt to my great party
And obviously help the way to international socialism
I was still unable to resume my lectureship at the sub-nucleonic particle physics
And therefore volunteered to help our Afghan comrades
In their great struggle for liberation
I was readily accepted
Into a motorized maintenance unit

It was not long before I realised that our support
For the liberation struggle of our comrades in Afghanistan
Was not viewed at all together unanimously by the local population
In fact, we were not allowed outside of the barracks unless we were in large armoured groups

During our brief stay in Afghanistan
We had discovered some of the very few pleasures open to visitors to this desolate place
A local concoction called “hashish” was being increasingly used by our troops
And many of the helicopter gunship and tank crews, moreover
Would smoke large chillums and joints before embarking on missions around the mountains, surrounding Kabul

Every week comrades who had fallen into the hands of the rebels
would be found in various states of dismemberment around the camp
Those unlucky enough to be still alive
Were sent from rehabilitation
to the German democratic republics
Since this would prevent any undue alarm by our loved ones back home
The wisdom of this policy is evidence of our leaders’ great care for their people

Apart from hashish there was not much to divert or endure the cold mountain nights
And increasingly there were signs of the troops acquiring the illness of which I had previously been cured
And therefore, my attention was focused more on looking at the few animals that were kept within the military compound.
As is often the case between human beings and animals
A close bond of affection can develop
And I became increasingly close to a camel I named Dimitri
Ah, dear Dimitri

No one can really understand the relationship between a man and his camel
As was the case with the army doctors and my superiors
Who sent me to convalesce in the German democratic republic.

Mike & The Mechanics, Silent Running:

Timbuk 3, Life is Hard:

Everybody knows "Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades," but I thought that whole album, Greetings from Timbuk 3, was pretty awesome.

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