Dark Side of the Mood Music

12 Mar

I’m saddened that musicians whose work I’ve loved since See Emily Play now condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Roger Waters – who has done such sterling work on Palestine and Julian Assange, while refusing to go with the propaganda blitz on demonising Bashar al-Assad – and his former band mate, guitar legend David Gilmour, may disagree on a thing or three but both have deplored Russia’s move, while David goes further:

They join the ranks of those with a solid grasp of many things – including the criminality of a US Empire which can easily defuse this existential and potentially planet-wide threat but chooses not to. Yet these people, with whom I have so much in common but who now deplore “Russian aggression”, have yet to put out a clear and convincing answer to this question:

  • Given NATO’s (i.e. the US Empire’s) 1990 promise, repeatedly broken, “not to expand one inch eastwards”  and
  • … eight years of suffering in ethnically Russian Donbass while Kiev, in the grip of a rabid far right, refused to honour Minsk II and
  • the fact it would cost Washington next to nothing – were it only acting in good faith – to lay to rest Moscow’s fears, described by many respected authorities as just and reasonable ….

… what realistic alternative did the Kremlin have?

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14 Replies to “Dark Side of the Mood Music

    • “Having faced the unimaginable, I see how the Western Left has been doing what it does best: analysing American neo-imperialism and the expansion of NATO.”

      In other words the process described here by Ron Suskind in 2004:

      “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ […] ‘That’s not the way the world really works any more,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’.

      The article got that right. What passes itself off as the Western left has been following a script written by others. It has given up any agency of its own in favour of following and recording Official Narratives.

  1. Perhaps Dave and Roger would approve of this?:

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/exclusive-facebook-instagram-temporarily-allow-calls-violence-against-russians-2022-03-10/

    “Facebook allows war posts urging violence against Russian invaders

    March 10 (Reuters) – Meta Platforms (FB.O) will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy.

    The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to internal emails to its content moderators.

    “As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement….

    The temporary policy changes on calls for violence to Russian soldiers apply to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine, according to one email….

    Emails also showed that Meta would allow praise of the right-wing Azov battalion, which is normally prohibited, in a change first reported by The Intercept.

    The Meta spokesperson previously said the company was “for the time being, making a narrow exception for praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”

  2. “Post-modernist irony” that retroactively recasts Nazification as “a bit of a lark” and “We’re not being serious” and “Where’s your sense of humour?”:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ShitLiberalsSay/comments/tav237/comedian_zelensky_mein_kampf_books_are_sold_out/

    Neat comment below:

    So the dude who constructed a comedy routine out of the US’ desire to use Ukraine as a “henchman” and who jokes about how prevalent the far-right is in Ukraine …

    Is now the statesman jockeying for WW3 to start, denying the Nazi problem in his country and desperately trying to join the EU and NATO.

    We live in a simulation.

  3. Azov Battalion/Regiment re-christened as “the national guard” by the BBC:

    https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2022/02/14/a-bbc-news-segment-on-ukraine-didnt-mention-it-was-platforming-neo-nazis/

    It also quotes a 2014 article which has this:

    …the question of the presence of the far-right in Ukraine remains a highly sensitive issue, one which top officials and the media shy away from. No-one wants to provide fuel to the Russian propaganda machine.

    In other words, this far-right presence, which is fully admitted, must not be mentioned since it provides “fuel to the Russian propaganda machine.”(?!)

  4. It is indicative-of all sorts of things- that the Azov (Battalion/Regiment/Brigade) has done nothing to modify its SS regalia, its patches, banners, badges etc, despite having received full time training from British and Canadian forces.

    No doubt there were a few ‘quick words’

    “I say, you chaps. Doncha think it might be a plan to drop some of the swastikas. I mean I know Kipling liked them too but that was before the war….”

    To no effect. It is of course a bit late to start objecting to Nazis in Ukraine the imperialists have been recruiting them, training them, indoctrinating them in Nazism since 1945. Possibly earlier.

  5. As to the Pink Floyd matter, well I gave up on “Rock Stars with a conscience” after Bono’s excruciating speech to Blair’s Labour Party whereby he declared himself to be what they were all afraid of whilst oblivious to their pointed guffaws.

    • Roger Waters is of a different calibre altogether from Bono. Julian and Syria aside, he is one of the few global celebs – Brian Eno, Madonna and Susan Sarendon are others – to have defied one of the most organised and well connected lobbies on the planet for his stance on Israel and BDS.

      Not that I’d place condemning Russia’s move – in the context of seeing Washington & Co as by far the greater aggressor – in the same frame as defending apartheid Israel. I disagree on this aspect with such as Media Lens, Jonathan Cook, Aaron Mate and, yes, Roger Waters. But that takes away nothing from my respect for them as voices of integrity and courage.

      I can’t say the same for Bono, I’m afraid. I don’t know his take on Ukraine, and don’t much care. The man is incapable of disappointing me.

      • On the topic of Eno, I recall he said that US TV was a bit like a fire hose in that it kept up a constant pressure ever waiting to be directed. Thus a constant unfocussed general tension with stoking various brands of paranoia until the viewers are required to aim their wrath at a designated target.

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