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Manhattan: What the Other Half Sees

Manhattan: What the Other Half Sees

It is a well known fact that there are inhabited western lands beyond Manhattan. Strange, remote and not completely understood, these are forever confined to a foreign status by the mighty Hudson River, whose crossing implies both a death wish and a need for utter…

Coriolistic Anachronisms | National anthem of the lobotomized

Coriolistic Anachronisms


National anthem of the lobotomized

May tainted blood
Water our fields!

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there

Let us band together,
We are ready to die

Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall!

Brave the enemy’s gunfire, March on!

War, war!
Take the national pennants and soak them in waves of blood.

And seize the forehead of the tyrant
And destroy him!

So we have taken the noise of gunpowder as our rhythm
And the sound of machine guns as our melody

In case you were wondering what all this was about, well, these lines are not part of a war movie script, nor are they some kind of extreme-right propaganda. No. These are the words (some of them translated) to which a lot of supposedly civilized people rise and place a hand on their heart, hat dropped and tear in the eye. These are national anthem lyrics.*

In so many countries, the song meant to embody everything dear and sacred to the national character of its citizens is more bloody and hostile then a first-person shooter video game. That proves one thing: somebody somewhere, in some government circle, has achieved a great scientific breakthrough. A non-intrusive lobotomy of the masses.

So let me ask you a question, you who are standing with your hand on your heart among a crowd of people standing too, and you, and you, and you too; what on Earth are you thinking? When is the last time you were grateful to your country? Or proud of it? I hear complaints about politics, and inflation, and taxes, and the price of gas, and crime, and pollution, and war, but what has your country done to make you happy lately? What are you actually proud of, or satisfied with? And yet, when the anthem plays, you stand.

This is the 21st century. We’re trying to move out of an era of nationalism and colonialism. It’s time for borders to drop, for races to mix and for people to sing about tolerance and peace. It’s time to be proud for the right reasons.

Would a country dare drop its old anthem and adopt a new one speaking of tolerance, respect and unbranded freedom? And most importantly, would a country do all this, and then abide by it?

* In order, those belonged to the French, US, Italian, UK, Chinese, Mexican, Lybian and Algerian anthems.

 "Is there a time to walk for cover
A time for kiss and tell
Is there a time for different colors
Different names you find it hard to spell"



  • Marie

    Ons sal lewe, ons sal steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerwe, ons vir jou, Suid Afrikaaaaaaaa!

    We will live, we will die, for you South Africa.

    I used to sing it with tears in my eyes when I was little.

    Comment logged on 2008-3-24
  • Marie

    ..and call me a Nazi-era throwback, but I am proud of my country. And ashamed. But I like having an identity. I am South African. And a New Yorker. And a woman, and Marie. All of thse things are important to me.

    Comment logged on 2008-3-24
  • Marie

    …um, yes, those were passionate comments not angry (this clarification in response to a certain vibration felt from the West).


    The first was more rueful. Passion has become very unfashionable.

    Of course SA’s new anthem is Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika…God bless Africa.

    And *it* makes/made everyone cry because it is sung like a hymn, and was banned for so many years. It was a song of yearning, of justice deferred, of resistance. And because it’s also very beautiful.

    [Similar to a prayer routinely uttered back in the day: God bless Africa; guard her people; guide her leaders; and give her peace.]

    This is where one would encourage the “god in us” approach. I mean, Lordy, waiting for divine intervention??? Ain’t gonna be none, honey! Ain’t nobody there!

    Look within!

    [Should I take to the pulpit?]

    Comment logged on 2008-3-24
  • webmaster

    Error 6024b: Stack overflow. [This user has exceeded allowed comment length.]

    Error 174: Spamblock activated. [The words God, divine, bless and honey were detected in a single field.]

    Error 99945674: Defective keyboard protection enabled. [ steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerwe. Too many e’s.]

    Error 069: Censor warning. [Post author and comment author are obviously related.]

    Comment logged on 2008-3-25
  • Marie


    Comment logged on 2008-3-25

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