Increasing ambition for worldly acclaim

Increasing ambition for worldly acclaim

Posted by alexandriabrangwin on 2018-01-17 08:29:55

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Viva Umkhonto!

Viva Umkhonto!

The Beaten Generation

During the course of 2015 I recommissioned my 21st birthday present from my father – a Micro Seiki MB-14ST that I brought over to the UK from my mom’s place in South Africa. I’ve also been slowly bringing over my collection of vinyl albums, meticulously selected and acquired, and lovingly cared for between the early-70’s and the late-80’s. They’ve also been stashed away at my mom’s place, protected from the elements in plastic sleeves and stored in bespoke cases holding about 50 albums apiece. Over the course of the past few months I’ve been playing some of the gems in my collection, and it’s been very rewarding to reconnect with my past. Both the good and the “interesting”.

On one of our trips to Europe in the late-80’s my future wife and I made our regular pilgrimage to the music stores, including WOM (World of Music) in Germany. It was here (in which city, I don’t recall) that I bought the LP "Viva Umkhonto!" a compilation of punk and hardcore music that featured previously unreleased material by European and US bands. The record was released in April 1987 as a collaborative effort by two independent labels, namely Mordam Records (USA) and De Konkurrent (Holland), both of whom were strong backers of the struggle against Apartheid. According to a statement on the back of the sleeve, “All money raised by this record goes to Umkhonto We Sizwe. So this was a benefit album for the military wing of the ANC (African National Congress).

For context, allow me to turn to Wikipedia:

Umkhonto We Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, Zulu for "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre. Its founding represented the conviction in the face of the massacre that the ANC could no longer limit itself to nonviolent protest; its mission was to fight against the South African government. After warning the South African government in June 1961 of its intent to resist further acts of terror if the government did not take steps toward constitutional reform and increase political rights, MK launched its first attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organisation by the South African government and the United States, and banned”.

The album itself was definitely banned in South Africa and so possessing it was illegal. I took it into the country through Jan Smuts Airport (subsequently known as “Johannesburg International” and now, “O.R. Tambo International”) on my return from my trip to Europe and kept it safely tucked away in the belly of the beast in South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria.

On the tenth anniversary of the Soweto uprising, the Nationalist regime declared State of Emergency in June 1986. It forbade any action that could undermine the Apartheid state, nationwide. Also forbidden were any kind of “subversive statements”, defined as statements that promoted unlawful strikes, boycotts or civil disobedience, attacked military conscription, promoted disinvestment or sanctions, or that “aggravated feelings of racial hostility”. The penalty for engaging in these actions was a maximum of ten years imprisonment. Ouch – I definitely did not want to be caught with this album!

Of the people detained under these draconian regulations (circa-8,000 in the first couple of months) no names were published with the exception of those released at the discretion of the South African Police. Throughout the State of Emergency, newspapers had to engage in self-censorship, at the risk of being closed down by the government, and many used to print disclaimers alongside their articles that read” “This report has been restricted to comply with the Emergency Regulations”. Some newspapers and magazines were not able to appear, and no news came out of the black townships, except through the state’s Bureau of Information. At the time I stuck stickers on the front of my television screen and computer monitor that read “SABC News is Biased” just to remind myself to be vigilant about government disinformation.

The music on the compilation album is okay, but it’s the packaging and presentation that I really enjoyed as a snapshot of the times, and as an interesting piece of social history. Along with the record were included a poster and a booklet filled with newspaper clippings and ANC propaganda about the armed struggle against Apartheid. It also highlights companies that were breaking economic sanctions by continuing to do business with South Africa. The “Throw Well – Throw Shell” slogan is parody of oil the giant’s official marketing tag-line at the time, namely Go Well – Go Shell. I have uploaded a scan of this booklet to my DropBox.

I’m not going to comment on the accuracy or veracity of the information in the booklet, but in those turbulent times – under a state of emergency, with broad media censorship and where owning certain music could earn you a jail sentence – it was thrilling to see what people abroad were thinking and to read material that was not towing the official National Party line. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s fascinating to see how right Matt Johnson was back in 1989 (The TheMind Bomb). Although he wasn’t talking about South Africa, per se, when he sang that we were the “beaten generation, reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation”, he pretty much hit the nail on the head. Prejudice and misinformation were weapons in the arsenal on both sides of the struggle in South Africa. I was one of the few pale South Africans to have the privilege of being exposed to both sides of that deformed coin.

The The – "The Beat(en) Generation" – YouTube Video Clip

When you cast your eyes upon the skylines
Of this once proud nation
Can you sense the fear and the hatred
Growing in the hearts of its population
And our youth, oh youth, are being seduced
By the greedy hands of politics and half truths

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

We’re being sedated by the gasoline fumes
And hypnotized by the satellites
Into believing what is good and what is right
You may be worshiping the temples of mammon
Or lost in the prisons of religion
But can you still walk back to happiness
When you’ve nowhere left to run?

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

And if they send in the special police
To deliver us from liberty and keep us from peace
Then won’t the words sit ill upon their tongues
When they tell us justice is being done
And that freedom lives in the barrels of a warm gun

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

If you’d like to take a listen to "Viva Umkhonto!" I’ve found a ripped copy of the LP available for download here.

Also take a look at my Blogger posting.

Cheers, 2016 ©

Posted by anjin-san on 2016-01-17 21:02:45

Tagged: , Record Sleeve , Album Sleeve , Album Dust Sleeve , The Beaten Generation , Viva Umkhonto! , Umkhonto , South Africa , Nelson Mandela , ANC , African National Congress , LP , Long Player , Long Playing , Long Playing Album , Album , Vinyl , 33 RPM , 33.3 RPM , Apartheid , State of Emergency , National Party , Racism , Fascism , Terrorism , Terrorist , Censorship , Armed Struggle , Pretoria , WOM , World of Music , Sharpeville , Soweto , Mordam Records , De Konkurrent , Punk , Punk Rock , Hardcore , Hardcore Music , Propoganda , Matt Johnson , The The , Mind Bomb , Music , Song , Booklet , Eighties , 2016 , 80s , 1986 , 1989

Viva Umkhonto!

Viva Umkhonto!

The Beaten Generation

During the course of 2015 I recommissioned my 21st birthday present from my father – a Micro Seiki MB-14ST that I brought over to the UK from my mom’s place in South Africa. I’ve also been slowly bringing over my collection of vinyl albums, meticulously selected and acquired, and lovingly cared for between the early-70’s and the late-80’s. They’ve also been stashed away at my mom’s place, protected from the elements in plastic sleeves and stored in bespoke cases holding about 50 albums apiece. Over the course of the past few months I’ve been playing some of the gems in my collection, and it’s been very rewarding to reconnect with my past. Both the good and the “interesting”.

On one of our trips to Europe in the late-80’s my future wife and I made our regular pilgrimage to the music stores, including WOM (World of Music) in Germany. It was here (in which city, I don’t recall) that I bought the LP "Viva Umkhonto!" a compilation of punk and hardcore music that featured previously unreleased material by European and US bands. The record was released in April 1987 as a collaborative effort by two independent labels, namely Mordam Records (USA) and De Konkurrent (Holland), both of whom were strong backers of the struggle against Apartheid. According to a statement on the back of the sleeve, “All money raised by this record goes to Umkhonto We Sizwe. So this was a benefit album for the military wing of the ANC (African National Congress).

For context, allow me to turn to Wikipedia:

Umkhonto We Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, Zulu for "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre. Its founding represented the conviction in the face of the massacre that the ANC could no longer limit itself to nonviolent protest; its mission was to fight against the South African government. After warning the South African government in June 1961 of its intent to resist further acts of terror if the government did not take steps toward constitutional reform and increase political rights, MK launched its first attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organisation by the South African government and the United States, and banned”.

The album itself was definitely banned in South Africa and so possessing it was illegal. I took it into the country through Jan Smuts Airport (subsequently known as “Johannesburg International” and now, “O.R. Tambo International”) on my return from my trip to Europe and kept it safely tucked away in the belly of the beast in South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria.

On the tenth anniversary of the Soweto uprising, the Nationalist regime declared State of Emergency in June 1986. It forbade any action that could undermine the Apartheid state, nationwide. Also forbidden were any kind of “subversive statements”, defined as statements that promoted unlawful strikes, boycotts or civil disobedience, attacked military conscription, promoted disinvestment or sanctions, or that “aggravated feelings of racial hostility”. The penalty for engaging in these actions was a maximum of ten years imprisonment. Ouch – I definitely did not want to be caught with this album!

Of the people detained under these draconian regulations (circa-8,000 in the first couple of months) no names were published with the exception of those released at the discretion of the South African Police. Throughout the State of Emergency, newspapers had to engage in self-censorship, at the risk of being closed down by the government, and many used to print disclaimers alongside their articles that read” “This report has been restricted to comply with the Emergency Regulations”. Some newspapers and magazines were not able to appear, and no news came out of the black townships, except through the state’s Bureau of Information. At the time I stuck stickers on the front of my television screen and computer monitor that read “SABC News is Biased” just to remind myself to be vigilant about government disinformation.

The music on the compilation album is okay, but it’s the packaging and presentation that I really enjoyed as a snapshot of the times, and as an interesting piece of social history. Along with the record were included a poster and a booklet filled with newspaper clippings and ANC propaganda about the armed struggle against Apartheid. It also highlights companies that were breaking economic sanctions by continuing to do business with South Africa. The “Throw Well – Throw Shell” slogan is parody of oil the giant’s official marketing tag-line at the time, namely Go Well – Go Shell. I have uploaded a scan of this booklet to my DropBox.

I’m not going to comment on the accuracy or veracity of the information in the booklet, but in those turbulent times – under a state of emergency, with broad media censorship and where owning certain music could earn you a jail sentence – it was thrilling to see what people abroad were thinking and to read material that was not towing the official National Party line. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s fascinating to see how right Matt Johnson was back in 1989 (The TheMind Bomb). Although he wasn’t talking about South Africa, per se, when he sang that we were the “beaten generation, reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation”, he pretty much hit the nail on the head. Prejudice and misinformation were weapons in the arsenal on both sides of the struggle in South Africa. I was one of the few pale South Africans to have the privilege of being exposed to both sides of that deformed coin.

The The – "The Beat(en) Generation" – YouTube Video Clip

When you cast your eyes upon the skylines
Of this once proud nation
Can you sense the fear and the hatred
Growing in the hearts of its population
And our youth, oh youth, are being seduced
By the greedy hands of politics and half truths

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

We’re being sedated by the gasoline fumes
And hypnotized by the satellites
Into believing what is good and what is right
You may be worshiping the temples of mammon
Or lost in the prisons of religion
But can you still walk back to happiness
When you’ve nowhere left to run?

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

And if they send in the special police
To deliver us from liberty and keep us from peace
Then won’t the words sit ill upon their tongues
When they tell us justice is being done
And that freedom lives in the barrels of a warm gun

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

If you’d like to take a listen to "Viva Umkhonto!" I’ve found a ripped copy of the LP available for download here.

Also take a look at my Blogger posting.

Cheers, 2016 ©

Posted by anjin-san on 2016-01-17 21:02:56

Tagged: , Record Sleeve , Album Sleeve , Album Dust Sleeve , The Beaten Generation , Viva Umkhonto! , Umkhonto , South Africa , Nelson Mandela , ANC , African National Congress , LP , Long Player , Long Playing , Long Playing Album , Album , Vinyl , 33 RPM , 33.3 RPM , Apartheid , State of Emergency , National Party , Racism , Fascism , Terrorism , Terrorist , Censorship , Armed Struggle , Pretoria , WOM , World of Music , Sharpeville , Soweto , Mordam Records , De Konkurrent , Punk , Punk Rock , Hardcore , Hardcore Music , Propoganda , Matt Johnson , The The , Mind Bomb , Music , Song , Booklet , Eighties , 2016 , 80s , 1986 , 1989

75/365/3

75/365/3

The last store left at the Westminster Mall. I miss the days of the malls from the 70s, 80s, and early 90s. I have good memories from back then.

I will post a video of a song from the 90s, You Get What You Give, and it always makes me think of "those days" that I miss so much right now.

youtu.be/DL7-CKirWZE

lyrics by the New Radicals:
"You Get What You Give"

Wake up kids
We’ve got the dreamers disease
Age 14 we got you down on your knees
So polite, you’re busy still saying please
Fri-enemies, who when you’re down ain’t your friend
Every night we smash their Mercedes-Benz
First we run and then we laugh till we cry
But when the night is falling
and you cannot find the light
If you feel your dream is dying
Hold tight
You’ve got the music in you
Don’t let go
You’ve got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don’t give up
You’ve got a reason to live
Can’t forget you only get what you give
Four a.m. we ran a miracle mile
were flat broke but hey we do it in style
The bad rich
God’s flying in for your trial

[chorus]

This whole damn world can fall apart
You’ll be ok follow your heart
You’re in harms way
I’m right behind
Now say youre mine

[chorus]

Fly high
What’s real can’t die
You only get what you give
Just dont be afraid to leave
Health insurance rip off lying FDA big bankers buying
Fake computer crashes dining
Cloning while they’re multiplying
Fashion mag shoots
with the aid of 8 dust brothers Beck, Hanson
Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson
You’re all fakes
Run to your mansions
Come around
We’ll kick your ass in!
Don’t let go
One dance left

Posted by f l a m i n g o on 2014-03-09 00:48:19

Tagged: , instagram app , square , square format , iphoneography , uploaded:by=instagram , Rise , lyrics , music , song , Westminster , Mall , JCPenneys , new radicals , project365 , 365days , March , 2014 , group , iPhone , photo , picture

Mare Imbrium

Mare Imbrium

afallofmoondust.wordpress.com

Posted by ►A.FALL.OF.MOONDUST ► on 2010-11-07 13:31:35

Tagged: , moon , dust , fall , afallofmoondust , silver , sea , rains , earth , red , purple , record , lp , computer , sleeve , cover , song , music , space , photoshop , filter , planet , science , fiction