Monday, August 27, 2007

"Slovania" by Laibach, The Good Old Days

Here's another video from Laibach's Volk album. The first time I watched it, I didn't really get the irony, or the whole nuclear war subtext. Then again, their irony is lost on a lot of people, and they're often mistaken for either neo-nazis or communist sympathizers. I think that's why I like Laibach, even though I'm not crazy about everything they've put out. I find them more subtle and creative than many North American industrial acts. They have a real rock opera-ish quality about them, and the fact that they spent the 1980's in communist Yugoslavia gives them a little more political credibility, I think, than many self-styled "activist" groups here in North America.

I can remember a time about ten years ago when I thought "revolutionary" (postmodern) politics were the coolest thing since sliced bread. My friend Ondrej and I would drink Labatt Maximum Ice and talk about anarchism, communism (he's a Czech, and at that point it had been less than 10 years since the velvet revolution) and all kinds of stuff that kids think is interesting before they go to college. There was a time in my life when I thought Marx was just misunderstood and misapplied, and that the "pure" socialist economy (i.e. one that replaces the act of exchange with a top-down notion of "social justice") was a great idea hampered only by a nasty and inconvenient human nature. Spending a year and a half in the Czech Republic was enough to convince me that there had been something fundamentally ugly and inhuman at the heart of Marxist socialism, and four years of "the university experience" led me to the conclusion that most political posturing is naive, narcissistic, self-serving horseshit.

I still like Laibach, though, although my enjoyment is more than a little nostalgic.

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