The Oils are back!

With a low key announcement on their website, Midnight Oil tells they are back after a fifteen year break. It looks like there will be a world tour in 2017. This is one the great bands, full of passion and politics and powerful music.

MO 02

MO 01


Free Jethro Tull Ticket: Melbourne 15 December at Palais Theatre

I have a free Jethro Tull ticket to give away: at the Palais Theatre, Melbourne, 15 December. I bought this one first and then a second concert opened up in Sydney on 12 December. Although I have done a one-two concert in the past, I figure that after more than a dozen concerts in different countries, one will be enough this time.

Any takers, or do you know of any takers?

2014 01a

2014 03a


Sputnik, Sputnik, kreise: a children’s song book from East Germany

While on the trail of Thomas Müntzer, we were staying in the old mill in the town of Allstedt (Saxony-Anhalt). At the foot of the stairs is a box of free books, some of them hailing from the time of the DDR. Rifling through the collection, we came across the following:


Yes, it’s a book of young children’s songs, called Sputnik, Sputnik, Orbit. Published in 1964, the first section states clearly:

Lieder vom sozialistischen Aufbau in Stadt und Land, von den Helfern bei der Arbeit, von Kran un Bagger, von Traktor und Kombine, von den Berufen der Eltern, von den Soldaten unserer Volksarmee, von Auto, von Feuerwehr, Eisenbahn und Sputnik.

Wonderful! If only there were more books like that for young children today. Some of the songs include the Sputnik song:


The long train of which the child’s father is the driver:


And there is a special section for May Day, naturally one of a number of children’s festivals:


Even a 1 May song for kiddies:


A rich resource for songs to sing with my grandson!

A book outline, an engagement with my Cave book, and a job

Some stray notes, one concerning an item completed, and two to come:

1. Sacred Economy book outline, over at Political Theology. This is a biggie, offering a whole new model for the economies of the ancient Near East. Due out later this year.

2. A very thoughtful response indeed to my Nick Cave book by Anthony Paul Smith. It deserves a response, especially on the matter of total depravity. And in response to Anthony’s question, a paperback is slated to appear soon.

3. A job: this will be a research associate position, 0.4 ($30,00o per year) at the University of Newcastle. I’m looking for a specialist in Marxist economic theory, ancient societies, and the emergence of capitalism. Full details soon.

Karl-Marx Stadt

The year 1980. Communism has taken over the world. Crowds in New York City are happily celebrating May 1. London is breaking the record in scrap metal collection.  South Africans are opening up yet another monument to the leaders of the proletariat. A young man whose heart is full of love is singing a song about the girl with whom he is in love. Together they travel  round the world to experience the utopian kingdom of universal equality.
The creators of the video clip dedicate their work to the unfulfilled dream of their fathers and grandfathers: the ‘bright future’ of communism.

Lyrics (Russian translation):

Heute hab ich dir gebracht
Schöne Blumen in der Nacht
Keine Röslein legt’ ich dir ins Bett
Weiße Pracht, zarter Strauß
Kam mit Maiglöckchen ins Haus
Auf dem Kissen lagen sie so nett.

Karl-Marx-Stadt, Karl-Marx-Stadt,
Du bist die Stadt roter Blumen,
Karl-Marx-Stadt, Karl-Marx-Stadt,
Aber ich mag nur weiß.

Keine Schrillheit in der Blüte
Steigt der Duft uns ins Gemüte
Bringt uns jetzt den Frülingszauber
Als ob ein weißes Lied erklingt
Als dein erster Hochzeitsring
Als ob deine erste Liebe, glaube ich.

Karl-Marx-Stadt, Karl-Marx-Stadt,
Du bist die Stadt roter Blumen,
Karl-Marx-Stadt, Karl-Marx-Stadt,
Aber ich mag nur weiß.

(ht sk)