Saturday, June 05, 2010


First, "I'm in love with a German filmstar" by The Passions, from 1981. The Passions were your archaetypical one hit wonder. Singer's Barbara Gogan.

I have never known someone to match the peculiar echoplex guitar accords by Clive Timperley. They still sound damn cool after almost thirty years.

Second, the theme from the movie "The Bridge at Remagen", directed by John Guillermin. I realize I'm a WWII buff, so I won't blame you if the name Remagen don't sound a bell. It's a small town on the western bank of the river Rhine and it boasted a bridge across that river, named after Erich Ludendorff. On March 7, 1945, troops from the 9th US Armored Division captured that bridge, effectively crossing Hitler's last natural barrier against the onstorming allies in the West. Elmer Bernstein composed the theme.

A pretty much okay theme imnsho. As for the movie itself, it's quite okay too. No masterpiece, but entertaining. What's annoying me somewhat though are the many factual errors. For one thing, the bridge was taken in early March, so trees should be leafless. Yet in the movie you'd get the impression it was almost high summer. Then there's the fact that the names of the historical key persons the actors represent are deliberately changed. For example, the US lieutenant whose platoon seizes the bridge is "Lt. Hartman" (played by George Segal). In reality, his name was Karl Timmermann, and he was the son of a WWI US trooper and a German fraulein, who followed Timmermann sr. back to the US of A - IIRC, to Frankfurt, Kentucky. Also IIRC, Lt. Timmermann died tragically of cancer during the Korean War.

Then there is the German major charged with the twofold task of a.) holding the bridge for as long as possible to allow a maximum of retreating German troops to cross the Rhine, and b.) of course blow it up at the last moment to prevent the Amis from getting into central Germany without getting their feet wet. In the film, that major is a certain Paul Krueger and he is played by Robert Vaughn, otherwise best known for his Napoleon Solo personage in the TV series The man from U.N.C.L.E. In reality, it was a major Scheller. To be sure, Scheller oversaw the blowing up of the bridge but because the wrong kind of explosives were used, his demolition squad only managed to slightly damage it.

There's an awful story to be told about the Remagen Bridge but this is Music Night after all, so I won't bother you anymore with wartime stories. Perhaps this one trivia thingy yet, though. German officials did not allow filming along the Rhine, so Guillermin shot the film along the Vltava in Czechoslovakia. It was 1968, and at some point the Ruskis invaded to crush the anti-communist revolt begun during the Prague Spring. It seems the whole set had to flee Czechoslovakia to Germany by... taxis!

You can find the trailer for the film here. Opening scene here. And if I'd have to recommend a book, it would be Rolf Palm's Die Bruecke von Remagen (1985). There must be an English translation; I myself have a Dutch one, and it is very, very good.

Stars from British band Dubstar. Singer's Sarah Blackwood. It's 1995.

Dubstar, still active, hail from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, which has a lot more to offer than the Angel of the North. Not that that steel sculpture isn't worth seeing of course.

Then a short exerpt from Carl Orff's cantate Carmina Burana, dating from 1937. Carmina Burana is actually the title of a medieval manuscript containing no less than 254 poems and texts, found in the Bavarian abbey of Beuren (the latin title means litterally songs from Beuren). Carl Orff got the inspiration for the music piece he gave the same name, from a selected set of works in the manuscript. I wrote 'short exerpt'. What you hear is the actual hymn that precedes and conludes CB. This hymn is called O Fortuna.

Naturally, I chose a clip from the 1981 movie Excalibur, one of my all-time favourites.



Friday, June 04, 2010


Before I let Pat Condell blast away at the horrifying outrage of muslims being allowed to build a thirteen-story high islamic cultural center plus mosque virtually on the hallowed ground where almost 3,000 innocent people were murdered BY MUSLIMS, there's a thing or two you should know about the proposed name, the Cordoba mosque.

Cordoba was conquered by a muslim army in 711, barely 80 years after Mohammed's death. It's a city in southern Spain that became the capital of first the emirate and then the caliphate of al-Andalus, which is how the muslim conquerors called present-day Spain. Since Charles Martel botched their effort to conquer the rest of Western Europe at Poitiers in 732, the muslims, in casu the Ummayad dynasty, set on consolidating their hold of the Iberian peninsula, and for a relatively short time succeeded beyond expectation. Indeed, the Ummayad's were so successful that for some time, Cordoba even overshadowed any other city in the entire muslim world, boasting, in the late 10th century, a population of 500,000 and 700 mosques. Inevitably, the relatively bening reign of the Ummayads gave way to more severe dynasties, the last of one which was the dynasty of the Almohads. In case you're interested, that lone famous muslim multi-disciplinarian scientist Averroes (Ibn Rushd), who INVARIABLY turns up when drooling leftozoids deem it necessary to point out how backward Europe was in the Middle Ages compared to the muslim world, was a native of Cordoba. What these know-it-alls who can't tell you any other name of a muslim scientist (though admittedly, there were others) always fail to tell you, is that Averroes only escaped death because of his writings on account of his qualities as a physician, and that he was banished to Morocco.

The bottom line is that muslims regard the somewhat less than 800 years of islamic rule in Spain as a golden age, and the statewise embodiment of that age, the caliphate of al-andalus, as the most successful muslim nation of all time. And the capital of that most successful muslim nation of all time was... Cordoba. As a symbol, it is quite telling that muslims have opted for this name for a mosque in the heart of "the great satan". Mayor Bloomberg, that ball-less carcass, can drool whatever he wants on the wonders of multiculturalism, interfaith dialogue and diversity, but muslims see it differently. Al-Zawahiri himself referred to the "tragedy of al-Andalus" right after 9/11, lamenting the loss of muslim Spain to the Christian. The supposedly 'moderate' muslim bridge builders in NYC, by choosing the name Cordoba, have given definite proof that they are completely on the same line with one of the key architects of the massacre just blocks away from the mosque construction site.

How foolish can you be? And how blind?

Oh yeah, Americans are getting plenty of change.


Monday, May 31, 2010


Via ClickLiverpool, May 27, 2010: sorry if you just ate.


So, Liverpool City Council refuses to help organize with a lousy 8,000£ a military tattoo/memorial service in honor of those who served/serve...

..but on the other hand they have no problem whatsoever coughing up 80,000£ for...


... this?


Wait, that's not all:

"...Last year's show helped raise around £13,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund, Combat Stress, St John Ambulance and the Army Cadet Force...."

So not only do they fund programs that promote homosexuality in schools and actually on the streets (effectively even more luring British society in a demographic death trap), but they scrap a morale booster event for people setting their lives on the line for our freedom...

... and they manage to deprive veterans organizations of a couple of thousands of pounds.

Well done assholes. You can really be proud of yourself. I'm looking forward to your Homotopia and IDAHO celebrations once the followers of Mo take over.


Sunday, May 30, 2010


Photo Jan Van Impe, 2005

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.