Ever since news broke that some racist weirdo had shot a bunch of people in Buffalo, the media has been crowing about his “manifesto” and how it connected him to he populist right and, especially, Tucker Carlson. Interestingly, they simultaneously suppressed the public’s access to the document itself. I understand the supposed motive for denying the guy’s ideas publicity — you don’t want to encourage the next killer by giving this one fame. But that’s not what is happening — the media trolls are making him famous anyway, they just want to be able to use him for propaganda purposes, which means controlling what you know about him.
So the Cathedral has gone to some effort to wipe the Internet of the Buffalo killer’s manifesto. They do this with pretty much all mass murderers and spree killers. They do it with actual organized terrorists, as well. Remember how Osama bin Laden wanted to kill us “because he hated our freedom”? It wasn’t like the dude had written tens of thousands of words laying out his actual beef with the US. Call me crazy, but I think it’s important to know what the “bad guys” actually think, and the best way to do that is to read their uncensored words myself, rather than seeing them filtered through the lens of a mass media that has goals orthogonal to mine.
Anyway, rogue geneticist Emil Kirkegaard managed to get a copy and hosted it on his blog, here. I’m hosting it here as well (see below), in case Emil’s copy gets nuked. If they nuke my copy as well, just send me an email, I’ll send you the PDF.
The tl;dr on it is that it’s basically a rehash of the New Zealand mosque shooter’s manifesto, mixed with a bunch of Daily Stormer style memes. I haven’t read the whole thing, obviously — it’s almost 200 pages long, ain’t no body got time for that — but from what I gleaned by skimming it he starts off with the very true statement that western civilization is dying because it won’t reproduce itself. He goes on to maintain this is some kind of Jewish conspiracy — there are like 50 pages of antisemitic memes and conspiracy theories about events dating back to the middle ages. He somehow then concludes that he will make things better by killing black people, which seems like a stretch even within the framework he lays out. Then there’s 100 or so pages about his guns and armor, mostly useful as a guide to the companies who are about to get harassed by the feds. He then closes with a section of brief items (I think some of them are lifted, more or less verbatim, from the NZ shooter’s magnum opus), including at least one where he exhorts people to “kill high profile enemies”, which again suggests the question of why he decided to attack random black people in a supermarket instead of, like, CNN headquarters or something.
So the big news here in God’s Country last week was that “President” Joe Biden visited a Javelin missile manufacturing facility down in Pike County, Alabama. Unsurprisingly, His Eminence rarely graces our deeply Red state with his presence. Equally unsurprisingly, no local politicos showed up for photo ops to ride his coat-tails — not even the handful of Blues whose gerrymandered districts keep them in office. It’s worth noting that Obama, who was not loved here to say the least, still warranted a visit from the governor et al when he visited. But not Biden — he’s about as welcome as poison ivy or the clap, as far as I can tell. As proud as Governor Ivey is of the Javelin — she is on the record saying “We want the last thing Putin ever reads to be ‘Made in Alabama’” — Biden’s visit didn’t even rate a mention from her office.
The visit was interesting, though, and I don’t think enough of our local commentators keyed in on the irony of it. Biden recently declared that the US would send an additional 33 billion dollars of “aid” (i.e., things that explode) to the Ukrainian war effort, and the Javelin — thousands of them — is a big part of that aid. It really is an impressive weapon — basically a hand-held guided anti-tank missile, with the capacity to turn a lowly foot soldier into the explosive equivalent of a howitzer, but with eyes on the target in a way that artillery can only dream of. To the degree that the Ukrainians have had success against the Russian invasion, it’s largely because of these missiles and their close pals, the Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile. To be sure, they haven’t the slightest chance of winning the war for Ukraine, but they can certainly prolong the war and cause great suffering to the Russian military in their effort to pacify Ukraine without having to completely destroy it.
But the thing that I feel like everybody has missed is the jaw-dropping irony of Biden, who has relentlessly played up the threat of “white supremacist terror” in the US, and who campaigned on an explicit pledge to persecute the Charlottesville protestors, going to so much effort to send thousands and thousands of unsecured high-powered explosives to international neo-Nazi paramilitaries in Ukraine. Russian Twitter is full of pictures of Javelins and Stingers just sort of laying around in Ukraine after the Russians blew up their owners and there’s no doubt that many of the foreign “volunteers” who have tried, with varying levels of success, to join Azov et. al. to kill Russians and other Untermenschen have fled the Ukraine as refugees through what I imagine are incredibly porous borders. My guess is that there is 0% chance that those missiles are going to stay in Ukraine; the neo-Nazis and assorted Hunter Biden-style gangsters who have them are almost certainly going to move them onto the black market where they will end up gods know where. I would be very surprised if they don’t end up right back here in America, ready to escalate our burgeoning cultural civil war to the next level.
You read it here first, folks — ASD is predicting that a Javelin or Stinger missile will be used in a terrorist attack within the United States within the next 5 years. Let’s all hope I’m wrong!
But if I’m not, it will be just another depressingly predictable chapter in the US’s history of conjuring enemies out of its own fever dreams. Back in the early days of the War on Terror, a book called Blowback by Chalmers Johnson was making the rounds, in which the sordid history of the US’s involvement in arming radical Islamic extremists was laid out, along with how those efforts led directly to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It’s so similar to what’s going on now in Ukraine — the Soviet Russians invaded Afghanistan, we armed the domestic resistance to try to bleed the Russians without having to fight them ourselves, and we conveniently ignored the fact that the resistance we were arming were gangs of utter moral reprobates who were orders of magnitude worse in terms of their ideology than the Soviet Union of the 1980s. Ultimately the Afghani mujahideen we armed formed the core of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, who would humiliate us on 9/11 and then again, after 20 years of futile war against them, when Biden cravenly surrendered to them in 2021. None of that would have happened were it not for the US desire to hurt Russia, regardless of the cost. And now here we are again, recklessly arming Russia’s ne’er-do-well enemies, who are the ideological allies of the people Biden claims are the biggest domestic threat facing the US today.
But it doesn’t stop there, ladies and germs! After 9/11, the US became absolutely obsessed with the threat of terrorism. In reality, most of al-Qaeda died onboard airplanes before noon on 9/11/01, but our leaders became convinced that they were everywhere and needed to be fought with maximum energy. We had to invade Iraq to fight them there before we had to fight them in, like, California or something. But in the early aughties, there were basically no well-organized Islamic groups capable of projecting power the way bin Laden did on 9/11. UBL himself had been harassed into hiding and was effectively irrelevant long before the US invaded Iraq, and few/no significant terror attacks occurred in the US or Western Europe throughout the Bush years of 2001-2009. Nevertheless, the US ruthlessly bombed, invaded, starved, tortured, occupied, and humiliated Muslim countries and their people throughout that period, ostensibly on the premise that we had to in order to stop the next 9/11.
So all of that was pointless — or was it? There was no significant terrorist threat after 9/11, but after a decade of constant abuse, things were very different. By President Obama’s second term, there was a massive explosion of Islamic extremist terrorism throughout the western world, with major attacks almost every week and hundreds, maybe thousands, of dead, including many in the US. And then Osama bin Laden’s dream happened — the Islamic State group called “ISIS” by the western media actually managed to conquer a transnational caliphate and bring it under brutal Wahhabist rule, taking advantage of the chaos created by our wars to forge a new nation. It’s easy to forget how bad it was by 2016 — who today remembers the Pulse nightclub massacre, or how it rallied a segment of the gay community around Trump’s MAGA movement when he swore to protect gay Americans against radical Islamic terrorists? But it was bad, at least until Trump (and Russia) exterminated ISIS and their collaborators.
Are we seeing the same dynamic in action again? Right now there is, within the margin of error, no threat of white supremacist terrorism in the US. But if Biden mercilessly humiliates European-Americans, and then looks the other way while international Nazi gangsters funnel heavy weapons from Ukraine into North America? How long till we see some deranged Atomwaffen-esque asshole take down a passenger jet with a Stinger, or blow up a synagogue with a Javelin? At a bare minimum I figure these things end up in the hands of Mexican cartels — but how far is it from that, to these kinds of weapons ending up as just another everyday accoutrement of the flowering US civil war? To be clear, the US is pumping thousands of these things into a chaotic war zone in the most corrupt part of planet Earth, famous for organized crime. But when the blowback comes, and the weapons we scattered all over Ukraine come back to bite us, who do you think will take the brunt of the punishment? Just like in Iraq, it will definitely not be the bad guys, it will be the average citizen.
Let it never be said that the United States of America has given up on manufacturing and innovation. We are the world’s number one developer and producer of terrorist movements. Gotta be good at something!
In my last post I cryptically referred to a style of music called “Apocalyptic Folk” that I hinted had some thematic elements that might strike squeamish middle-of-the-roaders as, well, Nazi-ish. So let’s have a listen to some of my favorite “trigger the normies” examples from this classic genre.
First, a bit of history. The music scene that came to be known as Apocalyptic Folk is pretty much an entirely British concoction, emerging as one of the many offshoots of the punk scene that appeared in the early 1980s. It evolved closely with, and shared many performers with, the European industrial music scene, with one band in particular, Coil, being very influential in both. The genre is characterized by a blend of acoustic instruments with experimental electronic sounds, often sort of droning or hypnotic. Lyrically, the genre is usually explicitly neopagan and/or occult, with themes from Aleister Crowley’s writings common — although esoteric varieties of Christianity are also prominent, especially in the work of David Tibet and Current 93.
As you’ll see when I get to the songs below, fascist imagery and concepts — and indeed ideas to the right of fascism, like those of Ernst Jünger — are abundant in apocalyptic folk. But it’s important to note that neither the bands nor their fans were particularly political. I know it’s difficult for people on the left to comprehend the idea of being outside of politics, but I think that is a big thing on the right, especially the “deep right” as Curtis Yarvin recently described “our thing”. Once you’ve seen the grand scope of history — the continuous rising of empires and their destruction by the kinds of chaotic rabble currently gnawing at the roots of the West — politics just can’t seem as serious to you any more. But in any case, it’s rather amusing that several of the founders of the apocalyptic folk genre emerged from the band Crass, which was the literal flagship band of the original Antifa movement as best I can tell.
Anyway, to the music! We’ll start with an easy one — “Death of the West” by Death In June. Lyrics are pretty self-explanatory and hard to disagree with. From their masterpiece, Burial:
Another one that’s easy to like, “Lucifer Over London” by Current 93. The lyrics are amazing — a wonderful hodgepodge of Christianity, Crowleyan imagery (the name “Current 93” is an explicit homage to Crowley’s Thelema religion), and David Tibet’s own vivid imagination:
About the closest anyone from this music scene came to mainstream popularity was this cover of “Tainted Love” by Coil, which made it onto MTV’s 120 Minutes at least once or twice as I recall. Note the Crowleyan “unicursal hexagram” symbol and slogan “Love is the Law” that gets flashed on the screen, as well as John Balance’s stylized Black Sun and other occult symbols. Balance was an amazingly talented human being who died much too young. The raw emotion in this video gives an idea of who he was — and again, the juxtaposition of a gay man mourning a lover’s death from AIDS against a backdrop of supposedly fascist symbolism is the meat and potatoes of this genre:
Getting to some of the more edgy stuff, here’s Current 93’s song “Panzer Rune”, featuring an Asatru galdr chant by gythja Freya Aswynn. Aswynn’s approach to the rune-chant — droning the phonetic sounds of the runes — is the one I favor, but many modern Asatruar seem to prefer a different variety, where the names of the runes are chanted. Regardless, the name, the Germanic neopagan elements, and the fact it comes from an album called “Swastikas For Goddy” are all tailor-made to send Wokians into conniption fits:
And last, we’ll come to the most challenging piece, but the one that I think is the absolute masterpiece of the genre. This track, “Hitler as Kalki”, is derived explicitly from the writings of Savitri Devi, a German woman who traveled to India in the 1950s and started a religion based on Adolf Hitler and Hinduism, asserting that Hitler was the incarnation of the god Vishnu sent to move humanity out of the Kali Yuga — the Dark Age — into a new world. Devi correctly viewed Hinduism as the only surviving branch of the religion that had once ruled over the entire Indo-European (i.e., Aryan) world before Christianity and Islam appeared; whatever one wants to say about her “Man Against Time” notions regarding Hitler (pretty obviously we are not currently living in a new golden age of humanity), she was very influential in the resurrection of polytheistic ideas in Europe after World War II. Her thought is so far outside of anything most of us have considered before that it’s worth reading regardless of your politics. Anyway, the song is over 16 minutes long, but I encourage you to find the time to kick back, close your eyes, and experience this live performance in all its majesty:
In the end, of course, you can make whatever judgment you want about apocalyptic folk and the people who make it and those who enjoy it. I think the sensible conclusion a person should make from outside of the world that created and consumed this music, is that it is weird and I probably don’t really understand it. Personally, I love this stuff, and absolutely don’t care if that makes me a “Level 3 Nazi”. Heil Goddy!
One of the more intriguing justifications Vladimir Putin gave for invading Ukraine was that it needed to be “de-Nazified”. The millions of Americans who never heard of Ukraine before 2022 found this to be hilariously ridiculous, since obviously if anybody was going to be compared to Hitler it was the Boomer Führer, Putin, not the toned and photogenic Ukrainian bossman Zelensky. This crew of sudden pro-Ukraine boosters is mostly of the left-wing variety in the US, albeit with a healthy dose of unrepentant W Bush neocon holdouts on the right side of the aisle as well. To these people, the “Nazi” canard was just that — an unjustified slur made up by Putin to justify his irrational war of conquest. And you can understand the attitude — Zelensky is Jewish, for gods’ sake, how could he also be a Nazi?
Of course, those of us who have paid some amount of attention to Ukraine for the past years have a different view. I first wrote about Ukraine back in 2014, during the Maidan coup, and even then there were news stories about scandalous connections between the pro-Western Ukrainian factions and various hardcore “neo-Nazi” activists like the Azov Battalion and Right Sector. However much American leftist ladies lubricate over Zelensky’s biceps, the fact is that he presides over a more-or-less right-wing civic nationalist government. Ukrainian nationalism doesn’t have much going for it in the way of ancient roots, but rather seems to define itself largely in terms of who it excludes — namely, Russians, who unfortunately comprise a large chunk of the country’s population. Russian-Ukrainians can provide a laundry list of anti-Russian policies the government has engaged in, such as the desecration of Soviet-era war memorials, the banning of Russian language instruction in schools — even in parts of the country where it is the only language people speak — and the persistent claims of violent persecution of ethnic Russians in the Donbass breakaway republics since 2014, much of which was allegedly committed by “neo-Nazi” paramilitaries like the Azov Battalion with the explicit support of the pro-Western government in Kiev.
Well, you can take that or leave it; all of it might be Russian propaganda, but it’s propaganda they’ve been consistently publishing for eight years, so kudos to them for staying on message that effectively for that long. But the question I want to address here is, is it fair to call Azov et al. “neo-Nazis”? Because as Americans on the right, a lot of us get called Nazis all the time — is it possible that Azov are just good ol’ Ukrainian patriots and Russian commie left-wingers are smearing them as Nazis, the same way the Democrats do to us? Well hey, it’s Hitler’s birthday today, so let’s find out!
With tongue firmly in cheek, may I suggest that there are six levels of Nazi-hood, and everybody falls into one of them. Let’s consider each one in turn.
Level 0 Nazis: This category is for actual communists, “democratic socialists”, and other leftist rabble. Unless you have a hammer and sickle tattoo on your skinny, pimple-covered, gender-fluid arm, you are at least a Level 1 Nazi.
Level 1 Nazis: You are a “centrist” of some sort. Maybe you think Mitch McConnell isn’t that bad, or that JFK kind of had a point wanting to do Castro in. You still think, even after the Summer of Floyd, that living in the West is probably better than living in the Congo. Most of the US political establishment falls into this category. Importantly, leftists will not distinguish between you and George Lincoln Rockwell, so you might as well go ahead and keep climbing the Nazi ladder to at least Level 2.
Level 2 Nazis: You are unabashedly right-wing, a nationalist and a patriot, just like Adolf Hitler himself. If you’re an American, you probably tear up at 4th of July fireworks and you might even unironically enjoy Lee Greenwood’s classic track “Proud to be an American”. You likely have American flag apparel, or perhaps you even fly a flag outside of your home. You probably like to shoot guns and think men should have muscles and women should wear makeup. You are absolutely intolerable to Level 0s who will likely lose control of their bladders in your presence. They will definitely call you a Nazi every chance they get. This category includes the MAGA movement and its orange autocrat, Donald J. Trump, as well as all the related worldwide movements such as Brexit, Front National, and so forth. To be fair to him, Zelensky probably fits in this bucket as well, but mysteriously American leftists give him a pass. Note that we’ve still got three levels to go, people, but this one was enough to plunge our country into a slow-motion civil war — whatever they are, the Azov Battalion is definitely higher up on the scale than this.
Level 3 Nazis: You are not only proudly right-wing and nationalist, but you are bold enough to notice that nations have biological dimensions. Maybe you aren’t a full-scale ethnonationalist, but you nevertheless understand that shared language, shared history, and shared culture are indispensable for the formation of a stable nation-state, and inevitably a group of people who share these three things will, generally speaking, also share a single, more-or-less cohesive biological heritage. In this level, you’re likely to find people who are capable of sympathizing with the movements that led to history’s most reviled political regimes (such as the actual Nazis). A typical statement you might expect from someone at this level of Nazi-hood is “Under the right economic and social pressures, you would have supported Hitler, too, and so would I.” You are not only utterly intolerable to the Level 0s, but they will be willing to forgive the Level 1 Nazis of their thoughtcrimes if they agree to pitch in with your cancellation (looking at you Mitt Romney).
Great examples of the “Level 3 Nazi” are plentiful and quite varied. Amongst relatively mainstream Americans, Pat Buchanan comes to mind — he has for decades been an unrepentant proponent of western civilization and its roots in the Western European diaspora, and his bold revisionist work Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War committed the cardinal sin of treating Hitler and Germany like human beings with real-world policy goals and incentives instead of preternatural demons who committed atrocities just for the lulz. Other examples include “far-right” writers of younger generations such as Moldbug and BAP.
I would also include in this group a wide variety of “folkish” neopagans who think spirituality and religion should be particular to a given people and their heritage, instead of universal and cookie-cutter like the Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist traditions. I would further throw in people who enjoy a lot of other edgy esoteric stuff that borrows from the same well of Germanic imagery, folklore, and philosophy that the Nazis (mis)used: e.g., the writings of Julius Evola and Savitri Devi, or bands like Burzum and Death In June, and other “National Socialist Black Metal” or “Apocalyptic Folk” acts, many of which are really good. None of this stuff is “what made the Nazis bad”: no matter how much they might trigger squeamish normies, neither rune insignia, nor totenkopfs, nor the word “Aryan”, nor theories that Indo-Europeans came from Atlantis, nor “Hitler as Kalki”, nor pagan body-building clubs built Auschwitz or invaded Poland or sent the Gestapo to have you shot for missing work.
Perhaps tellingly, my favorite Ukrainian band Nokturnal Mortum, highlighted in these pages a couple months ago, has been considered “National Socialist” in the past — and my understanding is that the Ukrainian black metal scene is pretty influential amongst the more militant Ukrainian nationalist circles like Azov. Importantly, as I learned more about the “Ukrainian Nazis” like Azov, I learned that they at least dabble in the same religious traditions that I follow and make use of a lot of those edgy symbols and ideas described in the previous paragraph — for instance, they use the ancient “wolf’s hook” bindrune as their insignia, which despite its innocuous medieval roots would get you insta-cancelled if you wore it in the US because of the fact that the Nazi SS apparently used it at some point. They also apparently had an impressive Perun idol (that’s the Slavic incarnation of Thor) at one of their recently over-run Mariupol bases that looks straight out of this Arkona album cover:
Given all of that, it’s totally worth considering that the “Nazi” label applied to Azov is the same, more or less, as what leftists have tried to stick me and many like me with it — you’ve got weird spiritual beliefs, dig extreme music, and love your country and your ancestors, therefore you must be dangerous.
But, good readers, I don’t think that’s really where it stops with Azov, which brings us to…
Level 4 Nazis: In case it wasn’t clear enough, let me say explicitly that I don’t think any of the three levels above qualify in any meaningful way as “Nazis”. To be clear, I think the actual Nazis would have gassed 100% of the people who fit in Level 3 because who wants a bunch of jokers running around who are capable of thinking unapproved thoughts when you’re trying to run a modern Sparta and conquer the world? But here at level 4 we are going to cross over into the “Yeah, these guys are kinda Nazis” territory. We’re talking people with swastika tattoos, who think Hitler wasn’t just understandable but that he was awesome and did no wrong. In level 4, you believe simultaneously that the Holocaust didn’t happen but also that the Jews totally had it coming. In fact, you see the hand of “the Eternal Jew” in everything, even though you probably only rarely if ever encounter Jews in your day-to-day life. The jealous defense of your own ancestral heritage that drives the “Level 3” thinker has become an antipodal definition for the Level 4 — what we are, is not those assholes over there. And of course, the need to get rid of those assholes over there starts to become a priority.
Representatives of this group are pretty hard to find because they are so rare, but you can do it if you try because the ones that exist are usually quite loud. The Russell Crowe character from Romper Stomper is a solid representative of the type, but you could also run through the list of White Power outlaw celebrities — guys like David Duke, Andrew Anglin, David Lane, whatever. We’re well beyond ‘heritage’ and ‘aesthetics’ here, and into genuine political extremism. Governments are right to be worried when political extremist groups start flowering in their country; with all the usual caveats (e.g., people are more complex than any single opinion they hold, under the right social/economic pressures we’d probably be just like them, free people should try to understand extremists rather than repress them, etc.), you don’t have to be a jump-at-their-own-shadow Resister to think that Level 4s are at least a little bit dangerous. Our question is: do Ukrainian nationalists make it into this group, or are they safely down in the Level 3 edgelord territory?
Well, I guess it depends. There’s no question that Azov, Right Sector, and other right-wing paramilitaries in Ukraine have all the aesthetic accoutrements of Nazi-dom — the runes, the symbols, Nazi ink under their shirts, the belief in their own ethnic superiority, the focus on martial virtue as the epitome of nationalism. They also have the ethnic hate thing going for them, and it’s obviously all related to their militant politics, but I guess we have to ask: if you devote all your Nazi-dom to hating Russian speakers instead of the Jews, are you really as bad as the literal WWII Nazis? To be honest, I have no idea how Azov feels about the Jews; they seem content to work for a Jewish boss and don’t harass non-white Gastarbeiters too much AFAIK, so maybe they don’t fit into this bucket of ultra-deplorables. That doesn’t matter, though, because I’m pretty sure they make it to the next level —
Level 5 Nazis: How, you ask, can one be more of a Nazi than David “Fourteen Words” Lane? Well, by being a member of the actual NSDAP. In principle the NSDAP — the actual Nazi party of Hitler himself — was disbanded and made illegal after 1945, but in reality bits of it survived in a few political movements around Europe. One of those survivals was in the hero-cult surrounding Ukrainian badass Stepan Bandera. Bandera was a Galician, which was an Eastern European country in what is now far western Ukraine, and is the region that gives us the language currently called “Ukrainian” and whose culture “Ukrainian nationalism” apparently seeks to revive. In early Soviet times an anti-Soviet Ukrainian separatist nationalist movement arose that wanted to push out the Slavic Rus in favor of creating an independent, ethnically Ukrainian (i.e., Galician) state. When Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa and invaded the USSR, Bandera and the other Ukrainian separatists sided with the Nazis, going so far as to help them round up and exterminate Jews and even other ethnic Slavic groups. After the war, he apparently lived on as some kind of 1980s action-movie villain, terrorizing the apocalyptic post-war wastelands of Eastern Europe as a free-lance Nazi terrorist before finally being assassinated by the KGB in 1959.
So like I said, sort of a badass, but also kind of “problematic” as the kids say these days. One thing is for sure, though, the Azov Battalion and all the other hardcore Ukrainian nationalists love this guy. Indeed, Ukraine has an on-again off-again public love for Bandera. For instance, Ukrainian president Viktor Yuschenko — the guy who should really get the blame for starting all this crap with Russia — awarded him a posthumous “Hero of Ukraine” award, which is pretty much the equivalent of an American president giving Nathan Bedford Forrest a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor for war-time heroism. Couple that with the last two Ukrainian presidents’ removal of wartime memorials honoring the USSR soldiers who gave their lives driving the Nazis out of the country, and you’ve got a pretty solid case that there are factions in Ukrainian politics with an unbroken line of inheritance to Bandera and therefore to the actual Nazionalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterspartei itself.
So yes, I think it’s reasonable for Putin to call the Ukrainian government a Nazi-occupied organization, and since the violence of those Nazis is directed against ethnic Russians, it seems to me to provide at least some level of casus belli for the war (although whether the magnitude of the war is justified is another question entirely). To be clear, it’s not Azov’s runes, or their pagan sensibilities, or even their goofy 1488 tattoos that bring me to this conclusion — it’s their support for militant, ethnic violence, and their veneration of a literal Nazi-collaborating terrorist whose actions they apparently seek to emulate in Donbass. I can overlook people having racist attitudes, getting off on Hitler memorabilia, or any number of other “level 4” ideologies — but when you pick up a gun or a baseball bat and decide to start hurting people for dumb reasons, you lose me. These guys suck, and to the degree that the Ukrainian government endorsed them and armed them, it’s equally culpable and frankly is getting what it deserves. Moreover, the fact that the Ukrainian regime thinks it can gloss over this stuff makes me mistrust every thing they say, including all the reports of supposed Russian atrocities — in fact, the more shocking the atrocity, the less I believe it actually happened. At least the Russians aren’t sending literal Nazis to the front lines, my dude.
What I find absolutely bewildering, though, is that the American left is willing to overlook Level 5 Nazi shit from the Ukrainians, when they absolutely condemn attitudes orders of magnitude less extreme than that in their own countrymen. They want to mobilize the entire security apparatus of the United States against “Level 3s” in the US, while sending our military to fight a nuclear war in support of Level 4s and 5s in Ukraine — how does that make sense? They want to send their Gestapo against grandmas who believe Brandon stole the 2020 election, but they’re cool with the Ukrainians deputizing the Boogaloo Bois to attack Russian kids in Donbass. I mean, come on man, If you’re going to be a bigot, at least be consistent, ffs.
I figure I can’t go wrong posting music from whichever European country is most in the news from week to week. Seems like history is alive and well after all on the continent. A couple of weeks ago, Hungary poked its head up and made some noise, with the landslide victory of national conservative Viktor Orbán for that country’s top political position. In his acceptance speech he declared victory over the left, the West, and, amusingly, Volodomyr Zelensky (sp) and the Ukrainian propaganda machine. Props to you, Mr. Orbán, and may your enemies learn to fear you as Europe feared your Magyar ancestors a millennium ago.
So what the heck, let’s have a look at my favorite Hungarian artists. Full disclosure, I have no idea what the politics of these individuals are, so if they stumble across this post and are offended to be connected, even tangentially, to Orbán, my apologies.
One of the most creative metal acts, and one of my favorites over the last decade, is the Hungarian band Thy Catafalque. The band is mostly the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Tamás Kátai, but any given record has a laundry list of helpers playing everything from saxophones and horns to unusual ethnic instruments like the Armenian duduk which apparently is this thing:
Add in a wild variety of vocal styles, from metal growls to ethereal female voices to traditional folk melodies, and the result is a completely unique experience that simply can’t be easily compared to any other act out there. Here’s the opening track “Szarvas” (“deer” in Hungarian) from their excellent 2021 record Vadak:
Here’s another track from the same album that highlights more of their “avant garde” side:
But wait, there’s more! Thy Catafalque is probably the most “Hungarian” Hungarian metal band, but let’s not forget the great Attila Csihar, the prolific black metal etc. vocalist who originally crawled out of some Hungarian tomb in the 90’s to famously fill in on vocals for the classic Mayhem record De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas when Mayhem’s previous vocalist Dead inconveniently, but unsurprisingly, shot himself in the face with a shotgun. Here’s a fairly recent Mayhem performance, with Attila singing my favorite track from that classic album:
It’s entirely possible that this song has the most nihilistic lyrics ever written (again, unsurprisingly, written by a guy named Dead who killed himself):
I am a mortal, but am I human? How beautiful life is now that my time has come A human destiny, but nothing human inside What will be left of me when I’m dead? There was nothing when I lived
Happy Easter, man, pass the benzos. Csihar went on to make a fine career for himself as a black metal vocalist, showing up as a guest vocalist on many records and on tour with a lot of bands over the years. One of my favorite of his side projects, though, is the oft maligned Aborym, which was one of the first attempts to fuse black metal and industrial music. You can judge how well they pull it off for yourself — here is the complete recording of their album Fire Walk With Us which gets bonus points for taking its name from the best TV show ever made, Twin Peaks:
Here’s the “Black Lodge” poem/prayer that the name comes from:
Through the darkness of future past The magician longs to see One chance out between two worlds Fire, walk with me!