What does The Great War mean to me, NTSC?

As you may or may not know, we have started a campaign to help fund the creation and distribution of our second full-length album, The Great War. I wanted to take a moment to talk about what this album means to me, and invite my brothers the Brümeister and SpadeOne to do the same.

The Great War—also known as World War I—marked a major turning point in the history of the world. It killed, literally, some of the oldest monarchies and empires under which the world has ever suffered. It redrafted the imaginary boundary lines of the Earth and redefined what horror truly was. Little did we know those horrors were only a prologue to what would follow.

The album we’re currently making is named after that horrible conflict for a lot of reasons. For one, we as a band are just fascinated by WWI. The unrest caused in Imperial Russia led directly to the revolution which would topple the Romanov Tsars. The empires of the Ottomans and Austria-Hungary split apart at the seams, giving birth to new nations and reviving old ones. It was a major victory against the sovereignty of monarchs and oligarchs, but the sentiment was not to last long.

Welcome back to the stage: Poland!

Welcome back to the stage: Poland!

Beyond our interest in WWI as an important turning point for the world, the theme of that conflict resonates with me very personally.

I like to use the acronym POOP when I talk about this kind of thing. It stands for “Power Over Other People.”

I don’t want POOP.

I don’t deserve to wield POOP.

Anyone who does want POOP, or thinks they somehow deserve it, is by their very nature a dangerous person. Yet we glorify, champion, support and endorse POOP-heads all the time. We have been doing it for centuries now. The Great War began with a loud and visceral attack against the very concept of POOP.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Gavrilo Princip statue, Sarajevo – PHOTO: REUTERS

 

The young anarchist Gavrilo Princip fired the shot that would end the life of Franz Ferdinand and  set in motion the terrible gears that wound up the world’s war machine. That was not his intention, but that was the result. He had intended to set a fire beneath the butts of other revolutionaries and anarcho-syndicalists like himself. He had intended to show that the rulers of men, the wielders of power, were mortal and fallible. Nobody deserves to hold power over another human being. POOP is bad. We are not wild animals that need breaking, training or caging. The natural inclination of all humans is cooperative. We fight back only when we are controlled, and that is what spurred the events of June 28th, 1914.

These Fucking Assholes

Then there’s these fucking assholes. That flag look familiar to anyone?

Especially in this election cycle, with fascist and nationalist parties winning more and more seats in governments across the world, the lessons of The Great War ring like a cacophony of bells in my head. We can’t let this happen again. We need to learn from history. In my mind, The Great War is going on right now. It’s happening again. It is in our hands to fight against nationalism, fascism, escapism, anti-humanism and all forms of POOP.

That’s what this album represents to me. It’s a weird thing to want to convey in a polka hip hop album, I know. We’re a weird band to want to talk about these issues. We have no visibility. We have no notoriety. We have no power.

We have an accordion and three mics and that’s about it. We can’t help ourselves though. When given the chance, we’re going to write about what’s on our minds. In the first album that was pirates and beer and fun and friends.

This time, it’s The Great War.