Wednesday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Today was the day in 1990 that it all went horribly wrong for German R&B group Milli Vanilli, the group that was so fabricated that they didn’t even perform their own tracks. They lost their Grammy and failed to succeed at their own “real” re-launch.

Trigger warning: regardless of who was singing, the music is pretty dire.

In 1973 Skylab 4 was launched. It’s crew recorded images of the sun, comet Kohoutek and Area 51 (probably not on purpose).

In 1945 UNESCO was formed. It has fairly noble goals of fostering peace though promoting cultural, educational and scientific dialogues between nations, which of course doesn’t always work as well as it could.

It’s Chinua Achebe‘s birthday today(1930), Nigerian poet and novelist. He’s most famous for the novel Things Fall Apart. Here he is reading his poem We Laughed At Him.

Just down the road from Jerry’s office in 1942 work began on the first atomic pile.

It’s commemorated with this statue, which is either a skull, a mushroom cloud or neither.


Over in Poland, cunning plans are afoot once more in our four-footed cousins’ never-ending quest for more delectables.

Hili: There is a piece of beef in the fridge.
Cyrus: We have to appeal to the better angels of their nature.


In Polish:

Hili: W lodówce jest wołowina.
Cyrus: Trzeba zaapelować do lepszej strony ich natury.

Hat-tip: Matthew Cobb.


  1. Rita
    Posted November 16, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Anyone can see it’s Darth Vader!

    • GBJames
      Posted November 16, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      With his tongue hanging out.

    • eric
      Posted November 16, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      I was thinking Dark Helmet.

  2. Christopher
    Posted November 16, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if it means much to those outside the KC area, but the great writer/columnist C.W. Gusewelle has died. He wrote a great deal about the outdoors, his pets like his famous hunting d*g, Rufus, about life in general, with humor and understanding that one does not find in the newspaper today. Another great loss for 2016. If you are so inclined, check out his books The Rufus Chronicle or A Great Current Running, which is about his trip down the entirety of the Lena River in Siberia. His sunday column was quite honestly the only good thing to read in the KC Star for a great many years.

  3. rickflick
    Posted November 16, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    “Cyrus: We have to appeal to the better angels of their nature.”

    I’m finally getting around to reading Pinker’s book. What I find most amusing is his many digressions into word origins. He connects the modern use of words from the past to illustrate the historical evolution of the moral zeitgeist.

  4. Posted November 16, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Trump and his henchmen are like the Caucasian version of Milli-Vanilli. Plumes of white smoke and endless rooms filled with distorted mirrors.

    • Posted November 16, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      They are fallen angels and appeal to the baser angels of our nature. No enlightenment values there whatsoever.

  5. Posted November 16, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The Henry Moore statue looks like a deadly metal trigger stuck inside the back of a human skull, poised to blow out humanity’s brains. A deadly coupling of human’s ingenuity and creativity in the realm of science and the potential for self-destruction.

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted November 16, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I remember really liking at least one song on the album Milli Vinilli got their grammy for a lot. Reality was a big disappointment.

    I thought the way the US market reacted with lawsuits etc was completely OTT and actually a bit unfair. It was like they were trying to get back at the foreigners who fooled them more than anything else. The music actually existed, and people enjoyed it, and that never seemed to matter. The punishment didn’t fit the crime.

    • eric
      Posted November 16, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Yes, the public probably targeted the actors more than they should have, and Arista Records and the producer less than they should have. AFAIK Arista suffered absolutely no negative PR, loss of profits, or ‘market share’ when they were probably more at fault than anyone. But then again, this was a long time ago and I may not be remembering correctly.

      Wikipedia also has this interesting factoid: the European printed release material credited the actual singers; the US material in contrast credited the actors and not the singers. One of the real singers sued over that. So while the whole ‘manufactured group’ thing is somewhat tawdry, the European industry promoters appear to have been at least somewhat honest about what they were doing. It was the American promoters and publishers that really took it to the “con the public” level.

    • RPGNo1
      Posted November 17, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Frank Farian was the producer of Milli Vanilli. He had done a similar stunt (singers, who are actually not singing) in the seventies with Boney M. Bobby Farrell was only a dancer, but the voice on LPs and singles was from Frank Farian.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted November 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        I liked Boney M back in the day too.

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that Chinua Achebe got the title of his novel “Things Fall Apart” from the 3rd line of William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” (adapted into an excellent song by Joni Mitchell called “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”).

    As the entire first stanza seems a good description of today, I reproduce it here.
    (This is the Yeats version not JMs)

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
    Are full of passionate intensity.

  8. J. Quinton
    Posted November 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Girl, you know it’s…

    Girl, you know it’s…

    Girl, you know it’s…

    • RPGNo1
      Posted November 17, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes, the great tragedy/comedy of Milli Vanilli: Only playblack. And the beginning of the end of the group.

      • RPGNo1
        Posted November 17, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Ah, it’s “playback”, not “playblack”.

  9. Posted November 19, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    The photo of the statue reminds me of a Spartan helmet, as well.

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