Tuesday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Happy International Louie Louie Day. Somehow the B side of a single of Richard Berry gets a day to itself due to its influence on the history of rock and roll. It was first released in April 1957, although it was The Kingsmen’s 1963 version that made it an international hit.

In 1961 the Nazi War Crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann began in Jerusalem. He had been abducted from Argentina  – where he had fled to after the end of WWII – the previous year by Israeli secret agents. He was found guilty in December and sentenced to death.

In 1970 the ill-fated Apollo 13 was launched. It was intended to make the third moon landing; however this was aborted when an oxygen tank exploded two days into the flight, damaging the Service Module. Against what seemed like insuperable odds, the crew made repairs returned safely to Earth.

In 1930 Anton LaVey, Satanist, show-off and all-round nutter was born. Today in 2007 saw the death of writer Kurt Vonnegut—most famous for his surreal and satirical sci-fi novel Slaughterhouse-Five, partially inspired by his experience as a POW in Dresden in the closing months of WWII. He survived the firebombing of the city by hiding in an underground meat locker.

Finally, on to more profound and plaintive matters.

A: Are you sad?
Hili: Yes, because now there are only mice running around here.

In Polish:

Ja: Smutno ci?
Hili: Tak, bo już tylko myszy tu harcują.

[Explanation: Hili is upstairs and no Hania is running around any longer.]


  1. Lurker111
    Posted April 11, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    _The Very Best of the Kingsmen_? Wouldn’t that, like, fit on a 45?

  2. GBJames
    Posted April 11, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I vote for the Richard Berry version. Much better.

    • Mike
      Posted April 15, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink


  3. Randy schenck
    Posted April 11, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Berlin 1945 looks like Syria 2017. The human species has come a long way.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 11, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    One of the main fault lines in American culture lies between those who pronounce the song’s title “LOU-ee, LOU-ee” and those who pronounce it “LOU-ee, lou-EYE.”

    If FBI director James Comey has some spare time from investigating Trump’s Russian connections, maybe he could take up J. Edgar Hoover’s old mantle and do the nation the great service of investigating this matter.

  5. Historian
    Posted April 11, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    The video of Berlin in ruins was spellbinding. As the Cold War began shortly after this video was shot, the people of Germany, and particularly of Berlin, suddenly became heroes as they stood up to the Red Menace. Somehow, my sympathy for them does not extend that far. Most of them were complicit with the Nazi regime, even if it just meant “going with the flow.” They acted as most people would in similar situations. They got what they deserved for being cogs in a machine that destroyed tens of millions of lives and by their silent acquiescence, if nothing else, to genocide as national policy.

    • Posted April 11, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Many years ago when I was young, I would have agreed with you that average people in Hitler’s Germany should have done more to stop the Nazis.

      But at my age and in the age of Der Drumpfenfurher, I have much more sympathy for them.

      Imagine yourself a regular person doing whatever your job is today, but with stormtroopers on every corner demanding to see your papers. Sure, you could become a terrorist and blow yourself up…but what would that accomplish? Not only are you dead, but your family is screwed — and you weren’t even a pebble to be noticed under the tracks of the death machine.

      The rank-and-file Nazi party members, too — I have much more sympathy for them. As with Señor Smallinpants’s supporters, I’m sure they at least initially took Hitler seriously but certainly not literally.

      Tea Partiers are largely bigots and dupes, yes…but they’re still human. And I will not do unto them, deny them their humanity, even as they themselves do so unto others.



      • rickflick
        Posted April 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Good points. It’s quite amazing how cultures can turn on a dime (almost). The Germans and Japanese went from being the terror of the Earth, to just another modern democracy within a few years.

    • Bethlenfalvy
      Posted April 11, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing your personal sympathies and your elaborate wording.

      Out of interest, how would you judge the comprehensive ethnic cleansing programme (aimed at roughly 12 million people classified as German)stipulated by the Allies during the Potsdam Conference?

  6. Posted April 11, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Very astute of the BBC to use a “on this day” mention of Eichmann, as a chance to squeeze in a reference to Israel prosecuting “alleged Nazi war criminals” and to note the mistrial Demjanjuk. So important to keep a sense of perspective….(/irony)

    Incidentally, near the end of the footage of Berlin, the bombed out Berliner Sportpallast is where Goebbels gave his ‘total war’ speech, telling Germans that a fight to the death was the only choice left. In 1969 — 27 years later — Hendrix was performing in the same venue.

    I’ve seen that footage a few times, and the only location I could never recognize was one totally bombed out street at the end. This time I finally figured it out — it’s literally around the corner from where I’ve been living the last 17 years. Unrecognizable.

    • barn owl
      Posted April 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Years ago, someone told me that the bombing of cities like Dresden at the end of WW2 was done not for strategic reasons, but rather to demoralize and intimidate the German civilian population. I’ve no idea whether there’s any truth to this statement.

      In any case, the Berliners of 1945 appear to have better public transport than I do currently in my very large US city. :-S

      • Posted April 11, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it is true. It was a war crime. AC Grayling has a book considering the ethics of it.

        There’s a talk about the book, with him and Hitchens too — here

        • barn owl
          Posted April 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the link. I might buy the Grayling book for my Kindle – it looks interesting.

        • rickflick
          Posted April 11, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Hiroshima and Nagasaki could probably be considered acts of terror as well. The purpose, I think, was similar to Dresden – convince the Japanese society to give up.

          • Posted April 11, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Grayling points out that the Allies also fire bombed Japan, killing more people than died in the two atomic blasts.

            He argues that while the acts were war crimes and the commanders should/could have been prosecuted, the crews that did it were generally under such extraordinary pressure, misinformed, and likely to get killed anyway, that they could be exonerated both legally and ethically.

          • Mike
            Posted April 15, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            It has also been stated that Truman didn’t need to authorise the Bombing of Japan,as they where on the point of collapse anyway. He in fact did it more as a warning to Stalin.

            • rickflick
              Posted April 15, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

              That sounds unlikely to me.

  7. Dominic
    Posted April 11, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Oooh look!

    God Admits Humans Not Most Impressive Creation
    ‘It’s Mountains,’ Says Divine Being


  8. Kevin
    Posted April 11, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    That Berlin video was mesmerizing. To see all these people moving forward…an odd cadence, sort of like what lies behind is over, what lies ahead is extremely unlikely to be like what lies behind.

    I have no doubt that science rebuilds countries faster than anything. Syria has no hope. Science is about tenth in line for importance behind faith 1.0 – faith 9.0.

  9. grasshopper
    Posted April 11, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    The rupturing of the oxygen tank on the Apollo 13 flight gave rise to a swarm of problems.
    Oxygen was used with hydrogen in fuels cells to generate electricty. With less electricity available the astronauts could not heat their capsule properly, nor run all electrical instruments.
    With the fuel cells unable to run at full capacity, there was less water for the astronauts to drink, as water is a byproduct of the fuel cell. They then began to find it difficult to think clearly, as people do when short of water in the desert.
    And, of course, less oxygen available meant less oxygen to breathe, so death by asphyxiation was likely to occur sooner, if they could not return to earth.
    The ruptured tank continued to vent oxygen giving rise to an additional thrust vector which had to be corrected for with additional fuel burns to return the capsule to the correct trajectory.

    And all for the want of a nail.

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