This amazing video uses the metaphor of Tetris – arranging block after block to no apparent purpose:
I am the man who arranges the blocks
That are made by the men in Kazakhstan.
They come two weeks late and they don’t tessellate
But we’re working to Stalin’s five year plan.
Tragically, of course, the Russians were building the same pointless blocks before Communism, and they continue to build them now.
The song (and video) come from new British band Pig With the Face of a Boy. You can read more about them (including see the complete lyrics) at the Pig With the Face of a Boy website. You can also buy their new album at both Amazon and iTunes (click the link on the top right of their page).
(Via Global Dashboard, a British international affairs blog that occasionally provides more serious analysis of Russia).
As a Russian idiom says, “Это просто песня!”. 🙂 No, really.
Come on – be serious Dmitri! Next you’ll be telling me that Glee isn’t an accurate reflection of US High School life…
Well, the idiom translates to a kind of an approving thumbs-up :).
As for the accuracy, I can only admire the depth of understanding of life demonstrated by those guys :). I mean, the idea that socialism and capitalism do not really matter. The profession of arranging the blocks is universal, in free markets or labor camps. If you pardon a quotation from a scifi story (‘In The Country of The Blind’ by Michael Flynn):
“Socialism is the apotheosis of capitalism–what I like to call the Managed Society. ‘Daddy Knows Best.’ If you want to see Lenin’s state in embryo, study Henry Ford’s company…
The difference between Ford and Lenin was more a matter of scale than anything else. Lenin organized his entire country into one vast Company Town, with all that implies. In plain language, the Soviet Union was the largest corporation on the planet. The Party members were the stockholders, and the Politburo was the Board of Directors. Ordinary citizens–employees–had no effective say in running the organization. Corporate headquarters made five-year plans that never worked. Internal criticism was not allowed. Everyone had to be a ‘team player’, by which they meant ‘follow the boss’s orders’ rather than genuine teamwork. Troublemakers were exiled to Siberia or to meaningless jobs. Or terminated.”
I have come to the conclusion that I’ll never understand idiom!
“…If you want to see Lenin’s state in embryo, study Henry Ford’s company…
The difference between Ford and Lenin was more a matter of scale than anything else. “
I’m always amused that two of the most socialist organizations on the planet – the Ford Motor Company and the NFL – are both icons in the US.
In the UK, I work for people whose businesses are 100% privately owned, and who think that they are public organizations and deserve the bureaucratic protections open to public bodies.