Have you been waiting for Pink Floyd to weigh in on the Ukraine war?


Wait no more. The band has released a single in support of a fundraiser for Ukraine.

Here is the official video for ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’, Pink Floyd’s new Ukraine fundraiser feat Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox. Stream / download from midnight at http://pinkfloyd.lnk.to/HeyHeyRiseUp

‘Hey Hey Rise Up’, released in support of the people of Ukraine, sees David Gilmour and Nick Mason joined by long time Pink Floyd bass player Guy Pratt and Nitin Sawhney on keyboards, all accompanying an extraordinary vocal by Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Ukrainian band Boombox. All proceeds go to Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief.

The track uses Andriy’s vocals taken from his Instagram post of him in Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square singing ‘Oh, The Red Viburnum In The Meadow’, a rousing Ukrainian folk protest song written during the first world war. The title of the Pink Floyd track is taken from the last line of the song which translates as ‘Hey, hey, rise up and rejoice’.

The video for ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’ was filmed by acclaimed director Mat Whitecross and shot on the same day as the track was recorded, with Andriy singing on the screen while the band played.

Gilmour, who has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law and grandchildren says: “We, like so many, have been feeling the fury and the frustration of this vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country being invaded and having its people murdered by one of the world’s major powers”.

Speaking about his hopes for the track Gilmour says, “I hope it will receive wide support and publicity. We want to raise funds and morale. We want to show our support for Ukraine and in that way, show that most of the world thinks that it is totally wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become.

The artwork for the track features a painting of the national flower of Ukraine, the sunflower, by the Cuban artist, Yosan Leon. The cover of the single is a direct reference to the woman who was seen around the world giving sunflower seeds to Russian soldiers and telling them to carry them in their pockets so that when they die, sunflowers will grow.

But hang on! That’s the band, which had an acrimonious split from their front man many years ago. What is Roger Waters saying? He has posted a letter from a Ukrainian girl, with his response, and it doesn’t surprise me at all. Waters is a radical pacifist who detests the “gangster” (he uses that word a lot) governments of Russia and the US, and idealistically wants the war to just stop and be resolved diplomatically.

I am not that optimistic.

Comments

  1. birgerjohansson says

    Radical pacifism fails in the face of absolute evil. I understand where Roger Waters is coming from, but it does not work with dictatorships.
    In 1939, Finland was not yet a perfect democracy with big scars from the civil war, but the conscript army saved the country from occupation. The Finns of the time were well informed about conditions inside Stalin’s paradise and fought against it with great determination.

  2. snarkrates says

    Radical pacifists remind me of what the late entomologist (who specialized in ants and other social insects) said about communism: “Marx was exactly right. He just had the wrong species.”

    There is way too much chimp and not enough bonobo in humans for us ever to be truly be satisfied peace.

  3. Susan Montgomery says

    “So I say, “Live and let live.” That’s my motto. “Live and let live.” And anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker”

    George Carlin

  4. KG says

    snarkrates@3,
    All that demonstrates is that “the late entomologist” had never read Marx.

  5. Rob Grigjanis says

    Couldn’t get past the first few of Roger’s sentences. Dawkins had ‘dear Muslima’. Rogers has ‘dear Alina’. In the thoroughly obnoxious, clueless old white guy stakes, Waters wins hands down.

  6. KG says

    There is way too much chimp and not enough bonobo in humans for us ever to be truly be satisfied peace[sic]. – snarkrates@3

    Humans are far more different from bonobos and chimpanzees than they are from each other, because our behavioural and cultural flexibility is vastly greater. And that very flexibility makes pronouncements such as yours extremely silly.

  7. ardipithecus says

    Radical pacifism is a wonderful ideal, but ideals don’t always work in the real world. It is great to wear the crown of peace ,but only if you’re wearing a crown of thorns under it.

  8. Bruce Fuentes says

    I have been a big Pink Floyd since I discovered them when I was about 12 just after Dark Side of the Moon came out. I also have enjoyed Roger Waters’ and David Gilmour’s solo work. That being said Roger is a pretentious ass. He is also radical pacifist Though he claims to be anti-colonial and very well may be his feelings on this are, are s said by #7, based upon privilege and white privilege at that. It is easy to be against violence in all forms when you have a privileged life. Roger has made too many pro-Russian comments for me to be comfortable with him.
    I am disappointed in him but not at all surprised. He unfortunately is the poster child for the entitled, privileged liberal. I see them all the time in non-profits I am involved with. They are involved not to help others as much as to make themselves look good.

  9. ajbjasus says

    Waters effort is truly vomit inducing.

    “My country is being blown to smithereens. What does Roger Waters think about it?”

    As if ….

  10. Susan Montgomery says

    @12. Waters is a classic example of how we get suckered into thinking some people are one of us. He’s connected to a legendary hippie band, ergo he’s on our side.

    The reality is that he’s a narcissistic thief of work and credit whose business practices embody everything he claims in his work to oppose. He just sells revolution at a profit. And even the kindest bio of him shows this loud and clear.

  11. Susan Montgomery says

    14 (continued) In fact, he really is the rock and roll Richard Dawkins – a once popular figure who has gone from revolutionary to relic and whose narcissism won’t let them accept it. So they’ll do anything so long as it lets them feel relevant again – no matter who it hurts.

  12. snarkrates says

    KG@6 and 10,
    I guess that is why we see successful Marxist societies all over the globe (last count=0 in history) and why we have such a peaceful world.
    Just curious. Do you think at all before typing this shit?

  13. acroyear says

    Waters apparently never really paid attention to Chechnya. Putin spent 10 years bombing the hell out of that place, turning it to rubble, just to get his puppet dictator in. After he lost the short game he went in for the long: just non-stop killing. That there’s no longer any economic gain to be made by destroying the resources doesn’t mean anything.

    So Waters: no, Putin can’t be reasoned with. Any short term peace is not going to last. He’ll wait until it is quiet, then start launching missiles indiscriminately all over again.

  14. says

    Waters may be right about Iraq, Bush should be hanged for it.
    It’s hard for me to say, since I was never really as much invested emotionally in any conflict before as in this one, this is too close too home literally.
    Being from EU and having US as an ally is like going to a concert with a friend who has Tourette Syndrome and from time to time just has to bomb someone.

    And then you meet great evil and you need the world to understand but the world just repeat every time USA bomb anyone, regardless if that was attempt at stopping the Bosnian genocide, UN sanctioned operation in Libya or stupid and illegal aggression on Iraq.

    But what Waters should know is that war crimes stop when war stops, genocide speeds up on aggressor controlled territory.
    And we already know it is about genocide and the only way out is to break Russia and force them to retreat.

    I’m terrified how many people repeat russian lies either because they hate USA and “enemy of my enemy” or because they got conditioned into both-sideism and looking for a truth in the middle.

  15. lotharloo says

    My opinion of Roger Waters went to hell once I realized he’s a fan of Jimmy Fucking Dore.

  16. says

    And many of us agonize over the awful urges, which make them harder to control. Non-judgement of natural impulses and casually mentally pushing them aside for something better is ideal. Self-disparagement makes that harder, and peer-disparagment too. I’m better at shoving societies mental trash out than most but still…

  17. petesh says

    I think it is important to note that the effort is not just fundraising (though I hope it will raise quite a bit) but intentionally amplifying the voice of Andriy Khlyvnyuk, lead singer of Ukrainian band Boombox, who posted an a cappella snippet on Instagram that became the basis for this work. Gilmour did a gig with Boombox in 2015, perhaps because his son married a Ukrainian and he has two half-Ukrainian grandchildren, whose grandmother just made it out to Sweden via Poland. It’s personal. The exploitation of the Pink Floyd name is completely deliberate and for the best of reasons.
    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/apr/07/pink-floyd-reform-to-support-ukraine

  18. Rob Grigjanis says

    fergi @23:

    Alina: My people are being slaughtered.
    Waters: Helping your people resist slaughter is not the answer. Bush, Clinton, blah blah. Oh, and the Azov Battalion. Send me a pic of your dog, if you’re still alive.

    “Not perfect”? Disgusting, callous wanker.

    Dear Roger, fuck off. Oh, and sorry about you losing your lucrative sponsorship deals with credit card companies over your brave stand against Israel. We all have to suffer, right?

  19. drew says

    If pacifism is radical, being a warmonger is normal. I have a problem with that.

  20. Rob Grigjanis says

    drew @25: I can see how people who see the world in strictly binary terms might have problems.

  21. chrislawson says

    Roger Waters is a great musician, songwriter, and lyricist whose works are infused with his personal experience losing his father in WW2 and growing up in post-war England as its empire crumbled while holding fast to its horrific class structure. However, that does not mean he is a great political thinker and the number of stupid and hypocritical things I have heard him say are legion. This here is a particularly bad example even by his standards, but hardly new, and it wouldn’t have got much media attention had it not been for the other surviving Floyds getting together to release a protest song for Ukraine.

  22. PaulBC says

    Pacifism works when it works and fails when it does not. While this sounds trite, it’s often the most you can say about opposing ideas. E.g., fill in “market” or “planned” economy. A market works better for a basket of fresh peaches, and a public agency works better for a water purification plant. Before promoting or dismissing a solution, identify the problem.

    The US Civil Rights movement was more successful carried out with marches and peaceful resistance than if it had been a campaign of domestic terror, like that carried out by its enemies. The Civil War on the other hand, was almost certainly unavoidable as a war. Gandhi’s satyagraha methods were strategic and effective against a particular foe, and would have failed against a different one.

    Ukraine is clearly at war against an invader, and no form of peaceful resistance can shame an enemy intent on shelling civilians. But what I see in many of the above criticisms of “radical pacifism” is the suggestion, contrary to evidence, that there is something particularly foolish or ineffective about attempting to achieve a goal without resorting to violence. There are far too many people who will go straight to war as the first choice (not to mention US foreign policy).

    It’s very reasonable to ask if there is an alternative before concluding there is not. Please spare me all the “hard-nosed” dismissals of those of us who hate war and find the cost unbearable.

  23. John Morales says

    Rob @27:

    drew @25: I can see how people who see the world in strictly binary terms might have problems.

    So, to make sense of that claim, you must think that there’s a subset of people who see the world in strictly binary terms, unlike the remaining subset of people.

    (It follows you might have problems)

  24. =8)-DX says

    There is an argument to be made that the West not supplying Ukraine with weapons and ammo (since 2014), would have meant this war would be long over and that many thousands of people would have been saved the current slaughter. But that bare utilitarian calculus entirely ignores what we now have evidence of Putin’s plan for Ukraine: ethnic cleansing (at least in the East), murder and subjugation of political elites, the intelligentsia, anyone shouting too loud for Ukrainian independence. A Russian police state and brutal crackdown eventually swapped out for a puppet government and who knows how many decades of further subjugation and oppression.

    Yes, Ukrainians are dying fighting to stop that outcome, but it seems to me, pacifist or not, that decision is theirs to make and if we are helping them do so with weapons, it is in hopes of a peace for Ukraine built on self-determination and freedom, rather than life in a country with their culture and language erased, broken, displaced or crushed under the heel of a fascist.

    This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, nor the first time that same country that has done it. Also the naivity and Amerocentrism of thinking that the USA “sitting down for talks” would make the war go away is just flabberghasting.
    =8)-DX

  25. =8)-DX says

    @John Morales #27

    So, to make sense of that claim, you must think that there’s a subset of people who see the world in strictly binary terms, unlike the remaining subset of people.
    (It follows you might have problems)

    Lol I can see that’s a bit tongue in cheek, but to set up a false dichotomy in response to someone pointing out a false dichotomy (namely because “radical pacifist” is meant to imply multiply types of pacifist exist, not that pacifism is or should be inherently radical and its only alternative warmongering) is a bit much.

    To make sense of @drew’s #25 comment you can posit that there are multiple subsets of people who have problems, some of them being those who think in binary terms, or in trinary terms (for example seeing politics as a military and political balance between Russian, the US and China) or in entirely other terms, like a spectrum, as a discrete set of labels, as large group of unique individuals sharing multiple fuzzy labels based on losely defined sets parameters, without all of the “nonbinary-thinking” ones necessarily being correct, and some of them sharing the problem of defining pacifism as radical.

    Talking about subsets doesn’t imply binary thinking is my point, neither does the existence of logical dilemmas, but you were probably aware of that when you set your own false one up.

  26. says

    But what I see in many of the above criticisms of “radical pacifism” is the suggestion, contrary to evidence, that there is something particularly foolish or ineffective about attempting to achieve a goal without resorting to violence.

    No one is saying it’s foolish to try to achieve a worthy goal without resorting to violence. We’re just saying it’s foolish to believe that this is always possible, especially in cases where one country has already chosen to start a war. I’m all in favor of using war only as a last resort — but we need to be honest in assessing when we’re in “last resort” territory, and stop kidding ourselves that war can be avoided in situations where it clearly can’t be.

    There are far too many people who will go straight to war as the first choice (not to mention US foreign policy).

    Are you trying to imply that US foreign policy is always to go to war as the first choice? Because that’s certainly not the case WRT Ukraine, or North Korea, or Iran, or recent Chinese moves against neighboring countries.

  27. NitricAcid says

    Raging Bee@33 It may not always be the first choice, but there’s a large number of Latin American countries who would argue that it certainly isn’t as last as it should be.

  28. KG says

    KG@6 and 10,
    I guess that is why we see successful Marxist societies all over the globe (last count=0 in history) and why we have such a peaceful world.
    Just curious. Do you think at all before typing this shit? – snarkrates@16

    Evidently you’ve never read Marx either, or you wouldn’t be stupid enough to think the lack of “successful Marxist societies” is of any relevance to either E.O.Wilson’s (I’m assuming that’s who you meant) shit or yours. That doesn’t mean Marx was correct in his analysis of historical processes and where they were leading, but he believed, among other things, that a communist society could only be established on a global basis.

  29. KG says

    Turning to matters more relevant to this thread, Waters’ letter is a crass and offensive response to Alina Mitrofanova’s. Some of what he says is valid, and we can’t simply do whatever Zelenskyy asks (e.g. establish a “no-fly zone” likely to lead to direct Russia-NATO war and a high likelihood of nuclear armageddon), but it must be Ukranians’ choice (and in practice, that means the choice of Zelenskyy and his advisors, who appear to have solid majority support) whether and how to resist the invaders, and when and how to negotiate.

  30. snarkrates says

    KG@35: “That doesn’t mean Marx was correct in his analysis of historical processes and where they were leading, but he believed, among other things, that a communist society could only be established on a global basis.”

    Of course! The entire world changing it’s economic model at the same time spontaneously makes it all that much more reasonable, doesn’t it? Maybe that is why toward the end of his life Mars said he wasn’t a Marxist. Really, Dude. Are you even trying to make sense?

  31. snarkrates says

    Paul BC: “The US Civil Rights movement was more successful carried out with marches and peaceful resistance than if it had been a campaign of domestic terror, like that carried out by its enemies.”

    Which is why black people in the US enjoy all of the wonderful advantages they do. I mean, there’s the voting rights act…er…well, there was, anyway. And of course there’s fair housing…I suppose black people all just want to keep living in ghettos. And of course black parents just keep having “the talk” with their kids because it’s tradition, right?

    If the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, the curvature is beyond the ability of science to measure.

  32. KG says

    snarkrates@37,
    So, “dude”, you effectively admit that the lack of “successful Marxist societies” is of no relevance to Wilson’s shit or yours (because it could only be relevant if Marx believed, as he did not, that such societies could be established alongside capitalism) , but continue to parade your ignorance of what Marx actually thought. Marx believed that proletarian revolutions would establish socialism initially in the most advanced capitalist countries, and it would spread globally thence. But in his thought, socialism was distinct from communism. The difference is summed up in a simplified fashion in the two slogans “From each according to ability, to each according to deeds”, versus “From each according to ability, to each according to need”. Communism (a stateless, moneyless society in which everyone would be free to do whatever work they liked, or none), according to Marx, could only come about once socialism, building on what capitalism had already produced, had brought about global material abundance.

    Perhaps demonstrating even more obviously that Wilson (the well-known and respected racist) was talking through his fundament in his comment about Marx, the latter by no means regarded human beings as naturally cooperative, peaceful and altruistic rather than greedy and warlike. The whole “materialist conception of history” which he promoted sees violent conflict over who gets what as the motor of historical change. He did believe that in the right circumstances, people would become cooperative and peaceful (as to whether altruism would still be required under communism, I don’t know offhand if he expressed an opinion). As to whether he was right about that, I’d say the historical jury is still out – we do know that societies differ enormously in the prevalance of nice and nasty ways of behaving, but we don’t have examples of societal perfection. What is certain is that the matter can’t be settled by ridiculous comparisons of human societies with those of ants, chimpanzees, or bonobos.

    Finally, just for clarity, I am not and never have been a Marxist. I do regard Marx as an important thinker, whose ideas should not be misrepresented by ignorant numpties.

  33. Rob Grigjanis says

    snarkrates @37:

    The entire world changing it’s economic model at the same time spontaneously makes it all that much more reasonable, doesn’t it?

    Really, Dude. It’s as though you didn’t even read the very sentence you quoted. The one that starts “That doesn’t mean Marx was correct”.

  34. snarkrates says

    KG, I have read Marx. I agree he was an important thinker–and important thinker who was fundamentally wrong and naive about many key points. His metaphysics was absurd. His understanding of history was fundamentally distorted.

    As to Wilson, I fail to understand why his views on race have anything to do with this. Ad hominem much?

    And as to bonobos and chimps? Ferchrissake, metaphor ain’t your strong point, is it?

  35. KG says

    snarkrates@41,

    KG, I have read Marx.

    Apparently with your eyes firmly closed, given your clearly and repeatedly demonstrated ignorance with regard to his ideas.

    As to Wilson, I fail to understand why his views on race have anything to do with this.

    You fail to understand rather a lot. They demonstrate that he was a nasty, ignorant fuckwit when it comes to human affairs.

    And as to bonobos and chimps? Ferchrissake, metaphor ain’t your strong point, is it?

    A metaphor should actually illuminate the topic under discussion. Since, as I pointed out, we are far less like bonobos and chimpanzees than they are like each other, and our difference from both – behavioural and cultural flexibility – is directly relevant to the point you wanted to make, yours didn’t, any more than Wilson’s drivel about Marx and social insects.

    You are welcome to the last word, but my advice would be: when you’ve dug yourself into a hole, stop digging.

  36. snarkrates says

    KG, It really is cute that you think I should care what you think. Don’t ever change.

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