10 september 2005

Sing along: "Down with America" (De andere kijk)

I was enjoying my breakfast yesterday, reading my newspaper, until I came across an article about a new single from Flemish singer/songwriter Raymond van het Groenewoud.

Here is a literal (sort of) translation in English of the song’s lyrics:

Down with America ("Weg met Amerika")

Hamburgers and cola, yes you already knew
But do you also know the cause of the general decay?
Short-sighted thinking, noisy talking
Sticking to one-liners forever

Down with America! Down with the jerks from America
Down with America!

Down with American colonialism
Down with that ugly, biting English
All the Anglo-Saxon pretence, arrogance
Yes, a glowing pick up their ass
And that is that
Down with the rappers and their eternal “fuck”
Down with the glorification of stupidity

Indeed, “fucking assholes”, shit yourselves
Long live Italy, long live the mob
Down with imitating America
United Nations, lambs bleating
They are all vassals of the United States

Down with America! Down with the jerks from America

Down with America!
Down with American imperialism
Their infantile culture
Full of embarrassing predictability
And Hollywood monsters of shallowness
Then you are in Belgium, there you have to deal with
All those stupid and also failed
Imitations of stupid America-products

Down with America and its professionalism
A masquerade for emptiness
Democracy, “ammehoela”!
We are enslaved like a tame puma
Huh, ugly buyers, also of freedom
Their fucked up, imposed, meaningless freedom
Do you know what’s wrong, do you know what’s wrong?
The dictatorship of the American statue of liberty, yeah
That’s what’s wrong
Those foolish macho’s, yeah dude, yeah dude
They are playing cop for sixty years now

Down with America! Down with the jerks from America

Their chewing-gum firmness, their shotguns
Their plastic blond broads with their Pepsodent teeth
And their ridiculous terminator
“Full of shit”
It is never over
You can count on that
Down with the cowboys of CNN
The country that doesn’t recognize complexity
Where free thought is hindered
Make the jerks look like fools
Down with those cowboys, long live the Indians!
This is the last of the Mohicans speaking
I am from the Belgian, the European panel
And I ask you: “Clear my channel! Clear my channel!”
Megalomaniac unicellular idiots
“Kiss my ass”, yes, kiss my balls

Down with America! Down with the jerks from America

Down with America! Down with the jerks from America

Record company EMI defends this as “Raymond on his best” and although the song was recorded before Katrina hit the US, the song was released as scheduled.

The performer himself says that the song was written out of a feeling of irritation about the United States. “It is mostly a feeling of indignation about the economic coercion from people with a lot of power. I only realized that I had it up to – here – when I started to write the song, which went very easily.”

Van het Groenewoud can sing whatever he wants, but I have an equal right to say that I feel ashamed of his many stereotypes. I don’t know what my American friends think of this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they found this insulting. Does this qualify as inciting to hatred against populations or nationalities which is punishable by law in Belgium, as fellow blogger Luc Van Braekel thinks (in Dutch)? I remember a – not-to-be-named - political party that was found guilty of a similar crime against Muslim immigrants. Talking of double standards. Or maybe it is just pathetic, not worth making a fuss about it. Unfortunately, we continuously see this kind of things here. For a friend of America(ns) like me, this is very demoralizing.

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