Pink Floyd Releases Its First New Song in 28 Years to Help Support Ukraine

“I rang Nick up and said: ‘listen, I want to do this thing for Ukraine. I’d be really happy if you played on it and I’d also be really happy if you’d agree to us putting it out as Pink Floyd.’ And he was absolutely on for that.

In 2015, David Gilmour was scheduled to play a concert in London with the Ukrainian band BoomBox. As he explained in a recent statement, the band’s lead singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk had trouble with his visa, leaving the rest of the Boombox to back Gilmour on a version of “Wish You Were Here.” That song’s sentiments took on an entirely different kind of urgency last month after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“Recently I read that Andriy had left his American tour with BoomBox, had gone back to Ukraine, and joined up with the Territorial Defense,” said Gilmour. “Then I saw this incredible video on Instagram, where he stands in a square in Kyiv with this beautiful gold-domed church and sings in the silence of a city with no traffic or background noise because of the war. It was a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music.”


The song Khlyvnyuk sings is “Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow,” a “1914 protest song,” The Guardian reports, “written in honor of the Sich Riflemen who fought both in the first world war and the Ukrainian war of independence.” Gilmour decided to go further and use the “big platform” of Pink Floyd to release a single by the band – their first original song in 28 years. He called drummer Nick Mason and they recorded the track in Gilmour’s barn with bassist Guy Pratt and keyboardist Nitin Sawhney.

Released as “Hey, Hey, Rise Up” – with Khlyvnyuk’s approval (Gilmour says it took some doing to track him down) – the track’s proceeds will be donated to the Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund. It’s probably safe to say that this is not a Pink Floyd reunion. Gilmour insisted the band was done when keyboardist Richard Wright died in 2008. “This is the end,” he told the BBC, and there’s little reason to think he’s gearing up for a tour or a new Pink Floyd album now.

Instead, “Hey, Hey, Rise Up” is part of a larger protest by Gilmour, who writes of his Ukrainian daughter-in-law Janina, his grandchildren, and his “extended Ukrainian family” as a very personal connection to the news of the invasion. But he also wants to give young Ukrainians like Khlyvnyuk – who had no idea the world was watching – a larger voice and give voice to the shock and horror felt the world over as civilian deaths and atrocities mount. As he wrote in his statement:

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… We want to express 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.

Gilmour has pulled all his solo records and Pink Floyd’s catalogue post-1987 from streaming services in Russia. As for speculation that Roger Waters blocked the removal of earlier Pink Floyd material, or controversies over Waters’ statements to Russia Today and other outlets – “Let’s just say I was disappointed and let’s move on,” says Gilmour.

He’s more interested in talking about the war and Khlyvnyuk’s experiences. “He said he had the most hellish day you could imagine,” when Gilmour spoke to him and sent him the song — a day spent “picking up bodies of Ukrainians, Ukrainian children, helping with the clearing up. You know, our little problems become pathetic and tiny,” he says, “in the context of what you see him doing.”

See the English translation of the song just below:

In the meadow a red viburnum has bent down low
Our glorious Ukraine has been troubled so
And we’ll take that red viburnum and we will raise it up
And we, our glorious Ukraine shall, hey—hey, rise up—and rejoice!
And we’ll take that red viburnum and we will raise it up
And we, our glorious Ukraine shall, hey—hey, rise up and rejoice!

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Watch Pink Floyd Play Live Amidst the Ruins of Pompeii in 1971 … and David Gilmour Does It Again in 2016

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: An Animated Video Explaining Key Ideas in Ray Dalio’s New Bestselling Book

Over the past five years, Ray Dalio, one of America’s most successful investors, has published a series of books, each meant to impart wisdom to a younger generation. The first book, Principles: Life and Work, shared the unconventional principles that have guided his life and career. It became a bestseller, selling well over one million copies. Next came Big Debt Crises, a study of financial crises and how nations navigate them. Finally, he has just published his latest bestseller, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World: Why Nations Succeed and Fail. A history of the rise and fall of empires over the last 500 years, the book uses the past to contemplate the future, particularly the fate of the United States and China. As was the case with Principles, Dalio has produced an animated video that explains key ideas in the book. Released in early March, the video has already been viewed 8.6 million times. Watch it above, and consider pairing it with his other animated video, How the Economic Machine Works.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

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When Stalin Starved Ukraine

Since its launch last month, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent observers around the world scrambling for context. It is a fact, for example, that Russia and Ukraine were once “together” in the communist mega-state that was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. But it is also a fact that such Soviet togetherness hardly ensured warm feelings between the two lands. An especially relevant chapter of their history is known in Ukraine as the Holodomor, or “death by starvation.” Spanning the years 1932 and 1933, this period of famine resulted in three to six million lives lost — and that according to the lower accepted estimates.

“It was genocide,” says the narrator of the Vox “Missing Chapter’ video above, “carried out by a dictator who wanted to keep Ukraine under his control, and would do everything in his power to cover it up for decades. That dictator was, of course, Joseph Stalin, who accompanied brutal methods of rule with tight control of information. “In 1917, after the fall of the Russian Empire, Ukraine briefly gained freedom,” the video explains. “But by 1922, it was forcibly integrated into the newly formed Soviet Union.” A rural and highly fertile land, Ukraine was known as “the breadbasket of the Soviet Union” — hence Stalin’s desire to nip any potential revolution there in the bud.


First came a “widespread, violent purge of Ukrainian intellectuals along with priests and religious structures.” At the same time as they advanced this attempted dismantling of Ukrainian culture, Soviet higher-ups were also implementing Stalin’s five-year plan of industrialization, consolidation, and collectivization, including that of all agriculture. This was the time of the kulak, or “wealthy peasant,” the label invented to disgrace anyone resistant to this process. Any kulaks known to Stalin faced a terrible fate indeed, including exile, imprisonment, and even execution; those farmers who remained then fell victim to the dictator’s engineered famine.

Under the pretext of enforcing deliberately unrealistic grain-production quotas, Stalin’s enforcers seized farms across Ukraine in order to sell their products to the West. Before long, “Soviet police began seizing not just grain, but anything edible.” Farmers were stopped from leaving their homeland, where Stalin intended them to starve, “but even in this unimaginable suffering, Ukrainians fought for their lives and each other.” This video incorporates interviews with a grandson and granddaughter of two such Ukrainians who left behind personal records of the Holodomor. A story of endurance and survival under the very worst circumstances, and ultimately a return to national independence, it goes some way to explaining how and why Ukraine continues to put up such a valiant fight against the forces that have descended upon it.

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Joseph Stalin, a Lifelong Editor, Wielded a Big, Blue, Dangerous Pencil

H.G. Wells Interviews Joseph Stalin in 1934; Declares “I Am More to The Left Than You, Mr. Stalin”

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Marina Abramović Brings Back Her Iconic Performance Art Piece, The Artist Is Present, to Raise Money for Ukraine

For a couple of months in 2010, Marina Abramović spent her days wordlessly and motionlessly sitting at a table in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art. Any visitor could sit in the chair opposite her, for as long as they liked. In response, Abramović said nothing and did almost nothing (even during visits from Lou Reed, Bjork, or her long-ago lover and collaborator, the late Ulay). The whole experience constituted a piece of performance art, titled The Artist Is Present. As with many works of that form, to ask why Abramović did it is to miss the point. Nothing like it had been done before, and it thus promised to enter uncharted artistic, social, and emotional territory.

A dozen years later, the artist will be present again, but this time with a highly specific motive in mind: to raise money for the besieged nation of Ukraine. “Abramović has partnered with New York’s Sean Kelly Gallery and Artsy to offer a performance art meet-and-greet… or at least meet-and-silently-stare,” writes Hyperallergic’s Sarah Rose Sharp.


“Through March 25, interested parties can bid on one of two opportunities for a limited restaging of Abramović’s epic performance The Artist Is Present.” These meet-and-silently-stares “will be captured by photographer Marco Anelli, who documented almost all of the 1,500 participants in the original performance.”

Proceeds “will go to Direct Relief, which is working with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health to provide urgent medical assistance as well as long-term aid to the many lives devastated by the war.” Last month, when Russia launched its invasion, Abramović released the video statement above. In it she explains having done some work in Ukraine last year, which afforded her an opportunity to get to know some of its people. “They’re proud, they’re strong, and they’re dignified,” she says, and an attack on their country “is an attack to all of us,” an “attack to humanity.” If you feel the same way, have some money to spend, and missed out on the first The Artist Is Present — and if you think you can hold your own across from the formidable presence glimpsed in the video — consider making a bid of your own.

via Hyperallergic

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

‘Kyiv Calling:’ Ukrainian Punk Band Rerecords The Clash’s Anthem as a Call to Arms

According to The Guardian, the surviving members of The Clash have given their blessing to the Ukrainian punk band, Beton, to record a new version of their 1979 classic London Calling. Recorded near the frontline of the battle in Ukraine, Kyiv Calling (above) “has lyrics that call upon the rest of the world to support the defence of the country from Russian invaders. All proceeds of what is now billed as a ‘war anthem’ will go to the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement (FURM) to help fund a shared communications system that will alert the population to threats and lobby for international support.”

You can donate to the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement here.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

via BoingBoing

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Tells the Russian People (With Love) About Putin’s War in Ukraine

On social media channels, Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered a message (with love) to the Russian people, telling them what’s really happening with Putin’s war in Ukraine, and exposing a truth that the Russian government has tried to censor at home. You can find his video on Telegram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. And as he says: “Please watch and share,” especially with any friends in Russia.

When Oliver Stone & Vladimir Putin Chillingly Watched Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove Together

Having by now seen Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) more times than I can remember, it surprises me to meet someone who’s never seen it at all. When I do, my first impulse is always to suggest a screening right then and there. This would seem to put me in company with Oliver Stone, who in recent years has been documented engaging in at least one instance of high-profile Strangelove evangelism. As for the new inductee into the Strangelove viewership, he went more than 60 years without having seen the film, but for the last couple of decades had the credible excuse of busyness: it isn’t just a part-time gig, after all, being the president of Russia.

Stone seized the opportunity to watch Dr. Strangelove with Vladimir Putin in the course of filming The Putin Interviews, a four-part documentary series broadcast on Showtime in 2017. This wasn’t the first time Stone had made a subject of his own interactions with a head of state whom many Americans consider malevolent: in 2008’s South of the Border, for example, he attempted a humanizing cinematic portrait of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. At Showtime’s Youtube channel, you can watch a variety of clips from The Putin Interviews, including Putin giving Stone a tour of his offices, Putin’s reaction to the election of Donald Trump, and Putin checking in with Stone before skating out onto the ice for a game of hockey.


The viewing of Dr. Strangelove comes at the series’ very end, which is presumably an effort on Stone’s part to save the “best” for last — and as Cold War American cinema goes, one could hardly hope for a better selection. Based on Peter George’s Red Alert, a straightforward thriller novel about American and Soviet protocols of nuclear-defense management gone disastrously wrong, the film only took shape when Kubrick realized it had to be a comedy. As he later recalled, “I found that in trying to put meat on the bones and to imagine the scenes fully, one had to keep leaving out of it things which were either absurd or paradoxical, in order to keep it from being funny; and these things seemed to be close to the heart of the scenes in question.”

As Joseph Heller realized while writing Catch-22, certain ridiculous truths about war simply can’t be portrayed non-comedically. As realized through the painstakingly exact filmmaking of Kubrick and his collaborators, Dr. Strangelove is the blackest of black comedies. “There are certain things in this film that indeed make us think,” Putin says to Stone after the closing montage of mushroom clouds. He even credits Kubrick with technical foresight: “Modern weapon systems have become more sophisticated, more complex. But this idea of a retaliatory weapon and the inability to control such weapon systems still hold true today.” Not much has changed since the days of Dr. Strangelove, he admits, and now that he’s undergone his own bout of geopolitical brazenness, let’s hope that he remembers how the movie ends.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Iconic Design of the Doomsday Clock Was Created 75 Years Ago: It Now Says We’re 100 Seconds to Midnight

Image via The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Last year, the fates handed the New York Times‘ Maria Cramer an enviably striking lede: “Humanity is 100 seconds away from total annihilation. Again.” That we all know immediately what she was writing about speaks to the power of graphic design. Specifically, it speaks to the power of graphic design as practiced by Martyl Langsdorf, who happened to be married to ex-Manhattan Project physicist Alexander Langsdorf. This connection got her the gig of creating a cover for the June 1947 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. She came up with a simple image: the upper-left corner of a clock, its hands at seven minutes to midnight.

Asked later why she set the clock to that time in particular, Langsdorf explained that “it looked good to my eye.” That quote appears in a post at the Bulletin addressing frequently asked questions about what’s now known as the Doomsday Clock, “a design that warns the public about how close we are to destroying our world with dangerous technologies of our own making. It is a metaphor, a reminder of the perils we must address if we are to survive on the planet.” In the 75 years since its introduction, its minute hand has been moved backward eight times and forward sixteen times; currently it still stands where Cramer reported it as having remained last January, at 100 seconds to midnight. 


To the public of 1947, “midnight” signified above all the prospect of humanity’s self-destruction through the use of nuclear weapons. But as technology itself has advanced and proliferated, the means of auto-annihilation have grown more diverse. This year’s Doomsday Clock statement cites not just nukes but carbon emissions, infectious diseases, and “internet-enabled misinformation and disinformation.” Earlier this month, the Bulletin reminded us that even as 2022 began, “we called out Ukraine as a potential flashpoint in an increasingly tense international security landscape. For many years, we and others have warned that the most likely way nuclear weapons might be used is through an unwanted or unintended escalation from a conventional conflict.”

Now that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought this nightmare scenario to life,” many have found themselves glancing nervously at the Doomsday Clock once again. This also happened after the election of Donald Trump, which prompted the Vox video above on the Clock’s history and purpose. Its iconic status, as celebrated in the new book The Doomsday Clock at 75, has long outlasted the Cold War, but the device itself isn’t without its critics. Bulletin co-founder Eugene Rabinowitch once articulated the latter as meant “to preserve civilization by scaring men into rationality,” a somewhat controversial intention. One could also raise objections to using an inherently linear and unidirectional concept like time to represent a probability resulting from human action. Yet somehow more technically suitable images — “100 centimeters from the edge,” say — don’t have quite the same ring.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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