In June You Must Give Fascists Hell

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I think this Yeasayers might have the coolest Easter Egg ever, which I just caught today. From "Ambling Alp":


Oh Max Schmeling was a formidable foe 
The Ambling Alp was too at least that's what I'm told 
But if you learn one thing you've learned it well 
In June you must give fascists hell 
They'll run but they can't hide.

Heh Joe Louis lost to, then a year later defeated, Max Schmeling in June. The Ambling Alp is, of course, the 6'8, 280 pound Primo Carnera--whom Joe Louis also defeated in June. The poetry of the line is pretty cool, but the literalness of it is also pretty awesome.

Of course we can only take this but so far. Schmeling, I think, was never quite what the Nazis wanted him to be. And I don't know much about Primo Carnera's politics. But it's an interesting use of symbolism. 

Yup. I'm that much of a nerd. I loved when this used to happen with hip-hop. I remember when I finally figured not just what Swayze, and Seven Thirty meant (you can get that from context) but how they came to be. The story behind the idiom is awesome.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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