In June You Must Give Fascists Hell

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.


<
Presented by

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.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In