“The Prisoner,” originally the b-side of the “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” single released in June 1978, later included on the Black Market Clash EP (1980) and the expanded version, Super Black Market Clash (1994).
This song is, of course, sadly appropriate today:
(Reuters) - Three women from Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in jail on Friday for their protest against President Vladimir Putin in a church, an outcome supporters described as the Kremlin leader’s “personal revenge”.
The band’s supporters burst into chants of “Shame” outside the Moscow courthouse and said the case showed Putin’s refusal to tolerate dissent. The U.S. embassy in Moscow said the sentence appeared disproportionate to what the defendants did.
“The girls’ actions were sacrilegious, blasphemous and broke the church’s rules,” Judge Marina Syrova told the court as she spent three hours reading the verdict while the women stood watching in handcuffs inside a glass courtroom cage.
She declared all three guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, saying they had deliberately offended Russian Orthodox believers by storming the altar of Moscow’s main cathedral in February to belt out a song deriding Putin.
Two years in jail for hurting a politician’s feelings. I wonder if George W. Bush saw that when he looked into Putin’s eyes.
Look, I know it’s fashionable to call America a police state, and there are times when I empathize with that sentiment. But take a hard look at this case and tell me whether you really think we’re as bad as Russia – let alone Syria, or Iran, or any one of the dozens of countries where you can be jailed for offending their leader.
In the United States, the current administration urged local police departments not to arrest Occupy protesters last year – a story many Occupy supporters got completely wrong, by the way – while in Russia punk rockers get two years in jail for criticizing the President.
Not exactly the same.
In any event, here’s a live version of “The Prisoner” recorded in France in 1977:
So, there it is. Your Friday Clash Song.
Turn. It. Up. And stay out of trouble.