How A Pop Band Tricked 9 Million Americans Into Being Nazis PT. 1

Repost from Cracked.com

 

Donald Trump is modeling his entire presidential campaign and policy on how the Nazis took power in Germany. Sorry if that seemed like conspiracy theory nonsense and caught some of you off-guard. Also, here’s more of it. In fact, maybe buckle up for the next couple weeks or so.

Anyway, I really can’t blame anyone for landing on the side of the argument that Trump’s crazy immigration plan, or anything similarly Nazi-like, could never happen here. It really is inconceivable, even more so than the fact that it ever happened at all. But what if I told you we already kind of bought into it once? Not at all in the “extermination of an entire race” kind of way, thankfully. But a case study of sorts does exist which shows that, under the right circumstances, the American public is capable of completely ignoring or missing obviously hateful messages, provided they’re being delivered by someone who gives us something we want desperately enough. We talk about it on this week’s Unpopular Opinion podcast …

… where I’m joined by comic Lahna Turner, Cracked video superstar Katy Stoll, and musician Danger Van Gorder of the band Countless Thousands. Conveniently enough, I’ll explain it right here right now as well. OK, here goes nothing.

Do you remember Ace of Base? They were the ’90s band from Sweden who cranked out chart-topping hits like “The Sign” …

… “Don’t Turn Around” …

… and “All That She Wants.”

You remember them now, right? Maybe you were a fan. I wasn’t, personally, but I do get how hearing those songs again might evoke memories of a simpler time. A time when every food product was EXTREME! and winning a war in the Middle East was a thing we were still capable of as a country. So before you get too ensconced in your nostalgia, I feel like I should tell you something: Ace of Base was probably a bunch of Nazis.

Actually, that they have ties to the neo-Nazi movement isn’t in dispute, or at all a secret. A few years ago, Vice music editor Ben Shapiro wrote an article that revealed that Ace of Base founder Ulf Ekberg was once in a Nazi punk band called Commit Suiside. Here’s a sample of the band’s lyrics, as shared in his article:

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Vice covers way more ground in their write-up about Ekberg’s past, and I definitely encourage you to give it a read at some point. However, the piece ends with an interesting question: “Did Ekberg use Ace of Base’s success as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and erase his neo-Nazi past?”

I think I can answer that. Ekberg did not use Ace of Base to hide his Nazi past. Quite the contrary. Ace of Base was a Nazi band, too.

For starters, let’s talk about that name. It’s weird, right? Vaguely militaristic. “Bass” is the word you’d expect to be there, seeing as how it’s music-related and all. I think I can explain not only why they went with “base,” but also why it sounds so warlike. The name is most likely a reference to theKeroman Submarine Base, a massive U-boat launching and docking facility constructed by the Nazis in the French town of Loriant. It’s considered one of the most important and ambitious projects of the entire war for their side. In 1941, the missions that embarked from this facility alone were responsible for taking out more than 500 Allied ships. It was so well-constructed that the Allies built a new bomb specifically to take out this one facility. The bomb was called the “Tall Boy,” and it failed miserably. The Allies finally crippled the base, but only by literally flattening the entire city around it and blocking U-boats from accessing the station. We never took it, though. The Germans, despite eventually being completely surrounded by Allied forces, managed to hold onto the bunker through the end of the war.

If it reads like I was glowing with pride while writing all that, it’s because I want you to understand that this is exactly the kind of thing a closet Nazi would name his band after if he was trying to be clever. Now guess what they sometimes called Keroman Submarine Base? Because it was the place where Germany’s top U-boat captains carried out all of their missions, it was often called the “base of aces.”

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Ulk Ekberg – You cheeky Bastard!

Whoa! OK. Surely the band has a reasonable origin story for the name? When asked, the band’s answer is usually something about how the studio is a “base” and an ace is “like a master,” so the name implies that they are masters of the studio. In other words, they can’t even lie about it without using phrasing that brings Nazi ideals to mind. Why not “Base Masters” if that’s what you were trying to imply? It doesn’t sound any more or less stupid than “Ace of Base.”

Now, be completely honest with yourself while answering this question. What is more likely: That a confirmed former(?) Nazi just randomly threw two words together when coming up with a band name and landed on the perfect inverse of the nickname of one of the most impressive structures ever produced by the Nazi war machine by coincidence? Or that he knew exactly what his band name implied the entire time?

Why would someone use such an obvious Nazi reference as a band name if they were trying to put distance between themselves and their Nazi past, though? Because it’s not an obvious reference, that’s why. Like I said earlier, if you’re trying to fly under the radar while also paying homage to your Nazi leanings, “Ace of Base,” or anything based on the “base of aces” nickname, is a great way to be sneaky about it. See, it’s not a common nickname. I only know about it because there’s a series on Netflix right now called Nazi Mega Weapons. The second episode of the first season is about the Keroman facility.

That’s where I first heard it referred to as the “base of aces” and thought, “Ha, what if the name of that ’90s band is actually a Nazi reference?” From there, I found plenty of sources that suggested Ace of Base might have Nazi ties, but very few that referred to Keroman as the “base of aces,” although I did eventually see it in this passage from the 2003 book Hitler’s U-boat Fortresses. My point is, as far as Nazi references go, it’s kind of obscure. If some piece of shit Nazi started a pop band with the intent of spreading Nazi propaganda subliminally to the masses and thought he was so much smarter than everyone else that he could slip a Nazi reference right into his band’s name without anyone noticing, “Ace of Base” is close to an ideal choice. After all, it’s worked this long, right?

Dear Product Manager, your winning idea will likely not be yours…

A number of times, I have been asked if Quickteller was my original idea. The answer is no. NO. Mba! I’m just a guy that was pulled in to help marshal the effort to make it happen. Someday, I’ll pen down a proper origin story as I remember it from my own end of the pitch.

Also, looking back over the time that I served on the team, and the major milestone releases, I can see a pattern that looks like:

  1. Someone says something in the corridor or an email thread
  2. Someone else pokes around for data to back or challenge it
  3. Someone else describes how it may be implemented
  4. Someone else midwifes the process of seeing it done
  5. Someone hits the road to envangelise it

A lot of times, these could be different people. From the executive with the “you guys must do this” posture, to the customer service guy with the timid “I’m not too sure if this is a good idea for you guys to consider” presentation. For a PM to do well, he has to run a shop that makes these kinds of conversation easy to have, and his primary job is to supply input to the process of refining the ideas into something tangible and practical.

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Some of the times I had assumed that my job was to come up with the ideas and the job of other people was to execute on those, I either came up with foolish ideas or I couldn’t drive buy-in across board to the very end.

This is not to say that a PM shouldn’t try to be an idea generation machine (hell no! I still came to work every monday morning spinning a brand new idea in our internal email thread all the time, and some of it worked out fine), it just means that she should learn to generate, throw it out there and let others help to refine. Or, let others generate and she fills in any of the other actions that help to refine an idea and drive it to execution.

In fact, the more diverse the group with regards to experiences & background, the better the quality of perspectives from which a problem will be approached. And the better the quality of options that will be put on the table.

So, as a PM, step back a little, let others be the geniuses, guide the process, help with the grunt work.

Then watch magic happen.

 

Reposted from opeadeoye.com

The true source of Wellbeing

People often live as though their experience of life takes place on a continuum ranging from misery to joy.

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The game of life then becomes about figuring out how to spend more time at the happy end of the continuum and less time at the miserable end.

At one level of consciousness, this path toward greater happiness seems to be marked by having the right stuff—plenty of money, a good job, a great relationship, and a nice home. But we also recognize that there are any number of people who have all those things but are still pretty miserable inside themselves. So we begin to look more deeply and see that it’s not our stuff but our actions that make us happy or unhappy. Do the right thing and you feel good about yourself; do the wrong thing and your conscience will haunt you until the end of time.

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The problem with this is that most of us have noticed that as often as not, good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. And although we may think that “doing the right thing” should be its own reward, life viewed from this level doesn’t seem remotely fair.

It’s thoughts like this that lead many people in a more internal direction in their pursuit of happiness and well-being, and we quickly see that, as we discussed in Session One, it’s not what happens but what we think about what happens that determines our experience. So we begin experimenting with things like affirmations and positive thinking, sure that if we could just control the flow of thoughts through our own brains, we’d have the key to lifelong happiness.

A lot of people get stuck at this level of understanding because of one simple, innocent mistake—they attribute their inability to think only positive thoughts to a lack of skill or effort on their part instead of recognizing that the theory itself is based on an incorrect premise: the idea that you can actually control which thoughts come into your head.

When you really stop to think about it, you realize that you can only choose which thoughts to dwell on and make important, not which ones pop into your head at any given moment. This is where people come to what seems like a real sticking point. As one of my clients once put it, “If happiness doesn’t come from what I have or what I do, and I can’t choose my thoughts, doesn’t that leave me kind of screwed?”

That’s certainly the conclusion some people come to. They decide that happiness is completely outside their control, and they give up on the pursuit. Often they actually begin to feel better when they stop trying so hard to be happy, leading them to another false conclusion: that happiness can only be pursued indirectly.

The reason why that’s a false conclusion is because it still makes happiness into a “thing”—something we can have or not have, pursue directly or indirectly, successfully get, or, if we’re not careful, lose.

Some people, in their pursuit of connection and well-being—or as we’re calling it, “happiness”—decide that since they can’t control which thoughts come into their heads, the thing to do is to try to stop thinking altogether. For reasons you’ll understand in a few minutes, this seems to work, leading them into a complex set of routines, prayer, meditation practices, and a variety of other disciplines all designed to at least temporarily stop thought. Since feelings of peace and well-being often follow these practices, the practices themselves appear to be the means to a happy end. But the problem with all of them is that they take practice—and while that may seem a small price to pay for such a precious jewel, the vast majority of people are unwilling or unable to put in 20 years of daily meditation for 20 minutes of daily bliss.

So let’s take another look at our fundamental premise:

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The one thing inherent in all these notions is the idea that misery and joy are somehow things that are outside us, and that we need to do things in order to get them. But here’s another way of looking at things, one that stands our usual notions of where to go to find well- being on their head:

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A quick look into a baby’s eyes will reveal that we’re born at peace—in tune with the infinite, in touch with our bliss, resting in the well of our being.

But even when we’re babies, our very human needs from time to time interfere with our connection to this innate well-being. We experience physical discomfort, and because we don’t yet understand the source of that discomfort, we do the best we know how to do—we scream bloody murder! Then, to our delight and amazement, someone comes and “makes it better”—they feed our hunger, dry our bottoms, entertain our nascent brains with funny noises and roller-coaster-type movements . . . and before we know it, we’re nestled back into the bosom of our innate well-being.

Over time, it’s the most natural thing in the world for us to begin to connect and even attribute that return to well-being to the people or activities that seem to be causing it—we’re okay because Mommy loves us; we’re okay because Daddy protects us; we’re okay because the people around us, for the most part, appear to have our well-being at heart. And then one day we do something in our joy that Mommy or Daddy doesn’t like—we splash paint on a wall or cry when Daddy is tired—and suddenly the ocean of love we’re used to swimming in is filled with sharks and other monsters too horrible to mention. Before long, we’ve bought into the myth that love and well-being exist outside us, and the need for a persona is born.

But well-being—happiness, connection, love, peace, spirit—is our essential nature. So all our attempts to capture these feelings from out in the world, no matter how well intended and practically followed, are doomed to fail. Not because happiness and well-being are unattainable, but simply because it’s impossible to find what has never been lost.

Reblogged from Healyourlife by Michael Neill

The boy must die

Whats good bro,

Despite the belief that beauty trumps brains in a man’s search for his ideal woman, I strongly believe that intelligence is the most important factor in what attracts a man, notice the keyword “man” it just depends on which side you seated – a boy wants boobs and ass, a man wants common sense and class.

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To be honest beauty is very easily attainable today thanks to modern plastic surgery magic but it’s also very short lived ask Lil Kim, but the brain is infinite. It’s hard to be around someone all the time and make togetherness work if they’re too stupid to put together a box, however, it would be a bonus to have beauty with brain but it’s a rare combination.

 

A relationship is best defined as a journey with mutual benefits that 2 loyal people embark on to improve each other, therefore the boy must die and become a man to realize that beauty is only in the eyes of beholder and although the criterion for being beautiful would differ from person to person – he alone can identify his “beauty” ….

There was a time that I was absolutely CONVINCED that I was doomed to live out my life alone. I had ZERO hope that a great girl would ever find anything attractive about me. I was CERTAIN that no high-quality woman would want to date me, let alone hang around for anything that could remotely be called a “relationship.”

Most painful of all…I truly believed that NOTHING WAS EVER GOING TO CHANGE FOR ME… that this lonely, unhappy, desperate existence was all that I had to look forward to in life. I only had that mindset because i was looking for the wrong things. Not good.

Well….If you know anything about me, you know that I eventually made a decision that would change my entire life, i decided that I was going to TAKE ACTION in a VERY big way…i decided to become a man.

Later bro

The Death of a loved one – Follow the grief down

Hey bro

You probably didn’t know but im still having issues dealing with the death of my Dad (RIP) and his brother – my Uncle Fred (RIP) and wouldn’t want you going through this too so i thought I’d pen a few things down to help whenever the sad time comes.

 

The death of a loved one is an event that all of us will likely experience during our lifetimes, often on numerous occasions. Whilst lives are often transformed by such loss, it does not necessarily need to be for the worse in the long-term. Dealing effectively and positively with grief caused by such a loss is central to your recovery process and your ability to continue with and fulfill your own life for the better. I have put together some notes in this section to help you understand some of the emotions you are likely to go through after the death of a loved one and to offer some suggestions on how best to cope and deal with these emotions.

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What is Grief? Am i Grieving?… I am Grieving.

You’ll grieve in your own unique way, and a general pattern will emerge as you do so. Those around you may be full of ideas about how you’re supposed to grieve, and how not to. You may be told that grief comes in clear-cut stages and may even be given a name for the stage you’re supposedly going through. You may hear advice like “Be strong!” or “Cheer up!” or “Get on with your life!” rather than be encouraged to allow your grief to run its natural course. It’s important for you to be clear that this is your grief, not theirs. You’ll grieve in no one’s way but your own. Grief is about more than your feelings—it will show up in how you think, You may disbelieve this person actually died, You may have episodes of thinking like this even long after they died, Your mind may be confused, your thinking muddled, You may find it difficult to concentrate on just about everything or you may be able to focus your attention but all you can focus on is the one who died, or how they died, or your life together before they died. Some people engage in what’s called “searching behavior”—you look for your loved one’s face among a crowd of people, for instance, even though you know they’ve died. You may become attached to things you associate with your loved one, like wearing an article of their clothing or carrying a keepsake that belonged to them. Or you may wish to avoid all such reminders.

It’s common to feel listless and lifeless, discouraged and sometimes depressed. Other strong emotions can still pop up. This is the winter of your grief—a long, slow, dormant period. In actuality, something is beginning to grow, but it’s hidden deep underground. A time of gradual reawakening eventually occurs, though you can’t always predict when. Energy begins to return. So does hope. Finally there comes a time of renewed life. You’re not the same person you were before—you’ll be different, having been changed by this experience, having grown. You’ll forge a new relationship with the one who died, a relationship that transcends time. This entire process is very fluid. It may not feel very orderly. These time periods will flow into one another almost imperceptibly. But when you look back, you’ll recognize what’s happened: by going all the way through your grief, you’ve taken the path toward your healing.

 

In all of this some facts stood out that help me keep my balance when i tend to get depressed, i reckon they’ll help you too –

  • I am an eternal soul and have the power to live an abundant and meaningful life. All is within me. I feel secure, protected and tranquil.
  • My loved one is an eternal, immortal soul who continues to live in another dimension more beautiful than the one in which I currently exist.
  • Since my loved one is very well and far closer to his or her true divine nature, I can be glad for him/her and can give joy to myself and to those around me.
  • Everything happens according to wise and just divine laws which give us the lessons we need for our spiritual evolution. For some reason, it was best for my loved one to move on to another level of existence and for me continue on here, without him or her.
  • Everyone on this earth has lost loved ones. This is a natural and universal aspect of material existence.
  • The departure of the soul from the restrictions of the temporary physical body is a beautiful liberation from a very limited incarnated state.
  • The loss of my loved one is a great opportunity for spiritual development through the cultivation of inner power, tranquility, security and self-acceptance.
  • I accept the perfection of the Divine Laws, and I release God, myself and all others for any responsibility for what is happening to me.
  • My loved one would want me to be happy and to continue my life creatively and beautifully.
  • I am a pure divine being and deserve unconditional love. I am acceptable, lovable and interesting as I am.
  • The loss of a loved one is not related to guilt or punishment but, is instead, a great opportunity for spiritual development and inner growth.
  • No one can be responsible for someone elses death. Each soul has selected the hour and the place when he or she will leave. Others are simply the instruments we use for our departure.
  • I can, even now, correct my relationship with my loved one with inner communication and prayer.
  • I open myself to my brothers and sisters in the family of humanity who are now sharing this planet. My loved one would want me to do so.
  • I share with others my sorrow and joy.
  • I find meaning in myself and my life by relating, serving, creating and evolving.
  • Life is a divine gift and it is my duty to use it to benefit myself and others.
  • Today, 40,000 parents have lost their children. Tomorrow, another 40, 000 parents will lose their children. I am not alone in pain. Departure from the physical body is a natural part of life on earth.
  • There is one universal life force, expressing itself through all beings. The same consciousness that expressed itself through my loved one is now expressing itself through every being around me. When loving and offering to others, I love and offer to him/her as well.

 

 

In all of this bro remember – Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

 

 

A bird in hand

In a relationship, it’s easy to fall into a pattern.

And I’m not saying there’s something wrong with routine. To be honest it’s cool to be with someone who makes me feel so secure that i can go through life unfazed by the BS, I’ve been there

before

– Circa 2010 when i met HER

. But bro i have to be careful in love. Sometimes, i confuse being comfortable with being happy.

All too often, we find ourselves in long-term relationships that don’t excite us. We stay because we’re terrified of the alternative, but we don’t have the energy to start something new.

Being happy means butterflies; being comfortable means complacency.

When im happy, im in a state of euphoria. And “euphoria” doesn’t mean unrealistic romantic bliss. It just means my stomach flips every time i see her. There’s a spark and an excitement that doesn’t die down, because that’s how happy i am.

But when i comfortable, i go with things. I don’t question it. Im not affected by my partner’s presence.

I’m not precisely unhappy, but im not joyous, either. I simply… exist.

Hey bro

Thought to tell you a bit about the city of dreams

Mumbai is big. It’s full of dreamers and hard-laborers, actors and gangsters, stray dogs and exotic birds, artists and servants and fisher-folk and millionaires. It has the most prolific of film industries – Bollywood, one of Asia’s biggest slums and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone. It’s India’s financial powerhouse, fashion capital and a pulse point of religious tension. It’s evolved its own language, Bambaiyya Hindi, which is a mix of…everything. It has some of the world’s most expensive real estate and a knack for creating land from water using only determination and garbage. But wait. Mumbai is not frantic, it’s not overwhelming. Or at least, it doesn’t have to be.

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Bollywood stars can attain near godlike status in India. Their faces appear in advertisements around the country, and star-spotting is a favorite pastime in Mumbai’s posher establishments. To me, it was the film Slumdog millionaire that represented how the other half live in Mumbai, albeit in a stereotypical fashion. Slumdog Millionaire’s slum-dwellers represent approximately 60% of Mumbai’s population who live in the shantytowns and slums – some would say they are the foundation of Mumbai city life.

You really have to live it to understand it, Mumbai taught me a lot.

 

Later Bro.

I’m back

Bro!

It’s really been a minute hasn’t it?

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3 Years! wow

A lot of water has gone under the bridge –

Quick recap – I’ve lost my dad (RIP), still live with my mum, been with queens but still single, back to Nigeria, have a day job, still doing my thing at Ebonyte, and of course have posts full of memoirs to fill you in on.

Feels good to be back.

Later bro.

“Mumbai is racist, Stop Slamming Oz” by N Raghuraman

The Ebonyte Blog

I read this article in a newspaper and just had to reblog it:

Mumbai’s racism can be characterised as ‘cash-bigotry.’ That strain of bigotry manifests itself at the workplace, inside commuter trains, at hotels and restaurants.

Mumbai is one of the most racist places on the world map.

When American author and humorist Mark Twain said, “Clothes make the man and naked people have little or no influence on society,” he wasn’t merely being humorous. The stark realism underlying the statement is as unmistakable as its universality.

Twain’s nakedness is a metaphor for a race bereft of monetary supremacy, as opposed to one in clothes which commands societal acceptance. To that end, Mumbai, I say, is one of the most racist places on the world map.

White supremacists absurdly believe that only they live within the pale of superiority, if you can see what I mean. For others, colour of…

View original post 455 more words

Carry on, unequal son. (Unedited)

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Everyday I’ve spent in Mumbai, has been a reminder that most don’t consider races equally, they pass comments some audible, others stay mute, some gesticulate with racial intent, the target? Anyone dark enough, with a curly twist to their hair – Africans, most especially Nigerians.

At some point it’s saddening to think that in a city like Mumbai the order of the day still is classification, some even pride themselves with it. I had thought this would ease with time but we were still to face the same demon when it came down to a basic necessity such as housing.

It had been 2 weeks and we (Dilip and Myself) were still on the search for a residential apartment to work from efficiently in Mumbai, the present neighborhood had issues with bachelors so we decided to search further. Every building we turned up at had issues with Nigerians, no one cared to know if we were students or not, they just weren’t having it, some even seemed irritated by the site of me. But this very occurrence stood out ; we had almost given up hope and sought to try one last time, a brief word with the estate agent and he was on his way to meet us, on arrival, his expression changed, in my mind I knew it was over there and then, but didn’t let that stop me from offering a handshake and an introduction, he spoke to Dilip instead and not only decline me to assist mainly because I was a Nigerian but also warned him to steer clear of me as I’d be the detriment of him…I froze for a second because these were the only words the agent said in English, all along he spoke in Hindi. In my mind it hurt that I smiled and let him drive off without saying a word, I should have stood up for myself there and then…I should have given him a piece of my mind…but what would that have brought about? This is just how things work in Mumbai for Nigerians and I’ve learnt to keep mute, as anything else would get me in trouble, at that time, all the blame would be out on me – because I’m Nigerian.

I thought to myself “This fellow has no clue who I am, I could be if any character, same with the next person who’d come to him for an apartment” , we told him we were students, have all the required documents and own a partnership business we’re trying to get off the ground but all that didn’t matter, the skin color and the curly twist to my hair was enough to deem me unsuitable to live there.

I kept quiet and let him drive off because its of no use educating people with myopic mindsets anymore, after 4 years of trying to correct the impression I noticed it has no effect on Mumbai, this doesn’t mean that I support dubious business or scams some Nigerians carry out, No! But it’s absolutely racist to place such a tag on peoples, wouldn’t it have been better to only give houses to “foreigners” with valid documents?

What of Nigerian students coming here for the first time? Nigerian Families that move to Mumbai because of better job opportunities? And Nigerians like myself done with their degrees trying to better their lives and the lives of those around them with the resources freely available here? Or are we forgetting that Indians migrate more than Nigerians? We all fall into these categories going abroad, it’s not hard to Imagine what in talking about. since karma is getting what you give, I only pity innocent Indians looking to go abroad, those that will be faced with such treatment and can only hope they pull through. For us, Ignoring and Staying faithful have remained our strategy, and as we keep looking for an acceptable accommodation we can only hope that our Faith defines fate.