Don’t mention Ukraine, a playlist compiled by Tymon Smith

The JRB presents tunes and accompanying editorial from our EAP member Tymon Smith.

It is a new year and that means more issues of The JRB and more playlists to accompany them. As Ferris Bueller once said, and every new day in this frenzied age continues to prove, ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’ 

Covid is apparently on the wane; the return to ‘normal life’, is on the rise and we’re all collectively breathing a little less shallowly, as long as we don’t mention Ukraine. 

Here’s hoping that it all continues to be rosy and get better and doesn’t, like this playlist, collapse in cacophonous guffaws induced by a ridiculous sketch about a dead parrot. 

As always there’s no real theme or connection between these songs other than they are all somewhere in the record collection, which in spite of protests and attempts at self-discipline and fiscal austerity, continues to quietly grow. 

I apologise in advance for using Spotify to present the results and yes I know that they pay artists a pittance, invest millions of dollars in repressive military AI technology and insist on continuing to platform the white-male-bowel-movement that is Joe Rogan but, for now, it remains a depressingly convenient service. 

Unfortunately, a number of songs on previous playlists have vanished with their principled creators, into the ether, or at least onto other platforms. Next time we may have to review the situation and join the boycott but until then, here are forty-two songs that hopefully offer you three hours and nine minutes of listening pleasure, until we meet again.

Listen here:

  • Tymon Smith is a member of The JRB Editorial Advisory Panel, and a freelance journalist who writes about the arts and South African history. Previously the literary editor of the Sunday Times, he is the recipient of a silver Standard Banks Arts Journalist of the Year Award for feature writing. He was the head researcher for the interactive DVD Between Life and Death: Stories from John Vorster Square, and is working on a book about the Johannesburg police station.

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