Last Night Bus by Hello Saferide.

Feb 04, 2014

An­nika Norlin has writ­ten about Neo-Nazis be­fore: “Over­all” from 2008’s More Mod­ern Short Stor­ies from Hello Saferide pic­tured a couple try­ing to per­suade them­selves that their child’s activ­it­ies wer­en’t any­thing to do with a sick day co­in­cid­ing with World War II his­tory at school, vi­ol­ent video games, lan­guage used around the house or breast­feed­ing.

It was dark but funny with a bit­ter­sweet end­ing that made you think they were either over-re­act­ing or had noth­ing to do with it. It was a fun one act play dan­cing around a con­tro­ver­sial is­sue. Last Night Bus, from this year’s The Fox, The Hunter and Hello Saferide, takes the same concept head-on, darkens, or strikes out com­pletely, the hu­mour and brings it all much closer to home.

“I was 15, had the shape of a cap­ital L. I still read books about ponies” it be­gins, de­scrib­ing an in­vite to the un­ima­gin­able, a party “where boys would oc­cur”. Those boys turn out to be nice, or­din­ary, and fans of Neo-Nazi mu­sic.

She hums along, en­joys it, and through the for­tune of hav­ing to catch a bus feels she misses out on at­tend­ing demon­stra­tions and “play­ing bass gui­tar in a Neo-Nazi band”.

“It’s my scar­i­est slid­ing doors memory. I want it sliced in a shred­der. Thrown out of me” she pleads. But it’s still there, the idea that little cir­cum­stances of hanging around people and places can change our opin­ions and the way we act and that those opin­ions are only a frag­ment of the rest of us, though they may smother that rest be­low the sur­face. Try as we want to be in­de­pend­ent, in the world of the song we’re con­stantly in­flu­enced by everything around us.

She de­scribes a 30, then 50-year-old and treats them the same as the “piece of clay…moul­ded by any­one” she was when she was 15. It’s all about chance and beau­ti­fully, in this song it can change.

“I’m not gonna hate at you be­cause you hate wo­men, I’m not gonna hate at you be­cause you hate col­our. I’m gonna wish so hard for someone to give you the right at­ten­tion, the right love to turn this around.” she says to a back­ing beat that, though mu­sic­ally re­min­is­cent of LCD Sound­sys­tem, is just there to keep us listen­ing, tuned in to what is clearly a song to make a point.

And it’s a beau­ti­ful state­ment on the im­port­ance of open minded­ness that func­tions just as well out­side of re­sponses to sex­ism and ra­cism. Though it preaches for­give­ness it seems even keener to point out our abil­ity to in­spire people to change their minds or ourselves real­ise we were wrong about something.

It’s not so much a protest song as a stealthy blast of hope from the in­side.

Tagged with: art-tribute