Censored Sounds: Mikhail Borzykin and Televizor

by    /  May 10, 2017  / Comments Off on Censored Sounds: Mikhail Borzykin and Televizor

Throughout his career, Mikhail Borzykin has used his music to speak out against censorship and state oppression.

Rock Music as Resistance

Mikhail Borzykin is a Russian poet, composer, musician, activist, and leader of the rock band Televizor, formed in the USSR in 1984. Through his lyrics and his activism he has spoken out against state oppression, beginning in the mid-1980s, when many of his concerts were banned by Communist authorities for their political content.

“Your Daddy is a Fascist” originally created a stir when it was released in 1987 on Televisor’s second album. Borzykin has recently rededicated the song to Vladimir Putin.

Your Daddy is a Fascist

Do not tell me that he is kind
Do not tell me that he loves freedom
I saw his eyes – they are hard to love
And your love – it is fear
You are afraid to be among the useless
You know – he can banish, he can kill!

Your daddy is a fascist!
Do not look at me that way,
I know for sure, he is just a fascist!
Do not look at me that way

Maybe he’s just cruel
Maybe he does not know Schopenhauer
But will and power are all that he has
And I will not follow him!
I see the fruits of mighty illusions
I need my own light, I need my own cross

Your daddy is a fascist!
Do not look at me that way, I just know
He is simply a fascist!
Do not look at me that way

And it’s not in the color of the banner
He can be who he wants
But the word will die if hands are in blood
And I myself do not like labels
But the symptoms of this disease are obvious
While he is up there he will oppress!

Your daddy is a fascist!
Do not look at me that way, I just know
He is simply a fascist!

Ideas can be covered with dust
Ideas can be dressed in steel
That is not so important
Much more important is who stands behind them!

Do not tell me that he is kind
Do not tell me that he loves freedom
I saw his friends – they are hard to love
And your love – it is fear
Are you afraid to be among the useless
You know – he can fire, he can kill!

Your daddy is a fascist!
Do not look at me that way, I know for sure
he is a fascist!
Do not look at me that way

Your daddy is a fascist!
My daddy is a fascist!
Your daddy is a fascist!
Our daddy is a fascist!
Do not look at me that way

New Threats, Constant Courage

As Russia has moved into twenty-first century, Borzykin has used his music to speak out against the Putin regime, which he considers hypocritical and oppressive, much in the style of the Soviet regime of the 1980s. In 2012 he organized a charity festival to benefit all political prisoners, particularly the musicians of Pussy Riot, who were imprisoned after speaking out against the Eastern Orthodox Church and Vladimir Putin at a concert in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. The charity festival was held in St. Petersburg and featured Televisor, several famous Russian musicians, and the lawyers for Pussy Riot.

As a result of his performance and involvement with the charity festival, Borzykin was immediately placed on The List of Open Enemies of Orthodoxy and The List of Enemies and Destroyers of Russian Culture by social patriotic organizations, resulting in constant threats to his life and safety.

Borzykin and Televizor have recorded twelve albums to date, with the latest, Ihtiozaurus, released in 2016. One song, “Forgive Us, Ukraine,” expressed Borzykin’s stance against Russia’s violence against Ukrainians and the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Forgive Us, Ukraine!

There is no excuse for this
See in the enemy, a brother.
These are the years of suffering
And a shame for ages.
We are to blame,
Unworthy Sons of Sons
With heads of cotton wool
And with the hearts of prisoners in the war.

Forgive us, Ukraine
It is the collapse of the Russian world,
We do not know what we are doing.
Forgive us for the Crimea and for the Donbass,
All protests and rallies in vain,
We nurtured the ghoul in the Kremlin

All we steal and we lie.
As slaves we were,
So we’ll die as slaves.
When the ghoul is exhausted,
What will remain here?
You have a Heavenly Hundred,
We have a slave revenge.

Free from Censorship in Sandviken

Borzykin arrived in the Sandviken city of refuge and an ICORN writer-in-residence in March of 2017. Here he plans to continue writing and performing, free from threat and censorship.

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

View all articles by

Comments are closed.

Fearless, Ink.