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It's Monday and I'm at Sami's place. In the morning I checked my phone and there was a SMS saying: "Merry Name Day, Erkka!". Oh yes, it is Erkka Lehmus's Name Day! Let me elaborate;

Tomorrow it will the first semi-final of Eurovision Song Contest. This year Finland's band is PKN which stand for Pentti Kurikan Nimipäivät, in english Pentti Kurikka's Name Day. They will play a piece "Aina mun pitää". They are the first ever punk band to play in the Eurovision Song Contest. And not only that, the members of the band have down syndrome and related learning disabilities. Well, personally I've never been a big fan of the contest, and I don't care that much about who wins. But in many ways I find it hilarious and elevating that PKN is playing there this year.

It is great to see a somewhat neglected minority like disabled people playing at a major European media happening. The band was formed back in the 2009, when a person working with Pertti Kurikka decided to help Pertti to start a band of his own. And I think this is the way to go: instead of seeing disabled persons like a bunch of passive patients, these guys are taken as real persons, creative subjects with their own views. They are not trying to mimic other bands, they have been creating their original art with pure punk rock attitude. They had already gained a small but international cult reputation, and now it seems that "Aina mun pitää" has already sparked several cover versions, including an ukulele version, a symphony arrangement, and even an electro pop version. In an interview the band members have said that they don't want to people to feel sorry for them, not to vote them because of their disabilities. After all, they feel themselves being "normal guys, just with some difficulties".

So, I think their message is not only about how our society treats disabled people. In their song "Päättäjä on pettäjä" (freely translated as The Politicians are Traitors) they sing like "The Politicians lock up people inside locked rooms / but we don't want to be in those rooms like that". I find that as a more general metaphor of our society. There are so many roles and expectations, and all kind of social pressure is used to keep people behaving according to those roles, like staying in a locked room. "Don't make noise, just be quiet and do your work, buy ready-made stuff from a super-market, watch TV and be passive". To me it seems that behind this there is a rather one-dimensional view of human life. "We give you a room, food and clothes, and that's all what a human needs, so be happy and thankful of all what you have!". Just like in big factory farms animals are put in conditions which are against their inner instincts - and often the animals develop all kinds of problems with their health and behaviour. It might be that we have been missing some of the key factors of what a human needs for a healthy live - and then people develop all kinds of problems with their health and behaviour, because they are kind of a locked up inside locked rooms.. But we don't want to be inside those rooms like that.

I believe that a human person has an inner need to be seen, understood and appreciated the way (s)he is. To have meaningful projects to pursue. And to have a group to belong to, a network of mutual relationships. Of course these basic needs are slightly different for everyone, but I'd guess that they exists for most of us, and if these needs are seriously neglected, we don't feel well.

So, happy Erkka Lehmus's Name Day for everyone!

Punk rock!
Punk rock!
228 users have voted.


This kinda reminded my this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipe6CMvW0Dg
Some sentences are crap but some are very true.
I like this one: ,,We are masters of killing, lets be masters of enjoying" Something like this.
In my opinion: That video is just example how can good editing and music tangle your mind, but some things are true.


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