After Havel was released from prison, he was surprised at how much the world had changed. Here is a song based on his thoughts from that time, as he discussed them in "Disturbing the Peace." The book is translated into English by Paul Wilson, who was once a member of the Plastic People of the Universe and taught the band to play songs Lou Reed wrote for the Velvet Underground.
*A donation of $1 is suggested for each song downloaded. Donations can be sent via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or by check payable to True Comedy Theatre Company, at 212 East 13th Street #4A, New York, NY 10003, U.S.A. These donations will be used as follows: one-third of the total donations will be used to pay the artists, one-third will go to the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation VIZE 97, and one-third will be used for the general purposes of True Comedy Theatre Company, a 501(c)3 nonprofit tax-exempt corporation incorporated in the state of New York for the purpose of producing original plays and performance artworks. Contributions are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Some Kind of Social Awareness
Some kind of social awareness is happening,
though it is currently only subliminal:
nothing visible, nothing tangible,
bringing subtle pressure to bear.
Not only obvious pressure from dissidents,
aimed at the powers that govern society,
but the routine, normal state of mind
that the powers oppose but to which they adapt.
Momentous development of independent culture
has found fertile ground in the spirits of youth.
Their rich imaginations are freely expressing
their genuine values and hunger for truth.
There's hope, not just joy or a feeling of optimism:
hope that makes sense, even when things are difficult,
hope that is deep in a powerful sense,
that will keep us afloat, that will urge us to do good.
Powerful leaders need powerless followers,
but they react, as a rule, unwittingly
to the perceptions and expectations of
those responding to them from "below."
Slowly, almost imperceptively,
people seem to be recovering,
doing things they didn't dare to do,
walking straighter than they did before.
Islands of self-liberation are appearing
and connections between them are beginning to grow.
A new generation is reaching maturity,
not traumatized by events long ago.
If you could only find your way into the audiences
of little theaters springing up everywhere,
or hear the singer of a nonconformist band,
then if you let yourself you might understand.
You will see a world very different from
what is familiar from TV and newspapers:
in the most basic and radical ways,
these two worlds simply fail to connect.