We heard about this yesterday from The Daily Swarm, but passed on covering the story until we realized Topolanek’s quote is gaining a ton of traction in the mainstream media. Apparently, botched AC/DC lyrics resonate pretty well in the world of politics. Last Wednesday, former prime minister of the Czech Republic Mirek Topolanek decided to improvise a bit while speaking to the European Parliament and called President Obama’s stimulus plans a “road to hell.” The phrase caught on with critics of the American government’s new economic practices and also helped galvanize European opposition.
“AC/DC played here last week,” Topolanek told Czech newspaper Lidové Noviny, after losing a confidence vote and being forced to resign. “And their cult song ‘Highway to Hell’ might have led me in that very improvised speech to use the phrase ‘road to hell’.”
Czech translator Petra Bilek told the New York Times that the phrase sounds much more dramatic in English because Christianity is more prominent in the United States. “While for many Americans hell is truly a horrifying concept, Czechs don’t make such a big deal out of it,” Bilek said. Sounds like their trying to back out of the statement a bit.
Actually, if they wanted a more clever way to flip the statement around, look no further than the song’s original lyrics:
Payin’ my dues
Playin’ in a rockin’ band
Look at me
I’m on my way to the Promised Land
See that? Topolanek was actually saying that Obama’s plan fulfills one of God’s campaign promises.