“I feel like we haven’t been talking enough about the fact that US government agencies were just caught intimately collaborating with massive online platforms to censor content in the name of regulating the “cognitive infrastructure” of society.” (-Caitlin Johnstone)
“The US empire really is threatening all life on Earth with potential nuclear apocalypse:
The US military commander who oversees nuclear forces said, “This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup” “The big one is coming,” he added” (-Ben Norton)
“According to the NYTs, support for war in Ukraine represents a commonsense &, therefore, an unchallengeable position. Any deviation from that position represents Kremlin influence & makes one an enemy of the state. This is the state of liberalism today.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“”When your time is turned into money, the felt presence of immediate experience is analogous to being enslaved. I mean, Let’s be frank about it, it is enslavement.” (-TerrenceMcKenna)
“I said what I said. White progressives want us to get behind Nazis but they’re silent about planned US intervention in Haiti and starving kids in Somalia. I see you. From here on out, fight your own struggles.” (-Sabby Sabs)
“BEFORE EVERY ELECTION:
Democrats give speeches about democracy being on the ballot. AFTER EVERY ELECTION: Democrats give excuses for why they can’t govern for the people even when they have a majority. Stop falling for it. Democrats serve the same corporate overlords as GOP.” (-Ryan Knight)
“your culture is your operating system”. (- TerrenceMckenna)
“Been wild to watch the progressive Democrats try to convince us that Biden’s unhinged foreign policy isnt a big deal.” (-Revolutionary Blackout Network)
“This servant of capitalist power is shameless. If democrats cared about workers they would have passed Build Back Better legislation, raised minimum wage & not executed the Obama era plan to initiate a proxy war with Russia.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
-worsens nuclear madness already at boiling point -discourages urgently needed negotiations -continues a $1.7 T boondoggle for the MIC, while there’s “no money” for child tax credit, clean water in Jackson etc.” (-Dr. Jill Stein)
When someone intellectual and anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist rises up among us that isn’t a celebrity, they’re either imprisoned or killed. If they become a politician they become absorbed by the Dems or cast away like a leaper.” (-Jay Befaunt)”
Violence against the poor happens every day in this country, but you won’t hear about it as the top story on the news because the corporate media exists to protect the interests of the ruling class.” (-Ryan Knight)”
China opposes the US blockade on Cuba and doesn’t impose sanctions on other countries. The US literally imposes criminal sanctions on at least twenty other countries in addition to Cuba. Which country is the “threat” again?” (-Danny Haiphong)
I can’t even tell you why I wake up so depressed everyday, I’ve been called a dry drunk by the cult of al anon. It’s a lotta factors. Grief, estrangement, disappointment, betrayals and abandonment, rejection, tyranny, being browbeaten by lies and ruling class bullshit all day everyday and all my ex friends and relatives totally buying into the Bulllshit Narratives that all purpiose unprecedented super villain Trump is in cahoots with Putin, that Trump is somehow an anomoly and to blame for all of society’s ills, and that woke, philanthropic, feminist pants suits like AOC, Obama, Bill Gates, and Doctor Fauchi just want them to be healthy, happy, joyous and free for super scientific philanthropic salvation. We’re on the brink of World War 3 thanks to Sleepy Joe’s dementia gung ho Reagan like cowboy brinkmanship and the Fraud Squad broken campaign promise phoniness, all the poor people are dying, or being evicted because they can’t pay two grand a month with minimum wages, but middle class shitlibs just wanna virtue signal their support for Zelensky and Pfizer and bug eating transkids Canadian Euthanasia rights.I’ll admit it. I wanna flee this relentless barrage of on script unrealities and yes, drink some booze and melt into old songs.
In 1985, I was struttin’ around Lower Manhattan with a buncha crazy friends-a hard boozing intellectual, important dayjob having political consultant son of the guy who founded the Village Voice who hipped me to Lenny Bruce and all this NYC politics and newspaper stuff-we’d go to all these crazy parties and he’d pay for all my Guinness and Jameson’s and we’d have to send him home in his oversized detective trench coat semi passed out in the back of the taxi cab; a bearded, drunken Lithuanian poet who got me into Bukowski who let me play “Let It Bleed” until the dawn’s early light; a beautiful older girl friend in a sparkling dress from East L.A, who dabbled in filmmaking but excelled at being a shake the earth it-girl wherever she went; a superbrained intellectual from Spanish Harlem with a big scar on his face who introduced me to the writings of Eldridge Cleaver; a loudly abrasive and curmudgeonly know it all Jewish jazz snob with a rent controlled be-bop apartment on 11th street and the blackest sense of offensive humor I’d ever met-who constantly shocked me into laughing out loud but bought me beer and woke me up each day by bellowing, “Shit Urchin!” and his beautiful, hip, black, British girlfriend. Some actor-cosmopolitan bigtime sophisticates in an 11th floor party/video editing loft on Broadway and Astor Place who got me into all kinda music. Aside from being abducted by a black Manson and his karate cult in Washington Square Park for a few days, it was mostly all loitering at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut or Downtown Beirut, going to museums, galleries, after hours bars, old records, real cool indie boutiques still overflowing with like sequinned brasieres and rhinestone sunglasses, leopardskin pillbox hats, leather trousers, salmon colored Bogart fedoras, you know, all the eighties Cramps influenced underground retro cool trash culture. Freebeing records, little vhs rental storefronts that specialized in old B Movies. Crazy hip-hop influenced graffiti was still all over the place. Sicko filmmakers, next big thing designers. The ABC No Rio/Rivington Street Art Park anarchist community. I was living in my own B-Movie back then, kinda part Fleshtones and part John Waters, going to the Pyramid Club with my sometimes roommate, Minkie The Mink-a Nancy Spungeon clone from Michigan shrieking at the drag queen doorperson to let me in because I was her son, in a matching leopardskin coat. Running up people’s phonebills keeping in touch with my teenage muse in honky suburbia and finding out about all kindsa cool music that really seemed to capture and convey all my impossible feelings for her-bands like New Order, Joy Division, Gene Loves Jezebel, and Charlie Sexton. Fra Lippo Lippi: “heaven help me if this is love…how can you ask me, then let me go? I still believe there’s A HEART IN HERE…” Charlie I first saw in some Random Notes partying with Ronnie Wood, he was supposedly the shithot new Texan boogie guitar star in the Stevie Ray Vaughan mold, both Billy Idol and Steve Stevens at the same time, but when you heard his pulsing Keith Forsey dance record it was all synths and drum machines and Charlie crooning his heart out in a voice that was equal parts David Bowie and Elvis Prseley. “So lonely…so lonely!” would play in my head as I trudged around in the filthy grime and slushy snow of downtown Manhattan in cold December, missing that chick in the Midwest. He had joined Joe Ely, a guy Joe Strummer was really into’s band when he was just a young teenager like me, but I could not play guitar for shit, still can’t, even though I owned a Tokai that had been autographed by Steveie Ray Vaughan until my church girlfriend took a call from my new wave girlfriend and all hell broke loose and both of their moms drove them over to confiscate their belongings from my mother’s basement.
The plan was for my skate rat stoner pal Dave to play that guitar and I’d become the sidewalk barker medicine show loudmouth protest singer frontman. I was really into like, Roy Rogers and Doctor Creep and the Fonz, Evil Kenivel, Lux Interior, and David Lee Roth-all the red baron Peter Pans with aviator goggles and ghetto boxes, greaser streetgangs, singing cowboys, and campy horror hosts, so I thought I’d be a bit of all that and see what happened! You know here I’m like 35, maybe 37 years later, and I’m still callin’ my as yet unassembled, imaginary goth-gang, the Loneliness Maximum Torch & Twang! Yeah, I was totally influenced by Charlie Sexton, Elvis, the Stray Cats, Cramps, Chris Isaak, Tyla, Mink Deville, HST, and all the bands who sang about outsider alienation and unrequited love and had cool hair and black leather jackets. In more recent years, Charlie went on to play part time second fiddle in the Arc Angels sharing vocal duties and then became Dylan’s main guitar hero, but man, being a team player is cool as fuck and everything, but that dude had one of the best voices, ever, in my book. You ever hear his tribute to EP from the “True Romance” soundtrack? That’s the only Q Tarantino movie I ever liked, first place ya saw James Gandolfini. It was too violent and abusive for my frail little heart but there was so much quotable, epic dialog, ya know me and an old bassplayer once were calling our demotape band Heroes For Sale after the comicbook store in that movie, we weren’t the only ones. Pre internet, you’d be calling your garage band like, the Causalties, or Undesirables and designing your elaborate cartoon skull logo in the leather daddy biker ha with the obligatory eyepatch and Zapatista gun belt for your stickers and fliers and t shirts but have no idea there were already ten other bands goin’ by that same moniker. Cats like Lux and Joey Ramone and Stiv Bators offered me irrefutable proof that one need not be as pinup pretty as Charlie Sexton to still rock like fuck and sing your heart out and all I ever wanted to do since I was about four or five was front an unholy barbarian band of rebellious gypsy wastrel revolution rockers. Once I saw David Peel hollering in Tompkins Square Park, I was in like Flynn. With the Out Crowd. Nowadays you got these preppie model millionaire manufactured forgery fabrications like bogus boyband faux quirky monarch programmed Harry Styles suddenly dressing up in the pink shiny pants and pink furry coats just like me in 1987, but bizarrely, they are being paid millions for it cause Bowie glam androgyny has been suddenly hijacked by Davos billionaires to advance some Klaus Schawb occultist transhumanist agebnda. They threw me into like Hitlerian Baptist reform schools and sent me to shrinks and encouraged their All Amukkkan football teams to beat me silly for dressing exactly like that 30 some years ago. What madness. So yeah, man. Charlie Sexton, he is all aces. One of my top faves even into my elderly goth years when it’s cold in my bones and there aint no good news forthcoming, his music still sings straight to my old tombstone mind and big bottle heart. Come back, Charlie, rocknroll never forgets. When I was young and pining over some lost love, it was most usually like say the Smiths or New Order or the Replacements that I was listening to. As I got older, it was most often Chris Isaak. My wife always says I should track down Keith Forsey and get him to produce me but I figure that dude made more money than KISS between Billy Idol and “Don’t You Forget About Me”, he’s probably in some disco mansion on a beach with Georgio Moroder remixing some mountains of cocaine fuelled Studio 54 masterpieces, I just moved out of a leaky no furnace fuckled up trailer in the middle of nowhere land and have no band but yeah I love that glossy eighties new wave Psychedelic Furs and Charlie Sexton soundtrack sheen. Of course I know it’s too late for me, been hearing that since I was about twenty one, but ya know, I believe in miracles. I believe in a better world for me and you, so open that bottle, mateys, hoist the black flag. You tell ’em General Labor’s comin’, and all the brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution are ridin’ with me!
“This profile offers an interesting window into the BlueAnon cult. On top of endless conspiracy theories about Trump and Putin, they seem to share the habit of working lucrative media jobs and gathering at the fancy homes of affluent members.” (-Aaron Mate’)
“A political party that tried forcing everyone to take an experimental vaccine, that illegally instructs Big Tech to silence dissent, that raised the price of literally everything, and that put our planet on the brink of nuclear Armageddon should never be allowed to govern again.” (-Primo Radical)
“Neocon child actor Ben Shapiro has had his career astroturfed by corporate GOP powerbrokers, granting him notoriety and affluence while he trades on bogus antisemitism victimhood narratives.
He perfectly embodies the phenomenon I described and runs the same hustle as the ADL.” (-Max Blumenthal)
“The ultimate question is this: Will the US accept that it cannot rule the world and that it must share prosperity with all nations or will the US in a final act of arrogance destroy the world because it cannot accept that the days of living at the expense of others are over.” (-Kim Dotcom)
I always related to the outcasts, misfits, throways, scorned by society, the people in the little old man skid row divebars ya know? As Tyla so elqoently sang, the sad and the lonely are the only ones with style. Oscar Wilde said it all first and better. Nobody ever sang it better than Chris Isaak though. Okay maybe Tex Perkins, sometimes. Or Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristooferson, that’s about it though.
“When I can not sing my heart., I can only speak my mind..” (-John Lennon)
“I don’t want no counseling…” (-Chris Isaak)
“I met a girl in Mexico and shoulda told her then I know that I still think of you, we never will be through.” (-Chris Isaak)
One band that united all us comic book reading greasy kid stuff leather jacketed boys, back when the skins hung out with the jocks and the punks and new wavers were considered mortal enemies of the metalheads and thrashers and all the dumbfuck follower cliques had their rulebooks and regulations I kinda hadda scoff at and still do, we all loved the Misfits and Danzig. Ones who say they did not were either nerds or they’re just lying to appease the bespectacled fauxwoke gender studiers with the beige and argyle lives and pet hair all over their clothes.I’ve always hated sniveling asskissers sucking up to power for extra credit. Shit, my band of wild eyed wolf children covered three Misfits songs and two Danzigs. He might be a bit of a bridge n tunnel rightwing mook weightlifter but I always thought he was extraordinarliy entertaining and talented and a great vocalist in the presley/Lux/Morrison tradition.
“The democrats abandoned their base, insulted the public with two years of diversionary anti-Trumpism while delivering to the only base they really care about – finance capital, Big Oil & military/industrial/complex. Radical sheepdoggers have little to work with.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
We raced down to the sea Standing there on freedom’s shore”
I will tell you this: when I was 12 and 13, Jim Morrison’s “Absolutely Live” made more of a lifelong lasting impression on me than any of those bullshit racist whitewash history books, hungup homophobic military recruiters, creepy deepwoods perverse pedophile brimstone prechers, brutal bruising wrestling team coaches, stupid fucking preppie sadist Amerikkan Psychos in their dumb golf shirts with their mama mansions and license to harm less powerful people, or the endless behavior modification torture techniques of all those horrible detention hall abusers. He was right and they are wrong. I still yearn to be wild and free again. I had a friend at that age who was a real heavy metal guitar prodigy like Randy Rhoades who also loved the Doors, but he kinda always wanted to be popular. His mom gave him a sports car at some point, and he got a goth girlfriend, but somehow, they corraled him into joining the military and he became a sharpshooting sniper for the empire, instead of a shirtless longhair playing classical influenced solos in the spotlight at my side, so that was a big bummer to me cause I thought he would always be one of the pirates, the resistance, the outlaws, the rebel alliance, aw man, ya win some, ya lose some. Losing that dude to the military was one of my life’s first real setbacks, I mourned his decision for a number of years. Some of our other friends sadly followed. I stayed the course, ya know Jim Morrison was like my gateway into Iggy Pop and Stiv Bators. After I met those guys, something in me changed. There was no going back to the namby pamby, clock punching, grocery bagging, suburban world of mime and acquisition. All those kids we used to know grew up to be regular tv watching home owners and like, gentrification brunchers-somedays, it really gets me down.
“Clinton News Network (CNN) is pushing straight-up pro-war propaganda. Where are fact-checkers on assertion Russia actions created food & fertilizer shortage when when everyone knows it was Western sanctions on Russia that created global food crisis.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing Impossible obstacles. Dream the Impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up.” (-TerrenceMcKenna)
SOUTHERN DEATH CULT
Some hardnosed sadists in youth corrections seemed to get their jollies by punishing working class and particularly black youth for any deviation from sieg heil sports and military obedience culture, so we so called delinquents kinda had to rally together and I met some of my life’s best friends in juvie hall where the authorities and their sports mom bosses hoped to permanently break our youthful creative spirit. When I finally got out of the detention center for wayward DJ/rappers and styling product abusing makeup wearers, I was subjected to some repeat gang violence where jealous husband rednecks of girls who had a lingering thing for me and their friends held me down and bloodied my nose, broke my glasses, the usual pummelings I was sortof accustomed to and would be ongoing features of my visits to Ohio where they manufacture the fratboys even into the grunge years. The couch potato mama’s boys action flick tough talkers who always bragged about their manly fighting skills ran from the beatdowns. Left me to my fate.Only good thing about those guys was their mom’s house had warmth in the winter, they were seven and ten years older so they bought my beer and smokes with their rich kid allowances and let me immerse myself in their elaborate record collection where I discovered many of my favorite bands. The Southern Death Cult, Theater Of Hate, Sisters Of Mercy, the Mission, 45 Grave, some Bauhaus side projects and spinoffs I’d never heard before. A Lotta life changing stuff like that. I was really particularly en thralled by Andrew Eltrich and Ian Astbury and have to concede my early bands initially suffered somewhat as a result of my trying too hard to sound like Ian rather than finding my own voice. It took awhile. You know what’s crazy as fuck? I’m the only old punk I know who kept his core values, is still actively anti fascist, anti corporate, anti censorship, anti war in middle age. Like Cait Johnstone said, everybody’s antiwar until the propaganda starts. It’s a sad world we live in.
I was nineteen or twenty before I finally found my real voice or started composing any halfway worthwhile original material. One of the songwriters who really helped set me free, Post Westerberg, was Kristofferson. He wrote about what he knew. Once I started doing that, it all came natural.
Fucking cold as fuck here-even my coffee got cold in the cup. I wanna drinksmoke but my old lady don’t want me to. I used to go on walks but where we live now, it’s all militia crazies and vicious animals unleashed in their junk yards, so I’m restless, kinda upset, depressed, cold feet and a little bitter, so ya know, I end up just doing a lotta yardwork. Then there’s the odd jobs. Today i gotta try to figure out somewhere to take all these fuckedup burntout fluoresecent tube lightbubls my lanlord left here in the tool shed and then we gotta go off property to wash our clothes and then it’s some odd jobs for low wages, send me good vibes brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution, I need ’em now. STAY WILD, STAY FREE! xo
“In a mind-blowingly hypocritical speech at the UN, Biden (a strong supporter of the Iraq War) declared: “If nations can pursue imperial ambitions without consequences, we put at risk everything this institution stands for” I fact-checked his absurd lies.” (-Ben Norton)
“Despite Russia’s clear RED lines, the West has been blaming Russia & painting Putin as the villain, saying his intervention was “unprovoked.” But recently NATO admitted that it DID have plans to expand along the eastern flank YEARS ago longer before 2022.” (-Fiorella Isabel)
“The puppet on the right shares my beliefs, the puppet on the left is more to my liking. Hey…there’s one guy holding up both!”
“This is where we are at right now, as a whole. No one is left out of the loop. We are experiencing a reality based on a thin veneer of lies and illusions. A world where greed is our God and wisdom is sin, where division is key and unity is fantasy, where the ego-driven cleverness of the mind is praised, rather than the intelligence of the heart.
If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”
I’m getting ready to move, but it’s like hurry up and wait cause so much has to be done, boots on the ground wise and via other people before I can start packing up the truck, Beverly Hillbillies style, as is my custom, and lightin’ out for greener pastures. ‘Had a hard time sleeping last night, got too much to worry about between all the gouging by the corporations at the grocery store, a family member’s medical crisis, a sometime employer’s many health problem delays, always some kinda unexpected setbacks and bureaucracy red tape, malfunctioning appliances, renegotiated terms, all kindsa shit goin’ on, that makes it hard for an impatient, right now kinda action man like me who would much rather do it, than talk about it some more. You ever notice how the richer motherfuckers are, the more they like to philosophically weigh every option in the catalog, consult their horoscope, double check the weather, visit their massage therapist, and listen to themselves talk about every option on the menu, and when the food comes, they’re always mad they didn’t order what the table next to them are having, and usually end up somehow finding a way to blame the waitress to justify their callous mistreatment of workers and still ’em on the tip? Me and the wife have been working as light landscapers, ranch hands, assistants, gardeners, housecleaners and shit movers, for a couple of different AirBandB owners and other employers. Main thing all these different people have in common is they aint really interested in getting shit done, finding solutions, or paying the least money out to contractors and shit as they are in feeling like visionaries having important William Blake like visions about where to put their stuff. I have not been around rich people in about twenty years, I’ve been avoiding them on purpose because they all seem so flakey unreliable, delusional, narcissistic and entitled. I always get hurt or burned by them so I kinda believe it is better not to be very involved with very many of these crazy fucking people. One dude I made the mistake of interacting with promptly pivoted straight to how can he monetize my creative works and exploit my shit for money. That’s how these nutty capitalists think: how can they liquidate and commodify your existence for their own personal profit or vanity brands? I’ve never been good at taking shit and pretending it feels good, and that is the only actual relationship being offered by the wealthy ranchers in the big compounds overflowing with unused stuff and long neglected weeds and shit. Even when I was a small kid, accompanying my car dealer grandfather to the Country Club. on Thursday nights, I never liked the way middle class people talk down to The Help. Same thing at the smalltown morning donut shop where all the businessman gathered for coffee each day. I knew as a kid, my solidarity was with the waitresses and dishwashers and not the big wheel stuffed shirt showoffs stiffing them. I would not want to be rich at this point. I would like to see my kids more often and I’d like to make records with a band, but I do not want to become one of those assholes I see treating humans badly and waiting for other people to die, so they can sell their property and spend their money. That’s so gross to me. I do not worship rich people or mistake property for virtue. That’s the real standoff between me and society, me and any kinda participants in the pay to pay modern music scenes. I’d say the biggest difference between me and my ex friends is I don’t suck up to rich people. I don’t believe in it. Also won’t hang my head down low and grovel in shame for being poor. I love poor people-some of the best people I’ve ever known have been poor. Just because you inherit some shit from your criminal bloodsucking capitalist millionaire parents don’t make you smarter or cooler, or sexier or groovier, or morally superior to anyone else. People I used to be friends with lost the fuckin plot and sadly gave up the ghost and dedicated their lives to eatin’ shit for the privileges of sorority membership: so long as they could keep soft jobs and high five joiner privilege. I’m not like that, and never will be. I got an old song that goes, “I’ll never live like the other half”.
A close friend of mine similarly works for a rich lady who owns all kindsa shit she got from her excessively well to do parents-she might think she’s a lot more highbrow, scientific, harder working, more virtuous, arty, intellectual, or bitchen than we are, cause she has all that stuff, and is accustomed to controlling people with her parent’s moolah, and buying their silence in her luxurious egomaniacal orbit, a whole lot like a long gone ex girlfriend of mine, funny thing is, both she and I are bohemian eighth grade dropouts, who went gypsying around and living by our wits from a young age. Only difference is, I never had no fuckin’ credit card or safety net to dip into, when things went bad. Once or twice, in the Bowery and on the Sunset Strip, I asked a relative for emergency money, we’re talkin two hundred dollars, and they still seem to hold it against me, over thirty years later-like that once needing ground support at sixteen or twenty somehow narrowly, one dimensionally defines me as a flawed and insufficient person–people just aint that cool in this me, first , I Me Mine, ratrace culture. That ex girlfriend of mine I mentioned earlier who hoarded all her surplus wealth and $1000 a night salary, just never learned to share-not without some guaranteed quid pro quo bigass profit motive. It’s the same with soldout/got old musicians, they don’t wanna help make cool music or create lasting memories, so much as they wanna make money. It’s all about the filthy lucre, aint it? I think it was Gore Vidal who said that Murkkkans cared more about seeing other people lose than mere winning. I see how the winners can’t even taste the booze of victory-they are all insatiable hungry ghosts with piles and piles of objects but no real serenity or satisfaction.
So anyways, the rich old lady my friend used to care for’s in an old folks home with dementia and incontinence, and her other relatives want nothing to do with her trustee, since she showed her hand, only wanting control of the big shitpile of inheritance money, and now, her other former longtime cowboy handyman employee is dying of the Bad C, so yeah I guess me and her are sorta begrudgingly bartering some. I don’t mind pitching in and helping her, cause she is disabled, and can’t move or lift heavy shit but really, I just ain’t so good at role playing that flattering asskiss suckup script she’s accustomed to, from her blue collar helpers; so I dunno how it’s gonna go, from here. She never stops talking, interrupts all my responses, and it’s all a crazy narrative about how academic and wise and wonderful and enlightened she is, also how stupid and incompetent all her workers are and how hard it is to get good help these days, “nobody wants to work”, they all say, some shit they were programmed with on the tv-all these different bosses with the never ending yapping, holy shit, man, that’s just like my kid with the Autism. I’m already kinda bitchy about being talked down to, or insultingly micromanaged by someone who aint probably any smarter than I am, really. Remember when McDonna started speaking with the hoity toity fake British accent? Just like that. Money people are nuts. I get why they never like me for long. I did have a love for my ex girlfriend the heiress’s more genuine and vulnerable side, she was one of those people who were born with a perfect face, but by age fifty, the meanness is starting to show, she really only loved power and control, prestige and comfort and ultimately, money. Lately I’ve been laboring for one of those people who puts you in high risk situations like with poisonous spiders and shit that’s really too heavy for one person to move. The ownership society capitalist hierarchy people just suck so bad. “Stakeholders”, they call themselves. “Investors”. This one’s my favorite: “Job Creators”.
I’m up early, as is my habit in my old age, listening to the rooster crow, having some coffee, still missing cigarettes, thinking about how to retell old stories with new rhymes and melodies, wishing I had some alcohol, “some weird sin just to relax with”, convenience store does not even open for another half hour here. There’s always gonna be ten scheming, get rich quick business owners all covered with body tattoos, talking about how they’re gonna turn some sleepy, depressing, faded graveyard into NEON LIT HOLY SHIT HIPSTER CHIC BROOKLYN OVERNIGHT! Women here seem to belong to witchy UFO new age cults and predominantly live behind big silver fences with their hot tubs and packs of dogs, there aint that many of ’em. So whenever dudes are talkin’ to me, they’re lookin’ at my old lady-even the American Indian Movement dude I really, really liked. Men here, drive like fools, do not bathe or shave, or wash their clothes, except I guess, when they get in the stinky river for their own reasons. Some of ’em embrace the sleeps with the dogs life also, but I ended up next door to the guy who hates animals. Keeps stealing my cats. It still beats honky suburbia. Or three grand a month, douchey, hipster-hip big city rents.
A long time ago, I lived in the dreadful, loathsome, depressing Midwest where they manufacture the Ken & Barbies, it was some kinda hut-two flag waver cargo shorts hell. Like war, all the time. One of many ways they tortured us, was with bad music-even in the 80’s, with all that beautiful stuff to choose from, the concentration camp speakers crackled non stop with fucking Sussudio and Lionel Richie, Rick Astley and that overplayed Animotion song. They loved to take a song and play it to death like that fucking John Waite tune, “I Aint Missin You”. They played that motherfucker so many times, your mom knows about it. I liked his other song from back then, “Change”, ‘tried to get my black clad, hairsprayed, hate drunken, surly punk band to let me cover it, but they were all too macho I think, to really hear what the song was alla bout. Even now, still to this day. Sometimes, I think they missed the whole point of punk. They think it has something to do with joining ’em if you can’t beat ’em and hazings and initiations and diplomas and sports competition-tackling your opponent, following rules for pat on the hed good doggie treats, or doing stupid human tricks to compliantly please more popular people’s conservative sports moms by bragging about property, or talking about your collections of records and plastic bagged ancient magazines stuffed into multiple art book spare rooms that no one is allowed to touch. I talk to people in the desert nowadays and it’s always about their possessions, if they are male-the jeep, the ranch, the truck, the RV, the fucking cattle they inheried with their big belt buckles. Or their Double Stuffed, Special Secret Magic, intuitive, Reincarnated Cleopatra comin’ at ya, new age psychic ESP powers and hot springs astrology AirBand rental properties, if they are female. Or voting Democrat, cause she loves the Clintons, for feminism. I don’t fit in with ’em, I’m usually there just nodding along but in my head, I’m thinking about Assata Shakur and Fred Hampton and Leonard Peltier and John Trudell, or my dead friends, long lost former bandmates, legendary children, and Echo & The Bunnymen. Ya know?
WORLD AT A GLANCE
One supremely cool, heartfelt 80’s pop band who never got enough credit or airplay in my book was a band called World At A Glance I remember from seeing on MTV’s 120 Minutes Sunday Might Tv Show. I thought their song was sensational and they had a brilliant frontman named David Ilku, a real edgy guitarist named Michael Lawrence, on drums, Dougie Brown and on bass Thaddeus Castanis. They reminded me variously of the Front, the Furs, Duran, Lions & Ghosts, Japan, Simple Minds, U2, Inxs. Why aren’t there any good original bands like that anymore? I dunno, man, but this song “Burning Out”‘s still great in my book! Maybe it’s just cause that was my era, ya know the kinda music that was popularized when I was young and head over heels in love and hoping to become a cult band like the Cult, but I sincerely love everything about that band, WORLD AT A GLANCE. Slick production by Chris Lord-Alge gave it that collegerock/electropop feel like early Inxs records-the new wave ones, before they broke into Murkkka top forty with stadium funk and sappy ballads. I’ll probably look for a hard copy of their album or cassette online if I ever get some money. This is the kindof music I imagined my old bassplayer Bobby, the James Dean lookalike wouldbe major label rockstar frontman was making in Columbus with his bands, the Healers and Shine. I keep hoping someone will post his performances or demos to youtube, but almost nothing has surfaced since his death thusfar. I lost touch with the guy for twenty years-they said he had become a bartender at Andy’s Treehouse and then, worked at a factory and played golf and drank with 9-5 people from his old high school. Damn, this life really has become like a fast forwarded VHS video tape. In my mind I can see Me, Mitch and Bobby in my mom’s kitchen, wearing spiked bracelets and leather crosses, gang-singing “Nights Are So Long” like it was yesterday, or up in the corny preppie nightclub DJ booth, Bobby spinning MTV eighties college rock for the mainstream Barbies and baseball cap smalltown paying regulars. We had set out to create our own new wave and post punk together as youngsters. He went away to sing covers with a band called Who’s Drivin’, I stupidly moved to Boston and continued to write sorta catchy original gutter punk with my scroungy, empty pocketed hoodlum friends. I really miss this kindof pop music and will probably die trying to resume making my own versions of it. Hard to find suitable collaborators in the old age-nobody remembers the old new wave. I’m still koo koo for 39 Steps and the Bolshoi and Gene Loves Jezebel and Duran Duran-ya know what I mean? I saw a heavily tattooed, muscle car driving, Carnie Danzig lookalike in the checkout line wearing sunglasses at eight in the morning but he’s a Masonic capitalist gentrification land baron, so even if he can play guitar or knows about the Sex Pistols or whatever, we really aint got much in common. Kinda on opposite sides of the culture war. Met a real butch Sunday matinee moshpit dude from Jersey named Thomas who had Clash and Motorhead tattoos and an Agnostic Front t shirt but he does not play an instrument, we are both former punk band vocalists. God bless ‘im. It’s hard cause I got all this mowing and planting and moving and weeding to do, but in my heart of hearts, all I wanna do is sing for a trashy, in your face confrontational, full contact revolution-punk band and record more original songs from the heart. It shouldn’t be so hard, but all the surviving ex punks joined some fuckedup status quo wannabe popular belonger hierarchy.
I LOVE this Canadian new wave band-they were kinda like Iggy Pop and the Cult! They had that Billy Duffy gothic psychedelic guitar sound! Chris Barry’s seventies kid punk band the 222’s opened for Teenage Head at max’s Kansas City and stuff like that. Reminded me of my outcast high school friends. I mean before I introduced them to my other friends and they became sports bar honcho, frat rock celebrities.
FLAMING LIPS VS CHAINSAW KITTENS
I liked the first couple of Flaming Lips records back when they were a scuzzy psychedelic Charlie Manson and Alice Cooper influenced, van travelling little band from Norman Oklahoma, I liked their lyrics, their acidhead image-later on in the 90210 era they got too Lollapalooza rich and overproduced mainstream joke band for me and I’m not into that dead dog Miley Cyrus shit at all, but when they were a little nowhere band, they did like dry ice and strobe lights and bad heavy metal covers to piss off the ROTC generic jock pseudo punks, I thought that was kool. I remember all the camo clad suburbans in the combat boots and flight jackets LEFT THE CLUB in protest of the Flaming Lips having long hair and being too earsplittingly loud rocknroll. My friends and I were also into sorta shakin’ up the status quo so we kinda enjoyed all their loud, noisy hellraising. We made friends with them that night and they invited us to open for ’em in their hometown. We never did do that-everybody in my group was really nailed down to their deadend dayjobs and high school shit back then, and about half the band were just really not ready to leave town. So I stayed there with ’em as long as I could, trying unsuccessfully to motivate them into moving to Hollywood or NYC to pursue music in a bigger way. I think only two of us regularly did acid back then.
Everybody knows I hated grunge. Just not my scene at all. Did not like the look, the nasally singing, the macho bluster and buzzkill bad vibes, the formulaic going through the motions of imitating bands like Happy Flowers, Killdozer and the Pixies who’d been around for years only impressing know nothing jocks who never heard any genuine punk rock with their so called “originality”. I was not into the hesher-metal Ethyl Merman Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots corporate headbanger “Spooky Tarzan” posturing, Eddie Vedder’s wounded beagle voice, or any of the generic fratboy college cows who infiltrated the underground scene with their awful parents fucking money. One Norman Oklahoma band that arrived late in the fake-indie alternative era that was still almost begrudgingly semi weirdo new wave enough for me was the Chainsaw Kittens. They made some pretty decent records that were like, at least, making an effort to be entertaining, ala the Dandy Warhols, Smashing Pumpkins, Brainiac, any of the poppier Alt bands that weren’t just all shirtless Christ posing in workboots and suicide note smack lyrics and swampy gloom.
But really I’m not into any “Alternative”. I still like punk rock mostly.
and some sleazy glam:
“When Mike Bloomberg sings your praises, there might be a problem with your brand of leftism” (-Whitney Webb)
“The mainstream media carefully never mentions the “shadow bank” that owns much of the world. It’s no coincidence that this asset management firm is one of the top stake holders in every large mainstream media corporation & every large social media platform.” (-Lee Camp)
“A Princeton study revealed the bottom 90% of earners in U.S.—which is the vast majority of the people—have zero impact on policy. Remember this when either ruling class party begs for your vote or money. Don’t give it to them. They don’t represent anyone except their rich donors.” (-Ryan Knight)
“I’d like to formally request that this month’s stipend for Ukraine goes to Puerto Rico and also to the American Houseless population.” (-Just Maureen)
“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” (- Franklin D. Roosevelt)
“Someone tell Hillary Clinton that no matter how many photo ops she does with celebrities, she will always be hated for being a war criminal and known as the joke who lost to Donald Trump.” (Revolutionary Blackout Network)
“Russia’s mobilization is based on the fact that NATO has from the outset sought a permanent proxy war in Ukraine. Those who cheered for NATO belligerence will reap what they sow.” (-Danny Haiphong)
But if you’re a natural man You got to ball and have a good time
And that’s what I call chooglin’” (-Fogerty)
I’m retreating farther away from capitalists and the cut throats cause I just can’t stand their bullshit culture of backstabbing and mutiny and ratrace competition, fuck those people. Always stressful starting new jobs, moving to new locations, saying goodbye to devils you know. I have no illusions of being free-I am still stuck on the plantation workin’ for the boss every night and day. At least I have less pig-media programmed crazies to fuck with nowadays than I once did. I know some of the haves on the hill with the surplus property, the gallery, the airbandb, the wall sized blown up billboard photos of their own fat faces, the constant juggernaut of vanity merchandise, the fancy oversized touring vehicles, and they aint even happy. At all. Aint that a bitch? Fought their way into the tall tower only to find out, that owning the Most Stuff aint it. I remember when I was a kid, I mostly heard of Creedence Clearwater Revival, because they were selling their greatest hits album on the tv all the time. I was never into “Proud Mary”, but I do otherwise love me some old school Ike & Tina Turner. Anyways, it was the Hanoi Rocks cover of “Up Around The Bend” that really first ignited my interest in Fogerty’s songs, cause I vibed with the lyrics and thought they were at a Chuck Berry level of pure poetry. Next thing ya know, my favorite band, LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH did “Hey Tonight”. Cherry Bombz did “Traveling Band”. “Fortunate Son” was one of the great anti war protest songs-I’d gone to school with so many meathead dumbfuck rich kids and no matter what fuckedup shit they did, they were always falling up and being rewarded. Us poorer kids were all corralled into learning disability classrooms, or herded into military service, bootcamped and probationed for wearing leather jackets or having crazy haircuts, or wearing a bit of black eye smudge, so I really deeply resonated with that one! If the Grateful Dead or any hippie jamband rocked as hard as “Down On The Corner”, I mighta liked that shit, but other than Canned Heat, I was just never into much of the reeferhead jam bands. Cats like Chris Isaak only wish they wrote “Born On The Bayou”, or that just me? Then, I started seeing “Old Man Down The Road” on MTV and wow, I dug that whole thing, too. I guess somewhere, deep inside, I always kinda knew I was gonna probably end up a hermit in the woods, if my rocknroll dream did not come true, and the problem with the rocknroll dream, is it was reliant on so many different moving parts, and then, you add in the pay to play culture, rehearsal space rental costs, ridiculous recording studio costs, the media monopoly bullshit agenda, and the Antirock Conspiracy, and here we are.
Really enjoying that documentary about CCR. They were one of this country’s greatest bands, for sure. I’m pretty sure the Seattle band Green River took their name from the CCR song and certainly the fucking flannel shirts. I remember reading about how Fogerty would not play his own hits for years, because he felt so fucked over by his just out for themselves former bandmates, and some creepy hustler publisher who stole the monetized value of his songs. I got old and summa the same exact shit happened to me. Hard to do old songs, once other people kinda poison ’em, or cheapen ’em, or try to monetize ’em, or steal the copyrights. I get it. Hell, I’ll write better ones. It does take it outta ya though, when the people you thought were your friends were just hanging around waitin’ for a chance to steal your suitcase. Just so weird seein’ other people peddling the tunes you lived and wrote like they aint never even heard of you. Funny, ’cause when I google myself, to see if any video of my old bands has washed up on youtube or whatever, my name was appropriated, ALL MY OLD BANDS names have been copied by younger bands now, all of ’em. The tv show my friends and I did on cable access, somebody stole the name of that, on youtube too, AND like dozens of old tunes get performed by people who try to pass ’em off as their own, though it should be more than obvious that some rich gentrified yuppie deskjob dude did not write those songs about being heartbroken on the street or their friends all croaking from dope. I kind got this newish job as a part time ranch hand, ya know, whatever they need me to do, so I kinda just gotta wait around on call, and can’t get too involved with any of my own projects because I might have to work later today-usually moving stuff around really. Move this stack of wood from here to there, roll these heavy cement planters into the barn, move this fifties heavyass washing machine, weed whack that acre-paint this room–that kinda shit, but the money’s okay and I got a lot of expenses now, preparing to relocate. Gotta lotta packing done this morning, but you know how it is, the work is never ending. I always swing between dark depression and intense PTSD anxiety. One of my part time Bossladies called and said I gotta go tear down a bunch of rotten cardboard boxes covered with brown recluse and black widow spiders and remove some yard debris during my usual dinnertime. Me and the employer keep opposite hours but she gets to make the schedule. At least she’s into like, gardening, she’s gonna teach us how to grow our own food. We need to start gardening more caue the grocery is such a ripoff withh the post Covid Great Reset inflation bullshit. A ninety nine scent bottle of water is now a dollar seventy post plague and my idiot former peers just CHEER for more wra in the Ukraine, with China, with Iran, they are warpigs in pink wigs My kid’s going through a crazy med change and played hooky from his part time job, so he’s here talking non stop about karate, fireworks, ordering Chinese replicas of hype beast namebrand shoes. No mail came today, I’m crabby, wanna drink.
“Wondering how many funerals that I will attend of Black people close to me dying prematurely before so-called leftists in the U.S. will realize that racism is inseparable from the class struggle. I am on number five.” (-Danny Haiphong)
“Every election Democrats tell us “democracy and basic human rights are on the ballot”—but when they have power they don’t actually fight for democracy or human rights. They fight for Big Business, the ruling class, and the military industrial complex just like the Republicans do.” (-Ryan Knight)
“BREAKING: Mass media still totally silent two weeks after UN Secretary General says world’s biggest carbon emitters (like the US military, for example) must drastically cut emissions starting now in 2022 if global climate catastrophe is to be averted.” (-CGoustin)
“I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad. The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.” (-Tears For Fears)
It’s with a bit of heavy heart that me and my peeps have realized it is time to mosey on down the road. Shady developers, psycho neighbors, city hall corruption, gentrifier delusions, all kinds of unwanted new traffic and a bridge being built on my deadend street against the wishes of every home owner on the block, are just some of the reasons we’ll be moving on, but this old trailer has been mostly good to us these past five years, other than one traumatizing incident involving a middle class predator we had the misfortune of interacting with. I just see lots of work ahead. I was listening to that sensational band, THE BOYS, this morning, and thinking about time and the aging process and the ongoing desire I have to put my tunes on tape. I did the roll call of former bandmates last week-you got the unemployable cat who relies on the kindness of strangers on permanent couch tour who I can not provide for with my dishwasher salary; the busy uptown millionaire with his personal assistants who aint really into music no more and has no time for me cause we aint into the same shit at all, he’s on his own solo trip now; about three guys who play in big fish in small pond local bands with well to do hipsters who bankroll all their shit who are already kinda spoken for; a lovable old writer who is a fine bassist but works for The Man; and a couple of hired gun salaried mercenary types who only showup for big money name bands. Couple other guys from Boston who used to play music with my group are just too rich to wanna rock with us antisocial glamarchist types, any longer-they might like the Pogues or Tom Waits, but they got yachts and recording studios and rolling plantations, so they don’t really get where we’re coming from no more, if they ever faintly did-they mostly seem to exclusively socialize with their wives and parents. Cloistered country club people-a shame they choose to no longer consort with the permanently exiled poor white trash likes of myself now they are past their college slumming phase, though, cause they could actually play their instruments very well and were very capable producer-arranger-collaborators, high harmony background singers, they gave my sleazy ghetto trash punk rock some Beach Boys appeal. WE used to have a lotta laughs til the wives made ’em get serious about you know-real estate. I’m probably gonna resort to buying some drums and a bass and getting busy doing it myself, in the new garage, Mary Chain style. Everybody gets in to music for different reasons, ya know? Some for the girls, some for the money, some to fit in with rich people in the expensive imported leather clothes at the fat actor bar, the pretentious assholes who collected more Johnny Thunders picture discs than thou, some for the wild expression of human emotion. I would be in that final category. I’m still trying to tell my side of the story before it’s too late, organize and archive the pictures we took on the trip for my absentee children and the generations to come. Sometimes, you mistakenly think people love you, if they model themselves after you, fraternize with all your former associates, cover your songs, befriend your exes on the False-Books, but they are just kinda using your shit to be seen on the scene, ya know? In this lifetime, not everybody that we loved will be capable of really loving us back, or giving a real sincere flying fuck about what happens to us. There are a lot of opportunistic, self important, narcissistic, one upping, fake motherfuckers out there in this bullshit society-they program ’em to be like that. Tiktok celebrities, brand building influencers, terminal wannabes and remorseless plagiarists. Ladder climbers. Backstabbing whores for fame. Snakes in the grass. Crazy new neighbor has the obligatory oversized growling dogs and the “Let’s Go Brandon” sign in his front yard, plays Kid Rock real loud. I dropped a postcard on an old hombre and former collaborator but he has become too garage band famous with his collegetown frat rock band to bother writing me back. I hate this capitalist ratrace popularity contest bullshit all the middle class people are so sucked into. It is exactly like middle school forever. They all just wanna sit at the table with the fat jocks and Republikkkan oafs. Bummer. It is what it is. Makes me wanna go ever deeper into desert obscurity. Disappear. It’s strange imagining all the people I used to know in their boxes staring at little boxes. Sitting alone sober in a room feels like a prison sometimes, ya know, but everytime I made the foolish mistake of calling someone from the old days, I’m always so disappointed by how brainwashed they are. They all seem like commercials. Advertising slogans. Obeyers obeying the evil empire. Not my thing, man. I’m still rocknroll. I’ll tell you what is hard for me-being sober, doing nothing, staring at a hypnoscreen, the passivity of it all. Feels like punishment. And people you love who just aint the same no more, who have been assimilated into the herd mentality. Look at me, look at my namebrand designer object. The popularity chasers. Lames. Meanwhile, all the cool people I admired and took so much consolation from continue dropping like flies. I still aint “over” the sad deaths of my record store guru, Dave A., or former bass player Bobby C., or songwriting mentor PK, or Prince or Bowie or Nick Marsh. I struggle to accept this whole death thing. Helpless Mystery.
Last conversation I remember having with Nick was about HATS. One time decades ago, I got a hold of Marsh online inquiring about Rocco Barker’s wheareabouts hoping to draft him into one of my own illfated new wave crash and burn short lived super groups, and Nick, ever the charmer said, “I’LL play!” He was up for it. “What do you need Rocco for, when ya got me?” Cheetah Chrome had once said the same thing to me when my old pal the World Famous Mister Ratboy replaced me with my dear friend, Chris Barry. True story! Of course, even if I lived in London or wherever, I could not imagine asking one of my alltime fave frontmen to play second fiddle to me, but he was like that, a team player, gabba gabba hey. He was just all about rocknroll and having a good laugh. Nick Marsh was the one who casually suggested my halfass basement glam gang open up for him and Gigantic but the lead guitar shredder in my band turned it down instinctively cause he felt he’d been somehow unfairly put out by a NY Doll he arranged some miniature tour on behalf of, that was one of the big cracks between me and that dude. Sabotaging that little band when so many people wanted to see it fly. I still live for Flesh For Lulu, ya know? One of my all time favorite bands. “Seven Hail Marys”, “Roman Candle”, “Decline & Fall”, “Time & Space”, “I May Have Said You’re Beautiful”, “Postcards From Paradise”. I still listen to them all the time. Always thought that was the perfect model for a band. Dirty goth-part pop, part new wave, cool threads and influenced by the Stooges, Damned, and Bauhaus. “..Subterraneans, Hey where’ya going now – underground – everything happens after dark..” I’ll never know why people would rather be in all those Gotham City karaoke night so-so mediocre coverbands. I just don’t get that shit at all. Long Live The New Flesh!
“I talk about narrative all the time partly because narrative control is the source and foundation of the power of the US-centralized empire. The ability to control the way people think, act and vote with mass-scale psychological manipulation allows our rulers to dominate us more pervasively than we could ever be dominated by brute totalitarian force, which is why so much energy goes into keeping the people from controlling their own narratives. That’s all the current mainstream panic about “disinformation” is, for example. If narrative control were fully decentralized, our rulers couldn’t rule.” (-Caitlin Johnstone)
“A liberal democracy, in the eyes of the West, is a country in the Global South that opens itself up to interventionism and allows its resources to be looted by Western monopolies and oligopolies whilst its citizens wallow in poverty. That’s no democracy at all.” (-Mukoma J Asani)
“The World Council of Churches passed a resolution calling for Cuba to be removed from the U.S. list of countries sponsoring terrorism. Biden should listen and do this NOW! #letCubalive” (-Medea Benajmin)
“Joe Biden has openly said that the goal of its proxy war in Ukraine is to destroy Russia. He has openly floated the possibility of war with China over Taiwan. There truly is not a war in existence that Biden and the Democrats oppose.” (-Danny Haiphong)
If you try to follow me home tonight You will find everything that you’ve heard is right You’ll never return to the home you knew Leave it all behind, it’s up to you
Only Ones were, in my estimation, one of the greatest bands of all time-as I type this, my teenage son is telling me the neighbor’s goat, Jay Jay is missing. Anyways, one time my children’s mother was dumping me and it was mostly due to ya know me not having lots of money and my band breaking up-I had gained weight staying home, not drinking, changing diapers ya know and it seemed less and less likely I was gonna make it big in show business with the sidemen ditching me to go play in glorified fucking richkid zipcode coverbands, so I was spiralling and my old pen pal Nina Antonia was empathizing, she wrote me some beautiful letters I kept pinned to my wall for the longest time: “the human heart can only take so many mauling’s”. She totally got me. I used to exchange a lotta info on social media with my songwriting idol Perrett. He was a goodfella. That band were like the fucking Pretenders-all virtuosos. If I ever do get to make music at this point, the recordings need to be at that level. I love them so much. Peter seemed to share my love and respect for the Cuban Revolution.
You find it tempting to give up the ghost You always sell to the one who bids the most You get paid for your loyalty Waiting for someone to come along and set you free Can’t you hear me?
I want to die in the same place I was born Miles from nowhere I used to reach for the stars but now I’ve reformed She’s out there somewhere If you ever start thinking what you’re doing to me Maybe you will set me free From this sorrow From this sorrow From this sorrow
All the defendants have been condemned When you were sentenced it covered all of them Give me justice you scream and scream I ain’t done nothing, it’s all a crazy dream Can’t you hear me?
I want to die in the same place I was born Miles from nowhere I used to reach for the stars but now I’ve reformed She’s out there somewhere If you ever start thinking what you’re doing to me Maybe you will set me free From this sorrow From this sorrow From this sorrow
THE PIGS OF WAR ACCUSE CUBA OF SPONSORING TERROR BUT NOT SAUDI ARABIA OR ISRAEL. THE EMPIRE ARE THE TERRORISTS.
I made friends with those garage guys at the food truck way back when I worked at Rounder/Ryko records with a buncha music people, Kudgel, Elevator Drops, Corazon Higgins who I loved from Sugarbitch, a famous kid with a goatee named King Velveeduh who made naughty underground comix. I saw the Cheater Slicks play to empty rooms. Always loved Dave’s artwork. Tom and I were close friends for years. Used to try to get ’em to be my Birthday Party, but we ended up drinking instead. I remember a couple hard partier dudes who always used to hang around their house drinking and smoking with us, Jerry Wick and Jack Taylor, are both dead now, and also their friend Alpo from the Real Kids who Tom once told me their song, “My Friends” was partly about, in addition to myself. (RIP) They’ve done some unbelievably good work over the years. We always had a good time together. Their new lp with Bill Gage will probably go down in history as another sonic landmark from their psycho garage. They even toured with Andre Williams and the Muffs, appeared on my tv show and had Pussy Galore’s Jon Spencer (“BLUES EXPLOSION!!”) produce one of their records. Both him and his guitarist Judah were really nice to me but the abrasive, Yoko Ono knowing drummer was a fratboy oaf who coulda been an Afghan Whig.
“When it comes to imperialism, Democrats and Republicans are indistinguishable bloodthirsty anti-communists and racists Nicaragua has some of the lowest migration levels in Central America Most migrants are from Honduras (after a US-backed far-right coup), El Salvador, Guatemala. DHS data on undocumented immigrants detained in 2020: 318,516 Mexicans 61,382 Guatemalans 51,011 Hondurans 23,051 Salvadorans 13,028 Ecuadorians 11,227 Cubans 7917 Brazilians 2739 Nicaraguans 2220 Dominicans 1639 Venezuelans Blaming “communism” is insane.” (-Ben Norton)
“You already know some devious shit about to go down when the likes of Pelosi suddenly show up at another country’s doorstep.” (-Richard Medhurst)
Nineteen members of the US House of Representatives have written a letter [PDF] to President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin cautioning that the partial cancellation of student debts can have the unintended consequence of reducing military recruitment in the United States.The letter reads as follows:Dear President Biden,We write to you to share our concerns about the unintended consequences of your decision to cancel up to $20,000 of student loan debt per borrower. We are particularly concerned about the negative impact this will surely have on our nation’s military and their ability to recruit and retain top talent.As you know, some of the most successful recruiting incentives for the military are the GI Bill and student loan forgiveness programs. The idea that the military will pay for schooling during or after completion of a service obligation is a driving factor in many individuals’ decision to join one of the services. A recent estimate showed that as many as 178,000 servicemembers were eligible for some type of forgiveness.By forgiving such a wide swath of loans for borrowers, you are removing any leverage the Department of Defense maintained as one of the fastest and easiest ways to pay for higher education. We recognize the loan forgiveness programs have issues of their own, but this remains a top recruiting incentive.Currently, a mere 23 percent of the population is eligible to serve in the military. Even fewer of those have a propensity to serve. At the end of last month, the Army had only reached 66 percent of its recruiting goal for the year. The Navy, only 89 percent. It is no secret that each of the services continues to battle hardships in recruiting and now these problems will be exacerbated by removing the uniqueness of this benefit.As the services try to adopt unique approaches to tackle their recruiting challenges, including historic bonuses, it feels like their legs are being cut out from underneath them. With this in mind, we ask for you to provide us answers to the following questions:1. Was the effect on military service considered in the development of the recent student loan forgiveness decision?2. What is the administration’s plan to develop incentives to augment the loss of those who might join the military to help pay off student loans?3. What improvements are being made to ensure timely payments to those currently enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs for both active duty and reserve components?Thank you for your attention to this matter.My House colleagues and I are very concerned that the deeply flawed and unfair policy of blanket student loan forgiveness will also weaken our most powerful recruiting tool at the precise moment we are experiencing a crisis in military recruiting. https://t.co/vGEfKq0PRC— Rep. Don Bacon (@RepDonBacon) September 19, 2022So they’re just coming right out and admitting it. One of the reasons the US government doesn’t offer the same kinds of social support systems that people have in all other wealthy nations is because otherwise there’d be no economic pressure on young Americans to sign up for service in the US war machine.This is no secret, but it’s generally considered taboo for government officials to actually say so. People have been talking about the poverty draft for many years — about the established fact that a majority of US military recruits come from neighborhoods with below median income levels and that those neighborhoods are targeted for recruitment because impoverished communities often see military service as their only chance at upward mobility.But the term “poverty draft” can create a bit of confusion, because when most Americans hear “poverty” they think homeless people and those who can barely afford to eat or keep a roof over their heads. In reality the US is a nation where a majority of the population would be unable to pay for a $1,000 emergency expense from their savings, and the level at which economic pressure is felt to join the military is much higher than the very poorest of the poor.Those economic pressures are why US Army officials have explicitly said that the student loan crisis is to thank for their success in meeting recruitment goals.How did the Army exceed its recruiting goals this year? It was the student loan crisis, not the wars, service leaders say. https://t.co/cGquM88Lhipic.twitter.com/eDx73KCetz— Military Times (@MilitaryTimes) September 17, 2019So the US empire has a huge incentive to maintain a very large population of Americans who are economically uncomfortable, and this plays a significant role in the domestic policymaking decisions of that nation’s government. The US empire is held together by constant violence and the threat thereof, and its ability to apply that violence would be crippled without a steady supply of warm teenage bodies to feed into its war machine. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the US empire would collapse without the economic pressures which coerce teens to sign up to kill and be killed over things like oil reserves and Raytheon profit margins.It’s one of those things that looks more ghoulish the more you think about it. In the wealthiest nation in the world, economic justice is actively suppressed in part to ensure that young Americans will feel financially squeezed into killing foreigners who are far more impoverished than they are. They are keeping people poor so that they will commit mass murder. It’s actually hard to think of anything more depraved than that.But such is the nature of the capitalist empire. You’re either a useful gear-turner of the machine or you are liquidated and turned into fuel for its engine. If you’re not a successful capitalist you can be used to defend the empire with pricey weaponry. If you’re not helping the empire you can be used to drive up profits for the military-industrial complex as a target for war machinery whose costly munitions will need to be replaced. If you’re not a good gear-turner you can be sent to become a prison slave or incarcerated in a private for-profit prison. There’s a use for everyone in the empire.The globe-spanning power structure that is centralized around the United States is the most evil, soulless and destructive force on this planet. The young people who are duped, manipulated and financially coerced into joining its war machine come back horrifically traumatized by the experiences they have in the situations they are placed in. Something better is needed. This cannot continue.______________(cAITLIN jOHNSTONE) Michael Parenti: How To Think About Class – Dandelion Salad (wordpress.com)
I don’t know ’bout you, but I’m not really sleeping. Restless and upset about this Assange railroading. Call me old fashioned, I still believe in freedom, autonomy, sovereignty, legit democracy, free speech, and a free press-and REAL ROCKNROLL. I don’t know if you know, or noticed, or can even bring yourself to believe it, but since the perverse Citizen United shady supreme court ruling that made it legal for corporations to outright, straightup just buy politicians saying bribery money is free speech, the bad guy billionaires have bought up all the institutions and media and regulatory agencies and social safety nets that were supposed to protect us and weaponzized ’em against us. Even misusing the traditional lexicon of real people’s movements, hijacking that shit for profit. CIA people posing as journalists. Journalists kidnapped and killed. The whole shebang is fucked up and we are ruled by shadow tyrants we never really voted for. Stiv sang, “they take their pills and they never question why”. Today’s red carpet rockstars help The Man gaslight the people when they actively promote creepy elite abusive reset agendas, and act as propagandists brazenly promoting bullshit wars, police state spying, journalists in torture gulags, and official narratives, alla showbiz has been weaponized. If you want a job in the fields of media or entertainment now, you gotta be on board with the one world government sleaze-police. All the comedians, whistleblowers, truth tellers, even medical professionals and intelligence experts who deviate at all from strict top down narrative control are being relentlessly censored, deplatformed, smeared and demonetized. In the words of Lee Camp who’s been kicked off multiple platforms for his anti imperialist views, and advocating for Assange, “This is the most disgusting morally bankrupt decision in recent years. The UK Home Secretary just now signed off on extraditing Julian Assange to the US to be tortured for the rest of his life for the crime of journalism.” Never forget the champagne swilling fake punks and soldout cowardly politicians who never fought for Julian Assange. THANKS to Vivien Westwood, Banksy, Pamela Anderson and Susan Sarandon for championing a genuine free press that holds the powerful to account.
Here’s a cool cat who never gets enough credit, the good brother BOOTSEY. He was a “Pusherman Of Love”. It’s funny ya know I met that dude through a weird series of events like twenty some years ago and did not “get” him at first. I remember looking at like, his low budget artwork and hearing all his machinegun speed raps and faster than light velocity and kung fu moves and James Brown kneedrops and elaborate high five handshakes and shit, and it took me awhile for it to set in, what a righteous rocknroll motherfucker he was. One of a kind. He’d drummed for a famous Detroit punk band called The Mutants and lobbied actively for the drumstool in one of my shortlived garage gangs, offered to put me and my old lady up when we were homeless. His apartment burntdown back in the day with all the rare records and shit and I told Brother Wayne and him n Margaret sent Bootsy a check to help out-how cool and right the fuck is that? Man, so yeah. If you like crazy goodtimes Motor City Motorbooty Motherfuckery, here’s some BOOTSY X & THE LOVEMASTERS for ya. I miss the brother, he was good people. (RIP)
Also really missing the midwestern legend “Cowboy” BOBBY CLOYD who played in summa my smalltown post punk and new wave bands back in the 80’s.
“Juneteenth’s only value is if it becomes a day of serious study and political education. That process can start with learning why “Jim Crow Joe” Biden received 90% of the Black vote or why the 2020 rebellions after George Floyd’s murder created a need for the state to placate Black people, if only symbolically. The Civil War is a perfect starting point for this practice. If there is a day off it should be used wisely and well. In the future, all people’s holidays should stay that way. Perhaps they should be kept secret so that commemorations aren’t used to give legitimacy to bad actors. It is too late for Juneteenth, but the hard lesson can be the beginning of something far more valuable.”
(-Margaret Kimberley) “Hard to express how much better US political discourse — and policy — would be if the left had an actual anti-establishment dissident-leader like
@JLMelenchon. But alas, it only has Dem Party loyalists like Bernie and AOC who play-act, then faithfully snap into line.” (-Glenn Greenwald)
“Even though I have some issues with Melenchon, this is a left position. Unlike the pro-U.S. imperialist collaborators & left opportunists we have in the U.S. You know, the ones who believed Russiagate, condemned Assange & get misty eyed when they hear Zelensky.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“Venezuelan fake president Juan Guaido was attacked the other day, having his clothes ripped off. Only the US could create & continue to support such a clown. Only the US has the hubris to think we can announce a random hack as the president of another country.” (-Lee Camp)
“What a coward Anthony Albanese is. Julian #Assange‘s approved extradition has stirred not a peep from the new PM of Julian’s homeland, where Labor’s doe-eyed believe ‘Albo’ is different in Washington-sucking Canberra. No, he’s not. The killing of #Assange is our final surrender.” (-John Pilger)
“So Marjorie Taylor Greene is standing up for Julian Assange and press freedom while
and the squad remain silent. If this doesn’t wake you up to how phony and fake these so-called progressives are then nothing will. #FraudSquad” (-Ryan Knight)
“If I’m Prime Minister on Monday, Julian will be naturalized a French citizen and we will ask for him to be sent to us. Mr. Assange should be decorated for his services to the French people.” (- Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of France’s left coalition NUPES)
“Compare this statement to the complete and absolute silence from
on Julian Assange. This is what a proper, outspoken left sounds like, not that garbage they give you from the Democratic party.” (-Richard Medhurst)
FREE ASSANGE! RESIST THE HONKY DEATH MACHINE! FIGHT THE POWER!
Man, the empire could care less about freedom, democracy, human rights, the emperor is naked and none of the people I grew up with can even like THINK anymore, they just do and say whatever the tv tells them to, it’s REALLY “Twilight Zone”. They never even freed Leonard Peltier, and it seems these insanely sociopathic ruling class evil oligarchs are hellbent on crucifying Assange, it is sickening to me, that people are still insisting they live in any kind of democracy, when obviously, everything is being done now exclusively to benefit weaponmaker profits, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, Harari and Schwab’s preferences, they own the media, the government, the regulatory agencies, the whole system is corrupt. It’s all a sham, man. The UK media even convinced the public that Corbyn was racist, same way Snaky Liz Warren smeared Sanders as a sexist. Now I don’t think Corbyn is racist and I think Bernie’s a sellout, not a sexist, but tv is a powerful drug, man, it just baffles the sheep into a helpless hypnospell. Black Rock and Vanguard are these obscene monopolies, buying up everything. EVERYTHING. Most people I know have never heard of either company. Like George Carlin said, THE OWNERS want to keep us stupid and have spent the past 25 years dumbing us down. I told myself and my imaginary constituents I was gonna step away from online content generating for awhile, but man, I’m so upset about poor saintly JULIAN ASSANGE, it affects my whole mood. I have to fight for whistleblowers while there is a breath left in my body. I think everybody with any kind of platform should do at least one thing for Assange everyday. He’s sacrificed everything for US Dumb motherfuckers who are fed a nonstop stream of pro war and police state propaganda, because they still impulsively watch legacy media, think they can be LEFTIST and not support ASSANGE, because their soldout, cowardly centrist shitlib politicians refuse to fight for him, and the tv people have slandered him so mercilessly. Hillary said she wanted to drone him-she said that IN PUBLIC and people I know are still peachy keen on her. Not me, man. I’m seeing people on THE RIGHT stepping up to defend ASSANGE, but not your pants suit mimosa brunching heroines of the squad, or fakeass, Biden endorsing, Sanders. BATSHIT! THAT IS BATSHIT! People I used to know are STILL making excuses for BIDEN and blaming TRUMP for everything fuckedup BIDEN does. Sheer madness! Lyn Cheney is a diabolical fascist, she is not your friend-her family privatized endless war by hiring all those proxy armies to topple other people’s governments, they built torture gulags and spy on your phonecalls and grope your granny in the airports but mf’s still think she is their special friend cause Trump said sexist shit to Billy Bush. No shitlibs stopped to ask themselves, why are BUSH relatives embedded in the legacy media. This country is hopeless. One of my activist comrades who was a powerful advocate for houseless people in the Pacific Northwest moved to FRANCE and says Murkkkans would SHIT themselves if they found out how much groovier and free it is there. I hope the Klaus Schwab puppet Macron loses his election, but fear the globalists in charge of the voting software will have it fixed. Nobody in my country besides the banking elites, military industrial complex and big pharma ever wanted Biden, and I’ll never believe he beat Bernie on Super Tuesday in Michigan, but here he is, the “nothing will change” guy, sniffing your daughter’s hair, playing chicken with nukes and allowing corporations to hammer us everyday people senseless with their ruthless price gouging under cover of Covid and their fucking played out “Russiagate!” narratives and Capitol Hill bullshit. Sanders tax the rich platform filled stadiums but he tragically got in line when the higher ups told him to. Won’t even stand up for Assange. PATHETIC! SAD! FRIGHTENING, really. I guess he really was just a sheepdog for the DNC, looks like it’s up to you and me, now.
I just finished Debbie Harry‘s autobiography that I got for Father’s Day and man it is so good-what a life she had! Did acid with Alan Watts and Timothy Leary. Living on Saint Mark’s Place in the sixties, going to the Dom to see the Velvets, hangin’ out with the Dolls, friends with Basquiat and Burroughs, muse of Warhol, brushing with Ali and Dahli, she waited on Miles at Max’s! Acted in “HAIRSPRAY”, John Waters best movie! Made her own clothes, lived by her own rules, did drugs, had sex, explored every kind of underground culture, helped invent punk rock and new wave. Took Duran on tour. Sacrificed her career to care for her loved one, something that she shrugs off as no big deal, just because she is a thoroughly decent and sincere, loving human being in a time when most people only give a fuck about their own money, property, fame or prestige. She basically did everything they torture and punish people for in the flyover states-she was a true trailblazing, hell raising, punk bohemian from way back! I love her! BLONDIE are still so great! Clem is probably my fave drummer. She’s so groovy, such a dream. Overcame all kinds of harrowing horrors and horrific experiences, and still shines bright from the inside out. Chris Stein did some production work for legendary Canadian rock star, Chris Barry from 39 Steps. None of these awful fucking McDonna mockingbird media mk ultra beta kitten techno hookers forced on us against our will nowadays can even hold a candle to her, man. She’s like 76 or something and she is still utterly fucking ATOMIC!
FLESH FOR LULU
It’s crazy listening to all the old music in these dark times cause even eighties bands we considered poppy lightweight fluff back in the day had so much better content than the toxic phony bullshit they hurl towards us nowadays. Can you imagine a rock group saying this kinda stuff getting ANY airplay now? Forget about it!
Me n Nick were Myspace pals and correspondents for years when I’d become primary caregiver of my two middle children and brought my older teenager into the house, but was still trying to get a little record deal on an indie label, and he even offered to let my tiny little, nobody band open for some dates when he and Rocco had scheduled like I dunno-a dozen reunion shows here in the states. A former bandmate put the ixnay on the opportunity, cause he was in several other bands already and kinda just probably spread himself too thin, already, which was always very sad to me cause I always looked up to Nick and Rocco, and had been a devoted fan of theirs from a young age. He’s another one of those blinding bright comets that you just always wish was still here with us “in the flesh”. I keep his wife and daughters in my prayers. We miss ya, Nick. I encouraged him to blow the cobwebs offa this old deep track and he brought it outta mothballs and started playing it again. (RIP) NICK
KARL ROVE BRAGGED ABOUT IT BACK IN THE 9/11 ERA-HOW THEY ARE AN EMPIRE NOW AND CAN ENFORCE ANY FALSE REALITY THEY WANT….
In October 2004, journalist Ron Suskind wrote a first-person article for The New York Times about the presidency of 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush, in which he included a grandiose quote from someone described only as a “senior adviser to Bush.”
Many have assumed the comment was made by Bush political adviser Karl Rove, though there isn’t any publicly available evidence to that effect. Here is what Suskind wrote:
The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
“On this day, it is worth remembering that corporate media outlets played a key role in condemning Julian Assange to his fate.” (-Alan MacLeod)
“Democrats spent years blaming their 2016 loss on Jill Stein and Susan Sarandon and then the second they got back in power they made their slogan “Vote for us because we’ll make everything more expensive and do absolutely nothing to help you.” (-Caitlin Johnstone)
WIKILEAKS BREAKING: UK Home Secretary approves extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the US where he would face a 175 year sentence – A dark day for Press freedom and for British democracy The decision will be appealed.
“Hard to believe, but it looks real. Every serious press freedom group in the world has protested this. It is an appalling symbol of how far the British and American governments’ commitment to human rights has declined. How can we condemn authoritarian abuses abroad like this?” (-Edward Snowden)
“Home Secretary Priti Patel has approved the extradition of Julian #Assange to an American hellhole. A new appeal will now challenge the political rottenness of British ‘justice’. Either we raise our voices as never before, or our silence colludes in the death of an heroic man.” (-John Pilger)
“NYC is one of the most expensive places to live on earth. The median rent has risen to $4000 in Manhattan. Homeless services and the education budget was slashed by over $200 million. Meanwhile, NYPD gets over 10.4 billion and Eric Adams is wondering why there’s crime.” (-Olayemi Olurin)
“Assange revealed United States war crimes so he went to prison and not the war criminals.” (-Black In The Empire)
“We’re going to fight this… I’m going to spend every waking hour fighting for Julian until he is free, until justice is served” (-Julian Assange’s wife responding to decision to approve his extradition to the US for publishing, where he faces a 175 year sentence)
“Julian Assange’s case is so important because we’ve lost journalism. We’ve lost the ability now to find the truth.”—
“Extraditing a foreign journalist for exposing your war crimes is as tyrannical an agenda as you could possibly come up with. The US, UK and Australia colluding toward this end shows us that these are member states of a single empire. Assange keeps exposing the true face of power.” (-Caitlyn Johnstone)
“Increases for the pentagon, increases for the domestic army known as the police. It is quite clear that the capitalist rulers are going to fight to the last working class & colonized person to maintain white Western colonial/capitalist dominance.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“The Home Secretary’s decision to allow Julian Assange’s extradition to the US is utterly wrong and marks a very dark day for press freedom and the justice system. We will continue the fight to free Julian Assange.”
“(It) has really been a war waged via technologies and their masters to dissolve human culture and disempower human beings. It is a war on free thought and free speech — a war against our most fundamental beliefs.” (- Dr Naomi Wolf)
“We know one of the reasons the U.S. backed a coup in Haiti is because they were thinking of raising the minimum wage. And of course, multinational corporations could not have that.” WATCH
Man, I remember the suckshit nineties when it all started going downhill, ya know for a few years, big record labels just signed so much horrible shit, post Nirvana, I really do feel like they were trying to assassinate real rocknroll systemically. In all the even medium sized cities, all these franchise clone tribute acts killed any kind of genuine music scenes with their high school social jockeying richkid reindeer games and sadly derivative, second hand, trust fund garbage-rawk. One band from that time that was writing standout, standup, REAL HEARTFELT POP music, the likes of which we never seem to hear anymore were Material Issue, who were too good for this world. Of course their genius singer songwriter, JIM ELLISON killed himself over a loveless chick. (RIP)
They don’t write ’em like this no more:
THEY WROTE FROM THE HEART!
My ace best pals and me used to follow CIRCUS OF POWER around as kids, I mean we’d drive fifteen hours to see ’em, no sweat, just loved their music and whole vibe really. They were like our Doors or Stones. They were all really nice to us, too, which was thrilling, cause at least a couple of us were much hated Edward Scissorhands outcasts in the hick town where we grew up. Meant a lot when some cool older rocknroll dudes kinda went outta their way to talk to us and ask us sensitive questions and let us drink backstage with ’em. Then they stroll out on stage and tear the damn place down. FREAK SOCIETY! Now Gary writes songs like a cross between Tom Petty and Paul Westerberg, lives in the midwest, plays intimate gigs at pizza places and bars, sometimes accompanied by his teenage daughter who sings. He guest starred on a recent CIRCUS OF POWER tune called “Magic Gator Boogie”. Ryan sadly passed away, Ricky is still in L.A., I think he sells guitars. No idea whatever happened to Zowie, but if you do, hit me up. You can find Gary on Facebook.
They got some comedian insisting cancel culture is relative but some voices are not even allowed near a microphone anymore because they contradict official narratives and that freak out the control crazy neocon deep state establishment. Like Hersh, who said the whole official Bin Ladin story was just fake ass fictitious boogeyman bullshit. Pulitzer prize winning old school journalist Seymour Hersh is shadow banned by big 5 corporations media. But your shitlib friends only watch tv and only care about official television narratives.
It is perfectly obvious by now, to anyone who cares to look, that mainstream media in America and the other Western powers are not reporting the Ukraine crisis accurately.
Let me try that another way: The government-supervised New York Times and the rest of the corporate-owned media on both sides of the Atlantic lie routinely to their readers and viewers as to why Russia intervened in Ukraine, the progress of its military operation, the conduct of Ukrainian forces, and America’s role in purposely provoking and prolonging this crisis.
So far as I know, this is the first war in modern history with no objective, principled coverage in mainstream media of day-to-day events and their context. None. It is morn-to-night propaganda, disinformation and lies of omission — most of it fashioned by the Nazi-infested Zelensky regime in Kiev and repeated uncritically as fact.
There is one thing worse than this degenerate state of affairs. It is the extent to which the media’s malpractice is perfectly fine to most Americans. Tell us what to think and believe no matter if it is true, they say, and we will think and believe it. Show us some pictures, for images are all.
There are larger implications to consider here. Critical as it is that we understand this conflict, Ukraine is a mirror in which we see ourselves as we have become. For more Americans than I wish were so, reality forms only in images. These Americans are no longer occupants of their own lives. Risking a paradox, what they take to be reality is detached from reality.
This majority — and it is almost certainly a majority — has no thoughts or views except those first verified through the machinery of manufactured images and “facts.” Television screens, the pages of purportedly authoritative newspapers, the air waves of government-funded radio stations — NPR, the BBC — serve to certify realities that do not have to be real, truths that do not have to be true.
This leaves us in a sad and very parlous place.
Sad: Is there some state more pitiful than having no genuine connection to one’s own thoughts, perceptions, experience—altogether to one’s life? If Americans are not a profoundly sad people behind all the smiles we see in advertising, idiotic comedy shows, and on Facebook, then I must be missing something.
Parlous: Over the course of some decades — from the mid–Cold War years, I would say — Americans have been rendered highly vulnerable to the manipulations of those who control the images through which most people have come to live. Anyone who has read a history of the 20th century knows where this can lead.
The five weeks that have passed since the Russian intervention on Feb. 24 have been shocking on both these counts. The derelictions of the press and broadcasters are without precedent in my lifetime, and with Vietnam, the Iraq War, and the covert operation in Syria among the wreckage in the rearview mirror, this is saying something.
I will let the American public’s enthusiasm for the sinkhole that is Ukraine, the Azov Battalion, and the ridiculous posturing of President Volodymyr Zelensky, the comedian who is no longer funny, speak for itself.
I dunno how I feel about these guys really, it’s mixed cause obviously they can PLAY and I get why Dweezil Zappa and the Van Halen News Desk love ’em, they share some of the same influences and style as me and my teenage cohorts, but what is it? I can’t quite put my finger on it, just for me, it feels like something’s missing, just hard not to smile when I hear these guys singing about the real nitty gritty with all their slickness and fancy shit. But def. worth mentioning.
The eleven-year persecution of Julian Assangewas extended and escalated on Friday morning.The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, approved the U.S.’s extradition request to send Julian Assange to Virginia to stand trial on eighteen felony charges under the 1917 Espionage Act and other statutes in connection with the 2010 publication by WikiLeaks of thousands of documents showing widespread corruption, deceit, and war crimes by American and British authorities along with their close dictatorial allies in the Middle East.
This decision is unsurprising — it has been obvious for years that the U.S. and UK are determined to destroy Assange as punishment for his journalism exposing their crimes — yet it nonetheless further highlights the utter sham of American and British sermons about freedom, democracy and a free press. Those performative self-glorifying spectacles are constantly deployed to justify these two countries’ interference in and attacks on other nations, and to allow their citizens to feel a sense of superiority about the nature of their governments. After all, if the U.S. and UK stand for freedom and against tyranny, who could possibly oppose their wars and interventions in the name of advancing such lofty goals and noble values?
Having reported on the Assange case for years, on countless occasions I’ve laid out the detailed background that led Assange and the U.S. to this point. There is thus no need to recount all of that again; those interested can read the granular trajectory of this persecution here or here. Suffice to say, Assange — without having been convicted of any crime other than bail jumping, for which he long ago served out his fifty-week sentence — has been in effective imprisonment for more than a decade.
In 2012, Ecuador granted Assange legal asylum from political persecution. It did so after the Swedish government refused to pledge that it would not exploit the WikiLeaks founder’s travel to Sweden to answer sex assault accusations as a pretext to turn him over to the U.S. Fearing what of course ended up happening — that the U.S. was determined to do everything possible to drag Assange back to U.S. soil despite his not being a U.S. citizen and never having spent more than a few days on U.S. soil, and intending to pressure their long-time-submissive Swedish allies to turn him over once he was on Swedish soil — the government of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa concluded Assange’s core civic rights were being denied and thus gave him refuge in the tiny Ecuadorian Embassy in London: the classic reason political asylum exists.
When Trump officials led by CIA Director Mike Pompeo bullied Correa’s meek successor, ex-President Lenin Moreno, to withdraw that asylum in 2019, the London Police entered the embassy, arrested Assange, and put him in the high-security Belmarsh prison (which the BBC in 2004 dubbed “the British Guantanamo”), where he has remained ever since.
After the lowest-level British court in early 2021 rejected the U.S. extradition request on the ground that Assange’s physical and mental health could not endure the U.S. prison system, Assange has lost every subsequent appeal. Last year, he was permitted to marry his long-time girlfriend, the British human rights lawyer Stella Morris Assange, who is also the mother of their two young children. An extremely unusual unanimity among press freedom and civil liberties groups was formed in early 2021 to urge the Biden administration to cease its prosecution of Assange, but Biden officials — despite spending the Trump years masquerading as press freedom advocates — ignored them (an interview conducted last week with Stella Assange by my husband, the Brazilian Congressman David Miranda, on Brazil’s Press Freedom Day, regarding the latest developments and toll this has taken on the Assange family, can be seen here).
The Home Secretary’s decision this morning — characteristically subservient and obedient of the British when it comes to the demands of the U.S. — does not mean that Assange’s presence on U.S. soil is imminent. Under British law, Assange has the right to pursue a series of appeals contesting the Home Secretary’s decision, and will likely do so. Given that the British judiciary has more or less announced in advance their determination to follow the orders of their American masters, it is difficult to see how these further proceedings will have any effect other than to delay the inevitable.
But putting oneself in Assange’s position, it is easy to see why he is so eager to avoid extradition to the U.S. for as long as possible. The Espionage Act of 1917 is a nasty and repressive piece of legislation. It was designed by Woodrow Wilson and his band of authoritarian progressives to criminalize dissent against Wilson’s decision to involve the U.S. in World War I. It was used primarily to imprison anti-war leftists such as Eugene Debs, as well as anti-war religious leaders such as Joseph Franklin Rutherford for the crime of publishing a book condemning Wilson’s foreign policy.
One of the most insidious despotic innovations of the Obama administration was to repurpose and revitalize the Wilson-era Espionage Act as an all-purpose weapon to punish whistleblowers who denounced Obama’s policies. The Obama Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder prosecuted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act of 1917 than all previous administrations combined — in fact, three times as many as all prior presidents combined. One whistleblower charged by Obama officials under that law is NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who in 2013 revealed mass domestic spying of precisely the kind that Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (now of CNN) falsely denied conducting when testifying to the Senate, which led to legislative curbs enacted by the U.S. Congress, and which courts have ruled unconstitutional and illegal.
What makes this law so insidious is that, by design, it is almost impossible for the government to lose. As I detailed in a Washington Post op-ed when the indictment was first revealed — arguing why it poses the greatest threat to press freedoms in the West in years — this 1917 law is written as a “strict liability” statute, meaning that the defendant is not only guilty as soon as there is proof that they disclosed classified information without authorization, but they are also barred from raising a “justification” defense — meaning they cannot argue to the jury of their peers that it was not only permissible but morally necessary to disclose that information because of the serious wrongdoing and criminality it revealed on the part of the nation’s most powerful political officials. That 1917 law, in other words, is written to offer only show trials but not fair trials. No person in their right mind would willingly submit to prosecution and life imprisonment in the harshest American penitentiaries under an indictment brought under this fundamentally corrupted law.
Whatever else one might think of Assange, there is simply no question that he is one of the most consequential, pioneering, and accomplished journalists of his time. One could easily make the case that he occupies the top spot by himself. And that, of course, is precisely why he is in prison: because, just like free speech, “free press” guarantees in the U.S. and UK exist only on a piece of parchment and in theory. Citizens are free to do “journalism” as long as it does not disturb or anger or impede real power centers. Employees of The Washington Post and CNN are “free” to say what they want as long as what they are saying is approved and directed by the CIA or the content of their “reporting” advances the interests of the Pentagon’s sprawling war machine.
Real journalists often face threats of prosecution, imprisonment or even murder, and sometimes even mean tweets. Much of the American corporate media class has ignored Assange’s persecution or even cheered it precisely because he shames them, serving as a vivid mirror to show them what real journalism is and how they are completely bereft of it. And the American and British governments have successfully exploited the petty jealousies and insecurities of their failed, vapid and pointless media servants to get away with imposing the single greatest threat to press freedom in the West without much protest at all.
Free speech and press freedoms do not exist in reality in the U.S. or the UK. They are merely rhetorical instruments to propagandize their domestic population and justify and ennoble the various wars and other forms of subversion they constantly wage in other countries in the name of upholding values they themselves do not support. The Julian Assange persecution is a great personal tragedy, a political travesty and a grave danger to basic civic freedoms. But it is also a bright and enduring monument to the fraud and deceit that lies at the heart of these two governments’ depictions of who and what they are. (-GLENN GREENWALD)
“Everyone’s a fink in the new America.” (-Falling James)
“Be wary of those who are more concerned about the expression of your pain than they are the condition of your suffering!” (-Heber Brown III, Baltimore leader)
“The country’s moved so far to the right…..on domestic policy, Obama is to the right of Nixon. That’s just fact. So the center keeps shifting…” (-John Cusack)
“But by this time I was acutely conscious of the gap between law and justice. I knew that the letter of the law was not as important as who held the power in any real-life situation.”
(-Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
“As long as you’re scared, you’re on the plantation.”
(-Dr. Cornel West.)
“If there isn’t a sea change soon, then we really are fucking doomed. Unless of course, total compliance with authority at all times is your bag. It ain’t mine.” (-Ray Gange)
“TV in America created the most coherent reality distortion field that I’ve ever seen. Therein is the problem: People who vote watch TV, and they are hallucinating like a sonofabitch. Basically, what we have in this country is government by hallucinating mob.” (-John Perry Barlow)
“Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival….”
(– Frederick Douglass)
“There is a huge body of evidence to support the notion that me and the police were put on this earth to do extremely different things.” (- Hunter S. Thompson)
“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world.”
(-Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces)
“Dr. King’s policy was that nonviolence would achieve the gains for black people in the United States. His major assumption was that if you are nonviolent, if you suffer, your opponent will see your suffering and will be moved to change his heart. That’s very good. He only made one fallacious assumption: In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.” (-Stokely Carmichael)
“The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital. The live green earth is transformed into dead gold bricks, with luxury items for the few and toxic slag heaps for the many. The glittering mansion overlooks a vast sprawl of shanty towns, wherein a desperate, demoralized humanity is kept in line with drugs, television, and armed force.”
(― Michael Parenti, Against Empire)
“Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.” (-Lindsey Graham)
“My home is not threatened by ISIS, my home is threatened by the police. The police are licensed to kill us, children, old people…Nobody from ISIS terrorized us as a people as the police do daily and they get away with it.” (-Senator Ernie Chambers of Nebraska)
“FaceBook postings on the subject of the Baltimore uprising are being blocked; peaceful protestors in New York City are attacked and 300 demonstrators are arbitrarily arrested during a march against police violence by irony-impervious cops; the corporate press arrive on scene in Baltimore and display an obsessive focus on the sensational sans a scintilla of deepening historical and social context.
Yet we, in the U.S., are exhorted to show gratitude for our freedoms. Accordingly, you have the freedom to consume and submit to wage and debt slavery. You have the freedom to admire or loathe the celebrity of your choice. And to post pictures on social media of kitty cats positing positive affirmations or, if you dare to be so bold, bandying a bit of snark.
You have the freedom to express any opinion or work for any cause that you desire as long as said actions in no manner threaten (or even annoy) established corporate, police, or military power.
Withal, you have the freedom to shut your malcontent gob.” (-Phil Rockstroh)
“I fail to understand how so many Americans don’t seem to see that this country is now fully fascist aka corporatist or is now a government by corporate interests.
How can so many manage to deny so much reality?! We are spied upon continually with our tax money paying the surveillance industry; whistle blowers are prosecuted, but CIA torturers and bankers guilty of fraud are not prosecuted. Corporations are allowed to use this country’s huge prison population like slaves – simultaneously undermining labour standards for every working American. A new study by the IMF reveals that global fossil fuel subsidies come out to $10 million every minute, and there are also Big Agri business, and Big Pharma subsidies. You read that right, every minute.TPP is not going to benefit any American except the 1% and their corporate interests and to hell with the rest of us! We have a president who insists upon his ‘right’ to assassinate American citizens without benefit of a trial – a right no western monarch-has been able to claim since the 13th century, but – don’t worry, be happy – this country is still democratic and not at all fascist!
How more obvious can it be that when a Montsano exec is appointed to head the FDA, a cable lobbyist heads the FCC, a vocal proponent of fracking has been appointed energy tzar, and Wall St people run Treasury – this country is ran of by and for corporations. Americans have been lied into oil war after oil war. It is time to acknowledge that our political system has been the victim of a coup; it is now ran of, for and by corporations.” (-Kathleen Bushman)
“Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.” (-Derrick Jensen)
Code of laws
Code of the streets
It doesn’t matter. You will kill us and justify our murder.
You see no humanity in us. You only see a window into your greatest fears and worst nightmares.
Therefore, is not our duty to convince you that we are worthy of life and protection under the law. That’s not our case to make. You are not God. It is instead our duty to hold you accountable to the reality of our power when you have let the fantasy of white supremacy consume you.” (-Rahiel Tesfamariam)
“If middle-class Americans do not feel threatened by the slow encroachment of the police state or the Patriot Act, it is because they live comfortably enough and exercise their liberties very lightly, never testing the boundaries. You never know you are in a prison unless you try the door.”
(― Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War)
“I’d rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” (-Jack London)
“I can’t support her because I don’t support war, more war, Wall St. bonus bailouts, the NSA, the TSA, the drug war, asset forfeiture, for-profit prisons, drone bombings, domestic spying, militarized police and torture and I won’t support those policies no matter how they are packaged or marketed to me. She is as hawkish as any Neo-con on a bad day. Her record speaks for itself and is against the true core beliefs of most of those who support her as well as most Americans.” (-Bruce Fenton on Hillary Clinton)
“The poor in America are unorganized and largely mute. They are the least revolutionary proletariat in the world.” (-Gunnar Myrdal)
“The escalating deaths and sufferings in Black and poor America and the marvelous new militancy in our Ferguson moment should compel us to focus on what really matters: The life and death issues of police murders, poverty, mass incarceration, drones, TPP (unjust trade policies), vast surveillance, decrepit schools, unemployment, Wall Street power, Israeli occupation of Palestinians, Dalit resistance in India, and ecological catastrophe.
Character assassination is the refuge of… those who hide and conceal these issues in order to rationalize their own allegiance to the status quo. I am neither a saint nor prophet, but I am a Jesus-loving free Black man in a Great Tradition who intends to be faithful unto death in telling the truth and bearing witness to justice. I am not beholden to any administration, political party, TV channel or financial sponsor because loving suffering and struggling peoples is my point of reference. Deep integrity must trump cheap popularity. Nothing will stop or distract my work and witness, even as I learn from others and try not to hurt others.
But to pursue truth and justice is to live dangerously. In the spirit of John Coltrane’s LOVE SUPREME, let us focus on what really matters: the issues, policies, and realities that affect precious everyday people catching hell and how we can resist the lies and crimes of the status quo!” (-Dr. Cornel West)
“The corporations have taken over. Even in the recording studio. Actually, the corporate companies have taken over American life most everywhere. Go coast to coast and you will see people wearing the same clothes, thinking the same thoughts, eating the same food. Everything is processed.” (-Bob Dylan)
“That nothing is more insincere than purported U.S. concerns over political repression is too self-evident to debate. Supporting the most repressive regimes in order to suppress and control their populations is and long has been a staple of U.S. (and British) foreign policy. “Human rights” is the weapon invoked by the U.S. Government and its loyal media to cynically demonize regimes that refuse to follow U.S. dictates.” (- Glenn Greenwald)
“That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of… millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.”(-Orioles COO John Angelos)
“What I began to see is that the drug war is totally about race. If we locked up everybody, white and black, for doing the same drugs, they would have done the same thing they did with prohibition. They would have outlawed it.” (- former DEA agent Matthew Fogg)
“It’s not that I’m rebelling. It’s that I’m just trying to find another way.” (-Edie Sedgwick; Sixties Pop Art Youthquaker)
“Regarding White people, squinting through the gauzy confines of their bubble of privilege, and bandying words such as ‘thugs,’ ‘savages,’ and ‘animals’ at the denizens of the uprising in Baltimore who damaged a bit of property, yet the same White people remain (revealingly) silent when Blacks die at the hands of police —what else do you expect from the favored race of a nation created by a cabal of powdered wig-bedecked aristocrats, the so-called Founding Fathers, who, from the nation’s origins, made property rights paramount to human rights, and, in particular, the ‘right’ of White’s to deem African slaves and their progeny property?
In the White supremacist cosmology, internalized by the White majority, property is more valuable than the lives of African Americans. Such is the White mindset. This is the USA — a nation born in racism — a nation with a history that reeks of racism, and its present is defined by the mindset.
And, sadly, most White people are not going to change. They were born into a noxious, racist culture, their willfully and belligerently ignorant minds are marinaded in its fetid juices, and their shriveled, dead souls reek of it. There is no sense in trying to discuss the situation with them, for they will simply play victim when the evidence of their privileged racial status is laid out before them.
Deep down, they do not feel revulsion, rage, nor regret for the defacto lynching of US minorities by police, because they harbor this secret, that they do not dare reveal, even to themselves: Their privileged status was created and is maintained by acts of intimidation, enslavement, incarceration, and the outright slaughter of US minorities.” (-Phil Rockstroh)
“It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.” (- Martin Luther King, Jr.)
“Business associations, chambers of commerce, professional boards — don’t these work very much like the Soviet Party apparatus, an organizational parasite living off of the government and the people while claiming to be morally superior to it? What do these organizations do but create policies to further elite rule? Who has influence but those who nepotistically rise to the top?
What business, exactly, does *business* have in a democratic society? (Not commerce, mind you, which seems a general social exchange, but this culture of commercial interests organized around capitalism we call ‘business’.)
Business schools in particular — what exactly are these but training centers for the next generation of *managers* for global capital?
A business school is an empire management school.” (-John Monroe)
“Kanye represents all that is wrong with the current Zeitgeist. There is no substance, art or credibility to the man. To hear students defend the facile shit makes me want to weep.” (-Joseph Niven)
“All these beefy Caucasians with guns. Get enough of them together, looking for the America they always believed they’d grow up in, and they glom together like overcooked rice, form integral, starchy little units. With their power tools, portable generators, weapons, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and personal computers, they are like beavers hyped up on crystal meth, manic engineers without a blueprint, chewing through the wilderness, building things and abandoning them, altering the flow of mighty rivers and then moving on because the place ain’t what it used to be. The byproduct of the lifestyle is polluted rivers, greenhouse effect, spouse abuse, televangelists, and serial killers. But as long as you have that four-wheel-drive vehicle and can keep driving north, you can sustain it, keep moving just quickly enough to stay one step ahead of your own waste stream. In twenty years, ten million white people will converge on the north pole and park their bagos there. The low-grade waste heat of their thermodynamically intense lifestyle will turn the crystalline icescape pliable and treacherous. It will melt a hole through the polar icecap, and all that metal will sink to the bottom, sucking the biomass down with it.” (-Snow Crash )
“Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream of escaping poverty: that, one magical day, good luck will suddenly rain down on them – will rain down in buckets. But good luck doesn’t rain down, yesterday, today, tomorrow or ever. Good luck doesn’t even fall in a fine drizzle, no matter how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their left hand is tickling, or if they begin the new day on their right foot, or start the new year with a change of brooms. The nobodies…: nobody’s children, owners of nothing. The nobodies: the no-ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits, dying through life, screwed every which way. Who are not, but could be. Who don’t speak languages, but dialects. Who don’t have religions, but superstitions. Who don’t create art, but handicrafts. Who don’t have culture, but folklore. Who are not human beings, but human resources. Who do not have faces, but arms. Who do not have names, but numbers. Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the crime reports of the local paper. The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them.”
(— Eduardo Galeano, “The Nobodies”)
“Hillary Clinton is a ruthless neo-con warmonger and a heartless neo-liberal corporate operative. And no, she is not the lesser-of-two-evils (as if existence was… a binary phenomenon). She is the very embodiment of political arrogance, corporate despotism, and militarist imperium.
Any liberal/progressive who votes for her is as self-deluded about the nature of US cultural/social/political reality — and their own complicity in the fraud of the extant system of High Dollar owned-and-operated political duopoly — as is the Republican base that is peopled with country club elitist bigots and their low-end, sub-cretinous ranks of Teabag Party neo-Know Nothing dupes. And, no, the system isn’t broken; it was designed that way. Moreover, the economic/militarist elites who own and operate US political duopoly are pleased with the set-up. And they would thank you for your vote, that is, if they were not a cabal of psychopaths incapable of gratitude…..Obama has been worse than Bush/Cheney on human rights and civil liberties; has jailed more whistle blowers than all previous administrations combined; helped BP cover-up the Deep Water Horizon disaster; Obama has bombed seven nations — and drone murdered on three continents, and brags about his “Kill Lists” (Bush Jr.-style); He, Hillary and NATO were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands in Libya and left the nation a failed state. He bailed out Wall Street to the tune of more than a trillion dollars as he allowed Main Street to languish. He is, as we speak, attempting to implement a neo-liberal trade pact (Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement) that is even worse than corporate/bankster bagman Bill Clinton’s so-called free trade pacts that wrecked the US economy by shipping US jobs offshore. Obama restarted the Cold War by funding and setting into motion a neo-Nazi coup d’etat in Ukraine i.e., a single action worse than anything Nixon/Reagan/Bush 1 or 2 ever perpetrated. Yes, nice liberals, Democrats restarted the Cold War, and your complicity therein evinces a Tea Party level of political delusion. In short, Democrats are the more effective Republicans. ” (-Phil Rockstroh)
“The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.”(― bell hooks)
“Jill Stein should also be suing the thugs who arrested her in 2012, tied her to a chair in a black site for 8 hours, and then dumped her on the side of the road at night, without her cell phone. What was her crime? Trying to be included in the presidential debates, in which she had every to participate, being a legitimate candidate, on enough ballots to win the election, if people had the sense enough to quit being scared into voting for evil.” (-Paula Densnow)
“When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is ‘correct’ or ‘wise,’ any more than a forest fire can be ‘correct’ or ‘wise.’ Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the rioters themselves.” (-TaNehisi Coates)
“I think that if you think things are better under capitalism than say, feudalism, you’re coming from a white, middle-class perspective in terms of privilege. Capitalism requires slavery and exploitation to function, and capitalism in America would never have taken off without the slave trade. Those who have suffered greatest under capitalism undoubtedly are people of color, both historically and in the modern day. The exploitation of white people (save or perhaps the Irish) has nothing on the exploitation of blacks under capitalism, and Asians as well in the 1800s. Our current system would not function without an undocumented immigrant underclass that holds up the capitalist pyramid and are treated little better than slaves for it while those who benefit do everything to try to have them kicked out, not understanding how the system works in the first place. Its not a state vs private ownership matter. What most people call ‘communism’ is actually state capitalism and it doesn’t work any better than private capitalism. You can have private ownership and private commerce without the system we have today. And its not like the church/state issue. I strongly disagree that ‘the problem today isn’t capitalism.’ The problem today is ABSOLUTELY capitalism. Capitalism is literally threatening our very extinction as a species right now. We’ve gone through 90% of our natural resources in less than 200 years under capitalism. I’m not opposed to a market system – I’m opposed to a market system where some can become ridiculously wealthy while doing next to nothing for it while others underneath them are being abused and exploited to produce that wealth. We do not need to exploit and enslave others in order to survive. I also don’t know if an ‘anarchist’ system is the answer. I do think that worker-owned enterprises are a crucial and necessary first step. The issue is who controls the surplus value. When its controlled by capitalists, workers are exploited. When its controlled by workers, those who actually WORK can actually enjoy the fruits of their labor.” (-Alley Valkyrie)
“No one else in Western media has covered the fact that five peaceful Palestinian protesters were shot in their lower bodies by IDF and are hospitalized now …. How on earth is that not news ?” (-Naomi Wolf)
“There is an underside to every age about which history does not often speak, because history is written from records left by the privileged”.”(-Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States)
“The Democratic Party’s apologists like to call it a big tent with room for Blacks and browns and gays and labor and peace-loving people. But it’s actually a huge trap designed to contain and politically neutralize the folks who might otherwise turn against the rich. The Party has always been a scam, but at least in the old days it put on a populist show to fool the rank and file into believing that they could actually influence the party’s direction. However, Wall Street is determined that there will be no serious Democratic deviation from the corporate agenda set by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton would represent the third Clinton presidency – which, for Wall Street, is just as good as the two George Bush presidencies. Maybe better, because labor and Blacks and that fuzzy cohort called liberals will all think they won the election, when nothing could be farther from the truth. Rank and file Democrats will see the fait accompli of Hillary’s nomination as a sign of unity among Democrats, when in fact it is the triumph of filthy rich campaign contributors. The rich have shown great solidarity in uniting behind a Democratic presidential candidate. Later on, they will unite around a Republican candidate, too. After that, it won’t matter who wins.” (-Glen Ford)
“So weird that French political leaders now, as US leaders have before, claim that by ‘declaring war on radical Islam’ they can forestall rather than foment more terrorism. What about declaring love, declaring peace, declaring openness, declaring engagement with the ideas of radical Islam in peaceful open democratic forums if you really want to win over young peoples’ hearts and minds? History shows that open debate kills off bad ideas and that censorship and violence just make them grow…also do we declare ‘war’ on radical Christianity or radical Judaism that can be just as violent and blind?” (-Naomi Wolf)
“Let’s remember that the United States bombed Al Jazeera in Afghanistan very early on after 9/11, then bombed the Sheraton Hotel in Basra, Iraq, where Al Jazeera journalists were the only journalists. Then they killed one of the most famous Al Jazeera correspondents in Baghdad in April of 2003, when Victoria Clarke, George Bush’s Pentagon spokesperson at the time, basically said if you’re an unembedded journalist, you’re with the terrorists, and if you die, it’s not our fault. They shelled the Palestine Hotel, killing a Reuters cameraman and the Spanish cameraman José Couso. So, yes, we should be condemning any and all attacks, especially when they’re killing journalists, no matter who the perpetrators are, but let’s not act as though the West’s hands are clean and that any one of those world leaders marching yesterday, that their hands are clean on these matters.” (-Glen Greenwald forgets to mention the tv station in Serbia, too)
“They have the guns, we have the poets. Therefore, we will win.”(-Howard Zinn)
“If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state.” (-Ron Paul)
“I do not admire, respect, nor even believe in the utility of cops. Their only use…is to act as a coercive force to protect class inequity and White privilege. My enmity towards the police is both visceral and intellectual. I detest their hyper-authoritarian bearing; I become enraged at their bully boy modus operandi; and I can see the noxious effect of the police state upon this nation and its people.
I didn’t believe I could evince any less respect for cops…until I witnessed them — witless mass of blue arrogance that they are — turn their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio. Moreover, nor can I evince a scintilla of respect for Bill de Blasio — spineless, ass-suck liberal that he is — for allowing, sans a word of rebuke, these fascist cretins to proclaim to all concerned their noxious and obnoxious belief that they deem themselves above and beyond accountability. ‘Fuck you, Mr. Mayor and the citizens of NYC,’ this klavern of mouth-breather brutes in blue raged en masse, ‘for we will kill anyone we want to and whenever we want to.’
Their snit-fit was an egregious act of disrespect, a metaphoric jackboot to the face of civil liberties and even human decency. Only corrupt to core cultures countenance lawless cops. In short, if we do not struggle to end this reign of police terror, it will end us.” (-Phil Rockstroh)
“So 24 hours of fearful media catastrophe warnings and redundant superlatives add up to 24 hours of NYC commerce getting completely snowed under. I’m really tired of fear broadcasting. Mainstream media programming is obsolete, manipulative, costly and dangerous. Is there anyone here who has an alternative point of view to mine, that the U.S. news media is essentially dead and non-existent?”(-Danny Ray)
“One percent of the nation owns a third of the wealth. The rest of the wealth is distributed in such a way as to turn those in the 99 percent against one another: small property owners against the propertyless, black against white, native-born against foreign-born, intellectuals and professionals against the uneducated and the unskilled. These groups have resented one another and warred against one another with such vehemence and violence as to obscure their common position as sharers of leftovers in a very wealthy country.” ( -Howard Zinn; Chapter 24 of A People’s History of the United States)
“If you want something, you had better MAKE SOME NOISE.”
“America has some really annoyingly shit names. Tucker, Channing, Tag, Beau, Noah, Jeb, Mit… Irksome Republican white trash names synonymous with lies, drunk driving, fraud, coke dealing, tax evasion, menthol cigarettes, insurance scams, eyes like dead clams, bad breath, black nylon socks, erectile dysfunction and firearms.” (-Phil Staines)
“I don’t really care much what Hillary Clinton did with her State Department e-mail. I care that she is a violent authoritarian warmonger who supports bombings, drones, wars of aggression, the DHS, TSA, failed drug war, NSA, Gitmo, torture, bank bonus bailouts, corporatism, violations of human rights abroad and at home and now she wants to run for President of the United States on the “Ready For Hillary” campaign marketing plan which seeks to focus on gender rather than her track record of destruction and failure.” (-Bruce Fenton)
“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.In effect, the people who change our lives the most begin tosing to us while we are still in darkness. If we listen totheir songs, we will see the dawning of a new part of ourselves.”(-Rabindranth Tagore)
“The reason why Dick Cheney is able to go on ‘Meet The Press’ instead of being where he should be — which is in the dock at The Hague or in a federal prison — is because President Obama and his administration made the decision not to prosecute any of the people who implemented this torture regime despite the fact that it was illegal and criminal.” (-Glenn Greenwald)
“The authoritarian culture of the US and the despotic, political jerk-rockets and media blowhards who are its public face are revealing their true nature, by their relentless and reprehensible — but agenda oriented — media pronouncements regarding the gunning down of two NYPD officers in Brooklyn by a lone assailant.
Their agenda is obvious: Cops should possess unquestioned power; those donning law enforcement uniforms should never be held accountable for their actions; and the public is hereby ordered to kneel before the boot of unchecked authority.
Also: In in typical, lickspittle liberal accommodation to authoritarian demagoguery, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has requested that anti-police violence activism be self-kettled and ceased. In a word, I say to these hyper-authoritarian despots and their liberal capitulation artist lackeys: No. In two words: Hell no.
If we back down and allow the officials of thugdom to rule the narrative and police to believe they have carte blanche to wield their vicious truncheons of unaccountable power — then the ongoing coup d’etat will continue unabated. And only willfully ignorant dupes and fascist-minded tools will deny that what we have witnessed in the US has been a police/national security state junta, with cops often outfitted in military garb and brandishing weapons of war.” (-Phil Rockstroh)
“Alcoholism is an infraction of social rules. Everyone tolerates it because the violation confirms the rules. This case is analogous to prostitution: neither the drunk nor the prostitute and her clientele call into doubt the rules the break. Their acts are a disturbance of order, not a criticism of it. The use of hallucinogens, on the other hand, implies a negation of prevailing social values. … We can now understand the true reason for their condemnation and its severity. The authorities aren’t suppressing a reprehensible practice or a crime. They are suppressing dissidence. … Prohibition is a battle against the contagion of the spirit – against an opinion. The authorities reveal, in their ideological zeal, that they are pursuing a heresy, not a crime.” (-Octavio Paz)
“We all get our chance to beat the odds–but who beats the odds?” (-Johnny Thunders)
LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH….
Gutted by the passing of Nick Marsh. He was one of my favorite singers and I never stopped listening to his songs that had played in the background as I fell in love with new wave beauties, or applied eyeliner alongside my Gene Loves Jezebel wannabe glam gang, or road tripped with now absent friends. I used to “sing”, perhaps poorly, for a long succession of deadend glam bands and borrowed liberally from the example of Nick and Rocco. Nick was like some kind of perfect new wave action doll–immaculate hair, tight trousers, black leather, Creepers, big Elvis microphones. He was the cat’s pajamas. It’s alarming how steadily death is coming for my friends, heroes, and loved ones, now. There seems to be some truth to the idea that the good ones die young, and the Bush, Kissinger and Cheney types all live to be like, 125. Flesh For Lulu were one of the groups that inspired me to want to be in bands-they were gothic, poppy, post-punk, melodic, rocknroll. I love all those old songs: “Golden Handshake Girl” which Nick resurrected onstage as per my suggestion in recent years, “Seven Hail Marys”, “I May Have Said You’re Beautiful”, the impeccable protest song, “Decline & Fall”, the sweetly shimmering and eternally rippling bubblegum anthem, “Time & Space”, “Postcards From Paradise”, “I Go Crazy”, on and on. Great band. Lovely bloke. So sad. Nick was involved with the heart, while most everybody else is in hot pursuit of the math puzzle, the strategy, the hustle, the will to conquer, the usual lie. I’m at that age where I know whatever anybody says to me is mostly bullshit, now. It’s all gotten real “Cats In The Cradle”, for me, at this age. “Let’s do lunch…” Probably won’t see too many of those faces again and when we talk of recording music together, or vacationing with each other, or going camping, or horseback riding, or getting together in real life to listen to scratchy old vinyl, any shit like that, it’s all just smoke rings and half hearted wishful thinking, at this age. We had our time together–I guess we had our chance, though it never really felt like much of one to me, and now, that time has gone. Amerikkka is like a high school popularity contest, everybody is desperately following the followers, even in our fat forties. Once, I had a rich, privileged girlfriend, just like in that Pulp song “Common People”, so it may have appeared to some people like I was also rich, and I could not beat the fake friends off with a stick, they showed up at my doorstep, uninvited, all the time. Guys who had kicked me out of bands, and like, my ex girlfriend’s sisters. Had some famous friends, as a kid–people just ruthlessly used me to get close to them. They are all still high school social climbing. If you ain’t currently seeming like you can “do something” for people, they vanish. If you work for a label, or a magazine, or have a a cool band, hot girlfriend, radio or tv show, D.J. night, or new toy, every eyebrow is raised. If you have some bad luck, or get hurt, or get sick, nobody wants to know. I spent like ten or fifteen years chasing yesterday-the hairspray and harmonicas, painted leather, and french kissing on the roof, before I realized people move on. Chickenwings on gas-grills and health insurance-watching sports and wraparound sundecks. No one’s alive, anymore. It’s just a blip, waaayyy to brief. Shattering how fast it goes by. When all my influences and favorite drinking buddies and intimates keep falling off, my own dumb youth flashes before my eyes. It was sortof a white trash trailer park version of an eighties John Hughes film; and like I always say, I went from relating to the Ducky character in the hip shoes, paisley suspenders, and funny hats, trying to get the girl from the far side of the tracks, “with poetry, bloodshed and guitars”, to feeling like the washedup, tragically abandoned, old geezer in a dirty bathrobe with zero ambition and a brokenheart, like Andie’s dad, as played by the masterful Harry Dean Stanton. It happened overnight. Whizzbang. That was a dud firecracker youth, if you ask me. A wet bottle rocket. “Poof”. Anti-climactic. Never really got off the porch. Nick Marsh was a roman candle. I’m grateful to have his music. It still sometimes consoles me, in this darkening period, where everything beautiful just incessantly recedes into the faroff horizon. He is still lighting up the sky.
WE CAN’T CONNECT TO OUTLOOK DOT COM RIGHT NOW. PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER.
Bob Dylan‘s right when he sings, “people are crazy and times are strange…” ‘Had some Slim Shady assbags throw a projectile out the car window at me and loop back around, hoping to start more shit. Had not been hassled by ignorant, testosterone drunk males in quite some time. Used to be a daily thing in my teenage wildlife androgynous Pete Burns years. Now, it’s mostly the suburbanized dames that object to my unmilitarized appearance–ponytail, overweight, plumber’s butt, no car, in ill fitting black clothes, and usually, the males are no longer threatened by my flagrant, middleaged, non conformity, but when the cops act that way everyday, when violence is all over tv and every video game, when the government does all that non stop rah rah flagwaving and fearmongering in the pig-media, it’s no surprise when dumbfuck little pricks in shitty automobiles imitate those behaviors and lash out at random, targeting any symbolic other. As Alice Bag has suggested, jocks wanted to turn punk into a mixed martial arts sport, (“go play football, motherfuckers”), so I endured a lot of static from all those jarhead buffoons and hockey-playing fortunate son cocaine-oafs, back in the post-punk, hardcore, and grunge-Tarzan eras, but it’s been awhile since some young, dumb fuckwits aimed anything metal at my face. The night a black President was elected, some good ole boy tweekers spotted me alone in a grocerystore aisle, ruining my knees for minimum wage while merchandising on the night-shift, and came up from behind abruptly jerking my braided hair as a gesture on misplaced anger, because racists in that part of the country had no respect for personal bubble space when they’re wired up on all that farmboy meth they manufacture in their rich daddy’s barn. David Letterman taped his last show, it’s the end of an era, and millions are crestfallen I was not chosen to be his replacement, perhaps as Little Steven expands his broadcast empire, I will find a new talk show and reunite Circus Of Power to be our houseband. (Ha. Since I first wrote that last sentence, weeks ago, Circus Of Power frontman Alex Mitchell has announced he will be hosting his own on-line talkshow called, “The Guest List”! Great Minds.)
I dunno, man, it’s hard not to get bummed out about all the suckiness that surrounds us. I still can’t afford that extravagant box-set, but If The Clash were around today, they’d be profiled by gentrification-pigs, stop and frisked, ticketed for mary jane possession and have their boom-box confiscated for disturbing the yuppie fucking vendors. If Richard Pryor was to perform his seventies material in my neighborhood, dozens of outraged and offended life coaches and grad student liberals would be clutching their pearls like Nancy Grace and admonishing him for not conforming to their p.c. prohibition squad sensibilities. Had some worn out ex rockstar tell me to quit talking about racism so we can get back to focusing on fame hags and glam blouses complimenting his twenty five year old songs. Bummed me out. The elites keep us competing and debating manufactured scandals and relentlessly keep scaring us with pharma-eyed boogeymen while they pass laws that undermine human rights, civil liberties, and basic protections from warmongers and corporate predators. While we squabble about second hand smoke and dirty jokes, the Pentagon quietly announces it will be assassinating “belligerent journalists” and the President and sold-out Democrats conspired with Republicans, billionaires and oil barons to pass this evil TPP secret “trade agreement” into law, just like they did with the Patriot Act and NDAA. We’re arguing about naughty language and whether there are racists in the South, meanwhile, we’re all getting fucked by the man. People seem oblivious to the N.W.O. corporate pact that undermines national sovereignty and forgot about the bogus wars, broken promises, warrantless wiretaps, extrajudicial executive kill-lists, indefinite detention, and stolen elections. I’m so bored with Kanye and the Kardashians.
There’s all these social programming shows on cable that demonize “hoarders”-people who reuse and recycle and repurpose objects rather then constantly dumping more shit into land-fills and incessantly “upgrading” and buying new shit every five minutes. Makes me appreciate my hillbilly upbringing, where we valued what we had, kept it organized, took care of things, and found ways to make old stuff new again, rather then waste money buying and throwing away every househould appliance every six months. I do remember how the old time answering machines were a great example of planned obsolescence because they were designed to break every ten minutes. Some vcr’s, were like that, too. And printers-what a ripoff with the sixty dollar ink cartridges. Had a relative visit who watched all that tv shit, and they were digging through our closets insisting we throw our used vinyl and old books away to make room for new electronic gadgets, trendy furniture from Ikea and shoe organizers. Turns out, shitloads of people we know still watch tv and obey it’s orders. You won’t find me at the sports bar with the big screen tv’s a-watchin’ the game and making dog woof noises on Sunday. I won’t be hanging around watching adult cartoons on a Friday night. I don’t play video games. I don’t hate gay people like the Republicans, or even smoke the Democrack like the sellout double secret Republicans, in the other wing of the two faced war party.
I ran away to NYC to make it in show business when I was 15. I had some promising bands, got some great reviews, accolades from my heroes, but never had the budget to self finance recording and pressing and manufacturing and touring, or the people skills to keep a beat combo together, long-term. Now I’m 45 and in bad shape, but will keep writing songs until I croak. Fame means nothing in the age of consolidated media. It’s not like authentic voices are heard anymore. Gil Scott Heron, ya think he’d have made it on American Idol? Or Chuck D., or Poly Styrene, or Kathleen Hannah, Or Phil Ochs? Patti Smith? Ari Up?? Mark E. Smith or Rowland S. Howard? Jim Carroll? Johnny Rotten? Think the judges of “The Voice” woulda turned their chairs around for Joe Strummer, or Billy Bragg, or Texacala Jones, or T.V. Smith? In this moment in time, being underground is a good sign. We all think money would improve our lot, but the problem with money is once you get it, you got to try to keep it. I know plenty of rich people who will tell you point blank they are miserable. White knuckled, uptight, uncool, no time to fraternize with the little people who are probably just after their lucky charms. Rooms and rooms full of unused exercise equipment and unplayed vintage jukeboxes–wouldn’t you rather stick with the truth?
Motel 6 is handing over lists of their customers to the man. Other hotels, too. It can be a tough lot traveling with all these hateful crackdowns on the poor and bigoted laws criminalizing homeless folks. TSA fondling your junk. NSA recording your calls. DEA gunning people down for being suspected of having weed. This country, the USA, is fucked beyond belief.
BE LIKE YOU….
Joey Pinter‘s distinctive guitar playing can be heard on Jungle Records’ boss reissue of The Waldos epic, “RENT PARTY” that also featured that suave old charmer,”Uncle” Walter Lure, who’s currently preparing a U.K. tour backed by various cult heroes from Gunfire Dance and Black Bombers, and even sharing at least one stage with the killer-diller, rakish dandies, The Bermondsey Joyriders. Old-school punknroll die hards also cherish Joey Pinter‘s 1977 punk band, The Knots. His brand new solo debut can be compared to solo debuts by Brian James (The Damned, The Lords) and Mister Ratboy (Motorcycle Boy, Pillbox), as it is an unexpectedly solid array of highly listenable songs from a talented songwriter who is primarily known for his outstanding guitar playing, with subject matter drawn from various chapters of his storied history, a stranger than fiction tale of hard livin’, frenzied performances, bitter disappointments, a flawless lp, bottles, dope, jail, sin and salvation, dames, kids, cigars, loud guitar, the whole a.m. sloppy, taco waco enchilada. His bluesy singing is somewhere in between David Johansen yelling at the kids to get off his lawn, and George Thorogood refereeing a little league game, sometimes reminding one of old Alice Cooper, even. His Chuck Berry/Johnny Thunders style, raunchy guitar playing and power-pop songwriting sensibilities drip with soul and his self titled cd is a must have for anybody who is serious about rocknroll. Planes, trains, automobiles, Vespas, magic carpets, or cardboard signs that say, “Bowery Or Bust”, punk rockers from all over are travelling back to New York City on Wednesday, August 26th to be present and accounted for at the JOEY PINTER RECORD RELEASE PARTY at the nightclub, Bowery Electric. He’ll be backed up by his friends The Hipp Pipps. Doors open at 7 p.m., showtime starts at 7:30. Tickets are $9 in advance or $10 the night of the show, and that’s a helluva lot of entertainment value for a ten spot. You got the mischievous lads, The Sweet Things, The Martinets, The NY Junk, The Waldos, and Joey Pinter. That is an awful lot of “ACTION”. Buy your tickets early, and come to dance, this is going to be a jam packed good time.