“Am I scared of the state? Pretty silly not to be. I’m a brown person. I might be killed by the police for existing in certain spaces. [But] fear is the mind killer … you can’t let the fear stop you from doing things, from living, from existing, from resisting.” (- Tortuguita) “”The Sierra Club Georgia Chapter is horrified by the killing of Atlanta Forest Defender, Tortuguita, by state police and we continue to rise in solidarity with the movement to protect the Weelaunee Forest.” (-Gina Webber)
“A country with 25% of prisoners on the planet; where 19 year olds get life sentences for crack possession, is in no moral position to lecture about justice and equality.” (-Richard Medhurst)
“If you find yourself constantly saying this – “oh my god I used to love this great leftist but then he overnight turned into a far right fascist” – maybe it’s worth reflecting on whether you are stuck in archaic left/right frameworks with no relevance to neoliberal global power:” (-Glenn Greenwald)
“When the Western media whitewashed fascists from Ukraine & the anti-democratic crackdowns on Ukrainian society by the actor president Zelensky, another part of the Ukrainian story that was expunged was its endemic corruption.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“Disrespecting Jetset Pelosi is the WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED!” This man is a nobody who had no right to challenge her authority or expect some kindof audience with his representatives to redress his grievances as their constituent. He’s a white patriarchal male and does not even have a lobbyist! HOW DARE HE??? Send ’em to Gitmo for feminism! And Science! Lyn Cheney wins! Shitlibs celebrate! Man Who Propped Feet On Pelosi Desk Guilty In Jan. 6 Case | HuffPost Latest News
“Addressing a Chambers of Commerce meeting in Boca Raton today, Zelensky thanks BlackRock, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and others for their support of Ukraine. Adds that sending Ukraine heavier weapons, like Abrams tanks, represents a “big business” opportunity for US corporations” (-Michael Tracey)
“The US couldn’t defeat the Vietnamese, a people who had been robbed and impoverished by colonialism.
That the US thinks it can defeat Russia, a major economy and military power, is laughable. The empire never learns.” (-Danny Haiphong)
It almost never snows here in the deadend desert ghostville, but it did this morning, not as much as I would like, but the tree in the front yard looks beautiful. Some loose cows have been traipsing through our yard at night, fertilizing, and knocking lawn chairs and small trees down. I find the whole notion of loose cows somehow thrilling. “FREEDOM!” Was sad for my friend who just lost her mom, that is some hard shit to cope with, the only silver lining was the good ole lady lived to be in her mid nineties and helped her daughter get a house and lived there with her family and got to know her grandkids and great grandkids. That’s about as good as it gets in this mysterious life. I was thinking about our mutual friend the great unknown, fuckedover songwriter, and how his life shoulda gone differently and how frustrated I was by empowered influencers in his life who envied his talent so much they sabotoged his career. He used to console me a lot when women were ditching me to pursue “Less Than Zero” creeps from the upper class or I was gettin’ the business from thr poshboys in the tough guy bands, he could always make me laugh about our shared permanent outsider status. He was not only the most talented person I knew, but also the kindest, aside from maybe my blusman record store brother from way back when. I miss him so much, the songwriter guy, he was like my own personal Obi Wan Kenobi, we would lose track of time talking on the phone for hours. He’d tell me rocknroll was just one more media myth that had long ago been hijackeed and weaponized by the bad guys in the tower. I like to believe he’s in a much groovier place, the people here kinda mostly suck. The capitalists, the power mongers, their fake as fuck suit-dummies, the pathetic rank n file sports team zombies stubbornly worshipping these paid for mannakins in the department store windows. I confided to my friend how fuckedup I think it is that the people who have some weight to throw around never seem to do that for any good purpose, or they just outright use it for evil. I see winners writing history right in front of me, though. Evil fuckers lining up their minions, and doing these ridiculous podcasts about how cool their scene was twenty five years ago. They were not cool, I can tell you that. They owned some shit, inherited some shit, got away with fucking over some lower ranking people, that much is true, but that don’t make ’em cool. The opposite of cool, but that’s how Bizarro World everything has gotten probably since Bush/Cheney. Up is down and left is right and war is peace and obedience is freedom and all that. How did people get so easily fooled? The privileges of membership don’t even really seem that good to me. I seen people sell out for nothing. To sit beside some married wealth bimbo at the hotel pool, I guess, and then they have to suck up to their husband like he’s some important figure, just cause he’s got a good job. I never understood that shit at all. I must have skipped that meeting. I know the Bill Clinton Nafta/Three Strikes/Telecommunications Act that handed the public airwaves over to just a tiny clique of propagandists is a big part of how it all started. They called it triangulating. Middleclass people still think they are having a culture war with the other wing of the Fascist Empire. I never got along that well with the privilege seekers who are only motivated by gloating about how good they are cause they got a special parking space near the gentrification brunch spot. People I knew in real life are still kinda like imitating “Seinfeld” and “90210” and thinking it’s hip and cool and somehow witty. Man, they pulled off the Biggest Bamboozle on 9/11, after that, they knew they could just tell the goofy gullible mad herd tv watchers ANYTHING and they’d believe it. The warpigs and police state control us not only with their tanks and extrajudicial assassinations but with pop culture garbage. Harry Styles and Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Lizzo are just as damaging as the Fraud Squad, they’ve really all helped dumb the whole culture down. The deep state not only exists and censors shit on social media, they even exert control over shit like “Saturday Night Live” and “Rolling Stone”, now. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. I love snow.
When I was a kid, recklessly adventuring around the country in brokedown black vans with skulls painted on the sides, and smelly Grayhounds, and tiger painted Oldsmobiles, playing shabby shows in nowhere boy’s clubs and VFW halls, and trying unsuccessfully to cement a real dedicated and D.T.K. L.A.M.F., “When You’re A Jet” lineup for my many set to self destruct in fifteen minutes crash and burn glam bands, I’d keep running into all these like, Warrant or Cherry Street or Tuff kinda Dude-Rock dudes, in headbands and Pirates Of Penzance white shirts, who all “looked up” to Tracii Guns and Nikki Sixx, admonishing me that I should be screeching in a super high pitched voice like Slaughter or Waxl or Davey Vain or Jim Gillette, they all seemed like clowns to me and not in a good way, the metal heads in the L.A. “hair” bands. My thing was more punk rock, like the Lords, Hypnotics, Hangmen, and these fellas. I never stopped writing about them in my fanzines and columns and unpublished memoirs cause I never stopped listening to them, they were a big part of my bloody youth and I am gratified that they are still being discovered by new generations of rocknroll enthusiasts, they were undoubtedly one of the best in my opinion, one of the rare bands that really had it, fully got it, knew what they were doing, you can’t get that stuff no more, I mean aside from their whizbang reissue on Easy Action Records. I’m so happy the Gunfires are finally getting recognized in the slick mainstream major league rawk magazines because they deserved a better go of it back when they were together, they were like comets. My wife sez my garage is like a shrine to all my fallen friends and forgotten bands, well here is one of the really brilliant bands fro the old daze who are being currently rediscovered. I only wish Ant had lived to see some of the positive press praise and pretty colored pinups presently appearing in all the exquisite $25 coffeetable magazines from the UK! (RIP) ANT you were one of my faves!
So if you’ve known me for a long time, ya might know I kinda got hassled into “interning” at a hardcore label in my 20’s cause somebody’s mom insisted I could “earn” my way into a paying job, well that was bullshit, live n learn, price of an education, there is no earning your way into a job if you lack basic computer skills and there is no pleasing anybody’s mother, that was all a self defeating and sometimes humiliating waste of time that got me nothing, and the dish ran away with the spoon. While I was there, I met some famous MTV alternahunk, they called him, who’d hang around the record store and chat with me about Big Star, Alex Chilton, and the Deadboys. He seemed nice enough, would help me shovel snow in the winter and actually one day made a big point to invite me to see one of his shows at the hipster in crowd bar but when me and my leather clad sideman showed, he kinda gave us the Great Big No, I guess cause his college rock starlet accomplices seemed to disapprove of our appearance or something. They clearly thought of themselves as very highbrow, super literate, lofty intellectuals cause they came from wealth or attended universities, but mostly cause nerd critics always worshipped them like Liz Phair, for being female and vaguely naughty, while we were perceived as like, monosyllabic male, metalhead, mook L.A. Guns guys in the mirrored shades and black leather, so they totally went outta their way to kinda look down their posh noses at us, blew us off collectively as if he had not personally invited us to come hang out with him, it was always middle school in the grunge decade-like we never met the credentials of the Alternative rich people. We were undeniably droput white trash wild boys. So anyways, I became ever more leery of Alternative types I assocaiated with New England posh college scenes. Or Spin Magazines. We had drafted a couple of these music school trained musicians into our flash bastards punk band in the early nineties, and they were really talented lads with brother harmonies and helpful arrangements, real qualified pop heads, and seemingly fun loving at first, right, I thought we were all bonding over our mutual love and appreciation of the Buzzcocks, Pretenders, Only Ones, and Waterboys, but they were “just visiting” the backstreet badlands where we dwelled, and again, there was this weird, New England class thing happening, where their real estate and rose gardening wives and moms sortof scolded them for consorting with the lesser than, low life likes of us, cause we were rowdy, less cultivated, wore fur coats and leather pants, and kinda made a scene wherever we went. They were just like, too rich for us-those guys were driving Jaguars and had grown up in mansions. I’m 53 and the most money I’ve ever had was two grand, once. Two grand that I wasted on a band project with an unreliable lineup. I know other people make two grand in a night and throw it away on nothin’, but if it’s all you ever had, it’s hard to get over, a real hurtful fuckover, when it comes to nothin’, talk about all those wasted years, and nothing to show for any of it.
So that Boston flash bastard punk band of ours was briefly lived, and when me and the hellion guitar player foolishly returned to the midwest, all the preppie people there had also inflitrated the formerly punk rock music scenes. We were always targets in the midewest, we just got hammered and hammered, cause we would not conform to their like sports and fratboy social hierarchies. We were still punk, never “Alternative”TM. Though sometimes people did compare some of our songs to Soul Asylum and Gin Blossoms, that was never what we were going for, at all. I was into Generation X and Hanoi Rocks. He went straight to jail for ancient smalltown badboy warrants and I spent about three years getting punched in the eye, while he was not around to protect me, it woulda gone different had it been the two of us. I am still triggered by grunge, like if I hear Matchbox 20 on the radio, or Pearl Jam, I wanna fucking throw up. Fuck I hated that shit. Alternative, my ass. Fuck all those grunge motherfuckers. Most of ’em were never even into music, just their own privilege and trust fund mediocrity, look at our stuff, it was only about being popular, like I said, middle school. Still is, in several parts of the country. Surprisingly though, I came to really genuinely LOVE this band called, SCARCE that a beautiful writer turned me on to. I think she knew I’d appreciate how they made a real effort to be entertaining in all the velvet and gold lame’, and also crafted these sensitively considered and thoughtful lyrics and melodies. Me, too. So yeah they may have came out of that same richkid blue blood WASPY New England hipster scene I hated, but man, they were playing real, real heartfelt pop songs, drawing from actual human emotions, not just ponceing around on somebody’s parent’s dime doing covers. I LOVED their songs. They toured with Hole. Oh yeah, I met Hole and they were all real fucking nice people, actually. Not Courtney, but the other three were all alright. Anyways, Chick Graning was awesome. He and his cohort Joyce Raskin made a fantastic record together in that loathsome grunge era, that I came to deeply love, and they finished creating against big odds and in spite of a scary health crisis, when Graning suffered an unexpected near-fatal brain hemorrhage. Not only did SCARCE stand out way above above all the annoyingly classist and snotty heiress, crunchy granola Cambridge college bands, but as I relocated to other medium sized college towns, I saw so much even inferior, half hearted, auto-pilot attempts at “Being Alternative” in every fucking town, like no matter where we’d venture, for years, there was the Local Gentry always present, and sleepwalking through all these really lame bands, with nerd fan clubs, that almost seemed like they were doing for college credits or something. Talk about interns. All the crunchy granolas did these generic sya nothing indie bands everywhere, but almost none of them EVEN TRIED to write a song from the heart. So that made SCARCE seem even more SCARCE! They wrote good songs. From the fucking heart. Wow, huh?! EXCELLENT IDEA! There was a rumor about them making a documentary about their band at some point, but I sadly have never seen it, if it exists. SCARCE were a real band who wrote real songs that were real good. When I heard that band Howlin’ Maggie who got famous with their big hit, “Slut”, they reminded me of Scarce. I know you maybe never even heard of SCARCE, but they are an imortant band to me because of their genuine personality and soulful, poetic artistry. A rare band. I wish them all the success they should have gotten way back in the Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana era. They were way better than almost all the Lollaplaooza and Lillith Fair stars. “Glamorizing Cigarettes”, man, holy smokes! It’s perfect hit. Wish I wrote songs that good!!!
You know there aint that much in the way of real primo rocknroll anymore but Birmingham, England’s got a real badass rocknroll band you might already love by the name of the Black Bombers. If you aint already hip to them by now, check ’em out! They just added a formidable fourth member Critt from the Godfathers!
“Inventories of zinc on the London Metal Exchange have plummeted by 90%.
Peru is the world’s 2nd-biggest producer of zinc.
The world’s 3rd-largest zinc mine is Peru’s Antamina mine, which is owned by the massive Swiss corporation Glencore. .Peru is the world’s 2nd-biggest producer of copper (after neighboring Chile)
Goldman Sachs wrote in 2022 that “copper is the new oil” and “sits at the heart of capturing, storing and transporting these new sources of [renewable] energy”. Peru has large reserves of copper, gold, zinc, silver, lead, iron, and natural gas. After a coup overthrew left-wing President Pedro Castillo, the US ambassador, CIA veteran Lisa Kenna, met with mining and energy ministers to discuss “investments”. (-Ben Norton)
Chances are you’ve heard the Backstreet Girls before I did, I kinda blocked out everything I remotely associated with the whole Nineties Sleaze Metal Revival for awhile, anything from Hardcore Superstar and Backyard Babies to Turbonegro and Vains of Jenna, just probably outta sheer sour grapes, it was just too painful to hear so many bands with that big production value as I was never able to keep a steady lineup together of any of my own bands and that era and it was all seeming very assembly line formulaic and money oriented again, like have money or fuck off, ya know? Backstreet Girls are Norweigian, very eighties glam sounding, a dumb sense of humor (ex:”Sick My Duck”, “Getcher Yo Yo’s Out”), had some members of Glorious Bankrobbers pass through their ranks, and indeed are way cooler than I’d imagined. They’ve been around since ’86 with many differnt lineups and say their prime influences were Rose Tattoo and the Ramones, so that should give ya some idea.
“I stand with the 13 million children in the US living in poverty, but hey since the ‘IN’ thing you’ve all been instructed to do by our Oligarchy is standing with Ukraine, you do you. Anybody ever wonder why our media hasn’t been focusing on the massive protests happening all over Europe since the war started?
If so, you shouldn’t because the reason is obvious. They said Iraq had WMDs, they lied.
They said Gadaffi gave soldiers Viagra, they lied. They said babies were thrown out of incubators in Kuwait, they lied. They said Assad used chemical weapons, they lied. They said they had control in Afghanistan, they lied.
They are lying again. What a surprise!
Ukraine is starting to look like Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and all the other countries the United States got into wars to bring freedom and democracy
Amazingly the same people always make money on these efforts. If you see somebody giving you actual facts about what is happening and the only push back is calling them a Putin puppet, silly memes and personal attacks, maybe you should think harder about who you believe. American society has been programmed to either hate Russia, China or both
Not because they cause us any threat, but because our Oligarchy sees them as a threat to their control of the world. Biden, Hunter and Ukraine
What a corrupt shit show that is. Remember when some of the leading doctors and scientists in the world questioned our handling of Covid and our Gov’ts response was not to debate our policy but instead was to smear, fire, censor and try to humiliate them-
Crazy thing is that it turned out what they said was right. Who’s the politician that worked with Segregationists to stop busing, eulogized a known white supremacist, pushed and wrote laws to mass incarcerate Black people, called us predators born out of wedlock and said we don’t know how to raise our kids on the debate stage?
It doesn’t matter though he represents the Blue team and has the letter ‘D’ next to his name. The Deep State that you say doesn’t exist isn’t loyal to a Political Party, they are only loyal to their agenda.
It sucks that they have now decided to turn their power against your fearless leader Joe Biden doesn’t it?” (-Black In The Empire)
“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)
Unfortunately, I only first heard about GUNFIRE DANCE in the 00s when my friend Franckie sent me a few songs of their demos and then later reviewed their collection CD “Archway Of Thorns” (2007.) GUNFIRE DANCE are one of these 80s bands who didn’t end up signing a record deal despite their great songs and wonderful image. These decadent dandies from Birmingham recorded with Brian James (The DAMNED, The LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH) and shared stages with the best bands in that genre at the time (The DOGS D’AMOUR, The THROBS, D GENERATION, Thee HYPNOTICS…) but it seems like it wasn’t even enough to make it so they kinda became one of the best kept glam rock’n’roll secrets… Easy Action Records had the good idea to finally release these songs on vinyl, one more reason to enjoy the dirty rock’n’roll of “Blue” and “Pretty As Sin”, the JOHNNY THUNDERS influenced “Bliss Street” and “Burnin’ Ambition”. You’ll also hear a bit of STOOGES in “Bird Doggin'” as well as in “Break It Up” and some chaotic HANOÏ ROCKS in the fabulous “Suit And Tie” and in the powerpop tainted “Gimme Back My Heart”. The band even had his CLASH moments with “Make You Cry” but their real force was to mix all of these influences in style in order to create their own identity. Our friend J.D Monroe was the best person to write the sleevenote of “Witness To The Crime” and he says “They had a seductive mystique about them, a proud, almost regal sense of noble tradition and rocknroll coolness matched by few others” and JEFF DAHL once said “Gunfire Dance were everything righteous, sexy and dangerous that rock’n’roll was all about!!! God bless Ant” and I couldn’t agree more with these quotes. Well, t’s never too late, so this is the right time to get your hands on this record! /Laurent C.
One of my personal favorite bands is the great Tex And The Horseheads. Man, this song right here still tears me up, ya know, you sorta inhabit a permenent state of low level anxiety and depression living at the bottom of this ruthless price gouging billionaire tyrannical fuckedup propagandized society with the crazy high groceries, limited mobility with gas prices and unreliable vehicles and especially, when developers, landlords, employers, the elements, and city hall all threaten to jeopardize your housing situation. “I had the same dream last night…”
“Of course it was provoked. Otherwise they wouldn’t refer to it all the time as an unprovoked invasion.” (-Noam Chomsky)
“I’m becoming more and more disdainful of people who live directly under the thumb of the US empire and yet spend their time criticizing Russia and China. It’s literally the most pathetic, sniveling, power-serving position anyone can possibly take at this point in history.” (-Caitlin Johnstone)
“When did working class people in Europe, the U.S. & around the world vote for a NATO proxy war with Russia & sanctions that we are now paying for? Our interests are not the same as capitalist ruling classes. Let them fight Russia.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“This was never about bringing democracy to Ukraine. The U.S. cannot bring democracy to another country when it hasn’t even brought democracy to its own country. This was always about laundering our money to the military industrial complex & further enriching the U.S. oligarchy.” (-Ryan Knight)
“Apparently Gal Gadot is hosting a “National Geographic”
series about indigenous people being displaced. You can’t make this sh*% up!” (-Ariel Gold Code Pink For Peace)
“The proxy war in Ukraine is actually about central banking. Many times when a country has stepped outside the long tentacles of the US-ruled central banking system & the petrodollar, they have been invaded/destroyed not long afterwards: – Iraq – Libya – Syria…” (-Lee Camp)
“In the face of growing threats to journalists, academics & musicians who dare to challenge the military-industrial-complex narrative, nothing is more dangerous than saying nothing. First they came for the journalists….” (-Dr. Jill Stein)
Dangerous ‘Cycle of Escalation’ Intensifies After Unauthorized US Bombings in Syria (commondreams.org) Remember when USA USA deployed false flag bad guys in humanitarian guise to destabilsize Syria and help genie energy steal the oil rich lower third of their country and Hollywood made a propaganda flick about it and gave themselves as Oscar? Fictitious times indeed, in the memorable words of Michael Moore, who used to crusade against injustice and corruption, but now like so many Hollwood shitlibs, only crusades against Trump.
“Sacrificing for a war in Ukraine that didn’t have to be while defense companies make record profits. When will the people learn that their interests & interests of warmongering capitalist are not the same? End the war in Ukraine, abolish NATO, reject “full spectrum dominance.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“This warmongering Republican congressman who claims to be building a “working-class GOP” complains about (partial, insufficient) student loan forgiveness because he wants the US military to use debt to pressure poor people to kill for empire “RiGhT-WiNg pOpuLiSm” in a nutshell”. (-Benjamin Norton)
“There is unity in the oppression. There must be absolute unity and determination in the response.” (-Julian Assange)
“”We’re living in a pretend democracy, with a pretend free press and a pretend system of justice. No one in this century has helped us understand the world as it is more than Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.” (-Joe Lauria; Consortium News)
Excellent analysis by Medea Benjamin of the situation in Afghanistan–which can only get worse unless there is engagement with a government the US ceded power to. The Taliban or a failed state? (-Col. Ann Wright voicesofconscience.com )
British musician Roger Waters is named on the Ukrainian NATO backed civilian kill list website. Dugin is also on this list and his car with his daughter on it was blown up yesterday. NATO is claimed as admin of the site since 2015, as can be seen on it: https://myrotvorets.center/secure/
“Numerous Syrian and foreign militants have reportedly been killed and several US troops injured in an escalating exchange of attacks between the American invaders and the people in the country whose territory they are illegally occupying. On Tuesday night US Central Command announced that it had “conducted precision airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor Syria” in order to “defend and protect U.S. forces from attacks like the ones on August 15 against U.S. personnel by Iran-backed groups.””The President gave the direction for these strikes pursuant to his Article II authority to protect and defend U.S. personnel by disrupting or deterring attacks by Iran-backed groups,” CENTCOM said.Iran has denied any link to the troops targeted in the airstrikes, up to ten of whom were reportedly killed.The US attack was followed by rocket attacks on US military positions in eastern Syria, injuring an unknown number of US troops, to which the US responded with an Apache helicopter assault on Syrian vehicles from which it claims the rockets were launched. Central Command claims “two or three suspected Iran-backed militants” were killed in the helicopter attack.Looks like a serious escalation in Syria:US airstrikes on Tuesday night provoked rocket attacks on US bases on Wednesday that wounded several US troops. The US responded by launching strikes from Apache helicopters that reportedly killed several peoplehttps://t.co/Gtu9QqwDKd— Dave DeCamp (@DecampDave) August 24, 2022As of this writing it remains to be seen if this exchange of attacks will continue, but what’s crystal clear is who the aggressor is.”US claims to be in Syria to fight ISIS, but it rarely fights ISIS,” journalist Aaron Maté tweeted of the exchange. “It’s actually there to deny Syria its own oil and wheat, and to occasionally attack Syrians and their allies who defeated US-backed sectarian death squads in the dirty war.”What he says is completely true. The US is an occupying force who is there without the permission of the Syrian government, without having been attacked by Syria, and without any valid claim to be defending itself from anyone in Syria. The “Iran-backed” militias in Syria are operating with the full authorization of the Syrian government. The US has quite literally invaded a nation on the other side of the world, killed the people in that nation who don’t want them there, and then claimed self-defense in doing so.If I broke into my neighbor’s house to steal his things, and then murdered him when he tried to stop me or make me leave, it would look pretty ridiculous if I tried to plead self-defense. It would look even more ridiculous if anyone believed me.SCOOP: U.K. envoy praises Israeli airstrike campaign in Syriahttps://t.co/eYt9O1IyFB— Axios (@axios) August 24, 2022This comes at the same time as a report from Axios that the British special envoy to Syria had nothing but glowing things to say about the way Israel has been constantly bombing Syria for years:”The British special envoy for Syriatold Israeli officials during a visit to Jerusalem several weeks ago that the Israeli airstrike campaign against Iranian military targets is ‘probably the only thing that works in Syria,’ Israeli Foreign Ministry officials briefed on the meetings told Axios.””In recent years, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes in Syria,” writes Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp on the Axios report. “The Israelis say that the bombing campaign is to prevent Iran from becoming further entrenched in the country, but the strikes often kill Syrian troops and sometimes kill civilians and damage civilian infrastructure.””The US tacitly endorses the bombing campaign in Syria and reportedly coordinates some of the strikes,” adds DeCamp. “In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel secretly coordinates the bombings with the US and that Washington has approved many Israeli airstrikes that were launched from areas near a US base in southern Syria.”1. Invade a country on the other side of the world 2. Kill the people in that country who don’t want you there 3. Claim your actions were self defense https://t.co/fiVhvbVVW0— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) August 24, 2022So if you’re wondering why western liberals are all waving Syrian flags and loudly condemning the US and its allies for their criminal, murderous assault on a sovereign nation, that’s why.I am of course kidding; that is not happening. That sort of mainstream public outcry is reserved solely for the misdeeds of governments the US does not approve of, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Westerners are only encouraged to contemplate the horrors of war when it is someone else’s war. If it serves the strategic interests of the globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States, you can bomb your neighbor every week and it will barely make the news. You can even invade a country on the other side of the world and then claim you are defending yourself when they try to throw you out.”(-Caitlin Johnstone)
“Yes, State Dept Ned Price had the nerve to say that UAE efforts at diplomacy with Iran will not succeed “unless Iran ends the nuclear crisis it has precipitated.” WTF??? Can someone remind him that the US caused the crisis by pulling out of the deal?” (-Medea Benjamin)
I met Stiv in the mid eighties when I was a runaway gutter urchin and he would lave a lasting influence on me and my songwriting and performance style and various crash n burn bands for the rest of my life.
When Stiv was in Paris, doing that Whores Of Babylon, post Lords super group, trying to assemble the ultimate punk band with people like Johnny, Dee Dee, Neal X, Vom from Dr. and the Medics, Kris Dollimore from The Godfathers, etc., I was back in the Midwest assembling my own version of a super group with local dudes from five different high schools, all of whom were into some kind of punk, but not all of whom were as comfortable with the wayout Batcave-Blitz Kid-Mindwarp–Sputnik inspired technicolored space-androgyny. Of course when we were growing up, all those overproduced eighties Iggy records appealed to me. Songs like “Winners And Losers” and “Cold Metal”, “Shades”, “Isolation” and especially, “Power & Freedom”. My dead catholic school best friend Mitch and I got to meet Iggy and Andy on that “Instinct” tour and Iggy was very, very kind to us, and made us laugh a lot, talking about how all these jocks and fratboys were only present in the alleyway behind the venues because they were drawn there by fame, not by any real love for rocknroll, that these mainstream autograph seekers were gonna show up for anybody who was famous, and that if they gave us a hard time for looking different or being working class weirdos or whatever, that he had experienced all the same kinda shit from their older brothers and parents growing up. It felt like he was on our side! I had handed Iggy a jar of peanut butter from the front row in homage to Stiv and he laughed and said he don’t do that no more. Iggy seemed to like us, feel for us, accepted us, understood us, we got very little of that from people in his approximate age group where we lived. Iggy took two beers outta Andy McCoy’s hands and gave them to us kids, me n Mitch, and Andy did not seem to like that very much. There was a kid with a disability who was dressed up like Andy that night and Andy asked him to give him his velvety gypsy vest and I thought it would have been much cooler had Andy given the kid some article, rather than taking something from him. We loved Andy’s art and style but Iggy was our idol because of how nice and genuine and down to to earth relatable he was. In the smalltown we came from, there was a much older, more experienced music snob, collector type who lurked around the mom n pop record store I worked at. I had been going to that shop since I was 12 or 13 and old hippie acidhead was teaching me and my metalhead friends about the blues, garage and psychedelia, and Stiff Records bands and Elvis Costello. The music snob lurker ended up being a pretty great musician who turned me on to the Gun Club and Fuzztones! Eventually, he replaced our skinhead drummer who abruptly quit the band to spend more time with a vampire chick I introduced him to the day after she took me to the graveyard to talk to me about Bauhaus and that “Lost Boys” movie with the high quality Echo and the Bunnymen and and INXS new wave soundtrack.
Once that older guy came in on drums, he started wielding a profound influence over my bassplayer and guitarist by offering to let them use his vintage amplifiers and guitars. He was an exceptional, hard hitting drummer from Van Wert who knew the Ashton Brothers personally, a fact he never let any of us forget even momentarily. I never found out if we even knew his real name or if it was just a stage name he had taken in honor of Dick Dale and Link Wray. He liked The Lords Of The New Church and Public Image Ltd. so we had that in common, but me and the other younger guitar player were still 18 and 19, we liked Guns N Roses and Billy Idol, whereas, he was a much older dude, so he was steeped in much older music, like the MC5, who we were all just discovering, so he kinda thought we were stupid smalltown Headbanger’s Ball hair farmers and some of that was true. Also, he was partial to The Stooges, and really did not like the Iggy albums we were all blasting back then. We actually tried to cover “Cry For Love” at some point but it never really caught fire with the lads. I just loved the lyrics-to me, lyrics were fuckin’ important, at least half the song, they had to make you see pictures in your mind and wanna singalong. I knew my lyrics were coming along back then, because everybody was always rippin’ em off. Bands who did not even like me would do our tunes and just not say who wrote them, I thought that was crazy as fuck. We were covering a couple of different Gun Club songs when the replacement drummer was in the band, but I had no idea there was a mutiny on the horizon. I wore heavy makeup and feather boas and shit, and had blue/black hair down to my skinny waist and all that was severely frowned upon at the old men lodges, where the drummer wanted to make money playing standard smalltown radio covers. We also all drank heavily back then, and I suppose some of that may have been perceived as somehow unique to me or whatever. I was brash and opinionated and not trying to really suck up to, or make friends with the righwing religious crazies, or popular kid bullies from the local high schools some of my peers seemed to crave acceptance from. We all worked for some gay yuppies at a glass store and I was a less reliable employee than some of the others, but really, that place was totally dysfunctional and almost everybody who worked there could go missing for days at a time, including one of the owners. I had about five or six different girlfriends at the time-I was 18 and I LIKED it, loved it, but that pissed off other males, and some people became jealous and adversarial behind my back, and eventually, they replaced me with a more conventional, mid west acceptable kendoll dude. In small towns, it is somehow, always a big shock, or scandal, for working class kids to dress wild, or attract girls from some more affluent neighborhoods, or have fun partying, but the hard and irrefutable fact was: all the rich white conservative yuppies and baseball capped, pickup truck driving dimwitted jocks drank and did drugs, too. Also, all their parents who are at the club or sports bar boozing it up right now, probably. First time I ever even HEARD of crack, it was these older capitalist rich people we knew. People were already invested in uncritically obeying the higherups of the rich social hierarchies, ya know, but I had no way of knowing how pig-media would steadily bamboozle and hoodwink even more of our peers into unconditionally worshipping billionaires and other evil people on tv. I never never never understood all these self proclaimed so called punks who think there is something wrong with song lyrics being of a political nature, or with songs used as social commentary, I never got when punk became about polishing your Doc Martin collection or having the most old stuff expensively framed in your big fuckin’ house.
To me, punk was supposed to be rebellious, but as soon as grunge hit, I had all these other musicians and girlfriends saying my lyrics were too political. I never got that. Me and the loyalist guitar slinger relocated to the East Coast, big city, lookin’ for other bandmates, we were just hitting our stride as catchy, lyrical, original songwriters, and we met some older creeps who acted like they were gonna help manage or produce us, or help get us signed, but they were just hanging around to steal our songs and meet girls and shit. That’s what Iggy had warned us about when he sang, “the producer is wily and owns what he sells”. Beware the showbiz predators, plagiarizing parasites, more backstab mercenaries, energy vamps, and copyright hustlers. Everything I was doin’ back then, I had learned it all from Stiv Bators and Iggy Pop. When I met Cheetah Chrome and he assured me my voice reminded him of Stiv, I took it as high praise. I really feel strongly that the Real Rocknroll motherfuckers were always alot more sincere and kind and authentic than the dickheads who invaded our underground subculture after hours world during the nineties and onward. I love all those guys. When I heard the dork they replaced me with in my teenage band had been singing “Sonic Reducer”, I thought it was a crock of shit, cause that dweeby blonde kid was the opposite of a “Sonic Reducer”. I started to see a lot of that. Total fucking squares and Mom-approved got-mine haves from the hill, co opting the outcast underground rebellious rocknroll. Still kinda pisses me off when I see all the karaoke models and mainstreamers and squarehead screws from the mall puttin’ on all the poses and goin’ through the motions with no real soul, or pain or pathos, whatsoever. It started happenin’ with the grunge. All these jocks and nerdsy sweater vested college people. The Hot fuckin’ Topics with their fake as fuck corny little prep school hot rod bands.
“As long as Western white world sees itself as the “world,” the rest of us will continue to be threaten by it. Ukraine exposed the fact that there is a powerful “white lives matter more movement” that is galvanizing a cross-class European ethno-nationalism.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“It is not easy being someone who cares about the world and opposes the status quo. It’s a series of disheartening failures and crushing disappointments amid an endless deluge of information saying that everything is getting worse and worse.
The environment keeps degrading. Ruling power structures keep getting more and more controlling. Capitalism gets more and more imbalanced and exploitative. World powers get closer and closer to a mass military confrontation of unspeakable horror.
And what do we get when we try to oppose these things? Letdown after letdown. Politicians we support lose their elections, often after brazen interference from the very power structures we’d hoped they’d oppose. Political organizing breaks down in sectarian infighting. Activist leaders get caught up in sex scandals. Agendas we helped push for fizzle into impotence. Power wins time after time.
What passes for “the left” in the English-speaking world is basically either controlled opposition or a glorified online hobby group. Or both. The real left has been so successfully subverted by power that the mainstream public doesn’t even know what it is anymore; most think the left is either a mainstream political party that’s wholly owned and operated by the empire or a loose bunch of vaguely related ideas like having pink hair or saying your pronouns. The left really has been so successfully dismantled that it has almost been purged from memory.
Every time, at every turn, power wins and the people lose. After a while it starts to feel like you’re bashing your head against an immovable object. Some people fall down after a few hard bashes. Some don’t get back up again. Others keep bashing away, becoming harder and harder and more and more miserable and neurotic the longer they go at it.
And most people don’t even know any of this is happening, that’s what can really make it hard. You talk to your loved ones about what you’re seeing and they just get uncomfortable or look at you like you’re crazy. They don’t see the problems you’re pointing to because none of the places they’re getting their information from tell them it’s happening, because the powerful control those information sources.
As Terence McKenna put it, “The cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation.” And as Marshall McLuhan put it, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a hallucinating idiot.”
And it sucks. No matter how you slice it, it sucks. It sucks watching this massive juggernaut slowly devour your world and see everyone’s attempts to stop it fail, and to have most people in your life not understand it or even see what it is you’re pointing to.
So what can you do? Is there a way to beat the bastards? Is there a way to stop the machine in its tracks and turn this thing around?
Well, no. Not right this moment anyway, and not by yourself. The machine’s far too big, far too entrenched, and its control over information systems means you’re not going to get help from other people in the numbers that you will need them. It’s just you and a few others against an entire globe-spanning power structure.
But that doesn’t mean you are powerless, and it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. It just means you’re not going to be single-handedly knocking out the bad guy and saving the world in some grand, ego-pleasing way like an action hero in some stupid Hollywood movie.
What you can do as an individual is cultivate a habit of committing small acts of sedition. Making little paper cuts in the flesh of the beast which add up over time. You can’t stop the machine by yourself, but you can sure as hell throw sand in its gears.
Giving a receptive listener some information about what’s going on in the world. Creating dissident media online. Graffiti with a powerful message. Amplifying an inconvenient voice. Sharing a disruptive idea. Supporting an unauthorized cause. Organizing toward forbidden ends. Distributing literature. Creating literature. Having authentic conversations about real things with anyone who can hear you.
Every day there’s something you can do. After you start pointing your creativity at cultivating this habit, you’ll surprise yourself with the innovative ideas you come up with. Even a well-placed meme or tweet can open a bunch of eyes to a reality they’d previously been closed to. Remember, they wouldn’t be working so frantically to restrict online speech if it didn’t pose a genuine threat to the empire.
People tend to overestimate how much they can accomplish in a day, but sorely underestimate how much they can accomplish over a span of several years. Finding little ways to undermine the oppression machine every day gradually adds up to hundreds of acts of defiance in a year, which after a few years becomes thousands.
Do this, and then relax. Don’t expect yourself to save the world on your own. You’re only human, and there’s only one of you. You can only do what you can do, and humanity will either make the leap into health or it won’t. Just exert influence over the things you can exert influence over, and outside that little sphere of influence you’ve got to let go and let be. Don’t put any unfair or unreasonable pressures on yourself.
Perpetrate regular small acts of sedition, and then surrender to whatever life brings. I personally see many reasons to hold out hope that we can bring that machine crashing down together one day.”
W.E.B Du Bois was the first Black to earn a doctorate from Harvard University, one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, and the Niagara Movement, and one of the seminal scholars of American history, author of works such as The Souls of Black Folk, The Philadelphia Negro, his ethnographic survey of Black life that established the field of urban sociology and Black Reconstruction in America, a work that radically altered our understanding of the social and political struggles for democracy by Black Americans in the post-bellum South and which many consider the finest work of American history ever produced. He was as fearless as he was brilliant. He denounced accommodationists such as Booker T. Washington, thundered against Jim and Jane Crow and the reign of terror in the South with its segregation, race laws and lynch mobs, along with the evils of imperialism and colonialism and the inherent cruelty and injustices of capitalism. A supporter of the Russian Revolution and a socialist, he would be swept up in the anti-Communist witch hunts of the 1950s, becoming an outlaw in his own country, hauled into court at the age of 83 and barely escaping imprisonment. He left the United States in 1960 for Ghana to die in exile. Du Bois, like all great intellectuals, gave us the vocabulary to explain ourselves to ourselves. He rivaled, perhaps, only at the time by John Dewey, although Dewey lacked Du Bois’s understanding of the mechanics of empire and the dark machinations of white supremacy. We will today examine some of Du Bois’s fundamental ideas with his biographer Professor Gerald Horne, the Moores Professorship of History and African American Studies at The University of Houston.
Such is the gross mis-reporting of the Russia-Ukraine war — Patrick Lawrence is spot-on when he writes that it has ‘stupefied’ the public — that I am posting my film, ‘The War You Don’t See’ from 2010. This film will help explain why. http://johnpilger.com/videos/the-war
Gunfire Dance, like Pillbox, were a little older than me and my friends and they totally had written better originals than we did back then! The other thing that was especially impressive though, is the unified gang front they had! I was still stuck in a situation where I was having to quarrel with people in my bands about stuff like, let’s not wear sweatpants, or shorts on stage, or in publicity photographs of the band. Gunfire Dance really had their image together, early on. I felt like they were an almost perfect band, really, they checked all boxes, straightaway for me! I still remember getting their early cassette demo tapes in the mail at my old band house on the edge of town and being so fucking excited that some other rockers were also making some original music more in the spirit of older rocknroll bands like The Damned and The Lords Of The New Church as opposed to all that corny factory made power ballads fluff metal the big corporations were mass producing and oversaturating us all with in the era of Europe and Winger and Warrant and Nelson and all that bullshit. Gunfire Dance had a lot of the same influences as me and my teenage goth gang, but they stuck together longer than we ever did-recorded, toured, came to Amurkkka and blew all the trust funded big city namebands out the back door. I loved the vocalist ANT (RIP) and felt zero competition with him though we were doing kindof a real similar thing- we got along fabulously and it was all love and solidarity, and brotherhood, also with Pillbox who they also partied with in NYC. We all loved the notorious Holiday Cocktail Lounge back then. I considered those bands and also, The Coma-tones, and Thee Hypnotics, as like, our soul brethren. Still do. It felt like we had a genuine rocknroll community of like minded rebel rockers and that we were all in it together! I wish I still had my little GUNFIRE DANCE lapel buttons I used to wear around on my newsboy caps! GUNFIRE DANCE and PILLBOX and THEE HYPNOTICS were three of the best bands I ever saw. All good and righteously right on blokey blokes, too! You know they just don’t make ’em like this no more! I wish they did. I’m only here to help. Let me know, if you know anybody lookin’ for a wild frontman. I’m lookin’ for a band of courageous glamarchists who aint afraid to say something, and also T Rex the shit out of it!
My old friends asked me to write some liner notes for their big badass boxset but I never obtained a copy of it, so I dunno if they used the liner notes I penned or not. If you know somebody who can hook me up with a copy of that boxset, or their documentary on dvd, I’d appreciate it.
“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
On July 3, Julian turns 51. It will be the fourth year he has spent his birthday alone in a cell, without conviction.” (-Stella Morris)
“Russia is at war with NATO, Ukraine is just the country that NATO chose to have destroyed and for the people to die in.” (-Black In The Empire)
“Capitalism crashed 3 times before I turned 30 despite stealing the resources of other countries but capitalists still are arrogant and believe their system works This is why I say U.S. is the most propagandized country in the world. Insane how they pulled this off.” (-Revolutionary Blackout Network)
“Efforts to stomp out anti-imperialist voices were already getting creepy as fuck before we saw hard evidence of media figures conspiring with spooks to do so. This is a whole new level of creepy.” (-Caitlin Johnstone)
“This is just weird and creepy. Why are they all posting identical language about how proud they are to work at the Washington Post, like from a script handed down by a cult leader?” (-Glenn Greenwald)
“This is a joke! The White House on Tuesday insisted that “global challenges” such as the conflict in Ukraine, and not President Joe Biden’s policies, are to blame for soaring inflation in the US. But Biden’s decision last March to support war created the conflict in Ukraine!” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“Israel’s new rules, set to go into effect next month, will require Palestinians to apply 45 days in advance to visit relatives in the West Bank. If approved, if while there they become romantically involved with someone, they must inform the Israeli government in writing.” (-Ariel Gold)
“That was just the start. You all know the other scandals: the “moderate rebels” that turn out to be head-chopping Al Qaeda miniatures, the “WMDs”… and one of the biggest lies: the sanctions. People are suffering from Western sanctions like crazy. Think they’ll show that on TV?” (-Richard Medhurst)
“The greatest trick capitalism ever pulled was convincing people that we are free when we are ruled by corporations, billionaires, and the corrupt politicians who do their bidding. Our rulers coerced us to give up our freedom and obey the very system that’s rigged against us.” (-Ryan Knight)
“Around the globe millions are trying to deal with shattered lives because of US empire’s wars – both military & economic. Meanwhile Americans just debate the Johnny Depp trial.” (-Lee Camp)
“Still thinking about Ghufran and Shireen. Israel just gunning down women in the street, journalists doing their job, and zero repercussions.” (-Richard Medhurst)
“Authoritarians play book: create a boogeyman whip up fear control the narrative silence dissenting voices strip away rights for protection tell people extreme measures are temporary…” (-Steve Fellow Plebian)
“If you walk through life and don’t help anybody, you haven’t had much of a life” ― Fred Hampton
Mic Check! Hello my brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution, I’m just feeling deeply melancholy and sentimental today and scrolling through the ole Youtubes looking for some kinda comfort and consolation from the sweet sweet sounds of yesteryear’s rocknroll. One of my fave bands from my wild, wild youth were Gunfire Dance, they just meant so much to me and all my likeminded friends. Their album is gonna be re-released on vinyl this year and I can’t wait! I was at this show. Where are all the real rocknroll people at? Half my band went and joined a New Bomb Turks hot rod h/c band, and the other half went and joined a power pop band before quitting music and becoming professionals. I don’t blame ’em cause I never had no money for hotel rooms or plane tickets, or to hire slick producers or pay for studio time or mastering. I did have a lotta good songs, though. I still wanna rock, I can still get down like we used to. I’m gonna try to take some time off from the music/journalism thing after this column cause I’ve been neglecting other more important areas of my life and I’m not that sure anybody really reads my lengthy tirades anyhow, one old pal said something to me about how I’ve been unspooling the same old story for years that gave me pause, but I also see how he aint a rarin’ to retire himself yet, so yeah, this’ll probably be my last column for awhile but I’m linking to several online indie news sources you can continue to check in on, in my absence like, Black Agenda Report, Activist Post, Jacobin, Mint Press, Antiwar.com, and Consortium News-all the off script anti war sites being attacked by the billionaires and the warpigs. It’s not like my swan song or anything, I just need to develop some new habits. One thing I loved about the Manic Street Preachers is how they realized at some point after they got rich and shit, they just had so much access to studiotime, they were kinda flooding the market with some soft, ho-hum, mediocre product, at risk of becoming saynothing richman U2 hitmakers, so they decided to take some time off, saying their fans deserved a break from them. That’s where I’ve arrived when it comes to writing about the good old music and leftist politics online. You know the old Billy Bragg lyric, “mixing pop and politics, he asks me what the use is, I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses, you can be active with the activists or sleeping with the sleepers…” I wanna form a rock group that matters, even in my elderly, convalescent goth years. A riot of my own, a says something band that rocks approximately as hard as this:
“If I had five million pounds I’d start a radio station because something needs to be done. It would be nice to turn on the radio and hear something that didn’t make you feel like smashing up the kitchen and strangling the cat.”
In the summertime, I generally gravitate to “Diver Down”, and “Smash Hits” magazine eighties new wave, but you might know I do have some sleaze rock tendencies. I still love Four Horsemen, Zodiac Mindwarp, Hangmen, and Rock City Angels. As a Teenage Lipstick Boy myself, I used ta be a longtime correspondent of the late great Bobby Durango, always liked Ringo Jukes, too. Bobby’s mom wrote me a thank you note for summa the liner notes I penned for them. One of my very favorite Rock City Angels songs was “MARY” which was apparently co written with my fellow Kentuckian, Maker’s Mark sipping, newsboy hat wearin’ Johnny Depp, before he quit their band to appear on 21 Jump Street. Bobby said when they were composing it together, Johnny warned Bobby that his lick was too dark, and Bobby memorably said, “no such thing”. You might know that JIMMY JAMES, one of the best guitarists in the USA! USA! also played in Rock City Angels. I listened to Johnny’s new song, ya know, I thought it was okay, but nowhere near as good as “MARY”. “Once I had a love…”
“Amazing: there’s a panel entitled “How to fix toxic discourse and misinformation”: starring the top editors of two of the media outlets that did the most to spread the CIA’s pre-election lie that the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinformation”: Politico and The Intercept. The corporate outlets that most vocally accuse others of “disinformation” are the ones which spread it most aggressively and recklessly. ” (-Glenn Greenwald)
WELCOME TO THE LOVE CLUB, BABY
Somedays, I think about all the good times we used to have in our twenties when we were young and crazy, really miss those places we used to go and dance all night and all the righteous real rocknroll people we used to know. I’m tired, pissedoff, experiencing some crazy from the heat self pity today, ya know that all the fuckedup family holidays that roll by, always seem like torture or punishment to me, I flatout motherfucking hate ’em-all these freaking fake as fook drunk uncle, coolers fulla beer, long table, loudmouth floozy/rich man holidays, mostly just cause I live at the bottom of this society, ya know, frequently been under boot of the richman’s gestapo enforcers, in a winner takes all, no mercy, backstab capitalist culture where either you have the money, or fuck you, jack, you probably won’t even be hearing nothing from your own flesh and blood loved ones, people in the unreality show I-phone age just straight up follow the money, stick with the bigshot haves on the hill in the big houses, go where the party goes, no matter who’s got the bread, usually somebody’s drunk high school friend’s rich husband, that’s who everybody gonna be toasting, at the latenight wingding at the rolling estate, ya know what I’m sayin’? Barowners, fourth hand fake-famous people. DJ’s from the fancy class. Mansion dwellers. Jet-setters. Ruthless shit grabbers. In harrowingly depressing times like these, I’ve been starving for some real rocknroll kicks, it’s been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonley time, in the words of that one guy. Lately I’ve been revisiting the underground musical legacy of the great Boston punknroll/sleazemetal vocalist, JAMIE SEVER, with much gratitude and appreciation. That guy just had the stuff and all his wildly cool bands were awesomely good, real divebar sleazy rocknroll! Thanks for your service, brothers. Hats off to ’em, they don’t really make ’em like this, no more. It’s a lost motherfuckin’ art. Chrissie Hynde has a great tune that goes, “no, they just don’t make ’em like they used to…you shoulda just stuck with me…” that kinda always pierces the corporate media blare and lands straight into the heart of me. I’ll never know what happened to the rest of the kids-they all seemed to get filled up with alot of “Amurkkkan Idol” bullshittery and navel gazing studies at the sports university, and trains on time gatekeeper deskjobs, and soulless Spin magazine richkid drug-techno, people I grew up with, they seemingly ended up spending all their freetime being programmed by rich people, idle heiress unreality shows. Going to festivals with other sports patriot/gentrified people willing to pay $1000 to stand around in the hot sun with their I-Phone listening to robot muzak. I’m old fashioned, I still love the basic, get down, from the heart, tear it up rocknroll and feel a responsibility to resist all the one percent dollar worshipper’s silencing techniques and trickery/treachery clampdowns on free speech. I’m with Jimmy Dore and David Swanson and Caitlin Johnstone and Susan Sarandon, ya dig? If you are to become a media professional in this era of weaponized propaganda/infotainment, you gotta be willing to stay in your box, be on-script, read the teleprompter, recite the narrative, like Obama and Rachel Maddow. Why do middle class college people believe that tv heads overpaid millions by the one percent monopoly owners are real journalists? Why does anybody ever, ever, ever listen to that awful Amurkkan Idolized garbage muzak? I dunno, man. “It’s gotta be rocknroll music if you wanna dance with me.” (RIP) BIg-Mitch and Mr. Butch!
SNATCHES OF PINK
The fates and angels really smiled upon this comrade, Michael Rank who is like God’s own raggedy troubadour, he is such a badass renaissance man, a designer, a poet, a father, a farmer, a ballet dancer, a badass guitar player, a helluva good songwriter, a keeper of goats. “LOVE IS DEAD” is really an exceptional, standout work of art and would have been a hit in almost any other era. Summa his solo stuff is like old school, vintage, “Black & Blue” seventies soul. Like Curtis Mayfield and Gil Scott Heron, Issac Hayes and Prince. His talent level blows pretty much everybody elses outta the water. I love all his stuff-Snatches, Clarissa, Stag, “Coral”. it’s the kinda rocknroll you can put on and like, paint to. If you aint that hip to him, I’d say start with, “Send In The Clowns” and “Bent With Pray”, that’s where I started when I was in my early twenties. “Another Love”, “I Fell In Love With You Tonight”. All his music is high level rocknroll, like, The Rolling Stones, just a real gypsy prince motherfucker. I love him and consider him a friend. Diamond geezer. (RIP) Sarah Romweber.
WHAT WE WERE LISTENING TO
during all that wretched grunge/alternative bullshit was Beasts Of Bourbon, Coma-Tones, Gunfire Dance, and Pillbox, mostly. And these guys. I really want that Beggar’s Banquet box set, it is rare and expensive, though. My dead friend Shane Williams used to always say that, “Sex, Drugs & Rocknroll is still the answer!”
“Like most others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles – a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other – that kept me going.” ― Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary
When I hear this rock group, I remember…!
I remember receiving this cd in the mail in the early 90’s and not really giving it much of a listen at first just cause I was already into another group called Mystery Girls-no, not the “Ash In Drag” lot, or the In The Red act who did not come along until much, much later, but an Indianaoplis glam gang from the eighties hairspray daze who looked like The Black Crowes, probably even before The Black Crowes did and played like, Arthur Lee covers and shit. They were also known back in the day as TOO COOL, cause they really were. I could not find much record of ’em ever existing online but they used to be regular features of my shitty late 80’s fanzines. Anyways, over time, the Rose Hips and Chamber Strings gradually grew on me, I have an old letter from KJ hanging on the wall in my rehearsal room. This is his early rock band. If you know what happened to those Too Cool Indianapolis MYSTERY GIRLS guys, you should let me know.
JASMINE MINKS 1987
Would it surprise you at all to hear my newest fixation is from 1987? Somehow I missed this band, back in the day, but while reading a Manic Street Preachers book, “Nailed To History”, I noted they were devoted fans, and since I’m enduring a smoky, boring, triple digit heatwave, when it’s just too fucking hot to go on a walk today, I started youtubing different stuff and wow, man. SO FAB! YEAH! It all started with me looking for a band called the Favors who wrote one of the more exceptional songs I heard in the 00’s, called, “Leave L.A. Alone.” That one, and “Superstar” by American Heartbreak” and “Calling All Destroyers” by TSAR were big faves of mine, back then. I just freakin’ loved that Favors song, but dammit-now it’s gone, cause I never got it on a record or CD, it aint on youtube, it’s like I just imagined it. Battling ennui and depression, on these insanely hot days of nothing to do, ya know you find yourself diggin’ for buried treasures, revisiting the also-rans. I got pulled into some Edwin Collins and Long Ryders. Next thing I know, I’m in the Jasmine Minks rabbithole, set wayback dials for 87…
A SHIT-LIB IS A CABLE HOODWINKED HAVE, WHO SEES HARD FACTS AND FILTERS THEM OUT AS FAKE NEWS OR RUSSIA PROPAGANDA, BLAMES SARANDON.
Margaret Kimberly from Black Agenda Report opines: “The United States is still the country with the world reserve currency and 800 military bases around the world. This power is never used for the benefit of humanity. The drive to dominate never ends, and people throughout the planet are expected to go along and suffer due to American whims.
That is what the U.S. told the people of Venezuela, who had the gall to elect and re-elect left wing governments. The Trump administration demanded “maximum pressure” against Venezuela, enacting harsh sanctions that killed 50,000 people, cutting off access to foreign markets and even choosing to recognize a phony president.
But a funny thing happened on the way to destroying Russia. The Europeans who go along like good little vassals still need oil, and according to reports the U.S. has decided to allow Venezuela to sell some of its resources to their puppets in their time of need. The U.S. whiplashes from trying to punish one country, to lifting their punishments on another, while telling others they have to starve and just be quiet about it.
While the Congressional Black Caucuses (CBC) takes part in fairy tales about “malign Russian influence,” Africans are taking matters into their own hands and talking directly with Putin. They know they must ignore U.S. dictates if they are to survive. Of course Russia will ultimately create its own payment system with African countries, just as it did with China.
Meanwhile Russian victories in Ukraine continue. The Ukrainian counter attacks that have become a staple of corporate media are mostly imaginary, more grist for the war propaganda mill. Joe Biden undermines himself by blurting out that Ukraine may have to negotiate a settlement, while also announcing that the U.S. will keep sending money and military equipment.
The U.S. is once again undermining itself. An empire in crisis will inevitably behave irrationally. It demands control but creates the circumstances which undo the very systems, such as SWIFT, that it depends upon. But there will be more meetings with Putin, and more countries saying that they will not undermine themselves because Washington asks them to.”
FUCK BONO…I CAN’T BELIEVE THE NEWS TODAY… (no, really…)
When I was a klutzy little, pasty white, new wave fop in bad glasses, skeleton earrings, a busted, bloody lip, and big, black velvet bolero hats from ENZS on Saint Mark’s Place, I remember the CIA fortunate sons in the POLICE had a catchy little fake punk song, called, “Truth Hits Everybody”. I think truth started kicking my ass way before most of my former peergroups because I read books and also I did not have their insulation. By 95, all the civilians and Standard Amurkkkan Dream TV believers had flooded into what was formerly a college music and post punk underground. I could no longer find work doing stuff I was good at like say, writing about music, cause I was always refusing to say all that corporate alternative shit and poser richkid tribute rawk was any good, plus the music magazines had folded under media consolidation and the people who used to write for like Creem and Rolling Stone were all stepping down into the entertainment weeklies I had columns in, and they were willing to be on script about whatever music was being hyped by big business, whereas I was seen as contrarian/reactionary/unreliable, like I was supposed to get on board the whole, “We totally take Britney and Ricky Martin and Posh Spice and Taylor Swift seriously” thing, and I just was not. These so called music people who booked shows and owned cd stores and stuff were always goin’ on and on about Beck, Meg White, and Julian Casablancas, ehhh. Me and Bill Holdship fell out on Falsebook years ago over Lady Gaga. I just did not believe he actually loves and respects that “artist”. All these old dudes who’ve been exposed to real music for decades waxing all impressed about Marian Carey or Nikki Minaj or whatever, I always think they only say that kinda shit for the advertiser money. I used to wanna puke when my former record store cohorts who were teenagers in the sixties and seventies would pretend to be captivated by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or whoever just as an excuse to talk to younger females, ya know what I’m sayin’? I’m more distressed about the class war than I am on the culture war. But yeah.
Where I live now there aint no fake music assholes who got an inheritance and opened an overpriced record store, but there are still greedheads. Mostly these airbandb development landlordly type people and retirement aged shysters who source the town’s lone second hand store for like old vests and shit that they then charge between $25-55 for at their ripoff main drag tourist boutiques, always has been a resentment of mine-when wealthier people ransack the poor people’s second hand thrift stores to rip people off at their posh second hand boutiques. All the ancient retirees are looking forward to some outta town married couple who have a whacky, zaney techno duo where they dress all spacey, dude plays a sax and wife raps and sings and faux scratches and plays DJ beats real loud with flashing lights. Like Burning Man people., coming to town for one night only, yippie-yahoo. I don’t go ’round people.
I was not into any of the fake rap/illuminati Dizney pop, or boybands or Masonic namebrand capitalist rappers. Skrillex, Beck, Moby, Pauly D, I just never got in to any of that techno-culture, might be something to do with taking drugs and fist pumping at big festivals or Vegas hotel swimming pools fulla gold necklace douchelords that appeals to some people, does not appeal to me-even Primal Scream’s acidhouse whatever, I never got it, ‘”whoo wha whoo”, sounded to me like other people’s songs “remixed” and “sampled”. Ehh, I just never got it. I’m not gonna say some boyband or dorky white rapper are geniuses, cause they sampled somebody elses chorus and talked some shit on top of it. That’s Rob Sheffield’s paycheck, not mine, man. I was no longer able to work at goth boutiques or record stores in the nineties cause all these normie, mainstream college kids wanted those gigs, so ya know, I resumed dishwashing for many decades. Later in life, I started seeing all these good journalists and people of triple source integrity getting purged from mass media for not being sufficiently pro war, or for deviating from preferred Pentagon narratives. PHIL DONAHUE and JESSE VENTURA and MIKE GRAVEL and RALPH NADER were slandered, de-platformed, fired from the networks and blacklisted from Big 5 media, while all the spooks, lobbyist agents of foreign governments like Chertoff and Blitzer and CIA propagandists like Cooper and Maddow replaced anyone who was anti-war and pro human rights and civil liberties.
Congress will never break up the monopolies or reel back Citizen’s United ruling that says money is speech and speech is violence and big tech censorship aint censorship, if it’s not the government but of course that’s all a load of bollocks-the big tech momopolies HAVE merged with government, politicians are their cute little yapping lapdogs, begging for more gluten free doggie treats, because the donor class own the monopolies, start learning about Blackrock and Vanguard, Schwab and Gates. When you see pig-media headlines about breaking up big tech, it’s just more false hope shitlib “hope and change” wishful thinking bullshit. Read “EMPIRE OF ILLUSIONS” by CHRIS HEDGES. Yeah–a book! New Antitrust Summer Campaign Aims to ‘Beat Out Big Tech’s Lobbyist Machine’ (commondreams.org)
BONO and Penn and Clooney and Jolie and many others became shills for empire. The NWO-Great Reset-Agenda 21 rumors were not empty conspiranoia. Michael Hastings who wrote about generals for Rolling Stone died in a blazing ball of fire. People like William Cooper, Gary Webb, Paul Wellstone, Ted Gunderson, Seth Rich, and Dr. David Kelly are murdered by the empire, but check cashing shitlibs don’t wanna know. Few of my past acquaintances who think of themselves as scholars and academics have even contemplated the vague and distant, hypothetical, abstract notion they might have been lied to about 9/11 or the Kennedys. Let alone, any of these more recent wars and clampdowns. Personally, I stay outta most culture war diversions, cause I recognize that the wedge issues and preference enforcement agendas are just tools used by the super rich to appease their enforcement (R cops, spies, alphabet gangs, military) and gatekeeper (D bureaucrat, media mockingbirds, compliance officers, mgt classers) wings, who believe they will get to keep their privileges, so long as they help repress, “the others”. It really is some Hunger Games madness, now. People start talking to me about that Saturday Night Live goober that dates Kardashian and has a Hillary Clinton tattoo. I gotta go. Ya know? No thanks. I challenge people to find out what the WEF-Harrai-Schwab-Bilderberg-Reset Agenda is, and they say that’s just a fake news conspiracy theory and start telling me about what tones they prefer their NPR propagandists use and which millionaire media celebrities they second hand “identify” with. I tell ’em the Squad aint real, and they start insisting I must love Trump and Tucker Carlson and (wait for it:) “PUTIN”. I’m not the one who thinks the millionaires and billionaires are my SPECIAL SUPER SAVIOR SCIENTIST FRIENDS FROM THE FUTURE. That’s the tv believers. The whole shitshow is being manipulated by some shady billionaires, and no shady billionaires are coming to your rescue. I can not stand sniveling wealth worshippers, consensus takers, bandwagon chasers, P.C.’s, Hillarybots or Thank Obamas, see no evil brunch bunchers. As my old crony, “The Kid” used to say, “Fuck Those People”.
Remember when Dick Cheney threatened PAUL WELLSTONE and he died in a small plane crash? No? You just remember thinking Lyn Cheney was your new, special pal since the Qshaman psy-op? You heard pig-media scream “insurrection” one million times so you think we need laws prohibiting protests we might disagree with. You might be media hoodwinked. Do you even remember there was a man named Paul Wellstone, honestly? A FOURTH AMENDMENT? A LOGAN ACT? A GENEVA CONVENTION? A BUILDING #7? Seymour Hersh-ever heard of him? Never occurred to you how JFK Jr. woulda been senator from NY had he not died in a small plane crash? So who took his place after the accident, again? Hmm. Got my pink hat on. For “diversity”, right? Only the whole Diversity Team vote just like their corporate DNC bosses, what a coincidence. In Ryan Knight’s words, “There is a fundamental misunderstanding in this country about who the Democratic party really is. The party does not exist to serve the people. It exists to stop any real movement to the left and is the GOP’s greatest ally in preserving the capitalist oligarchy. Inflation and the rising cost of living is hurting the working class and having very real consequences on families. But rather than use their majority to do something about it and reduce costs for the people, Biden & the Democrats have spent the past year making excuses. “Putin’s price hike” is Democrats latest attempt to shift the blame. Putin didn’t write the US laws that have enabled corporations to rake in record profits at the expense of the public. Democrats did that in collaboration w/ Republicans all while pretending to be for the people.”
WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DEMOCRATIC WING OF THE DNC? RESEARCH PAUL WELLSTONE!
The American concept of “freedom” prioritizes the rights of the privileged over the rights of the oppressed. (-Alley Valkyrie)
“The imperial machine is packed to the rafters with sniveling power worshippers of this variety, people who choose to spend their lives clawing their way up into positions of influence within the most depraved power structure on the face of this planet, demonstrating their worthiness by their continual willingness to advocate awful things no matter how reckless or stupid.
This is why the world is as it is. The systems which allocate power and wealth elevate the worst among us to the most consequential of positions, where they are then free to act out their own inner misery on the rest of humanity and keep us in a state of suffering and trauma. Nothing will get better until we change those systems.” (-Caitlin Johnstone)
“Paul Mason has become a laughing stock, even on the soft left, for his ever more outrageous authoritarianism. But it’s no laughing matter: leaked emails suggest he’s covertly plotting with an intelligence-linked contractor to destroy independent media” (-Jonathon Cook)
, who’s also described simply as a “Russian influenced account.” (-Max Blumenthal, Gray Zone)
You gotta wonder sometimes about the basic integrity of all the heavily propagandized privileged shitlibs begging their shitlib politicians for more anti-democratic laws against public assembly, they are just outright giddy that voices they were told they should disagree with, are being censored online, and they all mindlessly parrot this fiction that it “can’t be censorship” if “privately owned” tech monopoly platforms censor anti imperialist and anti war voices by orders of the White House. They got bamboozled by the whole Capital Hill Blue Lives Matter maga psy-op, and those Brooks Bros. recount riot alt-nazis with the tiki torches, now the establishment is coming after everyone on the left, silencing every facking principled leftist voice advocating for peace, freedom, human rights and civil liberties, they are hoodwinked into supporting the oligarchs endless war agendas and all seeing Pinkerton eye of the Tech surveillance globalist reset. Back in my day, Sonny, all The Clash Kids and even like Dead Kennedys hardcores, man, they all had “Kill Your TV” stickers on their guitar cases, now everybody is glued to fuckin’ TV, you know they are, cause they always sayin’ TV shit. I’m so old I can remember when U2 were still good guys, not just kissass rich man, pro war bankster puppets of the WEF and CFR. anybody clowning around with W Bush, Bill Clinton and Bill Gates is no friend of The People. Of that you can be certain.
HORRIFYING STATE CENSORSHIP BEING NORMALIZED BY THE BIG PAYCHECK SHITLIB OKEYDOKEYS
OLIVER STONE, GARLAND NIXON, SEYMOUR HERSH, PROJECT CENSORED, SIBEL EDOMONDS, COLEEN ROWLEY, MINTPRESS, ABBY MARTIN, people like that were getting kicked off platforms by the big-tech corporations. Even fucking comedians were targeted. JULIAN ASSANGE is still in jail for publishing real journalism. They locked up Craig Murray, too. John Kirakou, Ray McGovern, anyone for peace and truthful facts, on the ground reporting. So, now I’m old and kinda been shoved outta multiple neighborhoods by the evil, usual “gentrifying” forces, I see that summa that hard truth is starting to get through to some other more privileged people who always “liked” the see no evil, “vote blue no matter who” narratives. Cait Johnstone Sez:
As journalists such as Whitney Webb and Mnar Adley noted years ago, NewsGuard markets itself as a “news rating agency” designed to help people sort out good from bad sources of information online, but in reality functions as an empire-backed weapon against media that question imperial narratives about what’s happening in the world.
The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal outlined the company’s many partnerships with imperial swamp monsters such as former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and “chief propagandist” Richard Stengel as well as “imperialist cutouts like the German Marshall Fund” when its operatives contacted his outlet for comment on their accusations.
Lauria compiles a mountain of evidence in refutation of NewsGuard’s claim that Consortium News published “false content” about the 2014 U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine, copiously citing outlets which NewsGuard itself has labeled accurate sources of information with its “green check” designation system.
Remember how freaked out all the bar people got during quarantine? I was not as adversely impacted personally cause I’d been social distancing since about ’97 when my ex peers were really starting to en masse more fully assimilate, but Covid clampdowns killed off the already dwindling presence of independent mom n pop shops in my part of the country. There’s still a few ripoff rich people tourist traps, but most commerce is dead here-a four day a week coffee shop, a jacked up artisanal microbrewer for outta towners, Wal Mart, and that’s it, you’ve had it. Back to Amazon, E-Bay, Net-Flix, Falsebook, ya know? Now the heat is on-100 degrees in the shade and intense wildfire smoke, kinda feels like you’re on an island, with the radio on. A smoky island. I remember that eighties MTV era BILLY IDOL promo cassette where he is being interviewed by MARTHA QUINN and saying how he wrote one of my alltime favorite songs about growing up with people and looking up to them and then the disappointment he felt when they kinda lost the plot. Man, do I ever know that feeling. Folks I used to follow around as a kid, ya know they turned into like these strangers, followers, script reciting, cult people. I know so many people with influential platforms who say nothing they think might jeopardize their insider status, and privileges of membership. People don’t even speak out for like, JULIAN ASSANGE, and shit. Or secretive billionaire control of the entire media. Laws against protest, laws against printing the truth. I had some old punks give me all kinds off shit for not subscribing to the personality cult of AOC and her meaningless justice tweets that never, ever threaten the profits of her Nancy Pelosi/Wall Street higherups. When they say absolute power corrupts absolutely, hell, I’ve seen people drop any kind of pretense of principles or leftish values for like, free booze at the sports bar. Ten percent off at the hipster record shop, selfies with replacement member of assemblylined rawk brands, that kinda thing. Murkkkans don’t know anything about history, or what’s going on in this world unless it’s whitewash revisionism silver spoon fed to them by corporate media propagandists.
The Manic Street Preachers visited Cuba back in the day and met Fidel, but felt like the Cuban government kinda hijacked them, assimilated their show into their government’s publicity machine, which is exactly what the big 5 mockingbird media always does in this country, the the bankster one world government reset globalists have a motto, “never waste a crisis”, or “order from chaos”, meaning they will seize any event as an excuse to pillage, plunder, steal more power for themselves, at the expense of the poor, huddled masses. Sometimes I just miss my amigos who’ve gone on to the other side or whatever, my outlaw songwriter friend Paul, really woulda loved this Big Star movie I been watching. I devote most of my life force to parenting and relentless but invisible household chores nowadays, my wife said something about adulthood means you never never stop cleaning the kitchen, it’s just all you do. I spoke to an old chum I really missed on the telephone, he was shocked to hear my voice after twenty years. I still think it’s important to live while we are alive. Whether that means taking a walk, having a laugh, recording some tunes, drawing people’s attention to shit that matters, soaking up the sunsets, playin’ your harmonica in the French Quarter. “Get together one more time…”
“You ain’t alive and kicking unless you’re fighting.” ― Joe Strummer
ABBY MARTIN calls out hypocrisy of Sec Blinken: “you lecture about press freedom but do nothing when Shireen Abu Akleh and Jamal Khashoggi, two journalists and US citizens, are murdered. Why are you buying bullets for the worst abusers of journalists like Saudi Arabia & Israel…what about Shireen Abu Akleh? She was murdered by Israeli forces… And you’re sitting up here talking about the freedom of press and democracy”.
“The US government invited Spain to its Summit of the Americas in California, but it excluded Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. This led Cuba to quip, “Is Spain in the Americas?” Washington invited European colonialists, but not Latin American leftists.” (-Benjamin Norton)
“My enemies are not in Moscow or Beijing. My enemies are in Washington, Arlington, Langley, New York City, and Los Angeles. And so are yours. Only question is whether or not you realize it yet.” (-Cait Johnstone)
“Another Anti-War voice being silenced. This is how the control the narrative.” (-Jimmy Dore)
“I have been arbitrarily banned from PayPal & Venmo. This is an attack on my free speech & journalism.” (-Jackson Hinkle)
“What a blessing to talk to another free brother who speaks his mind! He is a justice-loving artist- Jimmy Dore! We are proud members of the Advisory Council for the People’s Party founded by brother Nick Brana!” (-Dr. Cornel West)
“Julian Assange would have also been a great example considering he’s being tortured alive in prison for exposing U.S war crimes. We will all be made an example. Doubt the rest of the week they’ll allow actual adversarial journalism in. Prove me wrong State Department!” (-Fiorella Isabel)
“553K are homeless. 37M live in poverty. Millions are unable to afford health care and will go untreated. 42M are food insecure, 12M being children. Things are getting worse and they aren’t even arguing over how little to give you anymore.” (-Thia Ballerina)
AINT NO BERRIES ON THE TREES, THAT’S WHAT THE PEOPLE ARE SAYIN’…
One of the best things Strummer said, in my book, was, “forget it brother, you can go it alone”, ya know I kept waiting and waiting for people to move WITH me, who were always unbeknownst to me, makin’ moves against me, behind my back, undermining my shit. Sabotage. So I understood why Strummer dropped out for a long time-the business was a sick and evil cesspool. Joe started like having good times with the ukuleles camping out at bonfires with his actor and musician friends, gathering the firewood, pitchin’ the tents, passin’ the bottles-I think he may have even discovered some trippy pharmaceuticals like MDMA, but eventually, he reconnected with his own inner JOHNNY APPLESEED, wrote that heroic song. I think I’ve been to the real Johnny Appleseed’s grave site, but I always second guess myself about all of it now, I use to drink some, it gets hazy, mighta been a dream. I totally loved the Mescaleros, ya know when I first heard songs like “Coma Girl”, and “Arms Aloft” and “Long Shadow”, I still believed in summa my former musical collaborators back then, harbored these notions of laying down the songs I’d written, gettin’ back to where we once belonged, making provocative, heartfelt music–thought I could make a difference, maybe help tip the scales, strike tiny blows against the empire in Joe Strummer’s words, but lemee tell ya, the other kids had skipped the bonfire, they went straight to brunch with the country club crowd, became golfers and shit. You can not rock with golfers. Always such a joke to me when the biggest private school prat in crowd elitists make believe they are some kinda Clash fans, I can’t help but always wonder, like, which Clash songs THEY been listening to? Different ones than me. They obviously got a different message than I did. “I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown out, but I’m not down, no I’m not down…”
“Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.”
“I was watching TV the other night, and they had these guys from Indonesia, and [the anthropologists] said “You guys have a lot of parties and stuff; stay up all night and chew drugs, and dance on logs, and walk in the fire and do all this stuff, you know”. And like, the guys said “Of course we have to have decent festivals! We do this so that our souls will be happy; so that our souls don’t get mad at us, fly away to the gods and we’ll die” (-Rob Tyner; MC5)
Reading that Michael Davis book, it really hurt my heart to hear about righteous White panther frontman ROB TYNER being bullied for his appearance by his bandmates. I always call him SOUL BROTHER #2! I been there though-they hate you when you’re skinny, they hate you when you’re fat, they hate you when your hair’s too long, they hate you when your hair’s too short. They hate you when you party, they hate you when you’re sober, hate you when you laugh, hate you when you weep, at some point you figure out their hatred has nothing to do with you and you do your own thing, move forward without them, go where the love is. If Rob Tyner was alive today, they’d say he lacked proper pitch or shoulda gotten his teeth fixed, you know what I mean? I LOVE Rob Tyner, just the exact way he motherfuckin was! GOD BLESS BROTHER ROB TYNER! What a poet! Friend of the people! REVOLUTION ROCK!
THE DREAM IS SOLDOUT IN THE PROMISED LAND (-WAYNE KRAMER)
“It’s hard to find words. I have played in so many spaces with precarious floors and beams and stairs and not enough exits and certainly no sprinklers. Warehouses, squats, basements, rooftops, barns. Playing music saves my life. People tell me listening to music saves their lives. People telling me that my music saved their life saves my life even more. And we take the risks. Playing and listening in unsafe spaces. Because when we feel like we are dying anyway the risks don’t… seem as risky as the risks we already face every day. The risk of self destructing. There aren’t enough places for us to gather.
Our favorite places get turned into parking lots. So many clubs with their overhead and their staffs and their contracts and their lack of inclusivity and lack of tolerance and their age restrictions and their bars and their bigots. Those spaces are also unsafe just in different ways. Those spaces break you if you don’t make em the money. Because it’s always about the money. The fucking money. They will make you feel like a failure. Like a piece of shit. But all we can do is art. So we meet underground. We lurk in the shadows. And there it isn’t about success or failure. We sing and scream and cry and laugh and dance and group hug like cinnamon rolls and tell each other to get home safe and stay safe and be careful because the world is scary and the world is risky. We know we have to take care of each other.
So we meet in warehouses. Where we can just love on each other and escape from all the scariness and sadness. We take care of each other in our unsafe spaces that can feel so much safer than your safest spaces.
Imagine you were on a sinking ship. And there is only one lifeboat. And someone screams that there is a chance the lifeboat might tip over.
You’ll take that chance.
If I hadn’t had people inviting me to their unconventional venues over the years I would have been dead a long long time ago.
We’re not trying to put each other in danger. We are trying to save each other’s lives. We love each other so much.
I love you all.”
(- Kimya Dawson)
“Obama was just a place-holder for fascism. Not that he wasn’t fascist and not that the Empire and police state didn’t metastasize under his regime, but that opposition to it dried up, for the most part. It was a brilliant move for the ruling-class.” (-Cindy Sheehan)
“The reprehensible fact that President Obama will not lift a finger to help the police-state besieged Water Protectors at Standing Rock speaks volumes about President Kill List’s true nature. Installed to bestow a multicultural face on the elitist crime spree known as neoliberal capitalism and US economic and military imperialism, his presence further bolsters the traditional role of the Liberal Class, to wit, to serve as a protective barrier between leftist, labouring class,… and minority socio-economic movements and the capitalist overclass.
Obama’s (non)action regarding Standing Rock is an object lesson in the form. When Alabama Governor George Wallace and Birmingham’s Chief of Public Safety Bull Connor fired volleys of tear gas, targeted with high-pressure water from fire hoses, and set attack dogs upon civil rights activists in the Jim Crow-ruled streets of Birmingham, the world took note and responded with umbrage. Obama’s presence, as it did with the Bail Out of the Wall Street criminal class as Main Street reeled and languished from their scams, serves to buffer any outrage and smother, by neglect, wider support or action by liberals.
In the coming months, when President Trump allows or orders police state goon squads to brutalise dissidents…just wait for it…liberals and faux progressives will revert to full umbrage mode. Trump has transformed the nation into a police state, they will bray. The problem will not be capitalism and the System Of Plunder’s inherent deprivations, state violence and institutional racism. No. The only problem will be Trump, The Orange-Stained Il Duce, The garrulous rouser of Cracker Barrel fascists, Sauron’s Eye Atop Trump Tower.
Yet, as we speak, the shock troops of the US police state drench and pummel the unarmed Water Protecters at Standing Rock with high-power streams from water cannons, in sub-freezing weather conditions, reign volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets upon them — yet the Liberal Class, still in the thrall of their post-election hissy fit, cannot be bothered to notice the unfolding obscenity. All of their outrage has been postdated to arrive in the era of Trump.” (Phil Rockstroh)
“White people, men, straight people, cis people, Christians, you are going to be offered an out, a bargain, an olive branch. They will offer you some normalcy and safety to break ranks and join the winning side, or at least the quiet, enabling, uninvolved side. This is always done; has always been done. You will be offered the opportunity to calm down and make nice and retain lives like the ones you had before for yourselves and your families.
I will understand that those offers might be tempting. I will even understand some of you taking those offers. I love safety and comfort and my family too. Please, when that opportunity comes, look at history, and remember how false it is. Please don’t break ranks with the people more vulnerable than you. Please, remember what happens when you’re not watching, what this week feels like, what it has felt like for some of the rest of us for a long time. Please, look at how we’re reacting and remember we are afraid for good reasons, and don’t leave us behind.
We are counting on you. We are hoping for your best and bravest selves. Help us to get out of this alive. Please.” (-Elena Rose)
“Wow. Eight years of having your rights eviscerated, economic decline, children drone bombed, torture becoming the norm, and hundreds of thousands of people being bombed overseas and I heard nothing but the sound of crickets from our alleged “leftists.” One day after a Republican wins an election and it looks like the million man march out there. You people should just admit it. You don’t care about rights, war, murder, or freedom. You are party cultists and nothing more. I guess you finally found your voices after eight years of silence. Too bad you couldn’t find your principles.” (-Brandon Turbeville )
“A revolutionary career does not lead to banquets and honorary titles, interesting research and professorial wages. It leads to misery, disgrace, ingratitude, prison and a voyage into the unknown, illuminated by only an almost superhuman belief.” (-Max Horkheimer)
“Real revolutionaries adorn themselves on the inside, not on the surface.” (-Che)
“We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world—bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts.”
(-Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century)
“THE MOST FRIGHTENING feature of the civic melancholia in present-day America is the relative collapse of integrity, honesty, and decency — an undeniable spiritu…al blackout of grand proportions. The sad spectacle of the presidential election is no surprise. Rather, the neofascist catastrophe called Donald Trump and the neoliberal disaster named Hillary Clinton are predictable symbols of our spiritual blackout. Trump dislodged an inert conservative establishment by unleashing an ugly contempt for liberal elites and vulnerable citizens of color — and the mainstream media followed every performance (even his tweets!) for financial gain. Clinton laid bare a dishonest liberal establishment that was unfair to Bernie Sanders and obsessed with winning at any cost — and the mainstream media selectively weighed in for pecuniary ends.” (-Dr. Cornel West)
“For many decades a very controlled and corrupt media has been directing the attention of the masses by uniformly reporting on a state of …managed chaos, which is scripted and staged to produce mental confusion and fatigue. The relentless reporting and rehashing of catastrophic and traumatic events, with images of despair and destruction repeatedly planted into the minds of the viewers, create supreme states of anxiety and are, in reality, a form of psychological warfare. Authorities play with truths, half-truths, deceptions, and lies to render you hopeless, feeling it is pointless to do anything – this now passes as ‘the news’, and it can rule your life.
When millions of people focus their attention upon listening to the same words, seeing the same pictures, and hearing the same descriptions, tremendous energy is generated and a massive thought-form is created. Thought-forms are vibrational blueprints that hold instructions for manifesting reality. The media captures your attention and then programs your imagination, essentially canceling your your own unique creative drive to self. You have been conditioned to believe that all you need to know can now be found in the wonderful world of electronic boxes and the information and entertainment they hold. . When ‘the news’ is slanted toward a continuous message of war and conflict, a state of despair and a sense of hopelessness are created. A paralysis of power takes hold because you become convinced that the only reality is what is described and prescribed by the authorities in the box. Reality is created and produced by each and every one of you, and those seeking to control the world have kept this knowledge a well-guarded secret for ages.
Now the cat is clawing its way out of the bag at last, screaming and hissing, which makes this a very special time to be alive on this planet. Free your mind, and you contribute to the freedom of the whole human race. Follow the same tired old script, and you participate actively in your own enslavement and that of your fellows. The choices are yours and yours alone to make.” (-Jonathan Shaw)
“We got wishes as unstoppable as nitroglycerin. Just a tiny spark of dreamfire, and we explode into a dazzling blast of TNT dynamighty. No sleepwalking saints gonna lull us into submission with soporific hymns. No terminators are gonna X out our revelators. No gutter-breathed bullies are gonna stomp all over our shine. Cue up that old sweet song of peace. Gonna show all the haters and spiritbreakers how we can roar in the resounding key of We. (-Rich Ferguson)
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, impostors, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices.”
(- George Orwell)
“The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they’re an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They’ve got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.”
“But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.
“You know what they want? Obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they’re coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club.”
“This country is finished.” (- George Carlin)
“Why are people who condemn obscene displays of wealth called haters but not those who don’t want to see poor people in their neighborhoods?” (-Rasha Foda)
“The State just announced they were closing the airspace above the camp so that we cannot use drones to record what is about to take place. They want to commit this deplorable act without cameras, media, legal observers, etc. They want their horrifying, egregious civil rights violations to be shrouded in secrecy and silence. They will not succeed and their actions will be disseminated for everyone to see.” (-Lauren Regan)
“Headline from that faux progressive dispensary of lesser-of-two-evils casuistry, Alternet: ‘Bernie Sanders Makes a Powerful Case for Continuing the Revolution—Under a Clinton Administration’
Seriously, Bernie? How credulous do you think we are? You know damn well the Democratic Party is the graveyard of leftist and minority socio-economic movements. You would have gained a degree of true power and influence had you joined forces with Jill Stein rather then evincing the miserable role of Judas Goat. And don’t attempt to ply us with the ‘hold their feet to the fire’ canard i.e. — the mating call of the toxically innocent and of faux progressive sellouts.
Shall we go over a few facts that reveal your new and improved revolution within the High Dollar owned and controlled Democratic Party is as fraudulent as the original one you staged within the High Dollar owned and controlled Democratic Party’s primary sham?
Hillary Clinton has announced former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as the head of her transition team. Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado, now works at WilmerHale, one of the most influential lobbying firms in Washington. Salazar — like HRC’s pick for VP, Tim Kane is a corporate fixer and Wall Street bag man. Both have given vocal support for and lobbied in favour of fracking, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Keystone XL pipeline and have taken adamant stands against progressive measures to reform Wall Street.
Sure thing, Comrade Bernie, the corporacrat cabal surrounding HRC are going to be rendered sleepless, nightly they will be staring bug-eyed at the ceiling, mortified that have found themselves on the fighting side of “the get a life” crowd. (-Phil Rockstroh)
“First, I must say….. I’m glad I wasn’t shot..
Now to the real story..
If you didn’t know, that was me being taken down by the riot officers. From what I recall I was in a line of peaceful protectors. We had a mission that did not involve being attacked by authority abusing, short tempered mercenaries protecting large oil companies.
I have been charged with Engaging in a Riot. I heard the Moron County Sheriffs statement lying about us crossing some imaginary line. First off, there was no line to begin with. The only line formed was our line of warriors protecting our people when they rushed forward to attack us with mace and violently push us in the chest to move us backwards, frequently causing us to trip and fall so they can nab us on the ground.
I was singled out by the officers to put under arrest because as we had our media teams filming the atrocities set forth by these cops, they continuously tried to grab our camera men and women to prevent us from getting out the true stories. Every time I watched an officer move forward on someone with a camera, I either stepped in front of them or pulled that camera person out of the way. One officer caught on to what I was doing and informed the overly aggressive mace attacker to move up on me. I had my hands up from the moment they arrived to our group to the moment they put me in zip ties.
During the time I was in those zip ties, which was 10 hours to be exact, I went through my day as my normal self, with humor. From cracking little jokes on the cops like telling one officer “I like your ugly stick” and he responded with “why do you call it that?”, I said ‘because ugly people hold them’. To urgently screaming in a garage full of protectors and officers ‘I NEED AN OFFICER OVER HERE!!!’ and as they rush to me, I calmly state ‘my nose itches’.. I used my humor to maintain an image to these officers. Even on our three hour trip to Fargo police station, we sang songs and told jokes. We humorously gave our transferring officers a hard time, encouraging them to smile.
We have been labelled as verbally abusive, cattle-stealing, riot-engaging eco-terrorists. How can I continuously inform the world that we are peaceful people when we can’t even convince the officers in front of us that we are peaceful? Regardless how unfortunate it is that they are treating us so brutally (I mean, look at this image of me being slammed), we still have the potential to humanize our image by remaining peaceful, friendly people.
After spending over 10 hours with arresting officers, I managed to ask at least four of them ‘We’re probably the coolest bunch of people that you’ve arrested aren’t we?’ And every one of them hung their heads down and slightly smirked ‘Yeah, you kinda are’.
This is the power we have. We can change the game. All it takes is a little humility and humor. ”
Let’s put this pipeline to an end with our power..-(-Chad Charlie, Water Protector, Oceti Sakowin Camp)
“There is no subjection so perfect as that which keeps the appearance of freedom.” (-Rousseau)
“The Hillary Trump campaign is a massive fraud of the most vile type. A lot of people will be killed as a result of their sham to install the most hawkish candidate in our lifetime. This country is doomed because of easily lead voters”. (-Pete Sounds)
“In the days when you were hopelessly poor, I just liked you more…” (-Morrissey)
“Trump is the perfect modern American. He’s a human consumption machine with no attention span, no self-control, no beliefs and no hobbies outside of sex, spending, eating and talking about himself. Nixon at least played the piano and read classics. He was an intellectual with a pig’s heart. Trump is just the pig part. The distance between the two men represents how far we’ve fallen as a nation in the last 40 or 50 years. ” (-Matt Taibbi)
“Modern man has transformed himself into a commodity; he experiences his life energy as an investment with which he should make the highest profit, considering his position and the situation on the personality market. He is alienated from himself, from his fellow men and from nature. His main aim is profitable exchange of his skills, knowledge, and of himself, his “personality package” with others who are equally intent on a fair and profitable exchange. Life has no goal except the one to move, no principle except the one of fair exchange, no satisfaction except the one to consume.” (-Erich Fromme)
“It sucks to have to look people in the eye and share hopelessness, while simultaneously trying to hold hope, push for possibilities, and squeeze options out of thin air. That’s what we are forced to do in a town that lacks political will to truly house people first.
I have contact with unhoused folks and advocates every single day of the week. I receive constant requests to help mostly elderly folks who are sick, have no family support, and are struggling to navigate systems that put up more barriers than effective assistance. This week alone I’ve helped brainstorm 4 cases of folks in their 60s-70s living outside. I’ve also delivered warm clothing and supplies to a dozen individuals under bridges and helped several folks do their laundry. I don’t say this for attention, I say it because I’m trying to illuminate the need.
I am honored to be part of a community of folks who care, who volunteer, do the same stuff I do, or who donate regularly. While we have meaningful connections, build networks, and feel generally positive about “doing good” – we often experience our work as a “drop in the bucket.” Because it is. Because this city (and state) actively and systemically discriminates against unhoused people in a whole bunch of ways.
All my unhoused compatriots who survive on the streets perform daily miracles figuring out how to live another day, how to get “comfortable” on pavement in 27 degrees, how to make a can of spam last 3 days, how to “sleep” on a bucket so they don’t get arrested, how to prevent another amputation from frostbite, how to navigate constant fear… They do the hardest work against incredible odds and constant critical scrutiny. And then they die, lucky to get mentioned in the paper.” (-Arwen DeSpain)
“We are living in an amazing time.
We are the generation watching the myths unravel. The lies that have brought us here are being put on display. We are the generation who are witnessing the end of silent complacency.
We are living in a time where simple truths are being revealed, no matter where we look, no matter how hard we try to deny it.
The distractions no longer distract us. The lies no longer convince us. What we believe no longer feeds us or comforts us.
It is a …great awakening.
We are blessed, many would say cursed, with having the responsibility to choose what future we pass on to our children and grandchildren.
And it is hard and frightening to have such responsibility.
But we cannot pass the buck, we cannot pass it on the those not yet born, because if we fail to act, now, the future will be set in stone.
When the water is gone, when we are drinking poison, when the land is barren, when the air makes us ill, who can say there is a future in that?
Should we obey laws that keep us from defending our lives and the lives of our children?
That is a hard question for many people to answer, because it relates to what we want to believe, but ignores what we know to be true. Never has it been more evident that what is legal is not necessarily moral. Which of these will you support?
So now, the battle of this generation is being fought within each of us. We must decide what is right, and then we must act on that decision. We cannot look to the left, or to the right, or behind us to see what others are doing. We must focus on what we are doing.
We must deal with what is right in front of us.
There is great wisdom waiting for us to discover it.
Whatever must fall before us, whatever beliefs or comforts must be sacrificed, whatever we must take apart, we must accept that it must be.
If we are to survive.” (-Lee Burkett)
“In recent days, Democrats have formed a circle jerk of self-praise for Obama for his eight years of avoiding any hint of a sex scandal.
Sorry to be a hagiography cock-block, Democrats. President Predator Drone got off stroking his “Kill List.” The war crimes involved in attacking wedding parties and slaughtering innocent men, women and children is not absolved in the least by keeping his zipper closed.”
“Thanks, Senate, way to go Congress, it appears your heart is as Black as the Oil Obama bathes in… Multi billion dollar arms deal for The Scum A ribs.. It took 8 years to figure you out P.O.S. I hope the same fate on your Daughters as the School children of Yemen…have nice Oily Fuckbar day.. Peace out.” (-James Recca)
“This is the whole stupid thing about all these unblood relationships. They depend on people staying the same, standing in the same spot they were in over a decade ago, when they first met. Surely the reality is that connections between people aren’t permanent, but fleeting and random, like a solar eclipse or clouds meeting in the sky. They exist in a constantly moving universe full of constantly moving objects.” (-
“I used to think that people who supported the Dems above all reason were smart, but gave them a break because of propaganda and conditioning, but now I think they are stubbornly ignorant and nothing will change that.” (-Cindy Sheehan)
“I am a 65 year old deplorable, basement dweller, part of the bucket of losers voting for Jill.” (-Becky Winslow)
“Americans who believe anything politicians, celebrities, or media hacks say about Syria, Russia or any other so-called threat to their lives or freedoms are living in la-la land, custom tailored just for them. These people don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone but themselves. They have a vision and an objective and we’re not included.
While the world burns, they’ll be sipping margaritas in underground bunkers, waiting for the smoke to clear and the ashes to settle on our bones.” (-Rasha Foda)
“Now we can see, in graphic terms, and sit in the comfort of our homes, and watch a human being being choked to death, or watch someone who has his hands up being murdered by a policeman, in graphic detail, brought to you in living color. This is the reality that the black people and poor people have confronted for centuries. And now it’s something that’s an object of conversation.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“You’re better than at least two Dylans (Thomas, Bob). I hope you’re saving all this and pouring it into your book or more songs.” (-Falling James)
“The Ugly, Heartbreakers, MC5, Viletones, The Who, I thought were Gangs that happened to play R n R.
All with Vices that woulda made Rimbaud blush. Hustlers that knew what ‘I’m the best, and even if you beat me, I’m STILL the best’ meant.” (-Steven Leckie)
“While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” (― Eugene V. Debs)
“Resistance is the secret of joy…” (-Alice Walker)
” Of course, it is easy for liberals to notice and feel superior to Trump’s vivid psychopathic tendencies and the inarticulate, often inchoate, rage of his followers. Yet they possess a blindspot when it comes to Hillary Clinton’s raging pathology. Blindspots are inherent to the U.S. collective mindscape, after all, the nation’s landscape is seeded with the brooding corpses of the nation’s exercises in genocide. It is one of the reasons I chose to leave the U.S. The relentless insults to heart, mind, and soul were a constant annoyance. Apropos: With both Trump and Clinton supporters, their belligerent obtuseness is an abomination, their citadels of self-reference impenetrable, their bulwarks of smugness unscalable. Why? A capitalist culture deems self-awareness a domain of “negativity.” Trump’s manic salesmanship is appealing to klaverns of nitwit nationalists, where mindless bluster and inexplicable confidence are admirable qualities. Reflection and ambiguity are for losers. With liberals, class superiority is the linga franca of their realm. Both shun the process of self-awareness. The endeavour is painful and the social friction attendant to the act can be unbearable. Yet: In order to know one’s individual heart and mind, one must be able to weather disapproval. At times, one must sink low enough in the perception of others in order to rise into oneself. U.S. presidential election cycles are the last place the phenomenon is likely to transpire.” (-Phil Rockstroh)
“Love your children & the people you love out loud, boldly. More loud & more bold than all the hate that is visited upon us. This is not the whole thing, but part of the antidote, our unapologetic in your damn face love.” (-Asha Bandele)
“Despite the draconian police-state tactics deployed to silence our voices, our campaign was undeterred. We accomplished a historic breakthrough during the debate, by using cutting edge social media tools to insert my voice live into the debate in real time.” (-Jill Stein)
“America has never been great for people of color” (- Colin Kaepernick)
“There’s no sense of entitlement like BOURGEOIS ENTITLEMENT… Lesser forms just won’t do once you’ve tasted the REAL THING…” (-Eyeball Jackson)
“I believe that there will be ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the color of the skin…”
(-Malcolm X) JEFF WARD “CARRY ON DREAMING” (-BOOK REVIEW BY GENERAL LABOR)
It’s hard to read, where I’m staying at the moment, too much loud media blare, my eyesight is terrible, there’s no good light, and my optical prescription is severely outta date, I’m getting fucking old, in my knees and my hands, as well as in my overall outlook, pessimism has poisoned my once indomitable enthusiasm, the weight of my experiences is a heavy drag to carry, a bag of bricks, my lower back is outta whack. In my head, I’m still writing all these provocative lyrics for my dashing band of anarchist punks to perform at neighborhood power to the people rallies, but in my default reality, I’m tasked with a lot of painful lifting and bending and cleaning and scrubbing, with a bum hand and a ruined back, and it’s only when I can escape into a great song, or dusty old book, or hard won sleep, that I find respite from the ravages of middle age, and chronic horror that my rocknroll fantasy died so young, and my middle years have witnessed the desecration of the Bill Of Rights and Geneva Conventions, common civility, affordable housing, and popular music with true heart.
This book has been an affirming and consoling companion to me in the midst of a dreary, grieving, icy winter and if any of my words sometimes resonate with you, even if you are as blind as I am, or share my deteriorating attention span, you will be positively dazzled by Jeffs’ masterful, poetic command of the language, as well as his naked, bruised soul, and slashing wit, and endearing sense of comedy and spontaneity and mischief, which jumps off of every page. You might even learn something before you’re through, too…hey, hey, hey. Jeff Ward is a kindred soul, a real cool character, a casualty of a guilt inducing Catholic upbringing, the kind of wild eyed bohemian immigrant who used to inhabit the Lower East Side of Manhattan, back when it was a burlesque carnival, an eternally inspirational melting pot, a true fondue of cultures, before the banker scum and billionaires took over and handed it all to their surgically enhanced, elitist, “I’m on the list” millionaire kids, who all think they invented disco, drugs, and nudity, and their violent thug NYPD choke holding wolf packs, who really will kill you over a cigarette. He’s the kind of debauched, but good natured, gypsy spirited, leather clad novelist who one would see lurking on the periphery at an after hours bar, or performance space freakshow, or hustling his random wares on the sidewalk…Back when immigrants, outcasts, and artists from all walks of life, were still permitted to congregate in Downtown Manhattan to share ideas, to sing and laugh, and improvise… to push the boundaries of style and music, food and fashion. Before the One Percent Wall Street investors and real estate scum and think tank social engineers voted all us poor people off the island. Like me, Jeff rode a roller coaster of emotions, he seemed to have bursts of right-on confidence that one would expect from a talented, rail thin, good looking, British artiste, with a distinct Gonzo-streak cavorting wildly with a fearless pack of starry eyed friends in America with his charming accent, a modest cult following, and an enchanting encyclopedia-like knowledge of history, sociology, civil rights, jazz, glam, punk and folk, art and politics, followed by crashing, immobilizing, paralytic depressions.
He’s an intense fella, a sincerely sensitive dude, a fantastic guitarist, an astute observer, a cool feckin’ onstage presence- what a talented writer, though, he really brings his old friends and ancestors and sainted artistic influences with him, you can easily feel like you’re along for the accelerated heartbeat, hundred mile an hour, madcap, road trip, sunglasses, windows down, risky adventures, as he and his uninhibited, eccentric pals and beautiful lady, Carmen, go forth on their bebop escapades and sacred pilgrimage to the savage heart of the Wild West That Never Really Quite Became What It Should Have Been, because you can’t build your egalitarian shangrilla on top of a bloodsoaked graveyard, exploring Harlem and New Mexico and driving cross country and making psychic friends with wildlife in the desert, and even braving the subways, at night. Pre-Taylor Swift. Pre-Lady Gaga. Pre-Annoying Orange President. I was downtown for some of that transition from all-night amusement park to hard-hearted domain of the angry elite, and witnessed the tragic shift, firsthand. From the greatest and most magically diverse city in the world, to just another exclusionary mall, another gated community, a private country club for rich people, patrolled by brutes. I remember when the Rivington Street dope dealers and the bums with the weegies were still scarier than the unaccountable, insanely murderous, gentrification gestapo. I saw the Tompkins Square Park riots, the closing of all the tiny record and video stores, and delis and hundred year old ethnic restaurants to clear space for Target, Starbucks, all the shitty big boxes. They used to say it was “bread and circuses” that kept the common folks from rebelling, but now it is just like, prohibitively expensive gluten free crusts and no more circuses, so, there is just the total surveillance, internet rumors, violent cops, and constant threat of excommunication, if one recklessly rejects the transparently false, official narrative, fails to comply with military standards, or does not acknowledge the worship worthy rank and title of some vengeful representative of the ruling class. “What do we got for entertainment, cops kicking gypsies on the pavement” has become our way of life here. Nobody bats an eyelash when a black kid is gunned down in the park by Klansmen with badges. Affordable housing has been steam-rolled everywhere, so the rich can throw up more phallic hotels and luxury condos where there used to be homes and gardens. This is happening all across the Amurikkka, now.
We are a divided and conquered people, we are under combat boot and occupation, of storm trooping enforcers working for the clampdown of these shadowy deep state despotic, dystopian rulers, at war with us from the inside. Poor folks are being banished, exiled, criminalized for existing. The bars where we used to congregate after a hard day of work, became insanely expensive and one has to find their way home through the gauntlet of college drunks from out of state and landed gentry frat boys and cops at the end of the night, so people I know mostly stay home, nowadays, few people get together, fewer can afford to gas up the old car, so there ain’t much travel, or interaction with anyone, off-line. The surveillance-grid can be entertaining, but when people don’t see each other in real life, it’s easy to lose touch with those elusive, subtle things, the shared humor, the songs, the common bonds, smiles and the sounds of laughter, and deeply held beliefs that once held us together. It’s a rare treat to be transported back to his old neighborhoods in Brooklyn and scummy rocknroll dives of the Lower East Side via Jeff Ward‘s astonishingly vivid descriptions and seemingly photographic memory, he has been cursed with an extra scoop of pained brilliance, so he effectively captures the ever receding sights and sounds and hopes and fears of generations of rebels and rockers and newlyweds and grandparents. While I only brushed with the guy once or thrice in real life, I’ve been an ardent fan of his romantic psychedelic excursions, confessional, socially conscious commentaries, essential essays, and filthy glam punknroll works for decades, now-he’s one of the last surviving authentic Beatnik storytellers, still present in the right now. What a fucking explosive talent.
I remember that first show he played at C.B.G.B.’s with his barnstorming boys from Birmingham, when they seemed confidently poised to totally take over the whole NYC glam rock shebang. They had it, man. Personality on fire, mad for it punk energy, they just tore it up. Smoked all the name-dropping American bands with the showbiz connections and moneybags. The perennial name brands could not hold a Betty Page Zippo to Gunfire Dance, who brought guts and desperation to the scene, when everybody else was just starting to coast on their cheeseball laurels, phoning-in the same old set, or merely snort shit from the sidelines bragging about some dead celeb they used to do drugs with. Gunfire Dance brought real urgent rocknroll street soul, that connected with the people, while the others were just competing to be the next Bon Jovi, or Nirvana, or whatever. Americans are so hostage to their own rat race ego-trip, they don’t even usually have any idea what is happening beyond their own cloistered bubble of comfort and self-congratulations. Ward brings with him a sense of joy and gratitude and can somehow still see sunlit beauty among the bodies and lies and broken glass and debris. Some of the most moving bits of Jeff Ward‘s books aren’t even the heightened reality, action movie stuff, or harrowingly senseless tragic scenes, and there is plenty of that, but just the simple, private, Hallelujah moments he shares about being a kid, or books he’s read, or discovering public radio and the flower like awakening of his own social conscience, or improvising whimsical Jimi Hendrix-like prose, or gazing upon natural wonders, or attending fiery protests for the first time. He loves nothing more than setting out for adventure and communing with the flickering apparitions at decaying landmarks where sixties gurus, drunken writers, gold toothed street musicians and hedonistic rockstars once sang and danced around the eternal bonfire. Jeff is the real thing, in an era that rarely rewards truth and soul. He came in search of freedom and the American Dream, he knows way, way more about our history here, than most of us do, his novels are like sub-cultural text-books, roll-calls of our forebears and the fools and sages and gritty guitarists and doomed bullfrog voiced winos who came before us, and found, instead, a murderous rampaging, racist cop, permanent-war state; still he rises, and honors and venerates the righteous outlaws, standup comedians, prophetic healers, and poetic preachers, who came before us. He arrived right when Giuliani was killin’ off all the peep shows and punk bars, indie shops, and mom and pops, to real estate titans and white collar criminals. That was almost the very moment when the important people who made a difference in the arts started dying in rapid succession and all their hanger’s on and the lingering few also-ran’s pushed their way to the make a buck, V.I.P. lounge. Firm curfew nine o clock, and then, the Fleshtones and Cheetah Chrome must leave the stage immediately, so the DJ’s can change over to dead, canned, R2D2 techno music. WHAT THE FUCK? Who decided it was a good idea to kick out all the greatest living rocknroll entertainers, so all those dreadful I-Phone kids could have more robot muzak selfie time? I’m moving to Spain, where the Fleshtones play all night long, in the streets, for entire villages of grateful people. Fuck this jiveass office cubicle shit. All these rich heirs and heiresses, being shoved into my awareness from every media platform all day. Rich housewives of Cable Television Unreality Shows, whose only contribution was sucking off some evil rich guy for breast implants and more Botox. Ugh. Such unbelievably hideous times we are living in.
I first started seeing it all go down right when bands like Gunfire Dance, Pillbox, Lazy Cowgirls, and the Comatones were being completely ignored by the powers that be, even though they were obviously, the ones with all the danger and panache and soulpower and rocknroll authenticity-they were being intentionally overlooked, so some suckshit nepotism nephews could assume center stage as reigning highschool cafeteria popular people. Nothing to do with rocknroll, or who had the actual star power. Just ugly rich people dominating with money. I can honestly tell you I lost media jobs for refusing to pretend to like the really shitty, half-hearted, mediocre, rich kid bands. That’s when I started wising up. It was no accident, that no high-quality, “we mean it man”, rocknroll was being signed, or played on the airwaves, anymore. This was planned, not coincidental. This was power, stealing turf, this was social programming and social control. Out with the underground subversives and weirdoes and inventors and sincere talents, in with the 90210 private school Strokes types. THIS is right when you started noticing all the once thrilling nightclubs and artsy old neighborhoods steadily being taken over by yuppies, normies, squares, straights, mainstream mall people, dorks and secretaries, quoting “The Simpsons”, imitating “Friends”, sports monkeys with gold watches and too much cologne, who wanted a piece of the lucrative nineties “Spin” magazine “Alternative” pie. It was hard to cope with the heavy-booted elbowing out, of our own underground paradise and no longer having free access to institutions and venues and record stores and radio shows, the very garage punk culture we had all helped to create. Older punks like Tim Yohannon of “Maximum Rocknroll” were rightfully suspicious of eager beaver, people pleaser, ready to play ball, pop/punks who showed up with corporate sponsors and skateboard energy drink festival endorsements. The medium sized music mags folded or were co-opted by the goons in conference rooms, playlists shrunk to the same six shitass post grunge and capitalist rap and boy band bullshit. The executive class were silencing voices, shutting down platforms and venues and framing the narrative. They were stealing the underground infrastructure, out from underneath our dirty Creepers. Indie labels went bankrupt when they could no longer get any airplay or featured in little music magazines, or were bought out by the majors. Dickhead locals who never really cared for music, did they, only booked their rich friend’s bands on Saturday nights. Record stores closed. Cops were busting basement shows. Closing down little speakeasy performance spaces. Bands like Hello Disaster and Beat Angels and Material Issue and Four Horsemen were efficiently ignored directly into oblivion. Hip-hop and punk rock were no longer the Black CNN, or voice of the unscrubbed working class, but dead formulas and gimmicks to be exploited by Green Day and Nirvana rip-offs-Avril Lavigne and Nickelback. I was stunned when even super talented rocknroll bands like Beasts Of Bourbon and Thee Hypnotics and Manic Street Preachers could not crack the jiveass American mediocrity mass-market. I suppose bigtime rock stardom was already a thing of the past, as the corporate masters of brainwash nation were already changing MTV, from a place where one could see black and white artists who looked different from your militarized, baseball capped, white bread, country club, golf shirted, Tom Cruise worker bee wonder boys-one used to see flamboyant and androgynous bands like the Cure, the Cult, Love & Rockets, the Alarm, Grandmaster flash & The Furious Five, Wall Of Voodoo, Alien Sex Fiend, Rick James, George Clinton, Public Image Ltd., Prince, Bowie, even Lords Of The New Church, but by the nineties, it was already being strictly reprogrammed with capitalist rappers pushing designer product, and bullshit lifestyle shows glorifying crew cutted rich people and their fancy belongings and many divorces and elective surgeries. Tommy Lee on MTV Cribs, yo. To many, the last grand punk gesture was something like Cobain’s brains splattered on a generation’s Doc Martins, or when Johnny Lydon started making his butter commercials, but for me, it was when skinny Jarvis Cocker awkwardly shook his spastic, bony ass at Michael Jackson-daring to ridicule the self proclaimed King of MK Pop, the ultimate personification of sparkling American excess and egomaniacal talent descending into deranged, darkening, Disneyfried drug-dementia, maybe depravity.
It’s crazy, looking back, every major music superstar of the eighties seems to have died in their big palace under mysterious circumstances from drugs, after bucking the system, and somebody got all that money. All I wanna say is they don’t even care about their moneymaking superstars. Joe Strummer, Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael-every major artist who feuded with the big corporate record companies in the eighties is dead and gone. I’m told Taylor Swift is the Official Ambassador Of NYC.
I saw it happen, almost overnight. The rebellious resistors had to go back to work at Subway, or as dishwashers and dry-wallers, in Iowa and Idaho, so rich, status quo inheritors and cocaine predator frat boys and deadeyed fuckdolls could monopolize the microphones. “Alternative” music-scenes were being flooded with suburban jocks and preppie mall kids-what we used to call “bridge and tunnel” crowds, bullying suburban sons of business owners, the entitled daughters of entertainment lawyers. My heroes had been mostly a bunch of scrappy, blue collar renegades from low income housing projects and shit, the nu school punques were sons and daughters of model/actresses and vile fat cats, with their own publicists and managers and dance coaches and trainers and stylists and gym memberships. Somehow, sad eyed cash cow, Cobain had attracted all these Evan Dando, Julliana Hatfield, Gavin Rossdale, Beck, Albert Hammond Jr., and Julian Casablancas types into wanting to make music about their own sensitive feelings of insecurity, all these showbiz royals and Ken-dolls with flat abs and Ivy League richies got unconditionally praised by recently graduated, overpaid, giddy, NYU media hacks, like they had overcome some big challenge, and invented something new. They kept telling us that some rich kid with adoring stage parents named, Beyonce, was a “survivor”. Beck was supposedly, “a loser” with a hardknocks homeless story of woe, with no mention of his family’s wealth or status. Thurston Moore became The Only Opinion That Mattered for five or ten tedious years, but he taught the university goers about Bad Brains and James Chance. I was never a fan of glossy media pinups- Kurt Cobain, Jon Spencer, or Jack White; but at least, those three shared an abiding sense of nobelesse oblige, in that they all went out of their way to share their spotlights with more authentic artists, who came before them and who, otherwise, never would have been discovered, they all felt a begrudging responsibility to the weird punks, hardcore rogues, old blues dudes, and hillbilly oddballs who inspired them. They gave back to the underground community, whereas, those asskissing weasels, finks, big men on campus, and corporate punks who followed all made believe they were the originators of these archaic art forms and deviant subgenres.
A meanness appeared, a competitive, exclusive, brunching, trust funded, greed is good, winner’s circle, Wall Street, office professional, elitist vibe took hold of our nation, Post 9/11. Even book readers were suckered by Dick Cheney into blaming Muslims for the crimes of the global elites. Big Fear took over the country and people started accepting airport molestations and warrantless wiretaps as the new normal. As more and more of the great visionary architects, and designers, and photographers and writers and film makers of punk steadily continued dying off, all the remaining horrible rich people started cramming punk into airport concept restaurants, museum installations, embarrassing movies, and high dollar tourist trap bars. It became a hot sauce branding tool, a Swiffer commercial for consumerist milfs, nothing more. Our lad, Jeff Ward, a wild boy straight outta Burroughs, experienced some unspeakably hardcore shit along the way, but I don’t wanna spoil the book for you, it’s gripping stuff-believe me, you will probably take it with you everywhere and read passages aloud to your loved ones, when you get your own copy, but he eventually, naturally, gravitated to some of the wounded warrior, veteran NYC punk survivors and formed a band, NY JUNK, with ex members of East Side stalwarts, THE DRAGONS and Bomp! Records recording artists, the B-Girls, and together, they pretty much carry the torch for pre commercialized, pre gentrification, pre hardcore, pre internet, pre Starbucks, organic, streetwise rocknroll. From the first generation old school. They are one of the few lingering rocknroll bands worth listening to. I like them and Sweet Things, Dr. Boogie, and Joey Pinter, and that’s about it, right now. I just can’t relate to any of that assembly line fake-pop shit in the corporate media. At all. All bullshit. Just wretched. All surface, no feeling. All that song doctor top forty shit like Rihanna and Nikki Minaj and Drake and Keith Urban and Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande and shit with the inspirational calendar bullshit lyrics and the formation dancing pillaged from Janet Jackson videos from 25 years ago, ya know, it’s all just puerile shite. Absolute nonsense.
Where did all these useless assholes come from? As Joey Pinter asks, “who the fuck are these motherfuckers?” Fake news, fake music, fake food, fake reunions, fake, fake, fake. For years, I heard the phrase, “controlled opposition” kicked around, but I never really understood it, until I saw Rachel Maddow go from being a progressive firebrand on Air America to becoming an overpaid partisan teleprompter reader on MSNBC. I was just lucid enough to witness the steady slide into infotainment misinformation with the radio and tv, since ’96 when Clinton gave the airwaves to six companies. I talk to my peers about media consolidation even though I see their eyes glaze over because they all wanna get back to their I-Phone chat with some other mall-minded adult about Lil Wayne or Beyoncé…it’s weird how even grownups have embraced the bogus music culture. American print music-media is dead, except for Jack Rabid’s venerable “Big Takeover”, ya know, and like, that corny Rob Sheffield guy from the nineties still applauds and obediently sensationalizes every shitty tv show and garbage culture lap-dancer that’s manufactured by consolidated media creeps these past fifteen or twenty years, while authentic Rolling Stone writer, Michael Hastings, embarrassed some generals and died in a flaming car wreck, they threw the book at Chelsea Manning (six years for exposing war crimes-google: “collateral murder” video) and Barrett Brown and John Kiriakou and all the righteous whistle blowers on the side of justice and mercy, the Clash, and the angels. All of ’em were being severely punished by Obama’s injustice department for doing the right thing. Anyone talking off script was promptly ridiculed and vanquished from the big cable networks, remaining media classers openly shilled for warpigs and police state inhumanity. Information leaker, Aaron Schwartz supposedly committed suicide, even his former employer, Alan Grayson, wept. Meanwhile, the talking heads on tv all said the same gung-ho fictitious shit about “pre-emptive” dirty wars for empire and tried to somehow justify the Wall Street bailouts and racist police state. Julian Assange was silenced, his access to the intenet severed by some kind of American strong arming, his mentor died suddenly, and our former comrade, documentary film maker, Michael Moore, went on a loony crusade for bankster owned war queen, Hillary, going so far as to describe her as someone who lives by “Christian” values, even as her campaign rigged the primary against Bernie Sanders(!!!) and dodged supporters of the Original People who are still fighting the evil black snake oil company’s corporate mercenary military in North Dakota in the snow and ice, and his own hometown of Flint, Michigan, still has poisoned waters. Man, it is a bummer about Michael Moore. It’s a knife in the back. These sold out Dems like Corey Booker and Diane Feinstein and John Podesta and Nancy Pelosi are not friends to the everyday people. It’s like you lose your mind once you get a big mansion. Like with billionaires, U2. Michael Moore used to talk about “Weapons Of Mass Distraction”, and now, while Hillary and Obama red-scare and practice provocative brinksmanship war games with Russia in Syria, and back Nazis in the Ukraine, he, himself, has joined the sucky soldout ranks of richass media classers, Bono and Rachel Maddow, as a high-paid tool of distraction and misdirection, himself. I’m pretty sad about it. No wonder it is so hard to communicate even simple truths to lifelong associates who watch TV, they just can’t hear us through all the static and hiss of propaganda and “trending topics”: Trump! Miley! Palin! Bird Flu! Madcow! Y2k! Kardashians! Pokeon, Go! Killer Clowns! Shoebombers! Ice Bucket Challenge! Anthrax Alerts! Kanye West! Pee-Pee Jokes! Caitlyn! Meanwhile, we are all so obsessed with ruggedly handsome, shirtless men with cross-bows on cable shows about zombies, we don’t even realize we’ve become a nation of zombies, praising Michelle Obama for appearing on late night tv Car Karaoke. Good Night And Good Luck. This country is sadly fucked. We live in fictitious times. Man, I used to find Sarah Silverman’s raunchy roommate shtick absolutely adorable-she was mostly famous for being beautiful while saying “pussy” in every other sentence as charmingly as anybody ever did, but seeing her cheerlead for war criminals in pants-suits…makes me as sad as Kathleen Hannah creating Valley Girl cheers for Wall Street hawk, Wal Mart Hillary. I remember when Bono was anti-war and wrote hippie peace anthems. Where were all the big bucks Oscar winning actors when Snowden showed them they were being spied on? When they found out the Peace Prez had a kill-list? Where were all the loudmouthed rebels when Obama was bombing Doctors Without Borders hospitals? Where were all the punks? What the fuck happened to the Delta House I used to know? Say what you want about Morrissey, he rocks way, way harder in his fifties than he ever did in his twenties and he ain’t appearing in commercials for McDonalds.
When NYC was still the place you could go to be discovered, Jeff Ward and his slinky thieves crash landed there in rocket boots and scarves right before the Great Purge of libertines and poor people, to make way for Giuliani’s hedge fund families and shadowy security state executive classers. When Gunfire Dance first came to America, the trail of tears mass exodus to Brooklyn had just begun. It was an asset in those days to be different, to have a singer who sounded like no one else, to have a style of your own. The cool fanzines of the day championed them with real gusto and they soon had a passionate audience of kids who traded compilation tapes in the mail who were all crestfallen when that group broke up. Jeff Ward soldiered on and made extraordinary, inventive, psychedelic and experimental music mostly by himself as Electrajet, and fans of old T Rex and Syd Barrett flocked to his shows and traded cd burns of his new sounds. There was a lively exchange of tapes and letters in the mail between all the NY Dolls collecting punk kids, pre-internet. We all loved Gunfire Dance. You could always discern some of their primary influences, sure-but the thing that made Jeff Ward and his friends, “The Gunfires”, special is how they really did not sound like anybody, but themselves. All four of those cats were absolute stars, in my eyes, anyway! Birchy, the bassplayer, went on to join the mighty GODFATHERS! Those uptown kids-the “hipsters” they celebritize, nowadays, all sound the same. Like mousepad programs. Like music lessons. Like Slurpee Machine muzak. The Kids From Fame All Sound The Same. It used to be you looked for the new voices–the Jim Thirwells or Von Lmos, the Moondogs and Richard Kerns. The Lux Interiors and Poison Ivys. The Jean Michel Basquiats, the Tony Parsons and Julie Burchills, the Mick Mercers and Nick Kents, right? Now, it’s an American Idol world where all the celebritybots look and sound exactly alike. Jacob Satorious is the New Justin Bieber is the New Jonas Brothers is the New Justin Timberlake is the New Donnie Wahlburg, etc., etc. Jeff Ward arrived in Lower Manhattan when Keith Haring drawings could still be seen and Nina Hagen was still considered a star, and Lady Bunny and Leg Lung, Lydia Lunch, the Kostabi brothers and Nick Zedd. Being a hipster meant you liked old jazz records and read a lot and probably shot dope. Now, being a hipster just means you are an unattractive rich kid but have a shit ton of money and probably a ukulele and get to idle away all your time being shrill and condescending to workers in high end restaurants. Those last hours of old-timey NYC decadence and coolness and character when Johnny and Stiv and Lou and Jim Carroll and the Ramones and Quinton Crisp were alive, when Jack & Cokes were always a buck at the Holiday…When you set up two microphones-one for the singer, and one for the band, and sent the resulting cassettes to other punk kids in the mail. When you and five friends could pool resources, rent a room, get a couple kegs of beer, charge five bucks at the door, and shazzam-you were in show-biz. Slap on some dash, paint your logo on a bedsheet, set off some fireworks, black out a tooth. Or just do it on the corner, in your feathers and spurs. That’s entertainment. Me and my crew used to busk all the time, anywhere, everywhere-old Dogs D’amour covers, Gun Club, and Deadboys and CCR, mostly. Ha. That shit will always be holy and sacred to me. The See/Hear fanzine store. Stapling copies of our home made zines together in the middle of the night. Being interviewed on the radio. No budget cable access tv shows. It’s all gone, now-we tried L.A., but arrived too late to make it happen, Cap’n…Jeff’s book, “Carry On Dreaming” will kickstart all your own treasured memories about travelling cross country in shitty vans and stealing quarts of oil and taking gas station speed to stay awake, and visiting weird hotels and shit. Of finally arriving in old Tinseltown with a redheaded stripper at the wheel and driving past all those palm trees one recalls from movies, as “L.A. Woman” blasts on the stereo. Hollywood was rough when I got there. It was somethin’ else, livin in L.A. without wheels and drowning in all those herds of indistinguishable Pretty Boy Floyd fluff metal posers who were suddenly all scrambling to find camo shorts and floppy hats and flannel shirts and combat boots in a hopeless attempt to revive their hopeless musical aspirations, this time, as moody grunge dudes with tribal tattoos. I realized, right around that time, that to make it in sellout West Coast, big time black death, corporate wank hair-metal, show business, it’s probably not always even enough to have a pushy showbiz uncle who pays for your studio time and removes obstacles and sets you up for free in the hipster neighborhood. It’s not enough to have a high pitched screechy voice like everybody who was chasing the Guns N Roses gravy train. You need a determined woman who wants you to become famous. Like Iggy said in “I Need More”. Sure, it can be your mom, but ideally, it’s one, or four women, willing to dedicate themselves to giving you things, and to fix your hair and take your picture and demand that mean old prick bar owners book your band on the weekend, or hire you to get drunk and play old heavy metal sound files at happy hour for surly, old rich people in impossibly expensive Silverlake, Californ-i-a. If you got that determined woman who wants you to be famous, and still get along with your first band, or you are “in the business” with a producer and a formulaic ballad with a fresh beat written by a song doctor relative, you are probably just going to bed right now, after another long night of getting your picture taken with Spencer and Heidi, or Snookie and the Situation, or some big boobed television wives and the friendly replacement members of old bands who are always the most outgoing and accessible, and carrying home V.I.P. goodie bags overstuffed with skin care products and shit, and once you’ve made the get shit free club, it’s like a cult, everybody is demanded to be nice to you, but you gotta get your picture taken with Matt Sorum and K-Fed. If you got a girlfriend who didn’t grow up in the D.I.Y. “Our Gang” days of old punk rock, and listens to auto-tuned commercial radio shit in the car, and watches those awful tv shows, where manufactured has-been celebrities tell Broadway note belting young hopefuls how they aren’t qualified to become the next Pink, or Lil Wayne, or Justin Bieber, well, she probably just knows your old school cassette tape demo sounds like depressing old people music, you’re a little pitchy, dog, and you ain’t hittin’ the note like Katy Perry, “raa-aaa-aaa-aaa-rooaaarrr”, and so she knows you ain’t goin’ nowhere ever again, except maybe the kitchen, to retrieve more glazed Donut flavored Doritos and Ghost Pepper Pumpkin Spiced Beer to dump down your anguished gullet in a desperate attempt to self medicate yourself from the pain of Adam fuckin’ Levine looking for the next fake falsetto singin’ white boy who does a passable, “good soul in my feet” Michael Jackson imitation, along with the rest of the nation of doomed, fat, tv watchers who think Miley Cyrus is a “rocker” since she’s decided she likes throwing the Dave Grohl devil horns, while wearing six thousand dollar leather pants and showing her tummy off to creepy old rocker dudes, aw man, and we all have to pretend these monsters “made it” with their “talent”, and not with their rich parent’s money. Liv Tyler’s on the cover of some magazine, says her secret is optimism. “The Power of Optimism”, like anybody believes optimism is where Liv Tyler gets her power from. Tyler Sr. even shills for Burger King. Perry’s a Republican. Fuck. My neck hurts. I’ve been a care provider to sick loved ones and disabled loved ones for years now, so when I do leave the house, as a pedestrian, it’s usually to buy medicine or food, and I mostly only encounter homeless people getting rained on, who are understandably angry about all the sharp rocks and prison bars that crony capitalist profiteer pals of city hall keeps installing beneath underpasses, and no trespassing signs on every building with an awning, and I understand why they never believe me, when I usually have to tell them I have no money, ’cause I got a leather hat…Then, I get back on-line, and it’s all those L.A. spraytanned showbiz kids again with the goodie bags and selfies with replacement members of famous old bands, and the determined women who want them to become famous, on the red carpet, with Jimmy Somebody, who hosts a late night tv show on the Sunset Strip, demanding that strangers do things for Johnny Goldenboy Accordion Player, or One Syllable ingénue, as if, we, the people, owe them something, and that sends me back to the fucking tv someone else is watching where they are still rooting for Miley Cyrus’ team on this season of “the Voice”, and all these born into wealth people pretend they are all fucking Otis Redding. All that contrived product-pop that I-Phone people insist I pretend to like if I wanna be a paid participant in media really feels like rat poison to me. I get physically ill. With some disgust, I retreat to the bathroom, where there are stacks of corporate magazines, forcing the same bogus narrative upon me, usually something about Trump or the Kardashians, ugh, I try to take a nap and my thoughts are a spiral of what ifs and shoulda-coulda-didn’t. I found myself listening to that mushy, menopausal Rod Stewart song with the bagpipes, “When We Were The New Boys”, and start thinking about my own teenage gang of reprobates and plastic trousered scoundrels who loved Jeff Ward’s old group and similarly lived and almost died for rocknroll, and you know, sometimes, I find myself yearning to reunite with some of them and do it all again, before we are smoke. I got ahold of one of ’em and he chewed me out about a new wave girl I slept with in 1984. You know, when I was fourteen. So I won’t be troubling him again. The irony is he’s the Born Again evangelical. Forgive me, brother. Should I go back to church? Should I buy some diet pills? Should I try another haircut? Another amends-list? Should I even bother to call old bandmates who always reject me? Should I apply for another pizza job and hope to meet some likeminded middle aged punk scoundrels who wanna start a fat dad weekend band? Back online, friends of faux friends’ friends’ friends and people who never really liked you in the long regretted past, are knocking on the door and now, they want something from you, too. Compliments, mostly. Do you like me with my new boobs and rare t shirt from the trendy store on Melrose Avenue? Do you like me with the friendly replacement member of Guns N Roses? Here I am, being given something free by the replacement member of Bang Tango, or Keel. Tomorrow, I’ll be getting stuff for free at some bar you can’t afford to go to in West Hollywood. Come on down and give me stuff for free. It’s lonely when our former peers look at us like we are on LSD all the time, or have ODD, or something, mostly just because we are skeptical of pro-war big media propaganda stories and we are still living in squalor and because we aren’t motivated by winning, or name tags, or owning cars, or being on the guest-list, and consistently object to drones and rape culture gropings, fascism, hospital bombings, torture, and endless war and dismiss the notion that any of that fascist rape and murder shit can honestly be called centrist, or liberal, because the super rich trot some woman or person of color out to appease us with another insincere, but soothingly vague speech. Do I sound weary and jaded? Distrustful? Over it? If only. I never got past any of it. I’m still back there, with my Alarm hair and lizard skin cowboy boots, reading rock mags and dreaming of escaping food service and mopping up, after all the lucky people from good homes are finished stuffing themselves with money and lobster, coke and popularity. I was always running away, seeking authenticity, art with soul, liberty, bohemia….Maybe France. Did you get old? I did. Not in my head, so much, in my head, I’m still back there in the past, somewhere with stacks of old tvs and silver spray-painted skeleton stencils looking at my Stray Cats 45’s and taping up old pictures torn from Creem magazine and Naked Eyes or Thompson Twins are probably on the radio and I’m thinking about some girl I wrote all the good songs about and trying to dress like Pete Burns from Dead Or Alive, or Billy Fuckin’ Idol, or Suggs from Madness, or Andrew Eltrich from Sisters Of Mercy. Now, I am totally not inclined to go out, or get involved, or try to be somebody, or do anything. The rat race holds no appeal to me, and neither does the garbage muzak scene popularity contest, or the high school social jockeying. Deadboys “Won’t Look Back” was true then, and truer, now. Bummed out Jeff Magnum ain’t gonna be invited to this year’s Deadboys reunion, bummed out that Joey Pinter ain’t been invited to play on the new Waldos record, bummed out Adny Shernoff ain’t writing and performing with the Dictators, bummed out Izzy Stradlin says the other Guns N Roses guys just didn’t wanna split the loot. Someone recently said Amerikkka is just an oil company with an army, nowadays. All that ever trickled down from Reaganomics was a meanness. That’s how it goes. This is mean streets.
….When I visit Baskin Robbins and “sample” five or six of their 31 flavors, they don’t change the name of the franchise, I don’t get to sign my autograph and call it art. So why would I obey the constant applause signs that command me to clap for all the rick kid karaoke “artists”, these legions of young models and showbiz nephews, who only “sampled” a cuppla sonic flavors and puke it back over the controlled media airwaves, or social media and call that art? I really have no coherent grasp on how this droid-pop qualifies as original music or art, but that’s what the Southern Rock older dudes used to say about my synth bands back in ’83, I think I’ve just lost the energetic belligerence of youth, ya know I spent enough years in bars with all those liars and status seeking social climbers, everything was always another fast walk to the corner, a hustle here and a hustle there, handshakes and handjobs and push, push, push, but who has the energy for all that, now? Maybe I just never found the right drug dealers, but man, I’m on an entirely different rhythm, another frequency at this point, I don’t like the loud braggarts and gossiping, reality show, stripper starlets in my face with the vodka breath and cigarette stench. I got nothin’ for them. If you don’t love me by now, getting a Selfie Taken With Steve Conte probably ain’t gonna change that, much. The Cult are offering special fan club meet and greets where you can shake their hands at soundcheck for $400. Same with Guns N Roses-only you don’t get to meet them. Or see sound check. You get to buy hundred dollar t shirts and eat some Thai chicken buffet. Stay punk, Duff. I’m so bored with fake reunions with substitute yes-men and classic members being slagged off cause some marquee name is feeling popular. I still like unpopular people, unpopular ideas, unpopular music. Still can’t stand Diddy or Gaga, or Kanye and their fake rap. Makes it hard to get jobs at little record stores anymore, ’cause I still wanna tell the kids about Bo Diddley and Kevin Junior, Rowland S. Howard, and the Bounty Hunters. I was on a long walk in the cold today, thinking about all the old punks I used to know in Indiana and shit and how they all drive big white SUV’s nowadays, they say they are changing the dark side of the force from within, or whatever, and I know the money feels good and their lives they like it well, with the jock hardcore bands, and the macho man caves and plastic bagged collections and all that, but instead of the anarchy symbol they all used to paint on their leather jackets, that some still have tattooed to their necks, they should wear the letter “H” in a big circle, because they weren’t really sincere about anarchy, or mutual aid, or voluntaryism, as much as they really only ever believed in HIERARCHY, as in, “Got Mine, Jack”, “You’re On Your Own”, “The Catholic School In-Laws Do Not Approve”, “We can Only Collaborate Or Socialize With People Who Make More Money Than We Do.” Rich folks are always so afraid you’ll bum smokes, even long after you quit smoking. Shit, I used to smoke three packs a day, now only one or two under heavy stress a couple times a year and still wheeze like a harmonica at night. I think McDonna fucked shit up by glamorizing blind ambition and materialism. All my old, blonde haired girlfriends with the torn lace and rosaries surrendered to big purple houses with privacy fences and security company secret codes. They eat meat, but still feel guilty when they hear the Smiths. The high school friends don’t want to see you at their Annual Catholic School Christmas Jagermeister Hoo-Haws unless you have achieved remote control garage door status. You gotta have a truck and a garage, and a garage door opener. The flyover states used to grow food and manufacture automobiles and clothing. Now, all they grow is prison populations and tumors all they manufacture are soldiers and cops. Judges and coaches and drone operators and prison guards. And now, you can’t even run away to NYC, or Hollywood, or even join the circus, anymore. Ya know? That’s sad. Some of us aged glitter brats and post punk/goth kids who did not get killed by trains or cops or drugs graduated into activism. That shit is a lot like bullshit grunge era “music seens” and middle school. A rebel, a critical thinker, is someone who instinctively, habitually, always questions the bully mono-culture dominant narrative. A radical is someone who is so true to their beliefs they are willing to suffer for them, sacrifice, and go without, to stay true to their idealism-it’s called having integrity. A zealot is someone who is so entitled and true to their beliefs that they are willing to make YOU suffer, sacrifice, and go without, so they can have their get-off power trip moment. A Demagogue is a personality who sought power and has become so popular that they feel entitled to PUNISH all those who don’t concede to their demands, adopt their new glossary, and emulate their cult rules. Everybody is an expert in college towns. On every imaginable topic. Experts are every motherfuckin’ where. I don’t even have any energy left for those fake liberal, P.C. activist, middle management, scolding-committee people. They want me to do their lawn work for free as an unpaid volunteer in their lush, Eden like gardens because of my alleged privilege they learned about from a bearded dude in tweed in the ivory towers of their high salaried safe space academia and they are gonna teach me all about it. There’s very little in the way of communal solidarity in those circles, either. They are worried about themselves and their own preferences and stature and sensitivities and triggers while homeless folks are dying outside in the ice storms. Organizers are always rich, punishing, honkyfied NVC college property owners who like to hear themselves give orders-in soothing NPR tones, they always just wanna hand you the mop. The rat race hierarchy “same as the old boss” boss bullshit even infected progressive and socialist circles. “Check your privilege, homelesss dude!” “I’M SO SENSITIVE”, they scream. I can’t work with people who believe in the pyramid schemes and trust the lapdog-media on tv, who feel entitled to boss me around because they got their Ceramics degree at Feelings School in the Pacific Northwest, or whatever. No fun, mah babe.
….Used ta work at a piss stench seedy bar where all the bouncers were gang related and they’d competitively swap tough guy stories with the dirty cops about how bad their childhoods were, how their dads were dead and gone, how the mamas and long lines of faceless step-dads all beat them with belts and sticks, how abused they were in juvenile detention, and “look how great we turned out”. Astonishes me that violent, unhappy people from lifetimes of ugly abuse are always super confident they are the shining example successful winners of this rat race because they weaseled themselves some kinda nametag, or married up, or got the front office at the telemarketing place. “Look how great we turned out!” they all say that to me, like daring me to mention their crazy impulse to pull their firearm out whenever they get at all emotional, the unpredictable violent tendencies, the habitual but often needless dishonesty, jail time, addictions, years of therapy, multiple medications, the fact that they all breakdown sobbing after two beers, they trace all that wonderful title-having back to being neglected or beaten as kids and look at all their glorious achievements and glamorous lives of wiping their asses with others, chasing social status. They all wanna be cops, district supervisors, inspectors, internet study hall monitors, jotting down “opportunities for (your) growth”, like figure skating judges, critics, narcs, empowered. Like Jennifer Anniston and Gwyneth Paltrow, because they are worth it! Divorces, a long trail of discarded, damaged people, who never measured up to their fashion magazine assigned idea of Brad Pitt masculinity, or sister’s husband’s income, yo-yo diets, subscribing to disposable religions like high-end brainwash-magazines, chasing, chasing, chasing exotic vacations, fancy vehicles, “have it all” queendoms. Biggest truck, loudest gun, biggest tv brainwash-screen, most channels, longest sundeck, biggest hottub, best standup comedy punch lines at recovery meetings. Richest husband, biggest fake surgical enhancements, tiniest waists, and finally….a HIP HOP album! Cause all the honkiest-ass honkies wanna be techno-beat gangsta MC’s, too! “Look how great we turned out!”
I…. wish I was more immune to the Amerikkkan Ruse programming, myself. I see how we are all here dying, one by one, together, while we insist on remaining apart. We’re all just marching slowly towards our own sad conclusions. You, hosing down that bigass camping R/V that hasn’t moved from the property in ten years, maybe Windexing the old sports trophies, making the car go vroom vroom through cross walk right turns always stubbornly imperiling non drivers on your aggressive way to Hooters or Home Depot. Me, here, with my Marky Ramone wig and Converse and way too small Sisters Of Mercy t shirt, sucking-in my gut as I pass the teenage girls carrying the Biology books, forever grasping for the long absent-eighties, like those old Elvis imitators in the fifties clothes you see at car shows, really unnerved about losing my legendary high score status on Zaxxon over at Aladdin’s Castle in the strip mall. Generations of scummy deadbeats and spiked denim vested delinquents of all ages rightly venerated my badass standing at the Aladdin’s Castle until some new upstart came ’round with a pair of pink sunglasses and a sullen sneer. Now, nobody seems to remember all those bitchen flyer designs, smartass fanzines, wild nights and crazy, sweaty shows, nutty road trips and really melodic, heartfelt, punk rock songs we wrote. All we are is soon to be discarded collections of scratchy vinyl and yellowed comic books and XXL heavy metal t shirts dropped off at thrift stores by boyfriends of relatives who never really liked us. An excuse for popular people to act-out, sleep with our exes, do some relapse dope for three or four days, like they ever even knew us. Gulp, gulp, gulp. Our realest and truest best friends will never figure out where we were buried. Diamond dust in the wind, forgotten, but not gone. Happy Trails to Hollywood. Au revoir, NYC. I’ll always love ya , rocknroll. “Carry On Dreaming” is a majestic travelogue, a boisterous and uplifting jaunt through a semi-mythical America that still almost existed, not so long ago….Cliff Notes of seldom told historical events and obscure music, you can hear the soundtrack thundering through your head…Ward’s holy testimony will remind you of who you used to be, make you wanna forgive old injuries and insults and be less petty, it’ll make you wanna ignore Johnny Thunders and Charles Bukowski’s “don’t try” advice…it’ll make you wanna try some more. Hip teachers should make their classes study this book. Cool parents should gift it to their teenage kids. It’s that good. Jeff Ward is one of the few real standout, underground artists from my era with integrity and a surplus of real talent who I always wanted to see succeed by his own terms in music and literature and life and love. Maybe he has.
Get all his books and records.
What could I say about this 16 song (+ 3 post split bonus tracks) collection CD? Well first I could say that it is an unexpected gift to the ones who played their demo copies again and again even if the quality wasn’t always the best! The band finally gets the sound they deserve and we can enjoy how great GUNFIRE DANCE was and even get a new approach to their songs. From “Suit & Tie” to “Bliss Street”, “Burnin’ Ambition”, “Gimme Back My Heart” and “Darlin’ Ann”, all of my favourite songs are on here and they blissfully take me back in time, carried on by Ant’s magic voice and Jeff Ward’s Johnny Thunders-like solos (there are other sides in Jeff’s personality since he is a writer as well.) “Archways Of Thorns” will be the reminder of a past that should have deserved to be more glorious but is also a tribute to Ant, a musician who fought against his own demons but also a very talented one. As The CHINA DOLLS, The GHOSTS Of LOVERS and many others, GUNFIRE DANCE is the symbol of a British scene which was in its time full of emerging talent but that couldn’t get the recognition it deserved because of the lack of support (oddly, JEFF DAHL was one of the rare persons to find out about the band’s huge potential.) A lack of consideration that often leads to the “cult band”status as time goes on… This is what we have here. /Franck.