WHAT'S LEFT OF THE LEFT? NOTHING WILL CHANGE SQUAD IS JUST FASCISM WITH PRETTY PILLOW-TALKERS...
Oh my God. It happened. I can't believe it really happened.
During a speech in Dallas at Southern Methodist University’s George W Bush Presidential Center this month, the man himself, George W Bush, did the best thing ever. I am pretty sure it is the single best thing that has ever happened. I do not believe I am exaggerating when I say that.
While criticizing Russia for having rigged elections and shutting out political opposition (which would already be hilarious coming from any American in general and Bush in particular), the 43rd President made the following comment:
“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean, of Ukraine."
And then it got even better. After correcting himself with a nervous chuckle, Bush broke the tension in the empire-loyal crowd with the words, "Iraq too. Anyway." He then quipped that he is 75-years-old, leaning harder on his "Aw shucks gee willikers I'm such a goofball" persona than he ever has in his entire life.
And Bush's audience laughed. They thought it was great. A president who launched an illegal invasion that killed upwards of a million people (probably way upwards) openly confessing to doing what every news outlet in the western world has spent the last three months shrieking its lungs out about Putin doing was hilarious to them.
There are not enough shoes in the universe to respond to this correctly.
As comedian John Fugelsang put it, "George W. Bush didn't do a Freudian slip. He did a Freudian Confession."
One of the many, many interesting things about this occurrence is the likelihood that Bush's words tumbled out in the way they did because he's either heard a lot of criticisms of his invasion or has been thinking a lot about them; a familiar neural pathway would explain why his brain chose the exact worst word he could possibly swap out for "Ukraine" in that moment. This would be a small light in the darkness for we ordinary folk who oppose war and love peace, because it suggests that even the worst empire managers cannot fully insulate themselves from our criticisms.
Speaking of George W. Bush and Iraq, the current president was also instrumental in bringing about that war -- not just by voting for it, but by using his pulpit as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to advocate for it. But today he's got Ukraine all figured out— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) May 19, 2022
The bullshit doesn't get any more brightly illuminated than this, folks. While the western political/media class constantly rends its garments over "disinformation" about the Ukraine war even as US officials openly admit they've been using the media to circulate disinformation about that same war, and even as the Biden administration imprisons and persecutes a journalist for exposing US war crimes, we get a square admission that the US is no better than Russia and that the only thing obscuring this is the fact that we are all swimming in a sea of disinformation and propaganda provided by that same political/media class.
And this admission comes not from any low-level empire lackey, but from the man himself. The guy. The man whose name alone serves as a one-word debunk of every claim made about how uniquely nefarious Vladimir Putin is on the world stage and how uniquely depraved is his invasion of Ukraine.
If you really look at what just happened, really truly ingest it, this one incident just by itself is enough to show you that we are swimming in a sea of lies designed to give us an upside-down and ass-backwards perspective of what's going on in the world. If Bush himself can't always tell the difference between the invasion of Iraq and the invasion of Ukraine, then this means our news media and our politicians are lying to us constantly. They lied to us through 2002 and 2003, and they never stopped lying, and they are lying now in the year 2022.
The entire mainstream worldview is a perceptual distortion filter which obscures the public understanding of world events so severely that Bush has been not just forgiven for his crimes but actively rehabilitated in the public eye, while the enemies of the United States are continuously compared to Adolf Hitler and condemned throughout the US-dominated world.
In reality the US is the single most tyrannical and destructive government on this planet, and it is only because the public is fed a nonstop deluge of propaganda that this isn't universally obvious. Even the worst empire managers know deep down that this is true, and, in their less guarded moments, sometimes the truth slips out." - Cait Johnstone
TOTALLY DIFFERENT HEAD, MAN
In the USA, USA, USA, USA, we common people have zero representation, the billionaires and their whore politicians and media liars are just running wild, completely disregarding the needs of us peasants in their rush to consolidate power and install puppet governments elsewhere.
Whoever's running shit in Amurkkka, the Divided Slaves Of Gitmo, man, they are some sick fucks. If you were subjected to their corporate artificial punk as often as us hostages are, through every torture camp crackling loudspeaker, you'd end up never, never wanting to attend some big arena rock show, again. That Machine Gun Kelly and Blink 182 toxic pop puke even ruined having tattoos. Corporate rock still sucks, probably worse than it did when they were first rolling all that fakeass "Grunge" off the assembly lines.
Grown men talking to me about Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Harry Styles. No thanks. I've never been like a Foo Fighter fan, ya know what I mean? I've always been pretty outta step and alienated from what the midwestern Hamburglars proudly refer to as the mainstream. I did like Duran Duran an awful lot, though, still do. When I first discovered Duran Duran my so called peers thought that being into that band was like a PUNISHABLE OFFENSE. Especially if you were a dude in a rural area with a bit of makeup and styling product. I've not liked much of their more recent stuff without Andy Taylor's hard rock Bolan influence that much, but their first few records will always have a place in my new wave kid heart.
People don't seem to understand how important a band like the Replacements or Dramarama were to a generation of dropouts and record store clerks and dress wearing drunkard custodians who looked at those wayward wastrel, gutter poetic garage-bands and thought, "Hey! Maybe we can do that, too!" Where I live now, it is a cultural dead zone, when I come across a used copy of Wall Of Voodoo, or Ramones’ "Subterranean Jungle", that is like the Big Event for the whole week, then, it's back to waiting for mail that never comes, or looking forward to like trips to the grocery store. Nothing to do, ever, but go on walks and breathe in all that insane white wildfire smoke that is so thick you can hardly even see the mountains. So yeah, my thoughts do seem to stray back to when we had crazy possibilities, as the old Viletones song goes.
Ya see, as a totally hated, weirdo, cowboy tie and bolero hat wearing teenager, back in the’80s, 'pink After Six tuxedo shirt, red paisley smoking jacket and torn up jeans with rockstar pictures painted on 'em, I predictably fell, head over heels, in love with the first sensitive and artistic, Brigette Bardot lookalike, Smiths, and Tears For Fears, and The Cure and Depeche Mode, and Psychedelic Furs enthusiast I ever met, she was from the other side of the tracks, so you can already imagine how that went. Rocketship peak moments that imprinted permanently and a swift crash and burn that left me standing in the naked flames. At school, I was being hassled by all the rich, white suburbanite, Transmaro driving, Journey and Judas Priest cover band, older jocks, who never heard of punk rock and I became somewhat obsessed with bands like Sex Pistols, Flesh For Lulu, Generation X and Lords Of The New Church, before running away at 14 and becoming ya know a runaway gutter urchin loitering for about a year on St. Mark's Place and the Bowery, before stupidly returning to the uncool honky hellhole, where my mom lived, to be near that chick I mentioned, but only ending up getting tortured in juvenile detention, and repeatedly beaten by actual mobs of dumb fuck, hick Ohio Males.
Back then, I was an awkward and gawky, makeup/black lace/rosary wearing hillbilly freak with glasses and stupidly piled high with goop, Charlie Sexton hair, a severely, sincerely, depressed Goth kid from smalltown Kentucky-but also, I was in love with the rock ‘n’ roll whoa, and the getting stoned whoa, and the Jukebox Jury and Cathy MacGow-ooh-wow-ooh-wow-ooh-wow, ooh-wow-oo-wow-wan, ya know, so I was always in love with the whole Four Lads Who Shook The World, garage band from Garageland, we can fight our way out of poverty with loud punk songs and black leather dream, I was a night owl, "Night Flight" only child, so once I finally thought I had at long last, found a combat booted rock band to front, and some of 'em were older, and could buy me beer and smokes, and had those exciting ‘70s record collections, I was immersing myself around the clock in old Public Image Ltd. albums and the Mary Chain and Gun Club and Runaways and Slade, and Alice Cooper and NY Dolls, and that old Stooges covers compilation, "Hard To Beat" with all those amazing 80's tear it up Aussie garage gangs, I only ever wanted to make records and stomp stages, like the Dead Boys and Stooges, that was it for me. Everything, all of it.
I had a job at an old hippie record store in a nearby country town that specialized in shit that had not sold in the sixties, seventies, or eighties. Old Michael Jackson shit-stuff like that. A secret basement stash of highly sought-after Bubble Puppy vinyl. Hadda cool old acidhead co-worker turning me on to everything from Badfinger to Elvis Costello to John Lee Hooker and Blue Cheer. It was not really like a cool, big city store, but you could rummage through all the record racks of mediocrity and always unearth something very exceptional and unexpected like say, "the "Negative Girls" 45 by Brother Wayne Kramer. About once a year you might find a copy of like, "Trouser Press" or "Black To Comm" fanzine or something like that and get to read about older bands like Link Wray, Destroy All Monsters, the Barracudas.
In addition to my band house's front porch AC/DC bartender-roadie-future sideman and security man, I had a smalltown Michael Anthony on bass, a Larry Mullen Jr. on drums, a Johnny Thunder style guitarist and a Wayne Kramer style guitarist. We were like an underage, born too late, Gang War. I was forever determinedly plotting our escape to the big city, where I was certain we'd find fame and fortune on those spraypainted derelict streets that were my playground as a sleazy delinquent. My all -time lifelong favorite live band, THE FLESHTONES blew my hair back, man, so that was the boozy blue-whale of a good time atmosphere I always tried to bring to the stage or at our stopl-ess all night house parties. That was the vibe I was going for, ya know, when you work hard to show the people a fabulous time. No interest in joining the daytime, workaday people, whatsoever. No interest in that, at all. Monkey suits, clock punchers, straights, squares in swivel chairs, nahh. Not for me, never would be.
After losing our first, much beloved, skinhead drummer to a girl who'd just started dyeing her hair after seeing that vampire movie, "The Lost Boys" and then, to a series of moddish, Jam-like bands with Vespa scooters, we replaced him with one of the curmudgeonly old MC5 collectors who hung around our record store, telling us we sucked for being 18 and liking Faster Pussycat and Guns N Roses. He was a hard-hitting drummer, who owned a lot of vintage gear that my lads were dying to play through, he taught me a lot about the Fuzztones and Sonics Rendezvous Band, and Dark Carnival and The Rationals, I guess, but kinda took over and shifted the focus away from the original mission statement of bringing raucous GoodTimes to the weary working class, and uniting all the black sheep, towards more of a get paid to play the usual covers at old man lodges, and eventually aspire to college town frat house row, second-hand popularity among the mainstreamers, so ya know I was eventually seen as too contentious, flamboyant, provocative, and ugly drag queen, glam rock influenced.
I got contacts for my 18th birthday, and was trying for a deep and edgy, Andrew Eltrich and Ian Astbury vibe, but probably looked more like those junk shop glam ghouls from Underneath What. We were mostly all about imitating Iggy and Alice, back then. For years upon years, I missed those nights with the new wave girls and smalltown punk lads I used to singalong to "Walk Among Us" with. We had so, so many loud laughs, like, on the floor and rolling, helplessly. I got a song lyric that asks the important musical question, "Who has laughs like that, now"? We were all the way alive, back then.
My old lady does not always understand how I still have an abiding place in my heart for people who left me in the gutter to die years and years and years and years ago, but most of us old ‘80s punks were dropout, latchkey kids from bad homes, had dead or divorced parents, experienced abuse from crazy siblings or step parents or school jocks, and were ceaselessly being paddled by school administrators, and humiliated by a corrupt, smalltown juvenile injustice system, some of us had mental illnesses, and not all of 'em were playboys when they were young, so when some of 'em saw their chance to hitch their wagon to some kinda pay to play popularity choo choo gravy train, I know WHY they never wanted to look back, or risk ever having to revisit those scary fucked-up basement shitholes and unheated garages we all used to live in. If you grow up with people from Hardknocks, Nowheres, and seen their not so glamourous backstory firsthand, it's hard to be mad at 'em for running out. Poverty is no cocktail party. Ain’t no brunch 'round here. It's hard to breathe.
We were banned from the local heavy metal hole for being anti-Bon Jovi, and also by the rich men owners of the downtown preppie bar that our handsome first bassist was celebrity DJ at, for my backstage vomiting, so we played hit and run shows opening for thrash bands, country bands, and even some oi skinhead band at boy's club and backwoods biker hog roasts. Under my scatterbrained, intoxicated leadership, we were kind of a solo Stiv Bators-meets-Hanoi Rocks type band, 1000 silver spangle bracelets and frilly shirts, and once I split for the coasts they went more towards, I dunno, maybe you could say, Social Distortion or New Bomb Turks-influenced thing. Unbreakable combs and Murrays pomade.
I had no interest in appealing to chicken wing and draft beer inhaling, university town, sports doofuses. Never cared for Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Green Day or the Offspring, at all. I did not have time to really fuck around or cater to dudes in baseball caps. I had to get the fuck outta Dodge, cause I was being singled out and day and night stalked by too many carloads of jealous psychos, stupid frat boys, obsessive devil worshipping, cat killing, arsonist metalheads. We had developed a large, respectable following ("so respectable!) and consistently attracted a diverse spectrum of rock ‘n’ roll people to our shows and band house rehearsals from three, and sometimes four states, every weekend, but summa those other guys in my little band had ties to jobs and hometown dames, and were not ready to relocate to the East Coast when it was time for me to go, so they replaced me with like, an Offspring preppie-punk dude, in the years the big corporations were permanently breaking punk, and we reformed our skuzzy bandido sleazepunk band with the AC/DC roadie guy stepping in as primary co-writer in the urban wasteland, blue collar dead end, of Dorchester, Ma.
Our kindly downstairs neighbor almost immediately died from AIDS like our first month in town, the hits were fast and furious after that, the big city was no joke. We kinda fell into living out all the rock ‘n’ roll cliches at that point. Roadie got his car stolen and a polka dot-shirted glam guy we met in Boston who was auditioning to join our group taught him how to shoot dope his first or second week in town. Our original, home grown, flash as fuck girl magnet guitar hero started meeting rich people at his convenience store job in Harvard Square and thinking about giving up rock ‘n’ roll to go to college.
Shit went South after that, the girlfriends went home, we got evicted and a borrowed bass was stolen by the broken lease landlord. As Shane MacGowan sang, "me, I ruined my life on drinking, pills, bad wives and cursin'..." I was still publishing my dodgy homemade fanzines back then, and advertising them in the back of "FLIPSIDE" magazine, which is how I made friends with a worldwide community of rockers, some of whom I'm still friends with, here in my elderly goth years. My fanzines served as a pre internet social media platform where we self-promoted our own little shows and aspirations, tirelessly looked for a little 45 rpm record deal that never really came, and helped popularize underrated bands like Motorcycle Boy, the Ultras, Gunfire Dance and Hello Disaster.
It seemed like it took forever for me to get hired on at Tower records, but once I did, much inebriated hijinks and prankster merriment ensued, and I finally had fulltime access to a lively array of cool as shit print media, from all over the universe-“Bucket Full of Brains”, “Doll”, “Lemon”, “NME” and “Melody Maker”, “Sonic Iguana”, “Motorbooty”, “Whiskey for Breakfast” and “Noise For Heroes Music For Zeroes” by Steve H. Gardner.
His zine was one of the best and regularly waxed hell yeah and a Hallelujah about such underground bands as Celibate Rifles, the Jeff Dahl Group, Moral Crux, the Creamers, Radio Birdman, Gargoyles, Jetboys, all that fab kinda noise. You can go online right now and type in "NOISE FOR HEROES" magazine and order a snazzy compilation or four of that kickass holy relic. I personally think you should do just that. He's also written a really soulful and thoughtful and insightful book about being a teenager, self-expression, misunderstood rock ‘n’ roll underdogs and making a joyful noise unto the lord, called "ANOTHER TUNELESS RACKET" (parts one and two) that I am currently soaking in. I urge you to check him out, he really gets it. Understands what real rock ‘n’ roll is all about. He goes deep into the history of underground music, too. This is a scholarly and heartfelt appreciation that will take you a long time to read and every session is a pure joy. He accurately depicts what it was like to be a young punk back in the day and shines light on less celebrated artists like Dr. Feelgood, Eddie & The Hot Rods, the Vibrators, Pagans, Rubber City Rebels and a band I've never heard of 'til now-Jalla Jalla from Finland. Man, it's just a fantastic read, so look for anything that guy publishes. He is excellent.
Meanwhile, starting in the early ‘90s Alternative-hoax era, when fiendish corporate interests killed rock ‘n’ roll, or at least kept it buried in obscurity and made it real hard to find, some of the other people I formerly knew, lived out that other cliche, you know the one-about the half-hearted hippies of the Boomer Generation, 'stupidly deciding to join the system and become consumerist yuppies who liked the Eagles, or disco and shit, many of 'em even, eventually like, voted for Reagan, like too rich, for too long, to ever know what's really going on, status quo preserver, Neil Young. The real hippies, the radicals and yippies and hardcore weather undergrounders died or were C.I.A. fake suicided, or fled to woodsy communes, I guess some of 'em still smoke pot and get misty eyed about the fuckin' Beatles, but few involve themselves in direct action, organizing or protesting, or fighting the war machine and evil corporate rulers, anymore. 'Same thing kinda happened with my hard drinking, dropout poet, sons of no one, Replacements soundtracked, ‘80s generatio;, only a few kept at it, many of our gang died young, and the ones who still fuss over their elaborate displays of punk rock belongings, the collectors, they don't really adhere to even one rebellious punk rock value, or tradition, anymore, unless they are one of those always insufferably annoying, college edumacated, "Experts In Minor Threat Shirts", obnoxiously pontificating about their own moral superiority, or straight edge sobriety, or fucking vegan wokeness or pink hats, Gina Haspel feminism or whatever-forever needling some coarse, or less cultivated, drunky street people for breaking the P.C., D.C. rich kid, puritanical, Temperence League, crunchy granola, wannabe the boss, classroom rules.
I never got along with those management class people. They're like the bitter spinster P.M.R.C., just mad they are too uptight to have any REAL fun. To me, they are nearly indistinguishable from the cargo shorted, sports bar jocks I could never stand in honky midwestern white suburbia. I used to read "MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL" as a kid, and always appreciated TIM YO fighting the good fight for the D.I.Y. underground. For me, it was a heartbreak when all the pop/punk sell-out wankers kinda hijacked his Gilman Street scene where racists broke Jello's leg and five dork bands got overnight popular and made a million selling booger rawk to sports fans, but I carry some of TIM Yo's righteous example and ethics and D.I.Y. solidarity in my ole black heart.
My next band was Boston based, totally underground, outcasts from the "AlternativeTM" scene, we only played like, real wild down on the street, backyard barbecue, rooftop luaus, in the subway for liquor store quarters, and rowdy street punk basement shows, ya know, we were making a real ugly, primordial blues punk racket ala the Stooges, Cramps, Action Swingers, and Scientists, and the rich ska and grunge lovin' college kids, with the backpacks from Alston Beat and Fugazi shorts just did not get what we were doing, at all. They thought we were horrible, ugly, dangerous, white trash, ghetto thugs, volatile, emotionally unstable, blackout prone, motorcycle crashing, bar fighting hellions, in leather pants and mirrored sunglasses, which, you know, maybe we were.
One of my favorite reviews my bands ever got was one where some Jawbreaker emo kid was just savagely attacking us for being too rock ‘n’ roll. We were trying to be like the Coma-Tones and Gun Club, but all the Cambridge Middle East, Lemonheads, poshly polite, ska, Juliana Hatfield crowd saw us as cock rock L.A. Guns feral metal dudes. They could not get past our black hair. Ironically, the safe as milk, trust funders I mentioned earlier all steadily started looking more and more like us Bastards, using a lot of primitive echo, wearing all the second hand suit jackets, and newsboy hats, singing about drinking and addictions and mental illnesses, and doing like mimeographed impersonations of our first hand experiences as genuine lower class outcasts, mimicking our whole thing. When rich people do their imitation of our kinda atmospheric and raunchy lowdown gutter music, but with all the studio wizardry and spooky sound effects, the highbrow academics and rock critics all think of it as somehow acceptably camp, or like, sexy and exotic indie-film soundtrack scores, as profound social commentary, but we were living the wild lives those gentrification clones just read about.
We did not get to ever record some of the songs about what was happening to us back then, that have been recorded by multiple, very well-known bands from different cities and even a couple of bona fide major label rockstars. We had the most shite luck everywhere we went-broke down vans, bloody skirmishes with racist boneheads, suddenly dead collaborators, our old glam rock drummer getting stolen by more famous group, you name it. We were spiralling a bit. I was still confident, cause these older guys: a shag headed, leather clad duo who'd just sold a big hit song to a super famous commercial artist were buying me drinks at the bar all day and telling me they were gonna make me famous. A fanzine from Milford, Ma memorably referred to me around that time as a "wasted, wandering, wanton, rebel without a band". Wow, the truth hurts, still hurts. Girls would ask us if they could take our pictures at the big bars on Lansdowne Street. We attracted some famous females and stormy bombshells. Best of times, worst of times. Mighta been some drinking.
ALL OF THE HEARTBREAK STORIES
While some of these initial setbacks were disappointingly first underway, like I said, my girlfriend from the Midwest and also, one of our best friends and trusted advisors who relocated with us, both became understandably discouraged by their shit jobs as restaurant slaves and our lazy boy gang's drunken bozo unemployment, and luckless lack of drummer, and stolen vehicle and mechanic tools that were the rhythm guitarists stock-in-trade that were in the back of the lost El Camino, the big hole he punched in the wall of our new pad that first night he showed up unexpectedly when his car was stolen after he left it running in Roxbury while he went in to a convenience store in the deep hood for a Mountain Dew and pack of Camels, and living in rundown blue collar squalor on cans of beans and bad beer and ramen and all the bad side blight related heartaches and slow goings and lice from my kid's daycare and went back to Indiana, where she was one of the prime movers behind the Fort Wayne punk scene, that we all grew up on the fringes of. Right now, somebody's making a movie about it-Ft. Wayne's legendary Seventh Level punk scene, and I can't wait to see my dear friend's appearance in it. A lot of our friends and girlfriends came out of that core scene.
Back in the Midwest, we lived like an hour and a half away from that Sunday night Holiday Inn parking lot, and the Primitive Baptist Church wild house, but travelled there in our unreliable $100 cars on Sundays for a couple of years to spend time with these two goth gals we loved. "Bands that today are regarded as pioneering and crucial were at the time regarded as no talent deviants and societal nuisances, often even by the music press, who should have been their champions..." is a pull-quote from "Another Tuneless Racket" by Steve Gardner that really resonated with me for reasons that should by now be obvious. It seemed like every time we ever played a show, anywhere, me and my ever changing line-up of whiskey-hardened bikers and sensitive goth poets, an ever rotating temporary on the drum stool, and a yeehaw Bobby Keyes style saxophonist...some minor rockstar, mini-mogul, or bigtime DJ would approach us and kinda pretend like they were gonna help us record our shit, but it was always just a hustle to steal our material, meet our more famous friends, pinch the ever elusive glam drummer I mentioned, or get near our long series of talented and attractive former girlfriends. It was always a false hope heartbreak and some kinda rip-off.
I stopped fraternizing with gentrification people entirely cause all they do is assimilate all your shit into their vanity brands, you see other people's names on your life story, your creations, and nobody's sorry, they'd all do it again if they got the chance. If you don't record, publish and copyright your own art, there is always a good chance some business dude will. Nobody cares who has sincerity, or lived it, or did it first. No one, nobody. I think it was Chris Isaak who sang, "nobody loves no one."
That disreputable and notorious hoodlum Boston blues punk and torch and twang band, the Bastards, we could never find a permanent drummer, they all wanted to be ska or Nine Inch Nails rich people industrial, and we never got to record much, though we did appear on a tribute to the Boys and Hollwood Brats on some little Italian label called Desert Inn records, because we were always dead poor living in a rodent infested Allston ghetto apartment and got involved with some real dark and negative influences, but man, we wrote a lot of songs that got circulated all over via cassette tapes, While we were still sending cassettes out to other fanzines to be reviewed and begging little labels like Sympathy and Dogmeat and Dionysus and Get Hip to record us, and what happened was several other bands in different cities started doing our tunes, and copying us, our whole style, without always acknowledging who the real writers were. So yeah, these other bands got to do stuff, be on the cover of magazines, selected by our former allies to appear on big UK glossy magazine compilations, opened for our own idols, and like, we never got any credit from all the people we influenced, so yeah, you know, that's been frustrating.
We're still dishwashers, janitors, forgotten, but not gone. Rich kids who came second look n sound just like us and kinda bought their way in to relationships with our idols. Ya know how Cobain saw to it that the Melvins got a piece of his fame train? All the porky, pink pants, brat pack, Kendoll rich kids we directly and personally influenced did just the opposite-they stole our whole thing but then pretended that they never even heard of us. "Who?" We still have to see these guys online being applauded by our former cohorts while mostly trading on our work, it's sometimes still real painful, summa our gang are Already Gone to the gin-joint beyond the clouds, summa us are just barely getting' by. It's often said that it's helpful to have some kinda trust fund, if you wanna make records, but in this greed is gawd, post grunge era, it's like, mandatory. If you ain’t got big money, you ain’t goin' nowhere. Take a seat on the bleachers and watch the idle heirs steal your act-same shoes, same haircuts, some of our tunes, and even summa the copycat cloned, in between song fucking banter. It's like having your own tribute band. First, it all started with that college town chain wallet, copycat Offspring, plain white t shirt guy, but then, it kept happening, again and again. I was reading that Killer Kane book where he suffers all his life over Aerosmith and KISS and I totally get it.
So some days, I think about my long lost THE CURE crew, and wonder if any of 'em are even, like, anti-war, anymore, if they can even recognize when they are being propagandized by the roar of the big machine. I'm pessimistic, they all seem devotedly invested in social life, celebrity fame hierarchies-and all that Netflix get rich/asskiss programming, ya know what I'm talkin' about? Just nodding along with whoever has amassed power or celebrity. Sucking up to the richest person in the room, in any social situation.
That's not for me, so when my youngest kid, a brilliant in his own way, but lonely teenage child, who struggles with his own lack of peers, howls from the heart, because he knows he is not really accepted, or likely to ever be embraced by the neurotypical, general ed. hype beats, designer label obsessed, most hits, YouTube kids, because of his many autism ticks, but he knows he is way smart and funny and good looking and capable of memorizing entire encyclopedias, so he understandably has no interest in forging any alliances with the disability classroom kids, he has all my empathy and compassion.
I'm kinda in the same boat, at 53. The former punks and Delta House I used to know, are, in no way, rebels or misfits or activists or outsiders, anymore, and me, I can't pretend to be anything BUT those things. I never found my people. Closest I've come is like, blasting a band like the ComaTones or Tex & The Horse Heads, who were nothing but soul, or listening to the mighty BEASTS OF BOURBON, who are too famous where they came from, to like, really befriend, but whose music and lyrics are always so, so, so instantly and intimately familiar to me. I lived through so many of their songs, first hand, it was like I knew them and grew up with 'em, but obviously, not in real life, I'm from Kentucky, but their art speaks to the deepest heart of me.
When I was 21, I met this freaky dude in Boston who used to buy my fanzine at Newbury Comics and he wrote me a real sweet letter (that I still have) about how much my writing resonated with him, he is slim and trim and clean and sober now, but back then, he still looked just like a fucking drunk Hell's Angel-a big beard when nobody, except maybe ZZ Top, Santa Claus, and that nerd bongwater guy from the Spin Doctors had beards. Black leather, silver skull and monster rings on every finger, a million silver bracelets like Axl Rose, a buncha crucifixes and junk jewelry like Mister T. He was a big cult and horror movie aficionado, and I think he was an aspiring movie maker, himself, back then. Mindwarped style and primo taste in music, right? He was a cool cat and somehow, he just knew I had a lot in common with the Beasts Of Bourbon, and that my connection to old school outlaw country music and trucker culture was no joke or parody, but my roots, ya know, so when he brought me my first copy of "The Low Road", it was a big deal to me, that was some powerful stuff.
The songs, "Low Road" and "Can't Say No", especially. Just works of imperishable genius, really, exactly what I aspired to, in all my ceaseless vainglory, in the words of the sleazy leather dude with the beard. I dunno why Australia has all the real rock’n’roll bands and USA USA is all just banal, creepy, toxic, gutless garbage pop, and fake fuck commercial country, but ya know, my heartfelt heroine, Chrissy Amphlett, was one of the most amazing rock ‘n’ rollers who ever lived, and I'm told that Brody Dalle chick from the Distillers was from her same town. Lately, I've been jamming to Amyl & The Sniffers, there's a couple of formulaic punk bands with scantily clad, hot pants and bleached blonde girl singers over here in Amerikkka that everybody always loves, like Barbed Wire Dolls, who stole their name from a truly dangerous and exciting Smack and Doors-influenced, gutter junkie midwestern garage band, who were probably my own gang's only real rivals, way, way, way back when, but the fake Barbed Wire Dolls totally lack the Amyl & The Nitrates chick's energy and anger and fervor and passion. They always seem like ho-hum, Hot Topic, popular girl, cheerleader gone stripper, Barbie World, Gwen Steffani mall posers to me, whereas, the edgier rockers from Australia really lay it down, deliver the raw goods, leave it all on the stage, MC5 style! I love that. That's my whole thing, my true religion, my way of life, so it always seems like my real rock ‘n’ roll people are in Australia.
The ones I knew a long time ago, who were anything at all like me, over here, are dead and gone. I'll exchange e-mails with a couple people once or twice a year who are, what I call, the "Thank Obamas", all they seem to know, or care about, is vicariously, second hand, "identifying", with empty suit, identity politricks, Colors Of Bennetton models and gentrification Democrat, feelgood-ist see-no-evil propaganda-they're always so stoked about their college degrees and self-referential pro nouns, but if you talk to 'em for five minutes, they never heard of the World Economic Forum, or disposition matrix, or Vanguard or Black Rock, or anything, that impacts the sacrifice zone, little people's lives. They ain’t hip to no real rock’n’roll no more, either-they STILL try telling me about like, Green Day and Smashing Pumpkins and Miley Cyrus and Foo Fighters, and I'm just so, not interested, at all. Nowadays, I only ever hear from like slummy cultural tourist, would-be plagiarists looking for something to steal. Greedy copyright thieves, outright vampires and time sucking, attention seekers.
People I've loved and cultivated and nourished and promoted for over half their lives don't even send me a postcard from paradise no more, cause, they are so terrified I'm gonna ask 'em for money, cause, that's what they think poor people do, or out them in front of their fancy wives, or guilt trip 'em over some fucked up shit they did wrong, thirty years ago. In my country, nobody knows anything about what's goin' on in this world, cause we are hypnoscreen bullshitted, and played for suckers, all around the clock. So even the music sucks, SO BAD now, and I can't even find a fucking guitar player who gives a fuck about anything besides ya know, the Standard Amerikkkan Dream, which is, of course, a big fat, fucking lie. They're all strung out on pig-media and the government pills. So you take the high road and I'll take the Low Road.
WHAT'S LEFT OF THE LEFT?
I'm only here to help! At this sad juncture all I really got to offer my kindred spirits and fellow travelers and brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution is drawing some half-conscious rock ‘n’ roll rebels attention towards what few real news sources and truthteller websites like www.realnews.com and Black Agenda Report and Mintpress and Jacobin magazine still exist. I wake up pretty mortified each morning by all the big earth moving machinery on my street tearing down the trees and digging for hot springs, everybody in this dead end place is dreaming they're gonna find gold in them thar hills by flipping the crummy old houses built in the ‘50s into Airbandb hot tub tourist resorts. We been watching the multiple McMansions go up a couple blocks away while the secretive local politicians use code enforcement to target old hermits for removal, I've been defending the old hermits because I know it's a domino theory at work, here-once those first couple of eccentric old timers with the eyesore hoarder encampments and broke down old RV's and backyards full of old mattresses and chickens go, we'll be next, and it ain't that easy to find freestanding houses that ain’t two grand a month, anywhere, anymore and we can't do apartment living because of family disability issues.
I'm so anxious and fretful about it all, I wanna call my muddah but she is suffering from cognitive impairment issues after a tragic fall and brain bleed about five months back, so she's still recovering and does not need my stress added to her load, I'm just explaining that shit to you, my underground rock’n’roll comrades, cause I have been writing more than I used to since the techlords locked us antiwar activists out of social media, and the town started the gentrifying process that keeps reoccurring everywhere we go. Shitlibs think Klaus Schwab and his Future Leaders School are warm and fuzzy shitlib cuddly, special pinup friends. The office classers and landlorders will tell you there is no such thing as a Great Reset or Agenda Twentyone, New World Order rollout happening all around us, but those same people told us the US government would never spy on our phone calls without warrants, or makeup slanderous lies to ruin popular opinion about heroic whistle blower journalists, or plant a Dick Cheney proxy army on Russia's front door for a regime change war with a nuclear power, but they're doing it. You know that old sixties song, "Nowhere To Run"? That's how I'm feeling this morning. I could use a good stiff drink to calm my nerves but I don't drink in front of the kids and I'm almost always on the clock nowadays.
SATURDAY NIGHT PINK
It's 8.10 in the morning on another gloomy Monday and after perusing what few semi-reliable Leftish news sources remain on the internet in the shadows of all the Fascist as fuck, Biden administration rollout of ever more censorship via the fiendish foes of truth and justice-the Atlantic Council and meta-world unreality, pro war, fake liberal, partisan ping-pong, Always Blame Some External Boogeyman For Capitalists Crimes Against The Poor, nothing changes, virtue signaling, middle class feelgood-ist narrative-manufacturers, like Abby Zimet and Rachel Maddow, Jen Psaki and Nina Jackowicz, I naturally feel tired, resigned, sad to see how so many fakeass war cheerleader shitlibs are willing and even eager to sell out all the poor people for a little fame, prestige, a pay check, and some special privileges as consent manufacturing agents of the Empire.
Do ya think they still tell themselves they are righteous, intersectional, correct pro noun respecting do-gooders, or behind closed doors, do they laugh at how gullible all the TV watching poors are? I suspect Obama and Hillary laugh their asses off, but summa the Squad might not be on the inside of these incremental, dystopian police state, Klaus Schwab rollouts, I dunno. I do know that none of them, nor Bernie, fight for any part of the platforms they all ran on-eviction moratoriums, housing the homeless, medical care for everybody, forgiveness of ridiculous student loan debt that keeps so many middle classers on the helpless biometric timeclock hamster wheel. Freeing every non-violent reefer offender. Ending the Bush/Cheney world wars for weapon manufacturers and oil companies. Breaking up the big tech and media monopolies. Reeling in the surveillance state. Providing dental and optical to old people who did not have money to go to college. Instead, they co-sign giving unfathomable amounts of money to their proxies in the Ukraine and Israel, while their own constituents die young, cause they cannot access adequate dental/healthcare, medicines without crazy dangerous and secretive side effects, affordable housing, decent food untainted by Gates and Bayer/Monsanto, etc., etc.
Yeah, it gets me down. Remember when the DNC admitted in court they fix their primaries in smoky back rooms and fuck you? Remember when it was shown in courts of law that they lied about Trump working for Russia? Special Counsel John Durham’s probe proved that Hillary Clinton herself and her top foreign policy advisor, Jake Sullivan, spread a phony "Primary Colors" style, dirty tricks, Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative, featuring the fabricated bullshit about a pee pee blackmail video from the lyin' and spyin' Christopher Steele distraction dossier. They just edit out any shit they find uncomfortable as "fake news". Try talking to a shitlib about the Tuesday Morning Disposition Matrix. They do not care to know, just which Beyonce songs Barack likes best, seeing Chelle talk about niceness with Ellen and the clueless, rich ladies of "The View", shit like that. How Lyn Cheney is basically another Bloomberg Democrat now. Blue-Maga.If you wanna know who exactly REALLY blackmails and controls western politicians, go to Whitney Webb's Unlimited Hangout website and start learning about Mossad and the Mega Group. It ain't Russia.
Find out who Jared Kushner's dad is. I mean, I don't like Trump, obviously, but how do shitlibs just numbly, blindly filter that stuff out? That Madeline Albright was part responsible for the deaths of over a million people and when asked about all those murdered kids, she said "it was worth it", and there are all your right-wing Wall Street Democrat Pinup Poster Faves at her funeral singing her praises. How do they just ignore that shit? Hillary LAUGHING about her proxies brutally killing Gaddafi? MF's still cheering for her psychotic ass. All my ex associates who love their special privilege status, always singalong with whatever current advertising slogan CNN assigns them, that's so sad to me.
Most high salaried college people live in big pharma bliss bubbles until shit affects them personally, don't give a shit about their brothers and sisters exiled in the sacrifice zones, gulp, gulp, gulp, they just stay fucked up so they don't have to think about anything that makes them feel ikky or uncomfortable, which is why they despise homeless people, it's so fucked, and then, mass media gets 'em all worked up and frenzied about stories they can manipulate them into hating their neighbors over. Ugh! The narrative managers have been so well trained, all these Ivy League spook-state and fucked up Anderson Cooper and Billy Bush and Tucker Carlson multi- millionaire kids spewing their eager-beaver propaganda for the one percent, while couching it all in populist lingo, and sensitivity lexicons. "They think they're so clever, they think they're so right..." (-The Clash)
I personally can't stand being held captive by the hypnoscreens all the time, so I venture outdoors multiple times each day but I can't find anybody who is really willing to engage in real life activities that don't strictly involve amplifying their master's voice on the iPhone twitterverse, or Tik Tok hate towns, or whatever. The main advantage of not having an iPhone and being locked out of False-Book by Zuckerberg for anti-war postings and links to credible indie media reposts, sternly frowned upon by the capitalist war machine, is now I have many, many hours to fill each day, but I still mainly wanna do music, make new rebellious rocknroll with truth and soul, and not many of my former peers have any interest in that, unless, of course, as they say, there is a fortune to be made. I can't work with brand builder gentrifiers or micro-empire would-be celebrities. I gotta go find some other guttersnipes, and few of them can even afford instruments, or primary shelters, nowadays, let alone, secondary rehearsal spaces. Scary times for low income tenants when city hall is in bed with big money developers building million dollar homes on the same block as 53-year-old trailers. Where do we go?
Walking home from the post office, past all the dog walking, standoffish, stoned in the morning, MSNBC boomer rich people, who live on the giant four block compounds with the big high silver fences, security cameras and dogs, mosaic tiled OM patios and hot tubs and super yacht RV's, remembering conversations I had decades back with former friends about the importance of real music....but once they started their transition, self-identifying as middle class people, haves high on the hill, they kept repeating how there was not enough money in it. Huh? What?!! I remember telling 'em all, that's the right time(!!) to make wild music with authentic rock’n’roll authority and real heart, especially, when nobody else is doing it. In all the stories those D-Gen guys have been telling since the sad death of Howie Pyro, you know the one thing they never really mention, is where they got all their money to do all that shit.
Rents and recordings and big city living costs money, last I knew. If you listen to all the Gentrification-Hipster music, you'll notice how little of it ever addresses real life issues, ya know? It's just like that rich models with big hats, who know more rich people in Joshua Tree, singing sad rich girl songs about folksy sunsets and Vogue sundresses, and more big hats and Ibiza trip music festival vacation Airbandb rentals, and shit. The politics of Amish beard growing. I noticed that Spin magazine has been emphasizing all the occultist rap and Kardashian debbil Tik Tok punque lately, rather than just their usual millionaire model-duos, with ukuleles, synthesizers, or fifteen piece Americana, cos-play orchestras. I only liked one of those good lookin' kids with big hipster hats kinda bands. Hound's Tooth, or something like that. Kinda like Jacob Dylan Juniors. They got a real cute song called "Sedona" where they yell, "SATURDAY NIGHT KINDA PINK!" and I can't help but be somehow charmed by that, possibly because my girlfriend mentioned how that band vaguely resemble a couple of my own beautiful but sadly estranged adult children.
Let me know if you like it.
"The more I study the history of the subject, the more I realise that the USSR defeated the Nazis and the western powers absorbed them." -Ben Norton speaking about Operation Gladio and Operation Paperclip.
"Americans have now paid a total $53 B for a proxy war that's blowing military expenditures out of the water & nuclear endangerment off the charts. All without a word of debate. Democrats are not just caving to the military industrial complex. They are leading the charge." - Dr. Jill Stein
"The one single time the US had a monopoly on nuclear weapons at the same time it was at war, it used them. Not because it needed to, but as a show of force. That was the dawn of the US empire. That's how it was born. And it never got any saner from there." -Cait Johnstone
"The fact that both major parties in the US and UK support Israel and Zionism ‘without qualification’, as Keir Starmer puts it, is everything you need to know. These are the last people on earth to talk about anything related to "human rights". -Richard Medhurst
"Bernie Sanders and the Squad should be ashamed of themselves for voting to fund this ongoing proxy with Russia while our own people are struggling to afford housing, healthcare, and food." -Ryan Knight
DREAMS ARE MADE OF EMOTION
I just got an email from Culture Club, saying they are going back out on tour, which is thrilling news, as far as I'm concerned. Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, Prince and Billy Idol - that was my whole LIFE when I was a strange kid watching "Night Flight" and thinking about Human League and Dexy's songs, hiding from suburban sports assholes in my bedroom, listening to my purple Prince vinyl and reading Creem magazines, drawing band logos and cartoon pictures of imaginary bandmates, putting on Adam Ant makeup in the mirror.
I still go down the Culture Club rabbit hole some nights and listen to him serenade his still very passionate audiences with all his old classics, mixed up with fucking just exquisitely beautiful covers of old Bowie tunes. If you know the Culture Club story, you know his bandmates and producers used to ridiculously complain that he was not a technically qualified to win a perfect pitch competition, unreality tv contest, as a big note hitting Bette Midler vocalist, but these brainwashing Faux-Olympics illuminati judges can go fuck themselves, because he gracefully evolved into an incredible, timeless, beautiful entertainer, with total control, mastery, and true feeling and effortlessly commands a giant room with so much soulful feeling and it's not just his gay audience who still show up dressed like him and get lost in the memories and songs, he brings everybody together, like, unites all the people. I love him.
Nowadays, I only get email from Culture Club, Blondie, and Sunglasses Hut. I'm 52, feeling 53, but might as well be back in that basement room on Lakewood Drive with all the “Smash Hits” magazines on the floor and Duran Duran posters on the wall. "WAR IS STUPID AND PEOPLE ARE STUPID AND LOVE MEANS NOTHING, IN SOME STRANGE QUARTERS..." Of course old worn out dishwashers like me will likely never witness another big ticket, major rock show and have to find contentment from watching Amyl & The Sniffers and Sleaford Mods videos and any live concert, eighties new wave stuff, or old concerts of SMACK from Finland, anything cool that washes up on YouTube, but in crazee heat like this, I just kinda gotta hunker down and be grateful for cold water and a swamp cooler and this computer, cause otherwise, I'm just walking aimlessly among the rolling plains of cactus.
My old amigo, the Late Great Billy Ray Bogart, died a couple Christmas Eves ago basically, but man, we used to watch all his old VHS of pro wrestling from the ’80s, back when we lived together in a one bedroom purple apartment and were too poor for cable, my teenager who is reading headlines from the internet out loud just informed me my fave wrestler, Ric The Nature Boy Flair, is about to perform his final match at 70 years old. I wish my main man, Billy Ray, was still here to chat with me about crazy feather boa wearing pro wrestlers in David Lee Roth sparkly "Panama" robes; and crackly vinyl old blues gutbucket whiskey sippin' bastards, and skinny tie new wave music. This afternoon it's just too hot for another walk so I found myself watching some "Legends" concert with James Brown, Bo Diddley. Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Fats Domino, and I think Chuck Berry kinda as a tribute to my main man Billy Ray.
I'm crazy bored and depressed but do not drink around my kids so the monotony is grinding. Find myself talking out loud to all these absent homies. I avoid humans whenever possible, cause I just don't speak College Feelings like they do, but man, I do kinda miss my lengthy roll call of rock ‘n’ roll motherfuckers who've Already Gone. Out here where the crazy hot winds blast, we are all like the slow lumbering living dead, just some of us have more BMW motorcycles with sidecars for dogs, than others. I'm obviously the others.
A nice elderly artist lady made me some real cool ‘70s Aerosmith-style, feather earrings though, and that's as delightful to me as a lotta updated flash appliances probably are to the property caressers. My wife bought me a real cool bandanna, also. Mondays in dead end desert ghost towns are like study hall at Catholic school, cause the whole town is still closed, it's Sunday part 2. Time moves real, real slow in these places. I wake up between 5 and 6, by the time 1:12 rolls 'round, on a hot day, you're already ready for a siesta. Most of my friends who got the gum rot were not long for the world, after that, ya know? My bro Mark, he was a genius, his teeth turned black and like, poof, that was it, he was a goner. Periodontal problems cost thousands and if you ain’t got it, fuck you. BYE!
For some reason, it seemed like the good motherfuckers who weren't trying to just covertly compete with you, or use you as their cover story, or backstab you and steal your shit, are always first to leave the planet. What's up with that shit? Meanwhile, they DOUBLED the price on all the empty real estate since last year. Shit is crazy, man. Smoke is so thick it burns your eyeballs and a neighbor two streets down came outside to tell me we can use her spare truck if we have to evacuate because of the wildfires. It's getting scary here, real "ROAD WARRIOR".