Naomi Klein-type people are fond of saying that “austerity” (i.e. cutting social security, medicare, welfare, food stamps, etc.) is just an example of what U.S./Europe did to 3d world countries in the ‘80s and ‘90s, come back to bite us in the ass. According to this theory, Western-controlled organizations like the WTO, World Bank, and the IMF “practiced” screwing the common people in debt-ridden poor countries around the world, and once they’d “perfected” their methods, those same methods are now being brought home to the rich countries, and used on US. And that’s why Chicago had to sell their parking meters to Arabs, why New Jersey tried to sell the Turnpike, and why Congress cut food stamps for unemployed people at Christmas.
I’m all for this theory! But it seems to me that “austerity” is just one of A DOZEN damn awful things that are all moving from the periphery of our global empire to the heartland. At the same time. A DOZEN things that were invented or perfected at certain borderlines, and now are being brought to bear on the same regular American jerkoffs who kept voting for those policies to be applied to marginal folks.
I suppose you could say that this traditional German poem already called it:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
But actually not really. All the victims in that poem were all people in the middle of German society. The people that the USA government is “coming for” are mostly at the physical borders of our country, and the rollback of human rights is sort of physically, literally creeping in and converging on Kansas.
If anything, USA’s current situation is more like Japan in the ‘30s, as described in Mark Driscoll’s excellent book, ABSOLUTE EROTIC, ABSOLUTE GROTESQUE: Japan’s international sex and drug trade, and gangster-driven administration . . . that all started in their Asian colonies in the ‘20s and ‘30s. And then all the corruption became entrenched in Tokyo politics as WWII started, giving birth to both a mafia-style corrupt and violent political sphere, as well as a very decadent, erotic grotesque, burlesque pop culture.
So let’s look systematically at all the corruption pouring into mainland America from our various borders:
1) AUSTERITY. Already discussed.
2) WAR. Techniques that started in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are now being used at home: The militarization of our police forces (military-grade vehicles and tactical weapons given to small-town Ohio police forces just in case Al Quaeda decides to blow up a strategic Hardee’s), drones over America, and the designation of American citizens as “enemy combatants” who can get sent to Gitmo or even assassinated without even being accused of a specific crime. . .
3) COUNTER-TERRORISM. In the past, the government would only search you for contraband at the border or airport. But in 2013, Homeland Security declared they had the right to stop traffic at random checkpoints and search all vehicles with no probable cause. . .WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE BORDER. This is literally the creeping-from-the-periphery-to-the-center that I’m talking about.
Also, the CIA (who, remember, is supposed to spy on foreigners) is helping the NYC police spy on basically the entire Muslim population of NYC. Speaking of creeping over borders, the NYCIA decided to extend their spying into Jersey as well . . .without telling any Jersey law enforcement.
Also I guess we can throw in the whole NSA bulk data collection here. The original NSA phone-tap program was just spying on calls FROM foreigners TO foreigners. I.e. outside the border of America. But then things got complicated when, say, a call from France to Saudi Arabia was routed through a telecom hub in, say, New York. (apparently this is a thing that happens?) So the NSA started tapping foreign calls on American soil. Then they started tapping ALL the calls, because, hey, they already had the back-door in the NYC telecom router.
All this is justified by, “Hey, OK, that’s technically against the constitution, but it’s just for terrorism! We would never use that authority to help police in any other types of crimes, right?”
4) DRUG WAR. The drug war seems to be creeping in from a lot of different peripheries at once: at the physical borders, of course, where smuggling occurs, but also at the WAR periphery (see #2 above) for example, the militarization of our local police forces, and the physical drug wars we are fighting in Colombia, Mexico, etc. Like the anti-terror war, law enforcement seems able to bend the rules because the crime is seen as so dangerous. Then those precedents are used to justify new police powers to go after ALL crimes. For example, Civil asset forfeiture. No-knock raids. Joint Task Force 6, the only army unit allowed to go to war on Americans. Which I did not know until I googled “drug war civil rights” just now. All of these were originally just for drug lords. Then they were for any drug offender, or anybody in a ghetto or vario. Then they were basically for anyone, anywhere. A great example of periphery-creep is what is called PARALLEL CONSTRUCTION.
Let’s back up a second here: as anyone who watches cop tv shows knows, evidence is only admissible in court if the cops get it legitimately, i.e. with a warrant. And they’re required to show ALL their evidence to the defense, so the defense can maybe find something in the evidence that makes their client look less guilty. But apparently the NSA is showing their phone-taps to the drug police. The drug police can’t tell the judge or the prosecutor where they got the evidence – since the NSA is only supposed to spy on terrorists, not drug guys. So the cops do PARALLEL CONSTRUCTION: they fabricate a paper trail to supposedly show they got their evidence legally. For instance, the NSA illegally intercepts a phone call saying, “We will put drugs in a blue Mustang on freeway 101 at Tuesday night.” They tell the cops “pull over the blue mustang and tell the judge it was a totally random traffic stop or the mustang had a blinking tail light or it was just good luck.” So, first the NSA was ONLY supposed to use their spy powers for terror. They would never never ever spy on anything else. Now they’re openly using them for terror AND anti-drug stuff. But of course they would never never use that for anything besides terror or drugs. Or porn.
Actually this terror-to-drugs-to-everyday enforcement dealie is pretty common, you can use it on anything:
Airports. The “border exception” to civil rights. We’d only go into your pants and etc. with no probable cause to look for bombs. Well, as long as we’re doing it, we’ll look for drugs. Because drugs are used to finance terrorist groups. Well, as long as we’re looking for bombs and drugs. . . .
Ditto Homeland Security giving army surplus gear to small town cops. Just in case the Talibans invade Possum Ass, Arkansas! But as long as we got ‘em it would be a shame not to use ‘em. Let’s use ‘em on drug raids! Well, as long as they work so good on the drug raids, it would be ashame not to use ‘em on everything!
Also check out how this dealie is physically, literally a periphery-to-center thing: terror-to-drugs-to-anywhere = overseas-to-borderland-zone-to-middle-america.
5) PRISONS. As detailed in the book LOCKDOWN HIGH, technology developed for prisons (and even cattle farms!) is now being used in schools: tracking RFID cards attached to students, and metal detectors.
6) IMMIGRATION. Without any real notice in the mainstream papers, ol’ liberal Obama has been deporting record numbers of immigrants, more than Bush one or two, or any other president ever. Not only that, but the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has developed its own parallel justice system – they have their own cops, their own laws, their own courts, their own standards of evidence and who gets what rights while on trial, that is totally different than normal trials. They especially have their own jails, a gulag system spread throughout the USA the same way the CIA’s “black sites” are scattered throughout the world for the detention of possible terrorists. Also there is a thing where the Border Patrol will now shoot over the border, killing Mexicans for “throwing rocks”. Across the Rio Grande.
7) THE HOODS. OK, so ghettos and varios are not on physical borders, so that fucks up my metaphor here. But what happens in the hood is often like a midway point, where outside-of-America tactics (drug war, the war-war, the immigration police) are tried out in certain *ahem* parts of America, before being rolled out nationwide. They use the hoods to work the kinks out of the system. SWAT teams, no-knock raids, dog-shootings, surveillance cams, “just-in-case” helicopter flyovers, stop-and-frisk, etc. all first premiered in the hoods. Then spread to anywhere there was a suspicion of drugs (i.e. all the on-purpose disruptive search-light-happy copter flyovers in the Pacific Northwest, where entire towns were buzzed for days on end, because the cops thought that the locals weren’t being ‘cooperative’ enough in snitching on their pot-growing neighbors). And finally, the tactics are just used anywhere, anytime!
And this ‘hood’ stuff, inevitably, leads me to an important point: All the white kids that want to be ‘down’, that want to be ‘hood’ . . . well, you’re going to get your wish! Only it turns out that being ‘down’ doesn’t involve you owning giant spinnas or hella big-booty bitches or chilling in VIP with A$AP $murf. It turns out that being ‘down’ involves you getting thrown in jail because a license-plate scan showed a passing patrol car you owed a $50 library overdue fine! It turns out being ‘down’ involves being threatened with 20 years for a tiny bag of weed, then turned into an informant where you have to go hit up dangerous felons who you’ve never met, with no backup, no training, while wearing a wire. It turns out being ‘down’ means spending most of your life under surveillance cameras while your neighborhood is stripped of jobs and education opportunities! It means that you, too, can lose your house, fall victim to predatory landlords, while the government declares you a “taker” and a “bum” and strips you of unemployment benefits right when you need them the most. Rad! Have fun getting your student debt taken out of your paycheck for 30 years because regular banks REDLINED you and wouldn’t consider loaning you money to improve yourself!
Hey, white kids, isn’t it fun to be ‘down’? Don’t you worry about if you’re “official on the streetz” or if your “name rings out”, you’ll be getting plenty more hood in the years to come. Whether you like it or not! Because there’s no backing out now, kids! You’re just getting like a little 10% taste of what the government has been doing to the hood all along. And the other 90% is heading to a
trailer park suburb near you! Pretty soon you’ll be as ‘hood’ as it gets! You seemed to really enjoy all this when it was Black people talking about it in movies or mp3s . . .instead of protesting it, you’d do those funny hand-gestures in the shower! But now you get to participate! You’re welcome.
And the white kids’ white parents? Even more rad! The white parents that, for decades, have been voting again and again for the politicians that were getting tougher on third-world countries (those lazy natives needed debt restructuring! We’re doing them a favor!), that were getting tough on immigrants, arabs, “enemy combatants”, “threats to homeland security,” protestors, prisoners, minorities, and dopers? Hey! Guess what? Those politicians want a word with you, Mom and Dad!
“Thanks for the votes! Glad you liked us taking away habeas corpus, the fourth amendment, innocent-until-proven-guilty, and the right to privacy! Glad you approved of us fucking with everyone else in the dang Earth! And guess what? we saved some of that just for YOU! You seem to really like that stuff, so it would be a shame to waste it all on those douchebags – they’re not even grateful! Yeah, what’s that? You didn’t think we’d spy on YOU? Or stop YOUR car for no probable cause? HAHAHAAHAHA – you’re such a kidder! You LOVE that stuff! That’s why you always keep voting for us! Well since we’re so happy, we decided to let YOU have all the rest of it. Matter of fact, we have a LOT left over, even after the muslims, protestors, immigrants, potheads, and ‘inner city youth’. Oh man, you wouldn’t believe how much is left over. You could say we’ve been saving the best for last! And it’s all coming right for YOU! Just our way of saying, thanks for your support!”
So NOW Mom and Dad are joining a Tea Party and NOW the kids are turning down Tupac so they can go out and Occupy some shit, and everyone in the family – regardless of their politics – is SHOCKED that the government would treat people like this.
I mean, treat WHITE people like this.
Back in the ‘60s, you had to be a really big-time black Panther to even get the FBI to listen to your phone. Nowadays even some dental hygienist in Maryland named Abigail got a digital file 100 times thicker than Eldrige Fucking Cleaver. It used to be just cameras in “high crime” , uh, “urban” areas, but now everybody is getting watched via their cellphone’s GPS! NOW it’s a fucking outrage! Back in the day, you’d only get assassinated by the government if you were Malcom X or Fred Hampton, but now the freaking President is on TV saying ANY American can fucking well get DRONED. Now entire WHITE families are getting evicted, having their unemployment cut, having to choose between education and food, entire WHITE families are being forced to ‘assume the position’ over a fucking traffic ticket, Sure, NOW it’s a huge scandal! NOW it’s tyranny!
Some rapper needs to do a song with a chorus involving a really small fiddle and the phrase HOW’S THAT FEEL?
THE REVERSE POWELL MEMO
In the 30s, lefty politicians like Huey Long got popular, because Lefties of all walks of life had big ideas they could rally around (socialism! Populism!!) , and that solidarity allowed them to put pressure on mainstream politicians and demand substantial changes : FDR had the New Deal, and LBJ had the Great Society, and even Nixon started the Environmental Protection Agency , started Earth Day, and strengthened welfare.
And then to fight back, the big-business types circulated the Powell Memo. They didn’t have the numbers, but they had their own, big, unifying idea they could all rally round. (neoliberalism! Deregulation!).
But ever since Reagan got elected in 1980, liberals have been playing defense, trying to preserve the shreds and tatters of government programs while conservatives – on the other hand – keep moving the goal posts more to the right. The conservatives keep dreaming bigger and bigger, they’re demanding things that would have been political suicide even in Reagan’s time.
Sure, the Right is better funded and organized, but maybe the main problem with the Left is BEING ON THE DEFENSIVE IS NO FUCKING FUN. It’s hard to get motivated to march for SLIGHTLY LESS SHITTY! Or to demonstrate for COULD YOU CUT THE FUNDING A LITTLE LESS THAN YOU WERE PLANNING TO CUT THE FUNDING? It’s hard to organize a huge door-to-door campaign to raise awareness of MAYBE YOUR POVERTY IS NOT 100% YOUR FAULT FOR SHITTY DECISIONS YOU MADE. It’s hard to get people to volunteer their time and money for TRY TO RAPE SLIGHTLY LESS THAN 28,000 OF OUR OWN DAMN SOLDIERS THIS YEAR.
Frustrated 99-percenter types of today lack the unifying big ideas AND the money of the Old Left and Big Business. But what if there was a way to turn tour disorganization into an advantage?
What we lack in big, unifying ideas, we can make up for that in sheer numbers of daffy, unique, individual UTOPIAS. I’m talking about how a “homebrew utopia movement” should become A Real Thing. As much as I gripe about it, The internet is actually a huge help in this : just look at how many insane or stupid ideas not only get famous but spontaneously create communities, where people who (pre ‘net) would have persued their hobby in shameful solitude, actually compete with one another to see who can get the most far-out with it!
A “homebrew utopia” movement – where everyday people dream up alternative societies the same way they now write fan-fiction, youtube diaries, fantasy-football – could be like a giant game where people compete to see how many of our society’s unspoken assumptions they can discover, expose to the light of day . .. and then think of alternative societies based on DIFFERENT assumptions. Put another way, how many sacred cows they can fillet!
HOMEBREW UTOPIA MOVEMENT
The point is: overwhelm fuckers with diversity. I’m not seriously saying one single utopia will become a huge movement (which itself is a way-too-utopian plan!) . My plan calls for SUCCESS THROUGH FAILURE. Let me show you how:
The more different utopias people come up with, the smaller and blander it makes the dem-repub consensus look: “Oh you think Obama is crazy? Well get a load of THIS guy!”
Even if people don’t agree with any given utopia (by their very extreme all-encompassing nature, utopias are pretty hard sell to begin with!) . . .it’ll get people off the defensive and onto the offensive.
It’ll also get regular people to realize “Hey, did you see that jackass on the internet with his crazy commie/nazi/feminazi/asexaual/extraterrestrial fantasy? That utopia is ridiculous because it goes against this basic assumption of society . . .hey! I never realized we were all making that assumption. Which means even though THAT utopia was bullshit, means there must be OTHER assumptions, other ways to do a society. Hmm, maybe I should do my OWN utopia just for fun!”
Like I said, the Overwhelm With Diversity works to the advantage of a populace without money, political power, or a coherent ideology:
It costs nothing to threaten the Man’s assumptions of how society should be run, and cops can’t stop it, since it runs totally outside the definition of “protest”. If you can’t overthrow the System, overthrow the assumptions that legitimate the system!
GO ON THE OFFENSIVE IN THE WAR OF IDEAS.
Get your utopia on! Don’t worry about if it’s politically feasible or if it would even work if you could implement it. Just get thousands of ideas out there, listen to other peoples’ ideas.
The irrationality is actually a PLUS. It’s one of the few good ideas the hippies had: if you’re fighting a system of rigid bureaucracy, efficiency, robotic rationality and soul-killing tradition, fight back with surrealism and irrationality.
The point is not that any one crazy idea will save us – the point is to destroy the decades-long and well-coordinated-at-all-levels-of-media-government-and-business PR campaign to convince us that wall-street casino capitalism, and race-to-the-bottom globalism is the only possible way to run an economy.
The point is to teach us how to go hog-wild, rather than to beg for a slight increase in funding for some social program which has been cut by 90%.
The point is to go on the offense again.
The point is to re-start our collective imaginations, which have been beat to shit, not by mind-numbing TV, not even by the internet, but our imaginations got beat to shit by decades of sullen grumbling about right-wingers’ steady progress. By decades of allowing the other side to dictate the terms of the battle.
(also remember: at the height of the liberal, big-government, help-the-poor and regulate-the-polluters ‘70s, all the Powell Memo ideas must have seemed totally un-doable, impractical, or downright silly. But now those ideas are basically the norm.)
Put the burden of proof on The Man to explain why the economy SHOULD grow, why banks SHOULD be allowed to make money, why people SHOULD work longer hours even though machines allow one worker to do the productivity of ten workers, (and even though since the 60s the worker has not been paid in proportion to her rising productivity!)
THE MOST POWERFUL IMPEDIMENTS TO CHANGE ARE BELIEFS THAT WE DON’T EVEN REALIZE THAT WE HAVE
We have big disagreements in politics – but only about stuff that one faction dislikes. But what about the 90% of stuff that both factions like? What about all the assumptions that are so ingrained, people don’t even see them, like how fish don’t know what water is?
For instance, the assumption that “economies must always grow bigger and bigger, every year, forever,” seems obviously wrong now – the planet has finite resources, duh! But back in the 50s, even bitter enemies like the US and the USSR were in agreement about the inevitability of infinite growth (think of all those Great Leaps Forward!). To be precise, they were BEYOND agreeing – It was so obvious it didn’t need to even be articulated, (you have to articulate something for anyone to agree with it)
Anyway, it goes to show how quickly such bedrock assumptions can turn into obvious falsehoods. All it takes is saying it out loud. “everyone can make more of everything every year without ever running out of raw materials or energy!” derrrrrppppp. The hard part is actually realizing that there IS an assumption!
So to retun to my theme: If making completely unreasonable, illogical utopias became a popular hobby, if nothing else, it would be like crowd-sourcing the exposure of unspoken assumptions that we have. And exposing those assumptions is ESSENTIAL to starting to have reasonable, logical conversations of how to fix society.
In fact, some contemporary wackos, like anarchist David Graeber or Archdruid John Michael Greer, are doing just that! Instead of doing regular utopias (where you start out by imagining a fully formed future society), people like Graeber and Greer start by REMOVING one central unspoken assumption of our society, and then try to imagine how society would change if people all stopped assuming that thing.
For instance: what would an economic system look like where the “value” of things, services, and people was based on how much they helped other people, rather than on how much money they made?
What would a society look like where there was no oil left, no coal left, and . . . (dun dun dun) without oil or coal, you couldn’t have the energy to construct a world-wide replacement network of solar/wind/ocean-power plants? In other words, what would a society look like if every small village had to make its own power and replace everything it took out of the ecosystem?
What would a society look like if there was no concept of “debt”?
What would a democracy look like, if the concept of “majority vote” was applied in the workplace, every day, instead of in a polling booth, once every 2 years?
And so on. Most utopias have been based on an end point. This new breed of sort-of-utopias is based on a starting point: taking today’s real world, then tweaking one central thing, and imagining how things would unfold. However, despite exposing some unspoken assumptions of our civiliazation, none of these modern sort-of-utopias that I’VE ever read come close to actually fleshing out the answer in any detail. I don’t know if that’s because a) it’s really hard, or b) it’s really hard for someone (even an anarchist) who has been born and raised in 20th century monopoly capitalism to even contemplate?
In the past, when there was a revolution, gold would get seized. It didn’t matter if the revolution was Communist Russians, or Jacobin French, or Batshit Ayatollah-Lovin’ Iranian. . . regardless of the ideology, one thing held true: you “liberated” the gold and jewels from the oppressive rulers.
But that’s all about to change.
The next revolution – which, honestly I hope will NOT happen, for reasons which will become clear – but the next revolution is going to overthrow Wall Street plutocrats, whose money is NOT gold or jewels or even magical glowing scepters. Their money is all electronic, and what’s worse, the money is 90% in the form of electronic GAMBLES. That is to say, it’s in the form of “derivatives” or “swaps” or “foreign currency arbitrage index funds”.
All these aforementioned items are basically some variation of: “I made a bet with some other billionaire in another country that the price of something would go up or down in six month’s time. And I am simply trusting that that other billionaire will pay up if he or she loses.”
So even if your pitchfork-weilding mob has the tyrant up against the wall and a charismatic Che Guevara-like leader puts a Glock to the tyrant’s temple and says “Give us the password to all your swiss banks and Caymand Island trust funds! This money belongs to The People now!” . . .even if that DID happen, the money would simply VANISH.
Not because the Tyrant had some sort of pre-arranged scheme in place for just this contingency. But Because the billionaires on the other side of those gambles (which constitute 90% of the tyrant’s wealth, remember) would simply refuse to pay up:
“OOH GOODY! I lost my billion-dollar bet with the American Tyrant but he’s in the Bastille now so I’ll just pay my billion to Che Guevara here, even though I’m in a different country, and thanks to the deregulation of derivatives, nobody in the world even knows I’m on the other side of this particular bet! Sure. Hey, Che! Come and get a billion free dollars! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!”
And I’m not a financial wizard, but It seems to me that if many billionaires around the world stopped honoring their bets, this would cause the entire international casino to shut down, and all the “money” therein would just vanish into thin air.
You’d still have a certain amount of gold, and physical assets like factories and mansions and hovercraft, and maybe bonds? (or maybe not, depending on if the Revolution overthrew just the rich or the whole government). But derivatives, man, kiss those goodbye.
It would be like raiding Scrooge McDuck’s giant Olympic-sized pool of gold coins, and then watching 90% of them evaporate in your hands.
So whoever is in charge of the revolution, buddy, you got to think of a plan for how to deal with that.
Some of the more goofy Occupy people are fond of pointing out that back in the Bible times there was something called a Debt Jubilee – every x number of years all debts would be forgiven, slaves would be freed, repossessed land would be given back to the serfs, etc. What if we modernized that? What if, instead of a Debt Jubilee we had a SECURITIES JAMBOREE? Like every June 12th, all the gambles would stop for a moment, and all the money floating around the financial-economy would have to be liquidated and invested in the real economy – whether that’s land, paintings, hookers, buying companies or gold or sweet-ass geodes or limited edition lego minifigs or whatever – just real tangible things. On the minus side, that would make the price of real things go way the fuck up to the point where regular non-millionaires could no longer afford rice crispies or sweet geodes. But on the plus side, if all the oligarchs had to sell off their intangibles at the same time, the value of their intangibles would fall through the floor. Which would be fun to watch.
Or how about another version of a SECURITIES JAMBOREE, where every August 4th, the PHYSICAL ASSETS WHICH UNDERLY ALL YOUR DERIVATIVES which you’re gambling on . . .they ALL get PHYSICALLY DELIVERED TO YOUR DOORSTEP. Are you gambling on the future of pork prices or oil? Well here is a million hogs and 2 billion gallons of crude. Maybe you can put it on the tennis courts? Are you gambling on the price of the Yuan? Well here is a shipping container full of actual coins for you to get your Scrooge McDuck on in. Make sure and bring a snorkel! Are you doing high-speed trades of companies where you don’t even know what it is? Well apparently the microsecond when the jamboree clock ran out, you had just bought a sewage treatment plant. So here it is! Right to your house! Enjoy!
So even though those are crazy ideas, you have to know the problems in order to start thinking of solutions. And the Tyrant’s Evaporating Money trick is just one of the problems that a revolution will face in this day and age.
And this leads to a broader topic, as it usually does when I’ve been drinking.
OLIGARCH SELF DEFENSE.
This “all my wealth will evaporate if you try to grab it” scenario is just ONE of MANY counter-attacks the oligarchs can pull if the rabble rises up. And by “rises up”, I don’t mean armed revolution. Oligarchs have been known to go into self-defense, blow-up-the-economy mode if people pressure their governments for simple things like closing tax loopholes or raising living standards for workers.
The main other O.S.D. attacks are:
1) capital strike – refusing to invest any money in new businesses, or refusing to loan any more money. This might seem at first like it would only work in small developing countries who are like “Please sir may we build a power plant so we can have electricity?” but the shocking fact is, even in rich countries like Japan, USA or Germany, successful big companies depend on banks for loans just to handle daily business.
2) Fire everyone and move the factory to a different country where people are more grateful to us! AKA the Friedman (Thomas or Milton, take your pick)
3) Capital FLIGHT. This is different than a capital strike. It means, “take all the profits I made/embezzled in country A, and stash them in a secret bank account in countries B through F.” This is like a capital strike but with more money laundering, and different motivations. Capital Strikes typically are done by legitimate banks, working together, in order to influence the governments to be more business-friendly. Capital flight is more of a solitary, shameful persuit, and with no goals to influence the government. Capital flight is more associated with banana republics, collapsing African nations, or Russia, where the rich are just like “OK, this country is over.”
4) Currency attack! AKA the Soros AKA the Asian Crisis of ’97. Here is how this goes: if enough billionaires get together and start making bets that the Yen (or the Deutschmark, or the Peso) will go down in value, then everyone else jumps on the bandwagon, and lo and behold! The price DOES start to go down. And down. And down. The first people to sell can make a shitload of money somehow, because they placed bets in advance that the price would go down. But for all the little suckers who are faced with the choice of, “Holy shit, my Dinars are worth 50% of what they were worth yesterday, either I sell them at a loss (thereby further driving the price down) or I hold on to them until they become altogether worthless!”
5) Bond attack! Like currency attack, but on government bonds. AKA China and Saudi Arabia Basically Own Most of America Now. This is more of a crazy suicide attack, because bonds are like money America owes China. So they could destroy us by wiping their ass with our bonds, saying “These American bonds are bullshit funny-money from a not-legitimate government!”, setting them on fire, then selling the fecal ashes on Ebay for $2 bucks per pound. But they’d be destroying themselves in the process. But it might be worth it! Actually I’m not really sure of all the ramifications of a bond attack.
6) The CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE. AKA the “BUNCH OF FUCKING BOND TRADERS?!??” Unlike the currency attack, and the bond attack, the C.O.C. (shoutout to Mike Dean!) is deployed early and often, since the ‘70s. It goes like this: “You, the government, need to borrow from us, the bond traders, in order to finance your pet liberal/conservative/whatever programs. But we bond traders won’t buy any more government bonds unless you convince us that inflation will go down, enabling us to make more profits on our bonds. And the only way to keep inflation down is austerity, and cutting social programs. Oh and incidentally this will cripple other non-wall-street industries like housing, exports, and cars, but none of those industries can destroy your political career like we can, so they can go fuck themselves.”
7) RUN ON THE BANK aka TOO BIG TO FAIL. This one became super popular since 2008: “Mr President/ Fed Chairman/ Secretary of the Treasury! You have to bail out me and my friends because if we go out of business, we’ll take the whole economy with us! All the companies who deposited money with us will go bankrupt. And everyone who THEY owed money to will likewise go bankrupt. And no one will ever buy American stocks or bonds again!”
Anyway, those (plus the SCROOGE MCDUCK EVAPORATING MONEY revolution-foiler I described above) are just the Oligarch Self Defense strategies THAT I KNOW OF. And I’m not even a member of the Bohemian Grove! Who knows how many other shady tactics oligarchs are paying accountants and economists to invent? My point is, there are like 100 books about the 2008 crash, and 200 perfectly redundant books about AMERICA IS UNFAIR AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT, and Noam Chomsky alone has written over 500 books. All these books are full of ideas for reform or calls for mass protest.
But there is, as far as I know, NOT EVEN ONE book that even begins to address how reforms or protests or revolutions are going to cope with all the Oligarch Self Defense strategies. And unless someone writes that book, we’re all doomed.
DOOMED I TELL YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.
Many religious functions – explaining where we came from or when to plant crops – have been replaced by science. But even these days, science can’t explain the meaning of life or provide comfort to people who have lost a loved one.
But so what? Why even let religions have a monopoly on those two things? Fuck it, it’s time for secular saints.
By this I mean: make a list of people who are dead, who influenced your life greatly, who you wish you could be more like, or who you still think about a lot. . . . Then build a little shrine in your living room, and on the day they died, put their shit in the shrine (their books they wrote or albums they released or a picture of them or whatever), and take a little time throughout the day to contemplate:
a) All the happy times you had while listening to them or reading their book or going to see their movie or what-all
b) how you felt when you realized they were dead
c) what did they stand for? What did they make their fans do? how did they change things?
d) all the lessons you can learn in daily life from being more like them
e) and fuckin’ read their book or listen to their music or whatever it is, if they were a political martyr, I guess you could youtube their speeches or something?
I mean think about it: learning to be more like our idols helps us make our own meaning of life, and contemplating their death – and their legacy – helps us face our own. It’s like religion, but more practical, plus you can listen to some sweet jams and make the rules up as you go along. Plus as you get older, there will only be more people you can add to your list. It makes getting older fun, in a morbid way.
Plus, as I mentioned in a previous post on the word “spiritual”, you don’t have to be a religious believer to be appalled at how shallow, materialistic, and ad-driven our society is. Having a little shrine is a way to enjoy your favorite people *without it being mediated by some big corporation*, just you and them, without anything being bought or sold or tweeted or favorited or memed. If nothing else it’s a way of saying “not everything can be reduced to a transaction or an advertisement or a fucking number or a social media post. there is still more to life, there are still private things, even private connections between me and dead people.”
There are a few problems in the system which I haven’t worked out:
1 ) Should you also include “secular devils”? ( i.e. people who made you really happy when they died?) Do they really deserve their own entire day of hate? Like Ronald Reagan? Answer : sure! One whole day of walking through the living room and flipping him off every time I pass? That question answers itself. After all the misery people like him or Thatcher or OBL caused, why not have a little fun with it? God I can’t wait until Mariah Carey or Oliver Stone or fucking Eric Clapton dies.
2) should you include historical dead people who influenced your life and outlook? Or just dead people whose death you experienced, whose death affected you when you heard about it? It’s a lot more personal if you can actually remember where you were when you heard, “Hey Jam Master Jay got murdered.” “He WHAT?”.
3) Where do you draw the line? I can only think of half-a-dozen deceased people that are serious role-models, but hundreds of dead folks who I love their work but if I’m being honest haven’t really changed my outlook on life or nothing. But maybe if I had them in the shrine and really contemplated what they stood for, maybe they COULD still become role-models? (I’m provisionally handling this by putting all the really high-powered fuckers in glowing yellow type, thereby giving them official Saint status)
But anyway, here is my semi-complete calendar of fake religious holidays:
I know I’m missing hella important people, so please leave your suggestions for secular saints in the comments:
Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953),
St. ROBERT ANTON WILSON (January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007)
Yves Tanguy (January 5, 1900 – January 15, 1955),
Dali (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989),
Gustav Dore (January 6, 1832 – January 23, 1883)
Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994),
steve gerber? (September 20, 1947 – February 10, 2008)
Charles Schulz (November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000)
Hunter Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005)
bill hicks (December 16, 1961 – February 26, 1994)
Biggie (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997)
Jean Giraud AKA MOEBIUS (8 May 1938 – 10 March 2012)
Nate dogg (August 19, 1969 – March 15, 2011),
Hp lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937)
Joy division (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980)
Eazy (September 7, 1963 – March 26, 1995)
Stravinsky 17 June 1882 – 6 April 1971)
ST. WENDY O WILLIAMS (May 28, 1949 – April 6, 1998),
Vonnegut (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007)
ST. JOEY ramone (May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001)
thor Heyerdahl (October 6, 1914 – April 18, 2002)
Ballard (15 November 1930 – 19 April 2009)
el duce (March 23, 1958 — April 19, 1997)
George Herriman (August 22, 1880 – April 25, 1944)
St. poly STYRENE (3 July 1957 – 25 April 2011)
Jeff Hanneman (January 31, 1964 – May 2, 2013)
ST. DIO (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010)
quorthon (February 17, 1966 – c. June 7, 2004)
seth Putnam (May 15, 1968 – June 11, 2011)
Zelazny! (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995)
george carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)
dave insurgent (reagan youth) (September 5, 1964 – July 3, 1993)
Bob ross (October 29, 1942 – July 4, 1995)
Dennis Flemion (the Frogs) (June 6, 1955 – July 7, 2012)
Burroughs (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997)
lenny bruce (October 13, 1925 – August 3, 1966),
Hieronymus Bosch (. 1450 – 9 August 1516)
Euronymous AKA Øystein Aarseth (22 March 1968 – 10 August 1993),[
Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973)
ST. DAVID FOSTER WALLACE (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008)
Duchamp, of course (28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968)
Walt kelly (August 25, 1913 – October 18, 1973)
Rudy ray moore (March 17, 1927 – October 19, 2008)
Jam master jay (January 21, 1965 – October 30, 2002),
Odb (November 15, 1968 – November 13, 2004),
Big joe turner May 18, 1911 – November 24, 1985)
St. ZAPPA (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993)
richard pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005)
Vassily Kandinsky (16 December 1866 – 13 December 1944)
carl sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996)
St. James brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006)3 comments
download lyrics to everything from Closing Time through Real Gone, as a Word document, right here.
Just like the deal with my collection of Marvel superhero dick pics, I’d always assumed that someone had already taken care of this, but since the internet was falling down on the job, I went ahead and did it.
In this case, I was just copying off of various lyric sites and pasting it and, inevitably, adding my two cents about what songs were good.4 comments
Robert Rich, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Steve Roach!
Seriously what the fuck is up with that? What kind of obscure conspiracy could possibly BENEFIT from such blatant last-name manipulation? What’s Their ANGLE?!?
Robert rich - one of the early early drone guys. did “overnight performances” where the audience was supposed to sleep. Not only does his name have TWO “r”s, but also, he has actually done collaborations with Steve Roach, which is just further proof of The “R” Conspiracy.
Main song: Somnium.
Looks like : steve jobs.
Terry riley – Psychedelic synth guy, kind of tripped out , shrill , and irritating
Main song: “rainbow in curved air.”
Looks like: dumbledore
Steve Reich – modern classical minimalist and tapeloop guy. The best of the bunch!
Main songs: “music for 18 musicians”, and “come out.”
Looks like: any CEO on casual Friday, dockers and baseball hat.
Steve roach – new agey faux native American drums and synths, meditation stuff, but super thick walls of epically reverbed synths. Again, he even has the same FIRST NAME as another “R” guy. It’s like They are DARING us to call them on their Conspiracy!!!
Main album: Dreamtime Return
Looks like: Stephen King with a bird’s nest on his head. Giant eyebrows.4 comments
BANDS THAT ARE ABOUT AS ENTERTAINING AS LOU REED:
J GEILS BAND
BANDS THAT , WHILE OBJECTIVELY BAD, ARE STILL ARE MORE ENTERTAINING OR THOUGHT PROVOKING THAN LOU REED:
INSANE CLOWN POSSEE
THE BENNY HILL THEME SONG
KANSAS (the “carry on my wayward son” band)
Is no one going to fucking say it?
I’ll be the bad guy.
Lou reed was not any good. His music wasn’t even bad. It was just, meh.
People kind of admit this when they say “but he was INFLUENTIAL!!!” which is a roundabout way of admitting they don’t personally listen to or enjoy his music. But even “influential!” basically just means that “arty white person bands are a lot less creative than you thought” . . . . it doesn’t mean “lou reed was rad.”
Just by a morbid coincidence I DLed a lot of his solo albums a week before he died, so I know what I am talking about. And don’t talk about velvet underground. In a just world that band would have been officially called MO TUCKER AND HER LITTLE PALS. I mean they had 3 good songs; waiting for my man, white light, and “heard her call my name”. . . all of which had those Mo Tucker beats. Except for some stoned giggling and various comical guitar solo attempts, Reed was incidental.
See also : Reed influenced dickless noise bands like sonic youth. Tucker influenced really nice bands like NEU! and Faust. Again, this is objective truth. (Tucker also was a huge influence on Can, but I can’t co-sign the Can vocalists, any of them. Shut the fuck up Japanese Robert Plant.)
I’m not glad he’s dead, though. I saw some video interview of him in the ‘80s with an insane jew-fro-mullet and he was telling Lower East Side war stories from when NYC was all Escape From New York / Fort Apache The Bronx – style. It was an amazing batch of stories. If dude had just gracefully retired from music and done the Henry Rollins thing he could have been one of the best storytellers. This, incidentally, is not a problem unique to Reed. Lots of musicians are more interesting as people than musicians, (AKA the “the music is the least interesting thing about him/her” phenomenon).
I guess my main beef is with music critics, not with the dead man. First, claiming that he “invented punk.” Everybody knows that THOMAS EDISON invented punk. No, wait, I meant Ronald Reagan.
Second reason why critics are terrible: look at the list I posted at the top of the rant.
J GEILS BAND
All these bands had like 2 good songs, which is probably 1 more than Reed had in his solo career. So logically rock critics should praise all these bands JUST AS MUCH IF NOT MORE than they praise Reed.
And they should say typical sentances like: “J Geils band (famous for their hits “Centerfold” and “Love Stinks”) invented industrial music, as well as punk, classical, and meringue, and the demise of this band will forever live in rock history”
or sentances like: “Styx, whose brand of working-class-rock-meets-broadway-musical has influenced the course of rock history, also invented black metal, wigger slam, horrorcore rap, and the minuet.”
AND YET ROCK CRITICS HATE ALL THOSE BANDS. Despite the totally objective fact that they are just as mediocre and “eh” as lou reed.
So, in conclusion: critics are underpants, lou reed = fallout boy, “influential”= “I don’t personally listen to it but you totally should”, some musicians should just tell stories, and Mo Tucker was the main good thing about VU. Also, if the record industry took my advice and simply ONLY PAID ROCK STARS IN HEROIN, we would have been spared this guy’s output, as well as his pathetic obituaries (see also: kobain, Hendrix, etc).10 comments
“Look how talented I have to be in order to find new ways to say the same exact thing!”No comments
This is how you deal with bullshit small-town rape jocks.
If you agree, send this to someone you know.
Caught you slipping after football practice
Laying in the bushes outside where your frat is
Think you’re a man because you know how a rape feel
Tell me how that duct tape on your face feel.
Tell yourself it ain’t real, but you know your fate’s sealed
Sometimes a busted cherry leads straight to a grape peel
Word to Darryl McDan It’s the simplest plan,
Just some cuffs and a windowless van.
Now you’re bleeding, dude, but we ain’t beating you
Swervin on the curb’n, that’s right, we Nice Peting you
Bouncing you off the van wall, fractures!
“Darren Wilson football practice.”
Grand-daddy can’t save you’re a** now
Face the curtain, take your last bow
This ain’t Sinatra, it ain’t going Yo’ Way.
More like Sedaka, ‘cause we bout to Go Ape.
You can’t scream but I see your eyes widen
When I brandish pliers, siphon and a tire iron
Tear your rectum open with no foreplay
No Vaseline that’s word to O’Shea
How it feel to be violated
How it feel to have your whole hole dialated
Uncap a flask’o Tabasco in you’re a****** and pour it
And tell the damn internet you was asking for it
Used to play tight end every season
now you’re leakin
I’m stomping on your prolapse with your own cleats on
*The shoe’s on the otherfoot *
Yelling hut hut hike while you beg for your life
Sever your head and then i spike
Y que? See what you get for bein’ cliché
Same stories we gotta read each day?
“Tiny town acts shocked that their jock’s a child raper”
Fedex your left nut to Obama and tell him it was Al Quaeda.
Next we headed to your sister’s house
Clockwork orange her eyes and then s*** in her mouth.
You and all your girlfriends made a contest:
who could make the victim kill herself first.
Queen of the school with your twitter lynch mob
Fuck a rim job douche wad – take the whole pinched log
Like to dish it out but taking it is new to ya
As are my corn kernels tickling your uvula
Now tell me how that dook taste?
Leave her with a used face and a empty tube of
finally our friends roll up
Dragging the DA behind his own Benz, doing do
Nuts Goon wouldn’t bring a case, now he’s
Catchin garden gnomes to the face.
Perpetrator’s own tape is insufficient evidence
You’re working for his family, I guess it’s just coincidence
Charges was dropped , its even shockin’ the cops,
That’s why we makin’ anonymous plots
It’s a small town so it wasn’t hard to find him on a Bender
Drinking with the coach and the public defender.
Caught him in the john when he passed out,
now he’s f****** up your dad’s lawn with his ass out.
Gotta drive fast out because the cops coming.
Small town Merikuh: one mile and running.
All this murder was just a precursor
Like Eazy said, s***’s about to get WORSER.
*They’re trying to destroy our bright young future
Over just a little misunderstanding.*
Now it’s time for the boss, we all gonna level up
After we shoot this devil up.
(Gangstalicious sample: eff grand-dad!!!)
the unofficial Mayor, the rapist saver
the shady deal maker, behind closed doors
“You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”
we about to scratch with some Wolverine claws
Cutting right through ya like a mutant superhero
turn a crooked prosecutor, into human prosciutto
We don’t care about your gold coins and net worth
We’re here to f*** up your Old Boys’ network.
Stash the benz in the woods by the mansion
Carry the DA ‘cause his legs been smashed in
The cops tipped him off, the door is all locked
Coach in the foyer with his shotgun cocked
Turn to go back and then the trap closes
Sirens, behind us, we attracting mo’ fuzz.
Out of time! why’d we do so many donuts??
But Right before they scope us, a side window opens
Boss’ own maid just saved our a**
We know the reason why, we won’t waste time to ask.
Word to Ice-T, and Coach just might be
drunk as hell, yelling the f**-word
he means business – even turned his cap backwards
yelling through the door he gonna let the Moss spray
not even knowing, we’re behind him like Sasuke
when we tap his Shoul-dah the look on Hoss’ face
like someone hit an osprey with a hot plate!
But we got no time for raptor slapstick
these cops gonna capture our a** quick.
Taser to the head, bitch! Shotty, repossess this Tell the
Fuzz we ain’t here, or the Moustache gets it!
Pale as snow, but he does what he’s told,
Through the door crack pop-pop says he’s alone,
The fuzz rockets off, and now it’s game on
Get these Dockers off; gimp masks and duct tape on
F*** no I don’t want a golf membership or a Maybach.
I want some f***** payback
Don’t want the neighbors to hear the screams.
So Turn up Django on your big screen
Have a private party in your elegant rec room
Sports awards, bibles, flags and heirlooms.
Don’t forget these nice framed pictures! Pop-pop
With the coach and police chief with ya
Wearing ball gowns at the Masonic ritual
Bet the victims’ attourney took the picture too.
Treatin’ this town like your private empire
Anyone who doesn’t go along, gets fired
Protect the insider and punish the outsider
We’re exposing your fraud, Mrs. Doubtfire
But I aint gonna violate you
Gun to his head, make your own man rape you
You down with that ain’t you? It’s only common sense
You told the papers rape doesn’t have consequence.
Your bottyhole got to make a decision:
this aged grey d*** in? or this AK clip in?
Any way you slice it you hype for some anal play
“you ever had your s*** pushed in?”
this your training day.
Serbian torture : Slobidan milosovic
Now you’re slobbin on lots o’ d***
This town built on insider dealing and collusion
Now he’s inside you for real, knocking dentures loose, an’
While you’re on the carpet canoodling
We’re steady yelling “KEEP IT IN THE COMMUNITY!”
You let the douche free, dropping the case
And hound the victim family right out of the place
Thought you could plot an escape from this rotten disgrace
Now an old man’s boner just popped in your face!
Destroy a kid’s life just for f******* with your team sports.
How dare she lower the morale and the mean scores?
Small town values, you gotta love it
Something something something buttocks
Shove a football trophy right up it
And charge you with Bowel Obstruction of Justice.
Now you’re begging to stop
Now you say it’s assault
Now a bleeding rectum is a negative fault
Now you want a time out, a flag on the play
Now you stop your joking about f****** and aids.
Now you know what “No” means
Even though we ignore-ing
We’re just kids being kids! Get over it! Sorry!
Look on the bright side: you won’t need an abortion
We don’t endorse that, this gay rape is Christian.
Now smile for the camera: you’re going to be famous
Make you lip-synch nude to Tori Amos
While impaled on a pylon crying,
And mail the whole thing to Chiron Rising
Who got half the mercy of a Cylon Viking?
Psyche! Don’t fret, we’re not some damn animals
We ain’t done yet, we’re not gonna abandon you
To freeze in the cold, or bleed in the snow,
F*** that We’ll make sure you’re six deep in a hole
Or Under sea with the soles, buried sneakily bold
Like at a peepshow right beneath the main pole
Maybe some emus have eaten your bones
So if the Feds can’t find ‘em with frequent patrols
Don’t axe me, I don’t know where the remains went
Maybe under a basement or a tree in a grove
Maybe the location is somewhere more horrible
Did you check the foundation of the Hoffa memorial?2 comments
1) Sunday Cocktober 27, tokyo big sight, 10 am – 3 pm
hard-gay manga event YARO FEST @ tokyo big sight. That’s right: not BL but actual gay comics by gays. The emphasis seems to be on “indie” comics, not “maninstream”. YARO FEST is part of a larger hentai comics event called COMIC CITY SPARK 8, but I don’t know what other “specialities” are represented at COMIC CITY; I’m just going for the dudes.
2) Saturday and Sunday October 12 and 13 : CHOCOLATE CHIWAWA 15TH ANIVERSARY!
Store opens around 1PM, and stays open til 10ish.
Chocolate Chiwawa is a used clothes store for drag queens and burlesque dancers and used-clothes fiends; it’s also sort of a fixture of the Kouenji underground, and it’s having a 15th aniversary sale/party. It’s the sort of place where you don’t just go to shop, you go to meet other oddballs and hang out. So even if you’re not a drag queen or stripper, you should come and support it.
The owner , Suma-Q, is one of my best friends in tokyo, and you can read my interview with her HERE.
3) Sunday October 20 in Meiji Kouen (nearest station is Sendagaya , on the chuo/sobu line): NATIONAL PROTEST AGAINST BULLSHIT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE THESE DAMN DAYS!
Booths and festival starts at 11 AM, speeches and rallies start at 1PM, then there will be a march.
This is supposed to be a giant protest of young people who feel shut out of the steady-paycheck job market that older generations enjoyed, and exploited/preyed upon by giant temping corporations, living paycheck to paycheck, can be laid off at any time, etc. Also, they are protesting the TPP treaty, the lack of daycare/maternity leave for working mothers, rising education costs, Abenomics, and the increasing numbers of youth forced to work in semi-illegal un-regulated and un-safe “black market” jobs.
Apparently they do not have a website. The event, if you want to look it up in Japanese, is called 全国青年大集会2013.
If you want to go to any of these, drop me a line in the comments.
Just once in my life I’d like to see a “music scandal” that actually WAS ABOUT MUSIC. “Miley Cyrus’ new song is all in 13 / 7 polyrhythms. . . and it’s 27 minutes long!” “ASAP Ricky’s new song only uses a jaw harp and musical saw, nothing else!” “Lady Gaga’s new song consists entirely of samples from Youtubes of crimes used in courtroom proceedings. . .AND it’s 19 BPM.” To me, THOSE qualify as “music scandals.” But in our dumb media world, the more “shocking” the performer is, the more conservative and middle of the road their song is. Garun-fucking-teed.
Compare with Stravinsky: when he debuted Rites of Spring, there was a full-on riot in the classical music venue. Like for real, old white Euro dudes in tuxedos all punching each other in the monocles, old white ladies all choking each other out with their own pearl necklaces and shit. That is a funny visual, but if you think about it, AT LEAST THEY CARED ABOUT THE MUSIC.
And isn’t it pathetic how predicatable “scandals” are? For guys: drugs! Groupies! Arrests at Customs! For ladies: sideboob OMG! Makes me nostalgic for the ‘80s when you’d have a scandal like TITLE OF SONG IS A DOUBLE MEANING or PRINCE SAID A CUSS.
Let’s face it: the entire, ritualized world of media scandals is less than 1% of ACTUAL shady showbiz behavior, so why should the audience settle for that year after year?!? The REAL rock/showbiz scandals are the ones THEY NEVER TALK ABOUT.
How about a ROLLING STONE-type magazine that dealt with the REAL rock-stars of the industry:
The Crooked showbiz lawyers, bootleggers, managers, record label people. . . and the massive industry-wide organized-crime presence that makes it all possible.
Articles like: “top 10 record labels which only exist in order to launder drug profits (with full-color pie charts of where the money goes!”
Or: “Can You Match the Label (or promotion company, management company ,etc) With The “Family” of their “Secret Investor? (answers on page 95!!)”
You could have a pull-out section: real-estate ads listing foreclosed former MTV cribs.
Instead of TOP TEN HIGHEST-SELLING SONGS, you’d have TOP TEN HIGHEST-GROSSING SCAMS. Like:
“Guess Which Of Your Favorite Stars Doesn’t Own Any of Their Own Songs? (special bonus round: Guess Which Of Your Favorite Stars Didn’t WRITE Any of Their Own Songs?)”
Cult leaders! Complete with before-and-after photos (before: saffron robes, giant beard, holy pious expression. After: snorting coke off of a tax-shelter lawyer’s ass, wearing Oakleys, yelling “Can you fucking BELIEVE how much cash I got off of Don Henley?!?!? Hey Don! Just keep chanting, buddy! Hahahaha!!! You’re almost there!!! HAHAHAAHAHAHAHA *snort*”)
Accountants: “I not only screwed the band, but I kept it hidden from the much more expensive accountants that the record label hired to double-check on me! (Part 5 of 6)”
Drug dealers : “I Got A Yacht Named Eminem And A Hovercraft Named DMX, And I Can’t Even Rhyme”
Do a weekly Label Executive Irony Challenge: Mr. “I bought controlling interest in a shotgun company with royalties I scammed from Nirvana” vs Ms. “Stealing the rights to Pink Floyd’s WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION paid for my daughter’s entire tuition at Harvard”. Who will win? (Answer: Ms. Pink Floyd, because her daughter majored in copyright law).
This Week’s 5 Most Outrageous Nuisance Lawsuits (and how much the stars settled out-of-court for!) (“Calling Kanye A ‘Tardbanger’ Bought Me This Dune Buggy!”)
“the 10 Cheapest-payola DJs . . . AND the 10 most overpriced ratings-fixers”
“the ten most mobbed-up clubs in Louisiana”.
“ten promoters that have not paid any band since 1994”
And my personal favorite category of scumbag: The sketchy relatives-of-relatives-of-relatives that crawl out the woodwork as soon as someone gets that first million. The Sketchy Relative is a huge part of showbiz folklore that never gets the attention they deserve – they always have some ridiculous business idea that “just needs a little start-up capital, garunteed double your money back.” The funny part is, these scams are probably way more creative and original than the newly-rich Star’s music or movies or whatever!! For example: “A store where you punch chickens in the face” “like walmart but everything is made from alligators” “a line of tire-repair shops where bikini girls run a bingo game while you wait.” “FUCKING PRIME real estate on the river, dude! They’re going to run a freeway through there, build a derpity derp. Property values THROUGH THE ROOF my man! You’re lucky I’m even cutting you in on this deal!” Like, who do you think put more thought and effort into their hustle? the scumbag who has a “can’t miss idea for donuts with a fried egg in the middle” or the Star , writing lyrics for her new hit “Grind That Buttock (on the Dance Floor)”????
And it goes without saying that these articles would not be written in a Steve-Albini-Fuck-The-Industry-Expose-Their-Fucking-LIES type way. This magazine would treat the scammers AS IF THEY WERE THE REAL ROCK STARS. Totally kissing their ass and promoting them as huge role models. “Is it true that Stone Temple Pilots were begging you to stay even after you embezzeled all their tour money?” “How are you investing your Rhianna windfall? Any stock tips?” “Where are the offshore tax havens you’d recommend for next year?”
Instead of some handsome rock star surrounded by models, they photo shoot some pasty geek on the beach in his hideout in Bermuda, surrounded by spreadsheets. Total MTV CRIBS style. “This is where the magic happens *points to stack of contracts with Page 29, Paragraph 3, Section 2a highlighted*” “Here’s my garage with 4 cars that Sting paid for after knocking me up. Thanks, Sting!”
(insert random Gene Simmons quote where he talks like he is explaining the world to some dumb interviewer, then for contrast: insert a corresponding quote from the ACTUALLY smart guy who stole $4,000,000 of Simmons’ money while Simmons was face-down in a pile of drugs)4 comments
It’s not a word I like. It kind of implies that we have souls. Bullshit. When you die you go in the dirt and you’re worm food and that’s all there is to it. But that just means you should fight HARDER in life while you’re still alive.
Sure spiritual is a shitty term but the alternative is to give up without a fight, to surrender to all these Thomas friedman assholes who think that anything that can’t be quantified and ranked is worthless, that the logic of the marketplace should dominate all our moral reasoning and permeate every single area of our lives.
I mean, if you have a dumb job, but live in beautiful nature with a community of people who care about you and support your struggle, and then that gets taken away and you’re living in a strip mall full of dirty concrete and wendys and jiffy-lubes for mile after mile amidst a bunch of strangers who don’t give a fuck about you, and everyone blames themselves for being in debt, and fights over the crumbs. . . .that doesn’t show up on any accountant’s balance sheet. That doesn’t show up in GDP or any of the other yardsticks that The Man uses to measure success or failure. So on what basis do we all instinctively agree that one situation is better than the other? Spiritual shit is what. What else would you call it?
Living in a shithole town with no stimulation and only chain stores, living without community, fighting battles yourself just to stay afloat (while the elites are all very well coordinated against you, making deals in places you’ll never even see), that is spiritually fucked. People who have grown up knowing nothing else can’t imagine another future for themselves or if you ask them to try they say it’s gay or pussy. Their whole imagination got killed off. Those brain cells and connections never developed when they were young. That is a sort of spiritual violence that can’t be measured but it’s real.5 comments