Friday, March 30, 2007

Message to the Messengers

First an allegory in DK lyrics:

STEALING PEOPLE'S MAIL
We ain’t goin’ to the party / We ain’t goin’ to the game / We ain’t goin’ to the disco / Ain’t gonna cruise down Main / We’re stealing people’s mail / Stealing people’s mail / Stealing people’s mail / On a Friday night / Drivin’ in the mountains / Winding ‘round and ‘round / Rummage through your mailboxes / Take your mail back to town / We got license plates, wedding gifts, tax return / Checks to politicians from real estate firms / Money, bills and canceled checks / Pretty funny pictures of your kids / We’re stealing people’s mail / On a Friday night / We’re stealing people’s mail / By the pale moonlight / We got grocery sackful after grocery sackful / After grocery sackful after grocery sackful / After grocery sackful after grocery sackful / Of the private lives of you / Ha Ha / People say that we’re crazy / Sick and all alone / But when we read your letters / We’re rolling on the floor / We got more license plates, wedding gifts, tax returns / Checks to politicians from real estate firms / Money, bills and canceled checks / We cut relationships with your friends / We’re gonna steal your mail / On a Friday night / We’re gonna steal your mail / By the pale moonlight / We better not get caught / We’ll be dumped in institutions / Where we’ll be drugged and shocked / ‘Til we come out born-again Christians…
CHICKENSHIT CONFORMIST
Punk’s not dead / It just deserves to die / When it becomes another stale cartoon / A closed-minded, self centered social club / Ideas don’t matter, it’s who you know / If the music’s gotten boring / It’s because of the people / Who want everyone to sound the same / Who drive bright people out / Of our so-called scene / ‘Til all that’s left / Is just a meaningless fad / Hardcore formulas are dogshit / Change and caring are what’s real / Is this a state of mind / Or just another label? / The joy and hope of an alternative / Has become its own cliché / A hairstyle’s not a lifestyle / Imagine Sid Vicious at 35 / Who needs a scene / Scared to love and to feel / Judging everything / By loud fast rules appeal / Who played last night? / “I don’t know, I forgot. / But diving off the stage / Was a lot of fun” / Chorus: So eager to please / Peer pressure decrees / So eager to please / Peer pressure decrees / Make the same old mistakes / Again and again / Chickenshit conformist / Like your parents / What’s ripped us apart even more than drugs / Are the thieves and the goddamn liars / Ripping people off when they share their stuff / When someone falls are there any friends? / Harder core than thou for a year or two / Then it’s time to get a real job / Others stay home, it’s no fun to go out / When the gigs are wrecked by gangs and thugs / When the thugs form bands, look who gets record deals / From New York metal labels looking to scam / Who sign the most racist queerbashing bands they can / To make a buck revving kids up for war / Walk tall, act small / Only as tough as gang approval / Unity is bullshit / When it’s under someone’s fat boot / Where’s the common cause / Too many factions / Safely sulk in their shells / Agree with us on everything / Or we won’t help with anything / That kind of attitude / Just makes a split grow wider / Guess who’s laughing while the world explodes / When we’re all crybabies / Who fight best among ourselves / (Chorus) / That farty old rock and roll attitude’s back / “It’s competition, man, we wanna break big.” / Who needs friends when the money’s good? / That’s right, the ‘70’s are back. / Cock-rock metal’s like a bad laxative / It just don’t move me, ya know? / The music’s OK when there’s more ideas that solos / De we really need the attitude too? / Shedding thin skin too quickly / As a fan it disappoints me. / Same old stupid sexist lyrics / Or is Satan all you can think of? / Crossover is just another word / For lack of ideas / Maybe what we need / Are more trolls under the bridge / Will the metalheads finally learn something- / Or will the punks throw away their education? / No one’s ever the best / Once they believe their own press / “Maturing” don’t mean rehashing / Mistakes of the past / (Chorus) / The more thing change / The more they stay the same / We can’t grow / When we won’t criticize ourselves / The ‘60’s weren’t all failure / It’s the ‘70’s that stunk / As the clock ticks we dig the same hole / Music scenes ain’t real life / They won’t get rid of the bomb / Won’t eliminate rape / Or bring down the banks / Any kind of real change / Takes more time and work / Than changing channels on a TV set / (Chorus)
DO THE SLAG
Have you heard about the latest craze / That’s sweepin’ across the nation? / All the punks from coast to coast / Have discovered an old invention: / “Your hair’s too long / Man, you’re a queer / You’re too new wave / Put down that beer” / And / Do the Slag - Look at ‘em run / Do the Slag - Hey you scum / Do the Slag - Ain’t it fun / Do the Slag - Let’s all be dumb / Badmouth people we don’t know / Make sure it’s behind their backs / Don’t let new people in our scene / It’s more fun than having a friend / We’ll slag everyone each and every night / So we can pretend that we’re all right / Make those pricks feel just so small / We’ll show the world that we’re three feet tall / Slander their integrity / Doubt their humanity / Talk about their haircuts / Are their politics correct? / Do the Slag! / Don’t let those sissies on the floor / They’re unhip, man, they bought the wrong clothes / Let’s all do the latest craze / ‘Cause having allies never pays / We’ll slag everyone each and every night / So we can pretend that we’re all right / Make those pricks feel just so small / We’ll show the world that we’re three feet tall
Now, it's story time. Just sit right back, while your uncle James tells y'all about a party long ago in a place far, far away:

Back in the day, I was digging on the punk scene. If you don't know what that was, just ask your Uncle Wikipedia. Well, one Friday night, I was invited to a party at a friend's apartment. Just a gathering of punks - hangin' out, having a few beers, checking out some tunes. Now I came along with a close friend of mine at the time (we'll call him J), and knowing the cats who were hosting the evening's festivities, we were expecting a good time. But, as the evening wore on, we just never got that vibe. The crowd was a bit younger - that's cool and all, but somehow I got the feeling that how we weren't quite digging the same scene, see. The epiphany for both me and J came when an old DK tune (Stealing People's Mail) started blaring through the stereo speakers. J and I had an idea of what that song was getting at (hint: don't take the lyrics literally), so we were shocked by what this girl said as the song ended - "oh yeah! that's cool. I love stealing mail!" - as if that's what the song was about. Her young friends were nodding and grinning with agreement. J and I left not long afterwards, bored out of our skulls. We talked a bit as I drove him back to his pad about the state of the punk scene, and pretty much came to the conclusion that punk was indeed dead (or at least comatose), and that for that girl and her friends, punk had been reduced to stealing people's mail for kicks. No questioning of the culture. No questioning of the economic and political situation. Just fucking with people for the sake of fucking with people. We didn't quiz these kids about their understanding of anarchy (they had made sure to wear the requisite circle-A black buttons and t-shirts that night), but I'm guessing that it was different from the sort of anarchy that J and I had grooved on. Of course the signs that the scene was decaying had been around for a while - but that night there was no question and no turning back.

Now kiddos, I know you're wondering what the moral of the story is. I'll leave that for you to figure out. Sleep on it. Just remember, some day down the road, you'll have to decide where to draw the line. Sweet dreams.

12 comments:

blueneck said...

I say, "Let's Lynch the Landlord", while the PTB continue to "Kill the Poor."

canberra boy said...

I saw the Dead Kennedys play at the Australian National University Union Refectory somewhere in the early 1980s. The thing I really liked was the band's response when a fight occurred in the front of the audience. The band stopped playing, and the crowd were told that if the fighting didn't stop, there'd be no more music. It stopped.

scribe said...

I know I am about only a half step away from deciding to leave the whole party (blog) scene. I see nothing to be gained from trying to have adult discussions about issues, when so many, including and especially blog owners THEMSELVES, seem to prefer to use these blogs to carry on bitter personal vendettas in the public.

spiderleaf said...

I've decided to repost my comment in response to you james from the other thread because this post of yours is just ridiculous.

***

I can see some folks decided to weed themselves out as far as admin responsibilities go.

Ah, is that why I left? Did I tell you that, or are you just making your own reality as to why I decided to say fuck off to this blog? Did Brinn say that's why she left? Or Dove?

Nope, you just put words in our mouths and divined our intent... perfectly fine if you don't want to self-reflect. And to post the mission statement and DK thread aftter that is so funny.

You abused your admin responsibilites james. and made up rules that weren't in place. This site is just as authoritarian as the BBB. what a joke.

scribe said...

Oh that's just bullshit, spider. There are damned few of us left here making any attempt at ALL to salvage this blog, that once actually meant something to those who posted here, and now you're after one of them, too!

Jeezus H Keeerist on a CRUTCH! Whatever the hell happened to the idea that one could simply walk out the friggin wide open door, without trying to blow up the building too, and whoever was left IN it?

Has EVERYBODY GONE NUTS??

James said...

Whatever spider. You're going to believe what you're going to believe. I'm going to believe what I'm going to believe. I personally have no beef with you.

James said...

One other thing spider. I suppose if making a judgment that deleting your comment that contained a private email out of respect to the collective is an "abuse" of my "admin responsibilities" then I'll plead guilty. It had never occurred to me before that respecting privacy would be deemed abusive. As far as I know, no one else has had a problem with that - and if there were it could be easily hashed out either out here or via email.

I gather you're a bit sore about that. So it goes.

ms_xeno said...

I don't suppose we could draft Jello Biafra to run for Prez next year. I know he fought with the other band members and all, but at least he'd be clever enough to write his own speeches. He probably wouldn't need to employ "guest bloggers" to help him talk to the masses, either. Plus, just imagine the collective fit that would sweep across the BBB's. They couldn't stomach Nader and he's been a nerd his whole life, albeit one with a big mouth. Seeing Jello out there pissing in the two-party punchbowl or trying to crash a debate would probably kill them.

James said...

Jello's got one hell of a stage presence, and unlike your average politico would actually have something to say. I fairly certain that he'd connect with the large disenfranchised segment of our population far more effectively than Nader.

ms_xeno said...

Well, with enough treats for Murdoch, D*sn*y and the rest, you can market anyone as a Certified Man of the People[tm]. But first you'd need oceans of cash to fill the treat bags. Therein lies the rub.

Arcturus said...

intellectual dishonesty & vicious labeling have always been used in service of politics - it should come as no surprise that blogs set up to service a political Party regularly indulge in such - tempting/easy as it is to respond in kind, we do better when we remember that old chestnut:

attack the ideas, not the person

That the floorboards of hope are disintegrating beneath people's feet as it becomes increasingly clear to any rational mind that there is a bi-partisan will for Long War, that there is no organized alternative, seems related to many people seemingly comng unhinged of late.

Tomorrow's unknowing
deeper than yesterday's
To get to the sun's bedside
we'll have to find living flowers
organic oranges
a more or less sincere smile
introduce ourselves and say
in the gibberish that remains:
What are you suffering from?
Is it human
simply human?


Abdellatif Laâbi, from the world's embrace

catnip said...

No doubt "Jello" would quickly be accused of being spineless.