An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
PART ONE: It's 1990. I'm in Japan. In a small motorcycle theme bar. Large HD signs hang from the walls. There's a back room where Harleys and Hondas mingle as they never would in the U.S. The Grateful Dead plays on the Jukebox. I sip a Budweiser.
It's my 40th birthday. Roger Armstrong has taken me here to celebrate. I'm plastered. Drunker than fratboy. Through the booze induced fog, I see another fog. Smoke fills the bar. No fire, it's cigarette smoke. Curtains of it. I breathe it. It soaks through my clothes. It attaches to what hair I've got left. It curls into my nose. Tangles around my eyelashes.
Nothing strange about that. This is Japan. Everybody here smokes. Just like Germany. Everybody here drinks too. Just like Germany. Oh yeah, people in Japan live the longest of any people in the world. And Germany... well, they're just ahead of the U.S. where NOBODY smokes.
Let's flash ahead ten years. I stand before my open microwave oven. Inside are blotches. Mysterious brown spots, splattered on the inside back, sides, all over. A mystery material I need to scrub out. As I scrub, a fat black roach crawls from the side of the refrigerator, over my hand, into the oven. That's it! That's the splotches. Exploding roaches. It's a revelation.
Scene shift theory: It's funnier than a mayor with prostate cancer. Trying to watch the Democrats find something to disagree with the Republicans about. Except abortion, both presidential candidates have the same views on free trade, denying life-saving drugs to Africa, censorship, U.S. bomb-lust, government support for religion, banning the teaching of evolution, the list goes on. Maybe Bush'll pick a female vice-presidential candidate just to turn the tables on the Dems. Bush, after all, is a progressive. Just like Gore.
So I wonder. What are they gonna do? How are they gonna make anyone care? I guess Bush can pick on homos. What can that skinny bore from Tennessee use to stick that fat bore from Texas?? Then it hit me like an exploding cockroach.
SMOKING. For the Democrats it's the new evil. It replaces terrorism, which replaced drugs, which replaced Communism. Instead of a RED SCARE, we've got BIG TOBACCO.
The tobacco companies make it easier. They're such fun targets. They're the number one contributors to the "Partnership for a Drug-free America." At the same time, they make statements like "prohibition doesn't work."
They give big money to Republicans. Lately, they've made the most pathetic TV commercials. America's tobacco companies, a new kind of public service organization. Oy vey.
Meanwhile, the Democrats fund any crackpot who can find some sort of correlation between smoking and ANYTHING. Not only logical diseases like lung cancer, but these days we've got heart attacks, strokes, and low birth weight. I've even heard "a reduced IQ." Tell that to smoker Einstein.
Liberals, who are so quick to defend most minority rights, run screaming for the tobacco cops when someone lights up a cigarette. Smokers are reduced to shivering in cold doorway outside buildings from where they've been banned. Even though science has refuted the "second hand smoke" scam (Check out "Brill's Content" magazine for details, in case you missed it.), people shirk from smokers like they would from the plague.
Democrats shake hands with and even kiss AIDS victims. Someone with a cigarette in their mouth? Never!
Ok, we got a nice horse-riding, chaps wearing, cigarette smoking bogeyman. Is one enough? How far can you get on one bogeyman?
Look at what happened to the anti-Commies. When their bogeyman died, what did they have left? Cuba??? People make fun of those guys and their demonstrations for that little six year old. Anti-Communist in the twenty-first century? You're a joke!
So, what happens to the anti-tobacconists when they win? The government regulates smoking to a private act, among consenting adults only. Then what?
Fear not. Deep in the Whitehouse linen closet, next to the condom testers and anti-personnel bombs, the Democrats are working. They've stitched together a new bogeyman. Strapping it down to a table, they twirl their knobs, allowing it to rise into the sky. Hit by lightening. The monster is born: GUNS, more specifically the NRA!
"Do you want your money to go to the Tobacco Lobby and the NRA?" asks the fund-raising letter I get from the Democratic National Committee.
"No, of course not," I say to myself, feeding the letter to my shredder. "I want it to go to the big pharmaceutical companies and the China lobby."
Jeezus fuckin' Christ! If the NRA had the power the Democrats say it has, I'd be packin' a six-shooter as I type. We have the Brady law and the assault rifle law. We have licensing in all states. Background checks. What do they want?
But Charlton Heston and the stupidity with which the NRA bashes everything from Goth music to atheists, makes them easy and fun targets. In a way, they're right on this one. In Switzerland every family has a gun. How much gun crime do they have? Not much. It is culture, not guns, that are responsible for most of the gun murders. It's just that the right is wrong on which part of culture.
It's not death metal, or hip hop. It's not drugs or movies. It's good ole America. It's a government that solves its problems by dropping bombs and otherwise killing people. It's a culture that says its okay to kill people if they "do something bad." It's basic Americanism that puts so little value on lifež except, of course, if it hasn't been born yet.
Ok, so where does that leave us. We got tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee plus two bogeymen. Well, there are a couple of alternatives.
Ralph Nader and the Green party is one alternative. Jello Biafra's a member and might even run for office himself. I'll likely vote for the party, but I AM considering something else.
That's Pat Buchanan. Another bogeyman, he was on my hitlist for being such a Christian right bullshitter and moral jihadist. But something happened. Some folks wised up. Some smarties on the left and some smarties on the right said, "Look. We don't agree about that God stuff. We don't like the same things. But we do HATE the same things." Not much is as strong as a good dose of hate.
Riots in Seattle. Riots in Washington. Labor protests. How long has it been since such a wildly varied group of people came together in a common cause? Ever? Is Pat Buchanan Juan Peron? I don't know, but I'm not writing him off.
You know how Starbucksism and McDonaldization is destroying the world. You know how the IMF is squeezing poor countries and the poorest of those countries. You know how so-called American free-trade is free trade for corporations and not for you and me. You're against all that. So is Pat Buchanan.
Lenora Fulani, a neo-Maoist and Pat Buchanan who thinks the US took the wrong side in WWII. The two of them, working together. The Red-Brown coalition in The Reform Party. I wanna consider it.
John Talbott, the Reform Party spokesman in New Hampshire says, "If you close your eyes, it is difficult to hear much of a difference between Ralph Nader on the left and Pat Buchanan on the right when they talk about corruption in government, the excesses of corporate welfare, the devastating effect of free international trade on the American worker and a desire to clean big money and special-interests out of Washington....If we all pull together, put our prejudices behind us, and ignore traditional labeling such as liberal or conservative, we can join together to fight the battle of our lives against the collaboration of big business and big government, break the two-party monopoly, and return control of our government to the true owners of this country - the American people." Does that sound so bad?
I know the wailing. I know the old lefties pointing to what happened in the Spanish Revolution. The shaking of the cane. The smacking of the gums as they cry, "Remember Guernica!" "Remember how the commies sold us out when we worked with them. With commies and fascists together, it's gotta be worse!"
You're wrong. Pat Buchanan isn't going to win. If he had a chance, I'd be as quick as the next guy to even vote for Gore to prevent it. (Well, not quite THAT far.) It ain't gonna happen.
But like in Seattle, if we can get those blue-haired punk rockers to march boxer shorts to boxer shorts with the unemployed factory workers of Michigan and the hicks from Kentucky, I say Yippie!
The main success of the Republicrats is dividing folks up over stupid things. They talk about BIG TOBACCO or THE HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA as if anyone cared. They make ordinary Joes take sides in a show fight, while behind the scenes, they're giving each other political blowjobs.
Maybe we can rob them of their power if we ignore the fight. Maybe Pat Buchanan is the way to do it. I'm not sure, but I'm not ready to write it off yet.
And what about the election? Even though I'll be voting for Ralph Nader or Biafra or somebody like that, I won't mind a Bush victory. He's certainly not going to make things any worse than Al Gore. If he appoints Supreme Courters that reverse abortion rights, he'll lose the presidency to Republicans for the next two decades. So bring 'em on! Besides, I'd much rather have my face buried in Bush, than to be Gored. *********************
PART TWO: Those MRR readers who also read HITLIST probably are aware of the controversy. MRRs refusal to print Bale's unedited letter was a mistake. I understand the reasoning."Why should he have more space than anyone else?"
But some issues take more space to discuss. That's all I want to say directly about the problem. But the controversy inspired me to discuss something else. And that's WIGGERS.
Reading my columns over the many years, it looks like I've drifted into anti-Americanism. From being the "Ed Anger of punk," some days I fell like Joe Hill. But, when I see wiggers. When I see rich white kids trying to be poor black ghetto brothers and sisters, it makes me want to run up and salute a flag. Wiggers are America's greatness.
At first, it bothered me, maybe because I didn't like the origin of the word: White + nigger. Don't call me white!
Second, the music doesn't do much for me. Rap, hip-hop, I can't understand the words. After I listen to it, I don't feel like smiling, or beating anyone up. It ain't punk.
But those are the trappings. The reality. Ah, the reality. Where else in the world do you have a culture that roots itself in the poorest, least educated, most voiceless aspects of society? Where else do you have the rich imitating the poor?
In Europe, people worship history. "Culture" is what some one's great grandparents thought was hip. It is the baggage of Beethoven and Rembrandt. It is the burden of Opera and The Louvre. In Asia, at least nowadays, they worship The West, especially America. Modern culture is whatever they see on MTV or Sony delivers to their Playstation.
Only in America does culture come from the streets, the gutters, the lowest. Only in America is the voice of the weakest, the strongest voice. Wiggers, hip-hop fashion, all of that is what makes America great.
Wiggers mix races like dragqueens mix genders. They destroy boundaries, making it unclear where one ends and the other begins. In a dragqueen the more powerful man worships the identity of the less powerful woman. In a wigger, patrician whites worship the identity of plebeian Negroes. THAT is America.
It's not punkrock, buckaroos. Punk rock is white. There are great Negro punkbands, like THE BAD BRAINS. But they play white music. Punk rock started as a white suburban rebellion to disco, the Negro music of the time. In the 70s, disco was creating a different kind of wiggers.
"Disco sucks" became the motto of early punks who felt left out by the black flow of culture.
"Hip-hop sucks" is today's refrain. It's a refrain screamed by a bunch of white guys who don't want American culture, but want HISTORY. When a band like SICK OF IT ALL mixes rap with punk, whitey is pissed off. They want their music ethnically cleansed. They want purity. They want it like it used to be, way back when.
Me, I love it. Mix it up. Let it rise from the lowest points, invade the hoity toidy. I may not tap my feet to the beat. But I'll sure applaud the idea. ENDNOTES: [Visitors to my website: www.MykelBoard.com, or subscribers (email to: TheBoss@MykelBoard.com) will receive a few extra endnotes. I got a lot to get rid of!]
For women, your choices are "feminine," "soft butch," "butch," and "doesn't matter."
For men, you can choose among "very masculine," "fairly masculine," and "doesn't matter."
Hello guys! Did you go to retard school? Maybe you never met a homo? How come women can chose butch or femme, but guys only butch or more butch. Do femme guys destroy the GAY IMAGE?
Now I see. The president of this organization is Naiomi Kooritzy. What would SHE know?
Wired Online reports that feminists managed to shut down a site that "claimed to help men get laid by teaching them how to drug and rape women." "www.DateRape.org vows to bring you the latest and greatest in date-raping techniques." That was their homepage quote. Wired also reports that the site offered "DateRape in a Box" kits for $49.99. They included: "How to Date Rape Properly Manual," "Shut-the-Hell-Up-Bitch Duct Tape," a "Medical Prescription Guide" to check the side effects of certain drugs, and the www.DateRape.org "Quick and Easy Cookbook." Of course all this sounds like a great parody, old National Lampoon style. It takes a feminist not to be amused. Feminist.com president, Marianne Schnall was outraged. "It's the most shocking and disgusting thing I have ever seen on the Internet," she said. She obviously hasn't visited the Christian sites, or www.Whitehouse.gov. Of course, Schnall says that she's willing to allow offensive free speech, "If you want there to be free speech, there's always going to be content that's shocking or demeaning," she said. "But rape's a crime and so is drugging someone." When asked if she thought the site was actually illegal, Schnall wiggled. "Law enforcement may not be able to do anything until they can establish a link between an actual rape and the site," she admitted. I say, isn't it time we visited www.Feminist.com? Maybe we should sign the guestbook?
Finally, I guess it's my fault. I stopped giving my postal address. So the... er... personal stuff also stopped except for those nice fuck digital pix emailed to me by a pal who I've lost track of. Let's start those videos coming again. Then I will too. Make 'em for me! Personally. Just you, or you and a friend, but do it for me!!!
I'm still at PO Box 137, Prince Street Station, NYC 10012 USA. Yeah!
--Mykel Board http://www.MykelBoard.com email: TheBoss@MykelBoard.com