Flaskaland
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
 
It takes a desperate man to sing a desperate song dept.

'"Use the music and the full concept of the counter culture," he passionately continues. "Not everything has to be political. You buck the system by creating music they don't understand, by having clothes and language they don't understand, by not taking shit-dumb-stupid-brain-dead-fuck-up jobs that destroy you and eat your life and then you're dead. You don't want their music that's picked out by Sony and EMI. You don't want the food that's been packaged for you by McDonald's. You don't want the movies that they have chosen for you. You don't want your job as a way of thinking, or the candidate they have chosen for you. I think it's a question of total resistance from morning til' night on all fronts cultural and political."

He stops and looks out the window upon 2nd Avenue for a brief moment. A touch of nostalgia glimmers in his eyes. He begins fondly reminiscing about his days as a working class child growing up in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. "We were the loser class," he softly utters. "We were ready to be shipped off to 'Nam. And here were these people playing this weird guy with a weird voice...Bob Dylan. I remember his first album.”

"But remember, it was all fringe shit until it became mainstream."'

(Geez. That reminded me of where the concept of Eat the Rich really came from. I was not surprised the neo-con gadabout who bought a t-shirt in Beiruit and found a ready title for his book couldn't bother tracing down the source, as he was no where near the fringe.

Here it is, the truth for all time:

Late 1971, early 1972. Where else, but Berkeley, California. During that brief calendar span, an underground paper (I recall it being the Berkeley Tribe) published an interesting article that had a much different tone than the usual polemics of the times. This was a strangely literate piece of writing, one which turned the premise of Jonathan Swift’s “a modest proposal” to eat the poor completely inside out and back again, ending with a conclusion contrary to his, but every bit as humorous, that we should eat the rich.

At the time, I marvelled at the elegant writing, the prose was far and away superior to any other currently being published, and I thought it was a wickedly funny piece that somehow gave me hope that a sense of humor and intellectual rigor could remain intact. So I kept the article for months showing it to various friends, none of whom lodged it anywhere near the level of significance I did. But years later, I always wondered what entrepreneur dreamed up the idea of the t-shirt to sell to tourists, though I wasn't so surprised a song came out with that title, nor at all surprised a book churned out from a Rolling Stone cast-off who didn't dare claim to invent the phrase. And the beat goes on.)
 




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