Categories
Art Politics Punk Rock And Roll

Manic Street Preachers – 1991 gig poster, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

I found this poster on a Manic Street Preachers fan page on Facebook and I just liked it so much I felt the need to share it. Hope you like it as much as I do.

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Metal Politics

System Of A Down – Protect The Land/Genocidal Humanoidz

A bit of a surprise for me. I was getting my music ready for my cycle ride to work a couple of days ago; I wanted to listen to my favourite handful of System Of A Down tunes: Suite-Pea, Chop Suey, Toxicity, Know & Sugar; I’d be cycling into my work’s carpark as Sugar was ending so it’s a great cycle of songs for the ride. When I clicked onto their Spotify page I saw that they had release two new songs. It’s taken me a few days to get around to it but I finally listened to them today.

This is the exact kind of politically-charged agitprop you’d a) expect & b) the world could do with right now. This feels particularly weird in the context of public clashes between frontman Serj Tankian & drummer John Dolmayan over the latter’s support for populist, far-right American president Donald Trump. Nevertheless, these songs – the bands first in fifteen years – are a breath of fresh air in 2020. An enraged call for justice against war crimes in Armenia and indeed all over the developing world & the global south. A polemical roar against western Imperialism.

The songs are about, & in response to, complicated situations in & around the band’s ancestral homeland Armenia. I personally don’t feel knowledgable enough about these events to discuss them in detail but the band released the following statement on their Bandcamp page:

We as System Of A Down have just released new music for the first time in 15 years. The time to do this is now, as together, the four of us have something extremely important to say as a unified voice. These two songs, “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” both speak of dire and serious acts of aggression perpetrated upon our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia. 

We’re proud to share these songs with you and hope you enjoy listening to them. Further, we encourage you to read on to learn more about their origins and once you do, we hope you are inspired to speak out about the horrific injustices and human rights violations occurring there now. Most importantly and urgently, we humbly implore you to donate, in sums small or large to help those adversely affected with what are ever growing accounts of crimes against humanity. 

In turn, you will receive downloads of these two new songs and the feeling that you’re truly making a difference. These funds will be used to provide crucial and desperately needed aid and basic supplies for those affected by these hideous acts. 

On September 27, the combined forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey (along with Isis terrorists from Syria) attacked the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, which we as Armenians call Artsakh. For the following 44 days, civilians young and old were awakened day and night by the frightful sights and sounds of rocket attacks, falling bombs, missiles, drones and terrorist attacks. They had to find sanctuary in makeshift shelters, trying to avoid the fallout of outlawed cluster bombs raining down on their streets and homes, hospitals and places of worship. Their attackers set their forests and endangered wildlife ablaze using white phosphorus, another banned weapon. 

And Why? 

Because over 30 years ago in 1988, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh (which at the time was an Autonomous Oblast within the USSR), were tired of being treated as second class citizens and decided to declare their rightful independence from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic whose borders engulfed their own. This ultimately led to a war of self-determination by Armenians in Karabakh against Azerbaijan that ended in a cease fire in 1994, with Armenians retaining control of their ancestral homelands and maintaining their independence to the present day. Our people have lived there for millennia, and for most families there, it’s the only home they and their forefathers and mothers have ever known. They just want to live in peace on their ancestral homeland as they have for centuries. 

The current corrupt regimes of Aliyev in Azerbaijan and Erdogan in Turkey have now claimed most of these lands as their own, and committed genocidal acts with impunity on humanity and wildlife to achieve their mission. They banked on the world being too distracted with COVID, elections and civil unrest to call out their atrocities, and their tactic worked. They have the bankroll, the resources and have recruited massive public relations firms to spin the truth and conceal their barbaric objectives. This is not the time to turn a blind eye. 

There is an immediate need for global citizens to urge their respective governments to not only condemn the actions of these crooked dictators, but to also insist world leaders act with urgency to impose sanctions punishing them for their war crimes. 

We realize that for many of you, there are more convenient ways you like listening to music, so please consider the opportunity to download these songs as an act of charity above all else. Think of the list price for the downloads as a minimum donation, and if you have the ability and can be more generous with your donation, every single member of System Of A Down will be even more grateful for your benevolence. Band royalties from this initiative will be donated to Armenia Fund, a US based charity organization instrumental in providing those in need in Artsakh and Armenia with supplies needed for their basic survival. 

The music and lyrics speak for themselves. We need you to speak for Artsakh. 

Peace, 

Daron, Shavo, John and Serj 

Protect The Land/Genocidal Humanoidz is available now on all good streaming services & digital distributors but to help the cause, why not purchase these songs from the band’s Bandcamp page.

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Politics Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): TV Smith – Expensive Being Poor

Day 10.

This song by Punk legend Tim “TV” Smith has been on my mind a lot this week. The general response from right-wingers to the UK government’s refusal to offer the poorest children free school meals, has been to bemoan & harass them for the crime of “owning an iPhone” or “smoking cigs”. Typical mean-spirited stuff from the Tories & their legion of trolls. This song, as well as the attached Another Angry Voice infographic, has formed my own personal resistance to this callous & brutal disregard for our fellow man.

And the car is of the road 
But I never had a car 
And I pay more for food 
‘cos the supermarkets too far

 
It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything cost more
Knocking on a closing door
It’s expensive being poor
Someone throw me down some crumbs 
I will eat them off the floor
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate


And the box is on the fritz
It’s a black and white, or was
I tried taking it to bits 
Now the picture’s just a grey fuss


It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything cost more
Someone pick me off the floor
It’s expensive being poor
How can I live with what I did 
When the cinema is 6 quid’ 
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate

Let the good times roll 
Into a bottomless hole 
With job friends and future 
My ideal home furniture
Let the trumpets sound 
As my house falls down


And the dust begins to clear 
And I’m lying on the ground
And I’m standing on a path 
In an unknown part of town
And the path leads me away 
Over hills and out of sight
In the blazing sun by day 
And the hanging moon by night
And I wind up in a place 
Where I never have to count
And I never see the waves 
As I push my leaking boat out


It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything hurts more
Knocking on a bolted door
It’s expensive being poor
Someone throw me down some crumbs

I will eat them off the floor
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate

Check out the Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Politics Post-Rock

Poisoned political discourse, Gonzo journalism & Rock n Roll: The Strange Existence Of Richard Milhous Nixon

“He has poisoned our water forever. Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.”

Hunter S Thompson, ‘He Was A Crook’

Earlier in the year, whilst furloughed from work in the midst of the pandemic, I read through Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Hunter S. Thompson. One of the most striking pieces in the book, for me, was the obituary he wrote for Rolling Stone following the death of disgraced Republican former president, & in many ways Thompson’s arch-enemy, Richard Milhous Nixon (Reprinted in The Atlantic here). The most striking thing about this article, here, in the year of our lord 2020, is that the poison that Nixon poured into the political discourse is what has, inexorably, lead to the batshit chaos of American politics today. The normalisation of lawbreaking by public figures, at least in the public eye, is probably the primary building block which lead to the incumbent Republican, criminal, president Donald J Trump. Unlike Nixon, however, Trump didn’t have the weasel cunning to jump ship, to resign, rather than face impeachment. As such the stain of being an impeached president will forever linger on his record.

The pardoning of Nixon in light of his many criminal acts, is perhaps the single greatest mistake made in US history. Had Nixon been convicted & imprisoned for his lawbreaking, perhaps the crass opportunism of Trump wouldn’t have turned so many heads in the 2016 election. This is all by the by, however, Trump’s opportunism isn’t his worse crime. He is merely a toxic byproduct of Reaganism/Thatcherism, a poisoned outflow. His greatest crime is the enormous amount of fraud & tax evasion he has committed o=ver the years to hide his greatest flaw, his lack of ability in business. Ironically, he presents his business acuity as his greatest strength, despite the wreckage of his many bankrupt business ventures littering the highway behind him. Richard Milhous Nixon normalised this use of criminal acts by a public figure, & normalised the notion of the said public figure then being able to ascend to the lands highest office.

The main reason, however, for my thinking about Nixon today, is that I heard the excellent hit single The Love Of Richard Nixon by Manic Street Preachers on YouTube earlier & decided that I’d put together a blogpost of artwork, pics & links about the both the song & the Hunter S Thompson article. The video & artwork are excellent & the song is extremely different to much of the Manic’s catalogue up until that point. Driven by synth sounds & motorik rhythms, The Love Of Richard Nixon resembles artists like Depeche Mode more than the usual list of Manics influences. Over this New Wave/Post Punk sound, singer James Dean Bradfield treats the lyrics with a wonderful vocal performance. According to one YouTube commenter, “it is loaded with wit, pathos, irony and humour.”

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Categories
History Politics

Ernesto “Che” Guevara – 53rd anniversary of his martyrdom

I’m a little late with this due to working until 11PM. The actual anniversary was 9th October & technically it is the 10th as I publish this.

Rest In Power comrade.

When asked whether or not we are Marxists, our position is the same as that of a physicist, when asked if he is a “Newtonian” or of a biologist when asked if he is a “Pasteurian.”

There are truths so evident, so much a part of the peoples’ knowledge, that it is now useless to debate them. One should be a “Marxist” with the same naturalness with which one is a “Newtonian” in physics or a “Pasteurian.” If new facts bring about new concepts, the latter will never take away that portion of truth possessed by those that have come before.

Such is the case, for example, of “Einsteinian” relativity or of Planck’s quantum theory in relation to Newton’s discoveries. They take absolutely nothing away from the greatness of the learned Englishman. Thanks to Newton, physics was able to advance until it achieved new concepts of space. The learned Englishman was the necessary stepping-stone for that.

Obviously, one can point to certain mistakes of Marx, as a thinker and as an investigator of the social doctrines and of the capitalist system in which he lived. We Latin Americans, for example, cannot agree with his interpretation of Bolivar, or with his and Engels’ analysis of the Mexicans, which accepted as fact certain theories of race or nationality that are unacceptable today. But the great men who discover brilliant truths live on despite their small faults and these faults serve only to show us they were human. That is to say, they were human beings who could make mistakes, even given the high level of consciousness achieved by these giants of human thought.

This is why we recognize the essential truths of Marxism as part of humanity’s body of cultural and scientific knowledge. We accept it with the naturalness of something that requires no further argument.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara

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Politics Videogames Visual

Night In The Woods – Onward Revolution

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a post like this, but I like sharing screenshots from video games I’m currently playing, especially if they have a clever, leftist vibe to them. A couple of days ago I began to play Night In The Woods after seeing it in a great video by YouTuber Jacob Geller, which I’ll include at the bottom of this post. Seriously, check out some of his video essays. They’re really well written, researched & contain a sense of wide-eyes wonder that I find makes them incredibly watchable.

In the screenshots I’m sharing, main character Mae & her friend Gregg are smashing up this abandoned car (a tree is growing through it) with a baseball bat; to acquire the cars battery; to power an old, disused animatronic cartoon character; to give as a gift to Greggs boyfriend, Angus. The game is filled with charming, innocent (yet youthfully rebellious) scenes like that & is a joy to play. I’m playing it o XBox One but it is also available on PC, Mac, PS4, Nintendo Switch & even Linux so don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be able to play it.

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Politics

The Brexit Trade Talks by @RussInCheshire

I didn’t write this but I thought it was important to share it far & wide. It’s originally by Twitter user Russ, so give him a follow & like for his hard work.

Image from https://www.politico.eu

The Brexit Trade Talks

UK: We don’t like our deal
EU: Why not?
UK: We only get 95% of what we want
EU: It only gives us 95% too. That’s how negotiating goes
UK: We want a new deal that gives us everything we can think of
EU: But you signed a deal
UK: Don’t care, we hate you
EU: Bit rude
UK: We elected people to go to your meetings specifically to say we hate you
EU: And how is Nigel?
UK: Not happy?
EU: Why not?
UK: TV has dried up. So we want a new deal, and we want the deal in 3 weeks, or we cancel our existing deal
EU: Wait, what?
UK: You heard. Give us 100% of what we want in 3 weeks, or we break the law and walk away with 0% of what we want
EU: Er suits us!
UK: Wait, what?
EU: Perfect. Do it. Walk away. Take Nigel with you.
UK: No, hold on, wait: you have to negotiate, so Boris can win
EU: Why? Right now you have 95% of perfect, and we have 95% of perfect. If we renegotiate, you get more but we get less
UK: That’s right
EU: But if we don’t negotiate, we still have our 95%
UK: Woah, hold on
EU: And you have nothing
UK: But Dom didn’t superpredict you’d say that!
EU: And if we don’t have a deal, we don’t have to put up with you **** on our lawn
UK: The Daily Mail made us do it and then ran away!
EU: I just found this spine. Is it yours?
UK: Welp!
EU: So we’ll just sit this one out
UK: Fine, we’ll go and make a great deal with the US

US: Yo suckers
UK: We are here to get a lovely big trade deal
US: Sure thing. Obey existing deals, and give us 100% of everything, plus 51% controlling share in the NHS, and you get, let’s see, 60% of what you have now
UK: Not good enough, we have a Special Relationship
US: Bye
UK: What?
US: Bye. Talks are over, the Special Relationship is over, your country is over. Bye
UK: But we haven’t got a deal, and we told everyone it would be easy!
US: It is easy: we are 26% of world trade, making deals with EU (20%) and China (17%). We don’t need your 1.8%. No deal: easy
UK: But we really need a deal, the EU outsmarted us
US: We know. Some of us can read. Not Trump, obviously, but the rest of us. Try India

UK: Hi India, remember us?
India: Oh ****, these guys again
UK: We want a trade deal
India: And we want to vastly increase the number of Indians who can live in the UK
UK: We can’t do that. Turns out we’re, like, properly racist
India: That is brand new information!!
UK: So can we have a deal?
India: Sure, fine. Join the queue
UK: Who’s in front of us in the queue?
India: EU, USA, China, Brazil, Korea, Canada, Australia basically everybody. We’re kind of a big deal now.
UK: So you’ll be ready to negotiate in, what: 3 weeks?
India: Ha ha ha ha ha
UK: What did we say?
India: 3 weeks? Try 3 years. This **** takes ages, bro
UK: But we had a timetable of 3 weeks with the EU
India: And how did that work out?
UK: Erm
India: Try Brazil

UK: Hi Brazil
Brazil: We ArE oN FiRe!!
UK: Maybe we can trade you some fire engines?
Brazil: We LiKe bEiNg oN FiRe, iT’s OuR tHiNg NoW!!!
UK: Shall we try New Zealand?
Brazil: I aM So DrUnK!!
UK: Yeah, let’s try New Zealand

UK: Hi, New Zealand
NZ: Hi, Crazy Uncle
UK: We’d like to sell you some lamb
NZ: Sorry, it’s very noisy here, cos we still have a working economy. Did you say you want to sell us some lamb?
UK: Yes
NZ: Hold the line, gotta tell Australia this, they’ll **** themselves

UK: Hi Australia, wanna trade stuff?
Aus: We wanna offload Rolf Harris and our worst ever PM. What can you give us for them?
UK: We’ve already got them
Aus: That was easy! So what can you trade?
UK: We can send you some racists
Aus: I think we’re sorted. Try Russia

UK: Hi Russia, we have loads of lovely things we think you’d love to own
Russia: We already own them
UK: You don’t own Boris
Russia: True. We rent him by the hour. £160k for a tennis match
UK: We really need a trade deal
Russia: We know. We made you need one. Try China

UK: Can we please have a trade deal?
China: And you are…?
UK: We’re Great Britain
China: Great, you say?
UK: Well once
China: It’s not ringing any bells. Do you have another name?
UK: United Kingdom
China: United, you say?
UK: Alright, smart arse
China: So you want a trade deal?
UK: Yes, but first we demand you obey international law
China: What happened to your deal with the EU?
UK: We broke international law
China: Have you been drinking moonshine with Brazil again?
UK: We’re very tired.
China: Why did you leave the EU?
UK: We couldn’t deal with foreigners telling us what to do
China: What do you want?
UK: A deal
China: With who?
UK: Foreigners
China: And why can’t you get one?
UK: Cos we don’t know what to do
China: Were you dropped as a child?
UK: We just want a trade deal worthy of our status
China: You’ve got one
UK: No we haven’t
China: Yes you have
UK: Why won’t anybody take us seriously?
China: Would you like to buy a mirror?
UK: Finally, a deal!
China: You had a deal worthy of your status, with the EU. You don’t need to renegotiate deals: you need to reassess your status. You’re not a mighty nation, you’re a small, wet, heavily indebted island on the edge of a globally important trade bloc, which you just left, you tit
UK: So, what do you suggest?
China: Aw, mate. You already know

EU: Hi there! Here to rejoin?
UK: Yes, and on the same terms as before
EU: Oh, I don’t think so. Say goodbye to your rebate, hello to the Euro, and bonjour to the Schengen area. Welcommen!
UK: We hate you

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Categories
Mental Health Politics Post Punk

Joy Division & Depression

I really wanted to share this paragraph by Mark Fisher about depression, in relationship to Joy Division’s music, but I wasn’t sure exactly about the context I was able to give with this.

It struck a chord with me & I wanted to share it. He’s kind of talking about the difference between sadness & depression. Melancholia & someone feeling melancholic.I think that if someone is feeling sad or melancholic & isn’t sure whether or not they’d describe it as depression, this is a really succinct description of what depression feels like. I hope it helps.

The depressive experiences himself as walled off from the lifeworld, so that his own frozen inner life – or inner death – overwhelms everything; at the same time, he experiences himself as evacuated, totally denuded, a shell: there is nothing except the inside, but the inside is empty. For the depressive, the habits of the former lifeworld now seem to be, precisely, a mode of playacting, a series of pantomime gestures (‘a circus complete with all fools’), which they are both no longer capable of performing and which they no longer wish to perform – there’s no point, everything is a sham.

Mark Fisher, No Longer the Pleasures: Joy Division

In addition to sharing this paragraph, I also wanted to share some of Joy Division’s music videos. Primarily because I love them & hope you can get something out of them too. At the top of the post is an unofficial video for the excellent opening track from Unknown Pleasures, Disorder. Here too is the official performance video for the amazing single, Transmission.

I do plan to write more detailed & helpful posts about depression, & how it ties into our contemporary reality & what we can do to combat it, but I don’t think I’m ready yet. I hope this post helps a little & that you enjoy the music.

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Hip Hop Politics Song of the Day

Song of the Day (BLM): Public Enemy – State Of The Union (STFU) (feat. DJ Premier)

Day 17 & I’m breaking the rule of not featuring the same artist twice. Ordinarily, I would find this unthinkable, but on Friday 19th June Public Enemy & DJ Premier dropped this surprise new single.

State Of The Union (STFU) is an incendiary anti-Trump, anti-Police anthem. Furious & articulate, Chuck D holds nothing back. Now Trump has ditched any pretences of not being a fascist, Chuck D draws valid & clear comparisons between Trump & the Nazis. Trump’s supporters are compared to the Gestapo. It’s laid out, in no uncertain terms, that America cannot survive another term with Trump in charge. It’s time to “vote this joke out/or die tryin'”

Also of interest is the fact that Chuck D & Flavor Flav seem to have made up after their public falling out earlier in the year. I guess they couldn’t agree on the Bernie Sanders issue but their hatred & contempt for Trump unites them.

Whatever it takes
Rid this dictator
POTUS my tail
Ass debater
Prime-time
Primo
Rhyme-time crime
Like no other
In this lifetime
White house killer
Dead in lifelines
Vote this joke out
Or die tryin’
Unprecedented
Demented
Many president’d
Nazi gestapo dictator
Defended
It’s not what you think
It’s what you follow
Run for them jewels
Drink from that bottle
Another four years gonna gut y’all hollow
Gutted out, dried up, broke and can’t borrow

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

Mister, I am the law
And you are not
In fact, I’m god
I got a lot
Mister these united breaks
Take over, come over
Orange hair
Fear the comb-over
Here’s another scare
Keep them hands in the air
Better not breathe
You dare not dare
Don’t say anything
Don’t think nothing
Make America great again
The middle just love it
When he wanna talk
Walk y’all straight
To them ovens
Human beings of color
Yeah we be sufferin’

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

Better rock that vote
Or vote for hell
Real generals now
Not some USFL
Not a fuckin’ game
I dare not mention his name
Operation 45
Same thing
Sounds like Berlin burnin’
Same thing
History’s a mystery
If y’all ain’t learning
End this clown show
For real
A state bozo
Nazi cult 45 Gestapo

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

Looking for some excellent music? Why not check out the SOng of the Day (BLM) Spotify playlist?

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Categories
Journalism Politics

David Bowie grills interviewer on why MTV doesn’t play black artists (1983)

I apologise for publishing three posts in such a short space of time, but I absolutely had to share this wonderful video.

Watch as David Bowie turns the tables on MTV’s MArk Goodman in 1983. Bowie expertly questions him on why the music video network doesn’t play black artists. Watch as Goodman squirms his way through an explanation which sounds completely ridiculous (even, Im sure, to himself). Makes you realise that Bowie would have made an excellent journalist if he’d chosen to go that way.

Just another reminder that David Bowie was one of the good guys & he thought that Black Lives Matter.

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