In 1993, Rhino Records released the two-volume hardcore punk compilation Faster & Louder, containing a cornucopia of gems from the golden age of the genre. The covers unfolded to reveal spectacular art by the great Gary Panter (above image, Jimbo), and incisive liner notes that briefly break down every track, by Brooklyn record collector and writer Johan Kugelberg.
In the notes for “Holiday In Cambodia”, Kugelberg makes perhaps the most expertly astute comment about the Dead Kennedys ever penned.
What has to an extent been forgotten in the wake of Jello Biafra’s political activism is what a ripping motherfucker of a band the Dead Kennedys could be when they wanted.-Johan Kugelberg, from the liner notes of Faster & Louder Vol. I
Like Henry Rollins, Jello Biafra has numerous “spoken-word” albums. Despite being a huge Dead Kennedys fan, I have not heard any of them myself. From my observation, people who listen to them fall into two categories.
- Guys who like the Dead Kennedys who agree with Jello’s recorded opinions.
- Guys who like the Dead Kennedys who think there’ll be music eventually.
Compared to the number of people who casually enjoy listening to the Dead Kennedys, it’s a much smaller margin. But because it’s Jello Biafra, it gets the same amount of media saturation as the music that attracted fans in the first place.
Like social media, where you can connect with a performer you admire, and be exposed on a regular basis to their extreme politics, which very likely will not align with yours. And even less likely will these politics be the reason you sought the connection in the first place.
In case you are divorced from reality or just not paying attention, this is Year Three of the Trump Administration. Or, as I call it, Year ThREEEEEEEEE. Since 2016, I have watched one friend after another go humiliatingly bugfuck on social media, hysterical over something Trump said, did, or they assumed he thought, to the point where I am totally inured to it. I expect it. I laugh at it.
In less than two weeks, CNN, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and numerous other ersatz news sites were caught hoaxing the public so many times I stopped counting. They did this because they could. Not just because the public is fucking stupid, but because some people are so deranged and blinded by their vitriolic animosity for Donald Trump that they will literally believe anything about him or anyone who supports him. Even boldfaced lies.
And those of us who aren’t hysterical about Trump have to figure out how to tell these people that they have become the very definition of “toxic”, and that their opinions are fatally biased, and corrupted. We have to figure out how to tell our friends that they have become a negative presence, and when they threaten to cut us out of their lives in a fit of projection and accusatory neologisms, turn our backs and let them.
If someone has become stupid enough to equate a MAGA hat with a Ku Klux Klan hood, there is no reasoning with them. They’re going the way of Keith Olbermann, a once-respected sports journalist who became so convinced (despite the utter dearth of any substantiating evidence) that Trump is a “Nazi”, he became totally unhinged on Twitter. (I know, where else, right?)
How out of touch do you have to be to think anyone wants to read shit like that? What kind of professional, let alone journalist, would see fit to behave this way publicly? And this has become normalized as a career flame-out; you can find tweets just like this from millionaire actors, stand-up comedians, and scores of other dudes who blew someone for a walk-on.
Both BuzzFeed and Huffington Post have been laying off staff after the tag-team hoaxes they abetted in January 2019. Both places are infested with low-T larvae who gleefully wished grievous bodily harm or death on children wearing MAGA hats, and their families. And their school. This is the result of morons on-line who say a MAGA hat and a Klan hood are the same thing. You get goo-gobbling grad-school dropouts trying to climb the social media ladder by inventing and stoking hysteria.
Then when they’re kicked to the curb, it’s everyone else’s fault. Joking that they should “learn to code” is banned as “hate speech” on Twitter. That’s what soft-boiled eggs all these people are. How much of a ride did they expect in life? How much of their bullshit did they think readers would swallow? If you’re part of the information industry, it’s not your job to be divisive. If you work for a news source, you’re supposed to have enough character to roll with the punches. It’s part of the deal. If you can’t take the heat, you get out of the kitchen. You don’t cry about how hateful the stove is.
This is why the Left can’t meme.
The American Left takes itself too seriously to meme. They cannot, even for a moment, step outside of themselves and crack a joke about who they are. Anyone they count as “on their side” is exempt from all forms of mockery and satire is not tolerated; in fact, they strive to censor it. They make fun of their opposition and that’s it, and they don’t even do a good job. They constantly opine about their feelings because they never learned to separate them from reason. They call Trump an infant, a baby, a cheater, or some manner of drooling orange monster because that’s their level of discourse. A child’s. If you offer a counter-argument, they do everything short of sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming.
One of the greatest gifts of Trump’s presidency is the fact that some of your friends will cut off all contact with you simply because you don’t hate Trump. The lesson in this is that they were never your friends in the first place. They were looking for an excuse to cut you off, and they found it. You’re better off with them out of your life. You’ve seen them for the cowards they are. If they weren’t cowards, then your opinions wouldn’t frighten them.
That’s the gift of the MAGA.