Overweening Generalist

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Ideas From a Dead Kennedy, OR: WWJD?

Jello Biafra is as fiery as ever, and I give this idea-loaded rant-spiel a 10, even though I can't dance to it, on account of a strained achilles and subsequent stoned, just like inability right now, man situation. The stamina alone is impressive. Jello, to whatever degree you appreciate his ideas, seems to me a classic talker. It's not just me: he's been included on all sorts of collections of "counterculture" speaker-artists (The most spellbinding one I've ever heard was/is Terence McKenna, on multiple occasions; the trippiest - to me - was/is Buckminster Fuller. My favorite all-around talker is/was Robert Anton Wilson. Not that you'd asked.) and poets and just all-around interesting people to listen to who are not in the corporate media mainstream. Jello's barbed sneers, snotty-attitude punk intellectual stance, and a lurking lunacy amid the solid-Left political ideas make him not only an influential non-Marxist left thinker, but a captivating "What is this Fearless One going to say next?" guerrilla-artist-performer. His overall rhetorical profile fascinates me.

Just another articulate punk. Enjoy, even though the "free trade" agreements Jello's railing against have basically been "rammed through" already. (Oh yea: And you must think about whether you want to say "Barackstar" now instead of "Obama."):


One of the most articulate people I've talked to at Occupy Berkeley is a guy named Lars, who has to return to Afghanistan in two weeks. He's really thoughtful and extremely well-read. I asked him, "How did you get caught up in the military?" He said he was like most poor American kids: no hope, a 1.74 GPA in high school. He later read very many books on his own. He taught himself how to learn, how to think, how to question his own assumptions.

He's been a cop too. I mentioned the cognitive dissonance most cops must feel when they're assigned to police protesters in the streets, like Occupy. Lars: "Most cops are not critical thinkers." But he concurred that there is some notable dissonance.

Aside from the wildly disparate issues we encounter at an Occupy meeting or rally (abolish the Fed, end the War on Some People Who Use Certain Drugs, make the bankers "pay," Medicare for all, slash the war budget, end oil subsidies, massively re-regulate the banks, Monsanto is Sheer Evil, end the Tar Sands pipeline deal, forgive the $1 trillion in student loans, Unistat out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and everywhere else, etc, etc, etc. Today I saw a hand-made placard that read I'll Believe a Corporation is a Person When Texas Executes One), Lars and I think the primary problem is to get money out of politics as much as possible, and we are totally stunned that billionaires have been allowed to buy Congress and the Presidency. (And just about everything else.) This is so out in the open as to almost be invisible to some people.

We allowed this to happen. I think we first have to own that we allowed our system to be bought. When you look at it, it's true and at the same time completely insane. Or to me it is...

Anway, I like Lars. He's a great guy, and I hope he gets out of this next 10 month tour safe and sane.

But getting back to the mentality of sombunall police-critters: some of us will likely have a run-in with a few over the next few months, and let's hope they aren't the most virulent types, like Jello sings about in this golden oldie.

And now, on to some roots rock:

2 comments:

ARW23 said...

Good post. Apropos police, it looks like the police will listen to American soldier:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/44938917#44938917

I find this video impressive and moving.

ARW23 said...

Sorry for posting it twice.
Here is a version without commercials:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKM_4ZduYFA