The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out!. One of THE greatest, most game-changing albums of all time. Give it a listen some time. I’m not gonna tell you why, or admonish you for not giving it the effort. I’m just putting it out there, man, so you can make your own decision, come up with your own analysis. I do think it’s relevant, though.
All my life, music has been political, cultural, of social significance. I never bought the idea that the Clash was the only band that mattered: punk did not do it for me in general. My sources were more like Black Sabbath, whose commentary was so spot-on and acute that it took decades for people to go, ‘huh, that actually seems to mean something.” Go figure.
Now, I know I pitch as a recovery and Stoner/Doom blog, and one that gets dozens (and DOZENS) of page views per month. I also know that in like 7 years, this is something like my 36th post. But I need to get political now. Or cultural. Comment on society and stuff like that. Listening and writing about awesome music seems so darn banal right now.
I’m not gonna pull the “everything is falling apart” or the “we’ve never been divided like this before” crap. I got a good education at Fremont Ross, class of ’81. I’ve read about the Civil War, WWI and WWII. We’ve been through worse. At the same time, things tend to escalate. We’re FAR more capable of destruction now, so it could get worse. A lot worse- but there’s still time.
I was kind of around during the 60’s, though my culture was mostly Scoobie Doo and eventually, The Ghoul. Not exactly aware, but at least a predilection for the weird and bizarre.
But Vietnam and atomic bomb drills did freak me out. By the time I was in college in the early 80’s (first round. I dropped out before I flunked out), I was bummed that I missed the 60’s and early 70’s. It looked like the major culture wars were over, and even Regan was like a warm cup of milk compared to the brutal brew coursing through our veins today.
It did look like the Liberals won, no matter what Reagan did. Rove v. Wade was the law of the land, school prayer was banned, we had the Voting Rights Act, the media was decidedly center-left and by all appearances, we were a Liberal country. So, it’s like that side of the divide went to one long USO show.
But Charlie, in this case the Right (which does increasingly act like some mutant amalgamation of Puritan Christianity, the Taliban and the Khmer Rouge), was in the jungle, eating rice. Bit by bit, town by town, county by county and state by state, they took over huge swaths of the country and taking advantage of the electoral college along with some clever gerrymandering. The Senate hands incredible control to Oklahoma and South Dakota. I’m not whining, I’m just saying. The Right were reading (or at least owning) their Pocket Constitutions while the Left became shrill demagogues in the Universities, subscribing to potent aberrations of leftist/egalitarian thought, giving birth to their own Brain Police and delivering the greatest gift the Right has gotten in decades: Cancel Culture and their evil twins, the infinitely effeminate snowflakes: the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. NAMBLA and Incels rejoice (the homoerotic cosplay of these little scamps is a sight to behold…)!
So, here I am, man. Approaching my 60’s and a bit long in the tooth to get too involved. I’d love to be able to put a boot upside the head of a Proud Boy or ANTIFA thug: but that time has passed me by. No physical stuff for this Boomer- not that I ever was physical in that way. My options are, shall we say, limited. A wise man once said, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”
Still, I can’t just look away and bury myself in the awesome Stoner/Doom releases so far this year. No matter how awesome Sergeant Thunderhoof, Messa, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and Ufomammut are, these are serious times. The liberties we take for granted are at risk. The more that the Christian right chips away at the 14th Amendment and the Establishment Clause, to more likely they are to go after, ban, or otherwise eradicate the freedom of expression we so earnestly enjoy.
The Left is equally dangerous and pernicious, and are absolutely willing to toss the First and Second Amendments into the junk heap of history until everyone gets a trophy. Small wonder so many American’s hate the Democrats and the far-left.
Here’s my point: I’m tired of being told that I have to pick sides between 2 fundamentally fucked-up ideologies. I’m an American, dude, and anyone telling me how to think and feel can kiss my hairy white buttox. I refuse to believe that A.J. and Floyd in Montana are a risk to the nation because they love firearms. I refuse to believe that a coach openly praying is a threat to my freedom from a church state. I also refuse to buy into the idea that a LGBTQ marriage in…anywhere…. is anybody’s business to legislate or prohibit. And no woman should be subject to any law regarding her body or reproductive health.
Unless we are free, all of us, none of us are free. Guns, women’s health, freedom to practice religion/faith or the absence of both- all these things need to be hands off. We have serious problems to address: let’s stop attacking one another and trying to stifle freedoms we don’t happen to value or appreciate.
And that’s where I end this rant. Hopefully I’ve let out enough steam to give the Messa another spin.