Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trump's More Like Journey Or Confected Nashville Crap Than Like Punk Rock


When they were younger, music fans of a certain age had to choose-- Beatles or Stones. The next generation had a similar choice-- Pistols or Clash. I liked the Beatles-- a lot. I used to take acid when a new Beatles album came out so I could really get into it fully. But, like Trump, I was a Stones guy. By the time punk rock got going I was a dj on KSAN in San Francisco and KSJO in San Jose. Many people in the Bay Area will tell you that the first time they heard Anarchy In the U.K. or God Save the Queen was on one of my radio shows. Maybe other American DJs did live interviews with the Pistols as well but one of the ones I did with them wound up on an album, Big Tits Over America. I got fired from KSJO over that one. Anyway, I always preferred the Clash-- more coherent, more melodic... truth be told, easier.

Johnny Rotten was in the "news" yesterday-- "backing" Trump and Brexit:
Godfather of punk, anarchist and former Sex Pistol John Lydon, AKA Johnny Rotten, was on the show this morning promoting his limited edition new book Mr Rotten's Songbook. Having built a career on his anti-establishment views, he didn't shy away from talking about todays political landscape.

Lydon came out in support of Brexit claiming the working class had spoken and that he would stand by them. He also claimed he could see a possible friendship in Trump, praising his ability to terrify politicians. Rotten himself inspired a generation of anarchists.
This alt-right character Paul Watson is a real dirt-bag-- and is either incredibly stupid about what punk rock is or is just trying to deceive the simpleminded people likely to care what he has to say. Worth watching though:

In late January, his former bandmate, L.A. resident Steve Jones, also flogging a book Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol, was asked about Brexit and Trump. Being more of an American these days, he went right for the Trumpy part of the question:
So we’re living in crazy times, obviously. You’ve probably been asked this but in the wake of Brexit and also Trump’s presidency, do you feel like we need another Sex Pistols right now?

Well, to be honest with you, I think Donald Trump is the modern-day Johnny Rotten.

Wow. What? Why?

Well, they have the same color hair, and he’s basically come out of left field, with no experience of anything, and he’s just doing it. Like, not in the normal way that all the others do it. It kind of is a bit like Sex Pistols-like, if you want to look at it like that. You know, it’s an odd one.

You’re not trying to say that Donald Trump is punk rock, I hope?

No. I’m not saying that, but as far as politics goes, he’s about as knowledgeable about politics as we was in playing rock music when we first started. Don’t misquote me, though!
I'm not sure who the first person was to mislabel Trump a punk, but we tried explaining why that's embarrassing earlier this month. Kyle Smith made the assertion, derogatorily, on Nov. 9 in the NY Post.
Donald Trump may favor stodgy blue suits and boring red ties and wear his hair in a strange double combover, but don’t be fooled. That’s how he looks, not who he is. Who he is is a guy with a safety pin through his nose and a purple mohawk. He just pulled off the most punk act in American history.

If you’re a Hillary Clinton voter, or a member of the average media outlet, observing the Trump phenomenon to you was like watching Frank Sinatra in the 1970s: has-been, used-up, going through the motions appealing to a rapidly disappearing demographic, relying entirely on crusty oldies like “My Way.”

Yet the version of “My Way” Trump actually represented was the one gargled by Sid Vicious, the short-lived Sex Pistol, over the closing credits of Goodfellas-- crude, sneering, shocking, postmodern. None of us could believe what Trump was doing-- because no one had ever seen anyone do it that way before.

Remember when somebody mentioned the sainted war hero John McCain and Trump wisecracked that he couldn’t be that much of a hero if he got caught? Punk!

Remember when he promised a big announcement that he was ready to concede that President Obama was actually born in the United States and every news hound covered it as if it were the Super Bowl? He turned it into an infomercial for his new Trump hotel in the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue in DC.

Hey, what’s more punk than shameless love of filthy lucre?

Remember when Hillary Clinton, Lisa Simpson-like, was busily organizing a landslide?

She did everything by the book. She amassed a prim little army of do-gooders, covering her bases by opening proper little field offices in every burg in America, even in Dallas and Houston. Trump scoffed, and sent out some 3 a.m. tweets. (Hillary, we learned from WikiLeaks, once needed 12 staffers and 12 hours of deliberation to craft a single tweet.)

Even Trump himself often seemed so ambivalent about the position he found himself in that the most seasoned political reporters openly wondered if he even wanted to win.

Just not giving a flying fig is the quintessence of punk.

Trump didn’t just throw out the playbook, he set fire to it. And America loved it. Not releasing his taxes? Fine, said America-- can you help us game the system too? So antagonizing the media that major news outlets dropped all pretense of neutrality and openly campaigned against him? Not a problem, said America-- we hate those sons of bitches too, and the enemy of our enemy is our friend.

Punk is the art of taking the stage with no preparation whatsoever and screaming: It’s me against the world, and what the freak are you gonna do about it?

The last year-and-a-half it was Trump against the world, and the world lost.

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