Does he still have the magic? Yes he does! In praise of Billy Idol

billy idolPropaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.  —Joseph Goebbels 

A nation of sheep soon begets a government of wolves. —Edward R. Murrow

Laws are created to be followed by the poor. Laws are made by the rich to bring some order to exploitation. The poor are the only law-abiders in history When the poor make laws—the rich will be no more. —Roque Dalton García (1974)

The masses have never thirsted after truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim. —Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931)

Governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class. —James Connolly

It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion. All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions. We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready.— Chris Hedges

... we have an economy that, at its core, is based on death, misery and hardship. It's not based on health and happiness and life. When it's humming along, that means our obliteration of the planet is running full steam ahead, and average workers are being appropriately repressed and held down, hoping to collect enough food stamps to papier-mâché a cast on their broken arm. In fact, The Washington Post admitted it this week—but, acted surprised when they said it: 'Many analysts pointed to a seemingly unusual cause for the turbulence: rising wages.' No, it's not an 'unusual' cause at all. When we start doing better—when wages start going up—Wall Streeters shit themselves. ---Lee Camp (of Redacted Tonight) 

Democracy now only resides in a corporate boardroom. Most people with whom I interact are in deep denial. People sanctify the state as long as their puppet of choice is in power.

People in the U.S. have skin in the game and want the status quo, so that they can go back to living in a bubble. There is no going back and the wheels are going to completely come off in the next few years.

They don’t want to hear it and gaslight themselves. Propaganda is strong, and believing in it gives them a sense of security to think that there is actual order in the world. They truly think that the horrors that they hear about in other parts of the world aren't possible here, as if there is some magical forcefield in place, and some hero will save them.

And, as long as they can pacify themselves with grinding, Third World consumerism, then they continue to oddly think all is right in the world.

We are hurtling toward an abyss and they have learned to be helpless and ignorant. There's a rude awakening coming, the likes of which have never been previously erupted in the karmic way that is soon about to implode upon We, the People with a vengeance! ---Jonathan R. Tostado

Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives.  I think that we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends, and I think that I am liable to be put away as insane for expressing that.  That's what's insane about it. —John Lennon 

“He who allows oppression shares the crime.  —Desiderius Erasmus

"Secrecy-keeping the people and Congress in the dark-is the cancer eating at the vitals of democracy.  What is remarkable about all the official hullabaloo by government officials, who leak plenty themselves, is that there never is any indictment or prosecution of government big wigs who continually suppress facts and knowledge in order to carry out very devastating actions like invading Iraq under false pretenses and covering up corporate contractors abuses. The morbid and corporate-indentured secrecy of government over the years has cost many American lives, sent Americans to illegal wars, bilked consumers of billions of dollars and harmed the safety and economic well-being of workers." ---Ralph Nader

My brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution, anti-war voices are being purged from social media for questioning the narrative of known liars. I posted some historical quotes (there they are, above this) to a group, got locked out of Facebook for a week(!!!) and told that I could appeal to some shady police state "oversight committee", if I take issue with outright censorship of historical quotes(!!!) that might remotely inconvenience or contradict warpig/police-state/forever war agendas.

Notorious known war criminals like George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice, and Lyn Cheney are being trotted out on the red carpet and given front page bullhorns in fakeass shit-lib media owned by spooks, to help generals promote endless, endless, dangerous world wars, when we know that in these past few decades they've most always been planned for years and based on lies, just look at what they did with Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya. Shit is fucked up and the 5 trillionaires at the top who want to make always more money and control more land, resources, and populations, are using mass media and surveillance tech to censor and control all discussions online.

I went to "Rolling Stone" dot com, a magazine that used to publish Hunter S. Thompson and Michael Hastings, and it was all Foo Fighters, Britney, occultist hip-pop, and The Great Lockstep, pro war rah rah. There used to be anti-war voices, but since they consolidated the media under one Big 5 umbrella, primarily populated with secret police goons, and memorably kicked Phil Donahue off the air, replacing him with New McCarthyist cold warrior Rachel Madcow, and squads of Atlantic Council Hillarybot censors, it's all just "USA! USA!" yeehaw sports cheering bullshit, except for Jimmy Dore, Glen Greenwald, Ajamu Baraka, Cait Johnstone, and David Swanson. Chris Hedges, Lee Camp and Abby Martin have all just lost their jobs to USA USA mass media control.

My dead end desert ghost town is even being taken over by big money developers, who are using selective cop enforcement of backyard codes to target poorer people, they're tearing down wildlife habitat, and flattening forest and fields to make way for big condos and always more dopey McMansions they hope will be purchased by out of state retirees who want a second or third winter home. Every yoga mom Karen who ever visits this place decides they're gonna open a health food store or art gallery...until they get here and find out how cold it is in the winter, how swelteringly, miserably, impossibly hot it is here in the summer, and that the toothless, big knife wielding hermit population don't have the kind of pocket cash money needed to sustain a health food store, it's laughable, really, and the rich ranchers on the outskirts of town don't eat that shit.

So there are dozens of empty businesses with rain faded signs painted on the sides that used to be called the Oasis art gallery or the Oasis health food store or the Oasis bookstore, but this ain't fuckin' Portland.

Landlords try to charge San Francisco rent for falling down shithole shantytown RV parks and broken trailers. It's just madness. Davos billionaires like it like that. NPR will tell you in soothing NYT crossword puzzle voices how it's all for freedom and democracy, though. This is probably happening in your town, too. After enough emergency relocations, from town to town, up and down the dial, one sees it is being coordinated. Everybody's downtown is being purged of lower class people, the buildings either sit empty with big yellow "for sale" signs in the windows, or have two day a week hobby businesses ran by old people in need of a social outlet in the storefronts, maybe 20 hours a week, as a hobby that obviously can not even be generating profit, no one's buying that much tea in a fucking twelve hour a week tea room. No one's buying basically unplayable, water damaged, and scratched-to-hell old "McCartney" and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young records at "Three For $25". Most of the year, much of the town sits empty, because there are no jobs here, none that will pay rent anyways, and out of state rich people get bored after two days-they sit in an airbandb hot tub the first night, eat disgracefully Amurkkkanized faux Mexican food (white lettuce, canned beans) the next, go to the lake, realize the only places to shop are Wal-Mart and Tractor Supply, and they get the fuck out of Dodge, by Sunday.

I wanna go back to the places in faraway zipcodes I remember ever so fondly, but they don't exist no more. They've all been erased by developers. From 18 Rivington Street in the Bowery to the fuckin' Viper Room, it's all gone. Sad-ya know? The Rat, my main hangout in Kenmore Square is a fucking yuppie hotel for rich people. Disgraceful. When was the last time you read a print fanzine? I know! Right?

 

"Round and round and round we go
One time before I die
Round and round and round the world
In super overdrive..." (-Idol)

Of course, property owners are giddy with the idea that new developments will raise the value of their beat-up old shacks sitting on land that is being sought after by the real estate hoarders, mostly Blackrock and Bill Gates, but the non conforming hermits and desert southwest cowboys who choose to live here year round are appalled by the sight of actual cops showing up at people's doors, with letters from city hall, demanding they take down their cow skulls, blue bottle fences, and old timey rock gardens, to appeal to the gentrified sensibilities of some imaginary, as yet unseen city slickers. Used to be a symphony of birds here, now all you hear are big machines, faraway traffic, and some dickhead flying a drone over our backyards, because he can. It's in this environment, I'm still seeking musical collaborators to help me make some real fuckin' rocknroll before the nukes go off, but most of the locals have never heard of Generation X, the Jesus & Mary Chain, T Rex, or David Bowie. Let alone, Tex Perkins or Texacala Jones, Rowland S. Howard, or James Calvin Wilsey!

One of my faraway brothers contacted me today to say he hopes we'll meet again on the other side, cause the honest truth is, we probably won't be seein' each other again, in this life. That was some strong medicine, but so right on, 'cause everybody else is just....lyin'. Been lyin', that's most of what they learned how to do at those fuckin' overpriced safe space, big city, sports tourism colleges, sweep shit under the rug, try not to offend any sensitive higher ups, and lie and lie, forever, Amen. That's the culture here-just nothing but bullshit. That's all you hear from politicians, media whores, or Got Mine, Jacks who we used to know. Lies, lies, and more motherfuckin' lies. That's their way of life, here, and there ain't nowhere to run. to escape it. If you are poor you will be permanently punished, hyper-scrutinized, stop and frisked, humiliated and hassled by this government for the rich, of the rich, and by the rich.

These monopolies-Vanguard and Blackrock own it all-pharmaceuticals, media, real estate, and weapons manufacturing. Soon, there will just be Amazon and Wal Mart, and Wal Mart raised all their prices like thirty percent. All media says the same shit now. It's all Rachel Madcow, all the time. TV watchers keep waxing outraged when somebody else invades a country AS IF Murkkka and it's BFF, the KSA and Israel aren't invading/ocuupying/trying to coup ten other countries, RIGHT NOW, in real time. No tears for Yemen or Venezuela, Palestine, or Iraq-ya know? Talk about mass hypnosis and selective outrage. Julian Assange is rotting in jail for telling the truth, and Michael Hastings and Seth Rich were murdered, while the torturers and warpigs are living on big island plantations, riding around on their own USA USA fuckin oligarch super yachts, drumming up more wars forever and ever, always the same exact script, same exact playbook, that's why GORE VIDAL called us the United States Of Amnesia.

I'm so fucking sick of war propaganda being broadcast from every slave plantation loudspeaker, fakeass lyin' spokesmodels who broke all their own campaign promises, the fucking suckshit Foo Fighters, and fuckin' Britney, man, though I wish she was truly free and not under control of the sleazy showbiz slave owners. I ain't heard no real get down, dance on the table, soulful motherfucker, punkroll music for much too long. That's the tonic we need now more than ever. Something that rocks, that has something to say. Something you can believe in. Something with real emotions. Humane heart.

 

SAVE ME NOW

I'll tell ya something I believe in and I know it's controversial in a lot of circles. Particularly in the subversive punknroll basement underground: Billy Idol and Steve Stevens.

Growing up, all the older hoods would give me shit for loving deedly deedle-dee guitar heroes like Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Steve Stevens, even Billy Duffy. In my garage punk world nobody could really play much besides Joey Ramone and Steve Jones riffs, so it was really frowned upon if anybody ever got beyond a basic Chuck Berry solo. I always loved Idol and Stevens, personally, except for "Cyber-Punk". I was never that into that one. Generation X was one of my top 5 all time favorite bands. I loved them so much, I used to say in my musicians wanted ads how I'm looking for dudes who can play like that-I still do! The gutter gospel truth is I still listen to their songs, all the time.

All my own music was severely influenced by Gen X - all three records. I'm reading the Jesus & Mary Chain book right now and smiled when Bobby told Douglas of their big plans to buy leather pants in Germany, so they could become big rock stars "like Generation X"! I saw an interview John Taylor did with Idol during Covid quarantines, that also made me smile, when he was reflecting upon all the times he and Nick Rhodes would go see Generation X and think, "Yeahhh!"

I used to get off the bus at camo-clad "Soldier Of Fortune" magazine reader Ernie Fisher's stop after school, so I could go inside his posh house and see "White Wedding" back in the early daze of "I Want My MTV", when us lower class people could not afford cable! "Devil's Playground" and "Kings & Queens Of The Underground" have been on my go to play list, almost everyday, for years, now. I play that shit as often as I play Tex Perkins, or the Pretenders, or Stones or anybody.

I'll say this for Idol and Stevens. They can still do it. Their songwriting is as good, if not better, than ever. Songs like, "Cheri Runaway", "Summer Running", "Ghosts In My Guitar", "Postcards From The Past" and "Bitter Taste" still speak to and for scruffy old rocknroll degenerates just like they did back in the days of "Catch My Fall" and "Fatal Charm" and "Blue Highway" and "Do Not Stand In The Shadows"! When I get sad and blue and horrified by stupid wars and mass media bullshit, melancholy, and lonely for lost people who aint comin' back, I put on my headphones and listen to "Whiskey & Pills", or "Rita Hayworth". Their latest side, "The Roadside EP" is just epic.

I love the torchy, spaghetti western Chris Isaak feel, and if you are an old anti establishment rocknroll rebel like me, ya know you're probably gonna love this new EP as much as I do. Let me know if you can think of any good guitar players who wanna help an old antosocial glamarchist make some wild new music before he croaks. Thank you and good night!

Tags: generation x, billy idol, steve stevens, the roadside ep

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