Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
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The smoke hasn't cleared on the flame war yet and we're gonna keep fuleing the flames despite responses like
"Please Remove me from your mailing list."
But wait, there's more! For absolutely nothing you get arguments like
"If human being were an endangered species, or a valuable commodity, then
first and second-hand lung cancer might be a problem. We are not.
Smoke yer' ass off."
NOW how much would you pay? Don't answer yet. It also comes with
"I continue to read, with great interest, the great smoke debate.
However, I have noticed that one aspect (a really important one, I
think) of the debate that has been ignored by your pundits is the
socio-economics of the whole mess. Demographics of smokers will
demonstrate that the habit is indulged by a far greater percentage of
that portion of our populace which makes up the group collectively
referred to as under-priveledged, under-educated, under-whatever.
Now, I may be going out on a limb here, but it seems to me that
the success of the tobacco industry has hinged upon this
circumstance, particularly since public awareness of the health risks
assosciated with smoking has risen (say in the last 20 years). If
you consider that the class of people who are most affected by
smoking are already essentially enslaved by their economic
situations, it is therefore not unusual (or even surprising) to find
that they are enslaved by the machinations of the tobacco industry.
Degenerate RVI was right on with his assessment of the weapons in the
arsenal of the Tobacco Industry (outright lying to users about lab
results, and the ever important cool factor). The Tobacco industry
dangles the idea of elegance, or of cowboy toughness, or of coming a
long way baby, in front of their core group of consumers who have no
legitimate chance of riding horseback in the western expanses or of
coming even a short way baby, and then tells them it is a god given
right for them to smoke. The average under-whatever smoker is then
trapped three times over: 1) by horrible, life-threatening, physical
addiction, 2) by false, but much needed, self esteem derived from the
coolness of the habit, and 3) by the perceived need to defend one of
the few perceived rights afforded (by an oppressive society) to a
person of such financial status. This to me is the most disgusting
crime committed by the tobacco industry, and that's about all I have
to say about that."
And that's not all! For a limited time you also get:
"It seems to me (and I said this in a previous letter, perhaps not as
plainly) that we are forgetting that the Star Bar (as are ALL restaurants
and bars and most other establishments that are discussed in this matter)
is a completely erroneous analogy because it is not a "public"
establishment at all. It is privately owned and operated and no one is
obligated to frequent there. The owners decide whether to permit smoking
or not and each individual decides whether to go or not. Saying that
smokers are poisoning "your" air is not accurate and smacks of fanaticism.
Smoking is prohibited in all public places. And, I assume, your own home.
That is where "your" air ends.
It also astonishes me to think how absurd it is that such fervor is raised
over this "poisoning of our air", and yet little or nothing at all is done
about the very real and much more dangerous and far reaching forms of
destruction that wreak havoc on our air every day in this world...
especially like the disgraceful sprawl happening right here in Atlanta, or
I should say all around Atlanta....pathetic."
But wait! Read now and you also get, free of charge:
degenerate DAC said "The only mistake the tobacco companies made was telling the first lie which they had to try to ridiculously carry through the years. They should have said, yeah, they might kill you, but so can a lot of things,
smoke up babbbbby."
to which degenerate RVI says
"That alleged 'first lie' was enough to seal the death warrant on the
tobacco industry. It has no credible grounds for being allowed to exist.
As my learned friend, The Stockholder, knows from his acquaintence with
Law and Sociology, the lie that 'tobacco use is harmless' constituted a
White Collar Crime - a fraud - of unimaginable magnitude. This is no
small thing. People in a just society cannot allow greedheads to run
roughshod over the populace in the name of 'progress' and 'the bottom
line,' that is unless we are no longer attempting to have a just
society... or even to merely maintain a semblance of order. For those
coldly reaping the profits sown in the suffering of others and the
destruction of social services caused by the bastardly practices of the
companies they invest in, this entire matter may seem a joking
matter...'baabyyy.' But I think there will come a day of reckoning on
these and similar matters and the first step towards that will be the
breaking of Tobacco's back, which is, bit by bit, coming to pass. After
that hour, I'll warrant that some of the capitalists who today make light
of the social, environmental, and human ills their investments helped
spawn will slip into the shadows, burn their worthless stock
certificates, and pray no one can recognize them by the shameful sound of
their laughter. Baby."
Still not convinced? Well, if you have any attention span left (which we doubt)
you'll also get:
"no matter what your justification, no matter how much
you rant - you're still wrong. The POINT of FREEDOM is that YOU CAN'T TELL ME
WHAT TO DO. God knows we have enough freedom restricted as it it - taxes, laws
against marijuana, the motherfucking DMV - the LAST thing I want is to give the
government - or ANYONE else - more control over MY life.
You DO have the freedom to breathe clean air - move to the mountains, because I
don't give a fuck WHERE you go in Atlanta; you're gonna get crappy air. And
that's caused by auto emissions (want everyone to stop driving, too?).
It's fantastic to have healthy standards and desires for the human race, but
illogical. It sucks that you hate smoke. It sucks that people can't go to a bar
and watch a band without being surrounded by smoke. But that's the environment
that stuff happens in. If you don't want to go into smoke-filled places, don't
You are deprived of entertainment because you don't want to die of lung cancer
from second-hand smoke - that sucks, but people make those choices every day.
Alcoholics quit drinking and can't go to their favorite bar, where all their
friends are. As it stands right now, it's legal to smoke in bars, and until
that changes, you have no choice. You wanna make a statement? Wear a gas mask.
You wanna change the laws? Good luck. It will happen eventually.
You know you are right in that eventually almost everyone who smokes will
either die of it or quit. You know you are right in that people SHOULDN'T do
something that hurts others (even though this second-hand smoke theory is not
quite proven enough for me - I bet you'd have to get a whole fuckload to be
affected) or hurts themselves. But we're humans, and obviously - sadly -
destruction is as much a part of our psyche as love. In a perfect world, and I
agree with you on this completely - there'd be electric cars, no such thing as
cigarettes, factories would all be environmentally conscious, etc. Maybe
someday it'll be that good.
Not that a single word of this will change anything - you definitely have that
fanatical gleam in your eye that makes it impossible for you to hear anything
other than what you are convinced of. But then again, it's the fanatics who
change the world..."
Well, your editor had more to say on the issue but other things, such as x-rays, interrupted his thought processes so maybe next week I'll get on the flaming soap box...
We had a bunch of Bubbapalooza pictures to share but a bike accident and subsequent hospitalization of our editor and photographer has delayed that upload. Details in the June Degeneration Excerpt, our only paper publication. Speaking of, we need articles, dammit, and subscribers. Email us if you're interested.
This incident has also momentarily stalled the editor's efforts to confirm musical guests for our annual July 4 bash. If you're in a band and want to play for beer, barbecue, explosives, jello and degenerates, contact us.
Saturday night we headed to the Star Bar, despite the smoke, because it's the only place to see Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys when they make the trek from L.A. Laura Tyler has moved to Atlanta from there and opened up the evening with roots western country. Not bad. I chatted with Caroline and confirmed the continued existance of the Ramblers, with a new drummer.
After a big break to set up, Big Sandy and the Boys took the stage in style - matching floral shirts and swingin' Western swing with jazz influences. Smooth as ever, they didn't break for an hour, when we finally broke out of the capacity crowd for some air and decided to call it a night. Big Sandy was still swingin' in the background but a wounded reporter could only do so much before hobbling home.
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