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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Friday I headed to my dentist at Colony Square for a cleaning. On my
way out there was a small group of protesters standing at the corner
of 14th and Peach, perhaps 20 or so. On the corner was a young girl,
in her teens, holding a sign that read, "honk for peace." A delivery
van next to me slowed down so he could angrily shoot the girl a bird.
I haven't seen this kind of fear and loathing in America since the
last time I watched a documentary about the 60's. A majority of
Americans supported that war too, for a while, but as the years wore
on even Nixon had to say he was going to stop it to get reelected.
But in the beginning it was the fear of communism taking over the
world that let war rage unfettered.
I find America in the same boat now. It's not terrorists that win
when we succumb to fear, it's republicans. And they've done a fine
job of working us into a terrified frenzy. They've even got a round
of PSA's on how to be MORE afraid, to be broadcast nationwide any
The government's web site on preparedness, ready.gov, has all sorts
of helpful hints on how to remain safe. I haven't seen stuff like
this since the last time I saw a documentary about the early days of
the cold war. I keep waiting to hear "duck and cover." Instead it's
"duct tape and cover in plastic sheeting."
The site also says "make sure to keep at least half a tank of gas in
your car at all times." As they pointed out on The Daily Show
Thursday night, that's to remind you what got us into this mess in
the first place.
And we need some kind of reminder because the current administration
has done an incredible job making people forget. They use the
language of retribution with weak, unbelievable evidence connecting
Iraq to 9/11. And when that's not enough they use talk about how Iraq
is a threat. (Nobody but the Kurds and political dissenters inside
Iraq are threatened, but that rarely comes up.) Combine that with
vague threats of attacks at home and they've got the perfect
conditions that would allow us to stomp the shit out of any country
on the planet.
I'm not saying Saddam doesn't deserve a good stomping. With our help,
he ruled Iraq in a merciless, bloody dictatorship maintained through
fear (déjà vu) and the occasional arrest without warrant or trial
(déjà vu) of anyone that threatened national security and held them
indefinitely and/or tortured them (déjà vu). When that didn't work he
used weapons of mass destruction on people within his own borders (no
need to do that here - everyone is staying home to cover the house in
plastic.) Someone needs to haul Saddam out into the street and string
him up like Mussolini and it looks like it's going to be us.
So when bad men do bad things with bad motives but good things come
from them, it's tough to argue against them. (Oh, I'm talking about
the US this time.) Sure, we're in it for the oil. We're in it so
various oilmen in charge of this country get wealth and power
rebuilding their country. We're in it so that Bush will get reelected
'cause he sure as hell can't do it on his domestic and economic
And sure, countless people will die, civilians and otherwise.
And sure, this will likely only instill more hatred against us.
And divide the UN.
And alienate us from our supposed allies.
And allow Turkey to finish off the Kurds that Saddam has been
slaughtering for thirty years.
Yet at the end of it, it MAY be that the people of Iraq end up in a
better situation long-term than they are now.
I personally believe the war is inevitable. Bush has to do it. He's
in a corner, politically speaking. His only hope for a reelection is
a sweeping victory that can make Americans, who have been tricked
into associating Iraq with homeland security woes, feel like we have
had some kind of justice for those 3000 lives we lost. And the longer
he waits to charge, the more dissent he'll get from the rear. There
is no stopping this machine.
So I cling to the hope that it'll be quick, maybe enough Iraqi's will
stay clear or even help so that they won't get caught in the
crossfire, and maybe afterward they'll be left with something better
than they had.
Meanwhile, the real threat to homeland security, and the security of
peace across the globe, is ignored - Israel and Palestine. Why?
I don't think the administration has the know-how, or even the
attitude, to help. But worse, I have to wonder if they're not
ignoring it for their own gain. As long as we're scared we'll cling
to leaders that appear strong.
So America continues retreating from the land of the free and home of
the brave. We are charging forth, as surely as we are in Iraq, into
the land of the terrified, and tossing our freedoms aside in the
retreat. We are not being brave and as a result we will not remain
Soon we will all know what a duct tape straight jacket feels like.
If you're a hopeless optimist, call your congressmen and raise hell.
You could try these web sites afterward, but that's just lazy:
I finally got around to doing a hefty update on the Ear Plugs pages,
included updated reviews, removing dead bands, updating links, and
linking photos to reviews.
There's still more to do, like updating the gallery and archiving a
few years' worth of Electric Degeneration, but we're too busy buying
gas, covering the house in duct tape, and hiding under the desk "in
case of explosion", as directed by the government. Thanks Uncle Sam!
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