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BACK, JACK, DO IT AGAIN
Sorry for the lack of reporting lately but we’ve been in Puerto Rico for a week. I meant to send off a missive before I left but things got busy and suddenly it was time to jump on the plane.
A full report will appear probably the first of next month. Apparently Degenerate Press’ web site has gotten so much traffic I’ve been exceeding my monthly bandwidth and Earthlink is charging me an arm and a leg for the few bits of overflow. I HAD been happy with them but when I called customer service they didn’t have a convenient and cost-affordable solution, and I’m pretty sure they’ve outsourced their customer service to India or Malaysia or something, so I’m going to have to move degeneratepress.com to another host. I’m a little tempted to stuff the whole mess onto a CD for backup, kill the live version and go back to writing for actual publication. (Note that it is not April 1.) But my complaints about the paper publication world have not changed. If anything, they’ve gotten worse these last couple of years. So the DP site may get pulled down for a couple of days when I find a new place to park it and have to move the whole disaster.
Meanwhile, here’s our groggy, post-vacation episode of Electric Degeneration. Enjoy!
We got this from Danny “Mudcat” Dudek:
“Two of my greatest friends and teachers passed this spring - Cootie Stark and
Neal Pattman. These men shared their knowledge of music, faith, and life with
me. I take these seeds and pillars with me wherever I travel.”
Degenerate RVI sent us his take on the Star Wars phenomenon:
I have, as usual, my own theory about the downward spiral of the Star Wars movies: Back when the original first SW came out (Episode IV or whatever), Lucas was, of course a different and younger man. He was the genius who made American Graphitti and if you want to see his vision, at that time, of his generation, Graphitti is the thing to go look at to get clues. Star Wars, at Episode IV, is also a fantasy tale of Lucas' generation -- another coming of age story, a young man finding his path in a time of war, opposing the forces of decrepitude and darkness; and in Episode VI, by which time we've discovered Vader is Luke's father, his shadow and alter ego, Luke redeems his father and sets all the wrongs he did aright by doing what he could not do, resisting the temptations he did not. The parallel to Lucas' generations' dominant vision of itself is fairly clear to me -- the Boom saw itself in the 60s and 70s as perfecting the mistakes of its parents. By the 80s through the 90s, though, something went sideways, as we well know, and the Evil Empire of Lucas' parents' generation did not die and was not replaced; in 1980, Lucas' generation went out and re-elected their parents' idea of The Emperor -- Luke Skywalker did not arrive to save the day except on movie screens and even he was reduced to little more than an excuse for capitalist merchandising, co-opted into The Empire. So by the time Lucas gets around to deciding to "finish" his tale, which ironically is about how the Empire comes into being and Anakin Skywalker loses his humanity and becomes a killing machine, in the real world our right-wing Empire has developed further and Lucas' generation has become, not Luke Skywalker, but his failure of a father, Darth Vader... worse, maybe, than their parents' generation. For Lucas, it's an easy story to tell now, because the last 3 episodes are closer to the truth about his generation than the pure and beautiful fantasy of the first 3 episodes which were about the dreams and hopes of a youthful generation, who they wanted to be. The story of Darth Vader is about who they actually became -- which, on some level, has probably affected Lucas' ability to tell the story with any gusto. It would be like finding out the Richard Dryfus character in American Graphitti, a few decades after the time period of the movie, had used the profits from the writing of his life story and bought his home town, had Wolfman Jack imprisoned for being too suggestive, had the cops arrest all suspected drag racers on sight (profiling them), turned the Drive-In burger place into a Holy Roller church that condemns waitresses in tight pants who roller skate, had the vice squad patrol and raid the necking spots, sent all the underaged kids who tried to buy a quart of liquor to boot camp, called the local gangs terrorists and allowed them to be detained under laws no one intended to cover gangs... in other words, it would be like finding out the Boom generation became exactly what they became. It's Luke, not Anakin, who became Darth Vader, sold his soul for Pepsi Co., played it "safe."
The Dark Side is colored red, white, and blue if you look at it right.
He and others have been sending us email about changes at PBS:
Please join me in an effort to save PBS from meddling by partisan bureaucrats. This top-down political interference goes against the very nature of PBS and the local stations we trust. Let the people speak and decide the future of PBS:
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