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Capitalism, punk as fuck
February 27, 2002 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Capitalism, punk as fuck "Imagine this: you're 23, working in a grocery store for minimum wage and saving to start your own indie record shop. You finally get enough to open it and, though sales are slow, you have a dedicated customer base and loyal friends to work the store when you can't."
posted by Mick (85 comments total)

 
Imagine this: you want to start a peanut farm. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, tough shit, you can't.
posted by David Dark at 7:59 AM on February 27, 2002


Unfortunately, substantive change in this regard would require that the American consumer undergo a change of mindset.This is particularly true of healthcare. American's have become so indoctrinated into the idea that 1. it all costs more than a human can afford, and 2. insurance is the only way for it to happen that I'm not sure there's a way to pry folks away from the current system.
posted by shagoth at 8:04 AM on February 27, 2002


If Nirvana and Sleater-Kinney are the extend of the author's knowledge and/or experience with punk rock music (as illustrated by the essay) it seems clear that he and I have nothing to discuss. Next....
posted by tiger yang at 8:09 AM on February 27, 2002


Just for the record, Fair Trade != Free Trade. I think that the quality of this article is pretty much summed up by the author's confusion of these two terms. Nader holds that Free Trade is NOT fair, thus his push for Fair Trade over the conservative notion of Free Trade (which is not Free anyway.) Erg. Also the protests that the author refer to are Anti-Globalization and to my ear speak more about corporate influence on the world than capitalist influence, which is a topic untouched by this author. Kinda weak.
posted by n9 at 8:12 AM on February 27, 2002


Does anyone really believe in communism now? It seems like all the credible people who used to critique capitalism have disappeared....
posted by ph00dz at 8:16 AM on February 27, 2002


I am in complete agreement with the basic assertion that socialism is anti-punk rock. I blame MaximumRockandRoll. Freaking hippies.
posted by thirteen at 8:17 AM on February 27, 2002


ph00dz: when I hold my hand in front of my face I can still see it. Does that mean I lack credibility?
posted by n9 at 8:23 AM on February 27, 2002


Of course there are a million flavors of punk rock, and almost all are old enough to be valid at this point. The fact that most don't hold true to the concept means almost nothing.
posted by thirteen at 8:33 AM on February 27, 2002


Somehow I don't think this guy would be willing to work for free at a friend's record store. He's just the type to sit there and calculating up the value of his time and cross tabulate it with value of the friendship and conclude "I am being fucked over".
posted by dydecker at 8:44 AM on February 27, 2002


Okay, you know what…he and I do have something to discuss. Namely the fact that he’s a fucking tool and he’s also dead wrong.

The problem is that none of these organizations [G8, the WTO, FTAA and the IMF] are remotely capitalist. In fact, the system we live in today is not capitalist.

Right. Look at George Bush senior’s finance contributions to the beginnings of what we now know as the WTO. Also, look at George Bush junior’s vast corporate-enabled involvement, as highlighted by Molly Ivins in the book Shrub. Both men’s track record with the organization run a mile long, and both men were involved before they took office, by using corporate dollars, investment dollars, and lobby money to push for what we now know as the WTO. The WTO’s main purpose (regardless of what they tell you) is to bring multinationals to the ultimate frontier, not simply to police other governments with a uni-lateral system of governing. One system under one market. The largest capitalist institutions in the world were the ones who helped get the WTO off the ground with their influenced lobby dollars in the first place. Moreover, by creating a sole capitalist market upon which other countries may work on, it’s absurd to see the WTO as anything but capitalist.

Free trade, free market capitalism is a system of individuals who freely associate and disassociate with whom they wish. A system in which a strong centralized government controls the economy is said to be "statist."

You’re confusing a very textbook “Capitalism 101” with what we have now – the shelf-life effects of what happens to Capitalist regimes. There is a difference between the effects of capitalism in 2002 and the socialist state that you depict us as. We are indeed much like a "statist" machine, but only insofar as capitalism has allowed us to be. Capitalism creates, by virtue of it not being in a vacuum, a funnel effect, where we begin with a wide base of an indefinite number of controlling possibilities and controlling people but a finite amount of ‘stuff’ to own and control. As people own and control more and more ‘stuff’, and thereby begin owning and controlling other people who also have ‘stuff’, the indefinite number of possibilities (and the fantasy of free enterprise) becomes quite definite and therefore determined – and we begin to see the funnel effect take place. Give it a hundred and fifty or so years and you get what we have now…5 multinationals that own and control everything. This is not "statist" in that it was not instantiated by the government (rather, we pathetically attempted to stunt our capitalist fervor with anti-monopoly laws which never get exercised) but by the very capitalist market that we created. We are witnessing the evolution of a ‘free-market’ enterprise – do not confuse this with socialism, as the later would never have allowed the limits of control to become exceed to the point at which they are today. Moreover, socialist control would never have been so expansionistic by virtue of its nature, or thus called for the possibilities of a WTO like we are doing, which seeks to place its innately expansionistic fervor into newer markets, thus crushing socialist economies and other “statist” forms of control that comes with it.

When you're a socialist who isn't trying to start a business, minimum wage sounds like a noble cause.

No, it doesn’t. Being able to survive by virtue of not being bought out is a noble cause. Limiting the amount of power that proportions can yield is a noble cause.

Imagine this: you want to start a peanut farm. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, tough shit, you can't. There's a quota on peanut farms. The government controls them and through limiting the supply of peanuts, has artificially raised the price of peanuts in this country to almost twice the world price. Eighty percent of the peanut quota is owned by 20 percent of the growers.

Kind of like how 95% of everything in this country is owned by 5% of the population, right? And guess which 5% use their corporate dollars to buy their way into office with corporate tools like George W. so organizations like the WTO can get their feet off the ground? I think you see where I’m going. Try buying a magazine, a book, a record, an appliance, or getting a utility which is not owned by your “20 percent” of peanut growers. So much for your juvenile econ 101 ideas of free trade.

Nader hates capitalism though it's made him a multi-millionaire. Capitalism values the entrepreneur and protects individuals. Ralph's also an asshole. I'd like to hear his investment secrets and not his suggestions to raise the minimum wage.

Troll.

By the way, I still stand on the comment from my previous post. Please don’t say ‘punk rock’ and then go on to display the extend of your knowledge of the subculture by highlighting nothing more than Sleater-Kinney and Nirvana. This fuck should give me an email so I can give him some pointer on both economic theory and good punk bands.
posted by tiger yang at 9:09 AM on February 27, 2002


Imagine this, though: Punk Rock ideology = Anarchy, as defined by i)The Sex Pistols:
ii) the American Heritage Dictionary : 1. The theory that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable, and should be abolished; 2. Active resistance and terrorism against the state, as used by some anarchists; 3. Rejection of all forms of coercive control and authority. Which leads us nicely to...
iii) John Lennon: Anarchy = no state/ no god/ no property (coming from a megarich male... hmm)

- john


posted by dash_slot- at 9:15 AM on February 27, 2002


tiger_yang: Yeah, he's obviously a tool, coz he doesn't name-drop enough punk bands for you. Or the wrong ones. Or something.
(yer right that his econ. is oversimplified, though)
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:19 AM on February 27, 2002


hey tiger yang, the whole "i'm more punk rock than you cuz i was there first" argument is sooooooooo un-punk rock.
posted by afx114 at 9:25 AM on February 27, 2002


What?!?!

He's a tool becasue he doesn't know what he's talking about, has a poor view of present-day capitalism and its effects, doesn't know or understand the implications of the WTO, and calls Nader childish names incessantly, etc...not becasue of the bands he listens to.

I don't give a fuck what he listens to. I like the bands that he mentioned too, but I hardly think that they exemplify the 'punk ethic' that he attepmts to illustrate and therefore, he should have opted to mention the plethora of bands that do.

Notice that I never once name-dropped a band. Geeeez...calm down a little.
posted by tiger yang at 9:25 AM on February 27, 2002


By the way I never once gave a "i'm more punk rock than you cuz i was there first" argument. I hate that shit as much as you do.
posted by tiger yang at 9:30 AM on February 27, 2002


The most punk rock band of all time was unquestionably Iggy and the Stooges. If it weren't for their primitive, midwestern speedfreak nature people would call them avant garde.

Whether or not they were the first punk is always debated. But that the stooges could kick the ass of any band ever is not debated. The Stooges could kick Sleater Kinney's ass, as they could Nirvana. Might as well put them up against the B-52s, or Momus, or the Bloodhound Gang. Punk bands are the ones who could put up a fight when the stooges kicked their ass.

This is the rubric I use. The Ramones could put up a fight. Nirvana couldn't for long. Clash could, Crass could, the goddamned showcase showdown could, Sum 41 couldn't. Twisted Siter could, Van Halen could not. Billy Idol might, the Scorpions could not, Lou Reed could and of course Morrissey could, since he's Irish.

What in my opinion allows the Stooges and Ramones to kick the asses of the Sex Pistols and the Clash is the fact that they were apolitical. They were simply insane, and made music which let you know it. The politics of the Sex Pistols and the Clash, while not totally undermining their punk rockness, do make them closer to the crap they tried to distance themselves from, than the Stooges, who were fronted by a 5 foot one man who stuck pencils in himself, threw peanutbutter, bottles etc. while STILL maintaining quality music and songwriting - David Bowie said that Iggy was one of the premier songwriters of the time - little known fact that Iggy wrote "China Girl", which was later turned into a pop hit with DB and Stevie Ray Vaughn in march 1983.

What the hell did that have to do with anything.

Oh - also note that the Ramones/Stooges stuff, when you get down to it, is really the best caucasian popular music to come from the US and be original (in the past 40 years or so). Lets face it folks. The Otis Reddings and Leadbellys of this country are always going to be more respectable than the Stevie Ray Vaughns and Steve Millers.

What the hell did THAT have to do with anything.
posted by Settle at 9:38 AM on February 27, 2002


Capitalism creates, by virtue of it not being in a vacuum, a funnel effect, where we begin with a wide base of an indefinite number of controlling possibilities and controlling people but a finite amount of ‘stuff’ to own and control.

That is wrong on so many levels, but I have to go to class now... I'll explain my reasons later.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:57 AM on February 27, 2002


The most punk rock band of all time was unquestionably Iggy and the Stooges.
I would think there would be plenty of room to question that. I don't think it is possible to say anyone was the most punk rock.
posted by thirteen at 9:59 AM on February 27, 2002


whoa; if punk rock is merely a measure of sanity and toughness, shouldn't we be talking about G.G. Allin now?
posted by fishfucker at 10:01 AM on February 27, 2002


The most punk rock band of all time was unquestionably Iggy and the Stooges.

I would think there would be plenty of room to question that. I don't think it is possible to say anyone was the most punk rock.

Thirteen, please learn to read. Settle uses the word "unquestionably" in the above quote. And also see his followup:

But that the stooges could kick the ass of any band ever is not debated.

Case closed. Please stop questioning.
posted by Skot at 10:05 AM on February 27, 2002


btw: i just ran into a terrible pop-up cycle by following links from the page i just referred. Not sure if it came from the main page or somewhere else. er.
posted by fishfucker at 10:05 AM on February 27, 2002


Q: How many punk rockers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Three. One to put in the bulb, one to smash a chair, and one to go "Man, that's punk as fuck."
posted by Ty Webb at 10:32 AM on February 27, 2002


What if it was just the Stooges, and not Iggy? Further, what if they only had bits of chain and broken bottles, but Sleater Kinney had access to modern high tech weapons. Plus if Joey Ramone was actually a double agent, secretly passing info on Stooge locations in exchange for the lives of him and his band (okay, a bit of a stretch *TODAY* but being a dead double agent is VERY punk rock). In that case I could see it being a draw at the very least.

Unquestionably.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:33 AM on February 27, 2002


A general rule of thumb for me is that anyone who makes, earns more than I do has sold out somewhere, to someone, somehow.
posted by Postroad at 10:56 AM on February 27, 2002


Postroad: elder statesman of Punk.
posted by Karl at 11:12 AM on February 27, 2002


Actually, I can't explain my reasons, because after reading what you said tiger yang, it doesn't make any sense.

This is not "statist" in that it was not instantiated by the government (rather, we pathetically attempted to stunt our capitalist fervor with anti-monopoly laws which never get exercised) but by the very capitalist market that we created.

Monopolies only exist when the government creates them. The post office is a monopoly. Show me one true monopoly that exists independent of government assistance. The writer was correct in his assertion that we do not live in a true free market capitalist society, due to the level of government intervention, government agencies manipulate the economy at every level, and Congress gives inefficient and wasteful corporations 'welfare.' The minimum wage law is a good example of government intervention. When the minimum wage is increased, unskilled workers lose their jobs, because the value of their labor is less than the minimum wage. This is why unions always support minimum wage increases, because high skilled workers (tradesmen) get hired instead.

Kind of like how 95% of everything in this country is owned by 5% of the population, right?

Also total bullshit. When Bill Gates sold Windows for computers, was he stealing his billions from the middle class and the poor? People were voluntarily buying his product. As a result of Bill Gates' company and the competition of a bevy of other profit-minded corporations, more people than ever can afford to have computers, even the poor. The much maligned John D. Rockefeller made kerosene lighting for the home affordable for everyone, by building the most efficient and effective business possible. The U.S. federal government owns more land and employs more people than any other entity on the planet. The fact is, taxes hurt everyone, and taxes combined with minimum wage laws make it much more difficult for people with low incomes and not much capital to run and sustain a small business. It can still happen, because our system is not completely socialist, but to call our system truly capitalist is false. Of course, you probably believe profit is evil, because it is unfair. I mean, God for bid that some people make more than others, it's just unfair!

Independent labels like Vagrant (one of my favorites) only exists because there is profit to be made in the industry, and businesses cease to exist if they fail to make a profit (even Enron went bankrupt, despite all the help it got from the govt).
posted by insomnyuk at 11:17 AM on February 27, 2002


just for the record (so to speak). whether or not sleater-kinney should be labeled as punk rock, and if so, how they fit in the punk rock pecking order doesn't take away from the fact that call the doctor, dig me out, and all hands are the bad one are fine recordings.

also, the essay gets a 10 for indignation but scores low on critical thinking. and you can't dance to it.
posted by lescour at 11:21 AM on February 27, 2002


Oh - also note that the Ramones/Stooges stuff, when you get down to it, is really the best caucasian popular music to come from the US and be original (in the past 40 years or so).

Devo.

In my feeble mind, they were the most original. Other bands you can point to an evolution of style. You can see how the Stooges evolved from MC5, or the Ramones from the Stooges.

But Devo came out of nowhere. That's original. And dorky.
posted by billder at 11:29 AM on February 27, 2002


insomnyuk -- you are dead wrong about monopolies. The Post office is _not_ a monopoly -- there are many shipping and mail companies that compete in the same market and the Post Office does not act to eliminate competition by price fixing as did Standard Oil.

Microsoft *is* a monopoly under some definitions of the term as they 1.) hold more than 90% of the market and 2.) Their product cannot be directly replaced by a competitor's (i.e. you can't buy anything besides Windows to run software written to run under Windows, in which case they have a 100% market share for the Windos OS, which also makes Apple a monopolist.)

There are not only monopolies at work today but large scale corporate cartels that fix prices. There was a brilliant This American Life about how ADM was fixing prices with all of the producers of certain farming products -- and that this kind of thing is everyday in these industries. http://thislife.org -- look for the show called "The Fix is In."

Suffice to say the government has not condoned these situations and have actively prosecuted the companies in both cases. As for Microsoft enabling personal computers to be affordable, there were many personal computer manufacturers who could have been on top (causing the same eventual outcome of cheap PCs): Amstrad, Apple, Atari, etc. Microsoft is no great benefactor of the people because it won the market. As a corporation, its price fixing and other anticompetitive behavior give consumers less choice and costs them more money.
posted by n9 at 12:02 PM on February 27, 2002


insomnyuk -- you are dead wrong about monopolies. The Post office is _not_ a monopoly -- there are many shipping and mail companies that compete in the same market and the Post Office does not act to eliminate competition by price fixing as did Standard Oil.

Microsoft *is* a monopoly under some definitions of the term as they 1.) hold more than 90% of the market and 2.) Their product cannot be directly replaced by a competitor's (i.e. you can't buy anything besides Windows to run software written to run under Windows, in which case they have a 100% market share for the Windos OS, which also makes Apple a monopolist.)

There are not only monopolies at work today but large scale corporate cartels that fix prices. There was a brilliant This American Life about how ADM was fixing prices with all of the producers of certain farming products -- and that this kind of thing is everyday in these industries. http://thislife.org -- look for the show called "The Fix is In."

Suffice to say the government has not condoned these situations and have actively prosecuted the companies in both cases. As for Microsoft enabling personal computers to be affordable, there were many personal computer manufacturers who could have been on top (causing the same eventual outcome of cheap PCs): Amstrad, Apple, Atari, etc. Microsoft is no great benefactor of the people because it won the market. As a corporation, its price fixing and other anticompetitive behavior give consumers less choice and costs them more money.
posted by n9 at 12:08 PM on February 27, 2002


Devo kicks my ass.

Postroad summed the entire elder punk ethos up into one very tidy and hilarious statement.

I think the author makes an interesting point, in that the D.I.Y. lifestyle surely contradicts in some large way with the generally left-leaning politics of your average punk rocker at large.
It's probably very safe to blame this on Jello Biafra and Tim Yohannon.
posted by glenwood at 12:10 PM on February 27, 2002


::breaks chair::

rock over london... rock over chicago.. walmart, always the low price... ALWAYS
posted by lotsofno at 12:46 PM on February 27, 2002


You can see how the Stooges evolved from MC5

You can? No, you can't. The Stooges and the Five were near-contemporaries, close friends and rivals in the barrel of monkeys that was Detroit/Ann Arbor music in the mid-60s. Iggy ditched the Iguanas and started the Stooges after he saw the Doors live. That's your evolutionary link.

But Devo came out of nowhere.

I thought they came out of Akron.

No really, the same logic applies to Devo as to the Stooges. They were listening to Zappa, Beefheart, and Bowie just like the rest of us bright boys at the time. They didn't come out of nowhere any more than the rest of us did. I saw "The Truth About De-Evolution" at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1976, and it was just another weird college-boy film among many (albeit a good one).

The distance of a couple decades allows people like Settle to acquire a veneer of hipness by namechecking a beloved band and telling everyone how cool they are, but if you were there at the time you know that everyone came from a context, just like today. Anybody can name a band in the hope that it trumps somebody else's sense of coolness (The Monks! Unrelated Segments! Radio Birdman! The Shirts! The Charlatans!) and make up some stupid fantasy about the Stooges fighting the Ramones, but doesn't really have anything to do with music or punk. It's just hipster babble, and Thirteen (and CUJoe, in his puckish way) are right to belittle it.
posted by rodii at 12:52 PM on February 27, 2002


So if a company is a monopoly because the government didn't help it, but because it won in the marketplace, is that bad?

No one has to buy anything from Microsoft, it's just more convenient to buy Microsoft than have to deal with file incompatibility issues with your clients.

And I would say that the post office is a monopoly. It has a monopoly on sending letters. You can't put letters in a mailbox unless you are the USPS, and those shipping companies can only ship parcels. FedEx can't ship a package and call it a letter, they have to label it something else. Just a thought.

As for Archer Daniels Midland, they are huge in Michigan, they sell corn syrup, among other things. When the Michigan state legislature was considering limiting sugar imports, who was the biggest supporter of these embargoes? ADM, because their product is a substitute for sugar. This creates an artificial market environment where this corporation manipulates the government to gain a monopoly. ADM is not a monopoly because it is the best company, but because it is willing to lobby for it's own benefit.

That link you referred me to, here's the key quote:
we go inside the back rooms of one multinational corporation and hear the intricate workings -- recorded on tape -- of how they put the fix in.

I agree this is a monopoly at work, but that's because the FIX was put in with the government as an accomplice. I guarantee ADM would have some more competition if they are in a profitable market, and the government is not hindering competition.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:52 PM on February 27, 2002


OK, an off-topic post, but i've heard all about Devo on MeFi, so i downloaded some stuff, and didn't like it too much. Could someone please reccomend some songs by Devo? Also, there is a love obsessions with Fugazi here, so i downloaded about 10 songs, and I only liked about two or three of those. I could also use some recomendations in that area. I must be missing something, because all these bands people talk about, i download their music and seems to be nothing great, save a few songs here and there.
posted by jmd82 at 12:54 PM on February 27, 2002


insomnyuk. what the hell? The government stung ADM with surveillance tapes of their secret meetings and prosecuted them! They were not complicit in their actions. You obviously did not listen to the program. As far as embargoes w/r/t Corn Syrup I'm not up on that topic. Your posts are self-contradictory and vague. Bah. /me waves hands.
posted by n9 at 1:02 PM on February 27, 2002


jmd82: it may be possible that you don't like those bands.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:10 PM on February 27, 2002


This is the best place to argue, and the best subject to argue about.
I'm punker than you are na nee na nee boo boo.

Punk rock is now like feminism, there are a billion different strands, all fighting, until the most watered down version says, we're all punks here...

Now that walmart has eliminated the competition, bye bye low prices...

Mia Zapata is the punkest person ever, and she's dead
posted by goneill at 1:11 PM on February 27, 2002


jmd: people's tastes (and how they came to them) differ. You don't have to like Fugazi or Devo.

Mia Zapata is the punkest person ever, and she's dead

Because she's dead. No, that's not a snark. Because she's dead, she's fixed in our minds as the punk martyr/hero/victim she ended up. If she had lived, who knows what path she would have taken. Listen to any Penelope Houston songs lately?
posted by rodii at 1:18 PM on February 27, 2002


Could someone please reccomend some songs by Devo?

Girl U Want, Whip It, Satisfaction.

This is a ~fantastic~ thread in that it's crossing the head-on collision that is any music thread on Mefi with the tactical nuke that is any capitalism/globalism thread. Kind a like dropping an H-Bomb on rush hour.

Seriously though, I think the truly revolutionary band we're all ignoring here is Zaftig. I think they had more influence on the conception and evolution of punk than any other artist.
posted by daveadams at 1:29 PM on February 27, 2002


I think the truly revolutionary band we're all ignoring here is Zaftig. I think they had more influence on the conception and evolution of punk than any other artist.

P.A.F., no doubt.
posted by Avogadro at 1:31 PM on February 27, 2002


I must be missing something, because all these bands people talk about, i download their music and seems to be nothing great, save a few songs here and there.
So download what you like instead.

Listen to any Penelope Houston songs lately?
YES! I think Penelope is who Aimee Mann wants to be. That is probably not fair, but I can't help but think it when I hear either of them. I am still kind of embarrassed to like Aimee.
posted by thirteen at 1:34 PM on February 27, 2002


It's Zaf Tig, you morons! Zaftig is some kind of Danish cheese deth™ metal band.

Some previous Zaf Tig discussion. Let's not derail the thread, OK? Unless you are seriously trying to claim they were PaF.
posted by rodii at 1:52 PM on February 27, 2002


FedEx sends letters. Whatever you wish to call it, several peices of paper in an envelope constitute a letter. I don't believe the USPS has a monopoly.
posted by ddmmyyyy at 1:57 PM on February 27, 2002


Rodii? Veneer of hipnesss? Look I'm saying the stooges kick ass because THE STOOGES KICK ASS. I love their records. You think I know ANYONE who listens to them?? Think I know many people who have HEARD of them??? Think it counts for shit that I like them??

My favourite band is far and away New Order. The stooges had only 3 albums and some great live material. That is not many. They are a minor musical interest of mine, above Eric Satie and below Brian Eno. This is not a goddamned veneer.

I don't judge based on context silly boy. Being there at the time wouldn't help my ears. I buy the albums based on what little I know, and I normally like what I get myself into. The Stooges will be remembered by people because they are quality.

What's more, cut me some slack. Think anybody of MY generation is making anything that good??? Anything that pure and human? Not many. I'm supposed to like Radiohead and Weezer for chrissakes. I'd rather stick to what history has proven to be good.

And Devo didn't kick ass. They were excellent and innovative but ass kicking isn't their strong suit. Whip ass maybe, not kick.
posted by Settle at 2:18 PM on February 27, 2002


Aaaaugh!
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:56 PM on February 27, 2002


It seems to me that a punk capitalist is a guy who works a minimum wage job, steals from his employer, and uses the money to start his own business; not the guy who saves his minimum wage and does it the conventional way. I thought the whole point of punk was to refuse to be confined by any sort of system.
posted by bingo at 3:04 PM on February 27, 2002


Bingo: There is no monolithic subculture. What is is true in Boston in not true in NY. The LA punk rocks are very different from Chicago punk rocks. Stealing happenes everywhere, but it would be frowned upon by my peers.
posted by thirteen at 3:17 PM on February 27, 2002


They are a minor musical interest of mine, above Eric Satie...

I think the composer of "Dried-up Embryos" and "Drivelling Preludes (For A Dog)" was punk as fuck.
posted by liam at 3:18 PM on February 27, 2002


Could someone please reccomend some songs by Devo?

Oh my god do I feel old right now. Thanks a lot.
posted by ook at 3:22 PM on February 27, 2002


For an interesting critique of punk and capitalism, see Maximum False Consciousness: The Political Economy of Punk. I basically agree with the author - that punk rock failed (at least at a certain point in time) as a DIY-capitalist movement because it began to mirror the bureaucracy of the major labels. Anyone out there remember that Dutch East had a problem with paying the artists they distributed? Yes, you can blame Biafra and Yohannon, to some degree. And yes, there are exceptions like Fugazi. I'd love to know how old the writer is, as it seems he missed the 90's, when everything went to shit once the majors really caught on. Suddenly every other indy label was being courted by a major label and every other band was getting contracts that broke them. Not that there weren't exciting things going on musically, but speaking as someone who was very involved with the "scene" at the time it was rather heartbreaking.
posted by kittyloop at 3:36 PM on February 27, 2002


When Bill Gates sold Windows for computers, was he stealing his billions from the middle class and the poor? People were voluntarily buying his product.

"Voluntary" implies that you have the choice not to do it - and for a good many years you could not buy a PC without also buying Windows. This is part of what the antitrust suit against Microsoft was about. Windows reached critical mass on top of license agreements that required PC manufacturers to pre-install it on every machine they sold, whether the customer wanted it or not.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 5:07 PM on February 27, 2002


Eric Satie once wrote an orchestral piece which involved this amazing mechanical instrument somebody invented that is very dangerous to play. First performance, the guy who plays this thing gets stuck in it, gets scalped and dies. Hasn't been performed since. He was friends with Picasso and they were both obsessed with the occult. His music has unwavering innocence and appeal.

His music is brilliant. It bypasses a lot of bullshit discussion, unlike the Stooges I suppose. Then again, even if the Stooges were to invite bullshit discussion, it is clear that they would win, because they kick ass.

Now I'm going to look up Zaf Tig cos I don't have any idea who they are and trust that Mefi'ers taste in music is good enough to not bother offering the opinion that there is a band somewhere whose asses the Stooges would not, and could not kick.
"I tell ya honey it's a crying shame, all the pretty girls well they look the same"
posted by Settle at 5:28 PM on February 27, 2002


The fact is, taxes hurt everyone...

...laugh...

Well.

Ok.

I'll stop paying taxes that support the military, corporate welfare, and the continuous bailout of slimy, failed capitalists' ventures anytime these knee-pad-business-people think they can make it without those handouts.

! (holding-breath
||
counting_on_tax_relief_from_greedy_business_people_anytime_soon)
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:56 PM on February 27, 2002


“Monopolies only exist when the government creates them.”

Right, like the phone company in your area. Like the gas company, the electric company, the water and sewage company, that you ‘choose’ to use, right? I’m sure you opt for the “mom and pop” gas company down the street, right Insomnyuk? Yes, we are voluntarily buying these products because we do have the choice not to endorse them - but there’s heat at my house because I don’t want to get sick, not because my gas company makes “a superior product” or some other such modernist/consumer age bullshit rhetoric. And please don’t use that same soft rhetoric to defend Microsoft. They are a monopoly because they created a format and purposely saturated the market with said format in an attempt to force consumers to choose not to buy anything besides Windows. They are also a monopoly because they hurt competitors because said saturation rendered their format/product obsolete. So put the “superior product” swill back in the 1950’s where it belongs. It begs the question to assume that we can live without computers, or that Microsoft is a product that we can choose not to have because this is knowledge that even the most juvenile of consumers is aware of. In short, you can take off the cape Captain Obvious because you ain’t telling us anything new. The fact is that there are some things that we as human beings in 2002 cannot logically choose not to have (short of living in caves, which seems unrealistic that we should have to suffer because we choose to live on laurels and call into question the monopolization of information and product) and capitalism in the present day and age has never done anything realistic to stop monopoly problems (we make the Bell telephone company split up into smaller subsidiaries which are still are owned by, gasp!!, the Bell telephone company...big fucking deal) but to preserve them, as seen in the actions of the WTO and the constant merging of corporations into larger multinational corporations.

“Also total bullshit.” - In response to my comment that 95% of everything in this country is owned by 5% of the population.

I cannot believe that you’re contesting this claim. There are exactly 10 multinationals which do in fact own and control almost product, service, and form of media produced in this country. I didn’t pull this out of my ass. The names: AT&T, AOL/TIME WARNER, GE, NEWS CORP, VIACOM, BERTELSMAN, WALT DISNEY, VIVENDI, LIBERTY MEDIA, and SONY. These are facts. What’s worse, these 10 are in the process of converging with each other as we speak. As I mentioned in my previous post about the short shelf-life inherent in capitalism and the subsequent ‘funnel effect’ it creates, we reach an inevitable event horizon in capitalistic economies where 1 giant gologopoly formed from many smaller monopolies owns and controls everything (products, services, media, etc.). The result is not only a loss of freedom for consumer choices, but also a loss of information, both about those choices and information and objective opinion about the giant who makes them. It’s already happening. GE owns NBC. GE also makes weapons for the US government (there’s your government and subsequent WTO link, Insomnyuk). Think you’re gonna find an NBC news report about GE’s weapon manufacturing practices? Moreover, do you think you’ll even find any antiwar sentiment from them? Fuck no. This is all about a limitation to information due to their pooling of resources. This marginalization completely alienates us from them and we grow smaller while they get bigger and bigger. Information is limited about their practices - we keep buying their products, all whilst going to work like the happy little shills that we are.

You, much like the writer of the original post, are both correct in your assertion that we do not live in a true free market capitalist society. I was never contesting that claim. I stated, however, that a free market capitalist society always has, by virtue of its existence, an innate tendency to have a short shelf-life as itself...and that eventually it will always ‘funnel out’ and go from an existence of mass ownership of mass product/service to a small ownership of mass product/service. Unfortuanelty, you, much like the original author, seem to have these silly ‘Socialist Conspiracy’ ideas that rival even the most uneducated, redneck NRA banter, the likes of which would make Ted Nuget proud. Look at the world around you. See the ‘big ten’ above. I ain’t making this shit up. You’re also right that government agencies do manipulate the economy at every level....this goes back to my discussion of the WTO. Government intervention has become a catalyst to the growth-cycle of the multinational by attempting to saturate foreign markets with it (much like Microsoft, hehe), and subsequently have accomplished a narrowing of the ‘funnel effect’ even more in the process. Welcome to the wonderful world of the WTO and globalization.

“Of course, you probably believe profit is evil, because it is unfair. I mean, God for bid that some people make more than others, it’s just unfair!”

Yes, that’s exactly what I said, isn’t it?. I’m just a big money-hating, tree-hugging hippy, aren’t I? Profit is evil, blah, blah, blah. Down with the man, blah, blah, blah. Stereotypes are easy...please drop the oversimplification and the straw-man argument.


Boy, Insomnyuk....you sure schooled me. Now, of course that I am “wrong on so many levels” (none of which you answered beyond talking about Bill Gates and all but calling me a hippie), I suppose that you’re gonna go back to class, learn some quick buzz words and key facts about capitalism, and explain to me (ooops I mean learn me) later.
posted by tiger yang at 7:12 PM on February 27, 2002


Oh, and buy the way...Insomnyuk....N9 was right. The government caught ADM with surveillance tapes of their price fixing and prosecuted them. This is old news. And yeah, your posts are self-contradictory and vague too.
posted by tiger yang at 7:24 PM on February 27, 2002


Wow f&m, it looks like we agree.

Unfortuanelty, you, much like the original author, seem to have these silly ‘Socialist Conspiracy’ ideas that rival even the most uneducated, redneck NRA banter, the likes of which would make Ted Nuget proud......
Stereotypes are easy...please drop the oversimplification and the straw-man argument. (tiger yang)

Same to you. If I used an ad hominem attack, sorry. 95% of EVERYTHING? Every thing? Every product, or every company, or 95% of all property? What do you mean by that? These major, publicly traded companies are owned by thousands of shareholders, also.

The only reason these multinationals and corporations can sustain this sort of thing is because of government assistance. Sure, there are huge corporations, but there is room in the market for small companies to cater to niche markets.

The fact is that there are some things that we as human beings in 2002 cannot logically choose not to have

You do not need a computer, a tv, or a car. The Amish don't even need electricity. This is a straw man argument relating to my statements about monopolies. I guess since I buy electricity from a monopoly, my arguments are moot? I don't think so.

Look, we both agree (I think) that these corporations should not receive welfare from the government, or unfair advantages from the government. I don't have any socialist conspiracy theories, but I do think that certain multinational corporations are conspiring with the government to screw people over. Again, we both recognize a problem, but we may differ on the solutions. (I would say no government intervention).

GE owns NBC

Thanks for telling me, I was not aware of that obvious conflict of interest. I don't get my news from NBC anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter.

And yeah, your posts are self-contradictory and vague too.

When I referred to ADM using the government, I was talking about the Michigan state legislature. It was the FBI (Federal govt) that put the sting on ADM. That's not exactly contradictory. Also, if Congress, or any regulatory agency, tries to limit or break up ADM's 'monopoly' in any way, you can be sure that ADM's million dollar a year lobbyists will be in there doing everything they can to stop it. What else have I said that's contradictory? I admit I'm sometimes vague though :) Ironically, it usually keeps me from getting flamed.
posted by insomnyuk at 7:49 PM on February 27, 2002


Lets face it folks. The Otis Reddings and Leadbellys of this country are always going to be more respectable than the Stevie Ray Vaughns and Steve Millers.

In my estimation all four artists you mentioned are eminently respectable. You sound like a 15 year old who's just read Greil Marcus for the first time. Just loosen your pseudo-ideology up and enjoy the great music of all stripes.

I'd rather stick to what history has proven to be good.

You mean pre-approved. How very punk rock of you, settle. Rock and Roll(Punk to me is nothing more than RnR distilled to it's raw essence) is about, before anything else, not giving a shit what other people think.
Please, don't anybody tell this kid that the Ramones worshipped unhip stuff like the 1910 Fruitgum Co. and Slade or that his beloved Iggy cut his teeth on [gasp] top 40 stuff like the Beatles and Motown. Seriously, you sound like someone terrified his hip freinds are gonna discover the Asia and Jethro Tull records in his collection.

Rule #1 of cool is like what you like and be proud of it. Guided by Voices, Fugazi, Genesis and Dolly Parton all sit beside eacthother on my winamp playlist and I ain't ashamed. Rock and Roll and doctrinaire ideology don't make a good mix.
posted by jonmc at 8:42 PM on February 27, 2002


I agree very much, Jon, but, you know, the first person I ever heard make that argument was... Greil Marcus. ("Rock-A-Hula Clarified", some Creem of many moons ago.)
posted by rodii at 8:50 PM on February 27, 2002


...and by the way no disrespect to the Stooges, but the first punk rock band ever was Link Wray and the Raymen. I can name a whole batallion of bands who preceded the Stooges who perfectly embodied the punk ethos starting with the Sonics and the Who...but I'll just advise you to purchase this instead.

ps rodii- I didn't mean to disrespect Marcus, just point up settle's rather...shall we say sophmoric take on things. Mystery Train is one of my top 10 all time music books.
posted by jonmc at 8:57 PM on February 27, 2002


Bravo, Jonmc....pretty much anything from the Nuggets compilation can be seen as the 'roots' where punk got its start. I'll definetely agree with you on that.
posted by tiger yang at 10:12 PM on February 27, 2002


Hey pre-approved...whatever it is it's good.

I'm open to alll types of music, but I don't see what that has to do with my orginality-of-american music comment, which was pretty weak to begin with I admit.

What's more I have no intention of being punk rock because like all music with non musical aspirations it failed in all non musical senses. I don't even like the idea of punk rock *that much*, but honesty is always going to appeal. The stooges are as humble and honest as Satie, see what I mean? As humble as Rembrandt, as sincere as Paul Klee, as universal as anything which cuts the crap and allows us to revel in humanity.

Good lord why must we all attack eachother? How many times have people gone out of their way to attribute my opinions to factors which I supposedly know nothing about but am subject to? Twice? It seems that we all agree that we don't give a shit about history and let work speak for itself. You'd think an 18 year old who just listened to TOSCA and then PATSY CLINE wouldn't get this sort of crap.

Then again, I suppose mefi is the sort of community where nobody likes the lowest common denominator defined music, so my tastes may as well be the lamest.
Metafilter rules.
posted by Settle at 10:14 PM on February 27, 2002


I don't have any socialist conspiracy theories, but I do think that certain multinational corporations are conspiring with the government to screw people over.
-Agreed. Nuff said.
posted by tiger yang at 10:53 PM on February 27, 2002


"Punks should either be right wing or have no politics at all. Otherwise they're just hippies." --Joey Ramone, Musician Magazine, 1983 [quoted from memory so I may be slightly off]
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 11:35 PM on February 27, 2002


jmd82: Could someone please recommend some songs by Devo?

Aim early. Many consider their first album, produced by Brian Eno, their best. They cover "Satisfaction" and actually make it better than the original. Second album highlight: "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA."

"Rolling Stone ... called [Devo] fascists." [allmusic.com]

Reason enough to love 'em.
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 11:40 PM on February 27, 2002


jmd82: Could someone please recommend some songs by Devo?

fuck Devo. if yr looking for quality punk rock from 1970's Ohio, you can do no better than Die Electric Eels.
posted by ssdecontrol at 12:51 AM on February 28, 2002


You'd think an 18 year old who just listened to TOSCA and then PATSY CLINE wouldn't get this sort of crap.

Who cares what you listen to/name drop? Honestly. Music isn't some kind of cultural get out of jail free card, it's just music.

(Great link, ssdecontrol. (What, no Tin Huey?) Respect to Ohio from a Michiganian. I was reading a book on Roxy Music last night, in which is was pointed out that the only two American cities that "got" Roxy for years were Detroit and Cleveland. Must be the Lake Erie water.)
posted by rodii at 5:29 AM on February 28, 2002


Excuse me but in what way am I in jail to begin with?
ARGHRGHGHR
I'll just drop the issue.
posted by Settle at 6:02 AM on February 28, 2002


ssdecontrol: You were not actually in ssdecontrol were you?
posted by thirteen at 8:06 AM on February 28, 2002


ssdecontrol was awesome!
posted by tiger yang at 11:10 AM on February 28, 2002


But could they kick the Stooges' ass? I DONT THINK SO!!!!!!1
posted by rodii at 11:35 AM on February 28, 2002


jonmc wrote:
Rule #1 of cool is like what you like and be proud of it. Guided by Voices, Fugazi, Genesis and Dolly Parton all sit beside eacthother on my winamp playlist and I ain't ashamed.
now jon, i like you and all...but if i see one more fscking post with you ingenuously telling us all just how bloody DIVERSE your taste in music is, i'm going to personally drive to bridgeport, find the goddamn gateway store, and fashion you a necktie out of one of those little profile 2 machines.

please please please SHUT THE FUCK UP about how gloriously heterogeneous your winamp playlists are. most of us here are intelligent people who don't restrict our listening just to conform to some 'scene'; i'm delighted to see that you behave similarly. but i don't need to be reminded of it in EVERY SINGLE THREAD THAT IS EVEN REMOTELY ABOUT MUSIC.

what makes rodii so cool is that he's very knowledgeable about music (and about linguistics)...yet he doesn't constantly beat us over our collective head with his knowledge. he introduces information pertinent to the discussion without lording his degrees over us.

you, on the other hand, seem more interested in projecting this 'open-minded' persona than in actually contributing to the discussion. or, more to the point, you seem unable to contribute to the discussion without puffing out your chest and talking about your 'wackily incongruous' playlists. your comment that i linked to above would have been fine without that little motto and self-plug at the end.

perhaps this would be better addressed in metatalk or over email, but i prefer to air it here so as to judge by others' reactions just how right or wrong i am. this thread seems to have wound down anyway.

p.s. oh, and the same goes for your 'man of the people' routine. if you follow your own dictates about how being cool equals being yourself rather than posturing to cover your insecurities, i think you'll find yourself much more respected around here.
posted by mlang at 12:41 PM on February 28, 2002


mlang: whether I agree with you or not, that was massively uncalled for. Definitely take it to email.
posted by frykitty at 1:05 PM on February 28, 2002


Good lord, mlang. I think Jon makes good points. If you're personally annoyed with him, please take it offline...and don't use me to embarrass someone else. I'm just a schlub like anyone else.
posted by rodii at 1:22 PM on February 28, 2002


Okay, kids! Who needs a hug? Mlang? Jon?

Free hugs here.

If we're all going to play together, we need to remember to be nice to each other.
posted by ColdChef at 1:57 PM on February 28, 2002


now jon, i like you and all.....

Geez, I'd hate to see what kinda flame I'd get if you hated me.I actually read the comment as I was leaving work, so I've had my commute to think about it. I've decided since you seemed like a nice guy when we met at the NYC gathering, I don't wanna get in a brawl with you, so in lieu of that, I'll explain myself.

I wasn't trying to "puff out my chest" as you put it. I was merely trying to point up how silly and narrow settle's definition of what's "punk" or "cool" is and winamp was open on my desktop. I'm quite sure your playlist would have been as good an example. Whenever I bring up my personal tastes, I'm usually trying to make a larger point(or at least plug something I think is really cool.)And if you know what I'm about, as far as music goes, the last thing I'm trying to be is "wackily incongrous." I sincerely love all the stuff I've brought. But since it seems to be getting in the way of me making my points, I'll cease and desist.

Re: the common man schtick...

posturing to cover your insecurities,...

That's about one-third true, so I'll grant you your point there. The whole lummox persona began as partly a counterpoint to the elitism of some(never you, honestly), partly a self-deprecating self-description and yes, partly a cover for an inferiotity complex that I have about my accomplishments compared to other mefi'ers. I've been called on it by a few mefi'ers I respect, so I've tried to lay off it. My last two front page posts have been about soft drinks and old radio shows, for pete's sake. So rest assured the mook has been put to bed for awhile.
I detest predictabilty more than just about anything so in the interest of not becoming a one-tick-pony a la foldy and midas, so more playlist falshing, OK>
posted by jonmc at 3:02 PM on February 28, 2002


rodii: i agree that jonmc makes good points...when he's not hiding behind the mantle of 'the working man who likes all kinds of music'. i'm sorry for bringing up your name, but i know (from a previous offline discussion with jonmc) that he greatly admires you and strives to emulate your posting style; hence, i thought that the comparison was apt.

i made a list of jonmc's recent comments demonstrating my point as well as a couple that are genuinely funny and a couple more that are remarkably insightful (naturally, i left this list on my work computer (which is in my other pants, which, incidentally, my dog ate in a fit of panic when he discovered that my grandmother had passed away), so i can't reproduce the examples here; i'd be happy to post them tomorrow). and do you know what's unique about the insightful comments? jonmc left all that noise described above out.

he is an important and active member of metafilter. i'd hate to see that change; i'm just sick of imagining jonmc's mix tapes.

frykitty: no doubt email would have been a more appropriate venue for this discussion, but (during the same offline discussion mentioned above) i saw a room full of mefites cringe when jonmc held forth at length about his fetishized working man and his varied musical appetites. it was with that image fresh in my mind that i posted here.

my post here was a knee-jerk. i should have been more constructive; i should have been more polite; i probably shouldn't have posted at all — in fact, i rarely do post here because i like to think about what i'm going to say before i say it...and the speed with which this forum moves is not conducive to such a process.

jon, i'm sorry i was a prick; i was pissed off; you didn't deserve the verbal beatdown i administered. i'll get into a little huggin' action with the chef if you will.
posted by mlang at 3:17 PM on February 28, 2002


oooooh, snap!

jonmc, you bastard, you posted before me. and you responded to my criticism very much like the man i knew you to be. now i'm doubly sorry for being such putz.

post all the playlists you like.

p.s. i liked the dr. demento post. be proud, ya dementoid bum.
posted by mlang at 3:21 PM on February 28, 2002


oooooh, snap!

jonmc, you bastard, you posted before me. and you responded to my criticism very much like the man i knew you to be. now i'm doubly sorry for being such putz.

post all the playlists you like.

p.s. i liked the dr. demento post. be proud, ya dementoid bum.
posted by mlang at 3:28 PM on February 28, 2002


cringe, hah?

I was half in the bag that night, and when that happens I tend to go into pounding on the table, speechmaking mode

*hangs head in embarrasment*

this is probably no secret, but sometimes I(like everyone else) can be incredibly dense. If I'm being an idiot email me.

Actually, you inspired me to look back at some of my old posts and realize that I was being a bit "ain't I cool" about my tastes. So it was instructive. Not to mention, the most well-crafted flame I've ever recieved.

God, self-policing rules.
posted by jonmc at 3:34 PM on February 28, 2002


Plus, there was that whole Lynyrd Skynrd thing. Repent, you cretin!
posted by rodii at 3:37 PM on February 28, 2002


ssdecontrol: if yr looking for quality punk rock from 1970's Ohio, you can do no better than Die Electric Eels.

Eels RAWK!

Four words: Dead Boys, Pere Ubu.
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 4:15 PM on February 28, 2002


Hey! What about Stravinsky's "Rite Of Spring?" Caused a near riot during its debut...Now that's punk as fuck!
posted by black8 at 4:27 PM on February 28, 2002


No one loves the numbers band.
posted by thirteen at 4:33 PM on February 28, 2002


I *heart* MetaFilter. There's a lot of love in this room. You can feel it.
posted by ColdChef at 7:53 PM on February 28, 2002


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