Can someone convince me that Hillary Clinton is NOT a Republican?
She was Raised as a Conservative and actively Campaigned for Republicans in high schoCan someone convince me that Hillary Clinton is NOT a Republican?
She was Raised as a Conservative and actively Campaigned for Republicans in high school and college: ~Hillary was raised in a politically conservative household. At age thirteen she helped canvass South Side Chicago following the very close 1960 U.S. presidential election.
~Hillary's early political development was shaped most by her high school history teacher (like her father, a fervent anticommunist), who introduced her to Goldwater's classic The Conscience of a Conservative.
~Hillary became a Goldwater Girl, volunteering to campaign for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the U.S. presidential election of 1964.
~In 1965, Rodham enrolled at Wellesley College, where she majored in political science. There, she served as president of the Wellesley Young Republicans, where she supported the elections of Republicans like John Lindsay and Edward Brooke.
~Hillary's professor Alan Schechter assigned Hillary to intern at the House Republican Conference. Hillary attended the "Wellesley in Washington" summer program.
~Hillary was invited by moderate New York Republican Representative Charles Goodell to help Governor Nelson Rockefeller's late-entry campaign for the Republican nomination in 1968.
~Hillary attended the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami as a supporter of Nelson Rockefeller.
~Hillary senior thesis was a critical exploration of the tactics of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky.
He professional career revolved around corporate investment: ~Hillary became a savvy business investor and in fact earned a higher salary than that of her husband from 1978 until 1992. She made a spectacular profit from trading cattle futures contracts by investing $1,000 that generated nearly $100,000 when she stopped trading after ten months.
~Hillary incorporated the Whitewater Development Corporation on June 18, 1979, with the purpose of developing vacation properties on 230 acres of land along the White River near Flippin, Arkansas. The Clintons lost their late-1970s investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation at the same time, their partners in that investment, Jim and Susan McDougal, operated Madison Guaranty, a savings and loan institution that retained the legal services of Rose Law Firm (where Hillary was a partner) that was improperly subsidizing Whitewater losses.
~Hillary was a partner at Rose Law Firm while she was First Lady of Arkansas - pulling in $200,000 in her final year there. She was also very influential in the appointment of state judges and Bill Clinton's Republican opponent in his 1986 gubernatorial reelection campaign accused her of a conflict of interest.
~She was twice named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America: in 1988 and in 1991
~Hillary held positions on the corporate board of directors of several corporations: TCBY (1985–1992), Wal-Mart Stores (1986–1992) and Lafarge (1990–1992).
~Hillary participated in crafting Wal-Mart's famously anti-labor union practices.
As first Lady, she was the subject of several investigations by the United States Office of the Independent Counsel and several committees of the U.S. Congress for her unethical behavior:
~Scrutiny of the May 1993 firings of the White House Travel Office employees, an affair that became known as "Travelgate", began with charges that the White House had used audited financial irregularities in the Travel Office operation as an excuse to replace the staff with friends from Arkansas. The 2000 final Independent Counsel report concluded she was involved in the firings and that she had made "factually false" statements.
~During the Whitewater investigation Hillary's work as a partner at Rose Law Firm was scrutinized for a possible conflict of interest in representing the bank before state regulators that her husband had appointed. Independent counsels Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr subpoenaed Clinton's legal billing records; she said she did not know where they were, however the records were found in the First Lady's White House book room and delivered to investigators in early 1996
~on January 26, 1996, Hillart became the first First Lady to be subpoenaed to testify before a Federal grand jury
~In June of 1996 discovery of improper White House access to hundreds of FBI background reports on former Republican White House employees were made public. Accusations by the Independent Council were that Hillary had requested the files.
As a Senator she was unethical in siding with corporate/wall street interests: ~In her campaign for Senator, Hillary was labeled a carpetbagging by NY residents since she had never resided in New York nor participated in the state's politics before this race
~Hillary suddenly found religion and became regular participant in the Senate Prayer Breakfast.
~Still obsessed with corporate profits, Hillary served on the Committee on Budget
~She voted for the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 and then voted for it Again In 2005, when the act was up for renewal (despite the civil liberties concerns with it that liberals had)
~Hillary strongly supported the 2001 U.S. military action in Afghanistan
~Hillary voted in favor of the October 2002 Iraq War Resolution, which authorized President George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq
~In 2005 Hillary introduced legislation to increase the size of the regular United States Army by 80,000 soldiers
~Along with Senator Joe Lieberman, Hillary introduced the Family Entertainment Protection Act, intended to censor makers of video games
~Hillary spent $36 million for her reelection, more than any other candidate for Senate in the 2006 elections, causing several Democrats to criticize her
~In the financial crisis of 2007–2008 reached a peak, Hillary supported the bailout of "too big to fail" financial institution and voted in favor of the $700 Bail out, saying that it represented the interests of the American people.
...So can someone tell me what the difference between Hillary and a Republican is???...more
I would have given The Man Who Sold the World five stars on its research and its presentation of the research, but I had to knock the rating down to 4I would have given The Man Who Sold the World five stars on its research and its presentation of the research, but I had to knock the rating down to 4 due to the author's tone, especially in the introduction, which seemed petty and nit-picky and even pointless at times. For instance, Kleinknecht seems outraged that the mainstream media's coverage of Reagan's funeral didn't bad-mouth Reagan enough. I mean come on, first of all its a funeral. If there is ever a time that the old adage "if you can't say anything nice about someone then don't say anything at all" applies it is at a funeral. And second of all, its the fucking mainstream corporate media - what person with half a brain really gives a shit what the mainstream corporate media does/says? Kleinknecht is obviously an intelligent guy, so to be so petty and to give so much importance to the "toilet paper of documentation" that the mainstream corporate media is was a distraction that would have served the book better if it were left out. Also, such amped up faux-rage only goes to discredit the author. He seems less reliable because he comes off as hyper-Partisan - just another typical close-minded lock-step knee jerk hack who goes into his research with his conclusions already drawn without looking at all sides of the argument.
As the book progresses Kleinknecht was somewhat more even-handed as he went over Reagan's biographical material and how Reagan came into his eventual Conservative ideology. Kleinknecht continued to give a left-leaning but fair account of the evolution of thought and influences on the American economy, dating back to the Progressive Era, continuing onto the New Deal Era and then up to LBJ's Great Society. As he continued explaining the back and forth of the pendulum of American thought in economic theory from the ideas of Adam Smith, to John Maynard Keynes to Milton Friedman, the scope of the narrative widened, allowing it to open up to the conditions of the 1970s that set the stage for the rise of Reaganomics.
From that point on Kleinknecht meticulously laid out Reagan's disasterous policies of defunding government regulatory offices and in fact putting white-collar criminals in charge of such offices. One example Kleinknect details involved the Department of Health and Human Services 1982 proposal to put a warning label on aspirin after scientific evidence concluded that aspirin was causing Reye's syndrome in young children. The proposal was shot down by Reagan's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The results were that 1500 children died over the next five years. Finally in 1986 the OIRA flip-flopped its stance and warning labels were required. Reyes Syndrome in the US then dropped from 555 cases in 1986 to only 36 the following year.
Kn points out that then 6 years time, Mark Fowler, Reagan's chairman of the Federal Communication Commission(FCC) had abolished 89 percent of the regulations governing broadcasting, even doing away with the fairness doctrine. He also points out the ramifications of Fowler “liberalizing the multiple-ownership rule” which essentially would come to allow a few large companies to control all the radio and tv waves. But again this became an area where Kn's Partisanship taints the narative. For instance in this far-reaching passages such as this from page 132: “[Becasue of Reagan] we find the beginning of a movement that would pick the pockets of American consumers, penalize rural communities, and reduce radio and television to commercial drivel.” As though radio and tv had such high standards prior to Reagan. In the next sentence Kn actually blames Reagan for the Telecommunications Act of 1996, an act that was passed under Clinton, almost 8 years after Reagan had left office.
There was a program that BBC aired in November of 2001 (just days before the incident in Tora Bora) where Jeremy Vine revealed an FBI document in whicThere was a program that BBC aired in November of 2001 (just days before the incident in Tora Bora) where Jeremy Vine revealed an FBI document in which US agents were told to "back off" from investigating the Bin Laden family. That seemed kind of weird but irrelevent until just a few days later when it was reported that the Pentagon ordered American troops to stand down when they had Osama bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora in December of 2001. Dalton Fury, the commander on the ground at Tora Bora reveals this in his book Kill Bin Laden. But the question that nagged at me was why? If you have Bin Laden cornered, literally just feet from where we were dug in at, then why order our troops to stand down?
Bin Laden escaped and soon enough the entire thing was sorta swept under the carpet as the Bush/Cheney gang misled America into invading oil-rich Iraq, claiming that they knew that Saddam had WMDs - WMDs that never actually materialized. And as the world looked on in horror as Bush/Cheney mounted a pre-emptive and unethical war, the mastermind of the largest attack on US soil in history was no longer a concern. In fact, in a pres conferance Bush 43 famously came out and admitted that he didn't care about Bin Laden and wasnt interested in going after him.
This comment sparked disbelief in some - especially folks who had joined the military after 9/11 to fight in retaliation of Bin Laden's brutal attack on innocent U.S. civilians. It was at this time that I first found about the Bush family's business ties to the Bin Laden family through the Carlyle group. Further research showed that a bank that was associated with the Bin Laden family had bailed out one of Bush 43's failed businesses during the 1980s.
John Farmer, a Senior Counsel for the 9/11 Comission, says this about 9/11: "At some level of the governmet at some point in time...there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened." Meanwhile Senator Bob Graham wrote that "the White House was directing the cover-up". Since The American people have been doubting the government and expecting cover ups in large numbers since the assasination of JFK and the crimes committed during Watergate these notions weren't anything new. And the Bush family's connections to the Bin Laden family is interesting and certianly grist for conspiracy theorists, the real motive behind the Bush/CHeney gang ordering Dalton Fury's troops to stand down goes back to 1997 when a rightwing think tank called The Project for the New American Century created a document outlining how America needed to be transformed. Members of this think tank included Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Several of these future members of the Bush Administration met with Bill Clinton at that time and tried to convince Clinton to invade Iraq, presenting him with a fully detailed plan. When Clinton refused the plan, the wheels were set in motion for putting a candidate into the White House who would promote the New American Century cabal's agenda.
Shortly afterward, The Project for the New American Century issued a report titled Building America's Defences which stated "The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."
Or a 9/11... Again, conspiracy Theorists have jumped on that to show that 9/11 was more than just coincidence? But the important thing to take from this evidence is that it is very clear that when this new Pearl Harbor actually occured, the Bush Administration had already been planning and was prepared for it - and that they had all the machinations for exploiting the tragedy of 9/11 to justify public support for a build-up to a war for oil in Iraq in order. They had been planning for nearly a decade, after all. Combine this with the Bush Administration's blatant dishonesty, misinformation campaigns and military-indusrial complex agenda it would suggest that their entire reign was full of evil-minded plots that reveal their obvious intentions. ...more
The writing here isn't the deepest, in fact sometimes it seems like its more geared toward an audience of high school or college age kids at times - bThe writing here isn't the deepest, in fact sometimes it seems like its more geared toward an audience of high school or college age kids at times - but that didn't really bother me. I'm not a baseball romantic. But I was in 1976. I ate, slept and shit baseball. And Mark Fidrych played the game as if he did too. And how could an 8 year old kid not be drawn to the Bird? His perma-grin, his love of guitar Rock music, his bushy unkempt hair, his wild antics on the mound and his joy in the game. He was like a big kid himself. And it was as if his sheer love of the game, his passion for baseball, led to his success - which in turn inspired young kids like me to believe that all you needed to make it to the big leagues was simply to love the game, play it with every fiber of your being every second of the day.
And then...it all changed. A silly injury that led to a sadly drawn out exit. Something was missing from baseball without Mark 'The Bird' Fidrych in the Major Leagues. The game had been changing with free agency and corporatization. Baseball players, who previously had to sell insurance in the off season to make ends meet, were become multi-millionaire brandnames represented by narrow-eyed agents who wrangled endorsements for them and spinning the stories of their clients personal lives that was splattered all over the Sports sections than they did enjoying the game.
Would baseball had steered clear of all these evils had Fidrych stayed in the game? No, of course not. But for one brilliant summer in 1976 it seemed possible. In fact whenever the Bird took the mound, for that one brief moment, almost anything seemed possible....more
To pin down an exact definition of Outsider Music is like trying to turn a bottl of ketchup into a tomato. If you define it as music that is outside the mainstream music industry, then that could include anything from punk to polka. If you define it as music that is recorded not for popular consumption, then that too is not exactly correct, since Outsider musicians often dream (perhaps delusionally) of mainstream success. If Outsider music is defined in relation to Outsider Art, then it has to be put in the context of music that is created by folks who are mentally imbalanced (for that is what Outsider Art was originally meant to define: the artwork made by mental home patients). Jack Mudurian, whose musical repertoire was recorded in 1981 by the activities director at the Nursing Home where he was a resident, would be a classic example of this definition. But not all Outsider musicians are mental patients. Some seem more like novelty acts, but at the same time it is also wrong to define Outsider musicians as simply novelty acts because Outsider musicians are not necessarily "in" on the joke, so to speak. The only undeniable unifying aspect of Outsider music is its genuine expression of feelings, ideas, emotions, etc., that can't be effectively expressed otherwise.
I don't read a lot of fiction, but I've been having a strong interest in the future lately. 2030 in particular because 2030 seems to be in line as the next high profile "benchmark" year.
Previous benchmark years were 1984 (thanks to George Orwell's novel), 2000 (thanks to the Y2k scare), 2012 (thanks to the Mayan calendar) and now 2030 (based in part on Colin Mason's The 2030 Spike: Countdown to Global Catastrophe.)
But Albert Brooks's 2030 seems to be a somewhat happier place than Mason's - despite the fact that Brook's 2030 includes nuclear attacks in Chicago and in the middle east. And despite the fact that it includes the largest natural disaster in America's history.
But Brooks future is more upbeat because it includes happy conclusions to some of the six 'drivers' of a global catastrophe that Mason argues will converge in the decade of 2030. For instance, Brooks 2030 is a world of electric cars and solar energy. His 2030 has a president who is taking on the challenge of massive population growth. Brooks's 2030 isnt overly influenced by global warming. And in Brooks's 2030 the health care issue is the central pulbic concern as opposed to Mason's famine and water shortages.
Overall, Brooks seems to have a confidence that humanity will be able to overcome nearly any obstacle that it has to deal with. I give his book 2 out of 5 WagemannHeads....more
In May of 2009 I turned 41, making me older than John Lennon was when he died. That was a weird feeling. Every Rock star has an Ideal Iconic Deat
In May of 2009 I turned 41, making me older than John Lennon was when he died. That was a weird feeling. Every Rock star has an Ideal Iconic Death Age (or IIDA), a specific point in their career when their death would have the most iconic resonance. Generally the longer a Rock star lives, the less iconic they are. 27 years of age seems to be the exact right number for a lot of Rock stars since that is the age where they are still almost considered young, yet have also produced enough music to hold the attention of Rock fans. Members of the infamous Club 27 include Cobain, Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin and Brian Jones.
Luckily John Lennon is not a member of this club, for if he would have died at 27 we would not have "I am the Walrus", "Come Together" "Revolution" or "Imagine" (and the world never would have heard of Yoko Ono, either). But in many ways, Lennon's status as an Icon goes much further than his catalog of music.
A lot of people may balk at the idea of claiming John Lennon to be a humanitarian; a man accused of abandoning his first wife and neglecting his first child, and being addicted to heroin, a man who was accused of murder, accused of subversive activities, accused of engaging in homosexual acts, accused of having affairs. Although Lennon wasn't a humanitarian in the sense that he saved starving orphans in Africa, he did use his fame to advertise/spread the idea of love and peace. Big Deal, you say? Well, it might be hard to imagine a time when a musician could have an impact on society the way Lennon did. Today musicians rarely even speak of politics and when they do (for example, someone like the Dixie Chicks making a few offhand comments against Bush) we see how much crap they get in return. Lennon was protesting at 100 times the rate and at 100 times the scrutiny of anyone today. He was so feared by the US government, in fact, that Feds were tapping his phones and secretly following him around. One concrete example of Lennon's influence was when he debuted his song "John Sinclair" at a protest rally and within hours Sinclair was released from jail--instead of serving the ten year sentense he was due.
But Lennon's "work" as a humanitarian was best felt in a more personal way. After all, what can one person really do to change the world beyond being the best possible person that he or she can be? That was what Lennon was all about. Realistically, Lennon had issues he had to deal with. He was conceived and born amidst the height of destruction during World War II. His old man was a horny old sailor who abandoned him, and his teenage mother ended up leaving him with his aunt. Most of us know the story of how Lennon married young (namely because he got Cynthia pregnant) and how he was thrust onto the world stage at a young age. Later in life, Lennon tried to repair his relationship with his son Julian, and from all accounts Julian has nothing but kind things to say about his father. Perhaps Julian realizes that the world was a better place because Lennon followed his muse and gave us all of this great music (even if it was at the temporary expense of a happy family life for Julian). And maybe Julian also knows that Lennon's legacy goes beyond just the music.
There are several examples of how Lennon touched individuals in a deep way. Many of the examples the media dwell on are the more negative ones like the Charles Manson's Helter Skelter theories or the sordid details around Lennon's own assasination. Both of these examples illustrate the way Lennon connected with the outcasts of society, but despite these few bad apples, Lennon has given comfort to plenty of outsiders over the years (myself included) in a much more positive way.
Perhaps it is this personal way he affects people that impacts society at large. And perhaps this is why when we think of his death we look at it in the larger context of society as a whole. The timing of Lennon's death in 1980 happened just weeks after Ronald Wilson Reagan was elected president (if you recall the Beatles British Invasion is often linked to the Kennedy assasination, because the nation was in such a deep state of mourning that people were desperate for some upbeat, good-natured fun and the Beatles seemed to be the only ones capable of providing at the time). Its also relevant that Lennon's death happened at the begining of a decade known for a lot of the things that Lennon spoke out against, namely excessive materialism, greed, commercialism, etc. Beyond that, there is a more direct comment that Lennon's death seems to make about our culture and the bizarre obsession that certain people have of wanting to be close to those who are famous.
But in the end, Lennon's life far overshadows his death. Lennon's ultimate gift was that he simply touched people in a very direct and intense way. Surely he will be remembered in part because he wrote some great fucking songs, and also because he lived a truly mythical life, but to many it was the manner in which he unflinchingly examined and expressed the complicated inner search for truth that he was constantly struggling with that really seems to resonate with anyone who has ever attempted to attain a deeper understanding of life. For those people Lennon will always serve as a touchstone
At the 21st Grammy Awards in 1979, Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Sound Track) was named Album of the Year. The album's fe
At the 21st Grammy Awards in 1979, Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Sound Track) was named Album of the Year. The album's featured group, the Bee Gees, received the award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. By the end of 1979, the disco industry was estimated to be worth more than $4 billion, that meant that it was generating more money than the movie industry, television or professional sport. It was so big that The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences added Disco as its own category for the 22nd Grammy Awards. Nominated works for the award included "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire, "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? by Rod Stewart, and "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer.
An anti-disco sentiment had been building for sometime however. By early '79 this sentiment was witnessed in the "disco sucks" and "death to disco" T-shirts and graffiti seen around the towns and cities of the USA. Rock fans were particularly fed up with watching one "Rock" act after another fall to Disco's influence, from the Rolling Stones to Rod Stewart to David Bowie to Kiss
The anti-Disco movement hit critical mass on the night of July 12, 1979 (just weeks after Newsweek had declared that Disco had "taken over" the music industry) when a promotional event called Disco Demolition Night was held at Chicago's Comiskey Park. It took place during intermission ata double header where a young local radio disc jockey named Steve Dahl set ablaze a bin full of disco records and thereby ignited complete mayhem. The Chicago Police were called in with riot gear as 50,000 rioters took over the field, the ball park and an entire city block, forcing the Chicago White Sox to forfeit the second game of the double header. An excellent discription of the Disco Demolition at Comisky Park is given in Josh Wilker's book Cardboard Gods, where he writes:
“That night, in Chicago, the sky had rained flat black discs and lit M-80s. By the late innings, the visiting Detroit Tigers outfielders were wearing batting helmets in the outfield. A vendor reported selling forty-nine cases of beer, more than double the number he’d sold on any single night in his many years on the job. Smoldering bongs were passed from hand to hand like change for a hot dog, giant glossy airplanes made of promotional posters featuring a sultry blonde model known only as Lorelei swooped and dove amid the hail of explosives and Frisbeed LPs and 45s, and inebriated throngs in the parking lot jumped up and down on cars and set fire to white-suited John Travolta dolls and searched for illegal entry into the slightly more focused mayhem inside the packed stadium. As game one of the scheduled doubleheader progressed, this search gained urgency, for between games a local 24-year-old disc jocky named Steve Dahl and the aforementioned Lorelei were going to detonate a mountain of disco records.
Almost immediately after this detonation, a stream and then a gushing wave of longhaired attendees flowed onto the playing field…The revolution, the pointless, hysterical revolution, had come. Some lit bonfires in the outfield. Some wheeled the batting cage around like it was a stalled car that needed a running start. Some performed hook slides and headfirst Pete Rose plunges into where the bases would have been if they hadn’t already been ripped from the ground and stuffed between giggling rib cages and the fabric of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith T-shirts. More than one person reported seeing couples fornicating…”
The Disco Demolition garnered national headlines that seemed to unleash a backlash against Disco. Public support for disco music faded alarmingly fast. At the time of the Disco Demolition (July 21, 1979) the top six records on the U.S. music charts were disco songs. By September 22, just two months later, there was not a single disco song in the U.S. Top 10 chart. Within months the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (that had just added Disco as it own catagory) reversed itself and eliminated the award category all together. Disco was officially pronounced dead and July 12, 1979 has forever since been known as "the day disco died".
This Aint No Disco!
I remember sometime around 1985 my good friend Ray gave me a mixed tape that included 90 minutes of Rock songs that were largely disco influenced. He called it Disco Rock and to the best of my memory, here are the songs that were included on that mixed tape:
When the 1980s began I was 12 years old, basketball players wore their shorts in a tight-fitting manner, with their socks up to their kneecaps. High sWhen the 1980s began I was 12 years old, basketball players wore their shorts in a tight-fitting manner, with their socks up to their kneecaps. High school boys wore mullets in a non-ironic style. There was no AIDS then, no HIV, no al qaida, no jihad, no hole in the ozone, no genetically engineered animals, no Savings and Loan scandal. There was also no Mtv, no CNN, no ESPN, no HBO, no celebrity televangelists, no personal home computers, no Nintendo, no Playstations, no cell phones, no gangsta rap/hip hop, no ‘sampling’, no grunge, no emo, no “alternative rock”, no compact discs, no digital music, no Prozac, and no artificial heart transplants. The one thing we did have was Classic Rock...But by the end of the decade all of that had changed.
Who Killed Classic Rock?
Late autumn 1983. I remember the exact moment Classic Rock died. I was 15 years old, sitting Indian style in the middle of Bobby Dunkel’s cluttered living room on shag carpeting that smelled slightly of cat urine. Me, Dunkel and just about every other kid I knew were glued to their tv sets at that moment, either in their parent’s basements or their living rooms or bedrooms, awaiting the premiere of Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ video on Mtv. I had been friends with Dunkel since I was in grade school, we had played baseball together, we had run through the woods together and shot BB guns at each other's heads. We had spent a thousand afternoons peddling our bikes over pavements and sidewalks, through gravel back alley short cuts, puddle hopping our way to the snack shop/filling station a half mile across town. We listened to Ted Nugent and Foghat on the jukebox there and oogled cheap porno mags that we stashed inside our Cracked or Mad magazines as we ate hot dogs and chips, and drank Cokes. We were from the same social-economic strata: poor, small town white boys who lived on the run-down side of the tracks. And the older we got the more we understood this, and the more we understood this, the greater our urge grew to drown ourselves deeper into our Rock-n-Roll fantasies.
Dunkel cranked the volume on his television set to the point of distortion. The Mtv ‘World premiere video’ logo dissolved and the boys from Van Halen, the last hope for Classic Rock, appeared on screen. Van Halen was Dunkel’s band. He worshipped them. He had two Van Halen concert shirts that he wore weekly, he had seven Van Halen patches covering his jean jacket, he drew the Van Halen logo on his notebooks at school, he had a Van Halen poster scotch-taped to his bedroom door, and he had every Van Halen album ever recorded within arm’s reach of his record player. But it had been nearly two years since Van Halen’s last release and the Rock world had changed dramatically. How much it had changed was about to become painfully clear as Van Halen jumped to life on the TV screen and began striking their calculated rock poses. Something was wrong. Very wrong! First of all Eddie Van Halen, the guitar god of our generation, was fingering out some nursery rhyme chord progression on—-what the fuck!-—an Oberheim OB-8 synthesizer? Eddie had this goofy, nearly retarded grin smeared across his face as if he had just farted in a crowded elevator. Then wham-bam! Out pops the spandex-clad David Lee Roth bounding across the screen in his un-laced hi-tops giving us all a head cheerleader “We’ve got spirit, Yes we do, we’ve got spirit how bout you!” leg-splitting high kick followed by some sort of karate-kid backward ass flip thing that was shown three times in succession…in slow motion. What the fuck is this? This wasn’t right. This was wrong! And not only were they looking and acting like total douche wads, but the song was for shit! Doot-doot-doot-doot. Doot-doot—deet-dah-dah-doot. “Jump! Might as well jump!”
The disappointment in Dunkel’s face couldn't have been more clear. His eye brows furled, the edges of his mouth took a downward turn. He suddenly appeared very old. “Is that it?” his expression said. Is that all that our generation of Rock has to offer? I knew what Dunkel wanted. He wanted Pete Townsend smashing his guitar across his amp, he wanted John Lennon saying the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, he wanted Jimmy Page pulling out a violin bow and butt fucking his guitar with it, he wanted Jimi Hendrix bowing down in front of his flaming guitar and giving praise to the Gods above for blessing him with the calling. But what had we got? Synthesizers! Synthesizers and lip-synching and drum machines and spandex and cartwheels… And M fucking TV.
Maybe M fucking TV was just the scapegoat, maybe it was just a symptom and not the disease. But if you were a teenager in the early 80s the one moment you specifically remembered was not what you were doing when the hostages in Lebanon were released or what you were doing when Reagan got shot. What you remember is the first time you ever saw Mtv. For me, the first time I saw Mtv was after my mother’s second husband Joe decided to splurge 10 dollars one month to get cable tv. Every night that month, Joe passed out on the sofa with a Pabst Blue Ribbon clutched in one hand and the remote control clutched to the other. Then one night, bored to death with some nature show that Joe had been watching, I surgically removed the remote from Joe's hand and started channel surfing (with only 13 cable stations available at the time, surfing the TV waves wasn’t all that daunting). When I flipped the channel to Mtv my jaw just dropped. The first thing I saw was a split screen image of this spikey-haired, fair-skinned doll woman (Laurie Anderson) singing “O Superman” to the beeping sound of a telephone dial tone. If that wasn’t baffling enough, what immediately followed was some pasty-faced pouty-lipped dude with a blond, ice cream swirly of a hair do (and who was dressed up kinda like a pirate) who was wheezing about in a roomful of mirrors singing “And I raaaaa-an, I ran so far aw-aaaay” accompanied by some never-before-heard-of chiming/mesmerizing echo-effect guitar riff ripping up the sound space all around him. Had Martians invaded the frickin planet and taken over the TV waves? What the hell was going on here? Whatever it was, I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
Maybe to fully understand how alien Mtv was at that time, you had to have lived through the 1970s...and in a small town. Small town 1970s American has an inherent sentimental, sepia-tone hue to it...where everything is slightly blurred, slightly out of focus, slightly off. It's a point in time and space where people don't take much effort in deciding what clothes to wear or whether they should comb their hair or not. They are living in a country that had just lost its first war (Vietnam), had been crippled by the Watergate scandal, a country that had inflatation, stagnation, increasing unemployment, an energy crisis, a hostage crisis. And with all of this shit happening, what was the point of bothering to comb your hair? Everyone was just kinda bummed out on some level, or else drugged up and out of touch.
Then, just months prior to Mtv, some old fart with this slicked back Grecian formual hair, who used to act in movies with a chimpanzee and was in the early stages of demensia, was elected president. On top of that major league baseball players had just gone on strike. But then... in the mist all this doom and gloom came M fucking TV - a window to this strange land where things were different, where Martians had taken over and everything was brightly colored. A land where all these new wave artists from Europe with their mathematically honed “post-punk” communist bloc synth-pop were obviously preparing to overthrow America and give the country's teens the soundtrack for the 1980s.
In less than two summers after that, every teenager in the country, including those in my small town, had become totally infected by the Mtv virus. In those two years neither I nor any other teen across the land could take their eyes off of Mtv. What could be better in the life of a 13 year old who had just survived the 70s than seeing futuristically-attired pop musicians popped in and out of flashing, multi-colored lights in neon-tubed, fun house-mirrored rooms filled with abstract sculptures and small busted-robotic women mechanical-dancing about space-age, expressionistic sets as the sweet sugar-synthed sounds of electro-pop songs riddled with dance beats permeated the air like disco lemonade? AmeriTeens were mesmerized, hypnotized. To the point that no one seemed to notice that - in those two years - Rock had forever changed. By 1983 Classic Rock had been replaced by one of two things: Hair Metal and/or New Wave. In the high schools, and in the shopping malls, at the arcades, and on the radio. There was no stopping these two forces. Mtv had transformed everything. And soon enough the Corporate Rock dinosaurs were jumping on the Mtv bandwagon in a frenzy--Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, John Cougar, Dire Straits, Starship. And yet even more Hair Metal was being jammed down every teenager's throat: Ozzy, Quiet Riot, Randy Rhoads. It was a lot of Rock Posuery and theatrics, but not much substance. And then came Michael Jackson. And just like that Mtv was ruining everything. Mtv was shitting all over Rock music.
Yet, for a brief shining moment, during those first two years, Mtv seemed to be the answer. It was the hope of a new generation for expressing our Rock spirit - and in a manner that it had never been expressed before. But that dream was quickly crushed by the corporations. By the time I was sitting in Dunkel's living room watching David Lee Roth tittyfuck the camera, Mtv was already in the grasp of the forces of evil and on its way to becoming one of the most effective corporate tools of all-time. As a 13 year old small town white kid the signs that the corporate consumer culture was gearing up to take over and squash the old, weird America that had given this great nation so much of its character during the first half of the 20th Century was not even vaguely apparent. As a 13 year old, small town kid, like most other teens, I didn’t realize what was happening--that the comunication age was here, that from now on teens would slowly but steadily be lobotomized by a non-stop onslaught of product saturation and media overexposure and commercialized hyperbole and pop-spooge meaninglessness that was all made possible by rampant Reagan Deregulation. The advancements in cable TV and communications technology were exploding all around us as the Reagan administration was deregulating everything. And beore anyone had even noticed, the newspapers, magazines, radio and TV programs went from being acutal sources of information to being nothing more than exploitive vehicles of corporate marketing with the sole purpose of distracting millions of American citizens into apathy, self-involvement and basic numbskullery.
I didn't understand any of this and Bobby Dunkel couldn't have understood any of this, not on the conscious level - but subconsciously the Van Halen video had evoked a primal instinct in him. The look on his face was disgust, utter disgust. He had had enough: enough of the jerry-curled, glittery, soulless twits with their one white glove and their 'moon walking' across the screen, enough of the permed-haired, hipster-vested snoot-worthies who crooned across the ballroom dance floor singing "Everybody wang chung tonight", enough of the caked-on, make-up faced, chinless turds in parachute pants singing “Shout, shout! let it all out”, enough of the poodle-groomed, guy-liner infested Pop Metal poseurs wailing power ballads polluted with ridiculously formulaic guitar solos and pussy-ass guitar riffs. But most of all, he had had enough of what Mtv had done to Rock music: turning our Rock Gods into sideshow barkers and trained monkeys, replacing balls to the wall guitar riffs with synthesized disco and spoon feeding American teens lollipops and bubble gum over meat and potatos. Maybe this shit was acceptable to the typical high school robots, but for Bobby Dunkel a line had been crossed. He stood up, fists clenched and stomped off to his bedroom, shredding the Van Halen poster from his door along his way and letting it fall to the ground in one fluid swoop. And just like that, the Classic Rock Era was dead.