for 19 March 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Run For Your Life
Thank you for your column today on the New Beatlemania. I've been thinking much the same since the whole 1 phenomenon began, but hadn't quite the gumption to write a suck quality article about it and then to send it unsolicited.
It is frightening to realize that the Boomers have apropriated Youthfull Rebelion. Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll are the language of the establishment now. Whichever way we turn, to neo-flapperism, or facist puritanism, we've yet to rebel on terms our parents won't aprove of.
Can we even kill the amiable beast that gave us life? Perhaps, but only literally. The sole trend that has diferentiated this generation from those past, that has had any power to shock, have been the school-shootings and 12 year-old murderers that play so luridly on the television.
It is hatefull to think that these children are our only rebels. Violence though is the only facet of popular discourse that has yet to be entirely domesticated. In the imagined future of televised deathmatches and hardcore sex that everyone will simultaneously be forbidden and compulsory, will children be driven to kill their fathers and marry their mothers in order to live their own lives?
Thanks for that chilling look into America's nightmarish future. Is it too late for The Children, our nation's future? We say, hell no! Let's reclaim our country from the forces of nihilism and give our kids a brighter tomorrow of fucking their mothers and killing their fathers!
Dammit! That stupid Beatles album is still topping the charts. Why doesn't anyone listen to The Clash, man? I mean, why do all these people like a band I hate and care so little about a band I adore so? It's all the fault of the Boomers! Those horrible, horrible people. The Boomers are to blame for it all. How dare they be older than me? How dare they be proud of themselves and feel that their life experience has been meaningful? I swear, it's the Boomers' fault the new economy isn't taking off the way it should be. I mean, who was supplying all that VC dough anyway? It sure wasn't us do-no-wrong Xers. I mean, where would we get that kind of money? It's their fault I can't find a real job, too. Anyway, if the kids should be listening to anything, they should be listening to a bunch of guys from England who came out in the 70s, appropriated black music, and used the same chord progressions over and over...I mean, gee, The Clash put out a bunch of records too, and if it wasn't for The Clash, we wouldn't have Green Day, dude! I mean, can you imagine a world without Green Day? But in the interest of brevity, and the fact that I have no compelling argument to support my nonexistent thesis, old people suck!
Rockin' the casbah,
Alexia C. Henke
"...an attempt by aging boomers to colonize the youth of their children, to make all who come after them replicate the boomers' own sensibilities, tastes, and experiences "
Bingo this is an excellent summary of the problem -- the Boomers as Star Trek Borgs, trying to assimilate themselves onto the known universe. Passive resistance is futile?
All resistance is futile. We know nothing of these Borgs of yours: If you can remember Star Trek you weren't really there.
Dear Mr. M;
Did it ever occur to you that one reason for the Beatles' resurgant popularity is that, like, you know, their music is actually pretty good? In 1979, perhaps the cultural baggage of the '60s was still too ponderous (and the solo careers of the ex-Beatles still far too actively annoying) for an objective evaluation of their music. Today, with 30 years' perspective (and following a decade in which everything that was once "underground" became mainstream, but only in inferior, watered-down forms), maybe people are recognizing that those four guys wrote and played some pretty good songs that have actually stood the test of time a little better than the "raga rock" they inspired. Maybe 10 years of hearing swill like Oasis or Hootie & the Blowfish pawned off as "pop rock" have made some of us appreciate the "fabs" a little more.
Actually, I think it's kind of ironic/significant that you pick on the "raga rock" aspect of the Beatles' music to pan them in your article, considering that (as best as I can tell), not one of the songs on "Beatles 1" actually contains sitar, or any recognizable Indian influence. Are you really writing about the Beatles' new release? Or about your own feelings about the Beatles?
Anyway, just some thoughts... usually I enjoy your columns (as I do most of the Suck regulars) but I thought you were a little wide of the mark in this case. In case you're wondering "Where I'm coming from" (man), I'm a 36-year-old former new waver who thinks the Clash are the second best band to come out of England, so it's not a question of picking sides. You want to rag on "Free as a Bird", the Anthology book or Yoko? Knock yourself out. But to simply write off the Beatles old (i.e. real) music's popularity as simply a cultural phenomenon, is, I feel, to miss a lot of its (musical) appeal.
Take it easy,
PS: Did it occur to you that maybe Strummer was referring to the theatrical production of "Beatlemania" (i.e. "phoney") rather than the Beatles themselves in the lyrics of "London Calling"?
You err, Sir. Suck has never ragged on Yoko, but has always given the inventive Fifth Beatle full credit for her pivotal role in the band's history.
Without taking you to other new and interesting places, Suck is just kinda like reading all the other drivel on bulletin boards all over the web. Did you just finish this prior to publication, and didn't have time to research and add hyper links??
Polly Esther is the only Suckster who can get away with not adding hyperlinks to her rants and rambles. The rest of you need the distractions so we (the reader) can read the entirety of Suck without loosing interest. Nobody just wants to read pages of political doldrums when they could be clicking and jumping all over the web to new and interesting places.
Please, for the sake of your readers, don't skimp in the hyper links anymore.
Also, I know that everybody offers to write a Suck column for you guys, but I dare you to let me.
Thanks, bud, for calling my story drivel; I can see you read it carefully before you "loosed" interest. And funnily enough, I sent some links to Suck close to deadline; I guess they didn't get in. Maybe you should read less and watch TV more?
And you'll have to take up your dare with Tim.
Loose-lipped and linked up,
Further on Plan Columbia, I read in Chomsky's 'the New Humanism' that the original draft of Plan Columbia was written in English.
Yeah Noam Chomsky's been following Col. for some time; a bunch of his views have been translated into Spanish in the leading paper here. And your point backs up what I mentioned in the story. Now for a little second language lip: "Columbia"'s a university, "Colombia's" the subject of the Plan; Emiliano Zapata was the guy who inspired the cry, "Viva Zapata"; the "Zapatistas" make up the movement led by Marcos, the guy w/the mask.
Viva Las Vegas,
The coca-eradication component of Plan Colombia carries with it yet another problem. According to Disinformation, the "spraying" planned may involve biological agents that make Agent Orange seem almost nutritious. Genetically engineered crop blights that target cannabis, coca, and poppies are both planned and extant, and Plan Colombia might well be their coming-out party. This has the potential no, the likelihood of setting up ecocide on a scale that recalls bad sci-fi movies.
Just thought I'd brighten your morning.
Got the message in the afternoon, and don't worry, being on the ground here, there's nothing you could inform or misinform me of that isn't matched or surpassed by what's entering my ears and eyes daily. As for the "crop blights", or fungus research which has been reported on in pub's ranging from NewScientist to NY Times supposedly, Col's Min. of Env.has prohibited research on this line of eradication on Col. soil, but who knows...?
This story can be followed more in US for now, I think, looking into USDA and other gov't outfits...
Thanks for the note -
I just read your excellent piece today in Suck.com, which I enjoyed very much (aside from concerning me even more about my country). I admire your style of journalism, having also read your previous piece on Colombia. Let me tell you about myself. I am a professor at universidad del Rosario in Bogota, currently teaching a course on International Relations of Colombian Regions. Previously I was a student at Cornell University, and I am originally from Cali, and I still go there once in a while. I would like it very much if perhaps on one of your visits to Bogota you could come to my class to give a lecture. It would be of great use to my students and myself. If it is not in your plans to come to Bogota or to give lectures, I would personally like to meet you in any case.
Thanks for your kind words. I'm not sure what I could lecture about, but who knows? I'll get in touch. How'd you find out about Suck from the mountains of Bogotá anyway?
Here's the rant of a 51 yr old member of the working class (blue collar). In everyone's self interest first, we legalize drugs. In my paranoid older age I'm thinking that the old idea that drugs and drug enforcement are a tool to control "the masses." At best it's a rat hole that our government is pouring our taxes into. I'm really worried about Star Wars, that's the rat's vacuum cleaner.
Helping the Hopeless, Hoping the Hapless, Haplessly Hoping;
Thanks for your note. And hey what's that sign-off, a CSNY flashback? Anyway, I hope you're wrong about the masses part, though Nuyorican poet Pedro Pietri did once say the Masses are Asses. And maybe timely, balanced information will help voters turn things around, said the hopeful journalist.