"The mark of an immature man is that he would die knobly for a cause. The mark of a mature man is that he would live humbly for one" - Catcher in the Rye -WARNING WRITER SPELLING CHALLENGED! But Sometimes you have to say "what the fuck!"

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Jello for President 2004

Vader has tried and tried to avoid a political post, but I think its about time. So here goes….

Blame it on "the Family"
I grew up in a total Democratic household, my parents are the bourgeoisie college professor types, who like to host dinner parties and talk politics. Every year, my mother would volunteer at the Democratic table at our County Fair and parade my brother and I in “vote so and so” shirts. Hell, she even sent me door to door passing out fliers. Politics were par for the course in my house. Elitist, educated ways of thinking was how I was raised. My mom would say “they are too ignorant, they don’t know any better, that is why they voted for Reagan”. All I knew was that I liked Reagan’s flashy smile and was enchanted by the way he talked.

Navy Wives causing Hell at Republican HQ
I was a navy wife when Bush I was elected president. I had no real feelings one way or the other, though I did vote for Dukakis (my first presidential election I could vote in). When Clinton ran for president, I fell in love. When he played the sax on the Arsenio Hall show that was it for me. He was the man I wanted to see as president. I thought Clinton was sexy as hell, and he spoke to me like no other candidate ever has, or will again. When he won I remember jumping in my car with my son and another military wife friend of mine and roaming the streets screaming like rabid fans. We did several drive bys’ past the Republican headquarters in San Diego. I guess as we were driving by screaming “Ha Ha” as Bush I was giving his loser speech. Our screaming and taunting was not well received by some of the volunteers at the office, and they ran out the door to tell us off. We split quick, laughing and giggling the whole way home.

Same Shit Again
The thing was, I never saw much change. Clinton was president and I was still poor. I had no dental insurance, no health insurance, I couldn’t pay my bills and get out of debt. It all seemed like the same old shizat. When Clinton ran against Bob Dole, I had just graduated from UC Berkeley. I was in over my head from student loans and other college expenses. I still voted for Clinton, but this time was less enthusiastic by his victory. I will never forget an episode of the Simpson’s where two aliens kidnap Bob Dole and Clinton and then hold a mock election. The aliens laugh "it doesn’t matter who you vote for… were both the same”. This message hit me hard.

Jello my Love
Then I discovered Jello Biafra. Living in Berkeley, I used to attend punk shows at a collective known as 924 Gilman. This is an all ages music collective that sprouted a lot of punk rock bands including the Dead Kennedys. By the time I hit the scene, the Dead Kennedys were already considered rock stars, and barred from ever playing a punk show again. However, I rediscovered DK and the message that Jello Biafra promoted. Jello Biafra stood for political change and defiance of popular culture brainwashing.

Some really cool DK lyrics

Anarcy for Sale
Step right up folks Anarchy for sale! T-shirts only 10 dollars Badges only 3.50 I nicked the design, never asked the band I never listen to them either Buy Buy Buy from Circle A Like hula hoops, it's a disposable craze Another fast-food fad to throw away Get your Anarchy For Sale Anarchy For Sale Anarchy For Sale

Hellnation's when they teach us Profiting from greed Hellnation's what they give us Coke, heroin & speed Hellnation's when they tell you You gotta go clean up your act You're the one who dragged me here And now you drag me back To this Hellnation [Chorus] Problem is, few care About the people in despair If you help no one You're guilty in the Hellnation Hellnation's when the president Asks for four more fucking years Hellnation's when he gets it By conning poor people and peers Hellnation-got no choice What's the point of trying to vote? When this country makes war We all die in the same boat In this Hellnation [Chorus] It's the only world we've got Let's protect it while we can It's all there is and there ain't no more Hellnation-asking please For a nuclear freeze So the unborn kids Get their chance to live and breathe Hellnation asking aid For the minimum wage So the kids of tomorrow Don't wind up slaves to their trade In the Hellnation

Jello for Prez... Alternative Nation Baby!
After the Dead Kennedys stopped playing music, Jello Biafra became a political activist. I met Jello, at a political tour (if you watch any of my PotTV archives you can see it). I must say, I was star struck and in love. This man I would vote for President.

Anarchy in the USA
I must admit that I didnt vote in the last election. I wanted to vote for Jello, but when Ralph Nader won the for the Green Party, I felt a loss. I would have voted for the Green Party or the Libertarian Party, but in our fucking stupid ass two party system, what would that have done? My vote would have been thrown away. Plus, with the electoral college, I basically voted for Gore anyway. (Washington State went for Gore). I just find the two party political system so disenfranchising. It really doesnt matter who you vote for, its how your state votes. I just think that really fucking SUCKS!

Here is some information on Jello.

Here is some information I stole off a website that provides some political insight on Jello. Yes, the man never ceases to amaze me. My vote for president will be and will always be Jello Biafra… or the Yippster Pig.

Jello Biafra (real name: Eric Boucher; born June 17, 1958, Boulder, Colorado) was the lead singer for the Dead Kennedys, a punk rock band.
Biafra has used absurdist media tactics in the tradition of the Yippies to highlight issues of civil rights, social justice, and anti-corporatism.
In 1979 he ran for mayor of San Francisco using the slogan borrowed from a Jello ad campaign, "There's always room for Jello". His platform included ridiculous points such as forcing businessmen to wear clown suits. (Jello has said he is irritated that this part of his platform attained such notoriety, preferring to be remembered for proposals such as legalizing squatting in buildings left vacant for tax purposes.) He finished fourth out of 10, gaining 3.5% of the vote, and the election was resolved in a runoff that did not involve him. Also in 1979 Jello formed the record label Alternative Tentacles.

Biafra was a swift critic of the Parents Music Resource Center, and has constantly criticised co-founder Tipper Gore.

In 1985, Biafra was brought to trial in San Francisco for distributing "harmful matter" in the Dead Kennedys album Frankenchrist. The jury was deadlocked, the judge declared a mistrial and ordered the charges dropped. The band broke up during the trial, but Biafra has since become a renowned "Spoken Word" artist, and an icon for anti-censorship groups.

He has released several spoken-word albums, including No More Cocoons, and is the lead singer of the band Lard, which has released several albums (The Power of Lard, The Last Temptation of Reid, Pure Chewing Satisfaction, and more).

He coined the slogan "Don't hate the media, become the media". Indymedia and related alternative media often use this line, or the now more apt "Don't hate the media, be the media".

In the year 2000, Biafra was drafted as a candidate for the Green Party presidential nomination, and a few supporters were elected to the party's nominating convention in Denver, Colorado. However, Ralph Nader was overwhelmingly chosen as the party's candidate.

Of note: Biafra was the name of a country which attempted to secede from Nigeria in 1966. After 4 years of fighting, and horrific starvation, Nigeria regained control of the nascent Biafran state. Jello Biafra came up with his name as a combination of a violent civil war and a consumer product.

Jello was featured and has spoken at many of the H.O.P.E. confrences (audio is freely available of these apearances)

He also appeared on-screen in "Bikini Bandits" (2002), alongside other musicians such as Maynard James Keenan of Tool and Dee Dee Ramone of The Ramones.
In 1999 Jello Biafra formed the short lived band The No WTO Combo

Some information on Yippies. The political party I most identify with. Working for High Times I have met and got to know a lot of old school Yippies. I must say, I wish alternative parties had a chance in our system.

The Youth International Party (whose adherents were known as Yippies, a variant on "Hippies") was a highly theatrical political party established in the United States in 1967. An offshoot of the free speech and anti-war movements of the 1960s, Yippies presented a youth-oriented countercultural alternative to the straightlaced earnestness often associated with representatives of those movements. They employed media-savvy gestures— such as advancing a pig ("Pigasus the Immortal") as candidate for President in 1968— to mock the social status quo.
The Yippies had no formal membership or hierarchy: Abbie Hoffman, Anita Hoffman, and Paul Krassner were among the founders of the Yippies (according to his own account, Krassner coined the name). Other activists associated with the Yippies include Jerry Rubin, Stewart Alpert, Dick Gregory, and Ed Sanders.
Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin became the most famous Yippies—and bestselling authors—in part due to publicity surrounding the five-month Chicago Seven Conspiracy trial of 1969. Hoffman and Rubin were arguably the most colorful of the seven defendents accused of criminal conspiracy and inciting to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Hoffman and Rubin used the trial as a platform for Yippie antics--at one point, they showed up in court attired in judicial robes.
A YIP-related newspaper, "The Yipster Times" was published in New York City from 1968 through 1977.

Punk as FUCK for life baby


Ontario Emperor said...

Two comment areas - twice the pleasure. :)

When I was at KRRC, I regret to inform you that "Kill the Poor" was one of three songs that I wouldn't play on my radio show. In my view, the joke was obvious after one listening, and overdone after two.

marsattacks said...

I like US punk but I was never fond of the DK or Jello Biafra for that matter, music-wise and lyrics-wise.

Your background is remarkable similar to mine, though my parents were not political active anymore. I remmeber when I was six I had to distribute leaflets for my moms party for 1 cent a piece. (Never was a good business man I admit.)

What did your parents teach BTW?

Gooseneck said...

You know until now I never thought of Hoffman and Rubin as Yippies though I am semi-familiar with that term. I never thought them to be hippies either, nor anarchists... just a coulple of bright minds that rebelled against a flawed government system in a time when the nation was restruggling to come out it's puberty. The war of course set the accelerator into overdrive.

And damn, I wish Neal Cassidy was still alive!

BTW, lets forgo this mutual foreplay and just go ahead and link eachother up!

Coach Yoda said...

I miss the days of real protest. This whole election has me up in arms. I went to the dr. (remember, I'm no spring chickadee at 534 yrs...) and some grey hairs came into the office. Kerry was making his speach from Cincinatti. They said the the TV/Kerry 'Stop Lying'. You might have a point to have Biafra run. Unfortunely it's a bit too late. I want to go out and pee on a Bush. I'm not quite sure that Kerry is good, but at this point, almost anyone is better then Bush.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Yoda, it's kind of ironic that now people think "almost anybody is better than Bush" because in 1933 they thought "almost anybody is better than Paul von Hindenburg". And in Russia, "almost anybody is better than the Tsar". People crack me up.

Vadergrrrl, any punk purist ought to know that the only political affiliation officially recognized by punk rock is ANARCHY, baby. And the only political agenda is DESTROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOY. :P

In my high school punk days some Yippie kid handed me a pamphlet, and I thumbed through it. The centerfold of the pamphlet had "FUCK AMERICA" in big bold letters, with little obvious propaganda-ish cartoons of how evil America was. The afro-sporting kid of Irish descent with a wispy hint of a beard he was desperately trying to grow, said, "well, what do you think?" I said "so who's this America chick and does she have big tits?" A friend of mine took a drag on a clove cigarette and blew it in his face just before he walked away in disgust. THAT was PUNK ROCK, baby. 1979; leather; safety pins; fights for the sake of fights.

I remember one DK concert... okay, I'm lying, I DON'T remember it, due to some, shall we say, heavy recreational substance usage, but my friend was coherent at the time and he said somebody threw a beer bottle at Jello while he was singing, and he stopped the concert for about half an hour trying to find out "WHO FUCKING THREW IT???" My friend occasionally shouted "Just quit yer bitching and SING, Biafra!" That wasn't quite as punk rock as the Yippie incident, but it was up in the top ten.

I liked the Minutemen when they played at the Indian Center in SLC. Unlike Biafra, they had a great sense of humor. Between songs it was like skits from Mad TV, and if somebody threw a beer bottle, they'd catch it and make the drummer drink it. Then Doctor Know gets out there later for their latest rendition of "FIST FUCK". Yeah. Right up your ass. "FIST FUCK, baby!" Take it like a man. Intestinal fortitude. Anyway you can.... *sharp elbows and slam dancing, REAL slam dancing not this phoney moshey-mosh bullshit they do today*

Let me tell you about Kyle Bodily. He was an ex-Marine, and the bigget pussy I ever saw. I've seen 12 year-old girls who had more balls than he did, even though to look at him you'd think he was a WWE wrestler; big corn-fed-lookin' guy. Anyway, I'm in a circle of other friends outside a Fear concert (with the encore of 'Bomb the Russians' going on still inside), and cracking open our bottles of whiskey, and Kyle comes out of there all rubbing his arms and wiping snot out of his nose, and you could see a hint of tears around his eyes, even though he'd studiously wiped them before coming out. "Whattsa matter, Kyle?" My friend Larry shouted out at him. Kyle mutters some whiney complaint about the slam-dancing inside, and Larry goes "well if you can't take a few bruises, don't get into the skank circle, dumbass!" (Skank circle is what we called a "mosh pit" back then.)

America is a skank circle at a punk rock concert. It's all sharp elbows and sweat and limbs flailing all over the place and pure chaotic, anarchic energy. The rest of the world is a boring ass Lionel Ritchie concert attended by overweight middle aged piles of chewed bubblegum. FUCK them. Fuck the rest of the world. And fuck anyone who tells me I'm not "punk" if I don't vote for John Kerry. Thursten Howell the Third from Gilligan's Island, on a snowboard, is a far, far cry from Johnny Rotten.

Seriously though, my vote's going where I think the most important part of Anarchy can prevail: keeping the IRS at bay. Gays aren't destined for jail, but I could be if I try to keep what I earned by slaving away in cubicleville. And we should NEVER be like Kyle Bodily out in the desert where the people with turbans and kaffiyeh can smell fear from a mile away.

You can't wear a mohawk with a burqa--I've seen people try it. I'd say Islam is very, very, anti-punk-rock. If you want to suck up to it while led by someone like Kerry, go right ahead, but I'll still blow clove smoke in your face.

And that, m'friend, is punk rock. :P

marsattacks said...

Yeah, Jello's total lack of humour is another thing.

CSMFTXF story about the yippie is quite familiar. I don't want to dig up the past and tell stories about 'the good old days' (ok just one) but from he early 80's this comes to mind.

The US wanted to place nuke missiles in Europe again.

First we had the neutron bomb (I was against it), next came the cruise missiles.

In 1980 there was a big demonstration where 'everybody' had to go to. Some lefty asked me if I was going.

'Nope', I said.
'Why not.'
'Well, no new ones until the old ones are used up.'
'Oooh, I am hearing scary things here' (translation: you are a fascist)

I was nearly stoned by the rest of the people (and that was the idea of course). I stopped voting for 12 years.

Vadergrrrl said...

Ontario Emperor - Twice the pleasure, twice the fun. lol. I love your comments, and want to read way more about you. Kill the Poor, Eat the Rich, yeah its all kinda overdone in a way. I guess sometimes satire is too sick to stand for long. xxxxooo

marsattacks- Its interesting how growing up with liberal and political parents can shape you into a punk rock freak. lol. I'll be checking your archives out too.

Goose - Mutual foreplay is fun and I love it! lol. Yippies were a great group, a lot of the founders of the marijuana movement are Yippies. Dana Beal, Ed Rosenthal, Tom Forcade, Dennis Peron, etc. I love how Yippies use ridicule to prove a point.

Coach Yoda - I miss those days too. Too funny about that doctors appointment. Did Coach Yoda give the grey hairs some wisdom? Stop Lying... come on now, what politician doesnt. SHEESH.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-files - *sigh* I think I love you. I just dont know who I love more, YOU, or the character from X-files.

I LOVE how your mind works, you have a lot to say, and you say it well. Plus you know a lot about punk. mmmmm sexy.

I am speechless by the knowledge you dropped, and very impressed.

I was going to write a post on moshing and my experiences with it. As a girl its quite interesting. I ran in a mosh pit at a DRI show and at a Beastie Boys show at Lalapolooza. One I was totally sexually harrassed and grabbed, it was horrible. At the other, DRI, girls are protected, and all these punk guys surround you in a elbow, push, whatever anyone that gets near you. it was way cool.

Anyway, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how your mind works.

marsattacks - great story. Almost mobbed for mouthing off to political lefties. I love it. Your way Awesome too!

kimiko said...

ay, vadergrrrl, cada vez que leo lo que escribes tengo ganas de abrazarte y apachurrarte contra mí.

Hugo said...

i'm sayin' though, can i get some?!?!?

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Marsattacks, that kicks ass the way you stood up to the lemming crowd. Those missiles they protested saved their ass in the long run, those dumbasses.

Etes-vous francais? Moi, j'ai vecu quatre ans en Polynesie Francaise. Mon ex-femme est tahitienne.

Vadergrrrl, that's so sweet. ;)

I think to me and my circle of friends growing up, punk rock was a rebellion against the lovey-dovey peace-love hippy culture which by the late 1970s had devolved from hippy protest to merely Brady Bunch extras with extremely lame musical taste (the Doobie Brothers, EXCUSE ME?), no real fun in their lives, and an insipid acceptance of life as it had become under Jimmy Carter. For that reason, there is sort of a right-wing foundation to a lot of my grown-up attitudes, although most of my life I've voted Libertarian. I knee-jerk against bandwagon-jumping, and there's so much of a bandwagon to "hate Bush" I think I'll swerve out of my Libertarian orbit for this time around and cast a vote for him. It's my latest way of blowing clove cigarette smoke into the faces of the hippy flower children yet again. Nothin' against Yippies though, especially if they're for Legalization!!! ;)

marsattacks said...

Etes-vous francais? Moi, j'ai vecu quatre ans en Polynesie Francaise. Mon ex-femme est tahitienne.

If you were adressing me the answer is non. Je suis Hollandais. Regearde mon profile en mon blog. Et laissez les bon temps rrroulez..

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Sorry about that, Marsattacks! It was your Paris reference that threw me off.

Johnnie Walker said...

I don't think there is a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. They both sling mud at each other and take credit for shit they had nothing to do with. And when things go south, they don't take responsibility.

The last moral president we had was Jimmy Carter.

Bubbles, Ink. said...

...and we all saw what happened to poor Jimmy.

Hey, last time I saw Jello Biafra, he was on Geraldo's daytime talk show (circa '89???).

DK were OK for me in high school, around '85...but I was more into Clash, Pistols, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies.

Nowadays? I hate hearing the Green Days/Blink 182s/Good Charlottes...the kids don't know what they've been missing. Someone's gotta make them turn the clock and listen to the "masters."

What's in my IPOD? Mostly Jazz now--mellowing out, I suppose; too many years of inhaling freon.

Auf auf, mickey-fickeys!!!

Paul G. said...

CSMXF - "in 1933 they thought "almost anybody is better than Paul von Hindenburg"
Hitler never defeated Hindenburg, Hitler didn't assume power until _after_ Hindenburg gave him the Chancellorship, and after Hindenburg died.

Jello Biafra, I like what I hear when the guy talks, but he lacks followthrough. He spoke at H2K about tracking the America Inc. strings and making the financial skeletons fall out of the closets. Now he's off on anti-Patriot act stuff and has completely forgotten his promise of creating the $big Bucks$ and power database.
Nothing wrong with that, but it is his pattern to move from one theme to another like a butterfly in a field of sorghum, each plant forgotten as he moves to the next.

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