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Anarchy for Me, Not for Thee (Jello Biafra)

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  • Dan Clore
    The following, from National Review, is what you d expect from such a source. Most of the stuff on Biafra can be found at:
    Message 1 of 2 , May 31, 2000
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      The following, from National Review, is what you'd
      expect from such a source.

      Most of the stuff on Biafra can be found at:

      5/19/00 12:45 p.m.
      Anarchy For Me, Not For Thee
      In politics, there's always room for Jello.

      By Brandon Bosworth, an editor with The American

      Third-party politics are often, by nature, goofy. A
      clear case in point would be what is perhaps the most
      successful third party in America today: the Reform
      Party. What could be goofier then a party in which
      the two most visible veterans are a bald, giant
      ex-wrestler and a folksy, paranoid leprechaun with a
      personal pot of gold?

      Well, how about a party that is considering nominating
      a former punk rocker and accused porn peddler [!] who
      shares his name with a hospital dessert staple and an
      African nation famous for barbarity and famine?

      The party in question is the Green Party, whose candidate
      for President in 2000 may be Mr. Jello Biafra. Chances
      are he won't get that far. The front-runner is returning
      nominee Ralph Nader, who will probably secure the
      (non-)coveted nomination. Even Biafra plans on voting for
      him. The very thought of another Nader presidential bid,
      no matter how futile and quixotic such a bid may be,
      cannot help but give a conservative the creeps. Heaven
      forbid, someday the Greens may get 5 percent of the vote
      and receive matching funds! But no matter how radical Mr.
      Public Interest may seem, he is downright sensible in
      comparison to the aforementioned Jello Biafra.

      Biafra, whose real name is Eric Boucher, first gained
      notoriety in the late '70s as lead singer and lyricist
      in the critically lauded hard-core punk band, the Dead
      Kennedys. His fame quickly expanded beyond musical
      circles when he ran for mayor of San Francisco in 1979.
      Though his campaign started as something of a joke, he
      eventually garnered enough votes to come in fourth in a
      ten-candidate race. Biafra's platform included the
      banning of automobiles and legalized squatting in vacant

      Apparently for Jello there's always room for politics.
      Ronald Reagan became a favored target in the '80s. In
      1983, the Dead Kennedys headlined a "Rock Against Reagan"
      concert on the mall in the nation's capital. The
      following year, Biafra staged protests in front of the
      Republican convention in Dallas, shouting "f**k off and
      die!" to bewildered conventioneers.

      However, Biafra's antics at the Democratic convention
      were equally high-minded. He and his bandmates took the
      stage wearing KKK hoods, which they removed to reveal
      Reagan masks worn underneath. The point seems to be that
      Biafra didn't really care for Reagan, perhaps because
      the president preferred jellybeans to Jello. He
      apparently has greater respect for Reagan's old nemesis,
      the Ayatollah Khomeini, whom he occasionally quotes,
      specifically the line "All Western countries are bad.
      Nothing but evil comes from them."

      Meanwhile, Biafra continued to work in the music biz.
      His record label, Alternative Tentacles, released albums
      by bands such as the B**thole Surfers and the Crucif**ks.
      [That's the Butthole Surfers and the Crucifucks, kids. --
      DC] In 1986 his own band produced an album called
      "Frankenchrist," which featured a cover painting [nope,
      the cover was a photo of some shriners in their funny
      little cars. The Giger paining was on a poster enclosed
      with the record. -- DC] by H. R. Giger depicting erect
      penises entering vaginal-like orifices. Soon thereafter
      Biafra found himself charged with the crime of
      "Distribution of Harmful Matter to Minors." The charges
      were later dropped [No, they weren't: the judge declared
      a mistrial. -- DC], and Jello became a First Amendment
      icon — along with such esteemed individuals as Larry
      Flynt and Luther Campbell (of rap group 2 Live Crew) —
      among First Amendment idolaters. In his new role he
      found himself in demand on the talk-show circuit,
      appearing on Crossfire and Donahue, and sparring with
      Tipper Gore on Oprah.

      In the '90s, Biafra has continued his musical career,
      recording charming ditties such as "Will the Fetus be
      Aborted?" and contributing a couple of songs to the
      soundtrack of Oliver Stone's film Natural-Born Killers.
      He has also ventured into the realm of the terminally
      egotistical: the spoken-word tour and album.

      The ultimate hope of the self-important is that
      eventually, others will think they are important too.
      Apparently it works. Some members of the New York Green
      party drafted Biafra into running as a candidate for
      President. Green vice chairman Craig Seeman believes
      Biafra "will speak to a different audience then Nader

      Jello has sprung into the race with all the bounce of
      his dessert namesake. He has selected cop-killer Mumia
      Abu-Jamal [that Mumia is guilty is obviously unquestionable,
      despite all the irregularities of the trial. -- DC] as his
      running mate. And he has concocted a platform that is
      simple and old-fashioned in a New Left/Maoist sort of way.

      For starters, he would abolish the military, DEA, CIA, and
      all nuclear weapons. But how about national security? the
      curious voter might ask. Of course, the average voter
      probably doesn't realize, as Jello does, that "our biggest
      national security threat is the environmental destruction
      of our planet."

      Not one to believe people have the right to freely exchange
      goods and services, Biafra would have the U. S. withdraw
      from the WTO and NAFTA [and what does the establishment of
      these institutions for corporate rule have to do with free
      exchange of goods and services? -- DC], as well as establish
      a "maximum wage" for all Americans, capping income at
      $100,000 annually [this is I think is a bad idea. --DC]. He
      states, "We don't need a flat tax, but a flattening tax, to
      truly level the playing field." Income exceeding Jello's
      mandatory limit would be used for "payback--free health
      care, free education, free transportation, (including air
      travel), and more." Besides, "what does more damage to the
      planet, drug addiction or wealth addiction?"

      For those who fret over the political and economic literacy
      of the average citizen, they can take great solace from the
      fact that even the studio audience of Politically Incorrect
      booed Biafra when he proposed this plan.

      The very much alive Dead Kennedy's other ideas include citizen
      election of police officers (surely to be a concept gang lords
      everywhere would love) [Why would gang lords love this? -- DC],
      scrapping the Constitution [I can find this nowhere in any of
      Biafra's statements. --DC] and establishing Parliamentary rule,
      lowering the voting age to five, and eradicating SUVs. Some
      took this as a sign Biafra was mellowing, because he had
      campaigned on banning automobiles entirely when he ran for
      mayor of San Francisco. Biafra also feels schools should have
      "mandatory classes on parenting and offer drug and sex
      education, using actual drugs and sex in class." Oh yes, then
      there is re-education, namely his idea to have children of
      the "rich" (a worrisome bracket considering his 100k maximum
      wage) "taken away and locked in orphanages" so they can "have
      some empathy for real people by the time they were adults."

      Basically Biafra's platform would create, not a dictatorship
      of the proletariat, but a dictatorship of the hippies. [! --DC]
      This is very strange to punks and ex-punks like myself who
      have slightly different ideas of what the whole movement was
      about. Early punks hated hippies, which is why they cut their
      hair short and spiky. Long-hair was for the granola crowd, as
      was facial hair. The Ramones, a band that supposedly greatly
      influenced the Dead Kennedys, were professed Reaganites,
      though they were unsure if the Gipper was "conservative
      enough." [I recall that the Ramones endorsed Reagan, but the
      song "Bonzo Goes to Bittburg" does not show them well pleased
      with him. --DC] Legendary punk singer John Lydon (aka Johnny
      Rotten), of the Sex Pistols and PiL, sang songs attacking
      abortion, promiscuity, and the welfare state, yet defended
      (gasp!) making money. While Biafra chums up with thugs like
      Abu-Jamal, Lydon refused his old manager's request to sing
      with convicted train robber Ronnie Biggs, as it offended his
      sense of morality [Factual? -- DC]. Not to say Jello has no
      sense of morality; it's just that he elevates murderers to
      saintly status and demands that SUV drivers be put in camps.
      [Where? -- DC]

      How about the punk idea of anarchy? Biafra states, "I am an
      anarchist in my personal life," but "we have not evolved
      enough as a species to make anarchy work in society itself."
      [Omitted: "I try to live my life in a way that I don't need
      cops or baby-sitters to keep me from infringing on others."]
      To help those not as evolved as he, Biafra feels government
      is still needed to "transfer the wealth from those who have
      too much to those who have too little" and keep "territorial
      humans from screwing over and killing each other." So until
      we all rise to the level of Uber-Jello, we will have to wait
      for anarchy and make do with totalitarianism.

      Luckily, we will likely never see a President (or Chairman)
      Biafra. Even in New York, the very state that nominated him,
      Biafra only got about 13 percent of the Green vote. Nader
      will get the Green Party nomination, since the Greens are
      crazy, not stupid. (That assertion is open to debate.) Nader
      will lose the general election, winning mostly the votes of
      assorted hairy-faced men and hairy-legged women, and perhaps
      a few Fresh Fields shoppers.

      As for Jello, as long as there are rebellious, suburban
      college kids with "Mao More Then Ever!" T-shirts in the
      world, there will always be someone willing to shell out
      the bucks to hear his "enlightened" political commentary.
    • caliban@gate.net
      Thanks for sending in the article on Green Jello. I really appreciated your parenthetical comments, BTW, both because they corrected errors in the article and
      Message 2 of 2 , May 31, 2000
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        Thanks for sending in the article on Green Jello.
        I really appreciated your parenthetical comments,
        BTW, both because they corrected errors in the
        article and also because they were worthwhile in
        their own right. Plus witty.

        John Fast <caliban@...> <http://www.freedomspace.net/~caliban>
        ENTJ/1w2 Finger me for GURPS, Geek, and Magic Codes.
        "Raise consciousness, not taxes."
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