Text & Mix via Noisey
If there was any music that articulated the feelings of hatred towards Margaret Thatcher in the early 80s, it was anarcho-punk. Fiercely underground and independent from the rest of the music business, the genre was a grass roots movement that delivered on punk’s original promise to actually be politically threatening.
Over thirty years on, it’s stronger than ever, with more bands taking up the torch and citing anarcho-punk as an influence. Chris Low was there at the beginning, drumming for a number of the seminal acts while barely into his teens, with his current band, PART1, scheduled to make their first reformation show at Rebellion, the world’s largest punk festival, this summer. Following a year playing anarcho-punk DJ sets in Tokyo, Low’s compiled a monster mix of his favorite tunes and answered a few questions about the whole thing. Scroll to the bottom for the tracklist too.
One of my favorite fanzines/magazines ANP QUARTERLY has a new issue out with an article entitled “L.A. Punk Gangs of the 80′s”. Honestly this is the first time I have ever seen a publication tackle this part of the L.A. hardcore movement. It’s a very interesting and insightful read, and I’m glad ANP did this feature, it brought back a lot of memories. I wanted to shed some light on the Suicidal Boys part of the article because this is the scene that I was a part of when I first found punk rock. Usually people always talk about how violent we were, but they leave out the huge amount of kinship we had with one another. We had a central meeting place, which was Mar Vista park, where we would meet up before shows and down beers. Also this park served as the place were the Suicidal softball & football leagues would play ball. Somedays we could also be seen at Penmar playing golf with the Suicidal golf club or at the bowling alley with the Suicidal bowling team. For me it was more of a band of brothers than it was a gang. That being said, many of us did have older brothers that were a part of the local gangs, plus being from Venice we were taught to represent our hood! Many of the kids that were in our scene had known each other since the first grade, so of course as we got older we had each others’ backs. More than the shows in Hollywood, it was the house parties where the real fun would take place. I’m talking about kegger parties that would feature live performances from Suicidal Tendencies, No Mercy, Beowulf, Neighborhood Watch and Chaotic Noise; these were priceless events. When we did go to shows, we did not fuck with people unless they fucked with us. If someone called us out of name they would have to pay the price. The down side to growing up in this environment is that some kids actually did join gangs and went down a path that led them to prison. On a personal level, I realized punk was bigger than just the people around me, and I started listening to Crass and bands that opened my mind. I’m glad that I did not just close myself off to the broader punk scene, because I would have missed out on a lot! I’m way happy that ANP QUARTERLY did this article, because this was an era that has been forgotten about by many. Go to pages 57 through 67 to read “L.A. Punk Gangs of the 80′s”…much respect to everyone who took photos back then!..All of the madness is after the jump.
A few weeks ago I wrote an impassioned post about Hugo Chavez’s death, making some sweeping statements about what he contributed to both Venezuelan society and Latin American society without backing them up with facts. Well luckily other people do their research before they express their opinion publicly, and below I have reposted a very intelligent account of Chavez’ legacy and why North American governments and mainstream media are slobbering to take him down, even post-mortem. So please read on, and be assured that although Chavez is no longer with us, he has inspired many, many revolutionaries in his wake…
Chavez and the Latin American Spring: This is what democracy could look like
By Murray Dobbin via Rabble.ca
One of the many things that Hugo Chavez, the charismatic and revolutionary president of Venezuela contributed to the world, was his demonstration for people everywhere the difference between democracy and liberal democracy. Chavez’s hyperbolic style, his tweaking the tail of the Imperial tiger and his willingness to be just as ruthless as his U.S.-backed opponents, gave Western leaders and journalists lots of ammunition to demonize him.
But what really made them all crazy was precisely the fact that he took liberal democracy — the term applied to a political system designed to manage capitalism in the interests of the wealthy and corporations — and turned it into genuine democracy. It highlighted for those struggling for social justice that liberal democracy is an oxymoron — liberalism being the principle that capitalism (inequality) rules and democracy being its opposite: equality. As witnessed by the outrageous levels of inequality now characterizing Canada, you can have one or the other but not both.
Nothing threatens leaders of the Western powers — especially the U.S. — like good examples of real democracy and they will do anything to destroy them, demonize them or threaten any other country that dares think about emulating them. No example is too small to destroy as was witnessed by the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada (population 110,000).
The strategy was called “destroy the dream” — which explains, perhaps, why U.S. troops totally destroyed a rural, all-women jam-making co-operative. In the 1980s it was Nicaragua. There they forced the Sandinista government to change its system of electoral democracy from a constituent assembly (made up of elected representatives from all sectors of society) to a multi-party system that the elites could control. The result: the Sandinistas lost.
Story via Highsnobiety
Writer Sam McGuire presents an eye-opening profile of skateboarder Hillary Thompson for Jenkem Magazine that captures the ever-changing obstacles that those in the LGBT face in the world of sports. Noting the struggle of being true to herself, the editorial spans many of the universal human emotions that sports offers and notes “many times, when people transition they feel the need to shed previous gender habits. Some people do it for survival and some out of societal pressures but Hillary’s desire to skate helped her ignore all of this and she picked up her board again.” While a choice excerpt appears after the jump, head over to Jenkem Magazine to read the enthralling editorial in its entirety.
Text Written by Mike Hill of TOMBS
At some point, I saw the Tony Scott, vampire movie called “The Hunger” which features David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve, but more importantly, it featured an intro sequence with Peter Murphy singing “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” and a whole other layer was added to my musical obsessions. My main fascination with metal and most of the hardcore punk bands that I enjoyed was the “darkness” element. Sabbath and Slayer incorporated overtly Satanic themes into their music which I later discovered were more theatrics than actual believe, but at the time it seemed real and a little frightening to me; it added a feeling that you were discovering something forbidden.
As a child raised in a “Christian” home, I was told every Sunday in church that the way to ensure eternal life was to believe in the Bible and Jesus. If I didn’t believe in these things, I was going to end up in Hell, a horrible place full of horrible people being tortured for eternity. I was free to choose to believe or not to believe, but if I made the wrong choice I was fucked. Forever. This idea never sat well with me, especially when I realized that other cultures had different ideas about what makes punishable behaviour. Chinese Buddhist Hell is a place that makes way more sense than Christian Hell. In fact, it makes Christian Hell seem like a scam to make more money for the Church. Rather than punishing people for not believing in a weird sexist storybook, in Chinese Buddhist Hell you are punished for doing really shitty things during your life, repeatedly, to the point that your soul becomes so weighted down with bad karma that you sink into one of 18 levels where you are punished until your karma is served off. A kind of rehabilitation scheme for your soul. So if you’re a pedo, you’re going to be boiled alive in a cauldron of oil, a thought that I find quite enjoyable. If you talk a bunch of shit, you’re going to have your tongue ripped out by demons. If you pretend to be someone you’re not, you’ll be steamed like so many little buns. If you are a powerful oppressor, you’ll be ground in a mill into powder, over and over again, until you’ve paid off your billions in thievery. All in all, I like the sound of this place, especially since I always thought that being as nice a person as you can was the best way to avoid Hell – I mean, who wants to believe that all those child molesting priests are going to be enjoying some fucking paradise after they finally die? I would much prefer them to be burned and bubbled in a rolling vat of oil. After the jump, check out the Eighteen Levels of Hell, complete with ancient depictions of each level of torture…
“The Atheist” by JR of Pig Destroyer
I don’t know what you hate, I suppose it could be anything, but just for a moment imagine that you hate Baseball. As soon as you see it pop up on the television you change the channel in disgust. All of the catching and throwing and running around just seems silly and pointless to you. The crack of the ball against the bat reflexively sends the contents of your stomach surging upwards into the back of your throat. Now imagine that not only are the vast majority of people in the world baseball fans, but that in their fanaticism they have decided; without consulting you; that not only does everyone have to love baseball, but you have to pick a favorite team.
This is my relationship to religion. I was indoctrinated when I was a child, and I wrestled with it through most of my adolescence. My fear of Hell made me fear my own thoughts, my own sexuality. I was taught that man was once perfect, but had since fallen into decadence and degradation. Sometimes they made it seem like almost everything a person could think or do was a sin. Where some saw peace and understanding, I could only see ignorance and xenophobia.
Other people around me would react differently. They were filled with great happiness and fulfillment. They would throw their hands into the air at service, seemingly drunk on God’s love and security. Why couldn’t I feel these things? Was I incomplete? Was I possessed by the Devil? Why did my mind constantly hunger for knowledge and understanding? Perhaps it was like a taste in food or music, maybe one man’s worship is just another man’s boot licking. I guess if you’re going to ask questions like that you have to be prepared to never find the answers.
I was told that humans could not understand the mind of God, any more than a serf might understand the whims of his king. My questions seemed reasonable enough to me. Why would a being who is supposed to be perfectly good exhibit so much jealousy and sadism? How could an all powerful being have an adversary? What about all the people who died before the birth of Jesus? Were they condemned to Hell simply for being born too early to be saved? Why would the creator bestow upon me the faculties of logic and reason if their only use was to send me spiraling to a fiery doom? When I would ask the pastor these questions he would just laugh heartily and pat me on the shoulder. Surely I was too young and naïve to understand the intricacies of scripture. And the more I studied it, the more lazy and made up that it all seemed. I still had to pray for a few more years before I finally realized I was talking to myself.
At some point in my early twenties I decided that I didn’t really care about what happened to me when I died. God or no God, I was going to live my mortal life as a free man. Free to decide for myself what I think is right or wrong. And if this freedom carried with it some eternal punishment then bring it on. I will laugh all the way down to Hell.
Robert Whitaker: Yes, there was a particular story; but it was sort of a backdoor entry, actually. In 1998, I started writing about the problems in psychiatric drug trials. At that point, I decided to do a series for the Boston Globe on problems in psychiatric research. While I was doing that series, I kept coming upon outcome studies that I found mind-boggling.
One was the World Health Organization studies which showed that outcomes for people with mental health problems were much, much better in the poor countries of the world. By the way, the results of their first report was so startling, they repeated the study, and they came up with the same results. When I asked people why that was, no one could give me a good answer. They would just say, “Oh, well, families are nicer over there,” or “societies are nicer.” It didn’t really ring true.
Spirit: In the developed countries, supposedly we have more advanced therapies and drugs; and yet the outcomes are worse here, with far more people locked into lifelong, chronic mental illness?
Whitaker: Exactly. So that really opened an interesting question that no one was answering. One other thing caught my attention as I started looking at those World Health Organization studies. What no one, and I mean no one, mentioned was that the use of antipsychotic drugs was much less in those poor countries where people were infrequently kept on the drugs.
So here you had this disparity. You have our medical paradigm here in this country, which says continual drug treatment for those diagnosed with schizophrenia is absolutely essential. And yet outcomes and recovery rates were much, much higher in poor countries where they didn’t follow that paradigm. That obviously raises the question: Is there something wrong with our paradigm?
The other study that dovetails with this is by the Harvard Medical School researchers who, in 1994, had looked at outcomes over the centuries for schizophrenia patients, and concluded that outcomes hadn’t really improved since 1900, when the therapies of the day were water therapies. Again, that was contrary to the story we tell ourselves. The story we tell ourselves is that we’re getting ever better drugs and we’re getting ever better at understanding the “biology” of the disease of schizophrenia.
I have no problem pissing off racists, because I think they are bottomfeeders and the scum of the earth. This is why CVLT Nation’s sickest tumblr this moment is FUCK YEAH ANARCHO PUNK – it’s full of left wing art, articles, video and much more. I could lose myself in this page for hours. FUCK YEAH ANARCHO PUNK also has a sense of humor I can relate to. With all of the fucked up shit that is going on around the world, it’s cool to see that some people have the right state of mind and don’t feel that it’s necessary to fall in line with the fascists. So after the jump, see how FUCK YEAH ANARCHO PUNK slaps the taste out of the mouths of all nazis and fascist corporate bastards!
Property has played a huge role in US history. From property ownership being the requirement for participation in the governmental system, to modern-day billionaires taking out 1% interest rate mortgages, those making and lobbying the law have made sure that property stays mostly in the hands of their cohorts. There are so many people in this country, and especially in our generations, who can’t and may not ever afford to buy a home. Increasing numbers of Americans are finding themselves homeless, kicked out of properties that sit vacant for years after. Activist and author Hannah Dobbz released her book Nine Tenths of the Law on November 1st, 2012, in an effort to help people understand the history of property laws and the people’s struggles to find shelter in the land of the “free.” Driving through LA and seeing foreclosed home after foreclosed home, I can’t help but think that there has never been a more important time to teach people about the importance of finding a way out of the current system, one that has no problem evicting a family at their time of need, while the very banks evicting them accept government subsidy. Dobbz is currently on tour for her book, doing talks at book shops and cafes for its launch, so make sure to check those dates after the jump, as well as an in-depth description of Nine Tenths of the Law. You can pick up the book directly from Dobbz on her tour, or you can get it at your local independent book store or from the publisher, AK Press, HERE.