Saturday, July 25

Videos from Purgatory #15: God Forbid - To the Fallen Hero

Here's another band from Electric Purgatory coming out of New Jersey is the Death Metal Powerhouse of God Forbid, who like Killswitch Engage have garnered a good strong following and ton of respect among thrash metal fans touring with the likes of Sevendust, Opeth and Cradle of Filth. After releasing an indie EP in 1998 and follow up in 2000, the group was signed for worldwide distribution to Century Media Records. Featuring vocalist Byron Davis; bassist Beeker; drummer Corey Pierce; and the brotherly guitar team of Doc Coyle and his older sibling Dallas.

Byron is not your Mama's "Soul Crooner" - not even "kinda".

It's NOT A CRIME to pursue your rights in your OWN HOUSE!

Can't you hear the outrage?

    "Damn, do we have a bunch of Uppity Negroes around here - or what?

    First you've got Bougee professor dude who think he' can Bum Rush a cop out of his house. Don't he know he was born a suspect? Can't expect no respect from the PoPo.

    Just cuz he be Published and stuff? Got a TV Show too? Go tell it to TMZ.

    And now - NOW - we've got this Kenyan Negro Upsurper President saying that a White Cop, merely doing his job to maintain law and order was acting "Stupidly?" STUPIDLY?

    We can see right through President Acorn/Anarchist! It's clear you don't WANT Law and Order, you just want all your buddies and racial pals to get over on the White Man.


Whether or not the police officer or the "helpful" neighbor were Racist or not actually isn't the biggest issue in the unwarranted arrest of Skip Gates.

What strikes me the hardest is the fact that Professor Gates was Entirely Within his Rights and was consequently Punished for having the temerity to exercise those rights.

Both parties is this dispute agree that the Burglary Phone Call was probably a mistake on the part of a over-protective/over-fearful neighbor who apparently thought a 58 year-old-man with a cane, and a tuxedo wearing chauffer trying to open a stuck door were a burgeoning crime wave in Cambridge.

I'm willing to let that one go, although I can see how the Stupidity of it might give some a bit of pause, if not make one a tad testy.

Both parties agree that Professor Gates was who he said he was, and his house was where he was standing.

So at this point the "Investigation" is functionally over. But things don't end there.

According to both parties, Gates then asked for the Officer's ID and his Badge Number. No matter whether he asked this question at the top of his voice, or in a whisper - he has EVERY RIGHT to ask this question.

Then you have another view as presented by "Progressive" Talk Show Host Johnny Wendell on his Facebook.

As per Professor Gates and his arrest: Has anyone considered that the issue here isn't race, but class? A well-heeled academic gives a lowly working class cop a lot of lip in a city where the working class has felt shat on by the powers that be (especially at Harvard) forever. Anyone with any street savvy, white or black, knows that mouthing off to the po-po is dumb. I woulda "yes sirred" until the cop was gone.



Is that really supposed to be the standard? "Yes, Sirrah"... "Yesah, Massah - I promise Iz won't do it agin..."

From his police report Sgt Crawley states he was surprised that Prof. Gates wasn't "Grateful" that Cambridge police were so attentive. Yeah, ok, right- maybe that is what he was thinking in his mind, but what *I* would be thinking is Exactly What makes you (or anyone) think I Look Like a Suspect?.

From this you get Gates questions: "Is this because I'm a Black Man in America?" and "Do you know who I am?"

Whether shouted from the rooftop or mumbled - There is Nothing Wrong with ASKING A QUESTION.


Yet this Officer, now knowing that this was Prof Gates Home and Personal Residence, persisted in asking him to step out onto the porch - which he did - and then once on the porch arrested him for "loud and tumultuous behavior in a public place"

Are you fracking kidding me?

Hey man, it wasn't a "public place" until you asked him to come out onto the porch. No matter WHAT Gates may have asked or said to the Officer while he was in his own home, he had every right to do so - and the Officer knew it or else he wouldn't have loured him outside so he could then slap cuffs on him in clear retaliation for his lack of "Gratitude".

It's just that simple. Could it have happened to a White Guy? Sure it could, but the point is It Shouldn't Happen to Anyone.

This was an act of intimidation. "You dare to threaten to file a report on me? I'll show you - and in the process preemptively undermine any claims you might have..."

Think I'm overstating it? Well, let's let MR. I'll-Never-Ever-Apologize Speak for himself.



Doesn't look too worried does he, and Why should he when Cambridge has provided this handy - How To get arrested Guide.



Most of the problems you may encounter with the police can be avoided. Remember, they have a right to stop and question you based on probable cause. If you are stopped, you should collect your thoughts and remain calm. Whether or not you are arrested may just depend on how calm and prepared you are at this time. There are factors that the police may take into consideration when observing you. Every situation is different and the officer may consider the following factors:

* If you are running and a crime has recently been reported in the area.
* · If you are "hanging around" with people currently under police investigation.
* · If you are near an area where a crime has just been reported and may have witnessed or participated in the crime.
* · If you are in an area which the police believe to be abandoned or unoccupied, or are present on public or commercial property outside of appropriate norms.
* · If you are acting in a manner which appears to be suspicious.
* · If the police believe you are in possession of stolen property.
* · If stopped while walking or driving your car, you refuse to answer police questions, or give false, evasive or contradictory information.
* · If you match a suspect profile described to the police.
* · If you use derogatory or offensive language, you may be saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

While these things are taken into consideration when questioning you, the police MUST STILL RESPECT YOUR RIGHT TO REFUSE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS THAT SOUND ACCUSATORY.


So basically, you better watch your mouth even when the COPS ARE WRONG.

Isn't it great to be living in the "Land of the Free and Home of the Scared?"

I know I feel just Peachy.

Vyan

Friday, July 24

Videos from Purgatory #14: Dan Reed Network - Mix It Up

The Multi-Racial group Dan Reed Network were probably one of Englands Biggest Acts during the Late 80's/Early 90's, which is fairly strange for a band that was actually from Portland Oregon. Mixing Rock, Soul and Funk in a manner reminiscent of slamming Prince Jamming and Bon Jovi in a blender on puree' this group was able to sell out major stadiums overseas, but hardly generated a whisper in their own home country.



I actually managed to meet Dan Reed himself about the time the above video was made in 1991 in front of Doug Weston's Troubadour at a gig for my friends in the Boston Band Flesh, who were in the midst of having a demo produced by Dan. Eventually Flesh's first album was produced and released by Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt (who was their lead singer Paulo's younger brother, and their guitarist Markos was Gary Cherone's younger brother).

Here is an earlier Dan Reed Network Video from their more "Bon Jovi" period on The Late Show in 1988.



Although they couldn't get arrested on U.S. Soil, Dan Reed Network produced three albums, "Dan Reed Network"(1988), "Slam" (1989) &"Heat" (1991) while touring Europe and the UK with bands such as Bon Jovi and the Rolling Stones. But eventually the lake of U.S. success forced the band to break up, but Dan didn't give in - he joined with guitarist Raf Hernandez of Maggie's Dream to form the group Adrenaline Sky during the mid 90's.



See, some Old Rockers just refuse to fade away, they just adapt, change and keep rocking!

Vyan

Thursday, July 23

Videos from Purgatory #13: Skunk Anansie - Selling Jesus

Skunk Anansie was a mid 90's band that delivered a high-energy groove inspired punch, starting first with the soaring vocals of their exotic front woman - Skin!

Selling Jesus



This particular tune was used a the main theme for the Tom Sizemore/Ralph Fiennes film "Strange Days", and certainly gives the Televangelist crowd a hard knock to the forehead.

I Can Dream



After releasing their Second CD Skin teamed-up with Sevendust to release the track "Licking Cream".



The band did well overseas, but after a lack-luster U.S. response following thier third CD eventually broke up in 2001 although there are rumored to be doing some reunion shows in their native England. Skin had released some solo material in the meantime.

vyan

Wednesday, July 22

Born in the U.S.A! - Taking Down the Birthers Piece by Piece

Crossposte from Dailkos

Ok, this Birther - Barack is a Foreigner - stuff has jus plain gotten completely out of hand, now that 10 members of the house have actually proposed legislation to compell any future Presidential Candidates to prove that they are a natural citizen, as if their opponents wouldn't jump up and down all over any such allegations if they were legitimate?



If you have had, as I have, or expect to have an argument with a "Birther" - particularly since this has clearly moved from mere "conspiracy Theory" to an issue of potential legislation being driving by Repubs - IMO you need to read this diary.

Just to back Matthews up a bit here's a video from Cenk at Young Turks that goes much further into tearing this issue apart by using FactCheck.org to analyze Obama's documentation in detail.



As Cenk shows Factcheck goes through each and eery claim that the presented documentation is not authentic using the following close up pics to make his point.

Copy Provided by Obama


Showing the Folds.


Signature on the Back


The Raised Seal


Close Up of City of Birth


Unredacted Certification Number


Birth Announcement from Local Honolulu Paper filed by Obama's Grand Parents

Now, the funny thing about this, and the thing that keeps the Birthers coming back even when you do display all the above - as Matthews, Cenk and Fact Check do - is the fact this this document really isn't Obama's Birth Certificate.

Hey, stop throwing rocks... I'm serious.

No, I'm not supporting a Conspiracy Theory on Dkos - that would be a TOS violation, I'm just saying. as Yoda would - There is Another.

This document is Obama's "Certification of Live Birth", it is essentially the "Short Form" of his certificate and most states including Hawaii have another longer form which includes details such as Birth Weight, possibly even a footprint and such to help confirm the identity of the child. (Y'know the stuff that Identity Theft is made of...?)

Here's what Fact Check Says about it.

The document is a "certification of birth," also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents' hometowns. The short form is printed by the state and draws from a database with fewer details. The Hawaii Department of Health's birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department. We tried to ask the Hawaii DOH why they only offer the short form, among other questions, but they have not given a response.


What all these Birther as clamoring for - Is the Long Form, not this one.

They argue, that they've found examples of foreign citizens who've managed to forge the short form and therefore the ability to commit such a forgery automatically de-legitimizes the form supplied by Obama. It's sort of saying that simply because someone can counterfeit a $20 Bill, every other $20 is therefore invalid.

Yeah, Right - Ok....

The problem that they have, and the answer to FactChecks unanswered question about the Long Form, is that the Short Form is all that All You Need to Prove Citizenship Under the Law

Per Hawaiian law, Statue 338.13, any certified copies of the original document can serve the same purpose as the original document.

"(b) Copies of the contents of any certificate on file in the department, certified by the department shall be considered for all purposes the same as the original, subject to the requirements of sections 338-16, 338-17, and 338-18."

Usually the certification is stamped and signed on the lower reverse side of the document and says "I certify this is a true copy or abstract of the record on file in the Hawaii State Department of Health."


Still, the Birthers demand access to the Long Form - however Hawaii State Law restricts access to the long form only to those with a tangible interest in obtaining it. Since the short form is legally valid, there is no "tangible interest" for those outside the Obama family, period.

But still they don't stop clamoring.

One of the issues that I felt trumped all of his was the issue that trumped this argument for George Romney who was born in Mexico and John McCain who was born in Panama. In both of these cases these candidates are still citizens because of the citizenship of their parents, so I figured So was Obama because of his American Born Mother - but as it turns out I was wrong.

* If you were born before November 14, 1986, you are a citizen if your U.S. citizen parent lived in the United States for at least 10 years and 5 of those years in the United States were after your citizen parent's 14th birthday.


This essentially says that prior to 1986, the U.S. Citizen Parent would have to be at least 19 years old in order for that citizenship to be automatically conferred onto their children who were born overseas. Barack's mother Ann Dunham-Obama was only 18 Years Old on August 14 4th, 1961 when he was born. This means that her citizenship IS NOT automatically conferred onto him.

Yeah, I thought Alan Keyes sounded like a complete lunatic when he made this statement but he's actually correct, he's just wrong about everything else.

The other thing that continues to drive the Birthers are Videos such as the following which includes a an interview with Baracks's Grandmother in Kenya.



She says "Barack is a Son of this Village" and this is shown captioned by the original BBC Report, however the edits added to this video attempt to claim that there is a Different translation of her statement and what she's "Really" saying is "Barack was Born in this Village".

Beyond the fact that this video disagrees with itself this claim exposes the absolutely weakest part of the entire Birther argument. In Order for Barack Hussein Obama Jr. to have been Born Anywhere - it had to be where is MOTHER was located

Is there any evidence, a passport, a visa, State Department or Airline Records that indicate that Ann Dunham-Obama left the United States just prior to August 4th, 1961? In order for these people to be correct an 18 year-old 9 month pregnant girl made an approx 15,000 Mile trip from Hawaii to Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya - did it without leaving a trace - and arrived back home making the 15,000 return trip with her infant son and arriving before the beginning of her next semester of College in September.

Are you Fracking Kidding Me?

Beyond the Short Form/Long Form issue, beyond the Parental/Age Citizenship problem, and the interpretion/translation of comments which may or may not have been made by his Grandmother there is STILL the physical realities of the situation.

Supposedly somebody snuck this girl out of the U.S., then snuck her back in again - to an ISLAND 3000 Miles out into the Pacific - faked a birth certification, faked a birth announcement, did it without leaving a paper trail or money trail and managed to fool everyone in Hawaii, the Clinton Campaign and the McCain Campaign without making a mistake?

I mean, geez, if that's the kind of thing Barack Obama Jr. is capable of - don't you think it's better having someone like that on our side?

I mean, y'now, if you're just plain NUTS that is...

Vyan

Videos from Purgatory #12: Suicidal Tendencies - You Can't Bring Me Down

It may seem odd to includes this band in this series of videos of bands trapped in Electric Purgatory considering their long history and international success, but then again these guys truly seriously RAWK and the contribution of Guitarist Rocky George to them should not go ignored.



So many classic lines in this song...

Crazy? You wouldn't know crazy if Charles Manson was eating Fruit Loops on your Front Porch!

Can you say "Feel Like Shit"? Yeah, well I rather fell like shit than be Full of shit!

Oh, did I offend you? Oh I'm sorry, but maybe you needed to be offended and one more thing - FUCK YOU!


(Some of the guys in shades shown in the video standing behind the fence during the intro were members of the L.A. Black Rock Coalition Band - Backlash, whose singer was killed by a drunk driver on his way to one of their gigs, and event that paralleled one of their early songs "I Saw Your Mommy" which documented the hit-and-run killing of one of Mike Muir's Teachers in front of Venice High)

With this song "You Cant Bring me Down" ST make a point that is a common theme to many groups I've highlighted, the argument that they will not be denied despite the forces aligned against them. A lot of people might not be aware of what Suicidal Tendencies have gone through, starting with the fact that from early on the band was not only associated deeply with the burgeoning Skate-Punk movement but also with local gangs in Venice CA.

Not only was their a Suicidal Tendencies Band, there was also a Suicidal Tendencies Gang and exactly where one began and the other ended became so confused that for a fairly long period - much like their later contemporaries Body Count - the band was literally BANNED from performing in their own home town and lead singer Mike Muir was literally detained by Secret Service. (Hints of this are displayed in the "You Can't Bring me Down" video using simulated News Paper Headlines)

Despite their worldwide expansion and success, Suicidal Tendencies was banned from playing their hometown for nearly six years. Los Angeles city authorities had restricted the band from performing within the city limits. Because of the ban, Suicidal Tendencies was unable to schedule a show within a 400-mile radius of L.A., since the restriction frightened most area concert promoters. Finally, in April of 1991, Queensryche invited Suicidal Tendencies to open for them on their national arena tour, and the ban in L.A. was lifted.


You want to talk about being "Held Down by the Man" - that's it right there.

These guys clearly defied stereotypes with Mike's obvious "Cholo" attire on stage. He literally did dress like a "Gang banger", and trust me - they have a HUGE following in the L.A. Latino/Chicano community who felt their personal stories of adolescent and social repression deeply.

Gradually the band moved from their Hardcore/Punk Influences into becoming a Full-On Metal Band more akin to Anthrax than Black Flag. But still, these guys didn't exactly "fit right in" on Head Bangers Ball sandwiched between Slaughter and Winger.



And they always knew how to direct their biting wit - especially on this track about thieving Televangelists - "Send Me Your Money".



Vyan

Tuesday, July 21

Videos from Purgatory: Lucy Brown - Colorblind

Lucy Brown is not just a girl's name, it's also the name of a band from Washington DC - one featuring Gene Hawkins, Scott Llewellyn, Chris Neuberg and Luis Peraza who released a Self-Titled Funk influenced Rock CD in 1991 on Megaforce Records. (Yes, the same label as Megadeth, Anthrax and King's X). Their sound was a bit like hearing the Chili Peppers get Butt Raped by Led Zepellin with Otis Redding Singing lead.

Colorblind.



Skyburn



The record failed to catch fire and the band was dropped by the label, however they did manage to record a follow up EP "Five Dead Dogs" with five songs in 1993 before the untimely death of Lead Singer Gene Hawkins in 1994, after which the band decided to call it quits. It's really a shame too because truly had a uniquely powerful deep voice that I haven't heard from any other singer with the possible exception of my old friend Terry from Shallow.



Vyan

Monday, July 20

Videos from Purgatory #10: Body Count - There Goes the Neighborhood/Cop Killer

One video that need little introduction - This is Body Count with "There Goes the Neighborhood".



With this one song, these guys pretty much crystallize exactly what I've been saying for the last week and a half about the Electric Purgatory that Black Artist who Play Rock are thrown into. It doesn't just come from Whites, a lot of the resistance to Black people "Straying too far, and Acting Too WHite" comes from Black's themselves.

Actually a ton of it comes from Black's people own - long and deeply injected - fear and paranoia. (Sorry guys, I call it like I see it. It takes Courage to reject doing what you're TOLD you should be doing and try something different. It takes guts to break out of the norm and risk potentially failing, but still trying anyway because you believe in a cause - not just want to GET RICH with a Cheesy Rap Minstrel Act so you can pile on more BLING BLING to go with your badass RIMZZ! Yeah BOYEE! Look, they SPINNING - They SPINNING!

Uh huh, Stepin Fetchin was a real Rich Mo Fo too. How you like him now?)

But I digress..

This version of the video doesn't include the infamous "N-Word", which was frankly all over the original version of the song with a ton of F-Words too. I would've used that version if I could have found it, but I didn't. When this came out I was a member of the BRC (Black Rock Coalition) and the "N-word" issue actually became quite a big deal with us. Vernon Reid while on tour with Living Colour visited us and we got into a discussion of it after they were ask on KROQ radio about the Gun's N Roses song "One In a Million" which features the line - Police and Niggers - yeah, that's right - get outta my way - don't need to buy none of your gold chains today, or have my hands claps in front of my back - why can't you give me some slack.

Vernon's attitude was that it's Never Ok. That word has historical weight and significance that simply can't be wished away or ignored. In his view Black people calling themselves that are simply expressing self-hatred, and frankly giving bigots an excuse to use it too.

I think he does have a point, particularly when people use it as an attack in anger.

But the main attitude of some of the rest of us, myself included, is that words are a tool to communicate a thought, feeling and emotion - they don't have magical powers of their own outside of the context of how their used. If you want to take a negative word and use it in a positive/ironic context in order to redefine it and modify it's power from a weapon of attack to one of defense - YOU CAN. The entire breath of Black-Vernacular is built on exactly that kind of ironic reconstruction.

But then Michael Richard's had to lose his mind on stage and fuck it up for everybody.

Even if we do ban the word, it doesn't change how people feel and their ability to use other words to say and express the exact same thing. Stuff like "Mud Duck" or "Macaca" get to the same place. Mission Not Accomplished.

Anyway, I bring this up because it was a source of tension between the Living Colour guys and the Body Count guys who from what I could tell never really bonded even though they Toured together on the very first year of Lollapalooza in the early 90's. Just another one of those East Coast/West Coast rifts I guess.

Naturally I can't let a discussion of Body Count go by without address the REAL controversy they got going ... and that was over a little song called "Cop Killer".



When this song came out Bodycount front man Ice T had already played a Cop in the film New Jack City. He's since spent years playing a detective on Law and Order:SVU - it's like - JUST A SONG PEOPLE!

But man oh man did it start an uproar. About two years after the song came out, and even after they'd performed it dozens of times in front of tens of thousands of fans at Lollapalooza, the Fraternal Order of Police in Texas issued a complaint saying that the song was a call to violence against Peace Officers.

On the album version Ice actually has an intro that explains the song.

This song goes out to the L.A.P.D. For everyone of those fucking police that every beat somebody down and hurts them because they got long hair - wrong skin color - whatever their reason was to do it. I'd like to take a Pig out in this Parking Lot and Shot 'em in the Mutha Fucking Face!


Unless you're an idiot, it's pretty obvious that this song isn't about totally random violence - it's about how angry people can become in response to rampant Police Brutality. The Chorus goes like this.

COP KILLER, better you than me.
I'm a COP KILLER, fuck police brutality!
COP KILLER, I know your family's grieving,
(FUCK 'EM!)
COP KILLER, but tonight we get even, ha ha ha ha, yeah!


It's about self defense from a corrupt government. Yes, LOCAL Government is still Government, and Cops are Government employees - they work FOR US. The real irony in this is that the people who came after BodyCount in solidarity with the Fraternal Order of Police - were Charleton Heston and the NRA, "the Champions" of the 2nd Amendment.

This issue proved these guys don't know what the FRACK the 2nd Amendment is all about.

In Federalist #46 Madison wrote:

The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made.

Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.


The right of individual citizens to bear arms is based primarily in the idea that only an armed citizenry can wrest back their liberty from an out of control government. Madison was considering the idea that an out-of-wack Federal Government - with a Standing Federal Army - would be the primary danger, but what of a local government that has become a Military Threat to the people?

LAPD was the first police force to deploy Para-Military tactics against it's citizens. it's inventor, then Lieutenant Darryl Gates called it - S.W.A.T.. It's Special Forces being used against the U.S. The first of many S.W.A.T. Fuckups was obviously the complete destruction and burning of members of the S.L.A. during the 70's. We all saw this exact same scenario repeated by the FBI's version of SWAT, known as H.R.T. (Hostage Rescue Team) at Ruby Ridge and at Waco.

SWAT burned the SLA to death with tear gas canisters that ignited the carpet. The more things change...

LAPD was the first police force to deploy a Military personnel carrier against it's citizens with their "Battering Ram". Their first use of it against a supposed "Crack House" actually wound up breaking down the wall of a family trying to have breakfast. Again, we later saw H.R.T. deploy similar devices against the Branch Davidians at again - you guessed it Waco. (This of course, inspired Gun-Nut/Ex-Iraq War Vet Tim McVeigh to retaliate against - mistakenly - the ATF Offices in Oklahoma City!)

About two years after Body Count released "Cop Killer" the Rodney King Verdict of "Not Guity" was announced against four officer who beat a man to a bloody pulp including fracturing his skull while he crawled and writhed on the ground.

The City Blew the FUCK UP!

That ANGER was what Body Count was talking about - after the Shooting of Eula Love, the strangling of Ron Settles and so many others by LAPD - people had had it up to HERE with years their intimidation, brutality, murder and bullshit. They were ready to LOSE IT, and they did. If anything "Cop Killer" was a warning - but sadly people didn't listen.

Just a couple days ago, the Consent Decree that had given Federal Control over the LAPD in the wake of the Rampart Scandal (Which alleged multiple officers stealing and selling drug evidence, beating and shooting unarmed and innocent suspects) was finally lifted. LAPD today is much better than it was when Body Count originally sang "Cop Killer". Now most of our problems are with the Sherriff's Dept who had three incidents of Shooting Unarmed Suspects "in the Back" in the last month.

But that's isn't the thing that really gets me about all this. Beside the point that this song was essentially a Fantasy response to a real problem. ("I wish I could take a Cop out and Shot him..." is wishful thinking.) He wasn't literally saying he would, or that anyone should. The real thing that got me is how this thing became a controversy about VIOLENT RAP LYRICS.

Yes, Ice T is better known as a rapper - but this wasn't a Rap Song. It's Hardcore Punk. It's like getting Sting's Jazz/Pop Solo work completely confused with his band the Police and their Ska/Punk influences. Only a complete idiot would do that - but it seemed to me at the time Every Media Outlet made this an issue about Rap Music and it's violent Content, not an issue about responding to police corruption and brutality.

It turned into a Debate about "RAP" not about what it was - Rock!. It's like the reporters saw a bunch of "BLACK GUYS" on stage and their mind automatically Flipped to "IT MUST BE RAP!" mode, even though the music absolutely, certainly IS. Not. RAP. Their blindness, deafness and ignorance was just plain pathetic. I used to watch reporters play part of the track on the news and then go off for five minutes about "Dangerous RAP Music". What the fuck, weren't you LISTENING to what you just played?

Apparently not.

How do you otherwise get from Body Count to Tupac - except by going through Race? Musically it's like confusing Anthrax with LL Cool J or Slayer mixed up with Will Smith (The Formerly Fresh Prince with or without Jazzy Jeff!)

Still, the most RACIST aspect of the Cop Killer Outrage was that they turned it specifically against the Black Community and RAP Music, when frankly most Black people had never even heard of Body Count or "Cop Killer" (They often admitted 90% of their audience was White) until after Ice T decided to pull the song off his album and stopped the Bomb and Death Threats that were being phoned in to Time Warner Headquarters. Love how those "Law and Order" types aren't above a little Terrorism when they get pissy. Not that pulling the song put a stop to it all.

Look at this report from back then which attempted to link "Violent Lyrics in a Rap Song" to a Cop Shooting.

Six weeks after Time Warner Inc. and Ice-T pulled the controversial "Cop Killer" song off the market, an unprecedented legal battle over another album released by a Time Warner subsidiary promises to reopen the bitter national debate over artistic expression, free speech and corporate responsibility.

The case involves Ronald Ray Howard, a 19-year-old Texan who has been charged with murder following the shooting death last April of 43-year-old state Trooper Bill Davidson on a highway near Victoria, about 100 miles outside Houston.

Howard has told authorities that he was listening to a tape of rapper Tupac Amuru Shakur's violence-laced "2PACALYPSE NOW" as he loaded his weapon, aimed it at the officer and pulled the trigger, sources close to the case said. Investigators recovered a copy of the "2PACALYPSE NOW" cassette from the tape deck of the stolen vehicle after the shooting.


Ultimately they decided not to bring Tupac or his song into the case, because doing so would have actually helped the defense by giving him a better "excuse/alibi" for what he choose to do and could have reduced his sentence. Unfortunately Judas Priest and Ozzy weren't so lucky when they were accused of incite teens to suicide with their songs. (Why any musician would want to kill his own audience, still escapes me - that was just some crazy witch-craft believing Bible-belters going after the Evil Heavy Metal Devil Worshippers I guess!)

Black people aren't the only one who get stereotyped, not hardly - but the fact that injustice abounds doesn't make it any less unjust. IMO It's simply far more obvious when it happens to Black people.

It's like when Bob Marley wrote and released "I Shot the Sherrif" it was a big deal - not so much when Eric Clapton re-recorded it. "Cop Killer" isn't all that different from songs Megadeth had previously done like "Peace Sells..." Yet, somehow the idea of a BLACK GUY with a gun is far more frightening than a white guy who might shoot at cops.

Check out this poster from Tupac's first film "Juice" - which is about how the relationship between a bunch of friends deteriorates when one of them gets hold of a gun and starts using it to control and terrorize the others. See that dark spot to the right of his face just above his hands? That's where he was holding a pistol, but the movie Studio BLACKED IT OUT on the posters because it was too "frightening". The Gun - and the havoc is creates - is the God Damn POINT of the entire film, but it's just too SCARY for people to see it. Ugh!

More recently there was this poster for 50 Cent's first film "Get Rich or Die Trying" in L.A. which had to be taken down because it was "Disturbing".

He's got a Gun in One Hand, and a Microphone in the other - shown as opposite choices, opposite directions. To Create or to Destroy. Clearly it's about choices and isn't specifically advocating either, although the film ultimately points toward the positive not the negative. The Billboard was pulled down in a few days.

But I rarely hear or see anyone squawk about this:



Or this:



Which is a film about two Murderers For HIRE! - who happened to me married. isn't that sweet?

Or just it pick on Angelina for No Good Reason This:



Yet again, movie about Murderers. Anybody Scared Yet?

Speaking of Hitmen.



Anybody having a problem telling this from reality, just curious?

Or Y'know...



Or this:



Notice whose got the gun and who doesn't? Could it be the guy with the tendency to go off on crazy Anti-Semetic Rants? (Yeah, I know they both had them on Lethal Weapon One - but c'mon, is Old Ass Danny Glover really that threatening? He played a Serial Killer in "Switchback" with Jared Leto and nobody believed that one either!)

Not convinced this is a very recognizable pattern? Ok, how about we take a look at what was probably THE most violent Gang Inspired Movie from the 90's, the flicks of the Hughes Brothers, both staring Larenz Tate. First Up - Menace II Society?



This movie starts out with a convenience store robbery/murder. The perpatrators grab the store video tape and keep playing it throughout the film, because to them It's Funny. Like Fear Factor without the Net. See any of the guns they use in this picture? Didn't think so.

It's not until the second Hughes Bros Movie Dead President's about a gang of Ex-Vietnam Vet Bank Robbers in the 70's that the Gun Taboo is broken - kinda.



Ok, so this character clearly has a pistol. But is it male or female? Is she Black or White? Can you tell easily? No? Then I guess she's not that scary is she? Black People literally have to do an AL JOLSEN just to be openly armed? Seriously? Yeah, it' s like that.

How about one more movie with a bunch of Bank Robbers like Set it Off Staring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Vivica A. Fox?



Not so much with the firepower eh? Well watch the movie, trust me these gals do a ton of shooting things up.

Ok, how about this one where Wesley Snipes plays a DC Cop investigating a Murder at the White House.



Can you find his Service Revolver or does this look more like a remake of his other movie Jungle Fever? Maybe it's in his pants. Is that a 9mm in his pocket or is he really happy to see Diane Lane?

Ok, I'm not saying this is absolute - there are examples going the other way like say Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57 where he plays Hero Security Expert who saves a plane from Hijackers. Look closely now -- can you see his gun?



Blink and you might miss it. Kinda looks like he's about to shoot himself in the face, doesn't it - some Security expert that doesn't know basic gun safety? I'm impresse0d. Not.

But this is just Hollywood right, it's not like anyone might think some actual Hollywood Celebrity would really SHOOT Somebody - not counting Robert Blake who co-starred with Wesley in Money Train, along with Woody Harrelson - whose dad did time for Murdering a Federal Judge as a Mob Hitman - a life experience that made him a great choice for this movie....



So what we learned class? White People with Guns=Good (Even when they're playing cold blooded killers, they don't really MEAN it and are still loveable) - But Black People with GUNS is BAD and EVIL!! Ptui!!

White Guys who write a song about "Shooting a Man just to watch Him Die" like say Johnny Cash, are not so big a deal - not even with Johnny's own personal history of violence, drug use and jail time. But five Black Guys with Guitars start talking about "COP KILLER" and shit hits the FAN!

Here's another point, just last month somebody DID go out and Kill Two Cops. But he wasn't Black - he was (apparently) a White Supremacist Gun Nut named Poplowski who was terrified that Obama's going to take our Guns Away!!

Problem is, he's not. This isn't a response to actual police violence or overreach - he was responding to a Phantom Inside his own head, which had not been stoked or fed by people like Body Count -- it came from people like Glenn Beck and Alex Jones of Prisonplanet.com - but of course, they deny it.

Poplawski is alleged to have shot the officers Saturday morning after they arrived at his mother's home in response to her 911 call. When the officers entered the home, Polawski allegedly shot them in the head from close range.

The Post-Gazette reported that an affadavit from eyewitnesses, including the mother, says Poplawski had been stockpiling weapons and ammunition after he was kicked out of the Marine Corps for assaulting a drill sergeant.

Edward Perkovic, a lifelong friend of Poplawski's, spoke to the Post-Gazette, which reported that Poplawski frequented fringe websites and was concerned about a secret government cabal that is supposedly taking away the second amendment and forming a domestic military to enforce its agenda. [Perkovic now says he was misquoted]

"He was really into politics and really into the First and Second amendment," Perkovic said. "One thing he feared was he feared the gun ban because he thought that was going to take away peoples' right to defend themselves. He never spoke of going out to murder or to kill," he said, according to the Pittsburgh paper. Perkovic said Poplawski was a believer in conspiracy theories about Obama and the federal government espoused by the filmmaker Alex Jones, whose website Prisonplanet.com pushes Jones's documentary films and radio show along with his fringe ideology about a New World Order and Obama's role in a quest for world government, according to the Post-Gazette.

I'm really not seeing a ton of outrage across the media (discounting one obvious source: Olbermann) at the lies perpetrated and violence advocated by people like Beck, or Prisonplanet or the nutball Birther's who think Obama was really born in Bali or Kenya or something - although I do hear Beck "whining" about being blamed for this stuff.

So what are the limits of Free Speech? Is Glenn Beck an "Entertainer", is he a "News Commentator" or just a Rabid MadDog "Propagandist"? "What's just a Song or a Movie and what is a real incitement to violence? What's a real legitimate issue that needs to be addressed (with possible Government/Court Intervention) and what's nothing more than a pile of paranoid BullShit?

Either way it seems - a whole lotta people lose their mind when a Black Guy's Got the Gun.

Or the Guitar.

After the "Cop Killer" Controversy, both Ice T and Body Count were effectively pushed off their label. They got a new deal and have recorded three follow-ups including "Born Dead" which had it's ups and downs, the truly awesome "Last Days: Violent Demise" and their most recent CD "Murder 4 Hire" - which has had some mixed reviews.

Vyan