I Do Wanna go Back 50 Years and Do It Over.

me_pet_sounds_paper_backsI was discussing with my coworker whether, if it were 50 years ago, I would be into the music of the day.  My guess is most likely not.  I would imagine that a 32 year old version of me back in 1966 would have been married with a couple of kids, working a standard or above standard job, living in a nice house and buying my kids the paperback books you see me holding in the picture.  After all, if we’re going by what the culture was like back then, I probably would have outgrown “popular music” by, I dunno, 1952 at age 18 and focused entirely on either getting a career or going to college, back when having a college degree actually mattered.  The only reason I’m bringing all of this up is because I saw a Facebook post reminding me that the legendary Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds, was released 50 years ago, and it got me thinking about how art, culture and society have evolved/devolved in half a century.  So, let’s start with the topic I know the most about.

1966 is probably the most important year for rock ‘n’ roll.  The album took precedence over the single, and many of the most important albums were released that year.  Rock showed the establishment that it too could be taken seriously as a form of art.  Older, established bands were no longer content to just entertain an audience; now they were officially “artists.”

On Revolver the Beatles experimented with Eastern, Sitar sounds (“Love You To”) and backwards, psychedelic tape effects (“Tomorrow Never Knows”). On Aftermath, the Rolling Stones threw in baroque arrangements into “Lady Jane” and also used Eastern influences on both “Paint It Black” and “Mother’s Little Helper” – the former on the American version of Aftermath, and the latter on the European version.  And on their album, A Quick One, the Who performed the first “rock opera” (nine minute “A Quick One While He’s Away”).  On top of that, there were all of these wonderful, unique and creative albums from new bands; Black Monk Time by the Monks, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators by the 13th Floor Elevators, Freak Out! by Frank Zappa and his Mothers of Invention and both The Seeds and A Web of Sound by the Seeds, just to name a few.

One could say it was a gosh darned renaissance in pop music!  New ideas, new drugs, new open sexuality – the world was throwing off the shackles of the previous generation.  However, one album stands out among all of the other classics of ’66 for what sounds like a lamentation of all this “moving forward” that society was doing.  Okay, you could talk about how the Kinks sang about the loss of the old way of life to modernity, but for the sake of argument and because they’re British, let’s ignore them and focus on the album I’m holding in the picture: Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys.

If I’m not mistaken, most hipster people don’t think much of the Beach Boys because the group’s early surfin’, cruisin’, drag racin’ and tail chasin’ (okay, that last one was a bit of an exaggeration since their songs are pretty wholesome) world view reflected a macho, retrograde, capitalist, consumerist and all American culture that these days is all but a quaint memory.  That’s probably why the only Beach Boys album any of them seem to talk about is Pet Sounds.  And, I’m assuming that has more to do with Mike Love’s experimentation with orchestral flourishes, than what the group was singing about.  We want to turn on, tune in and drop out, and you’re singing songs about marriage?

When did the 60s actually start?  Well, obviously 1960, but 1960 was really no different than 1959.  We didn’t see any real spike in cultural upheaval until a few years after that.  As far as I’m concerned, the 1960s that Dennis Hopper says you weren’t in if you claim to remember it didn’t really begin until 1966.  Sure Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 put a damper on America’s soul, the 1964 Civil Rights Act rearranged how private businesses were allowed to operate, the 1965 Hart-Celler act fundamentally changed the American demographic from majority white to god knows what from god knows where and the 1965 Watts Riots led to the start of white flight from major cities to their neighboring suburbs, but a couple performances by some British rock bands on American TV in 1964 and 1965 didn’t exactly represent a rapidly shifting cultural zeitgeist as many would like to think.  In fact, if the clip that I saw of a couple of young people complaining about Jim Morrison’s onstage social/political rants are any indication, there were plenty of people from that era who viewed mainstream rock and pop music as nothing more than entertainment.

The true cultural shift began to manifest in about 1966.  Hollywood studios “broke the code” by releasing movies like Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, with blatant references to “humping”, and the Michelangelo Antonioni film Blow-Up, which has a bunch of nudity in it because, like, nudity is cool.  Anton LaVey launched his Church of Satan because traditional religions are for the birds.  Bra-burning feminists hit the scene.  Black Panthers began to patrol the streets of major cities.  The kids were being told to not trust anyone over 30.  Hair was getting longer, sex was getting looser, movies were getting smuttier, music was getting druggier and American society was embroiled in one of the biggest cultural wars it had ever faced since, I dunno, the Civil War?

angry_bikersAnd so, it’s 50 years later.  I’m a HUGE fan of pop-cultural ephemera, music, films, magazines and books from the 60s.  I wonder if it’s possible for all of this stuff to exist if the culture hadn’t taken such a massive nose dive; would there even all these cool sexploitation films and biker films and John Waters films and Satanic films and women in prison films and excessively violent Spaghetti Westerns if there wasn’t a society to reflect off of?  Granted, the gangster and crime pictures of the 30s through the 50s were already reflecting the darker side of American culture, and of course there were horror movies.  Companies like American International made sensational movies like Teenage DollThe Wild Angels and The Trip so that the average Joe could experience “the other side” without having to join a gang, get into a violent brawl or drop a hit of acid himself.

When all was said and done, the majority of people didn’t participate in the lunacy and cultural degeneracy of the 1960s; they worked jobs, got married and had kids.  The ones that were part of the counterculture either became burnouts or were absorbed into academia and various parts of government, taking their views with them and forcing them onto future generations.

I’m sure many of the geriatric counterculture types who were alive in the 60s would never have guessed that we would have men in women’s clothing trying to use women’s restrooms or girls excusing their sluttiness with such clever labels as “polyamerous.”  The craziest yippie, hippie, degenerate freak of the 60s never would have even considered gay marriage a possibility.  Many “freaks” I talk to, who were around back then, still love the music, but now have way more conservative views.  Yes, these were degenerate freaks; but they were mostly heterosexual, degenerate freaks.

And so we have the first verse of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, the opening track on Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys:

wouldn’t it be nice if we were older
then we wouldn’t have to wait so long
and wouldn’t it be nice to live together
in the kind of world where we belong
you know it’s going to make it that much better
when we could say good night and stay together

Can you imagine such an antiquated notion as asking someone to marry you marketed to the kids of today?  Forget the kids; what about the 36 year old sluts who are getting pumped and dumped for the umpteenth time by some guy in his early 30s, who doesn’t want to commit to an over the hill broad that still thinks of herself as top shelf in the sexual market place?

Jesus, don’t even bother with these lines:

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do
We could be married
And then we’d be happy

Praying?!  Why that sounds like something those stupid Christians do!  Pet Sounds came out 50 years ago right about the time the culture was “changing.”  We’re now seeing a mirror image of the 1960s.  The hippies, radical feminists and Black Panthers have been replaced by Occupy Wall Street, “free the nipple” feminists and Black Lives Matter thugs, and, with the ascendancy of Donald Trump, the growing discontent of the American worker, the trend in single motherhood, increasing inner city crime, the desire to end trade agreements, overbearing political correctness and a stronger nationalist sentiment, I have a feeling the next generation may be clamoring  for a reversal of 50 years of “progress.”

A Really Great Cast of Characters

me_thomas_sowell_american_hardcoreSome people on the Alternative Right or the semi-Alternative Right or even just the un-PC, but not too crazy radical Alternative Right might get my emails or see my comments and think a.) who the hell is this weirdo with the leather jacket and tattoos? and b.) why does he act like he’s on cocaine every time he writes something?  A few weeks ago, I wrote how I became a Trump-supporting, AltRight, punk rock Jew, but I failed to make the direct parallel between the punk/underground world and the right-o-sphere; and not even necessarily the AltRight-o-sphere.

Y’see, when you get into a particular genre or sub-genre of music, you don’t just become a fan of the music.  You wear the t-shirts, you take on the persona of the people involved, you contact the musicians, you find ways to participate yourself, you find ways to not just be a passive observer; you’ve essentially found your second tribe, hence the term subculture.  Part of that experience is meeting an awesome cast of characters, who aren’t just known for the music they make, the bands they were in or the labels they started, but also what kind of people they are and what kind of views they espouse.

Take punk rock for instance; anybody who knows a little about it knows that Johnny Rotten is a cantankerous, yet witty person.  He or she knows the Ramones are those guys with the motorcycle jackets and mop top haircuts, the Clash are the wannabe proletarian heroes, who espouse bogus Marxist views, the Jam are the guys that dress like mods, that Poly Styrene is the black chick that fronts X-Ray Spex, Billy Idol is the pretty boy who sings for Generation X, Richard Hell is the cool beat poet guy, Debbie Harry is the sassy, blonde bombshell and so on and so forth.

Hell, if you’re a fan of punk’s underground spin-off, hardcore, then you know damn well there’s a massive difference between a degenerate freak like GG Allin, a left-wing polemicist like Jello Biafra, a zero fun having, straight edge zealot like Ian Mckaye, a diminutive Elvis parody like Glenn Danzig and a cantankerous, curmudgeonly nerd like Steve Albini.

So, what does that have to do with the right?

To a man, I feel the right-o-sphere, or whatever group I forced myself into with this blog and all of my annoying comments, pretty much functions in the same way.  The more I learned about some of these people, the more interesting it became to learn about the topics they discuss.  And, just like with the punk scene, or any music scene, to simplify the right into one, unified group, shows a lack of understanding.

Back when you could call me a cuckservative, I was really into people like Steve Crowder, Ben Shapiro, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer – who I once confused with Richard Spencer – Debbie Schlussel and the whole crew at Rebel Media and Breitbart.  I still enjoy their commentary and their put-downs of Social Justice Warriors and Islam.

But then, just as the punk rocker might try to find something a bit more esoteric or more extreme, I discovered Takimag, Alternative Right and a whole bunch of related websites, and hoo boy… actually, at first the stuff they said didn’t seem that much different from that there first group I pointed out, but as it turned out, if Crowder, Shapiro and Lauren Southern are new wave, then Takimag is grindcore.

I got to know a whole new cast of neato characters; the witty outsider Jim Goad, the “infamous” Jewish Holocaust revisionist David Cole, the Human Biodiversity specialist Steve Sailer, former National Review writer John Derbyshire, race realist Jared Taylor, immigration expert Peter Brimelow and the aforementioned Richard Spencer, who, if I’m not mistaken, coined the term Alternative Right.  Since Gavin McInnes writes for Taki’s, appears on Rebel Media and even on Greg Gutfeld’s show, that’s where some of my confusion set in.

Goad’s article on black reparations was about the most brilliant thing I’d ever read, and I was so excited about it, I  even showed it to my parents.  My dad asked, “yeah, but how popular is this website, and how many people will see it?”  THEN, I read several of Goad’s articles on Israel, and that’s when I learned the major difference between group a. and group b.  My god, Taki, the guy who created the website, all but hates Jews.  I mean, he hired David Cole, but I have a feeling it might have to do with his Holocaust revisionist past.  I dunno; I wasn’t there for the meeting, so I could be talking about of my ass.  But it is true that I felt VERY confused; I thought the people on the right, my side, are Israel supporters.

Well, they’re not exactly BDS, but at the same time, their attitude towards Jews and Israel is pretty damn cavalier; and, in some cases, I have to admit that it’s not unwarranted.  After all, wasn’t the Frankfurt School, the group of politically correct mofos who are responsible for the totalitarian PC nightmare under which we currently live, mostly Jewish?  Didn’t Leon Trotsky invent the stupidest word of all time, “racism”?  Wasn’t Israel founded under slightly less than noble conditions?

But, if I’m going to not be a hypocrite like Ben Shapiro, then I have to realize that, if you’re going to be un-PC, then you have to be un-PC all the way.  If you’re going to interview David Duke, then do a motherfuckin’, full-on, uncensored interview.  After all, if you’re confident that his views are tripe, then what harm is it to have him speak them?  And, to be honest, his views are tripe; he tastes Jews in his sandwich.  That of course creates some interesting problems for me; for instance, how do I tell my conservative, Christian and black friend, Dave that Jared Taylor, whose anti-affirmative action works he might actually enjoy, repeatedly says that blacks have lower IQs on average than whites and Asians?

I’ve realized that, aside from being possibly the only person on the Taki’s comment section who doesn’t hide behind an avatar, the Jews who comment on there are often involved in shouting matches with people who don’t see them as completely white, yet nobody has been able to tell me if they consider Armenians, Indians or Greeks to be completely white either.  Jared Taylor and John Derbyshire consider Jews as white as everyone else, while Kevin McDonald sees Jews as an alien race with an anti-European agenda.  I’ve noticed that, when I espouse my views in the comment section, some people say, “it’s cool man, you’re like us” and some tell me to go get fucked.  Ain’t no biggie; I’ve got thick skin.

In fact I enjoy the back and forth that I see in comment sections and articles.  As Gavin McInnes pointed out, the debate within the right IS an actual debate, while the debate between someone on the right and someone on the left is more like a teaching session.  I enjoy reading the different sides of the Iran deal.  Some say the mullahs have too much money to worry about blowing everyone up with bombs; some say that money don’t mean shit when it comes to redeeming their 72 virgins.  Why does Mike Savage support Donald Trump, and Mark Levin does not?

Most people on the right agree on the principle stuff; feminism is stupid. College doesn’t educate; it indoctrinates.  Muslims are the enemies of the west.  Messing with the free market is a bad idea.  Gun control doesn’t solve gun violence.  Traditional values really are the best way to go.  And this whole global warming/climate change nonsense is less about saving the world, and more about lining the pockets of politicians and big business.

But, damn, what a fantastic cast of characters on all sides.  The wit and wisdom of Jim Goad is untouchable, yet, he won’t get the recognition he deserves because his views are outside what’s accepted by the mainstream; and we all know what happened with David Cole.  But one guy who I find really interesting is Gavin McInnes, an obnoxious punk rightist like me.  Has Greg Gutfeld even considered how much of a liability having someone who writes for an AltRight site on his show might be?  Gavin is my “safe space”; no matter how much people attack the Jews, he manages to back us up.  Maybe it’s for PR, maybe it’s so he can remain cool with Ben Shapiro and Ezra Levant, or maybe he actually means it; I don’t freakin’ know.  But he’s one sharp-witted individual, and his videos are a hoot to watch.  Even my liberal friends get a kick out of his Miles McInnes character.

So, as someone who sent me a copy of her latest tome to review told me, “you’re not jaded.”  How could I be jaded?  I’m reading stuff from and talking to people that I find interesting and can learn from, I’ve learned how to become a better debater and, at least I’d like to think, I’ve become a better, more astute writer.  And, above all, it’s whole heckuva lot of fun.