This Week in On Pirate Satellite
By Joshua B. Hoe So, I have kind of started to build a pattern.
Monday, Music story Tuesday, Politics (and maybe music + politics) story Wednesday, All Time Albums Thursday, Playlist Friday, This Week in On Pirate Satellite - kind of everything else I am thinking.
I kind of look forward to the relative freedom of this kind of post at the end of the week.
So, what am I thinking?
As you know by now, this blog's title was inspired by The Clash and more specifically by the song "This is Radio Clash."
I am a massive fan of the band and of the late great Joe Strummer.
It still shocks me that he has passed away.
For many years, I looked for a great bio of a singer I truly admired, and I finally found it several years ago in this great book.
I know it is old school of me to still love artifacts like albums and books...But, I do. I still like to have a book in my hand where I can turn pages (I have the hard copy of the book about a foot from my hand right now).
This is a really well researched book covering Strummer's entire life...but, it also does a great job of covering all the major events and the dischord (for instance, between Joe and Mick) in the band and arguably made the band great.
Most important, it explains the influences that once integrated made the band such a powerful voice for radical politics and diversity.
I learned a great deal about how The Clash came by their reggae and hip-hop influences.
It was this integration of black and white urban music - without seeming to do it to appropriate - that made The Clash really interesting to me growing up (as these were the music forms pushing and pulling inside me at the time).
It is a great read, really well-written and researched, and you really will come away feeling like you have a good idea of who Joe Strummer really was at the end.
RIP Joe Strummer, Viva The Clash!
Ohio, Were You High?
In interview after interview I heard Ohioan's talking about how they were worried that crime would increase after legalizing marijuana.
I don't smoke marijuana, but I am guessing most of the population must have been high when they voted against legalization.
Making drugs criminal - the drug war - has been an abject failure in every way since the Nixon administration. It flat out doesn't work.
As long as prices are high for drugs (which criminalization ensures) arresting one "dealer" or "kingpin" only creates a vacancy for the next "dealer" or "kingpin."
In other words, IF enforcement of drug laws worked your argument might make sense...but we know 1000% that enforcement doesn't work. You are voting for a legal fiction. Something that makes you feel better when it accomplishes nothing but pain and suffering on the few that get arrested.
And it is even more insane when you think about marijuana. Every single one of us knows a HUGE amount of people smoke weed every day in every state in this country no matter what the legal status is.
So why punish the small percentage, usually poor and of color, who actually get caught for selling something that like 30% of everyone we know does almost every day.
It is just pointless, cruel, and kind of stupid.
I can't even bear to comment on the Houston LGBT ordinance.
More On Violence Against Women
Earlier this week, I wrote a piece about how we men are responsible for an absurd amount of actual violence against women...so much that virtually every woman I have ever met has stories about the violence they have experienced (sexual and/or physical).
We have an obsession with presenting almost everything as a fair debate...every news network has panels of experts carefully balanced so everything seems fair.
Sometimes debates are not fair.
We do not have a "War of the Sexes"...we have a war on women. I don't mean some silly political designation has a war on women (even though they do - yes you GOP)...But virtually all of us men have been involved in questionable behavior against women (me included - I shared my story in the post).
It stops being a battle or a balanced argument when one side has all the casualties and the other has cries that the argument is unfair.
Women are not beating and sexually assaulting other women.
For the most part women are not beating and/or sexually assaulting men (although it does happen sometimes - a very rare but possible and painful experience for the victims).
But millions upon millions of women are beaten and sexually assaulted by men.
The problem is ours, and mine.
If we care about ethics, about doing no harm, about caring about others...we need to actively redefine what we think is normal and acceptable about how we relate to women.
At the base we have to stop being manists.
We need to stop believing that our feelings are more important than women's safety.
I believe at the core of this problem is the social norm that men should be raised to suppress feelings and emotion. That men should be tough, not cry, be strong etc.
As any therapist will tell you, people can both have a healthy relationship with their emotions and also be strong and tough.
Distancing ourselves from our emotional reactions, suppressing them, and never learning effective emotional intimacy skills causes a HUGE amount of the violence in our society.
We should stop raising male kids to suppress emotions and run from intimacy.
We should stop nodding along every time a pundit says "the problem is that this country is getting soft."
That is clearly not our problem, and anyone who supports that as the answer should also have to explain away those millions of cases of violence against women first.
Where You're At
I also heartily endorse a book called Where You're At: Notes From the Frontline Of A Hip-Hop Planet by Patrick Neate.
Apple, I guess, doesn't carry it, so I don't have a cool link for you.
But, it is a really great exploration of how hip-hop music has become a worldwide channel for communication. An almost universal touchstone for young people across the world.
Mr. Neate makes some really interesting arguments about how communication through hip-hop could be a real mode of communication between peoples across borders without or in spite of corporate or government influence.
I am an eternal optimist, so I am on the same page with using music as a channel outside of the norms. A way to communicate without being compromised.
Anyway, you should give it a read, especially if you agree with me that all urban music is punk.
Good Music For You
This week I have been listening to the re-release of The Velvet Underground's Loaded (Re-loaded).
White Light White Heat is my fave, but this is still a really great album. Probably shows the entire range of the styles of music they were capable of producing as well as any of the studio albums.
The Reloaded edition has different versions of the songs, which is pretty cool.
I have also found myself listening to a lot of Fugazi this week. Since this collection (13 Songs) kind of covers the beginnings of Fugazi, it as good a place as any or you to start.
Ian Mackaye is one of the greatest characters in punk rock history and one of the few to be in multiple important bands. I would highly recommend the albums Repeater and Red Medicine as well.
Anyway, that is all for this week, have a great weekend!
Do you have any recommendations from the week? Feel free to share, would love to hear your comments!