Extremely Strange Italian Rap Song

This song that I am posting here by the Italian artist Marracash was not necessarily “easy’ to find – I had to traverse a lot of tunnels before it popped out to me — and for that reason I have to say I am pretty…PROUD…to be posting it here for all of y’all, on my English blog.
Now, before you click the video, or even before you write it off because it’s in Italian, allow me to tell you quick just why I found this song necessary to post above others: It is actually VERY ENJOYABLE, in my opinion, for an English speaker, due to the fact that the entire theme of the song is about keywords being used on search engines; and what that means is that a lot of the words are actually English . The title that Marracash chose “Parole Chiave” translates literally into our English as ..yes..key words. This song actually sort of shows you just how many English words are beginning to creep into the modern day Italo vernacular.
Im sure Italian purists are watching this (well probably not!!) but if they were, I think they’d be shrieking in horror. As an Italophile Ill admit it makes me a little “sad” but I dunno…I live too far down in the trenches of this wonderful society to really be concerned about something like that …..
Anyways be warned before you click this song still!!! Because this song is filld with, hones to god in my opinion, some of the strangest vulgarities and profanities that I’ve ever actually seen in a rap song and I’ve heard plenty of them! This song was really freaky for me, when I first found it actually , because the accent of Marracash sounds – you’ll see – very strange in the first place to American ears; but it sounds even more bizarre with this crazy very “heart attack like” beat behind it. There’s also the fact that the man himself looks like hes about to have a stroke or something in the video.
I find this song most incredible of all though because of the sincerely CREEPY chorus that I really just dont think an American, at least an American rapper, would have ever thought to write.The chorus is completely in Italian, so I will translate it here for you. Now remember, all the verses of the song are dedicated to a series of ‘keywords, and then this chorus comes about 3 or 4 times, saying this:

 

“one of these [words] will be on your search engine
it knows you better than yourself, your search engine,
if they’re watching, who knows??
all of humanity is on …. a search engine”

Now whats so intriguing about this is that, yes, my translation and the chorus in English, I agree, it sounds AWFUL, and even the phrase “search engine” does not…you know it just doesn’t even seem like it could be worked into a song if you wanted it to be, in English, because it just looks so…I don’t know..absurd. BUT when you hear him say “motore di ricerca” (the motor of search, aka the search engine) the way he does in the song, with his thick accent, you’ll come to find that it sounds, at least to me, VERY striking and almost even FRIGHTENING!! In fact every time I listen to this song I often feel bad for native Italian listeners to tell you the truth, because there’s no way that the thing can possibly sound as deranged and demented to them as it does to us. It’s a whole different world for us. Every little phrase sounds weird as hell…. 

When I hear him sing the line about “All of humanity” for instance, but he says “TUTTO L’UMANITA…” it sounds incredibly…threatening…to me. UMANITA! It just sounds ancient to me, this slight variation on the way we say it and all, I love it! I dont know. Its very strange and as you can see I am quite passionate about this ridiculous little tune because I just find it so intriguing. Theres something so incredible about picking up this song from another world , in this very ancient language of Dante, especially this song that is so new, that is just ….so beautiful and striking all at once. I think the video itself is also wondrous since they display all the words on top of Marracash’s face singing them. It’s probably one part of the reason I was so attracted to it at first. Otherwise I might have just clicked out. But nope they got me! And wigged me out!! Honestly after I heard this song I was like oh my god, these people will murder me if I go there!! They’re dark!! Yes another warning: Don’t listen to this if you don’t want to accidentally lose your image of the Italians as happy fools frolicking in the sun, because this song WILL kill it fast! This is the song of the threatening criminal class Italian that catches you with a switchblade to the throat, screaming at you in a language you can’t make out,  when you go wandering down the wrong alley far too inebriated in dark as hell Rome at 3 in the morning. This is that guys song. I adore it …. “Give me your money you fucking American!!! Che cazzo!!” 
And again I just cant help but think that an American rapper wouldn’t write a song like this because it’s almost as though, I don’t know, I mean…we INVENTED the internet and Google especially, so…it’s not really a big part of our culture, I don’t think, no matter where you’re looking, to be ripping on it. We have people who dont like it of course (with Edward Snowden and everything) but you aren’t really going to find this as a topic in pop culture songs, especially not rap ones, no way. But go across the sea, to a land where even now only about 50% of the populous is logged online (we are at about 84% I think) and you actually go back, wonderfully enough, about 10 years or maybe 15 in time, not in terms of public healthcare being accessible, but in terms of culture, definitely.
Yes: The Italians themselves are usually very quick to admit this gap between their world and our own. For instance when you start to talk about rap music itself, you’ll start to find that their entire rap scene only actually started to get mainstream attention about 2 years ago, and it is still very much on the deep fringes of their music scene, whereas for us rap has been the main thing now since about 1999 or so. They did the same thing with rock and roll too actually but that’s another subject.
Fact is that when you listen to this truly bizarre song you’ll see just how “strange” ….and maybe even scary….another culture can be,depending upon what exactly they are talking about – (and of course how well you understand them). These days the song still has a bit of the original sting it had for me when I first heard it, but it is not nearly as severe, Ill admit, because I wound up spending a great deal of time with the language and the accent for years after I found it until it eventually became rather “Commonplace” for me. But wow I still remember like yesterday when I first found it. It sounded WICKED! And I loved it and still do for that reason.Hope you will enjoy.
 

Chat Rooms: Remember?

Remember chat rooms? If you used the Internet in the 1990s or the early 2000s, I bet you do. Back then, chat rooms were all the rage. 

People would log online and instead of logging onto boring old Facebook and following the lives of the same boring sods they knew in real life, they would log onto chat rooms and talk to all sorts of new and interesting strangers from all over the world. As a boy in chat rooms I often met some of the most entertaining and intelligent people I’ve met TO DATE in my life. Chatting was an absolutrly vital experience in my early Internet life, and I often utilized all of the chat services available to me to meet whoever I felt like meeting. I used Yahoo, AOL, mIRC, everything, and oftentimes I really did meet some of the craziest…and greatest…characters of my boyhood. It was in chat rooms where I’m positive I first learned about so many of the great books and bands nobody here in Boring Shitsville could have ever possibly told me about— which is why, when my young 17 year old brother asked me “what were chat rooms like?” the other day, I sat for a moment in complete and utter shock, not totally sure what I had just been asked. It was then that it suddenly dawned on me: Holy hell, I have not been in a chat room in what seems like a lifetime. 

I also realized that my brother of course had never been in one , period. So I told him what the hell, go to Yahoo and let’s log into one for old times sake. There’s gotta be people there – new people. Hell, I bet they’ve improved the interface ten fold. It’s the FUTURE after all. Certainly chat rooms are better now than they were when I was a kid right?? Somehow I just accidentally got distracted got older and boring and forgot about them. But perhaps now it was time for a come back. I could use a good chat room to direct traffic to the blog for instance (something I often did to get traffic sites I ran as a kid).

My brother brought up Yahoo. All he came to discover was that Yahoo had not created any improvements. All that they had done was actually discontinue chat rooms. They literally deleted what was in the 1990s one of their greatest features. And not just one of their greatest features but one of, like, the ENTIRE INTERNETS greatest features. I could not help but sit there and wonder why?? Oh yes: the conspiracy theorist in me was already rolling. And much to my joy, it was rolling in my young brother too, who immediately said next “did you ever hear of that fellow Chris Hansen???”

Yes , I said. I did. Why do you ask? 

Well, my brother said, there were some people online I was chatting with in one of my games who said that they felt he was the one responsible for completely destroying chat rooms . Because he basically made everyone think they were going to be raped or something. 

So basically , I said, you’re telling me that they  silently – with no announcement -threw chat rooms away all on account of the fact that some weird American religious douchebag like Chris Hansen terrified white suburban parents and made them think their ugly ass brat kid that no one could give a shit about was gonna get raped??

Basically, he said, yeah. That’s more or less what the kids I was talking to were saying about it.  That’s why I asked. I just figured maybe you would have an idea since you’re always saying you were there when the Net first began….

Much to my dismay, I really didn’t have an answer for him, but the question he asked stayed with me for much of the night, because chat rooms back in the day really were the whole foundation of what it meant to be online. One was not only exposed to an endless world of info via blogs and videos and music & newspapers– and let’s not forget the real life friends on boring Facebook —but one was also , if one wanted,EASILY ABLE to access a VAST MASSIVE network full of people who were very eager to chat about most anything at any given time of the day or night– and these people came from all over the world. 

Which, I see now, was probably the first big problem for the Chin- err, American government and people. People from all over the world talking to Huckleberry Finn?? We gotta put a stop to this , the kid might find out what a bum deal we gave him. What do ya say we gradually cut all the chat rooms out until nobody really wonders where they went no more? Now ..before you think I’m nuts…why not just think about it for a moment?? In the first place , if you think a chat room is “old fashioned” then I got news for ya: You’re an absolute moron!

 Chat is not at all “old fashioned”, especially not in comparison to the ways that most new internet users are meeting strangers these days …assuming they even meet strangers at all, of course. That’s because with this shitty modern Internet now, which has Been completely colonized, meeting strangers who live far away has actually become a bit of a pain in the ass– and this is , I’m now seeing, all on account of the fact that the easy to access chat rooms disappeared. 

These days if you want to meet strangers it is true that specialized chat still exists in sites like mIRC but specialized chat is not fun chat.  Fun chat was the one that the masses got directed to via mainstream websites like Yahoo. Hence you see it’s no surprise that Yahoo went away. It got too dangerous for the good Amish boys and girls of the USA. People talked about sin on chat rooms so Huckleberry had to log off.forever.

I had been saying for awhile that the new internet just didn’t seem the same as the old one but for whatever reason I hadn’t realized this very vital detail about chat rooms. Now after what my brother said I am looking at it and I am seeing that this is indeed very odd. And there is no doubt in my mind that it IS connected in a very serious way to that whole Chris Hansen fiasco. It’s also connected to sin of another kind too, I came to find, after an Internet search…:

What sin is that you might ask?? It is one that the Amish Assholes of the North America’s  created , and it is called “I got addicted to Internet chat and it ruined my marriage…” 

Oh my god. Is it really any surprise now that chat is gone I cannot help but ask? COME ON WATSON! Think think think! It threatened that thing that the Republicans hold above all other things!!!’ THE SANCTITY OF THE FAMILY! It threatened the ugly child no one really gave a shit about and oh my god …to make matters worse…it even threatened THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE ITSELF!!!! “I got addddicted to Internet chat and ruined my marriage…..” Oh my god I hate these people… 

But yes: Call in the troops! Call in the troops! Set off the alarms! This fat moron who has no will power destroyed his marriage because of a chat room.

I can already hear the back room discussion ” We gotta get these things out of here but there can’t be no big announcement about it otherwise folks will get curious. So we just gotta somehow gradually pull them out of the public eye until everyone loses interest. We will replace them with other better things. Until only the nerds remember chat rooms. And then we’ll have a real Christian country again….” 

Just think about it. If you’re an older net user like me, it might seem like chat rooms are old fashioned but what’s your reasoning exactly when it comes to that? Why do they really seem old fashioned?? Because you used them when you were younger and the interface was all weird? Yes of course that was old fashioned but even the old Facebook interface and the old Yahoo site from 1998 itself is old fashions by those standards. The truth is that chat is still very much NEW and the other big thing is that it actually HAS NOT been replaced. The current Internet is actually kind of strange when you think about it because there are all these sites to access and see random people’s thoughts (YouTube comments, blogs, social media) but there is actually no way to very quickly start chatting with them like there once was! Come on! That’s WEIRD! 

It’s like everyone is right there but they can’t hear you now. In my opinion it’s very odd …supremely odd …and there’s no doubt in my mind that it is directly connected to the 2 examples I listed: Hansen and marriage. Just run a search about marriage and chat rooms and you’ll see. There are a million links about people who “destroyed their lives” like that.

 If anything chat rooms aren’t old. They were literally TOO NEW! People couldn’t handle it. My prediction: once these current Amish get bored on Facebook , I guarantee we will see a chat room Renaissance. Long time net users forget that many of the new net users only just started to really get acquainted with the net via the smartphones. They don’t know much about the old Internet . Soon they’ll start to wonder. And then the Amish will be scared again because chat rooms wil be back and I’ll be full of applause. 

To be cont. 

Dylan Songs

These days I am kind of “over” the Bob Dylan obsession that I once had, years ago ,in my early 20’s, but now that I’m running this blog and writing often, I feel that it would be a sin for me to send out all these words to the World with out at least, a time or two, touching not necessarily upon why I think Bob is such a legend (I have actually written about that a lot) but rather just what songs from him I find to be so important and influential.

The truth is that the whole Bob Dylan thing by this point has, without a doubt, been blown massively out of proportion – his legend, like that of John Cash, is far bigger than the man or even the songs –  BUT that doesn’t change the fact that Bob Dylan actually did have quite a good number of songs in his repertoire. When you go into the BD repertoire, you find something surprising: He actually answers your calls, quite a lot. 

This is actually the detail that I find so funny about Bob really: He is probably the only artist I have found, in the realm of music at least, that actually almost lived up – for me as an individual – to the legend that was behind him. As my readers may or may not have realized, I’m not really, in one sense, the easiest person to impress, and I often lose interest in things just as quickly as I find them. I’m also very quick, whenever I do find something appealing – or even popular – , to go straight to the heart of it …and often what happens when I do this is that the magick is instantly lost, because I immediately see the “truth” behind whatever it is that I am looking into, and the truth is not often very entertaining or fun.

An artist like Jim Morrison or even, to be honest, Jimi Hendrix, is probably the perfect example to use when it comes to this idea of finding out the truth and being rather disappointed, because the actual truth about both of those artists, as massive as their legends are, is that they actually did not really get all that much done, in their lifetime, as artists. As an artist I believe that individual bombs can be strong and certainly must be examined, but as a “simple man” from the working class, I have always believed also that someone must get up and give day after day, or at least rather often, as well. It is okay for an artist to have periods of inactivity,  even years of inactivity (Bukowski famously went 10 years without scribbling a thing) but , ultimately, a good and strong artist, in my opinion, needs to come back at some point, and keep up at least some semblance of, I don’t know… I suppose I would call it… GIFT GIVING. I’m sort of the belief that a truly phenomenal artist needs to hang around for at least 2 decades in order to really be understood and have a truly strong message. There is something about longevity to me that is very vital to an artist , whether or not people want to admit that.

The truth about Jimi Hendrix and Morrison is that, as good as they were, they sadly didn’t do this. They cut out fast and quick. They hardly saw 1 decade let alone 2, and so they really did die too fast in my opinion. Hence I am of the belief that they don’t really tell us much about our modern world or even ourselves , in a certain sense, since they didn’t hang around long enough to see it. They are forever trapped in that one little late 60’s and early 70’s universe and between them I think they only have something like 4 truly finished records that everyone hears..

What happens as a result of this harsh truth is that an obsessed fan who really likes to ‘Eat a great deal” and go to the heart of things…this fan jumps into them and oftentimes comes to see, rather quickly, that they’ve exhausted the whole vault of material far quicker than they’ve ever imagined, and then there is nothing left for them. I cannot express how many times this has happened to me. Most legends are underwhelming.

I exhausted Hendrix, for example, in one majestic and deeply stoned & psychedelic summer at 19 years old. By the end of it I can remember my buddy living with me at that time was about ready to hang me — due to the fact that the Hendrix records started to repeat themselves very quickly. He didn’t really live up to that enormous legend that had been built behind him. He wasn’t someone you could call up all the time and get a response. You could only call him occasionally or else he started saying the same stuff he had said the day before. In my opinion, that’s what I call underwhelming, because when I go somewhere expecting a titan, that’s exactly what I want to find: a TITAN. A titan must grow…

Bob Dylan, surprisingly enough, almost manages to actually live up to this all. The main reason for this I think is because Bob Dylan actually has quite a great deal to explore once you open yourself up to him, since he has been working steadily since the beginning of the 1960’s right up until today. Bob Dylan does not really believe in trends or waiting for inspiration. He does not believe in waiting to perfect the work. He just believes in doing it. This is massive.

Tom Waits once described him as being “like a whole separate universe”. – and it really is true. My friends even had to eventually agree with me on Dylan, because after I first tripped into the Dylan hole, it was like I was literally trapped inside of it for YEARS. Again, with most other artists, I would always get very obsessive and intrigued, and my buddies would always take note of it  and often make jokes about it, because I’d eventually come up out of the hole and forget the artist that I loved sooner rather than later. With Dylan I instead went down into the hole and couldn’t find a way out for years. He literally consumed me in such a way that I was eventually actually screaming for help TO BE let out. It’s for this reason that I don’t often even like to revisit his songs now: I’m actually sort of afraid of tripping back down that hole and getting lost in it all over again. It seriously was that bad…..

Alas, for the purposes of this article, just to help out my gentle reader, I am going to revisit some of the tunes and give my opinions on them, and maybe I will even try to explain..I don’t know…how they influenced my own “ideas” about not just songwriting but also storytelling, because that is really – as most Americans should know by now – the main thing about BD: He wasn’t just a singer songwriter, he was also a storyteller. In fact, in the beginning of his career, he once said (and I am paraphrasing) “I always wanted to write a novel, I was going to do it, but it was just too much of a commitment, so I stuck with songs”. In an alternate universe it’s very possible that BD just wound up with novels instead of songs, and he honestly would have been just as good with that, if you ask me, because many of his songs often are …like NOVELS! I always felt very literary as I strolled along the Dylan roads…and also very American. I often write long winded essays throwing stones at the glass house of the States. BD is part of the reason why. He introduced me to a mythical version of America that I then sadly came to realize was just that: a myth. It then led to a lot of disappointment….

But let’s begin….(Note to the reader who wants to find the songs, use spotify and not Youtube, because Youtube is filled with covers that, although they are good, will take away the full experience)

TAKE A MESSAGE TO MARY

This first song I have chosen here, “Take A Message To Mary” , was not written by BD and so folks might find the choice strange, but to me the songs that he hasn’t written but instead has only performed or “carried on” are really the heart and soul of BD as an artist and always have been.

Many people really didn’t like the Self Portrait record that BD came out with in 1970 at the time, from what I have read, and one reason they said it was god awful was because these folks considered, just like people now do, the man who writes his own songs to be the best artist – but what BD was trying to say, I think, and the biggest lesson I took from him, is that this belief of ours is not only rather recent — but also rather FALSE.

The truth about songs is really just like it is with anything else: Everything under the sun has already been done – but that doesn’t mean that we ought to stop singing. Almost all singers understand this. The people who don’t, unfortunately, are the fans. Fans often don’t get it when a singer wants to sing someone elses song.

But, strangely enough, with BD, despite being famous for writing his own, I have always felt that he  was and still is at his best when he sings these very old style songs like this one (written about the Wild West) because I think it’s very important for us to always be reminded of our distant past, and there is no better way to be reminded, really, than with a song.

Unfortunately, BD failed rather badly with this album, and the critics ate him alive for releasing it, and so we never really ended up seeing this “strain” of going back to find old songs get popular with the mainstream, but I think it would have been a really great thing if we had, because there is really nothing better than an old and familiar tune that everyone can love together. There is also the fact that performing old songs actually  keeps an artist very fresh and on his toes in a way that is not so different than a novelist who reads old novels when he needs fuel. It is not always possible to create new songs and shouldn’t be expected of artists. Sometimes there is nothing that comes to an artist. But it is always possible to sing old songs – and it can be very shocking just how many new ones can be found once you start doing that. It is also very incredible when one sees just how many ways ONE SONG can be sung. Our society has a problem with change that is very evident thru the world of music …..

Like Burroughs said : CUT IT OPEN CUT IT UP. It applies to songs! 

LAY DOWN YOUR WEARY TUNE

I have always considered this song a masterpiece by Dylan even though it is not very well known and even rather simply written. On Spotify right now there is only a live version from 63 available but I suppose that will have to do. Well, I almost do not even know what to say when it comes to this tune because it is a real tear jerker and in my opinion it is everything that a song is supposed to be but sadly, these days, no longer is. The magic of this song is really all in its simplicity and repetitiveness and also in the strange “old fashioned” way that BD chose to word it.

In fact even here again, though he wrote the song himself, it could be argued that BD was not really writing like Dylan but rather “desperately trying to write” like someone else – and I think…again..that this is the exact detail that makes it so enjoyable. This song is, to put it simply, a time travel song ,that somehow managed to get caught on record.

In todays era we would never find a song like this, mostly because it is written like a religious hymn ,and so it is hard to connect with it as an “individual”. This song is , in a sense, is literally void of all time, and country, and place, because it makes no mention of anything except the Earth itself and the musical instruments within  it.

This very rarely happens in todays style of songwriting because now the whole thing that everyone obsesses over is writing “as a highly unique individual”, which means that naming specific places and people and pieces of technology have all become very important. This is all well and good but it causes a song to age in a bad way, and then you get to a certain point where the new generations don’t want to hear it anymore, because they get sick of the old references. With this song, however, we get none of that. This song has no real “place”. You know it’s from a certain period due to the fact that it was recorded — but if you put that aside, it could really be from anywhere…. and that’s why it’s so beautiful.

ROMANCE IN DURANGO

Romance in Durango is really like BD on safari because it’s one of the rare times when we find him writing a “location song”  that doesn’t take place in the USA – like the majority of his “location songs’ do – but rather in the beautiful sun drenched valleys of troublesome Mexico. I had always loved this song from BD, ever since the moment I found it, because it was about Mexico (and, being Italian, I can  always relate easily) and it was rather shocking when I came to find that my favorite Italian singer-songwriter, Fabrizio De andre, who covered maybe 3 BD songs in his life, chose this tune as one of them. His is called avventura a Durango. 

I found it funny that me and Fabrizio had “connected’ over this song because, again, I was very excited when I found it, due to the fact that BD, as a North american songwriter, often did not write songs set below Texas, but he did here, and it’s really wonderful. My favorite line has always been the line where Dylan tells us, in the voice of the character Ramon, that he will “wear new boots and an earring of gold…” One of the first gifts I ever received in my life, from my great-grandmother when I was a little boy, was a beautiful horn made out of gold, a thing called a “cornicello” that I wear in my ear to this day. This song is a really a short story that, again, you will often not find in todays style of song, mostly because nobody has any patience, I feel, to write songs like this now. The song is literally written like a theatre play, going from act 1 to act 3, with various “scenes” in between…

RED RIVER SHORE

After the one love of my life and I called it a wrap, I used to drive around town in a very broken down 1996 Ford Tempo, cruising down the highway in the slow lane very stoned, weeping to this song. I can’t even really think of what to write about this song, because it’s just so ridiculously deep to me in inexplicable ways. The sadness in this song, Bob just pours it all over us in line after line, verse after verse, and there are an awful lot of lines to this song. The last line is probably, for me, the best one: ” Sometimes I think nobody ever saw me here at all, except the girl from the red river shore..”

I think the thing that really gets me about this song is really just how melancholy it is while, at the same time, coming from the voice of this very old and well-traveled man. In a way the age of the singers voice is very important when it comes to this song, because it almost wouldn’t work otherwise, in my opinion, and the reader will see what I mean if they listen to the verses. This song jsut has an old man feel to it, and you can see that the old man  in question has apparently done a great deal – “I’ve been to the east, I’ve been to the west, I’ve been out where the black winds roar” – but he still feels unfulfilled, because the only thing he wanted was that one girl he had in the beginning, and then lost. It’s that classic theme of early young love lost that always works time after time.

In fact, now that I am thinking of it, it is really making me wonder: Where is the movie or the book with a theme like this? Sure, there are many love films – but where are the true broken hearted ones? Especially the broken hearted ones from the view of such an old man as the one portrayed in this song?? I think this is really the issue with a lot of stories being told and getting popular these days: They only tell the stories of the WINNERS. They never tell you about the losers – and in this song that’s really what Bob is doing: he is telling you about someone who has seriously lost, and who has no happy ending en route. Why is that so bad? In some way, I think this song teaches us to love sadness. It is, in its own way, a “happy” emotion. Cherish it…..

I PITY THE POOR IMMIGRANT

Yet again, it is another song that we would, in this politically correct climate now, never see these days, and yet again…it is a song ,just like Red River Shore, that has been written about a loser who is never going to win….

 

 

Songs that need films: part 4: Rebel Girl 

REBEL GIRL 
I wasn’t expecting to think of this song whilst putting together this little list (I ran by Trains “Meet Virginia” first, if you wanna know) but now that I am looking at it, I am seeing that Bikini Kills one decent song “Rebel Girl” – as far as I am concerned, at least – is actually a very good character driven song that would probably make an absolutely fantastic summer film if someone were ever to try and put it together. 
The plot of the song is really very simple: The singer, in this case the famous riot girl feminist Kathleen Hanna, plays this character who seems, to me, to be rather obsessed with an unnamed girl whom she tells us is “the Queen of the neighborhood” and who has “the hottest trike in town”. I have always, through my many repeated listens – I first heard this song at 11 or 12 years of age- found the detail about the girl having a ‘trike’ to be particularly fascinating, mostly because it’s a detail that most listeners probably don’t really contemplate but actually, if you were to make a movie out of it and follow the lyrics, would be rather ridiculous to see because …well, just what is a trike? 
Well, if Google images is to be trusted, a trike is actually a motorcycle – yes, with an engine- that has not 2 but 3 wheels. I’m not sure if trikes were trendy for girls in the early 90s when Kathleen Hanna wrote this song…something tells me they weren’t …but that’s really the whole thing of it, now that I’m looking at it: Part of the reason this rebel girl character is such a bad ass , worthy of having her own song, even if she’s never named in it, is because she’s flying around the neighborhood on this massive and rather “manly” trike, maybe even speed/drag racing with all the boys. The possibilities presented by this song are pretty limitless in my opinion…the only details that I would really make sure to stick to, if I had the chance to turn it into a film, would be these: 
In the first place, the trike, again, absolutrly must be there, and it cannot be turned into a motorcycle, it needs to be a TRIKE, just like the lyrics from Hanna say. It also cannot be turned into the wimpy non motorized version of the trike that some people might be imagining Kathleen was really referencing. No! It must be a motorized, loud, rip roaring, bad ass trike. 
Secondly, when it comes to the girls fashion, which is referenced when Hanna sings about how she wants “to try on her clothes”… I personally think the girl should be presented in a rather feminine style. Short skirts, visible thongs, big breasts and no bra – it’s a must.
There is at one point in the song the mention that “they say she’s a dyke…” and I can imagine many people interpreting that as meaning that the girl is perhaps rather butch and/or boyish – but I don’t really think so, and never have seen the girl as being like that when I listen, mostly because of the fact that Hanna makes sure to refer to the chick as the QUEEN of the neighborhood. Yes, she might be riding a trike, and she might even be able to go toe to toe with some of the guys in town in a fist fight, but ultimately I think this chick is fairly feminine at the end of the day. 
If she wasn’t, I personally don’t think that Hanna would have wanted to try on her clothes. I don’t know Hanna personally or anything – but from the images ive seen of her, it seems she has a fairly feminine style herself. With her band the Julie Ruin for instance (what is that band?) she seems to take a decidedly feminine and “very pink” style – and then there’s also the fact that in her most famous photos – still in seriously frequent circulation around Tumblr amongst the new young girls of today – she is always wearing that red and black plaid schoolgirl skirt. I think Kathleen was a sexy chick who liked dudes well enough (remember when she took a picture with slut written on her stomach?) but at the same time as that she also liked and wanted some serious control. Hence this rebel girl , if she were to get a film, should be similar. 
I don’t think this film would necessarily need to be set in the 1980s or the 1990s, in fact I would actually advise the filmmakers to NOT put it there – no one new will be interested then- but what I would advise is for the film to be in a rather sloppy low class residential suburb somewhere in the States. It might sound wrong but what I am really thinking of now as I think of this tune is a sort of Kevin Smith style film ala Jay and Silent Bob, set on some lazy summer afternoon in a residential neighborhood, but with girls instead of boys. 
It would be interesting to see the whole story of Hannas Rebel Girl-who bought her the trike for instance?-but mostly I think the film would be at its best if it just focused on this one specific and rather short period of her existence…much like many of the pubk era films do. SLC punk is in fact a great example of what this song reminds me of… 
I really do think it would be a great film, i just think it’s important that it doesn’t become one of those Mean Girl esque “group” films. In a way I think there are too many of those for chicks and I don’t think they are that accurate in a way. 
This song is all about the intimate yet unspoken connection between the solitary admirer and the admired . The rebel girl should be solitary too I think…someone isolated who does not get along well with anyone else in the neighborhood due to her “differences”. She’s someone that is seen around town randomly it seems, and every time I listen to it I get this image of the girl singing looking out her living room window forever hoping for even just a glimpse of the “rebel girl”. In some ways you can see that the song is pre internet I feel ..since these days the rebel girl would probably be inside the Internet instead of outside on the street – but it’s all the same….
Also, unlike SLC punk, please don’t give this character academic prowess. Just make her BAD but wise. And make sure she goes to public school, too. And she does drugs and likes to suck dick. /end 

God loves Abortion. He told me so. 

A few months ago, probably around the middle of May, I got into a somewhat heated argument about abortion, with a rather “conservative” friend of mine who, before she even turned 21 years old, had 2 children – and yet had not even really worked her first gig.

 Due to the fact that the girl was/is a mother – and a rather obsessive one at that, I’ve now recently come to see – I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised with her strong reaction to the topic of abortion but, coming from the camp that I’m coming from, abortion is at this point, for me, a total non issue, which means to say that I just didn’t even think anyone who wanted to be taken seriously was still actually arguing it. As with most things in this so called “first world” country, I was apparently rather wrong about this. Apparently many conservatives are still very serious about abortion being the “most evil thing” of all – and this girl, my friend, was one of them.

 Now typically I’ll tell my reader that I wouldn’t really bother even arguing about something like abortion in public or in person (since, again, I thought it was a dead non issue) but, while I was with this girl and many others , the subject somehow popped up out of no where – I certainly did not start it — and the next thing I knew, an enormous argument was unfolding in which I eventually felt forced to pull out my old favorite line that I always use when I feel a fight with a rabid conservative can’t be won, which is that I start screaming and slamming my fists upon the table declaring that they’re all just stupid hicks who are going to/already have led the country to ruin. And then of course, after screaming that , because that was exactly what I screamed, as loud and as mighty as possible, the night was suddenly over … chairs were being shuffled out and doors being slammed ….and so I went home, sulking sadly in disbelief,to brood about “gentle” but insane hicks and how unusually misinformed they can be . 

For self therapy, Of course, I did what the reader probably can already expect: I logged online and started to read as much as I could about abortion. Yes I hate it too , but often when I get onto a topic I am ONTO it…and I can’t get my mind off of it no matter how hard I try, and so I read and read and read …until I am soothed. I wound up being soothed quite quickly when it came to this subject.

This is because, whilst doing my post abortion blues therapy, I  came across not just a slew of well written articles explaining the history of it all to me , but also a rather strange but very beautiful image on Google that I just could not help but send, first thing the following morning, like a belligerent asshole, to the girls phone. This was the image that I found and then sent: 

A few hours after I sent the image, at some point in the afternoon, the girl sent me a much anticipated response. I was, I’ll admit, very anxious to continue the argument across the phone – but at the same time I just could not imagine how anyone could possibly fight with this incredible image. 

“Interesting photo.” She said at first in regards to it , “I like it. I really like it. Especially because it’s arguing for my point of view, you fucking idiot.” 

I did a bewildered double take at the above image, terrified that I had somehow misunderstood it during some horrific and surely inexplicable slip of the brain. I read through it all, twice…three times..as perplexed as could be. I ran the same exact search again, checked my Google Chrome history. No, no! It wasn’t a god damn image in her favor! What was she on about? I was perplexed. I replied:  “What in the hell are you talking about?” I said, “Jen, that’s a pro abortion ad. It’s arguing for abortion. That image is for what I was arguing last night,Jen…”

“Are you crazy? Read it again. It says right there ‘you got yourself into this mess, you have to live with the consequences’. That’s what I said to you last night! Consequences! Girls need to either not have sex or use protection and that’s IT! THATS IT! CONSEQUENCES!”

I looked at the image again, just staring at it. Was it possible that the LSD I took 7 years ago …was it possible I had cracked my neck the wrong way and the dreaded “flashback” had come to swoop me away? I rubbed my eyes, staring at the damn thing. No! NO! There’s no way! I haven’t felt a bunch of tabs of acid dissolve on my tongue in years! I wouldn’t even know where to find it. There’s no way I’m tripping. She is just an IMBECILE! She doesn’t even know what she’s reading! By GOD! 

So  I cried out again in agony, all alone in my bathroom with just the iPhone in my hand to comfort me . This woman is INSANE, I said! She’s INSANE! She’s a true bonified hick, and I suppose I should have known she was an unreasonable fool just based on the fact that she would 2 children with no money …..I should have known that right then, but somehow it slipped my mind. I did not see it. 

She is such an unreasonable fool that she read thru this ad and thought it was an anti abortion ad. It is no such thing. 

 This is an ad that is undoubtedly in favor of abortion. Was she tricking me? 

“Jen,” I said, “are you drunk or something? What in the hell ad are you looking at right now? That thing is Pro abortion!! It’s fucking SATIRE! It’s making fun of your ridiculous conservative position. It’s saying that it makes no sense. Read the part about drowning . Are you kidding me right now? Oh my god. How the fucl could you possibly misinterpret that? Oh my god, this is so sad right now….”

My dialogue is bad. Forgive me. But I am losing my mind yet again even just writing about it. 

Sad to say, but she  then did not reply to the final thing I said for not just a few hours  but a few weeks, and the next thing she sent me had nothing to do with abortion and so it was never discussed again. . I wasn’t going to say anything further since nothing further needed to be said. But oh my god , how on Earth could that ad have possibly been misinterpreted?? By a grown adult?? Raising not one but 2 children at that? If Jen was really dead serious about not understanding that the ad was satire, what on earth kind of species is this that I have been not aborted and thus born into here…? 

Even now as I sit here I still just don’t understand it. I don’t understand how it was misunderstood- and it seemed, based on not one but 2 responses, that it really was. She sincerely thought it was arguing her side. That ad. That horrifically satirical ad. 

I’m terrified, quite frankly, that anyone in the developed world could have possibly misinterpreted that ad. Im even more terrified that I’m living in a situation where these people are connected to me personally and living around the corner. That’s horrifying to me. 

A level of ignorance like this. It’s horrifying. Will these highly irrational people Come with stones to throw at my head until I’m dead next? Will they stuff my head beneath the blade of the guillotine? Will they suddenly decide I ought to be electrocuted? What the fuck kind of people are these? How in the hell could anyone misinterpret that ad? I’m seriously still bewildered. 

The only thing I really finding myself thinking now, all these months later, is this: People only see what they want to see – and when thst mother looked at this ad, she somehow (maybe even still?) did not see anything satirical or offensive to her point of view. All that she actually saw was her own position being reflected right back to her. She wholeheartedly believed that this as was an anti abortion, “pro life” ad. 

The ignorance …is…unfathomable.,.. 

However,  I will say this as well: To all of those who call abortion a pro choice affair, I suppose I commend thee, but I also think that..you know…abortion could quickly become a practice enforced by the State and by Law in much the same way that not being allowed to smoke opium  is underneath this current regime. Any time a piece of technology is introduced I think that the average citizen should be weary of it – but not wholeheartedly against it. The anti abortion brigade are a bunch of hicks because they basically want to pretend that we are still living in a world where an easy way to get an abortion hasn’t been invented. This would be like trying to pretend we live in a world where guns or knives don’t exist. It just wouldn’t make any sense. That’s why I say: a citizen should always be weary of every new advancement, because you never know which one is going to wind up being enforced by the State. 

It’s very easy for me to imagine a point in time when poor women would be shuffled en masse to abortion clinics to get them, as a result of over population. It’s also even easier to imagine a time when things like the birth control pill will literally be FORCED down a girls throat each and every week. I won’t lie either: if I was somehow able to seize dictatorial control of the state, I’ve no shame in admitting that I myself would probably enforce something along those lines first thing. 

Yes: Spare me your tears, little Christian. I will give thee the thumbs down in the Colissuem and wave goodbye, as the gates swing open and the murderous gladiators arrive. What care I for thee little Christian? I have an empire to run, and my empire needs ORDER! And organization! And your starving child whom you have nothing to offer has no place here beneath my regime…. 

Which is why I am again saying: Abortion is fantastic, it’s a great scientific advancement and I am glad we have come that far, but don’t think that the whole ‘women’s choice’ thing couldn’t be turned around in a moment….

In fact, that was one of the main things that my buddy Jen seemed to be arguing. I guess when she found out she was pregnant her father tried, desperately, to enforce it on her….

Now imagine if he was living beneath my regime? I would have given not just him but the whole state the right by law. “Yer pregnant are ye little girl? Says here her family earns less than 50 thousand a year. Come with us. It will only take a minute. Don’t be scared. Don’t cry. It’s for the better. In fact, it’s for the red white and blue.” 

Songs that need films: Part 3: Lola 

LOLA
I’m sure readers on this ridiculus blog would be expecting it, but if there is one character I have always loved just a little more than all the others that are in famous songs that play on the radio, then it is most definitely the character Lola that the Kinks brought to life back there in the original era of rock and roll. 
I’ve written of this song a few times before but I always wind up heading back to it because….really…what the hell was going on when it came to this song – and, even still, what is going on with it now? It amazes me that this song and Lou Reeds “Wild Side” are featured regularly on radio stations that are known for – let’s be honest here – having what is, at this point, considered a “traditional” audience. 
Indeed: As a little kid I can remember driving with all sorts of older folks and everyone always loved this song, without question, the second it came on the radio. And yet these same typical people, we all know, are the ones who would more likely than not be opposed to their own child or cousin or nephew going trans. 
Well, perhaps one part of the reason for this is because – yes!- the song is only a song that you laugh at when its playing on the radio …and not yet a FILM! Just like the other picks I have made, there is no doubt in my mind that “Lola” would make a fantastic film, and what’s so wonderful about this song is that the Kinks have given us a number of plot details to work with! And personally I think these plot details ought to be obeyed by the film makers. I really want to see Lola portrayed exactly as she sounds in the song on the big screen. Get someone who is trans to play her. And maybe …well I’m not even going to say my idea for the guy. 
Just start the film out in the bar in Old Soho, London, where you drink champagne that for some baffling reason tastes just like Coca Cola, exactly like the lyrics say, and then have Lola walk up to the main character and ask him to dance and then …well, then the rest is history …! 
Minor details to aim for (in my opinion): make sure that Lola is not hideous. I do not want HER to be hideous. Jesus there’s nothing scarier than a trans monster. We don’t want that here! We are going for sense and sensibility for gods sakes. Lola is going to be an Oscar style film I can already see it. 
The right approach to take, I think, based on the lyrics, would be to make Lola a pre operative trans woman who uses a series of wigs instead of having real hair grown out. This way she can switch back & forth between being trans and not trans. She is that classic Mick Jägger sort of rock and roll vixen: She comes and goes changing when and how she wants to change. Lola is like a lizard, she blends into her environment when she has to blend. I can imagine her bringing the bewildered male character drunkenly back to her small hotel room …and the room should be filled with 2 or 3 different suitcases …some have male clothes, others female. Lola is a traveler . 
 Do not make her diseased with AIDS, either, like they did with that Jared Leto trans character in the Matt McConaughey film. No, I don’t want that. Nobody wants a diseased Lola. We’re good with that. Sorry but we’re good. 
For starters there is the fact that she is , much to her fortune, a pre AIDS character anyways…so they couldn’t give her a disease like that even if they wanted to. What we want here is a somewhat “obvious” trans – as a result of the “dark brown voice” we are told she has — but at the same time as that we also need someone very gentle…extremely flamboyant …and also beautiful. The song makes her seem very sassy. 
 Personally I would make her black. I don’t know why but I have always seen Lola as a black American trans woman (from NYC) who is somewhat independently wealthy and living rather carefree in hip Soho London… 
It would even be very interesting, one imagines, if the movie somehow played into the actual myth of the song itself i.e. The character who runs into Lola eventually winds up writing the song about her at the end of the film – and then gets famous with the Kinks or a fictionalized version of the Kinks. 
The last scene in the movie should be Lola’s scene. She will be in….she will be In a taxi somewhere, in the 3rd world, traveling even further away from her native land …and the song will come on the radio in the taxi, and she will know it is about her… 
Yes. Wonderful song. And it should be a wonderful movie, too.