Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine just released Tea Party Revenge Porn, a jacked-up album that might be their best LP yet. To that end, Punknews' John Gentile spoke with Jello Biafra about a whole bunch of things, including the LP, the upcoming election, and voter defense. It's a wide ranging conversation that we are breaking up into multiple parts.
You can check out part one right here. You can read Part two below, right now.
You’ve long been a proponent of the green party and a third-party candidate in general. What are you thinking this election? Well, I just voted Green again for President. I do have the luxury of living in California where Biden is probably going to win overwhelmingly. So, I do have that luxury. I’d rather vote for something I want and not get it then vote for something I don’t want and get it.
I don’t know… If I still lived in Colorado where it’s neck and neck, and it’s a so called purple swing state, I don’t know if I would finally hold my nose and take a stomach full of antacids and finally vote for Biden. I mean, he’s one of the godfathers of the war on drugs, he helped get Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, who is still considered the most conservative of all members since Barrett isn’t actually on yet. Some of those guys are talking about ripping open Brown v. Board of Education by the way, and then going backwards form there. Colorado, it might be different because the senate is very close race there too. There’s a tea party Trump suckler who never should have gotten in named Corey Gardner, and a conservative corporate democrat with a really bad record when it comes it frakcing by the name of Hickenlooper- but we are probably better with Hickenlooper than that clown Cory Gardner who didn’t even show up at his home state own hall because people hated him too much.
I know [Green party candidate] Howie Hawkins a little bit. We met at Green functions, but I haven’t seen him in years. I couldn’t really complain because I didn’t run again- I don’t know if I’ll ever do anything like that again. It fell into my lap both times. So, I voted Green for that. Some of these other races that are non-partisan, like school board, I probably have voted for some democrats. Even though the California democratic party, especially the machine based in San Francisco, is rotten to the core. It’s big city corruption on the scale you would expect on the Chicago or Boston level- it’s always been that way here as long as I’ve lived here. First it was called the Brown-Burton machine- Willie Brown at that point was a flamboyantly corrupt speaker of the state house of representatives, and Philip Burton and John Burton congress creatures. Eventually Philip died and John retired from the state legislature, but Willie Brown still controls some thing.
A move that I regret was voting for term limits for state legislatures, which effectively neutering the state legislature’s power in contrast to the governor- and when the Governor is someone like Schwarzenegger or Pete Wilson, that’s real trouble. The real revenge of that wrong vote is that I did it because I was so sick of Willie Brown and a year later he was the mayor of San Francisco instead and still was flamboyantly corrupt, daring anyone to stop him- and no one ever did. That same machine has given us Feinstien, who then while still mayor, hand picked Nancy Pelosi to fill the Burton seat, and Kamala Harris was once Willie Burton’s girlfriend for a little while- yes, she’s machine. So for the first time they have the govenr’s mansion and there’s Gavin New-Scum as well, who’s kind of the Mitt Romney of the Democratic party. He’s almost as smug as Don Jr, the current squeeze of his former wife.
Newsome has been a little better than I though he would be, same with Harris, as opposed to when she was DA and then California Attorney General. But, after these 17 days, if the Bidenoids actually get in, that’s when you turn the blowtorch up their assess to make sure it’s not the same old Biden running the show and cutting business deals.
That’s kind of the argument that Danbert of Chumbawamba made. Earlier this week, he said that he doesn’t like Biden, but he’d rather vote for Biden, get Biden in, and fight Biden’s policies than vote for someone else and fight Trump’s policies/ That’s a good point. It’s just a matter that you can’t sit back and not fight like people did during the Clinton and Obama regimes. Although, at least we had occupy just in time to derail Mitt Romney. I mean, they’ll never admit it, but the whole Obama regime owes their second term to Occupy. All they were doing before that was safe little “stronger America, the economy is great, we love Israel more than the next person!” and they didn’t want to talk about inequality at all because so little had been done and all they did was give money to banks and people lost their homes instead. Occupy then blew in the doors, where they even had to talk about inequality on commercial, corporate McNews and it was front and center and even my mom was supporting the Occupy-ers!
It also didn’t hurt that in one of the greatest pranks of our current century some patriot troublemaker turned their camera phone on and recorded Mitt Romney when he was saying 47% of Americans are freeloaders and that Romney tone of voice that just drips with venom ”They think they are entitled to healthcare… they think they are entitled to FOOD! And that got out and that scared the shit out of people. So, in that election, it wasn’t a pro-Obama vote, it was an anti-Romney vote. To the point where all the rigging they did in Ohio to rig the election and tip the scales towards Romney- people showed up in droves for Obama instead.
I got to witness that classic Karl Rove temper tantrum live on Fox news. “That can’t the right total for Ohio! It can’t be! It can’t be! It’s not right! You can’t call the election yet!” What he new enough not to say, was “I had it all fixed1 I haven’t undone all the votes yet!” And that have him marching down to where the votes are tabulated with a camera- “nope, we’re calling the election for Barakstar, whether you like it or not, Roveo.” That was a great moment. I did watch election results that night and though, “okay, they’ve called the election for Obama… let’s watch Fox. This should be some pretty good entrainment…” and it was.
Let’s talk about the title track and the album theme in general. You talk about the tea-party “tucking in their white robes” and becoming the tea-party, and by extension, maybe the Proud Boys. Has- Yeah, I tried not to mention certain names. Also, keep in mind, I wrote that song and “Satan’s combover” before the Trumpzi’s stole the election in ’16. Let’s not go parroting the news punditoids by saying Trump was “elected.” Even Rachel Maddow goes, “when Trump was elected”- for crying out loud! Stop parroting a bunch of fucking lies! That’s like calling anti-abortion bombers “pro-life!” That’s like calling the mythical stuff of Mexican-Americans voting twice “voter fraud” but not calling neo-nazis what they are and instead using terms like “alt-right”- All on queue like a bunch of fucking sheep. “Oh no no no! We have to give them a less threatening sounding name than neo-nazis.”
We all know they are a bunch of neo-nazis! “Oh, but now it’s their time. You know, alt-right, alt-coutnry, alt-right!” We don’t have to do that. I keep correcting people, Trump wasn’t elected, the Trump regime seized power.
But, this whole thing didn’t start wit Trump. He was just a particularly media savvy buffoon that people glomed onto and made a pop star out of. But, this already happened in France with the national front-Jean-Marie Le Pen. Then you’ve got Brexit. There’s AFD in Germany. You’ve got anti-immigrant shot poking through in Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and Italy and Greece- with the Golden dawn who were even more violent than what we have in our country- and justice may have worked in that country where the top three people were convicted of murder and the judge said that it was a gang masquerading as a political party, which is what the Republicans have kind of turned into, proud boys or no proud boys.
There was one of my What would Jello Do videos which I shot in Athens because I happened to be there, when they first strted rearing their ugly head sand beating the crap out of immigrants and running them out of their homes and threatening people, including my friend- they were no joke and still aren’t and neither are the people over here. Then you’ve got Duterte in the Philippines which is like a classic Salvadorian death squad who may have had as many as twenty thousand people killed. Why don’t we hear more about that? Because the Trumpzi show is on, that’s why?
So then, you have to ask, why so many of these at once and why now? I think it’s because our corporate lords and people whoa re way to rich for their own good, the powers that be that are trying to turn the world back to feudalism- “we’re sick of this occupy shit. We’re sick of the greens actually getting some powers and actually making a difference. We are just going to totally crush them and make fascism cool again because we’ve made so many people so desperately poor, that we need to manipulate them and channel their anger. Otherwise, we’re going down.”
so, all over the world, and all the ay back to Rush Limbaugh- “you’re scared that you might loose your job? You’re scared that you might not be able to put food on the table? Blame immigrants. Blame brown people. Even if you’ve never seen one. Whatever you do, don’t blame us, who stole your money.” Same old game. So, that’s the “Satan’s comb over” effect.
And then “Tea Party Revenge Porn”, I had wanted to go after them for a long time. All I have to do is repeat their own conspiracy theories and how they put together two plus two and get 67 or something- I don’t even have to work to make it humorous, and scary and sick at the same time, which is kind of my specialty in trade.
You made an interesting point there. You make the argument that a lot of hese so called “alt-right” or “proud boys” in poor areas might not be evil at heart- they might just be pawns of, say extremely wealthy parties/ Oh totally. The tea party was started with money from Karl Rove and the Koch brothers, which is why they call it an “Astroturf” movement and not a “grassroots” movement. I mean, they put up the money, they sent out the coordnators, they made sure the more easily manipulated reactionaries showed up at town halls and heckled people when they wanted to explain Obamacare. And, it just took off.
At first, it was so ridiculous that they called themselves “tea baggers” and they had little tea bags on their hats! All I could do was try not to laugh when I thought of the same Dwarves record over and over and over again. Eventually, I guess somebody showed them the Dwarves record and they shortened it to Tea Party- I dunno! Suddenly, that whole movement had legs and thanks to the internet and corporate McNews, more and more of them found each other.
And for the most part, they’re not full blown neo-nazis, or KKK, or patriot prayer kind of groups at all- but they are Rush Limbaugh listeners or people like that. As Clinton, yes Clinton again who gutted our broadcast monopoly laws, the stations all got bought out by the extreme right and Fox and Clear Channel never looked back. So, if you’re driving across America in your rent-a-car, in what they call flyover states, you get one right wing talk show after another. And that’s all by design.
As Michael Moore was pointing out in the ‘90s, if not before, you can’t just condemn all of these people. Again, they’re mostly not Nazis, but they are Trump votes- because they are heartbroken and they are scared. As Michael Moore puts it, most of these people are on the same side as we are, and they don’t know it, because they are worried about the same things.
I’ve got a tag-a-long question for that. Recently, John Lydon said he was voting for Trump! Then, it blew my mind when Ice Cube kind of, sort of suggested that he was pro-Trump. Ice Cube of all people! What do we do when musicians we admire start saying whacked out stuff that seems to go against everything they stand for? Lydon always had a conservative streak. That Sex Pistols song, “Bodies,” is an anti-abortion song.
Really? You really think so? I thought it was just supposed to be shocking or something. The Catholic damage was already there. In the ‘80s he was very upfront about being pro-nuclear power- part of that is because he loves to be a contrarian. I didn’t know he could vote for trump, and that means he’s made himself an American citizen, too. I wouldn’t think that he would have done that, but maybe the income tax rate is better for him here and he did it for that reason.
The best we can do is counter it and communicate with people as to why we feel that shit is wrong, to listen to their hearts, and, well, basically, we are right. Period. There will be people falling the mountain. Remember that Grand Funk Railroad song, “people let’s stop the war?”
Yeah! Did you know that later on, when McVeigh blew up the building in Oklahoma, and he came out of the Michigan militia who threw him out for being a drunk and stuff. The Michigan milita who got a lot of unwanted pop star attention after the Oklahoma bombing, they drilled on land owned by Mark Farner from Grand Funk.
Did he know that, though, or did he just think he was renting to some dudes? He had to have known it. It’s not just Ted Nugent that went further and further off the rails. With Nugent, it became an opiate and he’s addicted to his own right wing bullshit. these things do happen.
With punk, because of how volatile and high energy the music is, you always got people from both sides. On one end, you have people that were very, very anti-racist, such as the foundation of Rock against Racism or even the bad Brains, but on the other hand, you would get people like the Exploited, not mention eventually Skrewdriver and the people that came after them. There’s always been that.
You may recall that Wattie when he first got to this country, he did an interview with Flipside and said, “I hate Mexicans because they look like Pakistanis.” Punk brought in people like that too.
I’m certainly not a fan of Wattie or the Exploited, but you don’t think a statement like that is supposed to be an old school shock jock kind of thing? Well, yes and no. Howard Stern lost me when he was all rah rah for the death penalty. That’s another dealbreaker for me and a reason I won’t vote for Biden. Death penalty, war on drugs, those are deal breakers for me period. I can’t vote for those people. I just hope at some level, with enough blowtorch up their ass, you’ll see more active enforcement of the law against all the gangsters in the Trump regime who laughed all the way to the bank rather than Obama and Biden just letting everybody off the hook. Letting Wallstreet off the hook is what gave us trump. Letting Dubya and that whole regime off the hook and making torture normal –“well there’s nothing we can do about it, so I guess it’s okay” – is what gave us the Trumpzis that think they have the right to tear children away from their mothers and locking them in cages.
There’s a direct link between that and Guantanamo bay. Guantanamo Bay is an ongoing war crime. And who knows how many children that were yanked away- I fear we may find mass graves. I really do. I’m really worried about that.
Especially if a Biden/Harris regime decides that we have to let by gones be by gones. Biden has already said that he may keep some of the Trump tax cuts, all of which violate the RICO act as far as I’m concerned. This is the second time we have had the executive branch seized and looted by a crime family. The Bush’s a re a crime family that go back several more generations than Dubya and his evil daddy. Then, with the current one, we have two crime families that married each other- we have the Trumps and the Kushners. The whole way they operate is that they are a crime family and they know it and they dig it.
I think a part of that is what you mentioned- Trump and the like know how bad he is, and sort of revels in that, and his fans enjoy the fact that he revels in having no sense of morality or decency. A big part of the gut punch when he won in ’16 was that, when people we’re going “he won even though he’s a rapist, he won even though he’s a racist!” No, boys and girls, he won because he’s a rapist. He won because he’s a racist.
To be continued…