Sunday, April 30, 2006

Stephen Colbert and Jerry Casale

Jerry Casale is one of the most brillant men in a rock band or anywhere. Articulate and sharp as a razor, he cut through the optimism of many at Beyond Baroque last night. We have indeed devolved to the point that people don't want to think, don't know good advice, and are basically lemmings.

I was very conflicted, especially when interviewed later. Vale, our host, mentioned women and punk. The interviewer, Carlye, said she's heard men mention that women were involved in punk, but never said by women. Ouch, ain't that the truth!

I said something, very impassioned and loudly (no surprise) and NO ONE in the room bothered to say, oh, that's one of the earliest LA punks who also extensively photographed the scene from within the scene. No, to many in the room, I was, yet again, just some loud woman. People are clamoring to know the real history, but we're bombarded by many who weren't even there, saying all kinds of things that fly in the face of those who not only were there, but helped CREATE PUNK.

That is why it's so hard for me to go to these events. I sit there like an observer, when I was and am a participant. It's not my ego, it's the truth of what I say. I remember, I have photos, people who were there write to me, I share those stories, those memories, those facts. But until someone validates I speak from authority, and don't just rehash mindless theories floating about, then my words have no weight. And that drives me crazy. It's so sad: this history will be lost and distored if people don't pay attention to those who CREATED PUNK.

Maybe I should introduce myself, but would that be taken as egotistical? Maybe the problem is I'm too polite. I should not rely on men to do the right thing and give credit where credit is due. I gotta work on that!

At one point a woman said she's 16 and Jerry and the panelists will die in 30 years. He thanked her for giving him those many years. One point he was making was although the old method of record distribution doesn't work as it did before (and as punks found out, never worked that well for us 30 years ago), the net is not much better. His last comments were that iTunes won't play his music. You can't hear Jerry Casale from Devo on iTunes.

Wait, didn't Disney just release Devo 2.0, a cover version aimed for younger audiences? But Jerry can't get his current music on iTunes? Although, as the young woman said, "there are thousands of sites to hear music," where does a fan start? And you better believe that I try to hear as much new music as I can, but to do it properly, I'd work less than I do (not a good thing).

I mentioned the fight for "net neutrality," and these women, who live on the net and know of moveon.org, never heard about that bill. I wanted to add this battle is one wherein corporations (whom Jerry rightfully criticized) are on OUR side. Amazon and AOL don't want slower access and less info posted because their revenue streams depend upon easy access and readily available info. You'd think they'd be able to take on Congress and the telecommunications monopoly, but this new bill caught everyone by surprise (like aspects of the Patriot Act). This Admin and Congress act without public discourse, with the help of the press, asleep at the wheel (and bought off).

This morning I laughed and cheered at the tape of Stephen Colbert sticking it not only to the Pres, but the PRESS CORP. I mentioned seeing Helen Thomas next to him at the dais before running off to the punk gathering last night. She played a vital role in his presentation. Over and over, Helen asked: "WHY DID WE INVADE IRAQ?" Too few in the media ask that question and all settle for no answers. Except "doubting Thomas," relegated to the back of the press room. Yet little of what Colbert said was mentioned in the MSM aka mainstream media.

He too spoke truthfully, or using his fave word, with truthiness. Punk and politics, as I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it, are related.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. How many more chances do you think you'll get to get it right? What good is the net if it's censored and more expensive? Don't think it will happen? Happening right now.

2 Comments:

Blogger Hank said...

Jenny,
I for one think that you're an incredible woman and it's the punks like yourself that made the LA punk scene what it is today. Without you and all the other early punks in LA, I would hate to even think what the music scene would be like around the world. You're contribution and art will live on forever, never forget that. I know that sometimes other people get the validation and try to take the thunder but alot of us know who was there. We know the huge contribution that you made for the love of art and for the love of music and a movement that still lives on.

Hank

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Roger Krueger said...

The sad corollary is that those who DO remember history are doomed to scream futilely as others repeat it--Cassandra minus the superntaural.

3:16 AM  

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