Right this moment, I really wish I spoke Russian, the better to understand this 1964 commercial that turned up yesterday on the wonderful Soviet Visuals Twitter feed.
Perhaps calling it a “commercial” is a misnomer—Soviet agriculture was mostly organized into a system of collective and state farms, so commerce wasn’t the objective here—there was no brand competition. The context for this ad was a big push for corn that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had undertaken in the mid-‘50s. Corn was never important to Soviet agriculture, but Khrushchev valued it as livestock feed.
”Corn—The Source of Abundance,” 1959
Corn’s failure in the USSR was one of the factors that weakened Khrushchev (the Cuban Missile Crisis was a much bigger one) and allowed for the more conservative Leonid Brezhnev to successfully conspire to depose him, but while that’s interesting, it’s not singing corn interesting. This ad is great fun, and about the only thing that could have improved it would be if it had starred Eduard “Mr. Trololo” Khil. It features animated ears and cans of corn, seemingly petitioning a singing chef to cook them. We’re then treated to a panoply of corn dishes. It’s supposed to demonstrate the grain’s culinary versatility, but every meal looks sufficiently unappetizing to have been culled from The Gallery of Regrettable Food. And I particularly love the overwrought fake smile on the woman near the ad’s end who’s eating corn on the cob as though for the first time ever in her life.
I’ve been waiting for this primo item of Desert Storm-abilia to turn up on YouTube for years, and Lord knows I have waited patiently; for as the Good Book reminds us, “the race is not to the swift” (Ecclesiastes 9:11), and some of these fuckers are anything but swift.
Back in ‘91, Jerry Martin (a/k/a Jerry Buckner) rode the tide of blood unleashed by the first Gulf War all the way to #71 on Billboard’s country chart. I’m still struggling to understand how this epistolary spoken word release qualified as a country song, but I’m going to bet it had something to do with the kinds of radio stations that played it and the obscure regions of our nation to which their signals penetrated. A cassingle issued in a plain gray sleeve, Martin’s “Letter to Saddam Hussein” had little in common with Jello Biafra’s contemporary Gulf War cassingle, “Die for Oil, Sucker,” which pointed out that we might not be fighting for the noblest of causes.
Martin left that kind of thinking to eggheads, Poindexters and Philadelphia lawyers. On his cassingle, he allowed as how he didn’t know much of anything, because being so ordinary, regular and real didn’t leave a lot of time for studies. But there was one thing he did know: our pride would be Saddam’s shame.
I mentioned that Jerry Martin was the pseudonym of Jerry Buckner. Now, I can’t be sure this is theJerry Buckner of “Pac Man Fever” fame, but I do wonder how many vocal talents named Jerry Buckner might plausibly reside in the Atlanta area. To whom was Saddam supposed to address his reply? Whatever, I bet the dictator thought twice about showing his face down south after this tape came out. Cut way down on his trips to Georgia.
Now a quarter-century old—its sleeve no longer the shiny gray I remember from my Sam Goody youth, but the dull gray I see in my Sam Elliott beard—this curiosity fetches outrageous prices on Amazon. I can’t imagine why. I hope it’s because there are a lot of Big Lebowski and Nevermind fans researching the beginnings of American history’s most bogus journey.
Without spoiling the dramatic ending of “Letter to Saddam Hussein,” I can tell you that we kept its promise. Our boys showed Saddam who was boss, thereby transforming the entire Fertile Crescent into a fiery whirlwind of widows’ blood and children’s limbs. Now our boys will be there showing Saddam who’s boss forever!
An unidentified Bible-thumping halfwit and her—get this—twelve children shot cell phone footage of their cringey two-minute dumdum hate parade through a Target store and it’s starting to go viral. The family probably posted it to Facebook themselves (clearly one of her minions held the phone that shot it) but it made its way to YouTube. I could find next to no information about this. There’s not even any information about the location of the Target store or anything else. What you see is what you get.
And what you get is a breathtaking display of idiocy, bigotry and I’m guessing more than a ladleful of severe mental illness. Obviously she is a “Christian” and how much do you wanna bet that she is also a Republican voter? (The GOP wants to curtail voting access for blacks, but this pathological freak is okay with a ballot? And no doubt a gun to protect her family against homos and that Obama, too? Right...)
So what’s going on here is that this… perturbed and disturbed woman is apparently angry that Target allows transgender customers to use bathrooms and changing rooms that correspond to their gender identity, so she brought along her… brood (How much do you wanna bet that they are homeschooled, huh?) and traipsed through a Target whilst hoisting a Bible and annoying everyone in the store who is not one of her blood relatives who she also happened to give birth to.
Maybe the Westboro Baptist Church has some competition? Meet the hateful new Christian kids on the block!
“Attention Target customers… Do not be deceived, Target would have you believe with their Mother’s Day displays that they love mothers and children. This is a deception. This is not love, and they’ve proven it by opening their bathrooms to perverted men. I’m a mother of 12 and I’m very disgusted by this wicked practice.”
Hey look, I’m disgusted by this fucking walking, shouting imbecile factory who feels entitled to bring twelve more genetically deficient morons into the world, yet I’m not inclined to wear such a statement on a sandwich board and walk around like a weirdo outside of this lady’s church. When you’re a Christian in America, though, you don’t need an excuse to wear your hatred (and IQ) so proudly. It’s your birthright!
“Mothers get your children out of this store. Mothers have enough decency to get out of this store, it’s a dangerous place… What Target has done is very hateful. It’s hateful towards families. It’s hateful towards mothers. It’s hateful towards children… Are you gonna let the devil rape your children?”
I thought that was the job of the clergy?
All in all though, as this video makes the rounds today, you have to give this head-shakingly ridiculous woman credit for all of the minds she changed with her goofy self-righteous God-bothering tirade. Not the way she intended to change them, but still. Bless.
It should be noted that the use here of the term “Nazi Skinhead” is my own broad-brushstroke, informed by being at numerous ‘80s punk shows ruined by “White Nationalist Skinheads”—sometimes at the wrong end of a Doc Marten. This is not a term used by the authors of The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement to describe their subject. Having just admitted my own bias on the topic of “Nazi Skinheads,” let me add that as a student of the history of youth subcultures and countercultures, I am endlessly fascinated, as a topic of study, by the Skinhead movement and its extreme right-wing offshoots.
When I first heard that Feral House was publishing the definitive guide to Nazi Skinhead history, my curiosity was piqued because I was fairly certain they would get it right. Feral House’s Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal is the go-to reference on the Satanic fascist Black Metal scene and is an absolutely compelling read. I was hoping for a similarly riveting examination of the White Power Skinhead scene.
Before going into where the book succeeds and fails, I feel the need to point out that the title, The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement: UK & USA, 1979 - 1993, may be a bit misleading. The book is more specifically a history of the “Rock Against Communism” (or RAC) music scene than an overview of Nationalist Skinheads as a political counterculture. Indeed, the original (more appropriate) title of an earlier self-published version of the book was When the Storm Breaks: Rock Against Communism 1979-1993.
It should also be noted that the majority of the enormous 610 page book is devoted to the British RAC scene. Only about 60 pages at the end of the book discuss the American RAC bands, and seems to be an added afterthought compared to the extremely well-researched history of the UK bands such as Skrewdriver, and Brutal Attack and their ilk. Actually “well-researched” is kind of an understatement. And that leads me to the pros and cons of The White Nationalist Skinhead Movement —which are mostly one in the same.
When an author goes about compiling information for the definitive history of a subject—particularly a subject they may have an affinity for—they are forced to decide between paring that knowledge down to a narrative which would make for a fascinating read to the novice, or sharing every shred for the like-minded obsessive seeking an authoritative reference. Authors Robert Forbes & Eddie Stampton took the latter route here. The wealth of information culled from interviews and historical records (mostly fanzines, naturally), would be a boon to those already immersed in the White Power music culture—not simply your basic Nazi Skinhead, but your Nazi Skinhead music über-nerd. If you are a member of this small target-audience, then you will likely find no fault with this weighty tome. If you happen to be taking all of this in as someone with a passing interest in the history of the Oi! music scene and its racist offshoots, then you are likely to become bored with plowing through the minutae of every RAC gig and band-member change. Because it’s ALL in there. I’ll be honest, this book was a struggle for me to make it through—simply because it was just TOO MUCH. Sure, it’s fascinating to see how the popularity of a group like Skrewdriver unfolded from their beginnings as an “apolitical” punk band, through line-up changes, to finally finding a rabid audience among White Power Nationalists; but entire portions of interviews with scenesters are reprinted describing “what it was like the first time I saw Skrewdriver,” when one or two pull quotes would have sufficed. The whole premise is bogged down under the weight of trying to include EVERYTHING.
The authors seem close to their subject matter. One of them perhaps too close for comfort, if you are the sort of person who is a stickler about giving your money to those who hold opposing ideologies to your own. According to this review of When the Storm Breaks, “Eddie Stampton is involved with the Nationalist movement, Robert Forbes writes from a neutral position, intrigued by the subject but not involved in the dogma.”
The end of the book contains the following disclaimer:
The political views expressed in this book may or may not necessarily be those of the authors. No hatred is aimed at any people or races mentioned within, however, for realism when relating to certain events or situations, the authors feel some quotes from others will need be entered into the text to make the mood or feelings of those at said events or situations as true as possible. The authors must stress their own aversion to any acts of hatred or violence towards others. This book is a historical commentary, nothing more and nothing less.
At the same time, the front of the book contains a “Rest in Peace” dedication to notable Nazi Skinheads, including Clive Sharp of No Remorse, Ian Stuart of Skrewdriver, and Nicky Crane (famously violent Skinhead who later came “out” as homosexual). Some may be bothered by the inclusion of such a dedication, while others will overlook it in the interest of having an authentic insight.
A screenshot from the Facebook page “Spell Check a Racist”
I feel like it is safe to assume that you have perhaps come across commentary on posts in your social media news feed that defy all logical explanation. Racists who preface their statements with “I’m not a racist, but…” or perhaps a comment that contains the same high level of fear mongering crazy that is currently running rampant within the GOP. To say nothing of the usual poor spelling and grammatical issues that generally go hand and hand when it comes to people with strong xenophobic or right-wing Christian tendencies.
The obligatory “I’m not a racist, ask my black friends” post
One of the more popular racist approaches to dealing with people of other races, the “Kill ‘em All”
“Spell Check a Racist” is a UK-based Facebook page that does a pretty damn good job epically trolling folks who have no problem making heinous, hateful remarks in social media, while having no regard for literacy. The members of “Spell Check a Racist” craft a (mostly) polite, helpful response to the post, offering corrections to the sometimes horrific grammar and punctuation mistakes, then call out their racist remarks. One of my favorite discoveries on “Spell Check a Racist” was my introduction to my two new BFF insult words: “hoofwanking bunglecunt.” Bless you UK, bless you. I plan on using that one a lot in 2016.
Of course being hateful of all things that don’t look like you is a fairly time-consuming pursuit, so I can sort of understand how things like good grammar tend to fall by the wayside because you’re so fucking angry about the “muslins” or other immigrants and the “plaque” they are bringing into your country. I’ve included a few fantastic posts from “Spell Check a Racist” that will make you ponder how these short-fingered vulgarians were able to smash away at a keyboard and hit “post” without considering the gravity of what they are saying, and the fantastic corrective responses will restore your faith in at least some of the humans that inhabit this earth. The screenshots that follow are as hilarious as they are somewhat NSFW.
Knocking Pixar’s Inside Out from the top-spot, the number one German box-office draw is currently Look Who’s Back, a comedy about Hitler waking up in modern Germany, and his disgust with modern media, technology, politics, and cultural norms.
The film, based on the international best-selling book by Timur Vermes of the same name, follows the awoken Nazi leader as modern Germans assume he is a prankster and make him a YouTube sensation. Thorough his new-found fame he is able to go back into politics.
Director David Wnednt’s adaptation for the screen takes the basic premise of the book’s plot but adds in Borat-esque footage of actor Oliver Masucci, in character as Hitler, on the streets interacting with real Germans.
Masucci, speaking to The Guardian, described filming these scenes:
It was incredible, I was suddenly the attraction, like a popstar. People clustered around me. One told me she loved me, and asked me to hug her. One, to my relief, started hitting me. There was also a black woman who said I scared her.
Germans should be able to laugh at Hitler, rather than viewing him as monster because that relieves him of responsibility for his deeds and diverts attention from his guilt for the Holocaust. But it should be the type of laugh that catches in your throat and you’re almost ashamed when you realize what you’re doing.
The film includes recent real-life footage of demonstrators holding anti-refugee signs—making the presence of its lead character all the more timely, though the country’s Nazi past remains a touchy subject among Germans. Display of the swastika and other Nazi symbols are still outlawed in Germany.
There is currently no word on a European or American release of the film, but based on the strength of its German box-office presence, one would assume a wider release would not be far off.
Dick Cheney as the devil tattoo (with the Microsoft “Zune” symbol showing through his head. This tattoo belongs to this guy).
I’ve really got a pretty sweet treasure trove of eye candy for you today here on DM. In my downtime, I have to admit one of my guilty pleasures is perusing the Internet for images of tattoo art. As much as I love how getting inked has been elevated to a high art form over the past few decades or so, I’m also a sucker for the folks that end up with terrible renditions of Looney Tunes characters or message tattoos with forever typos like “no regerts.”
Former Prime Minister of the UK, Margaret Thatcher as an ice cream cone tattoo
Some of my favorite tattoo whoopsies are of the ever popular Chinese fonts that are picked at random from a tattoo flash book by an unwitting client. I’ve had many a good Simpsons-flavored “HA-HA’s” seeing someone who was under the impression that the cute symbol on their arm said “friendship.” However, when translated properly actually advertises that you are “bad looking, ugly or unclean.” Ah, linguistics. Live it, love it, and for fuck’s sake learn it before you get a tattoo involving words.
Saddam Hussein portrait tattoo. Ironically, during his reign, Hussein was known to imprison tattooed Iraqis as he believed tattoos were an “imitation” of western culture
In many cases, I was not surprised when I Googled a particular despots name along with the word “tattoo” and found not one, but many different varieties of ink-jobs that ran the gamut from A+ for execution to F for why???. Of course, it makes perfect sense that a former Soviet Army soldier might be sporting a Stalin tattoo on his back. Gulag prisoners from the past would also get the portraits of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, and Joseph Stalin tattooed on their chests in the hope it would protect them from firing squads.
But why would anyone ever put a tattoo of Dick Cheney on their body? Is it an accurate depiction of Mr. Cheney? Sure. But it’s also a strong chick repellant (and people in general repellant for that matter). Despots, dopes and Dicks may come and go, but tattoos are (almost always) forever.
Heinrich Himmler, Sarah Palin, the Ayatollah Khomeini and more fun tattoos after the jump…
Kathleen Tonn, a failed, former Republican U.S. Senate candidate who gained infamy briefly for displaying her “gift” of speaking in tongues, decided to wave a tampon around as she addressed city officials in Anchorage, Alaska, last night in a nonsensical anti-gay rights rant. Tonn carried a briefcase full of props into to the meeting of the Anchorage assembly. She pulled a Bible from her case and said “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. You like my trumpet? It’s a sound heard around the world.”
“Since one of my brethren introduced the King James Bible, since I represent the Lord Jesus Christ the great I am, I’m going to add to your public document and your public record from the public document of the great I am,” Tonn told baffled officials.
“Starting with, oh my — a tampon,” she said, pulling a feminine hygiene product from between the pages of her Bible. “Reminds me that little girls in pubescence get periods — female girls.”
Tonn, who is probably best known for a video she posted online showing herself fully clothed and speaking in tongues in a sauna, then angrily read a lengthy passage from the Second Epistle of Peter describing God’s wrathful judgment against Sodom and Gomorrah.
“Now, since you want to create some ordinance to avoid discrimination for members of our community who engage in, I perceive, unhealthy, ungodly behavior, you might want to consider creating an ordinance for one who speaks in tongues.”
Or perhaps summoning a van where people wearing all white uniforms bring you a nice comfy straightjacket and forcibly medicate you?
Dick Traini, the assembly chairman finally said “Ma’am, your time is up. Thank you for your testimony.”
One could be forgiven, perhaps, for thinking that the recent and ongoing national conversation (or racist jagoff chest-thumping tantrum, if you prefer) about the appropriateness of Confederate flag display is a new thing. But that point of view is ahistorical; this isn’t new, just newly launched into noisier, more vigorous debate. That symbol has been considered divisive and offensive for quite a long time.
For example, as early as 1961, that flag kept an early Otis Redding single from receiving airplay! Redding’s second single, the acutely Little Richard-ish “Fat Gal/Shout Bamalama,” was released in 1961 on a label called “Confederate Records,” an imprint owned by a young white Georgia car salesman named Bobby Smith. The center label on Confederate’s releases, unsurprisingly, was a design based on the Confederate flag, which all by itself was a good enough reason for R&B DJs to utterly disregard the single. From an article in the December, 2007 issue of Atlanta magazine:
A rebel flag crisscrosses the first vinyl single of “Shout Bamalama,” released by the Confederate Records label in 1961. Consequently, African American disc jockeys chucked it into the trash without bothering to listen. Had they put the needle to the groove, they would’ve heard Otis Redding belting out his jump-blues tribute to Bamalama, a one-eyed busker who played a washboard with a thimble. It was another inauspicious break for the Macon vocalist, who was reportedly booed off the stage, in tears, the first time he performed outside of church.
Georgia had incorporated that flag into its own in 1956, as an explicit thumbs-up to white supremacy and segregation. Having been advised that adopting it as a logo for his wares was doing him no favors with his intended audience, the no longer so clueless Smith reissued the recording on Orbit Records, an ad hoc label he started for the sole purpose of getting the pariah Dixie flag off of Redding’s single. Per Smith himself:
Otis and I went on the road promoting “Shout Bamalama”. Stopping at Augusta radio station WTHB, we were told by the DJ it would be played if it were taken off the Confederate-flagged record label. I promised to do so. We went on to Columbia, SC and met with a program director, Big Saul at radio station WOIC, who also promised heavy play, but only if the label was changed. Otis and I hit it off very well with Big Saul. As we drove and listened to legendary DJ John R on Nashville ’s WLAC, Otis said, “Bobby, if that man played my record I would think I had made it”. When we returned to Macon, I wasted no time creating the Orbit label and putting “Shout Bamalama” on it. The following week I went to Nashville and talked to John R, and I explained the situation with Confederate and Orbit. John R was impressed with the record and promised me he would give it heavy duty air play.
No version of the record would get much attention, let alone “heavy duty air play,” but that would all be moot soon enough, as Smith would amicably part ways with Redding in 1962, when Redding leveled up to record for labels like Stax/Volt and Atlantic/Atco (neither of which sported the banners of states that committed treason in the name of preserving a human trafficking economy and surrendered unconditionally 100 years prior). And then, of course, rock history 101 happened, and Redding’s excellent Monterey International Pop Music Festival appearance brought him mass-audience attention, just six months before his tragic death in a plane crash at the age of 26 robbed the world of his potential.
Here’s that single, “Fat Gal” backed with “Shout Bamalama.”
Bonus! Check out the early Redding song which was the basis for “Shout Bamalama,” “Gamma Lama.”
Gratitude to Art Chantry for bringing this to our attention.
Dangerous Minds reported on the KKK rally held at the South Carolina statehouse on Saturday. What was missing from that report was this video of the Klan’s march toward the statehouse. Genius South Carolina sousaphonist, Matt Buck, gave the members of the KKK and Nazi NSM the farty-sounding accompaniment they deserved. I nearly lost my shit when he busted into the damaged rendition of “Ride of the Valkyries.”