Sunday, November 23, 2008

GG Allin, ConPunk, Suffering

•One more Helen thought left over after yesterday’s entry, and then I’ll stop going on about her: If, as she’s blogged, she likes conservatism, punk, religion, and (contra utilitarianism) suffering, I really must ask her what she thinks of notorious punk GG Allin (whose Wikipedia entry is one of the most disturbing things I’ve read).

As I was discussing with a couple other friends, the late punk singer raises questions about whether living hard, suffering, engaging in crime and violence, and dying young — but doing so with intensity and a sense of mission — can in fact be more valuable than living a comfy, pleasant existence for eight decades or so. Allin was born in poverty, nicknamed after his attempts to pronounce “Jesus,” smeared himself with feces and committed roughly every other extreme act imaginable on stage while singing, then died on a sofa amidst partying friends who failed to notice he’d died for about a day. Disaster? Shining, legendary success? Both? Not the life of a cautious utility-calculator, in any case.

•Anyone interested, as some of the folks at that paleo conference Helen’s returning from today no doubt are, in stories that combine libertarianism, Catholicism, trouble-making, and ethnic identity in weird ways might enjoy this strange — and admittedly long and sort of petty — tale of a libertarian econ prof run afoul of a Jesuit university. People ought to be prepared for this sort of thing if they expect to learn from Walter Block, author of Defending the Undefendable.

•On a much less disturbing music note, I only recently discovered that the familiar, ominous, rising synthesizer tone from the beginning of THX tapes is nearly identical, as many people have apparently observed, to the opening sound from the song “Countdown to Zero” by Asia from their album Astra. It’s disorienting to hear the beginning of the song now — not that one often does.


Lefty Leibowitz said...

Did I ever tell you that I was in a band that opened for GG Allin back in Austin around 1992? Good times.

Todd Seavey said...

You, sir, are hardcore — and I thought of you when hearing a song recently that combined techno and a sort of steel-guitar-Western-swing sensibility, oddly enough, “Nashville Parthenon” by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (a California one-man band).