Category Archives: Music

Jello Biafra Cancels Israel Show, Attacks Boycotters

Jello Biafra, "Democratic Socialist," tool of apartheid



The former lead singer of the Dead Kennedys has pulled out of a planned concert in Tel Aviv this weekend, but says he will still go to Israel.

Jello Biafra, who was set to play in Tel Aviv for the first time on July 2 with his band the Guantanamo School of Medicine, said the cancellation absolutely did not mean he or his band were endorsing or joining a boycott of Israel.

Instead he delivered a blistering attack on the boycott, divestment and sanctions groups, including one called “Punks Against Apartheid”, who campaigned for him to cancel.

He also said he refused to be “a poodle for Hasbara, Peace Now, BDS or anyone else”

Mr Biafra said he would still go to Israel and Palestine “to check things out myself” and may yet change his mind about his decision.

He said his only intention in going to Israel had been to do some good, and criticised those who attempted to stop him.

“What about the people on the same side of the human rights fence we are, who now don’t get to see us play?” asked the punk star. “Should they be boycotted too?

“I’ve been doing this long enough to know better than buy into hardline absolutes such as playing in Israel automatically supports apartheid or Israel’s government. That threat is ridiculous.”

Palestinian victims of Israeli white phosphorus - less important than Jello Biafra's pocketbook.

He condemned the way in which discussion about playing in Israel had descended into a “childish bickerfest” from both Palestinian and Israeli groups, and noted that many of the “Punks Against Apartheid” petition signatories had no idea who he was.

He added: “I can’t back anyone whose real goal or fantasy is a country ethnically cleansed of Jews or anyone else, where people who think for themselves or talk to the wrong person are automatically a sellout.”

“Speaking personally, I currently favour two democratic states in the admittedly naive hope that in our lifetime they can somehow evolve into one.”

Boycott poster from the era of South African apartheid.


Video: MPD – Revolución es el camino ciudadaNO!

“Revolution is the Way, Citizens!”
 [Title uses a pun on the Spanish word for citizens]

Ultra-Leftism & Right-Opportunism

The most common mistake among Marxists in our cultural review work is right-opportunism, which means that they fall into liberalism and subjectivism, tolerating artistic works which promote reactionary politics. Right-opportunism can be summed up as the liberal outlook of denying a particular judgement of a work due to relativism, such as the old line, “You can attach any political reading to any book, movie, music or what have you, that you wish. It all depends on the reader.”

This is reactionary capitalist thought that insists that art remain “neutral,” magically standing above society as something pure and detached from classes and modes of production. In a word, they sell out to Hollywood and cling to a nonexistant “indepedance” of art as though art could, or even should be, seperated from the class struggle. As Marx said, the fact that “the ruling ideas of any society are the ideas of its ruling class” is a structural fact of society and cannot be denied because the liberal artist wishes it so.

Right-opportunist deviationists fail to recognize how much a peoples’ ideology may change at any given moment. As such, they allow the existence and wide spreading of all works, essentially offering the masses’ minds as a sacrifice to the alter of “open debate” and “freedom of speech.” This amounts to taking weapons out of the hands of the people and enables the blackest reaction and the most backward politics to spread.

Another form of this, besides run-of-the-mill liberalism, is the “ignore it” approach. This encourages leftist people to simply “ignore” reactionary works in the hopes that they will go away. History has proven this approach idealistic. It also does not allow the proletariat to teach themselves how to analyze works, which means communists then fail at leadership.

Another deviation within ourselves is ultra-leftism. Though it is not the larger danger of the two, it is still clear and present within our ranks. In this camp, Marxist reviewers will tear apart a work with progressive tendancies because of small traces of bourgeois ideology. Ultra-lefts fail to see the slightest progress even under the most radical bourgeois-made films, since they have departed from materialism and expect a capitalist film to essentially be socialist.

The sad reality is that most culture is controlled by the bourgeosie. To have any popular culture and be cut off from the masses, we will have to accept some flaws. The vast majority of films will be “submerged” with the dominant idealogy in one way or another, but it is not deterministic. Base does not determine superstructure 100% of the time, just as proletarians do not always take a bourgeois line and sometimes bourgeois may even take a correct stance. A minority of any class may be advanced, as shown by Lenin’s petty-bourgeois position as a lawyer who nonetheless took the proletarian line and put it into action for the first time in history.

Ultra-leftism and right-opportunism are both threats to be combated within the political situation at the time. Marxist criticism is especially important today when there is a definite risk that the audience will identify with and glorify the reactionary characters of a work, no matter how crudely depicted they are.

y of any class may be advanced, as shown by Lenin’s petty-bourgeois position as a lawyer who nonetheless took the proletarian line and put it into action for the first time in history.

Ultra-leftism and right-opportunism are both threats to be combated within the political situation at the time. There is the definite risk that the audience will identify with and glorify the reactionary characters, no matter how bluntly depicted.

Stalin Wasn’t Stallin’ (Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet)

Stalin wasn’t stallin’
When he told the beast of berlin
That they’d never rest contented
Till they had driven him from the land
So he called the yanks and english
And proceeded to extinguish
The fuhrer and its vermin
This is how it all began

Now, the devil, he was reading
In the good book one day
How that lord created adam
To walk the righteous way
And it made the devil jealous
He turned green onto his????
And he swore by things unholy
And he made one of his own

So he packed two suitcases
Full of greed and misery
And he caught the midnight special
Going down to germany
Then he mixed his lies and hatred
With fire and grim stones
Then the devil sat upon it
That’s how adolf was born

Now adolf got the notion
That he was the master race
And he swore he’d bring new order
And put mankind in a place
So he set his scheme in motion
And was winning everywhere
Until he??? and got the notion
For to kick that russian bear

Stalin wasn’t stallin’
When she told the beast of berlin
That they’d never rest contented
Till they had driven him from the land
So he called the yanks and english
And proceeded to extinguish
The fuhrer and its vermin
This is how it all began

Yes he kicked that noble russian
But it wasn’t very long
Before adolf got suspicious
That he had done something wrong
Cause that bear grabbed the fuhrer
And gave him an awful fight
Seventeen months he grabbed the fuhrer
Tooth and claws, day and night

Then that bear smacked the fuhrer
With a mighty armored??
And adolf broke all records
Running backwards to krakow
Then goebbels sent a message
To the people everywhere
That if they couldn’t hit the fuhrer
God, then hit that russian bear

Stalin wasn’t stallin’
When he told the beast of berlin
That they’d never rest contented
Till they had driven him from the land
So he called the yanks and english
And proceeded to extinguish
The fuhrer and its vermin
This is how it all began

Then this bear called on his buddy
The noble fighting yank
And they sent the fuhrer running
With their ships and planes and tanks
Now the fuhrer’s having nightmares
Cause the fuhrer knows damn well
That the devil’s done roast welcome
On his residence in hell

The Quest for “Authenticity” in Art

“Authenticity” as preached by today’s critics is an idealist concept. The concept of “art” is an era of mechanical, industrial production frequently comes under fire by critics, who insist that the “passion” and “talent” of the art of old is all but lost on today’s youth culture, that Shakespeare is somehow more worthy of praise than modern writers, that the Rolling Stones had more “depth” and “character” than modern bands. While this notion may in some ways be right, it is wrong about quite a few of its major accounts.

The critics’ reactions to changes in the production of art-such as the fact that Van Gogh’s starry night piece now adorns many bedrooms throughout the US-are quite typical of intellectuals seeking the “real” in all things art-related. It makes me wonder how these same intellectuals feel about their books and essays being continuously reproduced, cited and read the world over due to the means of production-the publishing company-upon which they are dependant. Does that fact undermine their work’s “realness?” Does the mechanically reproduced plethora of copies diminish the “aura” of an original work of art, or do they increase it? Familiarity with copies of a painting will enhance response to the original when it is finally encountered. The work’s uniqueness is emphasized by reproduction. The only way this does not happen is if some of the original work’s revolutionary fervor is watered down by the other, copying works, in which case it is not the original work at all.

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