Monday, February 9, 2015

Vandyke Mane

A caricature of a revolutionary with a hair mane and vandyke beard derives from Lenin and Marx. Lately it better describes contemporary agitator and The Trews spokesman Russell Brand, who clearly sees through Fox News’ divisive dehumanization masking greedy motivation and wants the rich to pay their fair share. Media is dominated by giant conglomerates; panicked on-air celebrities with impassioned speeches mimic Hitler trying to twist opinion to fortify their untenable position. Worse, in this culture war, partisans on all sides use massacres as political capital. Must you buy into their tactics? Instead, blame boards of directors and Islamic dictators for incensed Jihad fought against bystanders, since protected instigators are unassailable. Since 1990s Labann has said the same thing as Brand but never so blatantly while trying to embrace equality, fraternity and liberty for all except those who’ve unduly taken advantage. Conservative, jihadi, libertine, nazi, rebel? All extremism is fundamentally misguided.

Unesco’s Joint Message of 3 May 2002 appeals to journalists on issues of media freedom and terrorism, “Neither be cowed by threats nor become a mere mouthpiece of patriotic sentiment or inflammatory opinion.” Like learning to ride a bicycle, you must find balance. Since 9-11, peace has been disrupted by an unresolved “war against terror” in a “pervasive atmosphere of paranoia in which press freedom and pluralism have suffered.” No uniform definition exists for the term terrorism, more describing an incurable effect than neglected root cause. Posturing and threatening hardly merit attention when majority is discontent. Hundreds of journalists have been slain by those who don’t want atrocities exposed. Promoting fear, ignorance and intolerance recruits more revolutionaries and reinforces media oppression. Seems rather deliberate, designed to garner gutless votes. “Let them kill each other,” scheme the rich, who hunker down as murder rates rise and make more guns and laws against restrictions.

Capitalism fails the majority, middle class and poor. Communism lacks personal incentives which produce competitive choices. Neither exists in pure form. All political theories have merged into a murky socialism full of personal entitlements without team commitments. Even social security, once supported by a 1:16 ratio of retiree to workers, will soon be down to 1:2, thus default and end. How long before youth reject paying into something they’ll never collect? Latest reports claim that only 1% of population holds 50% (if not more) of total wealth. You'd think 95% would be held by middle class, who grow food and make everything. Were that true, they’d be in a better position to assist the poor whom the wealthy ignore. But celebrity babblers and rabble rousers only make stinks over what majority already thinks. B&C throughout depicts how humans believe they behave well but fail. Ethics exists on a wide spectrum from justified homicide to self sacrifice.

Perhaps it is time to abandon any notion of intellectual or personal property. Basic information has lost all value with a free internet. Websites cover every aspect of life except information you can use to get ahead. No, that’s already locked down. With 135 million titles in the Library of Congress alone, and many times more articles, books and papers than that floating around, everything that can be said already has been. You’ll be put off literature after reading dozens of books saying the same thing, even quoting each other, more footnotes attributing sources than innovative content pursuing truth. While masses must be reminded repetitively to ignore empty threats, one must be woefully ignorant to believe he/she can say anything new, just what transpires. Opportunities to try are granted by a supportive society who clothes, educates, feeds, and shelters you without prejudice. Entire community owns all your ideas in return for services already rendered. You are neither obliged to serve without compensation nor supposed to hold them hostage in return.

Brand on a ride with now divorced wife, half time superstar Katy Perry.

As the epitome of capitalist spectacles, Superbowl 49 garnered television’s highest audience ever, 115 million viewers. The most despised ad shown during was a Nationwide Insurance spot that depicted a child on a tricycle, unable to catch up with boys on bicycles, who brought attention to accidental deaths among America’s youth. Car collisions account for most of them as the #1 cause of death among people under 25 years old. Distant genocide raises fewer hackles than neighbor fatalities, both of which audience causes. Nationwide wants not only to collect premiums but to reduce payouts by getting you to drive defensively and stay off streets. It's a manipulative, one-sided conversation. Those who raise important issues are seldom appreciated and usually reviled. Labann knows this better than anyone.

As communist transportation, bicycle in Chinese, 腳踏車 (zixingche), literally translates as Foot Tread Car. Not only the top selling brand in anti-monarchy China, still nicknamed the Kingdom of Bicycle, the Flying Pigeon, 飞鸽 (Fei Ge), is the best selling mechanized conveyance in world history with a half billion units sold worldwide from 1950 through 2007, the last year for which figures were posted, though still in production of about 25 million per year. Lack of competition, only 3 models, and state mandate made them ubiquitous there. Its head tube badge with dove over FG rips off Raleigh’s heron over R&co that brands the utility model upon which it was directly based despite patents demanding otherwise. The first new bike Labann ever owned after learning on hand-me-downs, Raleigh built tens of thousands of bikes each year from 1888 until it closed in 2003. Dutch multinational Accell Group continues building that brand in Taiwan, though not if China had its way.

Caught between cultures, the dispossessed latch onto abandoned property and squat in anarchy. Circle A symbolizes cycling counterculture. The dole barely keeps anyone without subsistence enterprise alive, deters car ownership, and encourages rebellion, though society doesn’t owe common slobs anything and inadvertently subsidies crap art and devolution. Coke and meth stimulate purposeless subversion and supplant mutual advantages. Addicts and dealers prey upon whoever has slightly more. With whatever they can seize, snort, steal or swallow they’ve formed an entire ephemeral empire of crust, mosh, punk and rap in short vicious outbursts. The smugly comfortable care or hear little about these localized disturbances before they disappear and resurface elsewhere. Bicycle freedom inspires freedom of speech, a human right many have died to uphold. The cure is neither counseling nor medicating but gaining trust and guaranteeing justice, which everyone can support.

Given bicycling is considered outmoded and generally marginalized, it puzzles why there are so many directly related instances of art and witnesses in song. Austrian punk rockers Bicycle Terror feature their own Bicycle Terror Theme Song and recommend several bike songs from other underground groups, including:
Afternoon Gentlemen, Barthu and the Bike [grindcore], White Cider Chronicles, Bovine Rec.
Död Human, Bike Punks [Catalan crust], Död Human, Espasmo Discos, 2013
Grinch, Snow Bicycle [J-pop], Trash Break Vol. 003, Natural Hi-Tech Rec., c. 2012

A little digging beneath Död Human revealed an overlooked Eurocentric radio playlist of anarchic bike tunes, excluding ones already in blog or book, confirmed through secondary sources:

A.T.O. (Another Terrorist Organization), Bike Punx, Live at Sacarapa Lodge #86, 2004
A.T.O. (Another Terrorist Organization), Bike Punx Unite, For Terrorists in Training, 2004
Bici Hardcöre, Dis Bike Punk, [Spanish, single], 2012
Bici Hardcöre, Mi Bici H H H Letra [Murcian, single], self, 2011
Bici Hardcöre, Ni Carril Bici, Ni Òstias! [Spanish, single], self, 2011
Crucial Unit, Bikes Not Bush, Sea of Steel, Vol. 1, R.A.M.B.O. & Crucial Unit Split EP, Ed Walters Rec., 2001
Daston, Mother Bicycle With Dream [Japanese], Continuously Attack of Endless Shock EP split with Gouka, Forest Rec., 1996
Diskoiraa, Utzi Pakean Bizikleta [Spanish], nasi_goreng_adiktion, Disco Enfermos, 2012
Divide & Conquer, Bike Punx! [French in English], Split CD w/ Juggling Jugglars, Sanjam Records, 1997
Divide & Conquer, The Bike Militia, The Need To Amputate EP, Ginger Liberation/Maloka Records, 1998
Face Up To It! Stabbed In The Bike, [French, single], c. 2006
Fearless Vampire Killers, Bike [Japanese], Rally Round the F.V.K., MCR Co., 1989/1998
The Fight, Bike Song [English], Chained to Your Lies, Fat Wreck Rec., 2003
Heroes & Zeros, Bicycle [Norwegian], Wake Up Call, Mad Butcher Rec., 2011
Human Alert, Opoe Bike Part 2 [Dutch], Sex, Drugs & Anarchy, earGear, 2000
Idiot Talk, Fixie Bike, Idiot Talk EP, Build Me A Bomb Rec., 2011
In Defence, Bike Thieves Can Suck It! {Minneapolis punk], Don’t Know How to Breakdance, self, 2007
The Kl'emones, Bike Punks [Polish, single]
Mönster, (Next) Bike Song, Death Before Disorder, Sabotage, 2005
Oi's 'R' Us/Mihoen, De Fiets Van Wim [Dutch], RaAST Door, In the Wok Rec., 1998
R.A.M.B.O., Bike, Skate, Mosh, Wall of Death The System, 625 Thrashcore, 2001
Small Brown Bike, Red Light, Recollected, Old Point Light, 2013
SNFU, Drunk On A Bike, The One Voted Most Likely to Succeed, Epitaph, 1995
Tom & Boot Boys, Going By My Favorite Bicycle, Pogo 77 Record Compilation, Brutus Rec., 2004
Über, I Will Go By Bike [Spanish in English], Segon Senzill EP, Bowery Rec., 2015
Viktors Hofnarren, Vive Le Vélo [German crust], Jobbykrust, Maximum Voice Prod., 1996

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