Toilet Talks: Art, Politics, and Metal

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Welcome to the debut Toilet Talks, where a handful of editors have a few beers and talk about metal.

The theme for this first one was pretty loose, but I had a few questions relating to “Themes in Metal” that needed answering. The discussion has been lightly (heavily) edited for coherence.

joaquin Soon after the election, people were saying “well at least we should get some good metal out of this”, which is a dumb thing to say, but generally art and the way we perceive it changes with the political climate. It has been a few months now, what has changed?
joe_thrashnkill If abject poverty and human misery resulted in great art, most of the world would be pumping out  [fire emoji] metal constantly.
dr_dubs I have noticed that some of the more well-spoken lyricists in metal, like Doug Moore, have become more vocal on social media. Bands like Pyrrhon seem to be pursuing a line of more socially conscious lyricism in metal that transcends the silly escapism we tend to hear typically. That obviously isn’t universally true.
joe_thrashnkill I think some folks that would prefer to just ignore politics are realizing that they’re going to have to confront what’s happening.
dr_dubs Joe, what do you think of the argument that we’ve both seen that metal is supposed to be escapism?
joe_thrashnkill Uhh. I suppose there’s always going to be a segment of metal that IS pure escapism. Lots of dudes love their Lord of the Rings LARP metal.
hessianhunter Metal isn’t “supposed” to be anything. No art is “supposed” to be anything except what the artist wants it to be. If you like your metal to be escapism, lucky for you there is a whole lot of that. If a band uses their platform to talk about real-world politics, that’s their artistic choice and it’s nonsensical to be upset at them for it. Roll your eyes all you want at “mixing music with politics”, but know you are also effectively rolling your eyes at Black Sabbath for writing “War Pigs” after putting out an album of pure fantasy nightmare fuel.
joe_thrashnkill Who wrote the lyrics to “War Pigs” I just can’t imagine Ozzy putting together a coherent sentence, much less an allegorical song.
dr_dubs I think it was supposed to be Walpurgis originally.
dr_dubs “The original title of “War Pigs” was “Walpurgis”, dealing with the witches’ sabbath. “Walpurgis is sort of like Christmas for Satanists. And to me, war was the big Satan”, said bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler. “It wasn’t about politics or government or anything. It was [about] evil. So I was saying ‘generals gathered in the masses / just like witches at black masses’ to make an analogy. But when we brought it to the record company, they thought ‘Walpurgis’ sounded too Satanic. And that’s when we turned it into ‘War Pigs’. But we didn’t change the lyrics, because they were already finished.”
joe_thrashnkill Well shit. There goes our argument for everything forever.
joe_thrashnkill Thanks a lot, Geezer.
dr_dubs “It sounded cool.” – Metal lyricists, a lot of the time.
dr_dubs Do you think those people are doing a disservice to the art/genre?
joe_thrashnkill I think they’re doing a disservice to everyone by recycling the same fucking book for 40 years. Read a new book, dummies.
dr_dubs lol
joe_thrashnkill But not necessarily – in response to your question. Escapism, by itself, isn’t necessarily bad. We all need an escape from time to time. There are limits, of course. See: “Gamers”.
joe_thrashnkill But if you wanna create music with your own message, you have to confront the real world in one way or another.
dr_dubs Right. I think the election is radicalizing folks on both sides. For every Danzig supporting the travel ban, you have a Nux Vomica donating proceeds to Planned Parenthood.
joe_thrashnkill I wish that folks would be radicalized further left than the current #resistance crop of liberals BUT I DIGRESS. You’re right. Seems like people are doubling down.
hessianhunter I kept hearing that about punk, not metal at all. But at least in my neck of the woods there has been an ENORMOUS uptick in artists being blatantly political not just in their subject matter, but in their operation. Among my musician peers, local shows are now benefit shows as a standard, whereas that used to be an occasional thing.
joaquin We are still pretty early in a typical album cycle in relation to the election. I assume there will be lots more to come in the next few months.  As HH mentioned, it seems like the benefit shows are proof more is coming.
joe_thrashnkill So where does that leave us? Dudes like Doug Moore are learned and articulate. Punk holds it down, as always. YG put out my favorite rap track in 5 years with “Fuck Donald Trump”.
joe_thrashnkill But there’s a big chasm with the rest of metal.
dr_dubs Joe, to that chasm thing, I think that just segues back to what HH said. I think folks are attracted to the art for different reasons, so you’re always going to have different creators bringing in their own ideas and aspirations. Some want to play metal because they love the larger than life aspect; some because they like the angery nature of the music; others because they want to play something technical. As long as there’s a fanbase for it, you’ll still have NSBM alongside anarcho-grind, I reckon.
dr_dubs And I think, to a degree, the heterogeneity is necessary.
dr_dubs Or at least good, I mean. I’d be pissed if there was only stoner metal.
joe_thrashnkill We need metal to embrace collective action and unity. Which might be a bit antithetical to its roots.
hessianhunter There are a handful of politically informed and thoughtful people with a large platform due to their metal bands, but I really don’t trust musicians to lead meaningful political movements. Within their artistic role, they’re good for fundraising and propaganda and not much else imo.
joe_thrashnkill Follow up question: WHO DRANKIN?
dr_dubs I had my last beer earlier while packing. I’m not done packing, so I guess I need more beer.
joe_thrashnkill I don’t like to victim blame, but it’s your fault for allowing your supply to dwindle so low.
hessianhunter My coworkers have me hooked on Twisted Tea, the trashiest alcoholic drink this side of wine spritzers.
joe_thrashnkill Uh.  Isn’t that like a Mike’s Hard Lemonade?
joaquin I had a Founders KBS, ~12% abv, right before this. Not the best idea. Alright, let me dig up the next question as we have a very unwelcome guest.
joe_thrashnkill Goddammit no, not Randall
therandallthor therandallthor has joined the channel
joe_thrashnkill FUCK
therandallthor You will never rid yourself of me.
therandallthor I’m 3 beers deep.
therandallthor And I’m with HH on this, art is supposed to be what the artist wants it to be. I like my LOTR escapist LARP metal, some people like a bearded guy with a loud guitar through orange amps screaming about real life problems.
therandallthor I think they’re wrong, obviously, but people think I’m a child for worshiping Tolkien. Taste is subjective.
hessianhunter Taste is subjective except for the part where Randall likes things, in which case they are wrong and bad.
hessianhunter Objectively.
dr_dubs Randall, I guess that’s kind of the weird thing about having such a variety of stuff under the metal umbrella.
therandallthor It’s a blessing and a curse! On the one hand, there is endless nerd bait power metal out there for me. On the other hand, there are THOUSANDS of albums released every year. After years of trying, I’ve found it to be totally futile to try to keep a grasp on everything that’s coming out.
dr_dubs I feel like you have to at least try to be a qualified critic, but burnout is real. I’m just so tired of generic bands.
joaquin Next question! Without getting bogged down in extreme views (we talk about how we will or won’t tolerate that a lot) could you see yourself getting down with a band with an opposing viewpoint that is a little more tame? Like if bank-deregulation deathcore was a thing?
joe_thrashnkill Uh. Maybe. I’d probably buy a bank deregulation core t-shirt and just not listen to the music
dr_dubs I don’t think most artists’ personal moral codes align perfectly with my own, so I think, with all aspects of consumption, it’s just a matter of doing the best you can and trying to support what matters to you while ignoring things that aren’t dealbreakers.
hessianhunter Everyone is problematic, where you draw a line of choosing to not support someone is totally arbitrary. I’ll never wear a Burzum shirt because it’s more important to me that people don’t mistake my Scandinavian ass for a white nationalist than to have people know I like “cool edgy shit” but then again I’ll rock Bad Brains merch even though that band was full of antisemitic homophobes.
therandallthor I mean, I like Iced Earth and I’m pretty sure Jon Schaffer believes some whacko stuff. Two bandmates are crazy libertarians. As long as their beliefs aren’t antagonistic or toxic, I’m not concerned about them personally.
therandallthor Trying to avoid listening to BM bands with toxic members has been an absolute nightmare to keep track of for me.
joaquin Shifting away from the political, metal seems to compulsively stick to fiction to convey meaning. Why are we so afraid of our feelings?
joe_thrashnkill Feelings are dumb.
therandallthor ^
dr_dubs A recent counterpoint was that Bereft album, Joaquin.
dr_dubs That album’s feelings made it heavy!
joaquin Bereft got all my feelings tingling.
therandallthor Idk if yall jam Mount Eerie, but his latest is one of the most raw, open and emotional albums I’ve ever listened to. A Crow Looked at Me.
joe_thrashnkill Yeah, I’ve heard lots of people say that it’s a very emotionally difficult record. And to that I say, “Why in the fuck would I want to go through that?”
therandallthor I actually enjoy really depressing albums like this, I can’t tell you why though. It just feels good to be cripplingly sad through someone else. I connect with it I guess?
joe_thrashnkill Life is hard, man. I’m not trying to fuck around and ruin my day by listening to someone’s record about the saddest shit in the world.
therandallthor It’s hard to put into words for me. It’s a really melancholy feeling that somehow has a positive effect on me.
dr_dubs Actually, that does raise an interesting point. I think most of us have struggled with depression/anxiety at some point. I tend to resonate more with more melancholy music when I’m in a down period. I guess seeking commonality?
therandallthor Like someone else went through a life ruining time, but they were strong enough to pull through it and share their message with us. That’s incredibly uplifting and powerful to me.
dr_dubs But maybe metal artists just aren’t good at expressing those feelings well? Hell, Jonathan Davis has been trying to figure it out for almost 30 years now.
dr_dubs Sidenote: Korn is the worst band.
therandallthor Giant Squid’s debut album has been one of my “I’m sad but need something to lift my spirits even though the music is kind of sad too” for about 5 years now.
dr_dubs Metridium Fields?
therandallthor Yes. It means a ton to me.
dr_dubs So good, dude.
therandallthor I can only escape to fantasy worlds for so long before I need to crash into depressing reality again.
joe_thrashnkill The only valid emotions are minor frustration and extreme rage.
hessianhunter I think theatrical art trends toward caricature of emotion rather than genuine expression, and I would argue most metal is pretty theatrical, and not just goofy power metal with synth solos. I mean, why are you yelling like that? You’re sure going through a lot of work to make your drum triggers sound like you can play 1 million bpm at the same volume you would play at 100.
therandallthor People who like metal and maintain that power metal is “too cheesy” baffle me.
joaquin I think everyone disagrees.
richter richter has joined the channel
richter HOW DOES THIS WORK
therandallthor Type stuff. Hit enter.
joaquin Alright, well now that the armless one has joined, let’s get into my last question. What themes are you tired of seeing? Personally, I’ve seen far too many promos that use some obscure and very specific psychological concept like “each track represents a lobe of the brain as described by Freud’s theory of liking your mom too much.”
hessianhunter Various forms of psychosis have been done to death. Serial killers, comas, whatever.
joe_thrashnkill Rockin’ and/or weed.
joaquin DON’T HATE ON MY STONER DOOM.
dr_dubs Lovecraft. We are past peak Cthulhu.
dr_dubs These nerds need to start reading Algernon Blackwood or something.
joe_thrashnkill “UHHHH I’M H.P. LOVECRAFT, LET ME TELL YOU HORRIFIC TALE OF THE TIME I LEFT MY HOUSE AND SAW A TURK”
hessianhunter It’s a trend that mostly died in the 80s but boy oh boy do I hate thrash songs about thrashing.
richter Subconscious dissolution into the transcendence of the singular void inside the emptiness of your infinitely central oneness with the nothingness of … uh … albacore tuna.
dr_dubs Void.
therandallthor Definitely “the void”.
therandallthor It’s the current Satan.
dr_dubs We need a ten year ban on “the void”.
therandallthor I cringe horribly every time someone says anything about the void and grasps invisible oranges at me.
therandallthor Power metal bands also need to quit writing their own fantasy storylines.
therandallthor Rhapsody even quit doing that. And Rhapsody INVENTED doing that.
dr_dubs You think existence is pain? Try figuring out health insurance.
hessianhunter WHY AREN’T MORE BANDS MAKING SONGS CYCLES ABOUT MAGIC THE GATHERING?
dr_dubs HH, you need to activate your trap card to get more of them to do so. (That’s Magic, right?).
joe_thrashnkill This next song is about my gold foil Charizard.
dr_dubs Is there a Beyblade themed album?
joe_thrashnkill Y’know what FUCK THAT. Write more songs about baseball cards.
joe_thrashnkill Jose Canseco deserves his own fantasy epic.
joaquin Alright, this thing is getting’ long. Time to call it. Any last words?
therandallthor My cat has been meowing a lot lately.
hessianhunter Literally 10 feet above my head a Robocop themed punk band is rehearsing and they are probably my favorite new punk band since White Lung.
joe_thrashnkill Listen to the podcast, you fucks.
dr_dubs Randall has a fidget spinner.
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  • I don’t have a fidget spinner

    • Edward

      Lol

    • Jack Bauer

      Are you really gonna start the day off lying?

  • Edward

    This reminds me of the good ol’ days of AOL.

    • Pretty much. Slack is just grown up AIM

      • Edward

        I thought it could have been a FB chat (which is exactly the same) but it triggered my AOL nostalgias.

      • Butts4Gutts

        Yea, that’s what we needed. Another messenger platform. We needed Slack like we needed another stoner metal band.

        • Slack is what we use for communication at my real job. Seems to be becoming ubiquitous. I like it.

          • Butts4Gutts

            We use it here, but I’ll stick to Skype if I can. I’m like the last hold out and I’ll go down fighting. I find Slack to basically be a revamped version of MIRC.

            With less porn links and cool stuff.

          • Elegant Gazing Globe

            We tried it here, and no one seemed to adapt, so we’re back to lame meetings in the conference room

          • I think I’d rather die hahaha

    • Lacertilian
    • Same. No one liked me then, no one likes me now

      • more beer

        Well at least you are consistent.

    • tigeraid

      I was thinking more ICQ.

  • Jack Bauer

    As far as the bit about black metal bands with toxic members goes, I try to separate the art from the person. I don’t want to know what the members do in their personal time. I just want to enjoy the riffs, ignorance is bliss or something. However, if they make it blatantly obvious that they are fucking POS human beings and are proud of it that’s a different story.

    • Edward

      I generally agree, actually. I don’t listen to straight up white power bands or bands that use their music as a vehicle for that message, but I stick with some bands with some sketchy ass members.

      • Jack Bauer

        I’m stuck in a country ruled by arguably one of the most sketchy people ever. I’m already fucked regardless.

        • more beer

          All politicians are sketchy people.

          • Jack Bauer

            He’s not a politician hes just a moron playing pretend on the biggest stage.

          • more beer

            I am not arguing that he isn’t a moron. I am just saying pretty much all of our politicians are pretty sketchy people.

          • Jack Bauer

            on that we can agree

          • more beer

            Yes sir.

          • Because they are bought and paid for by corporate America. For them to do something for the common good, they would have to stop feeding at their troughs and risk exile from politics for the rest of their lives.

          • more beer

            I agree 100%. We need to do away with all of the corporate lobbyists, first and foremost. But I don’t think that will happen. Because all of these politicians, end up with high paying cushy jobs from them once they are out of office. This is a problem that is on both sides of the political spectrum.

          • Truth, lobbying keeps these scumbags around long past their expiration date.

          • more beer

            It’s a vicious circle, that needs to be stopped.

          • Óðinn

            Lobbyists and private money. The #1 problem with America’s political system.

          • more beer

            That and politicians.

      • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

        Same. Dissection being one. And a bunch of awesome sounding Russian black metal bands I stumbled on Youtube not too long ago who’s scene has numerous alleged murderers and homophobes in it.

    • tigeraid

      Randall mentioned Iced Earth, and I do the same with Jon Schaffer. He’s said some fucky political/conspiracy things, but he generally seems like a good dude otherwise and while it DOES inform his lyrics, somewhat, it’s more in the abstract science fiction-ey sort of way.

      Meaning, I listen to Iced Earth and I read the shit they post, and my fan enthusiasm remains untainted by his occasional political rantings. I’m kind of SURPRISED it does, to be honest. But it does.

      • Lord of Bork

        Matt Pike also has some mind-bendingly idiotic/crazy views, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before I give up my Sleep or High on Fire.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    This is good content. I would so want to be a part of one of these.

    • more beer

      It appears a few beers are one of the requirements, since you don’t drink you don’t qualify. .

      • Jack Bauer

        What if I get drunk on Mountain Dew?

        • more beer

          What are you adding to that Mountain Dew?

          • Jack Bauer

            ….oxygen? I don’t drink lol

          • more beer

            I don’t really have an answer for that,ask Joe.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I’m not becoming an alcoholic just to be a writer. That runs in my family.

          • Jack Bauer

            Same reason I don’t drink. I watched my 18 year old sister go through rehab. Not about to take that chance knowing I have an addictive personality.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            That is something I never want to go through.

          • but… but… TV and billboards insist that i need Bud Light Lime in order to have fun! i can’t let struggling a company like InBev down

          • more beer

            No one ever needs one of those. Also fuck InBev.

          • more beer

            Having a few drinks doesn’t make a person an alcoholic.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I have an addictive personality. I would most likely become an alcoholic if I drank any alcohol.

          • more beer

            Self control is a thing you know.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I wish it was that easy.

          • Jack Bauer

            Depends if it runs in your family. Mine has a long line of people dying from it so I just avoid it.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            It runs in my family.

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        Does it have to be beer? I could always go out and drink something that I’d like the taste of.

      • tigeraid
  • Butts4Gutts

    The formatting on this was pretty irritating after a while.

    On the actual subject matter discussed, fuck you, embrace the void.

    • Joaquin Stick

      YOUR FORMAT IS IRRITATING

      • Butts4Gutts

        YOUR FACE IS IRRITATING

  • On the fantasy vs reality, divide I lean heavily towards reality. Even more so now since that clusterfuck in WH started back in January. It’s important for me to know that others are repulsed by what is going on right now and how they acting in defiance about it.

    • Jack Bauer

      Man I still have trouble accepting that Trump is the president. Lot of people freaking out about that climate change pull out and rightly so. However, the US can’t pull out until 2020 I think and I highly highly doubt that trump will survive that long.

      • This may sound odd, but I actually want him to survive his term unless the investigations lead to his whole crew getting taken down with him. Think of it this way, he can’t get anything of note done because he’s a bumbling idiot. Pence on the other hand knows how to legislate. Careful what you wish for.

        • Jack Bauer

          Pence won’t be the President if Trump gets impeached though. He’s too close to the entire scandal and tainted. I agree it would be bad if he got it though.

          • My opinion is that the intelligence community is trying to take the floor out from under him by targeting subordinates. Also remember it took over 900 days after the Watergate break in for Nixon to be inpeached.

          • Jack Bauer

            Yea but Nixon wasn’t perpetually shooting himself in the foot like Trump is lol.

          • Jack Bauer

            Tbh I feel like it’s only a matter of time before he’s assassinated by one of the government’s black ops groups.

          • Can’t rule that one out either.

          • more beer

            Then we end up with Paul Ryan not exactly a stellar choice either.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    The only thing I know is that currently Pyrrhon, Nux Vomica, YG, Bereft, Giant Squid, Iron Lung, Rhapsody, Korn, Iced Earth and Danzig all suck.

    • Jack Bauer

      Gonna have to disagree with you on Pyrrhon. Korn has always sucked. Even back when I liked Nu Metal in high school or whatever I still hated Korn.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        I like some dissonant DM, checked out Pyrrhon and after a good few weeks of trying to get into them, I was forced to rate them among the worst dissonant DM bands I’ve ever heard.
        As a matter of fact: Follow the Leader >>>>>>>>>>>> any Pyrrhon album
        And I fucking hate Follow the Leader.

        • Jack Bauer

          Theres really nothing to latch onto in their songs. It took me a good year to fully enjoy them but when it clicks IT CLICKS

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Hey, what the hell do I know? I still rate Drawing Down the Moon as one of the greatest black metal albums of all time.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx8kRar3djk

          • Jack Bauer

            I mean I listen to death and black metal but I also love Deathcore and Katy Perry so I probably don’t have much room to talk either.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I mean, I think the first Korn, Mudvayne, System of a Down and Slipknot albums are good – so my opinions fucking suck as well.

    • >:(

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Hey, at least Iced Earth and Danzig ‘used to be’ good.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Good song title, crappy song.

    • Wet W’s Whistle

      Someone’s gonna rage quit because of this comment. Congrats, Frank.

      • more beer

        Hey travel safe that’s a long ride.

  • “I wish that folks would be radicalized further left than the current #resistance crop of liberals”
    radicalization breeds radicalization. our binary political system could use more moderates and diplomats (people who purposefully avoid hostility).
    also, Frank’s wrong about all those bands sucking.

    • I think it’s a ridiculous notion that centrism is somehow a virtue. The United States has moved further and further right for 40 years because GOP has moved aggressively right while Dems think incremental progress to the middle will somehow right the ship.

      • Because it is so far right ATM, we need to push far left just to get to the center.

      • more beer

        If both sides can’t meet somewhere in the middle, nothing will ever change. There has to be some give and take. Otherwise we all lose.

        • Dems have been giving up ground for YEARS and it just pushes everything further right. Politics is about power. They’ve gotta grow some backbone and fight if they want to win.

          • more beer

            Yea it is about power. But by the same token, both sides are supposed to be working for the good of the people. If they can’t get along enough to legislate for that. They all have to go.

          • I would not at all be opposed to every current GOP and DEM congressperson being shipped off to a remote and uncomfortable part of the earth.

          • more beer

            I agree. I have said it before I will say it again. Every incumbent politician running for office should be on the unemployment line the day after the next election.

          • Fart Johnson

            the problem with throwing the bums out every cycle is the way things like the budgeting process works which is a multi-year task you’d be starting from scratch every time and even less would get done good or bad

            that being said california limits state legislators to 12 years total which isn’t the worst idea ever

            what really needs to happen is a blanket ban on private campaign funding

          • more beer

            I understand that. But all of the ones who have been there for a while need to go. They have a proven track record of not looking out for the people. They will not accept term limits, so I am going to say they definitely aren’t going to get rid of their campaign funding.

          • Fart Johnson

            i agree that there are definitely a bunch of folks in office who need to find a new line of work, but the only instance of what you’re talking about in practice is the revolving door of tea party idiots who get primaried by even bigger jackasses who do even less for their constituents yet still find time to be a rubber stamp for whatever horseshit model legislation corporate lobby groups like ALEC put before their desks

          • more beer

            I see it a little differently. Both major parties have their special interests. I also think there are some that both parties embrace like big pharma, the oil companies and probably countless others. I see both parties in the same light they both suck and only have their best interests at heart. I don’t know if there is even a solution to these things. But I think a bunch of new faces in Washington is a pretty good start. I don’t mean the current administration, when I say new faces that’s for sure.

          • Fart Johnson

            i totally agree with you on the influence of corporate special interests, but a lot of that is a function of how campaign finance works and what’s essentially a perpetual election-fundraising-election cycle. for a lot of congresspeople, they’re basically there as a stepping stone to a higher-paying lobbying gig anyway. in fact the average congressman only serves around 10 years

            where i think there really does need to be some new blood is within the parties themselves, in particular democrats. not elected officials but party officers, who are overwhelmingly out of touch elderly folks who hold an iron grip on all party functions and fight any change to the death. the reason we get shitty candidates is because these are the people who recruit and support them. without getting people into office who are willing to sidestep the current big money funding system, it’s pretty much impossible to fix the deeper issues

          • more beer

            We agree on much of this. The perpetual fundraising must stop. If all they are worrying about is funding their war chests, they are not spending time doing their jobs. I also think a big part of the problem is they forget they work for the people, not the corporations. They all talk a big game about caring about the people during the election cycle, then it is back to business as usual once elected. This also needs to be stopped. The fact that DNC officers have come across as crazy doesn’t help them either. You’re right there are deep seated issues that need to be fixed. But we really can’t depend on the people who have caused these problems to fix them.

          • Fart Johnson

            exactly and conservatives are the only people who realize this, which is why they keep winning elections despite their policies being unpopular. democrats fetishize process above all else because they watched the west wing and think it was a documentary, and they don’t give people a compelling reason to vote for them since they’ll gladly negotiate away every bit of their own platform because that’s what they think all politics is

          • Are you a Chapo Traphouse fan by any chance?

          • Fart Johnson

            definitely

          • Hell yes. There’s clearly a hunger for a real leftist movement. I joined DSA, just like a ton of Greywolves, I’m sure. There are plenty of people that want to work at organizing the momentum and running worthwhile candidates. It’s just going to be a tremendous challenge to make it work.

          • Fart Johnson

            i looked up my local dsa chapter a while back and their big recent actions were a folk singalong and a charity bowling tournament

            i’m guessing they get more done in other places, but man if i wanted to just do meaningless feel-good bullshit i’d have joined the local dems

          • Óðinn

            No prison for Nixon (Watergate). No prison for Reagan (Iran-Contra). No prison for W. Bush (illegal invasion of Iraq). Is there any wonder that Trump thinks he can get away with this bullshit? We need to start fitting Trump and his cronies for orange jumpsuits now. They’re criminals who have committed a crime against all American citizens.

          • more beer

            You’re leaving out Bill Clinton getting impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice.We both know even though he got acquitted, that he was guilty of these charges and that no democrat in either the house or senate voted guilty. They all just held the party line. They had his DNA on the blue dress anyone else would have been convicted on that alone. There was also Paula Jones and Jennifer Flowers as well. You can’t have it both ways. No prison for any of the ones you mentioned. But no prison for Bill Clinton either.

          • Óðinn

            Getting a blowjob, and them being impeached for it by highly partisan Republicans, is not the same as illegally invading Iraq.

          • more beer

            Perjuring himself before congress and obstructing the special prosecutor are the crimes he got impeached for. Not getting a blow job, the blow job is what he lied about. Those are both crimes. Why do you feel it is okay for the democrats to do shitty things but not the republicans? Because they all need to be held to the same standards. On top of which if he will lie about getting his dick sucked,what else was he lying to the American public about?

          • Óðinn

            Getting a blowjob is not a crime. Democrats wouldn’t have have impeached Reagan for getting a BJ.

          • more beer

            Lying to congress is a crime that is why Clinton got impeached not for getting a blow job. He lied to congress to keep he his crazy wife from finding out the truth. If he would have done like most men and bragged about getting blown, he wouldn’t have gotten impeached. You’re a smart guy that shouldn’t be that had to understand. Reagan had Alzheimer’s for fucks sake. He probably didn’t even remember what a blow job was.

          • Óðinn

            Oh, I do understand. Clinton went through the process, and he was acquitted by the Senate. It’s a matter of public record. He shouldn’t have even Ben there in the first place. I’m not in favour of putting a guy in jail just for political points over a blowjob, which is what this was. Bragging about a blowjob is not a crime.

            Did Reagan get impeached? Did Bush? They should have been. They committed actual, horrible crimes.

          • more beer

            Well then stop saying he got impeached for getting a blow job. Lying to Congress is a serious offense. The only reason he didn’t get convicted is because none of the democrats in the Senate were willing to find him guilty. Every President for past 100 years has committed horrible crimes. Obama ordered ten times the amount of drone strikes than Bush did. Funny there is no outrage about that. That sounds like war mongering to me in a sneaky way. None of them are to be trusted from either party. They all do shady things.

          • Óðinn

            He did get impeached for getting a blowjob.

          • more beer

            No he did not! The blow job was the reason for him to lie to congress. He was not charged with getting his dick sucked. But the things he did to cover up getting his dick sucked. He was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. Not sodomy. Here since you obviously are having a hard time with this, since he is apparently one of your leftist heroes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Bill_Clinton

          • Óðinn

            Yeah, yeah. We all know he lied. But it was a
            iie about a bj, told during what amounted to nothing more than a witch hunt. Do you really want to send a man to prison for lying about a bj? It’s really nobody’s business. I would have thought you’d be on board with keeping the government out of people’s sex lives, and not using them to fuel a witch hunt.

            If anything, Clinton governed from right of centre. Not a hero of mine. Just being honest about what he did, which was to get a bj and lie about it. Big fucking deal. I am critical of Clinton for being too friendly with Wall Steet, and also for buying into some of the criminal justice policies of his presidency. The difference is that those are legitimate criticisms. Still, the invasion of Iraq or stealing a presidential election are unforgivable crimes. That’s why I think your guy, Trump, belongs in jail.

          • more beer

            I don’t give a fuck that he got his dick sucked. But maybe he shouldn’t of done it in the Oval Office. Instead he should have taken her to a cheap motel or something. I do give a fuck that he wasn’t man enough to tell the truth. That he lied to congress and impeded the investigation. Neither of those things are okay. Lying to the American public is not okay. I didn’t vote for either Trump or bat shit crazy Hilary, so I don’t know how you think Trump is my man? Besides the fact that this last election wasn’t stolen, if you really think about it, the MSM did everything in their power to slant everything in Hilary’s direction. All the bullshit about the Russians and the popular vote is just that bullshit. She was the least electable person ever. We have never elected a president through the popular vote. It isn’t how we do things. Not to mention that we try influence elections in other countries all the time. But as soon as the democrats think it was done to them they cry foul. Pretty hypocritical I must say. Maybe her having a private email serve with classified information being sent to her was a problem. Don’t you think? That classified material ended up on sex offender Anthony Wieners laptop was problem. The laundry list of Hilary’s major mistakes is long. Or lets talk about the kid who possible leaked all of the DNC stuff to Wiki Leaks ending up murdered. Obama said it himself elections have consequences. The consequence of this one is that the dems ran the one person on earth who couldn’t beat Trump. Nothing has been proven for Trump to be locked up. He even gave Hilary a pass. She was Secretary of State national security was her job. She failed miserably at that and should also be in jail.

          • Óðinn

            You obvious slant to defend Trump tells me he’s you man. You talk like a Fox, Breitbart, Alex Jones viewer. “The MSM”. Come on, don’t parrot that shit. Fox, Breitbart, Alex Jones gave no credibility whatsoever. If anything, the media was way too easy on Trump before the election. The Russians did interfere in the elections. It’s not bullshit at all. And that’s not to mention all of the gerrymandering that’s been done by Republicans in recent years. The email server was unethical, although not illegal. That kid could have been killed in a robbery, or by Putin who we know likes to cover his tracks. But we don’t know who killed that kid. Assange has no credibility anymore. He’s in bed with Trump, Putin, and Farage. No matter what a Trump ran against, he had massive help from the Russians, and his people colluded with them. Then Trump tried to stop the FBI investigation. He belongs in jail, and hopefully the FBI puts him there. The Republican congress is too chickenshit to act.

          • more beer

            When you are getting emails that are classified material it is illegal. Which she was getting. She was the Secretary of State for fucks sake national security was her job. By having that server she put the security of the country at risk. If that kid was killed in a robbery they would have taken his cash and credit cards, they were still in his possession when they found him dead. Most robbers take the cash and credit cards. Because what is the point of robbing someone if you don’t take their belongings? You keep going back to the Russians, where is the proof? All during the election nobody cared because everyone thought Hilary was a shoe in for her coronation. If she would have won there wouldn’t be a peep said about it. You do realize how international espionage works don’t you? We spy on them, they spy on us. We try to influence their politics they do the same back to us. So which one of those thousands of psychiatrists and psychologists has actually had sessions with Trump on their couch? Diagnosing someone thru soundbites is pretty ridiculous, wouldn’t you say? You’re so blinded by rage that you are unwilling to see Hillary for what she is, another corrupt politician who also belongs in jail. I voted for Johnson by the way, because he was actually the lesser of all of the evils. Your party backed a horse that should have been on it’s way to the glue factory, not the Kentucky Derby. Instead of the non-stop temper tantrum maybe they should be getting their ducks in a row. If they want any chance of making up all of the ground they have lost in the past few years. Hilary is already hinting she is going to run again. What is funny is the DNC will back her again. Because they are afraid not to. Look what they did to Bernie, if you need proof. Me I am going to remain the party unaffiliated voter I have always been and vote for whoever isn’t the corporate shill. By the way both major party candidates always fit that bill.

          • Óðinn

            Clinton’s emails were fully investigated and nothing was found to be illegal. But you give Trump a complete pass, even though he brought a known Russian spy into the White House and shared classified information with him? Doesn’t make sense. We know he did it. Furthermore, Trump has admitted to obstruction of justice on film. Millions of people have seen him say that he fired Comey to end the Russia investigation. Multiple intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia definitely worked to influence the election. Six of Trump’s staff members are currently being investigated for collusion with Russia by the FBI.

            Again, the staffer who was murdered is a conspiracy theory. It’s nonsense. I won’t even point to the fact that there is no evidence because it’s so absurd. You can’t honestly believe that he was murdered at some 4AM clandestine meeting with the DNC. Highly unlikely. He was murdered in an area known for robberies, and he was on the phone with his girlfriend when it happened. The DNC would have more to lose by a revenge killing. if the guy already leaked (as Assange claims), why make it worse with a murder? Makes no sense. Grandma Clinton is committing murders now? Unlikely. What does make sense is that he got into an altercation with random people on the street at 4AM (maybe a robbery or fight), got shot, and the people who shot him ran away so they wouldn’t be arrested for murder.

            I agree that the DNC could have picked a better candidate. I wanted Bernie. I agree that Clinton has a personality that make many people not like her. I’m not “enraged” about Clinton losing. She was simply the most qualified candidate. My concern is that a cheater (Trump) ended up winning, that the Republicans cheat so often, that a foreign hostile power influenced the outcome of an election, that our current president is dangerously unqualified, and that such a large portion of the American public are now so uneducated and so enraged about the wrong things (liberals, immigrants, intellectuals, “the gays”) that they will back Republicans no matter what they do. Donald Trump wasn’t wrong when he said that he could murder a guy on Fifth Avenue and his supporters would still back him. Normally, I’d say that voting for the Libertarian Party, which is mostly weirdos, idiots and nutjobs, would be the worst choice. However, in this case, Trump is worse.

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          Both sides meeting somewhere in the middle will only happen if an extraterrestrial alien invasion will be unleashed upon the earth, threatening all human existence.

          • Señor Jefe El Rossover

            Been reading Watchmen again?

          • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ

            THEN HUMAN JUST SPLIT IN 2 SIDES OF WELCOMING NEW ALIEN OVERLORDS OR RISE UP & SMAAAAAASH!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • that’s fair. you and i don’t always see eye to eye politically.
        hopefully the current political farce will mark a shift in how the people operate. i think many a Dem is now feeling the need to take part in the system, while he or she might not have before.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      I don’t know what happened. The Tapir hijacked my mind.

    • Guacamole Jim

      I’m all for left radicalisation so long as that radicalisation doesn’t include violence, and doesn’t become so insular they close off their minds to opposing or new ideas. I agree with Zizek that the hypocrisy of the left is embracing the status quo (capitalism) as the only system that works; we need a stronger left that actually embraces leftist values, not the milk-fed left we have now that makes sarcastic retweets of Trump’s tweets and writes “resist” on things like it makes a difference. The left needs to be more left, and stop acting like the middle ground is an acceptable place to be.

      • more beer

        The thing is, here we are going to always have people from both parties in office. So there has to be middle ground somewhere.

        • Guacamole Jim

          I’m more in favour, in regards to who’s in office, of Jacques Ellul’s perspective: “When we speak of dialogue with the sovereign, it seems to me that this can be definitely initiated only on the basis of the greatest possible intransigence, for power today is completely alien to any real discussion. It is true that discussion is allowed within the system. But the quarrels between right and left seem to me completely futile, for in every possible way they simply lead to an enhancement of the power of the state.” When I’m talking about how we need a stronger left, I don’t mean we need to rally the ruling liberal party, I mean the left leaning people of a given nation need to rise up and change the system completely. Dialogue within the existing system between rich elites whose only goal is to solidify their own power does nothing.

          • more beer

            In theory that is great. But in reality we are not going to change our system like that. So the only other alternative is to either vote everyone out, or both sides stop their constant fighting and work together for the good of the people and the world.

          • Guacamole Jim

            I dunno – I think an overhaul of the system is a lot more plausible than people think. We’re just trained into thinking its insurmountable.

          • more beer

            The United States isn’t going to just throw away The Constitution. So in reality it is very implausible.

          • Guacamole Jim

            An overhaul of the system doesn’t at all mean the constitution gets scrapped. In fact, a lot of the values of the constitution would be totally in line with a radical adjustment of the status quo.

          • more beer

            Way too many people would have to change their way of thinking for that to happen.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Definitely; which is why I’m adamant that the battle is an ideological one, not a physical one. The fight is about changing people’s minds, not subjugating them. So that’s where we need to start. But, getting back to my original point, the left is so weak they’re not even sure idelogically what they want – that needs to change.

          • I am getting in here late. My two cents is that everyone should start by not calling the opposing side fucking morons. It really bothers me that people are so brash against others and I frankly do think that is the best way to approach changing peoples minds. Not saying that you do that, just in the larger context of discussions. That is all. <3

            GL

          • Guacamole Jim

            I absolutely agree!

          • Second point I’d like to make: lets all try to focus on what other people can bring to the table. Most of our lives are spent picking people apart for reasons that we do not like/get along with/whatever with a person. Trying to focus on the good things people can bring to the table is quite refreshing and more productive. Hedging people’s talents is productive! Anyway, that is all. <3

          • Yup, you’re not going to get everyone to share your viewpoint, but being calm and rational will work better than demonizing and name calling.

          • more beer

            They should have started by not running the only person on the planet who couldn’t beat Trump. Maybe start by getting rid of the old guard.

          • Guacamole Jim

            The choice of Clinton for their presidential candidate was staggering – but goes to show the level of disconnect with the ordinary person they have. It wasn’t about what the people wanted, it was about whose turn it was to lead. And I’m not even saying that to disparage Clinton – I’m saying it because she was so universally disliked it seemed incredibly obvious she wasn’t the choice of the people.

          • if i may leapfrog off your point here, i will venture to say that our hostile political climate has people jumping up and shouting “F**K that guy!” about the opposition before even considering who they might want to represent them.
            *passes joint*
            people do have the ability to get along, and i am so excited for it to start happening! 😉

          • more beer

            People can get along, I am not so sure about politicians being able to get along at this point.

          • Óðinn

            Public discourse begins to break down when certain people stop believing in facts, truth, and honesty. By doing so, they undermine their their own authority and lower the Level of public discourse, and therefore the level of respect. The worst thing we can do is pretend that those who lie and pretend that climate is fake, who believe that legitimate news stories are “fake news” (and vice versa), and who illegally collude with hostile foreign governments to undermine democracy have a legitimate point. They don’t. The burden to begin a course that leads to meaningful, honest, and respectful dialogue should therefore necessitate a much larger commitment from those who support the people in power who are so dishonest and corrupt. We cannot tacitly support lies and complete corruption.

          • mic drop brought to you by the great Óðinn!

          • more beer

            Even now she is still delusional with the comments she has been making over the past few days. There is such a thing as losing with grace. She hasn’t done that at all. Once out of office one of the worst presidents ever George W kept his mouth shut and didn’t speak poorly about the new administration, The same can not be said about Obama. All these two are doing is hurting their cause. If they keep this kind of stuff up, I don’t know that they will be able to fix their party.

          • Depechemodeisgangsta

            I believe there is a story about Thomas Jefferson, that The Constitution Should be updated every 20 years, that way the country could adapt to the times.

          • more beer

            I don”t think our modern day politicians are even capable of something like that.

      • Fart Johnson

        those folks are out there but it’s not a huge number and even the most organized bunch like dsa are struggling with questions of reform vs outright revolt against capitalism

    • HessianHunter

      A lot of “radical” notions from the past are now pillars of our political system. 40 hour work weeks were brought to us by the literal blood shed by striking socialist workers. Moderates are defined by political norms of the time, such that a “moderate” Republican from 60 years ago ran on the same platform as a “moderate” Democrat would today. There is no intrinsic value to moderation.

      • i respectfully disagree about there being no intrinsic value to moderation. perhaps my line of thinking is too idealistic, but… if more folks were moderate instead of picking a side (between two sides that are so vehemently opposed to each other), i could envision more effort being made to tackle individual issues instead of big blanket platforms. all one has to do is watch 10 minutes of daytime television during election season to see the great divide positioned betwixt the left and the right. politicians apparently have to become “flanderized” versions of themselves in order to get the most possible votes from their respective demographics, because most voters think that “something HAS to be done about [insert thing]!!!”
        of course it’s just an opinion, i could always be wrong

        • HessianHunter

          Basing your political opinions on whether it’s the “Democrat thing to do” or “Republican thing to do” is stupid, but that doesn’t mean the most correct approach is embracing a watered down version of either or both.

          Above all else, I’m a pragmatic person, and of course think there is a time and place for compromise. However, a lot of compromises look pretty fucking terrible when viewed from a more progressive future, i.e., counting 3/5ths of your slaves for voting purposes.

    • Lacertilian

      Having a binary system where both parties are on the right of center is why progressives are more easily painted (and subsequently demonised) as “radicals”.

      • Óðinn

        Yeah. We (Americans) have been sold the idea that both parties, and both the “left” and “right”, are equally evil and radical. This is to hide how radical and evil the right wing in America has become, and plays right into the hands of people like the Koch brothers. Political ignorance benefits the right wing. The left and right are not separate but equal. There are kooks on the left, yes. But they are mostly harmless kooks, few in number, and they have almost no political power. The right wing, however, is rife with dangerous nut jobs who have actual political power. So the right and the left are not equally bad, not even close. If anything, the problem with the left in America is that they don’t fight hard enough, or they’ve been dragged to far to the right (the Overton window) in the age of neoliberalism. Much of America has grown up after Reagan, and they don’t know what real progressive politics looks like. They’ve never experienced it in their lifetime.

        • Decapitron

          Extreme left folks in the USA: “Don’t eat sushi! It’s cultural appropriation!”

          Extreme right folks in the USA: “An immigrant runs a gas station down the street. I am formulating a plan to shoot him to death.”

          What is “moderate” has been pulled so far right, there is no useful comparison to be made.

  • Lord of Bork

    Enjoyed the shit out of this. In keeping with totally-not-ripping-off-538, maybe give someone-who-totally-isn’t-Nate-Silver a guest spot on the next one

  • Howard Dean
    • By reposting this same image for the 50th time I’ve decided that we will no longer ever cover anything vaguely political on the site. You did it, HD.

      • Howard Dean

        Thanks, I appreciate it. I think that is the right decision to make for everyone.

      • Óðinn

        He’s his own “Reposted Howard Dean Fan” now. 😉

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    Can I get a link to aforementioned Robocop punk?

    • Joaquin Stick

      I cut it out since it came a bit after it was getting long, but HH said they were call MURF, and the debut was coming soon.

      • Señor Jefe El Rossover

        Bad ass

  • Dumpster Lung

    Awesome, love this format/idea!

  • This was really awesome.

  • Eliza

    For me, political music works when it shines a light on a particular issue and really gets you to care about it through the song’s delivery. A song’s message can get lost if the musicianship is lackluster.

  • Leif Bearikson

    I dig this. Wish I could have joined you guys for it. Also:

    “The only valid emotions are minor frustration and extreme rage.”

    Backed hard.

  • GoatForest

    But, but, the Void is so fucking cool, man!
    On the other hand, what do I know? I still haven’t gotten tired of lyrics about Satan and suicide.