Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Hello, Lovers of the Mattness:

My friend, mentor and spiritual big brother Matt Welch posted a notice on his Very Hot-Shit blog about my tiny little not-shit blog, and so, in the words of the Mexican techno/cumbia/rap group Kinky, "Welcome to my world."

The song in which they sing this, "Cornman," is about an acrobatic corn vendor who performs somersaults. It is their best song. I would like to visit this corn world.

Why is it that non-Americans have a much more sophisticated sense of the absurd than we do?

Why are we so tragically literal?

Does it come from our freedom?

Does it come from our youth as a nation?

Our media?

Or is it something in the Coke?

In any case it is one quality which will surely diminish with the increasing colorization of our culture. My God, this country is amazing. And it's only going to become more so. To think that white people in L.A. were so scared of Mexicans 20 years ago, so threatened. And of Koreans. I believe that these two groups actually saved Los Angeles. I know they saved my old neighborhood.

The next great axe for me to grind is that of the sacred and endangered American Mom & Pop, which is thankfully alive and well in L.A.

The American Mom & Pop is the soul of this country. Not only economically, but culturally: Our greatest newspapers and radio stations were Mom & Pops. The deregulation of the broadcast industry was, at its core, an assault on Mom & Pop capitalism. The result? Shitty newspapers and radio, and corporate control of the news--i.e., a real live threat to democracy.

I believe that American Mom & Pops of all stripes should start their own Political Action Committee, if not political party, to fight for their god-fucking-given right to thrive. It's time to come out about the terms of this fight: It's about big guys versus little guys.

(And the Sexy People versus the Yucky People.)

How is this connected to the Rock? How is it NOT connected? How did punk rock happen? Mom & Pop rock clubs, number one. Mom & Pop record labels (a.k.a. "indies"). Mom & Pop radio stations like then-KROQ. Mom & Pop magazines.

I'll shut up now.



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