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Guest post #2: Ben Weasel

Our second guest post of the day is from Ben Weasel. Ben has been making music for at least fifteen years, most notably with Screeching Weasel and The Riverdales. He is also the author of two books and is a huge baseball fan. You can read Ben's thoughts on music, politics and baseball at his blog, Weasel Manor.

Entry Below:

The Last Thirty-Five Or So Years, Condensed.
©2003 Ben Weasel

I was born in the late 60's so I don't remember anything about that decade. I'm told that a lot of people fought The Man for a few seconds until they realized that Talking About Fighting The Man was a lot easier and safer than actually Fighting The Man, and it helped to get them laid, too. The Sixties seemed to start out good, with clever, funny comedy, and good fashion and music, but by the end of the decade the hippies had taken over and ruined everything. As far as I can tell, the Good Sixties were New York, Coltrane, cocktails, skinny ties, capri pants and Lenny Bruce. The Bad Sixties were San Francisco, The Beatles, acid, bare feet, dashikis and Abbie Hoffman. People who were teenagers and young adults back then still talk about The Sixties in romantic terms, which makes the rest of us feel embarrassed for them.

The 1970's sucked. People were very hairy and listened to terrible music. You had three choices of music on the radio in the 70’s; pretentious concept albums by bands like Yes and Genesis, sickly sweet wimpy pop made by Leo Sayer and Olivia Newton John, or soft-rock played by guys with beards and names like England Dan. People wore really ugly, garish clothes and smoked a lot of pot out of bongs with wizards and skulls stenciled on them. A giraffe-like lady named Carol Burnett made millions of dollars staging sketches on television which consisted of lame Z-grade comedians in costumes pretending to try not to laugh at each other's decidedly unfunny antics. Nixon lost his job as President for too many Dirty Tricks and said we wouldn’t have him to kick around anymore, but everybody kept on kicking ‘cause it was fun. Gerald Ford bumped into a lot of things and asked everybody to please wear buttons to help save energy. Jimmy Carter told Playboy he got wood when his brother Billy brought whores to the peanut farm and when people got mad about it he tried to punch a bunny rabbit. About the only good thing about the 70's were the movies; you could still go see a decent film in the average theater. Well, and the breakfast cereals were pretty good, too.

The 1980's sucked, too, but the music was better and people stopped letting their body hair grow so much. The clothes were just as dumb; nobody wore t-shirts. Instead, men shopped at places like Chess King for shirts with a lot of snaps and vertical stripes on them. Girls wore hats and either had really big hair or really short hair. The nation fell in love with Cajun food, then everybody suddenly stopped caring at the same time. Sex became potentially lethal about three days after I hit puberty. MTV showed these things called "music videos" for a brief time in the 1980's but they quickly went out of fashion and the network opted for original programming. A lady named Tipper Gore heard her daughter say "masturbation" and got so mad about it that she tried to beat up Frank Zappa. Reagan literally let the loonies out of the asylums creating a major homeless problem, but he did stop the commies, and he provided great source material for punk rock bands. Sex-positive little cupcakes with dreadlocks and nose rings corrected everybody’s pronunciation of the names of countries like Nicaragua and Guatemala with an exaggerated Latino accent but couldn’t seem to spell “women” properly. Yuppies shot cocaine into their dicks and drove Beamers, Gallagher made vaguely populist remarks about the government while hitting watermelons with a sledgehammer and pop bands cut their hair with razors and played keyboards shaped like guitars.

In the 90's many people thought music got better but they were wrong. Fashion took a step backwards as people developed nostalgia for the 70's and started wearing bell-bottomed pants and lots of flannel. A lot of people threw their backs out trying too hard to be ironic. The President got head from a big-boned girl in the Oval Office but he got caught and then he had to ask somebody what “is” is so he could explain how his cum got on her dress. A guy named Jim invented this thing called "The Internet" which helped people get porn without having to suffer the embarrassment of lurking around video stores in raincoats and receiving bulky packages in plain brown wrappers at their homes. People drove around calling their friends on their cell phones to tell him how mad they were that so many people were talking on their cell phones while driving around. Crack became popular and, perhaps not coincidentally, kids started getting the crazy idea that soccer wasn’t just a pussy European sport. At a party in Hollywood one night in the early 90’s, a bunch of studio execs got really high and made a bet concerning which one of them could take the most talentless buckethead in town and convince film directors and reviewers that he was a serious dramatic actor. Thus, Tom Hanks’ career was re-born. Hip-hop became huge as middle-class white kids from the suburbs finally found artists like Chuck D. and N.W.A. who could really speak to their experience. Susan Faludi wrote “Backlash” and everybody laughed and pointed and said she was ugly and she felt just like the girl in Janis Ian’s song about being seventeen. Punk rock became popular for about 12 minutes and so for the first and probably last time in my life I made very good money playing music.

I like the Zeroes much better. There's never a better time to be alive than right now. After all, we have digital cable.

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Comments

Hilarious stuff, especially the 90s. The Tom Hanks' blast is classic.

>After all, we have digital cable.

And high-speed Internet Access!! Hurrah!

D

lol. Good stuff.

This should be our History text not that 400 page tome. Huzzah!

The guy is an idol, as well as such a better role model than anyone put in front of me in school.

the always amusing ben!!! i love reading your articles =)

Just red NME and some guy in some band called Thrice mentioned Screeching weasel as a "80s goofball punkband". Kinda funny.
Excellent writings as always by the way.

Thanx for the commentary. I was unconcious for most of the 70's and no one's ever been able to relate to me exactly what happened.

I usually like your writing, Ben, and I've often defended you to dummies who know only enough to call you THAT BIG LOUDMOUTH WHO'S ALWAYS MAD AT FOLKS... but this is utter garbage. Based almost exclusively on pretty stupid and shortsighted generalizations, I'm hardpressed to find an original idea in that mess. Jesus, Ben, you'd think by 30 you'd realize that individuals are for more interesting than movements, that observations are far more useful than slogans.

Didn't you believe that at one point? Didn't you write a song about it?

Kind of a copout, dog. I understand that the point of the article was to track trends and Big Events, but surely you can come up with a more interesting method of presentation. I hate to say it but you come off like a young, inexperienced fiction writer who tries to describe environments or days by mentioning some CRAZY details that actually don't reflect shit.

More importantly though, do you like Eminem?

smell ya later

Leon

....witty, inyourface, and funny.........

i wanna have bens babies

well i dont know if your ever going to read this ben, but ya know i've been listening to you for about maybe 6 or 7 years now, and i really stick up for you music because it reminds me of how fun music used to be. and i really enjoy your writing styles. it helps me progress with my lyrics for my songs for my band. but i mean since your truest fans stand by you, i feel you should stand up for us and keep us informed on whats going on with your band. okay the riverdales are back. when i found that out i was absolutely excited because it was great to hear you and vapid were back as a band again. you put up a couple of web sites that is pretty much our own way of information for anything thats going on. you built up the suspense for your up coming album, phase three and postpond the release date, then finally release it,album shorter than ever, yet good. but you dont even update your web sites! whats up with that? dont even tell me you made your money and split. cause your turning your back on all those who stood by you even in drought. i understand you are to busy doing this or doing that but i mean come on if you dont update you web site how are you suppose to make money off of those who even acknolegde you exists. thanks ben no harsh feelings, just want to know whats up with the riverdales now. okay nick.

holy shit...you guys took my post off the site. i guess ben weasel can speak his mind, but i can't. you guys are all about free speech. did the word f*gg*t offend you? there, i put those *'s in there so that no one gets upset. all right...here's a much better post...you guy's will like it: "ben, once again your writing is funny, witty...holy crap, you're the best person ever!!!" everything cool? great!