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February 23, 2006

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Comments

bob

ken,

Great post man.

Zappa makes them look like the dribbling brainwashed zombies they are.

Thanks for posting!!!

bob

I emailed Lofton and I am currently engaged in a battle of the email wits with him directly. LOL this is great. Im taking up the Zappa fight with him now myself direcly. He has already given in to mindless insults with me lol.

[email protected] is his email.

Baz Garrod

Could you imagine what Zappa would be saying now about Bush? And what does Bonehead do? Licks his ass. The world is sadder without Zappa. Even if you hate his music, you had to admire his wit and eloquence as seen here. The courtroom footage of the RIAA Gore lyrics escapade is just wonderful the way Zappa demolishes everything directly and amusingly to the degree he even got one of the lawyers laughing away!

R Kamath

Zappa mops the floor with these morons.

lewis

What I find truly striking is Zappa's prescient identification of our ongoing slide toward a fascist theocracy...

clare

what is with novak's hand?? is it bandaged??

Russell Brown

That might just be the best thing I've seen this year. And I *hate* Zappa's music.

We seem to be amid a bit of a wave of gems from mouldering VHS tapes. Bring it on.

Cheers,
RB

John from Oslo

Gotta love Zappa...

From "Broadway the Hard Way":

There’s an ugly little wasel ’bout three-foot nine
Face puffed up from cryin’ ’n lyin’
’cause her sweet little hubby’s
Suckin’ prong part time
(in the name of the lord)

Get a clue, little shrew
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Jesus thinks you’re a jerk

Did he really choose tammy to do his work?
Robertson says that he’s the one
Oh he sure is,
If armageddon
Is your idea of family fun,
An’ he’s got some planned for you!
(now, tell me that ain’t true)

Now, what if jimbo’s slightly gay,
Will pat let jimbo get away?
Everything we’ve heard him say
Indicated that jim must pay,
(and it just might hurt a bit)
But keep that money rollin’ in,
’cause pat and naughty jimbo
Can’t get enough of it

Perhaps it’s their idea
Of an affirmative action plan
To give white trash a ’special break’;
Well, they took those jeezo-bucks and ran
To the bank! to the bank! to the bank! to the bank!
And every night we can hear them thank
Their buddy, up above
For sending down his love
(while you all smell the glove)

Jim and pat should take a pole
(right up each saintly glory-hole),
With tar and feathers too --
Just like they’d love to do to you

(’cause they think you are bad --
And they are very mad)

’cause some folks don’t want prayer in school!

(we’d need an ark to survive the drool
Of micro-publicans, raised on hate,
And ’jimbo-jimbo’ when they graduate)

Conviced they are ’the chosen ones’ --
And all their parents carry guns,
And hold them cards in the n.r.a.
(with their fingers on the triggers
When they kneel and pray)

With a ku-klux muu-muu
In the back of the truck,
If you ain’t born again,
They wanna mess you up, screamin’:
’no abortion, no-siree!’
’life’s too precious, can’t you see!’
(what’s that hangin’ from the neighbor’s tree?
Why, it looks like ’colored folks’ to me --
Would they do that...seriously? )

Imagine if you will
A multi-millionaire television evangelist,
Saved from korean combat duty by his father, a u.s. senator

Studied law --
But is not qualified to practice it

Father of a ’love child’
Who, in adulthood, hosts the remnants
Of papa’s religious propaganda program

Claims not to be a ’faith healer’,
But has, in the past,
Dealt stearnly with everything from hemorrhoids to hurricanes

Involved with funding for a ’secret war’ in central america
Claiming ronald reagan and oliver north as close friends

Involved in suspicous ’tax-avoidance schemes’,
(under investigation for 16 months by the i.r.s.)

Claims to be a man of god;
Currenty seeking the united states presidency,
Hoping we will all follow him into --
The twilight zone

What if pat gets in the white house,
And suddenly --
The rights of ’certain people’ disappear
Mysteriously?

Now, wouldn’t that sort of qualify
As an american tragedy?
(especially if he covers it up, sayin’
’jesus told it to me!’)

I hope we never see that day,
In the land of the free --
Or someday will we?
Will we?

And if you don’t know by now,
The truth of what I’m tellin’ you,
Then, surely I have failed somehow --

And jesus will think I’m a jerk, just like you --
If you let those tv preachers
Make a monkey out of you!

I said:
’jesus will think you’re a jerk’
And it would be true!

There’s an old rugged cross
In the land of cutton --
It’s still burnin’ on somebody’s lawn
And it still smells rotten

Jim and tammy!
Oh, baby!
You gotta go!
You really got to go!

Baz Garrod

All his life, Zappa was criticised and abused for being "weird" and "abnormal". Yet, who is the only person here with intelligence and humanity? The fascist state prediction... this was 20 years ago and we are far closer to it than ever before.

Zappa did a lot of TV at this time defending his views on censorship, so hopefully some more gems will surface soon. Check out his DVD of "Video From Hell" for his own edit with him up against Judith Toth and those idiots led by Tipper Gore... a transcript appears in "The Real Frank Zappa Book"...

Now theres a book well worth checking out in which Zappa goes into much more detail about the entire business as well as acerbically but intelligently commenting on the Reagan regime. Im just sad he isn't around now... he'd be telling it as it is against Bush and it would have been brilliantly funny and honest.
Much much missed.

nh_dave

Not at all a fan of his music, but love his politics. It was great to see him, John Denver and Dee Snyder up in front of congress during the PMRC sessions.

I often wonder what people like him and Bill Hicks would say today. They disliked things so much then and boy would they be overwhelmed today.

Also proves the point that crossfire at a time was actually entertaining to watch.

Thanks Ken!

-Dave

Pete

As a kid growing up in the 80s, my first real exposure to Zappa was through the PMRC debacle. I hardly had any concept of his music -- I would have believed he was a lawyer. This clip just reinforces that notion. He lost his cool a couple of times, but man, you couldn't ask for a better voice of reason at the time.

Looking back, Lofton looks astoundingly like one of those comedic shills playing someone of his kind in a TV comedy sketch. I'm not convinced he's not actually Stuart Pankin. Zappa is serious, sharp, and collected, while Lofton's just a caricature of himself. Makes me miss the days before the Right learned how to slick up its message. If we had five people today who rose to the occasion like Zappa did then, this would be a very different country.

Rick

Zappa has been my personal hero for both moral and musical reasons since 1969. If he were around these days his music would change the world. I miss him so much!!!

BBQ Platypus

People like Frank (which is an extremely small and select group) are the reason that America will NEVER become a Fascist state, no matter how stupid the President is (and we've got ourselves a top-five candidate for the dumbest one ever).

Sen. Paula Hawkins: "I'd like to see what kind of toys your children play with."

Zappa: "Why doncha come on over to the house and I'll show 'em to ya?"

Cyclone Ranger

i have also started an email batlle with the pratt that Called Frank Zappa and idiot. I think Both Is Music and polotics are spot on i a a huge fan to the pint were i met a freind from skool havnt seen hin in 4 yrs he saw me i explained what i have bin doing with my life and he said "jesus christ u turned into Frank Zappa after then". my whole life Frank Zappa is the only person i have evr agreed with 100%

John Lofton

As I watched Zappa try to think, I was reminded of the United Negro College Fund slogan: "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste." I was Godzilla; Zappa was Bambi. It was no contest. He never had a chance. Imagine -- a song writer denigrating the importance of words! Weird! John Lofton ([email protected]).

Fuegoman

Lofton has clearly lost it. How could he possibly think that he, with his fervor and spittle, and his righteous indignation clouding his judgement of the issue at hand; how could he think that he is smarter than Frank Zappa. FZ could still out debate Lofton and he's been dead for over 10 years! Lofton's recent post shows that he still doesn't grasp the concept of government censorship. He wrote "Imagine -- a song writer denigrating the importance of words! Weird" and that statement, on it's own, seems to be a failry valid arguement. But I say imagine this -- how weird would it be if a songwriter sat idly by while the government spent valuable time and resources developing laws that would dictate which words he could and could not use is his songs? Lofton was Godzilla and FZ was Bambi? Certainly not in my eyes. More like Lofton was a religious zealot with an moral crusade to wage and a political agenda to fufill and FZ was the voice of reason. Oh yeah, and that whole fascist theocracy think sure looks pretty prophetic right about now, Don't it?

Going to Montana Soon

The thing is about Zappa's words, he's better known for the music, and I assume that's what he'd rather be known for. The lyrics are added because FZ was a satirist. Historically, satire being what it is... often suffers the wrath of the establishment of the time.

I have the same problem with my wife... She loves jazz and on a small level appreciate FZ's solos, but gets too hung up on the lyrics to the like his music overall.

nanook

Regarding the above comments, I believe Frank Zappa once said (and I'm paraphrasing) that words exist in music for those who need them.

Brian

Can anyone here wake up & realize PRMC & Tipper Gore were DEMOCRATS!! Thank God that fool lost in 2000. Going to see Dweezil @ the "Zappa does Zappa" show in OCT! Yeah!! Frank Zappa rules!!

jdandrea

Speaking of the PMRC, a transcript of the infamous record labeling hearing is available online (in particular FZ's testimony in its entirety). Enjoy ...

nirvana

Great to see how a person still believes in himself after all these years. Thinking he was godzilla. Maybe the godzilla of the nerds! Zappa the musical genius crushed his opponent so easily that everybody knew in an instant how smart he was. Zappa was the one who was being honest and not a hypocrit like mr Lofton. His point on the importance of words is just too easy. He knows what Zappa meant, but he just wants to win the discussion. I hate it when people claim victory without actually winning.

Nathan

The part I found to be the most amusing is where Lofton accuses Zappa of being an anarchist (twice, no less), simply because the latter wants "obscene" records to be sold without suppression. I would not stand to be called an anarchist simply because I think records with lyrics targeted towards older children and adults should not be censored or banned. Lofton treats the whole situation as if these records were targeted at children, and last time I checked, that couldn't be further from the truth.

Everyone knows a government has a purpose. In Canada, let alone the U.S., an issue like supposedly obscene lyrics in rock music is nothing compared to, for example, U.S. relations with Communist countries. After all, this was the mid-80's, and U.S.-Soviet relations saw plenty of highs and lows, just like there are highs and lows with U.S.-North Korean relations these days. Today's equivalent of "porn rock" is violent video games; politicians these days seem to spend more time worrying about legislating violent video games than they do worrying about North Korea's nuclear capabilities. Does that seem a little weird to you?

Like I said earlier, these people treat the situation as if the target audience for all video games is young children, just like how all music was apparently safe for young children to drop the needle on in the 80's. News flash: it's not. More and more games are being targeted at adults these days, just like most music these days is.

I see Mr. Lofton has commented here. Allow me to debunk his statement:

"Imagine -- a song writer denigrating the importance of words! Weird!"

Zappa said at one point in the video, "[Words] can be assembled into sentences that connote ideas." In other words, one word alone can't have a major effect on someone.

"Golden."

Did that make any sense? Didn't think so. A string of words that form a grammatically correct sentence, such as the one you're reading now, can have an effect on someone.

"The Man with the Golden Gun was a mediocre James Bond film."

There, that makes much more sense. I also found it amusing how Lofton mentions how "Eh-dawlf Hitlur yoused wurds veiree effektevly". This scores -2 points; -1 for mentioning the Nazis in a discussion about obscene music (I thought you were supposed to stay on topic in a debate), and -1 for trying to invoke some sort of emotional response by saying it. You're clearly losing a debate if you say something to try and get your opponent to empathize with you, i.e., mention the Holocaust.

Hitler may have been quite the formidable speaker, and he may have been spewing nothing but extremist right-wing propaganda and lies in every speech, but he didn't go on stage and simply say "Deutschland." He had to say, "Deutschland uber alles!", so the people would understand what he meant. As for a song writer denigrating the importance of words, Zappa had to assemble words into sentences, then make another sentence that rhymed well with it, so he could tell audiences that he thought Pat Robertson was an idiot (and still is). He couldn't simply say "idiot"; he had to attach the name of a person to that word.

Bottom line: sentences have an effect on people. Words do not. It can be argued that swearing has an effect on people, but it's only a temporary shock. Hearing the F-word will shock the average prude for around 15 minutes, and then they'll let it go. Reading an Ann Coulter book can, depending on your political views, be either clear thoughts worth following or Nazi propaganda with a long-lasting effect. An Alan Colmes book also applies, with "Nazi" replaced by "Socialist" or "Communist". In either case, people who listen to pundits from either side of the political spectrum and treat their thoughts as gospel are mindless sheep; anyone with a brain can think for themselves.

But that's for another comment.

Kabur Naj

I think the Hitler comment comes awfully close to reductio ad hitlerium (see Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum).

I also thought the fear-mongering and unsubstantiated claims that the popularity of rock n roll is strongly correlated with a sharp increase in rates of incest and teen suicide was priceless.

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