Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hero Worship

Everyone has their own heroes, one or two people one looks up to for inspiration and model their lives after. I have two. Jello Biafra, and Hawkeye Pierce. One is a real person, the other is a fictional character.

I caught Jello the other night at the Trocedero in Philadelphia. It took me to after the intermission to sit back and think, "Holy shit, that's Jello Biafra!" I will have to say that I'm mildly disappointed, not dissapointed enough to crush my soul or anything like that, I just thought he would have something to say about obscure things like PETA contacting PH about becoming the spokesperson for the caged animal, the chicken. I thought that was a major rip on PETA's part (that kept me in a good mood for about a week). "Message From Our Sponsor" is always a good one, although since I've been into his spoken word work for going on 17 years, it always makes me happy. I've heard the black velvet Mexican style painting go from Alexander Haige to King George and I think in one rendition I heard it was Ed Meese. "Mild Kingdom" is one of my favorites, in fact, I sent that one to my friend in Iran. I think that was a mildly bad decision, but I sent it for the reason of entertaining my friend. A noble effort, in my opinion. "Die For Oil" was and is especially relevent to this war, which is actually Vietnam all over again. You'd think somebody would have learned that lesson. Ignorance can be cured, stupidity cannot.

At the end of the show, he invited those who were left to come and tell him how much he changed our lives. If I was a different person, I would have, but I'm not. Although it would be nice to shake his hand and thank him in person. I found Jello at a particuarly rebellious time in my life. An angry 15 year old girl with really nothing to lose and nothing to gain, either. As I grew up and began to make my own decisions, I've based most of my decisions on those things Jello said in the three spoken word albums that were out before I turned 18 (No More Coccoons, High Priest of Harmful Matter, and I Blow Minds For a Living). I thank him for helping me to build my natural ablity to see through illusions and make up my own mind about controversial subjects. I hope to pass on these things to my son, who is only little now, but will need to build these same abilities as he gets older.

The only thing that I really can say was disappointing about the show is that the material needs to mature a little bit. I agree that his demographic is young adults, but Jello's audience has matured and material should mature a little, too. I can't say anything negative about the material, but those of us over 30 already know how to get out of the clutches of corporate culture, already know about harm reduction, and realize the need for a more influential third party. But what do we do about raising our kids with these ideas? How can we be concerned parents without following the Tipper Gore/Hillary Clinton model? We already know to distrust anyone who tries to repress us, but how do we make the world better? We know the basics, I know I can't speak for all people, but I can for myself. How about a more advanced, mature lesson in rebellion, after the lifestyle has been chosen and lived for a few years?

I still love your work, Jello.

Right on...