ANOTHER RIGHT-WINGER FOR THE PUNK BRIGADES!
For years, liberals have been pleasantly pleased, no, make that downright snotty, over how they're not only systematically smarter but have better (read: "hipper," "avant garde") tastes than those ol' stick in the mud right wingers they always seem to know about but never seem to come across in their tight little circles. I mean, it is kinda pathetic in some ways that these anointed types do tend to look down upon those of the "right" (whatever that may be these days) for being such cubes, yet in other ways their airs of superiority are, I hate to admit, totally understandable. After all, just how many reviews/mentions of rock music of any stripe do you see in most right-wing periodicals these days? You're lucky if you see something on a phenomenon (whether pro or con) that's been around for the past fifteen years, and usually written about in the dryest, most urbane way! And when such subjects as rock or experimental film or whatnot are presented to the likes of people who have problems with anything post-baroque, what is one to expect...you may remember, when William F. Buckley in his glory days was writing about the Beatles and "Back in the USSR," he got a lotta heat for promoting what was thought of as the Beatles' obviously communist leanings!!! Yet still, I'm seeing more and more right wingers (usually those of the more libertarian right line, not of the sissy Republican mainstream that seems all the rage) coming out and downright admitting their punkism past and (perhaps even) present. Wayne McGuire was the first (albeit he has been in on the game for quite awhile...since 1968 in fact), then came Russell Desmond of CAN'T BUY A THRILL fame, and now I find out that Thomas Fleming, the head of the right-wing libertarian Rockford Institute and editor of CHRONICLES magazine, can also be counted as part of the freedom punk pack! Make no doubt about it, Dr. Fleming is about as right wing as they come (BTW, I don't consider racist/National Socialist groups "right wing" given they share more common ground with their supposed leftist adversaries than anyone on either side would dare admit), finding fault with the likes of the new NATIONAL REVIEW direction under the tutelage of Jonah Goldberg amongst a bevy of other "conservative" movements abounding, but in the course of a rather negative obituary of Johnny Carson and some quips about current music (mainly, a thumbs-down comment re. Elvis Costello), I came across the following gem from the good Doctor:
"While living in San Francisco I attended several concerts of the Velvet Underground and spent some minutes backstage chatting with Lou Reed about modern verse. I still think several of their songs from that period--Sweet Jane, Rock and Roll--are quite good and hold up well. As the pop Baudelaire, Reed was interesting, though as the conventional liberal he has become he is as insufferable as Bob Dylan."
Dr. Fleming goes on to mention a few other things about rock as in "garage," re. how he thought that the only good thing about Steven Stills was that he wrote the Mojo Men's "Sit Down I Think I Love You" (!-though he sheepishly admits that he liked some CSN stuff but I'll give him a pass because I think I might too! Aaaarrrrrgh! [Well, at least CSN&Y!]). And, to put the frosting on the cake (and make yet another interesting connection), none other than Russell Desmond himself had contributed some articles to Fleming's magazine a decade back...maybe if these two rockism minds had gotten their act together we could have had a truly libertarian/hard right rock music section in Fleming's rag that could have easily counteracted all of the bad (and nowadays downright flaccid) rock scribing seen in a bevy of left-leaning weekly papers (amongst other places) these days. So the next time some pointy-headed, regime-loving left winger picks on YOU for being an L-7 void-of-taste neanderthal, just direct him to the likes of McGuire, Desmond and Fleming, whose tastes do seem a lot more on target than the usual patented rebel rabble revolutionary amerindie rooter who, despite his flaring nostrils and flashy rhetoric still seems to have a great affinity for...the Democratic Party???
And if you're interested in the kinda right-wing classic liberal-leaning politics that I've had a liking for over the past decade or so, give CHRONICLES a try. Not only do they have some of my favorite writers like Paul Craig Roberts and Sam Francis amongst their ranks (though Francis does seem to get to me at times with his praise, and perhaps deification of the WASP male which [in my humble opinion, me being decidedly non-WASP] can be bogus...I mean, isn't Dave Lang a WASP male [I hear he ain't a kraut like I originally thought]??? Case closed!), but they have some of the best, most cutting political scribings one can find on or off the web these days. Fleming's terse obituary/putdown of Christopher Reeve (I tried linking it without luck, so just click on the mag title, then go to the "Hard Right" section, then click on "BRAIN-SUCKING FREAKS") had even brave me shuddering in my boots even though I totally disagree with his assessment/putdown of the real Superman, George Reeves (I guess there's no accounting for taste, at least as far as moom pitchers are concerned). Anyway, if you'd like to see at least another facet of my, er, sociopolitical makeup, CHRONICLES is da place ta BE!