The Rev gives you the scoop on jamming the brain-radiation broadcasts
and sending some bad waves back upstream.
I like to tell my friends, "Cultural terrorism begins at home." No, that
doesn't mean that you should burn down your house or paint a huge "Anarchy"
symbol outside to frighten the neighbors. It simply means that your brain
is the most dangerous thing you own, and if properly used, it can do more
damage than any nutcase with a gun and too many bullets.
This point was driven home to me yet again the other day, when I was at the
bank. Like so many of the rest of you, I use Wells Fucko as the saps who
hold and administer my cash. A couple of years back, the Fuckos forged an
unholy alliance with Starbuck's Coffee. Thus, lots of Fuckos now have
Corporate liquid Crank available in their lobbies.
And so it was last Saturday, when I stepped into the bank long enough to
endorse my check and take it back outside to the ATM for deposit. As I
stood at the form island in the bank lobby, a clutch of five men and women
in their mid-fifties entered the bank. They were all garbed in the painful
pastels of some chain store, but were otherwise non-offensive. Definitely
"Oh, a Starbuck's in the bank. What a great idea," one of the women said to
My stomach knotted. "No, it's not," I said to her with a tinge of disgust.
She turned to me. "Well, we're from Seattle."
"Oh," I said, "Then you must hate them even more than I do."
By now, her other companions had also turned to me and seemed interested in
our conversation. "Well, what would you recommend," she asked.
Thinking of all the coffeehouses in the immediate area, I decided to send
them to the Royal Ground on Polk Street (that's in San Fran, for all you
nons out there). I gave her the directions- a whole two turns and three
block walk-and off they went.
It took me a couple of seconds to realize what had just happened. I'd
successfully diverted customers from Starbucks and off to a much better
local establishment. It was the ultimate win-win situation: I get my
jollies, the tourists get to sample local culture, and Starbuck's loses
money. No broken glass, no gas masks, no truncheon-wielding oinkers-just a
few well-placed words and a workable alternative to corporate whoring.
The second instance of this happened to me on Monday night. One of those
pesky radio surveys called me. Answering the phone, "Bob's Used Body Parts,
this is Bob," is usually good enough to stun any incoming sales calls and
it nearly put my interviewer off. However, she persevered through her
explanation of how they weren't selling anything, but just asking me a few
questions. I loved explaining to the sweet, young, Southern-accented girl
that she was, in fact selling something-me and my answers.
She went on to explain that the call could be recorded and used for other
purposes (gawd knows what), at which time I acknowledged my unseen future
listeners with, "Hi, everybody." Before we even got started, I was talking
to "them" and said, "You know, radio would be so much better if you all
would stop playing those moronic 'play lists'. They make you sound stupid."
The poor dear had no idea what I was talking about.
She went on with her battery of interrogatories. Once we'd separated me out
of the MTV crowd, both by age and listening preference, the real dirt began.
Turns out that this polling racket wanted me to listen to groups of
10-second music samples and pick out my favorite tunes. Not just once, but
several times over the next four or five months. At this revelation, my
blood turned to whiskey and my feet went numb.
"No way," I said, trying not to go ballistic. "That's how play lists are
"But don't you want to tell them what you think," she pressed on.
"Not this way," I answered. "Look, this is being recorded, right?"
"Well-yeah," she stammered.
"Then let the management level just above you hear this: If you folks want
to sell more music-through the Internet, retail outlets or whatever-then you
have to let people know that there are more than two songs on an album. The
play lists you use now play the same two damn songs over and over and over
again. This is not the way to move your product. To sell music, you have
to explore the breadth and depth of the whole recording."
"So you're not going to participate in the sampling," she asked.
"No. That's really all I have to say."
"Okay, she said. "Now, this isn't part of the survey I'm doing, but can I
ask you a question?"
"Sure," I said.
"What was that you said when you answered the phone?" After explaining to
her the idea of being a dealer in used genetically-engineered organs, I
could hear the circuits deep-frying in her innocent, young Southern skull.
Yep-no doubt about it-cultural terrorism begins at home.