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(en) US, Media: Punk anarchist professor sings his protests with a rock beat

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 2 Aug 2003 14:50:23 +0200 (CEST)


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> What does it take to be a punk anarchist these days?
A magic marker, an obscenity and a bathroom wall? Or
maybe a T-shirt - you know, with that anarchy logo, the
kind you can get at the mall for, what, $19.95? Or maybe
just some stupid human trick you see on "Jackass"?
Not where Vortis is concerned. Over the last couple of
years, the Chicago band has produced a sonic blast that
singer Mike Weinstein calls "anarchist punk." As Johnny
Rotten once said, "He means it, man."

"Vortis isn't just about music," says Weinstein. "It's
about interacting with the world and taking a position.
We're cheerleaders for those opposed to this government
and this notion of American Empire."

Vortis' latest disc, "God Won't Bless America," is a mix
of both - music and cheerleading, that is. The title track
by the quartet - Weinstein, guitarist G. Haad, bassist
Johnny Los and drummer Jim DeRogatis - is not only an
uptempo dance-floor come- on, but also a call to arms:

"We're reaping what we sow/ We're paying for our
crimes/God won't bless America again/We're on our own,
we're all alone."

"God won't bless a country that is not willing to own up to
its wrongs," says Weinstein. "And we've committed
many wrongs."

Most punk anarchists would make the charge and move
on to the next slogan. Weinstein presents enough
information to make a case before the International
Criminal Court in the Hague.

For good reason.

Weinstein isn't just any punk anarchist. He's a
60-year-old professor of political philosophy at Purdue
University who has written 23 books on politics and
aesthetics en route to becoming an esteemed critic of
everything from U.S. foreign policy to cyberculture to
globalization.

He's also a rock 'n' roller. It's just that he took about four
decades off from rockin'.

"I played in a number of ga rage bands from 1957 to
1963," says Weinstein. "That was a great time for rock 'n'
roll. Then the British Invasion came and ruined
everything."

What? OK, you might get away with criticizing the U.S.
government - but the Beatles?

"Yes, the Beatles," he says. "They feminized rock music
in that they created this notion of a rock star who caters
to teeny- bopper girls.

"It was a stark contrast from the primitive rock I liked,
with wild men like Jerry Lee Lewis pounding on his piano.
That was rebellious."

So is this.

It's just that the professor isn't pounding the lectern. He's
pointing the finger at Uncle Sam. And he wants to rock.

-----------

Puttin' on the black mask 'cause we got a sacred task;
Takin' out our crowbar, we ain't afraid to get a scar. We're
the resistance, fightin' off business; You know there will
be hell to pay on the system's judgment day. CHORUS:
Black block, black block throwin' out your shock rock;
Smash the ATM machine, slash it so you break it clean;
Chuck it at the Starbucks, you will never give a fuck.
Black block, black block throwin' out your shock rock.

They tell us that we're ruinin' their goddamn protest, But
we will answer back that the system shouldn't get a rest.
We're the ones who get them all the publicity, The media
can only see goddamn anarchy.

CHORUS: Black block, black block throwin' out your
shock rock; Smash the ATM machine, slash it so you
break it clean; Chuck it at the Starbucks, you will never
give a fuck. Black block, black block throwin' out your
shock rock.


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