Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Burfday Frank -OR- Ripping Weasel Flesh


Take the plunge. Beyond the music. A decent departure point
Mr. Zappa spoke well. The sum of his parts was far greater than the slot destined by the slotters. He found various ways to break out of his bounds and play the whole symphony.

Below are a couple excerpts from his 1993 Playboy Interview.

Playboy: But you're all for smaller governments and more local control, aren't you?

Frank Zappa: No, because that means more governments.

Playboy: But smaller governments might better reflect their constituents.

Frank Zappa: That's a reasonable assumption, if it were all going to work fairly. But I think that behind each breakaway movement is a breakaway demagogue who will set up his breakaway demagogue government. In many breakaway countries the governments now say, on paper, that you are free to be an entrepreneur. Well, that's great if you have cash to invest. But who has the cash? The party bosses who were there before are the new entrepreneurs. Guys who got thrown out of office wound up buying restaurants, hotels or factories. The drones who were wandering around the streets are still wandering, even though they have the right to be entrepreneurs. That's certainly true in Russia, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. I haven't been to Poland yet.

Playboy: Yet you've always pushed people to vote. Why bother?

Frank Zappa: Even if you don't like the candidates, there are issues that affect your life. Bond issues affect your pocketbook. That's the only real reason for voting. As far as the rest of government is concerned, forget it. The amount of overstaffing, overlapping, wasted energy and pompous pseudograndeur is science fiction. All of it is supported by this universe of political talk shows. CNN is one of the worst offenders on the planet. It maintains the fiction of the theoretical value of the thoughts and words of these inferior human specimens who manage to become Beltway insiders.

Playboy: Do you want to name names?

Frank Zappa: Do we need to see John Sununu as a talk-show guy? Or, on CNBC, Gordon Liddy or Oliver North? Let's face it: Some of these people are criminals. Why do we need to be presented with them as voices of authority whose opinions are something we should even waste our time with? Why?

Playboy: What do you think is behind it?

Frank Zappa: It's a whole program designed to modify behavior and modify thinking on a national level. They're happy to take the slings and arrows of the outraged minority in order to keep these voices of stupidity in your face all the time. It's all propaganda.

Playboy: How planned is it?

Frank Zappa: Completely. It is the residue of the domestic-diplomacy department that Reagan established during the Irancontra days. The idea was to control the news. From that office, a guy would make phone calls and certain journalists would get fired and news stories would get changed. Then it was the obvious control of the media we saw during the Gulf war.

Playboy: So you maintain that the media are no more than pawns?

Frank Zappa: The media are part of the package. You think really liberal people own those outlets? I don't. Even if they were Democrats, it wouldn't mean anything, because who can tell the difference between those two criminal classes?

Playboy: it sounds as if you are as cynical as ever.

Frank Zappa: It's hard not to be.

Playboy: Yet you feel it's worthwhile to raise some hell?

Frank Zappa: Pessimism and the natural instinct to raise hell are not mutually exclusive. Raising hell comes naturally to me. Still, I am not optimistic about what will happen to this country unless some radical change is made. It's going to take more than just firing a few bad guys.


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