Archive for category The Politics Of Catastrophe
Americans vote for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they are concerned citizens who believe they can use the ballot box to change the direction our nation. In other cases, they do so because they feel an obligation to participate in the rituals of the democratic process. Not me. I vote every chance I get in order to amuse myself to no end by voting for my favorite metal artists.
It usually takes me a half an hour to vote. I go through the races I’ve followed closely and am able to intelligently evaluate, like Senatorial or Congressional elections, and try to pick the best person for the job. I know I’m being hustled here and am sure that nearly any candidate I pick is a shill for some multinational corporation, but I saw “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” one too many times and allow myself the illusion of “making a difference”. Once that nonsense is out of the way, I get to the fun stuff.
Often in elections, you are given the choice of candidates you have almost no hope of being able to evaluate. For example, how on earth can I possibly determine who would be the best Head of the State Department of Agriculture? I don’t know a thing about farming and wouldn’t have the foggiest notion of how to pick the most appropriate person for the job. I don’t even really know what they do. That’s when I start voting metal.
Georgia offers the write-in option in all races. Therefore, if you want to vote, like I did, for Venom’s gravel throated frontman Cronos to make the state’s agricultural policies, you can do just that! I felt bad about leaving the rest of the original Venom crew out so Abbadon and Mantas received my nod for seats on my local school board. For County Sheriff, I voted for Sodom’s Tom Angelripper. After all, shouldn’t the saw be the law?
I stand there typing in metal artists laughing maniacally. I have voted for Ronnie James Dio in every election going back to 1998 for positions ranging from Superintendent of Schools to Federal Judge. Confused people peer over at me and avert their eyes when I look back at them. They probably think I’m a madman. I’m merely a Surrealist-American doing his part to bring this nation one step closer to the golden age of weirdness that has come to be known as The Freak Future.
Usually, you have about 20 different judges to vote for. They often run unopposed, so unless they happened to give you a night in jail for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit or get caught in a brothel covered from head-to-toe in ox blood, you are going to vote for them. I see this as a great opportunity to pack the courts with metal luminaries ranging from Quorthon to Lemmy. I voted “Slayer” for a seat on the Bench. The whole band. I struggled mightily with the question of whether this would mean the original Slayer lineup or some of the later incarnations. Who would be the Court drummer Bostaph, Lombardo or Jon Dette?
Sometimes I get bored and switch to other weird possible candidates. One year when the ballot was particularly long, I began voting for excellent defensive shortstops. Mark Belanger, Ozzie Smith, Omar Vizquel, Rey Ordonez…on and on.
Mostly I stick to voting metal because this is America and I have been told I can vote for what I believe in. I have been fed an endless supply of bromides and hackneyed platitudes about what size the government is supposed to be or when a baby is truly alive or how a marriage should be defined or what this nation should stand for. Politics is about who gets what and how much of it. At the end of the day, I’m really just voting on whether Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil and Boeing are going to receive larger tax breaks based on the size of their contributions.
The horrible truth is that climate change is causing environmental catastrophes everywhere. We are engaged in an endless stream of costly, bloody foreign wars. Politicians are empty vessels who have become nearly indistinguishable from mattress salesmen. America is circling the proverbial drain and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it. When someone asks me how I believe we should handle these problems, I look them square in the eyes and I tell them the only thing I can say that makes any sense to me anymore…
“Don’t blame me, I voted for Heavy Metal”
The Federal Reserve plans to scale up its Quantitative Djenting program in the second quarter of 2014, Chairwoman Janet Yellen announced at an appearance before the House Financial Services Committee Monday. “We still predict slack in the economy going into the Summer, so we will continue with the program to try and cut it off at the pass,” said Ms. Yellen.
“Quantitative Djenting”, or “QD,” is a subsidiary initiative of the Fed’s controversial Quantitative Easing program. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, the Fed has been injecting money into the financial bloodstream to purchase things like treasuries, securities, and mortgage-backed securities. Although meant to stimulate job growth and economic recovery, the program has come under intense scrutiny by critics who claim that the program could lead to inflation, while providing cheap money to Wall Street firms.
Included in the program, but buried in a subsection of dense legalese, was a plan for Quantitative Djenting. “QD” is a rather convoluted financial process whereby the central bank bankrolls recording contracts, studio fees, publicity, merchandising, and tour support for the structured investment vehicle known as “Djent.” As the output of these “bands” tends towards “0000” sub-prime Guitar Riff Derivatives, the Fed was able to achieve synergy with the program by lowering interest rates to near-zero.
“QD was really a response to a financially-strapped metal landscape, following the collapse of the Neo-Thrash and New-Nu-Metal bubbles,” claims Trafferson Foster, of the statistical research firm, Foster & Fosterson Global Markets. “The Fed pretty much caved to pressure from Major and independent labels alike to do something in the wake of the crash.”
Although former chairman Ben Bernanke claimed that QD was never intended to expand beyond its initial investments – which included Wall Street-owned companies like Animals as Leaders, Periphery, Tesseract, and Textures – the subsidiary program has expanded each year since its inception. This has led Wall Street analysts to speak affectionately of “QD-infinity,” which speculates that like a Djent Guitar Riff Derivative product, QD has become so enmeshed in the U.S. financial system that it could seemingly go on forever.
Several prominent economists have become particularly concerned with the evolution of the products that Djent companies are selling. Like credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, these firms have begun throwing together Guitar Riff Derivatives in baskets, and then selling that packaged basket.
“In practical economic terms, there really isn’t a difference between these Guitar Riff Derivatives and the Collateralized Debt Obligations that brought down the financial system in 2008,” argues Simon Carufsky, president of Fairer Markets, a non-partisan regulatory reform non-profit. “These companies are selling sub-prime 0000 guitar riffs within sub-prime 0000 guitar riffs, within sub-prime 0000 guitar riffs, and then calling that package a AAA-rated security.”
The apportioning of cash to Djent companies works kind of like a bartender pouring a pitcher of beer into five mugs lined up on a bar. The beer in the pitcher is the cash generated from royalty payments that companies like Emmure receive each month, while the mugs represent the different pools of Guitar Riff Derivatives. The bartender fills the highest-rated mug first, then the second highest, and so on down the line until either all five mugs are full or the pitcher runs out of beer. If there are enough defaults on royalty payments, the fifth, fourth, third, or even second mug might go dry – and if writers’ block happens in the studio, even the first mug might not get filled. If the mugs become too dependent on being filled by the pitcher, says Carufsky, then the progression of heavy metal could be brought to a sharp standstill.
“The whole thing is like a financial Inception. It’s absolute insanity, even before you factor in the Fed’s allotment of easy cash to companies like Animals as Leaders.”
President Warren G. Harding was easily elected to his twelfth term last month in a landslide election, garnering a record 98 percent of the vote, easily defeating the New Whig Party candidate and Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine.
Harding, leader of the Democratic-Republicans For God Party, continues to be the most significant politician in the history of the United States and is expected to be the leader of the nation until the world’s predicted destruction in 2173. Tonight, Crowbar will be the final act in what is expected the most widely witnessed television event since the execution of the ten leaders of the Kennedy Rebellion in 1969.
Harding’s political career is the stuff of legends. Even the youngest school child has heard the stories. After a relatively lackluster first term that featured corruption in the form of the Teapot Dome scandal and economic turmoil, Harding died of a heart attack on August 2nd, 1923. Had Harding not risen from the dead during his own funeral on August 4th, his presidency would have been a forgotten chapter in the history of the United States of the World.
Harding, who claimed God had allowed him to come back to life in order to lead the United States of The World to its current position as the most powerful nation on the planet, was reelected to a 4 -year term in 1924 after the still unsolved murder of Democratic Presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Harding’s mission to bring “normalcy” to the world began during this term. He invaded Canada, England and Mexico days after his election and by 1934 the United States controlled all of North America and most of Europe. Only its defeat in The Great Nuclear War with Argentina in 1962 stopped America’s march towards world domination.
Argentina’s nuclear strikes destroyed most of Harding’s empire and led to the revolutionary forces of John Fitzgerald Kennedy taking control of most of the Northern United States and renaming it Camelotia. Harding’s forces regrouped and retook the North in what was known as The Second American Civil War. Still, many questioned Harding’s leadership and he looked like he might lose the election of 1972 to Paul Newman. It was then that Harding performed The Five Miracles.
These miracles included Harding making the nation of Albania disappear, turning water into Coca-Cola, using lasers from his eyes to melt The Washington Monument, reanimating Thomas Jefferson and the creation of flying cars. Harding eliminated Congress and the Supreme Court and declared martial law, which lasted until 2003. He rebuilt the military and, with help from the visitors from the Planet Klorg, was able to take control of the entire world except for Mongolia, the last stronghold of anti-American forces.
Harding occasionally still allows elections, but few experts believe that the opposition is given a fair chance to be victorious. All people who vote against him are immediately executed and used to feed the multi-headed battle giraffe drones and robot oxen that the USW have used to militarily control many of the Outer Territories.
With the outcome of the election never in doubt, many television and Conquernet experts have spent their time speculating who would headlining the inauguration. The prevailing wisdom was that Pentagram would be the band because of the close relationship between President Harding and vocalist and former Vice President Bobby Liebling. However, it is also known that Harding is a huge Crowbar fan, particularly the Odd Fellows Rest album. Last Friday, Crowbar vocalist Christina Aguilera and her husband, guitarist Kirk Windstein, received a call directly from Harding announcing the news.
Rumors have already started to swirl that if Crowbar has an excellent performance, Dave Lombardo, the band’s drummer and former Ambassador to Mars, might be asked to be Secretary of State. Lombardo has refused to comment directly, but his manservant Kerry King did indicate to several reporters that the famed drummer would take the job if it were offered. King, many remember, was enslaved by Lombardo after the failure of his 2005 neo-disco solo album “I Like To Boogie, Boogie” drove him into bankruptcy.
The note under my door said “Meet at 3 AM in the parking garage behind the Waffle House.” I’d received notes like this before and, usually, they either led to great information or some guy in nothing but a trenchcoat asking me if I wanted to hold hands and whisper Carpenters lyrics into each other’s ears. Typically, these messages came from my high level contact in the CIA, a man who will only let me refer to him in public as Deep Thrombosis. He’s worked in The Company for many years and has put me onto some of the bigger stories Tyranny of Tradition has broken. He was the guy who tipped me off to Obama’s drumming on the first Overkill album and Nixon’s plot to assassinate the members of Black Sabbath.
I knew that a night meeting with Deep Thrombosis could be the thing that gets me that Pulitzer Prize I’ve been coveting all these years or even a date with The Great Kat. However, I was not prepared for the monumental significance of what he was about to tell me.
“Tonight, we are going to pull back the curtain,” whispered Deep Thrombosis while his shifty, beady eyes darted from side to side. “The information I’m about to give you could bring down the whole circus. If you print it, be warned, there is a good chance you will end up having a ‘boating accident’ or accidently hanging yourself while trying to install a garage door opener. And for godsakes, if you print this, you need to promise not to mention you got it from a source in the CIA! They’ll be able to track it back to me.”
“I will absolutely not mention how I got this information,” I told my CIA source. “I swear it!”
He proceeded to tell me the most outlandish story I had ever heard. A story of violence, intrigue and a CIA so out of control that it would go so far as to break up one of the great thrash metal groups of our time.
“The Company had heard some rumors that the next Slayer album was going to be all about drone strikes on Al-Queda bases. The thing was going to be called “South of Reason”. Typical longhaired hippie liberal propaganda. We’d have let Limbaugh handle them except they were going to reveal potential bombing coordinates, out some of our higher level agents, and really turn the metalhead public against the whole ‘secret murder of civilians who have had no trial’ thing. We couldn’t let it happen. So we took action.”
“The first part of the plan was to kidnap Kerry King and replace him with an actor who resembled Kerry King. We have a guy who has done some jobs with us in the past who was a dead ringer for King, a sort of grubby, misshapen fellow who slightly resembled a poorly shaven yeti. We scooped up the real Kerry and threw him into Guantanamo and told the guards he was actually Osama Bin Laden’s masseuse and to ‘not torture him’ until he gave us any information on the whereabouts of the secret terrorist training camps in Iceland.”
“The guy we are using as Kerry almost gave the thing away during the first show. He played three or four really great solos, which confused the audience. Luckily, one of our agents got ahold of him and told him to haphazardly move his whammy bar around really fast when it was his turn to solo and no one would know the difference. Things went fine after that.”
“We slipped a mind-altering substance into one of Araya’s drinks and, through the power of suggestion, convinced him to start listening to Asking Alexandria. We figured this would jam up any creativity that was flowing through his head. Then, we gave a copy of the band’s financial information to Lombardo. The rest is history.”
“The thing is, I’ve begun to realize that this sort of thing is dangerous. After all, if the CIA can destroy Slayer or overthrow the government of a foreign country or randomly kill civilians who happened to be in the same vicinity as people we believe to be terrorists without the consent of the American people, then what is the point of even calling our country a democracy.”
“I started thinking of what a soulless, unaccountable beast like the CIA could do if it really put its mind to it. Forcing Exodus to do a ska album? Getting Testament to hire Michael Bolton as their lead singer? Letting Janick Gers write all the songs on the next Maiden record? The possibilities were too horrible to consider.”
“So, I have chosen you to help put a stop to this. Publish this article tomorrow and remind America that in a democracy, the government needs to be accountable to the people or else they have ceased being a democracy. That transparency is the only thing that can keep us from becoming a nation capable of any atrocity in the name of opening new markets and exploiting new sources of human capital. That America should stand for something greater than the principal of bending other, weaker nations to our will. And that Slayer should start writing stuff that sounds more like it did before Divine Intervention, because honestly, the new stuff hasn’t been all that impressive. Except for God Hates Us All. That was pretty cool.”
I heard the sound of a car door slam in the corner of the garage and turned to look at it. When I looked back, Deep Thrombosis was gone.