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Writer: Boz
Date Posted: 16/08/01

I awoke in a clammy sweat again.... Molly Ringwold was attempting to force me into a comprimising position - for the second time in my life. Those of us who were unlucky enough to be surrounded by the bastard media offspring ST ELMO'S FIRE et all when growing up probably have this nightmare, or a version of it, on a regular basis!

But there was method to the madness of a globe hooked on movie culture that celebrated fuckheads. It pains me to say this as I spent endless hours listening to snobby bintage spew drivel about their favourite bits of lingo in the film CLASS or trying to figure out who the fuck Rob Lowe was, and importantly, where can we corner him with a baseball bat. I imagine it's a less frustrating, somewhat easier ride nowadays.... none of this wide skateboard shit, we had a couple of inches of injection moulded plastic and a lot of broken teeth.

If it was the disgusting reflection of crap cinematic heroes on real life that drove countless losers to punk then I really have THE BREAKFAST CLUB to thank, but the concept of putting so many different factors under one roof forcefully is kinda perverted. I never thought that my fondness of the Circlejerks would ever bring me in contact with filthy pawns like Doom or Oi Polloi. Like Jack Dee says " I like the Pogues, I don't want them in my house ".

A biology class of sorts here, take 5 specimen of punk from different ponds and examine. At random we'll gather the aforementioned Oi Polloi, Lagwagon, Flag Of Democracy, Crass and The Dropkick Murphys. 5 froggers of a loosely defined punk rock existence.

Out with the scalpel.

Oi Polloi like to believe that they come across as heartfelt hippie reactionaries and many of their fans are of the same opinion, but if you examine their contribution to punk, and what reflects in the rear view mirror, it'll make you want to sell your body for Napalm. An everlasting picture from the booklet which accompanied their great comedy record, IN DEFENSE OF OUR EARTH, is a load of businessmen on a large ship full of money, and punks with Anti Cimex type bands tippexed on their backs, exercising their distain. I have to say that I've got more in common with your average toothless Skrewdriver fan than I do with some friend of the earth who wants to live side by side with whales, eat anarcho pie and have a tin whistle player called Rat in the band. Bodily parasites, I can do without. From my experience, this sort of swill produces dogmatic arseholes who weild lack of personal hygiene as a fashion statement. What that has in common with punk is anyone's guess???

LAGWAGON is another story, kinda on the opposite end of the scale. In terms of influence and musical charm - let's face it, we're dealing with Also-Ran's here, just like TSOL or Pennywise or Agnostic Front. Lame weak shit that caters only for people who know no better. Live, it's a different story, but as an example of production line, Lagwagon are an industrial success story - sell the pawns what they can do without. Lagwagon is a children's band - it's like musical Transformers or BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE or something. The essence of Lagwagon's success is the contrary nature of your average spotty teen.

I'm not a paticularly big fan of FLAG OF DEMOCRACY, but I know many who are fanatical about this band who stem from the same era as the Dead Kennedys, and many other US archtypes. As a staff member of THE STEAM PIG, we had the pleasure of sharing a stage with FOD in Hamburg, Germany in April 2001. In terms of inspiration ( an increasing rarity ) FOD bleed it. Now in their 20th year, they've never split, never been feigned by the fact of missing out on legendary status afforded to so many bands by the various 90's punk explosions & fads.... simply a bunch of fuckers who knew better than to get sensible after a certain age.... and a hard fucking racket of a punk band..... with Lagwagon types, they'd wipe their pile-ridden anai.

Ever protected is the estate of Crass by their loyal followers..... and they're definitely one for the hung jury. There's a moronic greatness to them, a gift of dogmatic charm, intellegence and stupidity. Again, they spawned what Oi Polloi totally missed the point of...... because of course Crass were a bunch of artists. Their anarcho leanings were given birth and creedence through many pseudo-intellect massagers, doctrine composers....bollox basically.... Jean Paul Sartre may have been a thinker, but did we have to endure it too???? Crass is the mould out of which the snotty suburban anarcho rebel crawled, until his college days were over and he had to cut the rats tail off to get a middle management job in daddys company. If I had a pound for the amount of times I've met Crass fanatics from extremely rich families. You can't help but figure that someone's buying into this to piss their parents off rather than because it provokes an awakening of the mind. Most to blame of course are the band themselves..... quite ready to admit that they were full of shit. The records ( well... some of them ) pack a punk rock punch, but very little else. Inspiring from a comedy perspective..... the worldwide Crass fan club are gonna love me for this!!!!

So we conclude with something highly crass..... step on up Ken Casey and the Dropkick Pikeys.... oh sorry, I mean Murphys. Where once there was a promising punk outfit now lies a sad cartoon. Irish???? Casey's been here twice. I've been in England loads of times.... doesn't make me anything.... then again, pretending to be english isn't a money vehicle ( nothing wrong with dosh of course )..... but crass ways of harvesting it will never be anything but. Don't believe the hype... there's no such thing as Irish Americans really.... if we're a nation of fucking cunts, which we are, then where does that leave the people who aspire to the very same, yet fail miserably????

To be continued.....

Drivel to Boz