THIS IS THE COLUMN THAT GOT ME FIRED...
First a little background.
I was already in trouble Two columns censored and a lot of bad blood. The handwriting was on the inside of the stall. Two months ago, I'd written a column where I quoted someone else saying that using the word "colored" was like using the word "nigger." When that column was printed, MRR used asterisks to write "ni**er." The following column complained about that (among other things). I was fired for that complaint! Here it is:
An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
THE COLUMN THAT WAS NEVER PRINTED... AND GOT HIM FIRED!
Q. Are you happy there are more black musicians and fans in American punk?
A. No! I hate it. At shows it used to be ONLY ME. I was THE BLACK GUY. Everyone wanted to be my friend and hang out with me. I was special. Now I'm just another dork.
--Black Punkrock fan interviewed in the movie Afro-Punk 2003
Baby got a hand; got a finger on the trigger. Baby, baby, baby is a rock-and-roll ni**er. Outside of society, that's where I want to be. Outside of society, they're waitin' for me. --Patti Smith
“Shit in my mouth!” I yell, “Shit in my mouth!”
I wonder if Shaniqua can hear me, sitting up there on my face... her ample buttocks one on each of my cheeks. Cheek-to-cheek.
“I can't, Mykel,” comes the voice above me. “I can't do it. I'm too...”
I push up my tongue and press it against her sphincter.
She tightens more, as grabbing my probing tongue and pull it inside her. I'm stuck!
“Puth! Hahth!” I say.
The sphincter opens slightly. I pull my tongue back into my mouth.
Then that tasty brown hole opens a little more. A tiny fart escapes. I suck it into my lungs. Another one... then there's a pop... well more like a FRRRRRRR_CLICK!
I sense rather than feel something more than a fart escape from that elegant round muscle.
I raise my tongue again. Lick around the same hole. There it is, something tiny... hard... flat... like a piece of eggshell, or digested plastic.
First salivating, then using my tongue, I force the object away from its sphictorious home and into my mouth. I try to judge the shape and texture. I... OUCH!! The tiny whatever-it-is slides into my tongue, cutting me. I feel the blood flow down my tongue tip... drip... drip... drip... into the back of my throat.
I push the ass on my face upwards, coughing from the blood. Running for the bathroom I spit red into the toilet. Shaniqua follows.
“Jesus!” I say, “What did you eat that came out and cut my tongue.”
“Hey Mykel,” she says. “It's punk rock.”
FLASH: We break into our oral-anal story with a news flash. Terrorists have attacked the Boston Marathon. Three people are dead, more than a hundred injured. Boston is in lockdown while the police go on a manhunt.
“We'll get them! We'll get them!”
More terrorists. Just what we need. A reason to expand SECURITY!
You are now entering Boston... please have your passports ready.
Oh look, there's gonna be be a TV chase, some bomb throwing... some arrests... brothers from Chechnya??? I mean didn't the US support Chechnya in the fight against those big bad Russians? Don't those terrorists watch TV?
Three people??? Three people??? Yeah I feel sorry for their families. I feel sorry for the 89 people a day killed in US traffic accidents. But THREE PEOPLE????
U.S. Government forces have killed A MILLION Iraqis since the turn of the century. It's the holocaust of the millennium. A MILLION!!! That's like the entire city of Dallas. Will you see it in the holocaust museum in Washington? I don't think so. Any manhunts? TV action shots? Naw, none of those either. No blood pictures. No death pictures. But compare THREE to A MILLION! I want YOU to tell ME who the terrorists are.
In the meantime, vengeful Americans, who have the least regard for human life of any of the 57 countries I've been in (and probably most I haven't) will assault and probably kill several Muslims or people they THINK are Muslims in a PAYBACK FOR BOSTON.
Yo buckaroos! BOSTON was a payback!
END OF NEWSFLASH:
I hear a click behind me. Shaniqua's i-Phone snaps a picture of a naked Mykel Board puking blood into the toilet.
“Just wait til THAT gets on Facebook, Mykel.”
Time's passed since then. When I check Facebook,I look to see if that picture has made its way there. So far, it hasn't. What has made it though, are a bunch of friends who have changed their Facebook photos to some stupid pink on red EQUAL sign. It takes me 2.78 seconds to realize this is a show of support for MARRIAGE EQUALITY. Oy vey!
I've written a fuck of a lot about why I'm opposed to MARRIAGE in general... especially as a government licensed and regulated institution. Of course I don't support gay marriage. I don't support ANY marriage. But this month, I want to take a punkrock view.
If (the MRR version of) punk is anything, it's about INDEPENDENCE. It's about NOT MAINSTREAM. The letters section alone is a litany of offal about how A,B,C, is SELLING OUT... going major label... mainstream. What's more mainstream than marriage? Working for a bank? Owning an SUV? I donno.
Homos used to be the outsiders... the exotic. The Andy Warhol mystique was so alluring because it was so homosexual. UNDERGROUND was homosexuality. Homos were free. They could talk about sex, have a ton of sex partners, did not have to live under the constraints of boring hetero humanity.
Flash to 1973. You're in the back room of The Stud... on West 10 Street in New York. It's pitch black. You enter from the bar... beer finished... you need both hands. You can smell the sex. Men crowded together. Seeing nothing, your hands guide you through the blackness. A brush against the back of your hand. A penis. Then another. And another. You grab one and stroke. Before long, a pair of hands at your crotch releases your own stiffness. There's a wet softness. A head between your legs. You reach and press it toward you as he sucks it in.
In those days there was homosex everywhere. School bathrooms, hiking trails, tall bushes in the park. Sex like heteros WISH they could have. Immediate, releasing, no consequences sex. Queer sex.
QUEER was strange, different, outside the mainstream. Queer was the freedom of anonymous sex. Queer was the place to be. The slow mainstream response to AIDS was because hets thought PAYBACK TIME. Homos were living the life hets WISHED they could live. AIDS gets even!
Now? Gay marriage! The worst of heterosexuality. The most mainstream, boring, piece of shit lifestyle... and they call it a RIGHT! JEZUS fuckin' KY-ed anus! Work for a bank if you wanna get married!
I wonder how long before the first GAY president kills his first hundred thousand people. See? Gays are just like everybody else.
Flash to 1977. CBGBs. Stiv Bators is on stage with bologna safety pinned to his clothes: neck to pants cuffs. He hangs on the microphone and tells those of us sitting at the tables, drinking our cheap Buds:
I don't need anyone. Don't need no mom and dad. Don't need no pretty face. Don't need no human race...
Yeah. That's us. We don't need anyone. We're the blank generation and we only have THIS. This little club. This little group of people with this little kind of music called punk rock. It's ours. THEY wish they had places like this. THEY pay $20 to go to discos and listen to records. WE have music like never made before. We are not like THEM.
1992: a movie comes out called 1991: The Year Punk Broke. It's about Sonic Youth and Nirvana. The punkrock joke at the time is “Yeah, Punk broke. Now someone's gotta fix it.”
What happened was it went mainstream. Punks hated the movie... not because it was bad, but because it put punk in the mainstream.
1994: Warner Borthers releases DOOKIE and sells millions. There's a huge backlash. Not because of the music, but because Green Day became mainstream.
Get it? Tough. There's more.
As long as black people have been in America, they've been outsiders. Slavery was a great dividing line between the inside people and the outside people. But outsider status did not end with slavery.
During the 1930s, 40s and 50s Negro was cool. Drugs, sex, homosex, poetry, jazz, these were the forbidden fruits of the outsider... the black outsider. Negroes lived like whites wished THEY could live.
When whites wanted to claim outside status, they hung out at black clubs... listened to jazz-- ni**er music. This was the stuff your grandparents were afraid of. Yeah!
Flash to 1960. My mother's talking to me about her weekend in THE CITY.
“Mickey,” she says, “we went to this place called Greenwich Village. It was scary. We went to a music club and there were all these colored people playing saxophone and drums. And in the audience mixed couples were making out.”
In 1960, I didn't know what making out was. I didn't really get mixed couples either. But it sounded so strange and exciting that I decided then, I wanted to be one... a mixed couple making out.
In the 1970s, black street talk incorporated the word NI**ER (without the asterisks) like homos incorporated QUEER. It was in everyday street talk. A celebration of the disturbing, the unacceptable, the outside
When Patti Smith, possibly America's first punkrocker, compared her outsider status to black folks did she say she was a ROCK'N'ROLL N***R? When that first NY black-fronted punkband blasted into CBGB in the 70s. Did they call themselves THE NEW YORK N***RS? Those asterisks (now required by the MRR manual of style) are mainstream. Civilized people don't use that word. Patti and the New York band were outside of society. They were not civilized.
(My pal Sid reminds me that 10 years before Patti, John Lennon/Yoko Ono's song Woman Is The N***r of The World, was performed once on TV. Then it was banned. No asterisks in that one either.)
The New York Times can write “N**R” (with asterisks). CNN can flash N**R (with asterisks) on the screen as a caption for something or other. It annoys the shit out of me that even MRR has taken what was liberating... outside... and filled it with asterisks. I gotta use 'em, though. It's a company rule!
But it's more than that. Being black itself has become respectable. Al Sharpton, once my hero, now says hip hoppers shouldn't use the word Ni**er because it's disparaging. Translation: It's showing its outsider status.
Today, we have a black president who, while not slaughtering quite as many as his predecessor, still scores in the hundreds of thousands. He maintains his office of religious affairs and bails out banks, rather than Social Security recipients. He's a president, like any other president (except my hero, Jimmy Carter). Mainstream as white bread, get it?
If punk is anything, it is being OUTSIDE the mainstream. It is the fly in the ointment... the hole in the condom... the anal eggshell that cuts the tongue. It's what everyone else DOESN'T like... or what they're afraid of. Mainstream? Popular? Everyday? That's just not p**k.
ENDNOTES: [email subscribers (email@example.com) or blog viewers (mykelsblog.blogspot.com/) will get live links and a chance to post comments on the column. Your zines, Cds/records, and... er... private videos... can and should be sent to me at: Mykel Board, POB 137, Prince Street Station, New York NY 10012]
-->What the world needs now dept: YES! YES! And it's about time. Peru, whose LOS SAICOS are arguably the world's first punk band has finally created an ALL-GIRL DEATH METAL BAND! Muerte Ancestral! Contact Clara Herrara Novoa, Jr. Galeano 896, Santiago de Surco, Lima 33, Peru! Tell her Mykel sent ya!
-->Uncredited dept: Paul Abuse (aka Hohman) wrote to me about a old letter he sent me ten years ago. Then, he said that he wanted to change the name of MRR to Maximum Porn and have Ron Jeremy among the columnists. I completely forgot about that, but it's likely a subconscious memory that inspired my April Fools MRR column. I want to give him credit.
-->Irony on irony dept: So the Christian right wants prayer in school, creationism in science class, government support of "faith-based" organizations, state support of religious schools through voucher schemes... and they're at it again. This time the right-wing ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM (yeah right) is protesting a California public school for instituting a yoga program. Why are they protesting? They say the program violates the separation of Church and State.
-->Little Victories Dept: The private prison mega-corporation GEO will not get naming rights at the Florida Atlantic University stadium, home of the FAU Owls. The private prison group will soon make millions on the coming jailing of Americans without papers. It's called the DREAM ACT, though for many it'll be a nightmare.
FAU students formed an anti-GEO group called STOP OWLCATRAZ. They said that the school was “putting the families of their Hispanic students at risk of being detained in facilities that bear the same name as the stadium of their Alma Mater.” The bad publicity caused the corporation to withdraw its bid to name the stadium. 10 punk points guys!-END-
Your comments are welcome. And your comments to Maximum Rock'n'Roll (mrr@maximumrockn'roll.com) are even more welcome.