Weird Jon’s gone for a bit, technical difficulties and what not. Drop him a line wishing him to ‘Come Back Soon’ ‘cause dirt knows I can’t do this job alone. Each hand holds the shovel in its own way and it takes more than one to dig a hole.
Here’s a question: Do you root for the monsters in horror films?
Do you want Jason to get the campers? For Freddy to get those teenagers on Elm Street?
I do, sometimes. When the story introduces a character that’s clearly meant to solicit the audience’s scorn and hate—the snooty rich girl, the jocko homo in the Letterman’s jacket, the arrogant and the obnoxious—these are the ones that are meant to bring about a hell, yeah! reaction when the blade falls down upon their head.
Of course, all of these characters are fake and exaggerated, some over-the-top representation of an idea. We root against the rich because we’re not rich, against the obnoxious because we are not obnoxious.
I think about monsters when I listen to GG Allin.
GG Allin invokes a lot of negative reaction due to his lyric content and personal actions. I’m not unapologetic in my listening to GG Allin. He’s not a guilty pleasure, he’s not some secret to keep. I know why people would hate him and I see their arguments as valid. If you want to talk about those arguments, drop me a line.
First time I heard of GG was from the Drive-By Truckers song, ‘The Night G.G. Allin Came to Town.’ It’s the roots-booze country rock tribute to Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley’s idleness while growing up which details the after-the-fact account of a GG Allin concert. I found his music and was a bit surprised, considering the contrast between GG’s chaos to the orchestration of the Drive-By Truckers tribute.
His concerts are infamous for his actions. Blood. Feces. No one was safe. He got naked. He was a wild dog with a microphone.
“Everybody’s an enemy. Fuck it, I hate everybody. I’m not part of any scene. I do my own thing. My mind’s a machine gun. My body’s the bullets and the audience is the target.”
He started picking fights. When fighting became passé, he started to incorporate scatological elements. He was a disaster when he went out on stage, looking to cause as many casualties as possible. His music was caustic and snarling. He wanted to assault all senses, to wage war from all fronts.
I had seen ‘Hated,’ the documentary about GG that showed where he came from, what he did and ultimately, how he died. I also read Evan Cohen’s I Was a Murder Junkie, the book that details G.G’s last tour. Both are required if you’re a fan of GG or just want to do some research. The latter account shows how roughshod GG and his band lived. It was an outlaw’s life for the most of them and it shows a candid view of GG. One instance in the book sticks out with me more than others:
At one point in the night I woke up to find the room completely dark, and GG’s silent smiling face about six inches from my own.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hello,” He replied. That was the extend of our conversation, and I closed my eyes once more. In retrospect, I don’t think GG was planning on doing anything nefarious to me. It was more of a human moment. I think he was just looking at me in amazement. I mean, how could such a “normal” person as I be mixed up with all this GG Allin craziness?
GG was charged with rape of a Michigan girl in 1989, but it came out that during the trial, the woman was a willing participant. The court document details inconstancies in the woman’s story. Rape is unforgivable. Torture is unforgivable. Even if he had the facts on his side to make a good case, I think that he knew he had to plea bargain because G.G. Allin the man could never get a fair trial. The myth and monster would be put on trial instead.
GG Allin lived a monster’s lifestyle and was comfortable with it. Society and its systems are designed against monsters, which makes their existence horrific. Sometimes the systems of society are wrong and those who challenge them are seen as heroes. It takes a challenge to determine the monsters from the heroes, to figure out if these systems are really for our good or if they are outdated and wrong.
That’s ultimately why I listen to GG Allin. Though I bob my head in the beat of the song, I know that it’s wrong to “Expose Yourself to Kids.’ It’s catchy about an unforgivable act. In similar idea, not execution, it’s comparable to Nabokov’s Lolita in making something reprehensible seem attractive if not beautiful. To me, GG Allin is a challenge to these things that I think as indisputably wrong. When he says to expose yourself to kids, I can say “No, that’s a wrong and here’s why.” I think to someone who wanted to embrace the lone rebel role as GG, there’s nothing worse than blind obedience.
It would be false of me to extol appreciation for ‘Expose Yourself to Kids’ while condemning ‘No Room for N—-r.’ Each song demonstrates an attitude and behavior that I disagree with, and it’s would be unfair to you if I were to say “this is okay but that is wrong.” Misogyny. Pedophilia. Racism. Murder and violence. Sexual perversion. He was a tangled ball of hate against everything. It was how he was made.
The idea of GG Allin was as much of a filmland monster as much as Freddy Krueger, a child killer, or Leatherface or the rash of killers we watch on screen. The fiction of horror allows for the creature to exist; at the end of the movie, each of us in the audience would be better to review what we watched and why the monster was a monster. Jason was left to drown but is it right for him to wield a machete? Krueger was burnt alive but him seeking revenge?
But if you hate the music, hey. Can’t fault you on that. Taste is relative.
I’ve lost the point. Time to end this.
(Gravediggers Local 16 doesn’t condone or condemn any of the ideas or expressions of GG Allin, his band(s), fan(s) or some of the more outlandish ideas presented here by Strange Jason. Complaints can be sent to the Front Office here)