Monday, December 3, 2007


John Hood's quip on the Corner this morning reminded me of my days as a Fugazi fan circa 1990. A friend of mine had their 2nd EP Margin Walker and it just blew me away. I had just gotten my first CD player, so I purchased 13 songs which contained their first 2 EPs.

Fugazi's appeal to me most likely had something to do with the fact that I had just gone through this huge girlfriend breakup and a lot of really angry, testosterone-achieved guys screaming and wailing on guitars totally made sense. They were also supposed to be really "smart" and "socially conscious" whatever the hell that means which separated them from Suicidal Tendencies, Gang Green and other skate-punk faves. Their lyrics were impenetrable enough to seem profound; I don't pretend to be able to fathom what the following rapped lines from "Bulldog Front" really means:

Ahistorical you think this shit just dropped right out of the sky
My analysis it's time to harvest the crust from your eyes

...but it's great because it can basically be used to diss the ideas of anyone you don't like. The bonus is it contains great words like crust and shit.

"Burning Too" contains a more uplifting message, tunefully reminiscent of Bowie's "Rebel Rebel":

This world is not our facility
We have a responsibility
To use all of our abilities
To keep this place alive

Those lines always remind me of a poem a third-grade girl might have penned to caption her crayon submission to the local Earth Day coloring contest. But as with all great Fugazi compositions, it is redeemed by the red-faced yelling during the chorus: "WE GOTTA PUT IT OUT!! DO IT!! DO IT NOW!!!!"

When you go flying off your skate board into a sewer grate you need something to unite your suffering to that of the whole human race. And if you aren't Catholic at the time and don't realized that's one of the purposes of the Mass, Fugazi will have to do. Being "straight edge" helps one avoid many evils, but you can't thrive on a steady diet of nothing. Maybe that chapter of my youth subconsciously helped lead to my conversion.


  1. Their lyrics were impenetrable enough to seem profound; I don't pretend to be able to fathom what the following rapped lines from "Bulldog Front" really means....

    Such comments always remind me of this passage, from a novel written by a fellow who spent many years as poetry editor of The New Yorker.

    And just this morning, I find this paper, which quotes another paper to the effect that the poetic sequence under consideration "may well turn out in the end to be unreadable."

    (As long as I'm hijacking the thread, I may as well go on to point out that the author of the paper mentions in his brief biography that he published "a much reprinted analysis of 'Humpty Dumpty.'" You take what you can get, indeed.)

  2. As long as I'm hijacking the thread

    I wondered why you were wearing that navy blue ski mask.

    Re: "Altarwise by owl-light in the halfway house." Very funny bit, thanks. Likewise, owls always seem to get on Minerva. (pun alert)