The Intense Disappointment of Being a Patriotic, America-Loving Alternative Musician
As I begin to write the next Brainclaw album of electro-industrial songs, I am forced to come to grips with something that has mostly destroyed my love of music and undermined the respect I had for so many of my musical heroes. It all started for me with the American Presidential Elections of 2016. I cast my vote as I saw fit, and fortunately enjoyed four years of increased economic prosperity, increased standard of living for my family, safe borders, low crime and unemployment, as well as powerful standing among the nations of the world. It felt like reason had taken control here, and everything was going to be OK.
That is when the TDS began, especially in the music scene, the alternative music scene to be specific. I found myself ejected from one of the bands I started, I became an outcast in the Philadelphia music scene, such as it was, and I was abandoned by 99% of musical friends and collaborators.
All because I did my civic duty and cast a vote in a presidential election, as is my right. Apparently I chose INCORRECTLY.
I began to realize as well that almost all of my musical heroes and muses were infected with this new brand of leftism/socialism/communism/hatred of the land/culture that I loved, and which had given me countless opportunities to thrive. Peter Murphy, Thomas Dolby, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan and especially Devo, (among MANY others) began to write albums devoted to hating one man, and then tooling on an entire way of American life. I started to feel like I was in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, and was one of the last free-thinking humans left alive.
And the pod people were coming for me hard. I was shamed in online communities for my opinions, I was blacklisted from ever performing anywhere locally again, I was ridiculed by people I had once called friends and fellow musicians.
Then, my logic being what it is, I began to go back and listen to KMFDM, Ministry, the Sisters of Mercy and many other old favorites with newly opened ears and a completely different mindset, and I was horrified to discover that most of my musical favorites were not just leftists, but were now rabid, mentally ill socialist/anarchist/communist ideologues who basically hated everything that America and our Constitution stand for, everything I hold dear about this great country and her way of life. I began to hear the same tired, predictable leftist talking points entering the lyrics of any new albums put out by my favorite musicians and groups.
I tried at first to push back in the chats of the social media owned by these groups, pointing out that crapping on America and her way of life isn’t a good thing because probably a third to a half of your fans are independents or conservatives, but I was burned off these chats by crazed, TDS-infected fans and sometimes by the musicians or moderators themselves. Dissenting opinions would NOT be tolerated.
Then suddenly, with no warning, Facebook decided to burn all of my accounts into the ground, including the Brainclaw Facebook account, destroying YEARS of work and curation, effectively silencing me forever in the digital realm. I lost connection to all of my remaining family and friends and fans in one night. No reason, given, no appeal available. I had committed WRONGTHINK, and I WOULD atone!
As these realizations dawned on me, little by little, I realized that I had to be true to who I was, and to my patriotic beliefs. America is still the best, freest, least oppressive, most accepting country in the world, but it is rapidly failing as I write this. If something drastic isn’t done, we will be absorbed into the growing Collective, and we will lose our culture and our way of life forever. We will go the way of most of Europe.
One of the strangest parts of all this is to realize those “creative and expressive” industrial goth people I called friends, those black-wearing, goofy dancing rivet-heads that loved Brainclaw and Carfax Abbey so much, and who knew all of our lyrics by heart, are now busy becoming foot-soldiers for today’s equivalent of the Brownshirts, the lovely leftist mob called Antifa. These are the people who are burning, looting and destroying cities, and beating independent and conservative people into bloody pulps across the country. Shaming them at restaurants. Forcing them into “struggle sessions” on college campuses and in public places. Banning old words and creating new, meaningless ones. Creating confusion and disorder around every established idea that we hold dear. The “commies,” hard at work, as usual, destroying America from within, while I watched in confused disbelief.
These people, whom I had shared stages with, and watched dancing madly to our songs, had made themselves into my ENEMIES. And not by MY choice! Even MORE depressing is the fact that I know little pockets of independent and conservative thought, musicians and DJs, right here in the greater Philadelphia area and across the country who are closeted and hiding, because they fear the retaliation of the WOKE mob if it were ever to leak out that they disagreed with the Collective. They make me the saddest, living in terror of who they are. Some want to work with me on future Brainclaw songs, but want their names kept secret… So sad.
Happily, I find much more satisfaction these days raising my children, reading books, prepping, shooting my AR15 and writing Brainclaw music by myself, so being completely purged from whatever is left of the “music scene” doesn’t bother me very much anymore. But I will not lie to you and say that I do not miss the camaraderie and collaboration that I once had. I cope with losing all of my favorite artists by mostly only listening to their older material, works that I loved before the advent of the internet, where all of their sordid personal information and political leanings are on vivid display now. I SO preferred these musicians before I knew much about them, and before the crazy leftism started seeping in. “Never meet your heroes” they say… and they are correct. You will be disappointed almost every time.
I will continue to do what I have always done, be true to myself, and maintain my small core of true friends who love me for who I am, my TRIBE, if you will, those who have always have my back. You ALL know who you are. Remaining Brainclaw and Carfax Abbey fans who still support my music, thank you. I will keep doing what I love, for as long as I am able, and getting that output over to you.
But realize this: I love America, I support her allies, I recognize and embrace all the innovation and value that Western Civilization had brought to the world, I respect and admire European explorers and all that they accomplished, I believe fully in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, ESPECIALLY the First and Second Amendments, I fully support our police and military, I prefer law and order to chaos and anarchy, and will staunchly defend all of them, with a skilled application of force, if ever called to do so. If you can’t handle all or part of that, it’s better that you leave now, and save us all from later disappointment. I have enough on my plate already. The Left has pushed this insane polarization and has set the current rulebook. I’m just following the rules they set for interactions. I guess I HAVE chosen a side. I choose my country and her Constitution.