Rant ’n’ roll from D.C. musician/writer/broadcaster Svenonius (Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock 'n' Roll Group, 2013, etc.), who’s not at all happy with the world as it is.
The author might (or might not) balk at the term, but there’s a certain Leninist streak in this screed: if the right-wing media is going to blast out its bilge, if Hollywood is going to churn out “imperialist apologia,” and artists continue with their head-in-the-sand escapism, well, then it’s time to start censoring them—and to hell with the First Amendment and its guarantees of self-expression, which “is a parlor trick, designed by the lords of capital, with extraordinary, insidious implications.” Svenonius doesn’t seem to be saying that it’s not cool to shout fire in a crowded Haymarket Square but instead that anything that doesn’t accommodate his idea of resistance is suspect—unless it can be explained by anomie, in which case the sort of bilious trolling seen in Facebook comments is OK, since it’s simply misguided resistance of a false-consciousness ilk. Sans-culotte fervor is all to the good, though this collection of scattered observations might come with a trigger warning for fans of the Grateful Dead and similar rock bands, responsible for the banishment of dancing from concerts by musicians “who insisted that their audiences sit obediently and consume drugs en masse whilst trapped in enormous arenas, raceways, pastures, and superdomes.” Throughout the book, the author delivers a healthy dose of NPR–is-a-cultural-imperialist and Wikipedia-is-the-antichrist sort of stuff. In advancing such theories, Svenonius gets off a lot of nice slogans and apothegms (“For the Beatles, perhaps sex and death are intertwined, as in so many of the world’s religions”), but it doesn’t go much further than that on the logical-development, sustained-argument front.
For the author’s fans and disaffected teenagers of vaguely leftist impulses.