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ISSUES

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By Michael Yeh "We have 1.5 million people in Long Island; attempted to unite blacks and poor whites
eleven of them chose to dance around in bed- against factory and land owners. The Klan was
The American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan sheets," he said in an interview with reestablished as a benevolent society (go figure!)
angered local residents and raised questions Newsday. by preacher-salesman William J. Simmons, who
about racial relations on Long Island after But according to Frederick Preston, Vice made great profits from membership dues.
announcing a planned "educational drive" at President of Student Affairs at the university, More importantly, though, the Klan was not
the Smith Haven Mall on Saturday, July 19. "racial tolerance on Long Island could use only against blacks and immigrants, but also
This event was to be the first public Klan cam- some improvement." opposed Jews, Catholics, Asians, bootleggers,
paign in New York State since 1962. Suffolk The Ku Klux Klan's ideolo- iolations of the
County Police expected approximately twenty gy grew out of white Sabbath, and other
members to don their traditional white robes Southern resentment over the "anti-American"
and hoods while passing out hate literature. Civil War and the chaos of the aspects of society.
But the Klan's announcement provoked an Reconstruction period. Lynchings, parades,
angry backlash from local residents and civil Scholars believe that the orig- and other public
rights advocates, and Suffolk County District inal Klan, named after the acts became com-
Attorney James Catterson threatened to arrest Greek words for "circle" and mon.
any Klan members who showed up. The coor- "cycle", was merely a soci During the Great
dinator of the event, who calls himself the club. In 1865, six Confederate veterans found- Depression, the Klan lost much of its support.
"Reverend Frank", cancelled the event after ed this club in Pulaski, Tennessee with secret Despite some increased activity in the 1960's
Catterson vowed to enforce a state law that members holding ridiculous-sounding titles to against the civil rights movement, it has been
prohibits masked people from assembling in enhance its amusement. relatively inactive since then. But, it has not
public without a permit. White sheets were adopted as the official uni- disappeared completely, as shown by the
Rev. Frank claimed to be the New York form of the Klan after a few mischievous dis- recent controversy on Long Island.
State Grand Dragon, and was later identified guised horsemen created a spectacular distrac- There have been rumors that the Ku Klux
as Frank DeStefano of Mount Sinai. tion in Pulaski. As the membership grew, these Klan planned their return to the public scene
DeStefano, who set up a temporary tele- pranks turned into threatening visits and vio- during the summer when most minority stu-
phone number and currently screens two lence against black families. Although the dents from the University at Stony Brook are
lines with caller ID, denied involvement intention of the .six original founders is often not present. But according to Fred Preston,
when contacted by The Press. disputed, it became clear that anyone could "something like [a university] hasn't really
Despite the cancellation, anti-Klan demon- wear a sheet to commit crimes. been a deterrent in other places where they
strators gathered on a side- In 1867, Klan lead- have appeared or attempted to appear."
walk outside the mall and ers met in Nashville, Students may help educate people about the
at the Hempstead United Tennessee to create a importance of tolerance and the benefits of eth-
Methodist Church to specific agenda for nic diversity through community service. The
denounce the racist group. the organization. university is also planning a new .Living
In addition, some shoppers They made a more Learning CenLL that stresses volunteer work.
changed their plans and rigid hierarchy, and "We need to connect the classroom to the out-
joined the protesters. made white side community so that there are more oppor-
"There will be a lot of dis- supremacy the first tunities to have the kind of interaction and dia-
satisfied people if the event priority of the Klan. logue which enables us to make an impact,"
was allowed," said a shop- After this meeting, said Preston.
per who requested anonymi- the Klan became Nevertheless, Klan leaders promise to contin-
ty. "The KKK is becoming more active and car- ue challenging those who support diversity. An
more of a threat today." ried out the now- unidentified member sent copies of a video-
Even if the Klan had familiar violent tape depicting eleven hooded people circling a
decided to proceed with threats to blacks and burning cross at an unidentified beach. Rev.
their event, the mall man- Reconstruction sym- Frank considers these events to signify the
agement had plans to bar pathizers. rebirth of the group, and plans to march in
them from the property. The Klan gained public.
"This is a shopping center support in govern- "I think the best thing people can do is to tol-
for people's enjoyment and ment and from the erate things such as that rather than to let it stir
not a forum for such orga- general population them, and things like this will be kept to a min-
nizations to conduct their business," said mar- very quickly. By the late 1860's, there were very imum," said a Macy's employee and Stony
keting director Dennis Tietjen. "As private few white Southern opponents to the Klan. Brook graduate student.
property owners, we have the right to refuse But, Klan groups and impostors (also known as But others believe that a more active
an organization such as this to come on our the Black Ku Klux Klan) began fighting each approach must be taken to combat hate
property." other, and it is believed that Imperial Wizard groups. "Challenges like this from racist
"I think it would have been a very ugly Nathan Bedford Forrest ordered the Klan dis- extremist groups like the Klan will continue
scene," said Michelle Alfano, owner of the band in 1869. Congress soon passed anti-Klan to take place, for they're not going to fade
Peace Frogs stand. "They should be allowed to laws, but the group had already wreaked away into the woodwork," said Preston.
conduct their events, but not where others are havoc in the south. White Southerners had "People who believe in a harmoniously
forced to be part of it." reclaimed control of the local governments as a diverse society have to become and remain
Despite these concerns, most people do not result of the terror that kept black voters away as active in promoting social justice and
perceive any threat to racial relations in the from the polls. equality as extremist groups seem to be in
local area. "I think most people are educated After a brief period of inactivity, the Klan promoting racial intolerance."
enough to know that this is a small group of reemerged in the early twentieth century. This
people and their beliefs," said Alfano. revival was stimulated by massive immigration
District Attorney Catterson also believes that from Europe, American involvement in World
the group is poorly organized in this area. War I, and a new Populist movement that

THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 2


ISSUES

THE MEOMS RTRWE


By Chris Sorochin our own little universes to focus exclusively on MAKING IT HARD FOR HOMOPHOBES
pet issues. Gay Pride Month just wouldn't be complete
"In order to guarantee unity of thinking and to Toward the end of the afternoon, we shut without this tasty morsel from the amazing
avoid a negative impact on political stability, all sen- down traffic in downtown Philly with a huge world of scientific research. Henry F. Adams and
sitive issues...are not to be covered. march to the convention center. We circled the company published an article in the 1996
"There have been over 10,000 cases of demonstra- hall and, even though rain clouds glowered Journal of Abnormal Psychology detailing a
tion in the urban and rural areas within this past above, we stayed for more words of inspiration. study in which they tested a random sampling
year. All of these are not to be covered." Oh, the right wing did make a Keystone Kops of men and rated them for homophobia. I guess
-From a list of new regulations imposed on the appearance. When we arrived at the center, everybody who grows up in this gay-unfriendly
media by the government of China there were about twenty studies in anal reten- society is homophobic to some extent, but we all
tiveness from the Ayn Rand Institute, all with know the classic homophobe: he's not only stri-
It's always exciting to see a theoretical princi- professionally made, pus-yellow wooden signs dently hostile to the openly gay, but is also
ple incarnated in the corporeal world. It tells decrying the idea of doing anything to help any- extremely suspicious and looks for "tendencies"
you the stuff you're reading is not full of shit, body and urging passersby to read Rand's bil- in others. Most of all he's deathly afraid some-
lets you know you're on the right track and ious books. Ayn Rand, for thos ndencies in him and is
inspires you to press on. don't know, is a kind of . constantly trying to
It was April 27, the day of the Orwellian icon for those looking for prove he's a "man's
Presidents' Summit for America's Future. I, and intellectual justification for - 2 man" (interesting turn
thousands of other disgruntled citizens, gath- being selfish scumbags. She of phrase, that). He's
ered in a park for a rally and demonstration to wrote a whole series of i contemptuous of guys
let the morally repugnant triumvirate of Bill books rhapsodizing on the he feels aren't manly
Clinton, George Bush and Jimmy Carter (and beauty and wisdom of liv- 1 enough and, interest-
war criminal-cum-symbol of opportunity Colin ing life as a self-centered, ingly, has little affection
Powell) know that no one with any gray matter apathetic parasite. 7 for women other than
whatsoever believes that a band-aid plug for Anyhow, when the real as vehicles for him to
un s .e i . aoi.m. o_ u-- '--. -- ..

volunteerism, the '90's equivalent of Gerald unsilent m ajority nfloodeu ,................. L.......... ...................... . ..... ...; -jJJA) F /EV-
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to fill the yawning into the streets in front of .67 1.33 2 Z.67
20 3.33 4.0 The second part of the
Ford's WIN buttons, is going
chasm created by the bipartisan war on poor the hall, the numbskulled TIMN•AP••SEDA• F R vrIo n)A>, CANMIN. experiment consisted
and working people. nabobs of narcissism didn't of attaching electronic
I hope representatives of the charitable and know whether to shit or wind their watches. gauges to the subjects' privates and showing
volunteer organizations inside the convention First, they tried to hug buildings. Then they them gay porn. Guess what happened? Right.
center informed the sultans of spin that the non- moved to the back of the throng, their signs fad- The higher the homophobe rating, the more of a
profit sector is already strained to the breaking ing like rancid mustard stains. Finally, like a bad genital reaction they experienced, proving
point and can't possibly look after the hordes of odor, they dissipated completely. another fine old bit of folk wisdom. Even if
people who are going to be cut off when the I didn't get back home until very late that night guys with wired weenies imay not exactly be an
excrement hits the rotary ventilator from this /'IXT.,

bacchanalia of budget-slashing. I've just heard Greyhound--they're totally


(iNever, never, never tace
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14

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'actu-iial cross~c-scton'-r

society, further study


of

is
of several suicides by elderly legal immigrants incompetent and rude), but called for. They might
who've been cut off from government aid, so the it had been such an exhila- hook up some of the
rating day that it didn't more visible gay-bash-
day has come.
Are the powers-that-be really so demented that matter. s likeJTecssp
re T-epelms
they believe the average inhabitant of the US, Perusing the following that is, if he's capable
who is already working massive overtime day's Newsday, the story by of any sexual response
and/or a second and third job just to keep up, is one William Douglas went at all.
going to spend what little free time s/he can on about the summit, but
steal working for nothing? said nothing about the mas- ALL YOU NEED IS
I keep thinking I live in Michael Moore's sive protest outside, except ................................ HATE
2.0 2.67 3.33 4.0
"Roger and Me", where the polyester-suited city for a few paragraphs about, . At the post office: a
poobahs keep trying to stave off economic deso- and even a quote from male individual in
lation with a succession of hare-brained (gasp!) the Ayn Rand geeks. If that isn't an front of me, who can't be any older than thirty,
schemes to build morale, each more preposter- insulting smack right in the nuts by the velvet leaves the counter with deep disappointment.
ous than the last. fist of the corporate media, I'd be hard put to say Why? It seems the only stamps left are those of
The protest crowd was a healthy slab of what is. It was as if Noam Chomsky appeared in the two swans forming a heart with their necks
humanity, highlighting the breadth and diversi- a nacreous cloud of television static and said, in that say "LOVE". Yes, indeed, "love" .is exactly
ty of the pissed-off. There was every ethnic a voice like seven thunders, "See, I told you so." the wrong message to put on your correspon-
group you can imagine, labor groups, welfare Since then, I've made several attempts to con- dence. Only sissies would go in for wussy stuff
rights groups, gay and lesbian groups, peace tact Mr. Douglas by phone at Newsday's like that. Maybe that postal patron participated
groups and more political and religious entities Washington bureau. I wanted to ask him why he in Dr. Adams' little experiment.
than you can shake a stick at. From Long Island, flushed thousands of us down the memory hole.
I was proud to behold Suffolk County's own Could he be so clueless as to not have noticed? CLASS WARFARE
Welfare Warriors and a few grungy fellow Press Or is he part of a great conspiracy to make it Fellow prisoners of the Long Island Rail Road
staffers. A particular focus was on Mumia Abu- seem that only covetous cranks would protest must have noticed an interesting ad poster from
Jamal and the burgeoning struggle against such a benevolent, humanitarian event? Think Tri-State Consumer Insurance, captioned "Why
police brutality; Philadelphia is the epicenter of back to the Persian Gulf, when there were huge should you pay high rates because of him?", the
the trial and boasts one of the most corrupt and antiwar demonstrations (with up to one million accompanying photo of "him" shows an obvious
proletarian type lounging on the hood of a dent-
brutal law enforcement communities in the participants in some European cities), but they
country. just never got much media attention--all to ed red Camaro, clad in the requisite uniform of
One of the many rousing speakers noted that "manufacture consent" and make it seem as if it blue-collar thugs: jeans, black leather jacket,
we must have more of all these different con- was unanimous and only idiots would oppose it. flannel shirt and work boots. His chin is promi-
stituencies coming together for common caus- I guess it will have to remain a mystery, for Mr. nently stubbled and from his mouth dangles
es and acting in solidarity with each other's Douglas, as we say in this racket, didn't return (horrors!) a cigarette. He must be a very bad
individual causes, instead of retreating into my calls. man, kiddies. The urban- continued on page 5

Jui.' 29. 1997 PAGE 3


EDITORIAL I , , ,

DON'T WE FEEL STUPID?


Last year, two issues of The Press had covers supposed intolerance of the south to make its way
which dealt with racism and intolerance in two into our lives.
southern states; North Carolina and Georgia. We were never so naive to think that racism
Both dealt with those issues in a our typically didn't exist in New York, any look at Real Estate
holier-than-thou, chauvinistic way. We felt that practices, retail store employee behavior, police
we could pass judgement on entire states because activity and employment practices will tell you
as New Yorkers, our problems with race relations that New York is, in many ways, just as besieged
aren't as pervasive as those in the south. by prejudice as any southern state. But we felt
Thus we find ourselves humbled by the emer- that we were done with such problems as the Ku
gence of Reverend Frank, self-proclaimed Grand Klux Klan.
Dragon of the local Ku Klux Klan, and his fellow We were wrong.
Klan members. Reverend Frank, a Mt. Sinai resident whose full
It's very easy to be critical of other people, name is Frank DeStefano, has taught us to be
because of what you perceive to be ignorance or careful in our judgements of others, and to be
intolerance. It's very easy for an editorial board watchful of complacency concerning race issues
of a college newspaper to be critical of places in our own backyard.
such as North Carolina or Georgia because of So thank you, Reverend Frank, your planned
what we perceive to be widespread stupidity and education drive had an unforeseen side effect: it
bigotry. It's easy to criticize the people who live educated us all about the need to stay constantly
in those states as being contributors to that intol- vigilant against the likes of all the Reverend
erance for allowing it to happen, for allowing Franks in the world, regardless of where we may
that kind of hatred and separatism to fester and live. You've given us some perspective, some
build. It's easy, it's entertaining, and that's why enlightenment, and a new target for our jokes, all
we do it. without realizing it.
What we didn't realize is how easy it is for the

RANTS AND RAVES


T) the Editors: scription?) All I ask is that the Press not change a
I'm a recent Stony Brook graduate and current thing; it's the paper's commitment to the highest
student at Fordham law. It's pre-finals reading standards of journalistic excellence which gives
week for me, and I decided to study at my old it such a high level of credibility. I'm sure Mr.
aina mater instead of treking sixty miles to Sorochin, and all other Press writers of his cal-
Manhattan each day. While on a study break I iber, have brilliant careers ahead of them, if not
decided to see what the Press had to say. Upon as journalists then perhaps as janitors, where they
doing so I was pleased to discover not much has can truly appreciate Press caliber political dis-
changed. Yes, it's just what I expected, The Press course as they clean it off bathroom stall walls.
iill holds itself to the highest standards of objec-
tive, professional journalism, perhaps even on Sincerely,
par with The Village Voice. Take for example the Mike Reagan
recent article by Chris Sorochin "...because the
Bible tells me so." After "bashing the bible," Mr. [Editor's Reply: Hey, dickhead! Who put your
Sorochin goes on to chronicle his brilliant dis- legal briefs in such a fucking knot? We're fucking
course with a racist freak which took place on the sorry if you equate naughty fucking language
rren's room wall. It wasn't just his sparkling with badjournalism, but we do understandwhere
political objectivity which I enjoyed so much, it you're coming from. It's much fucking easier to
was more his impressive command of the English dismiss something because it uses "swear

W
language. Since being in law school I have not words" (like dick, fuck, dickhead, dickfuck and
-en such words as "dickhead" and "fuck" in Reagan) than to think about what it'sfucking say-
print; but now I am relieved. I know that all I ing, isn't it?]
have to do is read the Press. (Can I get a sub-

or tst/fr 04F rw PBmW *RUNNER-UP:


BEST ALTERNATIVE
AW 0# rjf fAV^^f WfOyf*M$,^, PUBLICATION
* BEST SENSE OF HUMOR
(SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR)

* HONORABLE MENTION:
REPORTING
II
THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 4
"""--- ADFEATURES

CLINTON AND JFK


By Norman Solomon
oalnn
oquence out of the court of public opinion.
nasn ana
Like his hero JFK, Clinton shrugged off such
Clinton and his top aides kept encouraging the concerns -- preferring to remain firmly in the
Five years ago, everywhere you turned, jour- JFK comparisons. And a lot of the press seemed pocket of the military- industrial complex. In
nalists were comparing Bill Clinton to John happy to oblige. that regard, as in many others, Clinton's presi-
Kennedy. When the former Arkansas governor took his dency. has been no profile in courage.
In the summer of 1992-- when the Democratic first extended holiday since moving into the These days, few journalists are comparing Bill
National Convention showcased footage of-a White House, he went to the stretch of New Clinton to John Kennedy. That particular canard
teenage Bill shaking hands with President England coastline made famous by John has worn out its welcome.
Kennedy -- many news outlets proclaimed that Kennedy. The vacation at Martha's Vineyard But in medialand, the focus remains on per-
manifest destiny was in the political air. included several hours on a much-publicized sonal styles and inside-the-Beltway maneuvers.
The media hype escalated as soon as Clinton luncheon cruise with a yacht-load of Kennedys. Newer glib notions replace the cliches that have
won the presidency a few months later. The New York Times coverage was typical on gone out of fashion.
Newsweek was euphoric about '"a film clip that Aug. 25, 1993: "Thirty years ago, Bill Clinton the Of course, everyone knows that politicians try
made its way into a widely seen campaign ad: a boy stood staring at John F. Kennedy, his hero, in to feed contrived images to the media. But many
beaming, 16-year-old Bill Clinton on a sun- the White 'House Rose Garden. Today, journalists act as though it's their job to swallow
drenched White House lawn, shaking the hand Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and other members the hype -- and prompt the public to do the
of his and his generation's idol, John F. of the family welcomed Bill Clinton the presi- same.
Kennedy." dent to the seas off the Massachusetts coast that Americans have long been skeptical -- even
With Clinton's victory, Newsweek declared, his murdered predecessor loved so well." scathing -- about elected officials in Washington.
"the footage rises from mere advertising to the But analogies between Clinton and Kennedy "Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a con-
realm of prophetic history. For it documents JFK faded from news media during the mid-1990s. gressman can," Mark Twain commented. In
reaching across the years to a boy he did not President Clinton did not live up to the coura- 1897, he wrote: "It could probably be shown by
know -- and to whom the torch of leadership geous JFK image. facts and figures that there is no distinctly native
now passes in an emphatic statement of Ironically, neither did John Kennedy. American criminal class except Congress."
America's desire for change." The real President Clinton bears quite a resem- But rather than just condemning politicians as
Camelot II became a media obsession. "Now blance to the real President Kennedy -- behold- a group - or praising one of them as the bearer
the torch is being passed to the generation that en to economic elites, unwilling to cross big of a heroic torch -- we would do much better to
was touched and inspired by Kennedy," Time business or challenge the Pentagon. scrutinize exactly whose interests they are serv-
magazine reported in mid-November 1992. After eight years in the White House, President ing. That way, we'll be far less likely to fall for
"Indeed, the most memorable moment in the Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell the next media myths.
convention video about the man from Hope was address on Jan. 17,1961. The ex-general warned
the scene of the eager student being inspired by of "an immense military establishment and a Norman Solomon is a syndicated columnist. His
Kennedy's anointing touch." large arms industry." He added that "we must book "Wizards of Media Oz: Behind the Curtain of
It's a sad commentary that so many journalists guard against the acquisition of unwarranted Mainstream News" (co-authored with Jeff Cohei)
mouthed such bunkum with straight faces -- and influence, whether sought or unsought, by the has just been published by Common Courage Press.
that Americans didn't quickly laugh this grandil- military-industrial complex."

S RMuO TReAwGe, COW/mueoD


blight garage door behind him is covered with LABOUR PAINS
FROM PO. 3
Even more stupidly, Palestinian leaders, now
graffiti tags. Very, very scary, children. For some Our British cousins have just elected a phony that they have a moral high ground unambigu-
reason, while ubiquitous on the electronic trains, Labour government, reminiscent of our own ous to all but the densest of US media, have
this lovely image is absent from the diesels, New Democrats. Tony Blair's denatured party is made it a capital crime to sell land to Jews. At
which I guess, in the diseased mind of some proud of its anti-union, tough-on-crime stance least one unofficial execution has occurred. Way
Madison Avenue suit, are considered too down- and promises to leave in place Maggie to shoot yourselves in the foot, guys. This gives
market. Thatcher's policy of shredding the social con- plenty of cannon fodder to Arab-bashers of all
On a recent archaeological dig, I unearthed an tract. Once the euphoria of having dumped the descriptions and plays right into their stereo-
article entitled "No Risks Preferred" by James Tories wears off and people realize it's the same types of hate filled, bloody-minded Muslim
Ridgeway, first published in 1969 in the New old thing dressed up in warmer, fuzzier tweeds, fanatics.
Republic before it became a neo-conservative what will happen? Little is said in most of the media about Israeli
clearinghouse. Ridgeway describes how insur- Across the Channel, the French have voted a laws forbidding non-Jews, especially Arabs
ance company representatives would evaluate Socialist government into power. Not to worry, (even those who are Israeli citizens) to own land.
potential clients on things that had absolutely however. If they try to wriggle out of the gilded Land obtained from Palestinians by coercion,
nothing whatsoever to do with driving ability. cage of global capitalism, we have ways of trickery or outright seizure is never returned by
Things like marital status, employment (waiters, destabilizing them and maybe ushering in fas- the Israeli government.
janitors and painters were taken a dim view of), cist xenophobe Jean Marie Le Pen, whose suc-
race (surprise, surprise) and even housekeeping cess with the increasingly unemployed and This just in: protests have arisen in both the US
were considered grounds for denial of coverage, resentful work force bears and eerie resem- and Germany against McDonald's. Mickey D's
despite there being no empirical correlation blance to events in neighboring countries a bit plans to open an outlet right across from
between these factors and auto safety. earlier in this century. Dachau, the notorious death camp, now site of a
Almost thirty years later we can see an insur- Our wonderful Congress is busy passing their memorial and museum. Will the sign on the
ance agency boasting about its exclusionary tac- annual package of junk legislation promoting golden arches proclaim, "Over 11 million
tics. All the more reason to do everything possi- school prayer, preventing flag "desecration" and snuffed"?
ble to keep these avaricious leviathans from most stupidly, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's
completely taking over health care and deciding capital (without also recognizing it as Next time, bring pillows and blankets, for I
who lives or dies using such criteria.
wolvs-o isuiguh-rtia Palestine's), precipitating even more riots in may just add to your summer doldrums with
Palestinian areas. endless vacation slides.

JulY 29, 1997 PAGE 5


FEATURES I I ,

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THE STONY BROOK PRESS PAGE 6


III
FEATURES
WLDWooD +SaPP8NeIG
By Robby Quartz ful, warm and dry as we gathered under the tall
trees of Wildwood Park. As people came and the
A lovely Saturday afternoon in July was a perfect festivities were under way, we successfully hid the
setting for a semi-annual happening at Wildwood alcohol from the Park Rangers
State Park. There was a lot of painting going on as music was
The call went out over a month ago for counter- being played. Down the bluff was the beach. I
culture freaks to gather, cook vegan food, and play found an isolated spot for a skinny dip, then made
some acoustic music. The site was down a dirt my way back to the site for more soy hot dogs,
road and off the beaten veggie burgers, and beer.
track, keeping us hippies A photo from a previous

#r4zrO11fO
.4
away from those typical Wildwood happening was
suburbanites that infest the of that sexy paper boy the
rest of the park. Press has, that was run on
A few days before the hap- the last issue of the spring
pening, I saw the semester.
Smithtown News announc-
ing that the Ku Klux Klan
was going to march on
Smithhaven Mall. So I called
my friend Tim, and I said,
We had three encounters
with park officials. The first
thing they said to me was,
"Are you a counter culture
freak?" I said "yes," and
o~r
SM& VrO&Y6
"we've got to take some
time out of our Be-In to say
'Fuck You' to the Klan.' Our
plan was to set up camp
then come back to do an
explained what we were
doing there and the contra-
band was well hidden. Bully
for us.
The latter part of the day
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1
anti-Klan rally, then go back
to the happening.
We got to the site around 12:30 and started to set
up, then we got the word that the Klan had can-
celed the hideous display they were planning.
started at twilight time. Our
friend George Biddermann played a set of his
songs. George is a singer songwriter who has
recorded three tapes, is an activist and a union
organizer. He played his songs for an hour and a
rYPC.
1#01W
MRMU11
That was great news, for now there was no reason half, and I did back up vocals, that was fun.
to disrupt our gathering. The sun went down and we packed up. The be-
The Saturday of the happening came right after a in was over at 930pm, until next year.
wicked Friday night thunder storm that broke an
oppressive heat wave. The weather was wonder-

........................ .. . ........ ..... . I~ w .,III

from the ceiling, the low rider bicycles the "band" sand"), a drummer whose long dreadlocks
rode out on, or the mushroom cloud of dirt the obscured his face, and a hippy guitarist surely on such
moshers kicked up -- a cloud that would, by the loan from the Marshall Tucker Band. a t]
conclusion of Korn's set, engulf everyone on Nothing good can last for long, and Snoop Doggy tolera
Randall's Island and leave them with a second skin Dogg showed up 15 minutes after Tricky's set to eithel
of crushed grass and dried mud. prove that point. The Lollapaganda booklet says geous
Tricky was an that Snoop wants to be the first rapper in the Rock- (like
absolute savior, N-Roll Hall OF Fame. If the best he can do is grab over
delivering the con- his crotch and incite the crowd to scream "bee- from
cert from alt-rock otch", then he can let that dream go. stage
posturing with a Tool picked a perfect slot to play, their chaotic mud<
set of warped pseudo-metal blending perfectly with the setting Tent).
songs that ran the sun and dropping temperature. True to form, to cal
gamut from simple vocalist Maynard James Keenan arrived on-stage their
rock to techno to dressed as oddly as possible: white face-paint, stuck
bizarre improvisa- false topknot, and a padded suit which gave him lot tr4
tional work. Both false breasts. (He was pretty stacked, too. Yum.) the
the unreleased Another one of the day's few saving graces, Tool rhyth
opening song and put on a psychotic set that covered all three of their razor
the unappreciated albums. Guitarist Adam Jones-provided just pling
extended version enough feedback to enhance the music, without indication of their live ability, then
of "Vent" raised the drowning itout altogether, while drummer Danny they're definitely worth seeing -- at least for their
hair on the back of Carey produced enough percussive sound effects performance of "Halcyon", which got me grooving
my neck. A fiery lit- to make Mr. Bungle sound straight-forward. in the car to samples of Bon Jovi and Belinda
tle ball of energy, Keenan was at the top of his form, alternately sign- Carlisle.
Tricky bounced in ing and engaging in witty repartee with the audi- The biggest problem with this year's festival was-
place behind his ence, even going so far as to incite the crowd to say n't so much its lack of talent -- I've come to expect
microphone, occa- Tricky "yeeeee-sssssss" in mockery of the preceding per- that from Lollapalooza -- but its utter lack of sur-
sionally deserting formance. prises. All of the bands that I expected to excel did
it to give the band's female vocalist, Martine, a I couldn't stay for Orbital, the final band of the so, while the bands I had little hope for provided
chance to sing. Besides being one of the day's night, even though both James and Tool implored me with no pleasant surprises (and Snoop Doggy
biggest highlights, Tricky can also be credited for the audience to do so. The Lollapalooza festival -- Dogg sucked like a whore on a strawberry
having arranged the most motley crew of the all festivals, in fact -- is a good idea on paper, but cumshake). "Artists Subject To Change"? One can
show: a bottle-blonde bassist in camouflage, a key- in practice it leaves a lot to be desired. It's a long only hope.
boardist with a single dangling earring and shag show, it involves a lot of standing and a great deal
haircut ("her name is Rio and she dances.in the of walking, and the amenities that would make

UmY 29, 1997 PACGE 7


THE FINAL WORD ii r- IL_·Il·_Il ~r L ,_ I I ~- -II_.- - -· _Lr ~·II~I

By Lowell Yaeger Robert Smith can hang up his hat. The land of Dogg, Tool, and Orbital)
Misery has been seized, and the new King Of June 25, 1997
Depression bears a more-than-passing resem- Randall's Island
blance to Martin Short.
Radiohead's newest album, OK Computer, is eas- Lollapalooza's evolution as a yearly music festi-
ily one of the most depressing albums ever made. val can be seen on its ticket stubs. 1993's stub bore
The Cure's Pornography, Dinosaur Jr's Where You the cryptic slogan "Wherever You Go, There You
Been, and the collective works of Nick Cave & The Are", while 1994's exhorted the holder to "Take The
Bad Seeds are cloyingly optimistic next to this dan- Day Off!". 1997's simply says "Artists Subject To
gerously accessible tome of pain and dismay. Change".
It's this very accessibility that makes OK In short, it was just like most of the other
Computer so hard to handle. Rather than forcing Lollapaloozas. It was too warm, there were too
the listener to cut through layer after layer of dense many people, mud made a frequent appearance,
musicianship to find a core of unhappiness at the and the security guards aimed their much-need-
center, Radiohead invites him or her in with an- ed water hoses at the people who were already
approachable style that has the listener humming soaked to pneumonia-candidate levels. It wasn't
along while contemplating suicide. a festival about musical expression and freedom;
Most of these songs are cut from standard pop, its bizarr
Primus thrown into a fuzz-box, and pasted against the a reactior
BROWN ALBUM wall with reckless abandon, making for a sound dismay ii
Interscope that's low-fi without being difficult to follow. This years, an
lends the entire affair a rough, uncompleted edge, sell mor
Primus' new album has great packaging. The which perfectly matches vocalist Thomr Yorke's than 199
entire case is a misty gold color, and the inset book- delivery. alfest. An(
let is covered in pictures and paintings whose Yorke doesn't so much sing as he does mumble, course,
sepia tones and old-fashioned artwork bring to refusing to involve even 50% of himself in the job the plan
mind scrapbooks and bistros: warmth and friend- at hand. And it doesn't have anything to do with a back--
liness. Mmm. sense of apathy or artistic ennui, but is rather a fired:
The rest of the album sucks. Primus, if you'll stylistic effect which lends the work a slackness supposed
remember, is the three-piece from San Francisco that says more than any actual words could. shows ha
that blends thrash with funk and has a penchant A loose concept album, OK Computer is about selling sc
for songs with silly lyrics ("Wynona's Big Brown the daily drudgery of modern life and humanity's that the Jo
Beaver", "Jerry The Race Car Driver"). At first, their relationship with technology. The first single, Blues
odd sound was refreshing, then it was reliable, and "Paranoid Android", is about the snapping of a refused tc
now it's degenerated into something that's down- man fed up with life, but he's so drained and weak they found out their salary would drop. But
right unlikeable. that the song never really cuts loose -- even though since I don't want to waste limited space on
Most of the songs on Brown Album are limp, and the opportunity presents itself many times. There gripes that have been aired time and time
lac t<he energy that made earlier Primus so much are numerous instrumental leads where the song again since the festival's inception in 1991, I'll
fun Tunes that should have become galloping could collapse into fury and pain, and truly vent go right to what the show is purportedly
mosh-fests rot into pointless noodling, and Les the rage and frustration it means to convey, but about: the music.
Claypool's wit and charm have become precious such an explosion never really happens. The first act of the day, Julian & Damian |
pseudo-poems about prostitution and beef. The same can be said of "Exit Music (For A Film)", Marley & The Uprising Band (whew, that's a
Guitarist Larry LaLonde does nothing to distract whose climax is a repressed howl of "we hope your mouthful), was entirely out of their element.
the listener from Claypool's fascination with com- rules and wisdom choke you", followed by a They weren't bad, but they were young and
plicated bass tricks, and new drummer Brian mournfully wailed "we hope that you choke" as unprepared for a package tour whose other
"Brain" Mantia is barely capable of keeping time, the song winds down to its whimpering close. The artists live in a completely different world. After
which is just about all he does. When he first joined harsh emotional lesson that both of these songs are a few decent reggae songs, the brothers tried to
the band, Claypool described him as a bundle of trying to teach is that in real life, venting is pretty knock the crowd out of its stupor with a cover of
energy. If he's a bundle of energy, then Stephen rare. More often than not, the anger gets sunk their father's "I Shot The Sheriff", to little effect.
Hawking's a fucking speed freak. I'd go into what's lower and lower, leaving a decayed cynicism that A brief pause occurred while Porno For Pyros
wrong with individual songs, but it's pointless -- Yorke's vocals and the band's instrumentals per- took over the second stage. Perry'Farrell looked
this is just a whole lot of crap with a very apt title. fectly reflect. laid back and lounged around the stage with a jug
Great packaging, though. Not everything is pointedly flaccid, however. The of wine, waving it before the audience to "catch
biting sarcasm of "Fitter Happier", which finds a their love." This guy is an asshole. He led the band
computerized voice reciting self-help instruc- through four powerless acoustic songs, wiggling
tions/demands over a discordant background, like an epileptic on Valium and smiling vacantly
sounds perfect after the finger-pointing, displaced like a man with Down's syndrome. I hope he wilds
shame on "Karma Police"; "Electioneering" is a fine up a bit before this fall's Jane's Addiction reunion,
little fast-paced romp about modern politics, and or he's going to disappoint a lot of fans.
the band uses bright-eyed, optimistic-sounding Speaking of weak and ineffectual: remember
pop to create a genuine disparity with the lyrics on James? James was the brit-pop band of the moment
songs like "Let Down" and "Subterranean a few years ago with their caterwauled MTV hit,
Homesick Alien". "Laid". With an ill-fitting cowboy hat and neck
Radiohead has elevated themselves from a brace, the band's lead singer looked like a poor
decent rock band to expert musicians by applying imitation of Bono, while the band struggled to per-
a little bit of simple reality. While other artists also form music in front of a crowd that couldn't care
mine the pain of living a boring life in a boring less. The rag pamphlet I was handed on the way
world, few do it as realistically. Perhaps they into the festival said that James thinks they're a
would do well to heed the album's closing song, very aggressive live band. OK.
"The Tourist", which sees Yorke giving up in Korn made spectacles of themselves for over an
despair and pleading "slow down, slown down". hour on the main stage. I suppose it says some-
Radiohead thing about the average ticketholder that a band
OK COMPUTER LOLLAPALOOZA whose lead singer considers an Adidas kilt humor-
Capitol (Julian & Damian Marley & The Uprising Band, ous can draw the biggest crowd of the day. I don't
Porno For Pyros, James, Tricky, Snoop Doggy know what annoyed me more: the hubcaps strung

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