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Graffiti Tree#2

Julie Marks

Los Angeles, United States

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Artist's Description

I particulary liked the abstract in the center of this tree, another in my series of graffiti trees. The DK is an the icon of the punk group, the Dead Kennedys. This left wing group known for their controversial music, but I did an internet search to read about their music. For many they are arguably the greatest punk rock band ever. They define a frantic, edgy and genuinely subversive sound. I have always been interested in all types of music, especially what appeals to the youth of today given my interest in rock music. I published a chapter in a book on Adolescent Development and Rock Music and taught classes in college using music and lyrics to reveal the stages of adolescent development. Pop Culture has always been very fascinating to me. The intrigue about photography is I never know what I am going to express given that it brings me into the world of multimedia. Who knew I would be discussing a policital punk group band with lyrics by Jello Biafra who writes about the American Dream for the living nightmare it has become and offers suggestons for improvement. There is even a mental reworking of the Rawhide music theme to show how eclectic this band is. Now I have to listen to their music. Writing about my photos is part of the creative process and encourages my love of learning. This is certainly not a band for those who like pop hits or bubble gum music. I remember writing about nihilism in rock music and I think this is one of the most hard core examples of that. I can understand the controversy with song titles like Frankenchrist that dissects the rampant commercialism/consumerism of a money-led society. My series and comments on materialism reflected in my lemonade stand photos in a mall are very tame next to this abrasive punk rock band. Taking photos is an exciting adventure!! I hope you enjoy the ride. “Stars and
Stripes of Corruption” is another example’
of this controversial group. Please view image in
the large format.

“Finally got to Washington in the middle of the night
I couldn’t wait
I headed straight for the Capitol Mall
My heart began to pound
Yahoo! It really exists
The American International Pictures logo

I looked up at that Capitol Building
Couldn’t help but wonder why
I felt like saying “Hello, old friend”

Walked up the hill to touch it
Then I unzipped my pants
And pissed on it when nobody was looking

Like a great eternal Klansman
With his two flashing red eyes
Turn around he’s always watching
The Washington monument pricks the sky
With flags like pubic hair ringed ’round the bottom

The symbols of our heritage
Lit up proudly in the night
Somehow fits to see the homeless people
Passed out on the lawn

So this is where it happens
The power games and bribes
All lobbying for a piece of ass

Of the stars and stripes of corruption
Makes me feel so ashamed
To be an American
When we’re too stuck up to learn from our mistakes
Trying to start another Viet Nam
Whilke fiddling while Rome burns at home
The Boss says, “You’re laid off. Blame the Japanese”
“America’s back,” alright
At the game it plays the worst
Strip mining the world like a slave plantation

No wonder others hate us
And the Hitlers we handpick
To bleed their people dry
For our evil empire

The drug we’re fed
To make us like it
Is God and country with a band

People we know who should know better
Howl, “America riles. Let’s go to war!”
Business scams are what’s worth dying for

Are the Soviets our worst enemy?
We’re destroying ourselves instead
Who cares about our civil rights
As long as I get paid?

The blind Me-Generation
Doesn’t care if life’s a lie

so easily used, so proud to enforce

The stars and stripes of corruption
Let’s bring it all down!
Tell me who’s the real patriots
The Archie Bunker slobs waving flags?
Or the people with the guts to work
For some real change
Rednecks and bombs don’t make us strong
We loot the world, yet we can’t even feed ourselves
Our real test of strength is caring
Not the toys of war we sell the world
Just carry on, thankful to be farmed like worms
Old glory for a blanket
As you suck on your thumbs

Real freedom scares you
’Cos it means responsibility

So you chicken out and threaten me

Saying, “Love it or leave it”
I’ll get beat up if I criticize it
You say you’ll fight to the death
To save your worthless flag

If you want a banana republic that bad
Why don’t you go move to one
But what can just one of us do?
Against all that money and power
Trying to crush us into roaches?

We don’t destroy society in a day
Until we change ourselves first
From the inside out

We can start by not lying so much
And treating other people like dirt
It’s easy not to base our lives
On how much we can scam

And you know
It feels good to lift that monkey off our backs

I’m thankful I live in a place
Where I can say the things I do
Without being taken out and shot
So I’m on guard against the goons
Trying to take my rights away
We’ve got to rise above the need for cops and laws

Let kids learn communication
Instead of schools pushing competition
How about more art and theater instead of sports?

People will always do drugs
Let’s legalize them
Crime drops when the mob can’t price them
Budget’s in the red?
Let’s tax religion

No one will do it for us
We’ll just have to fix ourselves
Honesty ain’t all that hard
Just put Rambo back inside your pants
Causing trouble for the system is much more fun

Thank you for the toilet paper
But your flag is meaningless to me
Look around, we’re all people
Who needs countries anyway?

Our land, I love it too
I think I love it more than you
I care enough to fight

The stars and stripes of corruption
Let’s bring it all down!
If we don’t try
If we just lie
If we can’t find
A way to do it better than this
Who will?"

Song: Stars and Strips of Corruption
Group: The Dead Kennedys

Artwork Comments

  • Jamie Winter-Schira
  • lacewren
  • Kent DuFault
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