How are you pensive Gerrard's? Welcome to The Blind Boy podcast. I'm going to start this week's podcast with a short poem that was submitted by Czechoslovakia in 1930s electronic musician Jan Whammer. Yan Whammer. It's a silent G. Yan Hamer's Ghandour is enemy, endurance and tender, Yan Hamer's Gander is gone crooked with desire. Yan Hamer's gander is playing a game of dirty backgammon. Yan Hamer's Ghandour can't stand stand in his hat. Yan hammers, Gander is making eye contact with your wife.
So that was Jan Hamer's Ghandour, which I can only assume is is a poem that Jan Hammar has written about his own Ghandour, which he obviously keeps as a pet. That said, he's a.. He has a male ghost as a pet. And he writes poetry about it and sends the poems to me. All right. If you're a know, listening to this podcast, I'm. I don't all go back to an earlier episode, this episode, I don't think is wildly specific.
I can listen to this episode if you want, but there's a wealthy plethora of previous podcasts that I'd like you to listen to. Right. I'm go back to one of the earlier ones. All right. Just listen to a few, get into the culture of this podcast. Get a feeling for this. What I mean. I've had a small bit of of earlier, I'm a bit giggly and I'm recording this podcast's. If you listen to the past, I mean, I'm in a toxic fuckin cycle with this podcast, I'm in a toxic cycle where I record them on Tuesday nights, I write I record the podcast on a Tuesday night quite late into the early hours of the morning.
And there's no reason for it whatsoever. I used to do it because. Just my schedule my schedule was so intense that I had to do the podcast the night before very late, so this week I'm not doing this when I am. It's what time is it now? It's 10 p.m. and I've begun recording the podcast, which is good, because some nights I don't start recording it to maybe one a.m. because I've been doing it for so long. The heart takes only release in my brain after 12 pm or 12am, whatever the fuck that is.
The beam of inspiration that is my heart takes a rise from the heavens into my head after 12 a.m., which is playing havoc with my sleep pattern. So this week I'm getting out of that pattern by starting slightly earlier. All right. Also, I I got a good review this week in The Face magazine, which is like an iconic British arts magazine from the 80s and 90s and the relaunched.
But I got a really good review. And if you want to look it up, it's the Face.com. The article is called How Blind Boy Became Ireland's Biggest Cultural Export and.
You know how I am with Fokin reviews. I've spoken before about my role, which is. You're not allowed you're I don't allow myself to take in a good review, because if I take a good review on board, that means the bad reviews will hurt.
But this is such this is just a really lovely retrospective of my entire career review.
And I kind of I let myself have it today.
I let myself have the good review and read it and feel good about it, even though I know that's dangerous. And that means when I eventually get another bad review, that's going to hurt more. So it's irresponsible. But I mean, it's nice to get a good review every so often. I sent it on to my man as well because she knows how to use the fucking Internet man. And she. She'd read about bad reviews from my book and then ring me up going, I saw you got a bad review.
Is that the end of your career now? Is that does that mean you'll get no more books? Is that it now? Will you have to go and get a fast course? And I'm like, holy fuck, man, you're quadrupling on my deepest interferes. Can you stop please stop reading my reviews on the Internet. So it's nice to get a good review because, you know, mean.
I got unfair reviews from my last book right now, I know that sounds like sour grapes, but not literally. The Irish Examiner reviewed my book, writes, The reviewer didn't even read the book because he wrote a review about an imaginary Boki accuse me of not having any female characters in the fucking book. And then I tweeted at him going, hold on a second body. This is actually mostly female characters. And then then the review was so bad they had to delete it off the Internet because it was a review about an imaginary book.
And like so that's an unfair review. That's like someone didn't buy my book because our reviewer can't be asked read my book because I've got a plastic bag on my head and how could he possibly write serious literature? So I'm just going to write a review based on what I think it is and no one to notice because blind boys are fucking idiot from Limerick with a plastic bag in his head and he's not allowed in the Irish literary circles. That's the class of review I got for the last book.
So I'm allowed I'm allowed myself. Have read one good fucking review. Even though I shouldn't I shouldn't take any of it on board, to be perfectly honest, I need to have an internal locus of evaluation for my creativity.
Funny how everyone on Amazon who bought the book and read it gave us one hundred five star reviews plus. The Irish critics are just like, nah, nah, not this guy with the bag in his head. The Irish Times wrote. I don't believe in gay keeping literature, but. Anyway, fuck that, I got a good review from the Brits and one good review from a British journalist is worked for bad reviews from an Irish journalist, I don't make the rules.
That's toxic post-colonial shame. But those are the rules. And we all know what. And so this week I have a hot take. I have a heartache trade, what I have is sometimes when I have a heartache. I have a fully formed. Hot take this week. What I have is I have the internal feeling of a heartache that I want to explore, which is life. All right. And it's kind of. Playing upon so a couple of podcasts back, the podcast name was Cleanseas Pancake A tried to define the current Zayat Gaist of 20/20, the feeling and mood of 20-20.
And I did this by exploring American politics through. The theater of professional wrestling, that sounds like a lot, but go back and listen to Cleanseas Pancake, it's 90 minutes of a cultural analysis through professional wrestling, trying to understand in particular Donald Trump just right now I saw in the news. In north Texas alone, right right now in north Texas alone. A local hospital has had 50 cases of people drinking bleach in north Texas, adults drinking bleach because they think that bleach will stop either prevent or cure coronavirus.
North Texas alone, 50, now Texas is big, but 50 adults drink and bleach is a lot. And these 50 adults in America are drinking bleach because the president of America, Donald Trump, told people to drink bleach. And that's a real sentence. That's an actual that is that is a sentence in the in the English language. 20-20, the president of America, used his platform at a press conference to say to Americans, I heard that when you drink bleach, that bleach can get into your body and kill coronavirus.
And now you've got 50 people, adults in Texas, who were in hospital with bleach poisoning because they drank bleach because the president of America told them. Perfectly normal sentence in 2020. If I said this to you 10 years ago. It would sound like a rejected. Like Sadr doesn't work anymore. It's very hard to find satire in 2020 that works because our reality is so utterly absurd. And if I had said that here in 2010 that a lot of people are in hospital for drinking bleach because the president of America told them to do it, they just go.
That sounds like a not very funny Onion headline. A headline for The Onion, which is an American satirical site. Sounds like a headline that got rejected. But now it's true. So what I want to explore this week is. I want to explore what 9/11 did to culture, not necessarily what 9/11 did to the world, what it did to politics, what 9/11 did to the way that we think and how you can trace. The that the shift in thinking that happened after 9/11 to what we're now dealing with.
And I think what 9/11 did, the man little heartache that I have inside me, the little voice inside me that I can't prove or disprove, just a feeling, the feeling that I have is that 9/11 killed irony. I don't always killed the right word. 9/11 hate irony onto the head with a hammer, because irony still exists, but irony doesn't exist in the way that it existed in the 90s. And 9/11 also ended post-modernism, irony was a huge part of postmodernism.
So I want to look at what 9/11 did to culture and then what it what it did to how we all think about ourselves and about the world. So before I get onto 9/11, I want to talk about. Late 80s and 90s, post-modern irony in culture right now, when I say irony, I don't mean. The Alanis Morissette irony, where it's like rain on your wedding day, it's like it's a wedding. Their wedding days are supposed to be happy, but it's raining.
Isn't that ironic? I'm not talking about that type of irony. 90S cultural irony and late 80s cultural irony is an absolute opposition to being sincere or believing in anything, right. Coolness, what was cool and what was hip and what was relevant was defined by. How? Appearing to not care and appearing to care about something was deeply, deeply uncool and Generation X, who would have been the kids of the 80s, they were opposed to any type of sincerity, if you want to see a good example.
I was on a fuckin YouTube binge the other night, and I love a band called The Pixies, the Pixies are fuckin incredible as a music band. They are an American band from the mid 80s that would have they would have foreseen the sound of grunge. And the Pixies are incredible if you don't listen to them. But the Pixies have a song called Here comes from an amazing song, a song I know really well.
But I realized Jesus. I grew up listening to the Pixies, but I'd never seen him on TV. I don't really have an idea of what the Pixies look like. So the Pixies video for Here Comes Your Man, which was released in 1987, comes on to my YouTube. And what's fucking struck me was. So here's the Pixie's, this band with this incredible song, this song that's that's rooted in 60s Beach Boys esque type pop, and here they are doing their own music video.
But it's like they're fucking up their own music video and it's not like they're consciously fucking up their own music video to perform. Am looking at the Pixie's video for Here Comes Your Man, I genuinely believe that every single member of the band were utterly allergic to the idea of doing a music video, were utterly allergic to the concept of because you think about what is a music video. I mean, in 1987, in 1987, that's the height of MTV.
MTV had changed what music was. Music used to be about the radio star and then video killed the radio star. And now the biggest musicians were whoever had the best videos that were being rotated on MTV. So if you had a good video and this video was good and it got on MTV, that's it. Guaranteed Fokin success and success in the 80s as a musician meant millions. It meant real success. Songun, here's the Pixie's with this incredibly catchy song.
This is disgustingly catchy song I play it with.
So that's perfection, you hear that once and that's stuck in your head and everyone who heard it at the time are the record executives. The band know it. This is a guaranteed hit. So why in the Pixie's video with this guaranteed hit to those, every single member look like they fuckin hate being in their own music video. And I don't think they sat back and said, let's do this video. Yes, I genuinely think the Pixies who just been given a huge music deal were selling out venues, hated the idea of doing a music video because it was so fucking uncool.
And I get the feeling that they hated the fact that they have this record label and they don't want to be seen as uncool and they couldn't be how they perform the video. The lead singer's name is Black Francis. He doesn't even mouthed the words. He deliberately fucks up the mouthing of the words. The guitar player is literally angry with the cameraman, and I don't believe Profarmer to be angry. I think he's pissed off to be either. The bass player is our name Kim Deal.
She's not into it, the fog and the drama to stare in the camera out of it, and I'm looking at a band with this really catchy song and they don't want to be there. They hate it. And that right there is. True that that's that fuckin 80s, 90s irony, what you're really seeing there are.
A lot of really successful hipster's. Terrified of being sincere, yes, we've made this incredible pop song. Yes, it's catchy, but we won't perform a music video for it. It looks too much like we want to be successful. It looks too much like we care. And it's the order of Vasantha sincerity, it's like, you know, that, you know, but the one you see in the Pixie's perform that video. It's like watching a dog getting washed in a bat and the dog doesn't want to be in the bath.
You know, some dogs just don't like getting washed. And you just have the dog in the bath with sod's all over his body and it just doesn't want to be in that bed and cat. And as soon as he gets out of the bath he shake and everyone and fucking everything up. That's the Pixie's in that video. And it was jarring to me.
I'm like, why are you doing. This song is amazing. Why don't you want to be in your own music video and that right there is that that's irony. Late at the start of late 80s folk and irony man music videos are for sellouts. Music videos are corporate fucking suck in the music industry. Dick, we would release songs and we make them good, but we won't be in the video. So it's but then it's kind of cool. It's like they've tried to fuck up their video before.
Why is it why do I like this? It's the fact that they don't want to be sincere that makes it really, really cool and that right there is a Genex irony. Another example in music is.
Around that time, there was an entire genre of music called shoegaze. And Sugar is one of the biggest shoegaze bands actually were Irish, My Bloody Valentine, but shoegaze. How do I explain shoegaze, the trick that the trick is in the fucking name shoegaze? As a music, very, very loud, atmospheric indie rock, OK? But the reason shoegaze was called shoegaze and it a come out at the same time, as we said, the Pixie's, it was a mid to late 80s music.
It was called shoegaze, because when journalists, I'm assuming a journalist come up with the term. So the band's.
Like My Bloody Valentine in particular, would perform this amazing, huge music, but it's like they were embarrassed to even be on stage so they would stare at their own. Shows are sometimes even performed with their backs to the audience. Because they couldn't face. The sincerity of performing. Performing wasn't cool, like if you think of what was uncool at the time, David Bowie, like David Bowie wasn't cool in the 80s, we can look back at it now.
I mean, he's Let's Dance. Period. 1985, onwards. I look back at it now and I go, well, you were wrong. Generation X, these are some fuckin incredible tunes. But David Bowie got really sincere and Kanae in the late 80s and was off playing saxophones on stage with these huge bands. And because MTV and the visual spectacle was defining what music was being center spotlight on the camera, the cool hipster bands still wants to make music, but they couldn't allow themselves to appear that they actually wanted to be famous or even wanted an audience.
So you have My Bloody Valentine doing an entire 90 minute concert of their incredible tunes.
Some of them literally with their backs to the audience and the ones that didn't have their back to the audience were on stage staring at their own shoes, and then a genre gets called shoegaze and what that they are there? That's irony. That's 90s irony. It's the terror and fear of sincerity. Because to lock up and engage the audience and to acknowledge that, like, here I am, what my call song that I spent ages writing about and that I actually do care about.
And here I am performing it for you. There was nothing more uncool than that. But then, of course, what becomes cool, have you heard about this man band, My Bloody Valentine? They're really, really loud and the music's incredible man. They don't even stare at the audience. Just look at their shows. Oh, my God. They don't give a fuck. Yeah. And that's 90s post-modern irony. Now, how does that happen?
How does it happen that within culture, what's hip and what's cool is someone pretending they don't care about what they're doing, OK? How does that become cold, i.e., you know what's happening in the world at the end of the 80s? The Cold War is ending.
So throughout the Cold War is the war that never really happened, right, post-World War to Russia and America where they you know, where they want war, they're not going to have a giant nuclear war. And the. Reality became defined in the 60s and in the 70s by capitalism go to communism, but the huge big binary opposition fight between capitalism and communism, Russia, Soviet Union versus the West and this huge head to head and building up nuclear bombs.
And if anything goes wrong, the world is destroyed.
Because in the 60s, people like Cuban Missile Crisis, people thought the world was going to end, it happened again in the early 80s operation after I think it was called. NATO were doing some shit, NATO were doing war games exercise in 1983, and Russia didn't know what it was, an actual invasion of Russia or not. So in the early 80s, people did think, fuck, the world might might not be here tomorrow. And under that tension, since the fucking the Cold War started in the mid 40s.
So under that tension, decades of the world might end. The communism versus capitalism, east versus west, Soviet versus U.S. is so big that the world might fucking end that by the late 80s, it looked as if the Soviet Union had lost. And by by 89, it absolutely did. The collapse of the Berlin Wall that says communism is over, the US has won. And I view post-modern irony as having come out of that. It's. Postmodern irony, it's it's almost like the feeling of being let down when you do win.
It's like here you go now, America, you've won, you've won, Soviet Union is over, the threat of nuclear war is gone. Capitalism has prevailed. You have it all now, the land of plenty, everything you want is now at your feet full consumerism, no more pesky Russians, they're falling apart. And what it did is it gave the West. English speaking countries would say Europe, Britain, America, Europe, it gave the West a false sense of certainty.
You've spent decades worrying about the Russians, now they're gone, you've won, here's your certainty. But a huge amount of the Cold War was actually manufactured. Yes, there was distress, but the scale of the threat was way, way over hyped, massively overhyped, the scale of it. People lived in in an intense level of fear at all times. And. All you you know, there's think of think of a child in 1983 thinking that the world is going to end tomorrow because of a nuclear bomb.
And then finally at the late 80s, it's like here you have it, you one. And then people are left with this intense emptiness when we've won, but one was the Russians are gone. Why don't I feel as happy as I thought I would feel the West has won. Why don't I feel this great enlightenment? Why do I feel empty? And from that emptiness, sincerity then kind of loses meaning. It's like we were sincere society, the West was sincere about Russia being a threat, society was sincere about the threat of nuclear war, and now we've won and our sincerity hasn't paid off.
It's like you've been you've been sold this false version of heaven and then you finally get us and nothing's really changed.
So how can you be sincere anymore? And the response to that then is this irony that you see permeating through culture that becomes the zeitgeist. I spoke about the zeitgeist, a few podcasts, back zygotes is just a word that you use to determine the general sense and feeling of a time and large global events that can help define as eight Gaist and then this creeps its way into popular culture like music. So from that.
And also the safety of having one when you have the safety of knowing, not knowing, but being told by the powers that be. The West has won, the Soviet Union has collapsed. The Berlin Wall has fallen. The people in Berlin have freedom. And you get it and you got this this I don't feel any better. Was this all a lie? Have I been lied to? What can I believe in Juarez sincerity, so serene sincerity becomes something that's terrifying and art starts to become ironic.
You become as an artist, you can't show anyone that you care about anything. And the new trendy thing becomes being have an extreme apathy. Then you get into the 90s. And the 90s was actually quite a prosperous time for members of Generation X. I spoke about this before in my podcast about the film Big, but I spoke about early 90s slacker culture films like Bill and Ted Wayne's World Slackers. Beavis and Butthead. What was cool were like, you look at grunge fashion, you've got people wearing clothes that are ripped.
If you look at Wayne's World or these these two lads that don't appear to be doing much with their life and they don't seem to care about doing anything with their life, they're just hanging around in their 20s. Fucking Bill and Ted's excellent adventure is the same thing, stoner culture, you have this whole generation of young people and no one no one wants to admit that they would like to have a job. No one wants to. Start a family, no one wants to be successful.
Everyone wants to drop out and chill out and don't worry about anything. And it's also a response to 1980s where you had the yuppies, which was complete early 80s over capitalism. I mean, the early 80s was quite a sincere time. You've got your babies over capitalism. I want to be successful. I want to embrace and envision everything about Western capitalism. And then it starts to fall apart at the end of the 80s at the same time as the fucking Berlin Wall comes down and the Soviet Union collapses.
But 90s angst and irony and slacker culture, it only exists because we said the lads in Wayne's World, they feel safe. If you think of friends now, friends is more late 90s, but friends that you can still look at friends in this context, no one in friends was worried about the rent. No one. And friends. Was particularly worried that they would ever get married or own a house like they were just enjoying their 20s. No one really worried about what if am I going to be living in this apartment in my 40s?
My rent is too high. They just seem to just like work in fucking coffee shops. And everything was grand because in the 90s it was like that there was no real threat. And everyone had the luxury of this sense of we've won, we've won. Everything is grand. The other thing, too, with the 90s art.
Like paper get if people get offended at things nowadays and people get concerned about things nowadays, like a classic.
90S ironic lyric for me would be back 1993, Beck's got a song called Loeser. And the main lyric is I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me? And this was cool as fuck at the time. Now, someone released the song today called I'm a Loser, Baby, why don't you Kill Me? That person would be dragged through the mud on Twitter because the lyric is insensitive to people who might have mental health issues, are it trivializes suicide or trivialises want to die?
But there was this sense in the 90s of. Nothing can be offensive and go out of your way to be offensive and to even care about what if something is offensive or not, the sincerity of that is deeply uncool. You have to remember to a decade previously, in the early 90s, when pop music started to be explicit, the likes of Prince are some heavy metal music. The right wing American Christians order sincerity of Christianity, believing in a God, Reaganite folk and Christians.
They were the ones trying to censor lyrics of music, and this was seen as deeply uncool. So by the time the 90s comes around, there was a backlash against that. But ultimately the capacity of a culture. For it to be OK in the 90s, to have so much stuff that was deliberately offensive, deliberately antagonistic, deliberately nihilistic, it can only exist because the members of that culture ultimately feel safe. It's it's from it's from safety. It's like the Russians are gone.
The economy's doing well. There's no more threats. So we don't have to believe in anything and we can just say, fuck God, fuck Christ, look at the likes of what Marilyn Manson was doing by the late the late 90s with this deliberately offensive, deliberately antagonistic and an utter freedom to offend, to do whatever you want. Because society felt so safe, society had won, the Russians are gone, there's no more nuclear bombs, everything's going to be grand.
And by 2010, MTV stopped being about music videos and Jackass comes about a jackass. Ya know, Jackass, but Jackass was a TV show that happened in 2000, and Jackass, Jackass was people harten themselves on television for entertainment. It was people really. Johnny Knoxville was an ex stuntman. He hosted the jackass and he had a bunch of friends.
And they would it came out of scarer videos, I suppose, but they'd hurt themselves on camera. They'd jump off buildings without protection. They would get into shopping trolleys and slammed themselves down roads. And people would really do dangerous things and injure themselves in real for real on television. And that was Jackass. And that's what MTV became. It didn't look like this is why I'm comfortable.
What I'm speaking about this in the context of 1987. You've got the Pixies and the Pixie's are terrified of the sincerity of performing for their own music video on MTV in 1987. Right. That's the earliest bit of it. We're going to perform this brilliant song, but we won't have the sincerity of caring about the video because we need to be ironic and we can't be sincere. Then you've got back 1993 on MTV and he's saying, well, I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?
And it's like what I'm after. Open the fucking irony there, because if the Pixie's are too cool to be in the music video, well, I'm too cool to fucking live, so I want you to kill me. And then the Matra and I feel OK with this, which would make in this comparison, it's not too much of a jump. The natural fucking progression then MTV in the year 2000 is.
Well, how do you trump the Pixies? How do you trump I'm a loser baby. Why don't you kill me? It's not even going to be music anymore, it's going to be ladds and shopping trolleys trying to kill themselves, they're going to have no disregard. And that's the end point in 90s. Irony, because what's more uncool than fucking health and safety? Are you going to wear knee pads? No. Knee pads will be like the Pixie's sincerely singing their songs.
I don't want knee pads. I don't believe in anything. I'm being ironic, man. Who cares if I break my fucking leg? It's all meaningless anyway. And then 9/11 happens. 9/11 happened since 2001 and. I can see it now because it's fucking 20 years or 19 years after, but I just find it from a Zite Gaist point of view, from a Zygi perspective, and I don't mean this to be in any way offensive, but.
I find it visually interesting that 9/11 is almost like.
An extreme version of Jackass Jackass is on TV, you've got these fucking idiots with their irony deliberately, Harton themselves careering down a concrete ramp in shopping trolleys and smashing their heads in at the end with no health and safety.
And now you've got planes crashing into the Twin Towers with absolute debt fuelled by the sheer sincerity of Islamic fundamentalism. And the spectacle of 9/11 stopped that type of 90s irony, that sense of. You can be as offensive as you like, you can harm yourself on television, fuck the Rose Fox safety, I believe in nothing 9/11, stop that shit, because everything that America feared all throughout the Cold War, the big fear was the Russians are going to put a bomb in America.
The Russians are going to blow things up. We're going to see deaths on American soil. We're going to see death and pain on American soil. And it never happened. Everyone had been prepared for it. It never happened. Pearl Harbor before. The Cold War was the last time it happened, but it never happened. And the 90s come along and everyone's told showed the fucking Soviet Union's gone. No one who's going to fuck what is now and then 9/11 happens.
Something you can trace directly back to the fucking Cold War, because the CIA funded bin Laden in the 80s in Afghanistan, because the mujahideen of which bin Laden was involved in were fighting the Russians in Afghanistan and the CIA and Reagan fully fucking funded them, but. 9/11 ended that irony, 9/11 ended. You can't have Beck saying I'm a loser, baby, no. Because now. It's like, here's your sincerity, let's hear some Islamic fundamentalism while we were all being slackers and not worrying about the rent and saying, I'm a loser, baby, why don't you kill me?
There are some people over here, what a big problem that you didn't see and he ignored them and here they are now and they're creating a spectacle of terror on television. So before I get into that and the impact of that and where I want to conclude this heartache, it's time for a pause this week. It's going to be the popcorn shake or pause. And I have a musical shake off that I made myself, which contains popcorn kernels. And I'm going to shake this.
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I remember 9/11 when it happened. And I would have been a teenager, but I was not so young that I didn't have an awareness of the world and also my dad was very political. My dad. Like my dad before 9/11, he would have been very much interested in watching, like the Oklahoma bombing in 1998, Timothy McVeigh, my dad used to say that America is going to implode, will implode, that what America has to worry about is not from the outside.
It's from the inside. He was convinced that he thought to be a civil war because of domestic terrorism like Timothy McVeigh.
And I remember my dad, my dad was so on the ball that when 9/11 happened, he knew it was bin Laden before the media even said it, because he had been following the likes of bin Laden, because bin Laden tried to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993. So my dad was real interested in global politics. He knew who the Mujahideen were and all of this and. I remember when 9/11 happened for me, the big shock, I remember in Ireland.
Was it would cost to Americans and the Americans on the television and they genuinely couldn't understand. Why anyone would want to do this to him, as in. Americans were completely oblivious and unaware of the foreign policy. In the Middle East. And the American imperialism for oil, they were unaware of the impact of that on the people in the Middle East and why it might lead to some people in the Middle East being very upset with America. And also, there was no attempt at the media.
To try and understand that, no, I don't mean it in a way to. Justify 9/11 because it's unjustifiable, it was disgusting, what I mean is there was no attempt. To ask why the fuck would why are there a group of people in the Middle East shouting Death to America? Surely there's a reason. Did we do something to him? There was none of that that discourse didn't exist was quickly. Like, obviously, the world was upset, the world was terrified, the world wasn't used to seeing America in flames.
Because remember. The world had been told this is the big fear with the Cold War and it never happened. And then in the 90s, everyone thought, sure, the Soviets are gone. We can chill out now and then 9/11 happens.
And. It was a big shock to Fox and everybody, but what soon took over?
Was very, very. Very loud American tears now, I'm not saying the tears weren't real, the tears of the people were real, but the tears of. The American media and American politicians, those tears were. I won't say there was an element of performative tears from the media and from politics now, by which I mean it was the first time. I was born in the 80s, I was a child in the 90s, so I grew up around 90s irony.
That was my culture. I remember seeing Beavis and Butthead, I remember Nirvana. I grew up my brothers would have been watching Bill Hicks. I was raised on 90s. Irony or anything goes. I was watching Jackass. I was raised on fucking irony, I did not know an ounce, a shred of fucking sincerity, my school tried this. With Catholicism, when I was a kid, I had nuns and priests trying to teach me Catholicism, but I was going home to a house where my ma and my dad are not religious.
And also my older Gen-X siblings certainly are not religious. I thought that the odds of me coming home saying the priest told me that I'm getting communion and this is the body of Christ, as soon as I got in home, like my entire family were openly laughing at everything I'd been taught in religion class. So I was raised on to reject sincerity, reject religion. I was raised to believe Niños irony, make a joke about whatever you want to joke about.
There's no sacred cows. Sincerity is embarrassing. Make a joke about whatever you want. Nobody cares. No one can be heart.
And when 9/11 happened. It was the first time in my life. I felt this really strong sense of here's something you can't make a joke about. And it was reflected back in the media, it's like. 90S irony tried to exist with programs like South Park was on and tried to exist, but there was this one thing. Here's what you don't make a joke about. Here's what you can't ask questions about.
And then. What starts to happen is you see this of when by about mid 2001, when the American tears turn from sadness immediately to anger and revenge and America starts to scan the world to go, well, who did it? And they're talking about Afghanistan and talking about Iraq. The what you have there, you have the reintroduction of extreme sincerity when you can't make a joke about 9/11, when you can't when you must speak about 9/11 only through the lens of American tears.
It's conditioning unit then when America says Iraq's got weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has nuclear weapons. Even asking the question of where's the fuckin evidence was immediately shot down the world tried to go.
Hold on a second, LED's. I know 9/11 was really, really bad and we're Whicher and that was terrible. But I don't think Saddam Hussein was the one who did it. And America rather than. Calmly trying to present evidence as to why they think Saddam Hussein did 9/11 instead of providing evidence America responded with. The sincerity. Of its emotions around its tears and sincerity became reintroduced. It's like, how dare you say Saddam Hussein didn't do 9/11? Do you not see how upset we were?
And then country like so America goes to the UN to say, we want to invade fuckin Iraq because we think Saddam did it and we think he has weapons of mass destruction, they didn't have enough evidence. France was one of the first countries to go, Yank's, you're talking out of your holes. Saddam didn't do fucking shit. We know who did it and it wasn't Saddam. We are not backing you to go into war in Iraq. And America responded by.
They renamed the name of French fries to freedom fries. And that moment for the world, that was a real jaw dropper because it was so fucking. It was such the opposite of 90s angst and 90s irony, it was like something a three year old would do. Your friends won't back you on this war. So you'll rename renaming chips to take France out of it in your cottenham of freedom fries and all of a sudden. You have these these right wing pundits start popping up.
Like Bill O'Reilly, like if you want to see, like the Bill O'Reilly one debate about Bill O'Reilly, that is where that type of right wing illogical punditry, where it's pure emotion and you can't even argue anymore because the Trump administration nowadays would say things like alternative facts. So therefore, argument is broken down. We've gone past sincerity to batshit irrationality. But one of the last great debates of American TV, in my opinion, is the 80s TV presenter Phil Donahue debating Bill O'Reilly about the Iraq war.
And it's like the last attempt as a logic and rational based debate against this new American sincere, pure puritanism. And that's the last gasp of it. And then the Bill O'Reilly and the Sean Hannity, one Irish American conse you've got George Bush starts openly talking about Christ. Christ was not spoken about in the 90s from America. Christ was very uncool. All right. Christian fundamentalists were from the 80s. They were the ones who got offended about music lyrics.
And then they start to reappear in post 9/11 on television and it became OK to start talking about Christ fucking. George Bush says the invasion of Iraq was a crusade, an incredibly dangerous time, because crusade means the crucible. It means the cross, the crucifix, you know, and crusades. And that area of the world are very problematic historically. But any time anyone tried to challenge. This new post 9/11 sincerity. It would they were met with extreme American tears and pain and the narrative was shifted to if you didn't agree with the Iraq war, it meant that you agreed with 9/11 or it meant that you felt that it was OK and nuance was going out the window.
Also, what was going out the window was like the irony you'd seen in the 90s can only exist culturally when people feel genuinely safe. A lyric like I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me? Can only operate in a culture that feels secure and safe enough to view it in context of. He doesn't really want someone to kill him. He doesn't really think he's a loser, he's being ironic. But then 9/11 happens and I'm a loser baby gets banned from the radio and not just I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?
Gets banned from the radio immediately after 2001. Are foreclosure songs now? Stop getting banned from the radio because of the collective trauma that America is experiencing from witnessing the 9/11 attacks. Freeboard a song by Leonard Skittered which has nothing to do with. Fuckin planes crash and would violence simply the lyrics, I'm as free as a bird with that free bird as that is the most amazing example because they banned free bird from the radio. Leonard Skinner, free bird from the radio, got fucking banned after 9/11 because the lyric, I'm as free as a bird, accompanied with the floating sound and then how the song suddenly turns violent.
The powers that be felt that that was enough to trigger trauma or make people feel more unsafe in America, having just witnessed 9/11. I'm a loser, baby, why don't you kill me? Gets taken off the radio, an episode of the British comedy Only Fools and Horses and the name of the episode was The Sky is the Limit gets taken off TV and. I really mad one, because this operates within the mechanic mechanics of 90s irony within the films of Quentin Tarantino and also John Woo, there was a 90s trend in, let's just say, Tarantino, what Tarantino used to do because he was a big man for a 90s irony, Tarantino would show a very violent scene.
But while the violence is happening on camera, he would contrast that by playing a piece of music that isn't violent at all and is quite upbeat. So a classic example of this is in Reservoir Dogs, someone's getting their ear chopped off in a very graphic fashion. So he plays Stuck in the Middle With You, which is a cheerful song. And the contrast of the cheer with the spectacle of violence through irony together together create this new meaning. It's like this constant in his ear.
Chartoff on TV But here's some happy, funny music. So, ah, it's ironic. He's laughing in the face of death because there's no actual threat in the world. And what John Woo would do. John Will used to make action films, but he was famous for having like slow motion scenes of a car going on fire. But he'd play like Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
This Reel, a song that has the auteur kind of sincerity of World War Two sincerity. So one song that gets banned off the radio after 9/11 is Louis Armstrong. What A Wonderful World, which is a beautiful, sincere song. About like the lyrics, I see trees of green red roses, too, I see them blue before me and you, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world like that song is. Utter sincerity. But like.
An audience in 2001 to hear that song, in their mind, they're they're thinking Tarantino and they will place the sincerity of that song over the visual horrors of what they've just seen on the news with 9/11. So they had to take the song off the fucking radio, in fact, any song. Right. So if you think of the spectacle of 9/11 and all of a sudden you're not allowed paradice you're not allowed laugh at it, you must take it orally, sincerely.
Any piece of music which could be seen to subvert, ironically or poke fun at 9/11, if you place that alongside, it was banned, even if it was unintentional. So AC DC had a lot of songs banned. So it's safe in New York City, like AC DC have a song called Safe in New York City. So what happens if you get footage of 9/11 as it happens and then in the background you play safe in New York City?
Why is that? That's 90s irony. That's Tarantino right there. There you have I mean, literally what that's called the tournament. It's a technique from a postmodern art movement called the situationist. Who would they were in the 1950s. What they would do is they're artists. They would they'd take two separate things and place them alongside each other. And the irony of those two things together would create something new. So if you get footage of 9/11 and you play the horrors of that, put the music that's playing over it.
Is it safe in New York City then? Right there, you've got the tournament, you've got irony. And it's the same as Quentin Tarantino in 1991. Someone's getting their ear chopped off. Let's play the upbeat stuck in the middle of stuck in the middle with you. How the two of those things interact together, create irony. So they band songs that would even create irony or parody in someone's mind when they're thinking about 9/11. Rocket Man by Elton John is banned from the Radio Eve of destruction by Barry McGuire is banned from the radio.
Bye bye. Miss American Pie is banned from the radio. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of songs are immediately banned from the radio post 9/11. Not because the songs have anything to do with plane crashes, not because the songs have anything to do with violence, but because. People were so media literacy that they create the irony in their heads. And you can say maybe they did it because they were so worried about people's trauma, but I don't think so.
I don't I don't think it was I think it was part of the new American sincerity. 9/11 is the most serious thing that has ever fucking happened, and the message came from the top down that this needs to be capitalized on, we need to create something that is so. Our American tires need to be so utterly untouchable. That we can capitalize on this thing. To get the rest of the oil out in the world and that's what happened, speaking from 2020, that's what fucking happened.
All right. The invasion of Iraq was an illegal war. It's a war that happened all right, without the consent of the UN for a war of that scale to happen. The U.N., which was founded after fucking World War Two. One of the things that was to. Prevented the Cold War from turning into this massive war that was going to happen. The American you Americans exploited performative tears, and now when I say performative tears, I'm just covering my arse here because I don't want to be disrespectful to people who died in 9/11.
I don't want to be.
9/11 was a fucking horrible tragedy, a horrible, horrible tragedy, OK? And the lives of those people that died are valuable. And there's a lot of fucking pain. All right. But what I'm talking about is not 9/11. I'm talking about how the spectacle of 9/11 was blatantly hijacked by the Bush administration. And the memory of the people who died in 9/11 was spied upon by that administration by going into Iraq and waging an illegal war and killing hundreds of thousand people, people in the Middle East.
That's what I'm talking about when I speak about the spectacle of American tears and the forced sincerity of American tears. I'm not talking about real tears. I'm talking about the exploitation of them for power and abuse and corruption and imperialism, and it worked on culture. The 90s didn't have sacred cows, there was nothing in the 90s you couldn't be ironic about, there was nothing you couldn't, sincerity was deeply uncool. No one would dare be sincere about something.
And the first time I ever saw anyone even try and make a joke about 9/11, it was 2005. And even then it was too soon. It felt too soon. It was a film come out called The Aristocrats and the Aristocrats was it was a documentary about. A joke called The Aristocrats, so the Aristocrats is it's a traditional joke that goes back years and years and years, usually flourishing through times of censorship. Right. So what The Aristocrats was, is it's a joke farm.
That comedians. Going back to the 19th century would tell in private clubs only amongst other comedians, rarely in the presence of the public. It was a comedian in-joke that you'd tell amongst other comedians. And the pint of the Aristocrats joke format was not to be funny, but to be as Hugh as offensive as humanly possible. The worst thing you can think of, that's the aristocrats. It's like it starts off with like. A family go to a talent agency and the whole family are there and they go to the talent agency and say, this is me and my family were performers, let us do our performance for you.
And then the talent agent says, yes, tell me the performance. And then what you do in that in that space is you tell the most off color, horribly Afren offensive joke. I'm talking Fokin, paedophilia, Sheas, Kailin, people, whatever, whatever it is to to orally be as offensive as possible. And then you finish the joke by saying talent agent cause that was gold. Watch your act called and you said that was the aristocrats.
It's not funny. It's not supposed to be funny. It was something comedians would say to each other to deliberately offend. And this documentary, The Aristocrats came out in 2005 and they had numerous comedians on it doing The Aristocrats joke, making jokes about paedophilia, making jokes about killing babies, the worst you can think of. And then Southpark wordiness. And they made a joke about 9/11 victims, and that was the first time that I had seen in five years 2005, that someone tried to make a joke about 9/11.
And I it it felt it felt wrong then. And that's how powerful the control of culture. Had come about since 9/11 from banning songs on the radio today that you couldn't fucking say shit about it, but it was used, those performative American tears and the utter sincerity of it were used for consistent and continual violation of human rights. And I tell you, when I tell you the moment I remember.
Noticing the impact of this, no sincerity on art, because here's the thing with sincerity. It's hard to have good art, often isn't completely sincere, like. You need to have there needs to be a bit of irony in there needs to be a bit of skepticism, outright or sincerity. I mean, you can have Good-Hearted sincere, of course, but irony has its place. And sometimes when sincerity is performative or misplaced, it makes really bad fuckin art that doesn't stand up.
And the first time I desperately felt this film came out in 2008 called The Hurt Locker, and The Hurt Locker was nominated for nine fucking Oscars and won six. Now, if a film has nine nominations and wins six, you're just going to think, wow, this is class. What's gone on here? This must be fucking amazing.
So I rent out The Hurt Locker on DVD, I think is about 2008 2009 because it had gotten so many Oscars, rubbing my hands together, going away. This is going to be great. And you don't just get nine Oscars for no fucking reason. And it's a pile of shit. It's grand, it's grand, it's grand. It's not fucking nine Oscars and every single one of the heart fucking Oscars are American Tair Oscars. It's a film about an American soldier in the fucking us and his drama of being a bomb disposal expert.
All right. And it's straight up, America. You invaded a fucking country illegally and now you're stuck in your own dicks by giving nine Oscars to a film that portrays that the tears of the invading army and Jeremy Renner, like Jeremy Renner, became a leading man after basis of it. I'm sorry, but Jeremy Renner is not a fucking leading man. Where the fuck did Jeremy Renner come from? He looks like a belly button, like, what the fuck?
And The Hurt Locker is not that good. No one is watching The Hurt Locker today. Nobody hold a fox says let's put on The Hurt Locker. Nobody, because it's it's it's only OK. And it got nine Academy Awards because of patriotism. Support the troops, 9/11 collective heart. Sincere bullshit. Fucking American. No sincerity, tears. Trumping what is good and bad art, and now everyone has to like The Hurt Locker when it come out, everyone has to clap.
People probably nominated it because they felt that their support for al-Qaeda, if they don't nominate, is. And that was the impact on art. And I remember watching it on this is shit. I want to listen to a neutral. I want Nirvana, you know what I mean? And I call it directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who she also directed Zero Dark Thirty. I prefer Zero Dark Thirty, but look it up. This is this is not conspiracy theory.
Zero Dark, Dark Thirty. And there was CIA funding in the film. CIA worked as advisers on the film. And you can look it up. Zero Dark Thirty. Was the CIA invested in that film as a type of propaganda to normalize torture in Guantanamo Bay? Look that up. That's not me talking out of my hope. So that's the same director for the fucking Hurt Locker. So like the Iraq war went ahead and Iraq was invaded and everyone knew it was for oil.
Everyone knew and like they took down Saddam. It was for fucking oil. It was for oil because Iraq had the biggest amount of fucking oil. We know that now. And 2020, that's what it was about. It was about control and fucking oil and it was led by corporations. But like the Iraq invasion happened, it was an illegal war, the U.N. didn't say it was OK. America just did it and Britain got stuck into it as well.
Then you had extraordinary rendition flights, which. Basically, extraordinary rendition, if America felt that any citizen of the world was a threat to America, no matter what country they were in Britain, France, Germany, usually young Muslim men, if they felt for whatever reason that this person was a threat to America, they would fly to the country, kidnap the person, probably bring them to Shannon Airport, which we're not 100 percent sure about. And bring them to Guantanamo Bay and imprison them, and there's still people in prison in Guantanamo Bay, Guantanamo Bay being tortured and they'll say, oh yes, but some of them were definitely terrorists.
But there's a lot of people in Guantanamo Bay there for 18 years who had no affiliation whatsoever with al Qaeda or anything like that and were literally kidnapped off the streets of Germany and England. And brought to prison for a couple of decades. Just to have questions asked of them and to be tortured, the Americans brought back torturing. They did so much. She's off the back of the sincerity of these American tears, and if an American citizen didn't agree with the Iraq war, they were accused of being unpatriotic, they were accused of not supporting the troops.
All of these things were rolled out. And one of the.
Most horrendous violations and abuses that came about after 9/11. Through again, this this spectacle of these sincere American tears. Was the U.S. Patriot Act, which was brought in quite quickly on his October 2001, so it was a couple of months after after 9/11, they brought in the U.S., brought in the Patriot Act, which. Basically, like violated U.S. citizens constitutional rights to privacy. It meant that if the U.S. government felt that. A U.S. citizen was supporting terror are even critical of the government that they could spy on them for whatever reason whatsoever because that meant that helped counterterrorism policy.
And from that, then you get the likes of the fucking NSA. You know, that shit that comes out the WikiLeaks stuff in 2000 and fucking 2013. What it turns out that Obama then took the Patriot Act and the NSA took it and the government were compiling people's data and spying on everybody. You can trace all that back to 9/11. I think what I'm trying to get at.
I think what I'm trying to get at with this heartache is this. 90S irony and apathy. Was deliberately. Destroyed from the top down deliberately. I think the U.S. government understood that this 90s skepticism and irony and the tenets of postmodernism, which caused people to look at power with skepticism that once 9/11 happened, this was viciously eradicated out, starting with the banning of songs from radio. It was a deliberate cultural engineering. What we can't have these slackers who don't care.
We need patriots. We need God-Fearing patriots. We need fundamentalists. We can't have fucking another nirvana.
We can't have acts and bands and kids thinking that you can be a slacker and you can't believe in things because we need recruits for the army. We need fundamentalists. We need people to believe in a black and a white. And I think this was consciously engineered off the back of 9/11. It was conscious engineering of culture through various shocking and terrifying acts globally. I mean, airport security. Like. Airport security since 9/11. How much of that shit is actually useful?
Do they really need to take away my tiny shampoo bottles? Do they really need to do that? Are. Is. The extreme, the heightened airport security that we experience when we go through airport security, how much of it is actually useful and how much of it is a ritualistic spectacle? To remind us all the time that there is a threat of terror, that there is a threat of terror, 9/11, American terror, sincerity, don't fucking laugh.
We're taking your shampoo bottle. Like, how much of it is ideological? How much of it is from the top down to control and change culture so that we are complicit in the absurdity of something like the Iraq war? And why do you have today? Now, I have deliberately left the Internet out of all of this because if I started including the Internet, that that's a separate B story line that runs alongside all of this, the Internet and social media, which I've left out of it.
Do we have irony today? We do, but like, it's a different it's a it's a post irony, what we have today is it's not that 90s irony shit that's that falls under the remit of postmodernism. What we have today is meta modernism. We we we have to have sincerity and irony existing at the same time in this continual flux, and we have to kind of figure it out for ourselves.
And when you hear people today using bullshit terms like snowflake generation and things like that, thinking people are being these people are being deliberately offended, this didn't offend Generation X. I don't look at it in terms of offended, it's more if you raise a generation. With that spectacle of of performative American tears for power and, you know, every experience of an airport being this, someone's going to blow up the plane and a war on terror.
If you raise a generation like that, you're going to have adults who have a heightened sensitivity to threat and pain. So it's not the same. If Beck was around today and released a song called I'm a Loser Baby, so why don't you kill Me? The debt that young people listening aren't going to sit back and go, wow, that's cool, that guy doesn't care if he dies. They're going to have a heightened sensitivity and say, like, I know I have a friend who took their life, are I have depression.
Explain to me again why you think that's called back. It's just a heightened level of sensitivity is not necessarily being offended, it's the Zygi says shift, the desired ghost has changed and that's how things are now. But from us, you also get people with a greater level of shock and compassion.
So that's my heartache take, I think. I think that is how how 90s irony was consciously deconstructed from the top down as a response from to 9/11 and I could be wrong, what the fuck do I know? This is a philosophical, rambling podcast. That's what this is. I'm not right or wrong. These are my it's my lens and view of it. You know what I mean? All right. Hope you enjoyed that. I enjoyed doing this.
Or catch me on my twitch stream, by the way. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, twitch, dot com forward, slash the blame by podcast, playing video games, having fun, having a laugh yacked.