Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Favorite Conservatives #1

I assure you I am quite serious with my first pick for My Favorite Conservatives.  I am not one for hero worship or personality cults, but I have long respected the outspoken, freethinking, and skeptical views of self-identified conservative, entrepreneur, and fellow freethinker and religious skeptic, Frank Zappa.

Yes, he was primarily a musician and family man, and not a politician, statesman, philosopher, or scientist.  Yet I find his views, as much as he made public, are as well thought out and principled as those of any politician in office today or in recent memory, or any slacktivist blogger for that matter.  He preferred minimal government, low taxes, and was as much an absolutist as myself on issues of free speech and expression.  But he was also....a thinker, plain and simple.  

A quote on private property and individual rights:

"In every language, the first word after "Mama!" that every kid learns to say is "Mine!" A system that doesn't allow ownership, that doesn't allow you to say "Mine!" when you grow up, has -- to put it mildly -- a fatal design flaw.
     From the time Mr. Developing Nation was forced to read The Little Red Book in exchange for a blob of rice, till the time he figured out that waiting in line for a loaf of pumpernickel was boring as fuck, took about three generations....     Decades of indoctrination, manipulation, censorship and KGB excursions haven't altered this fact: People want a piece of their own little Something-or-Other, and, if they don't get it, have a tendency to initiate counterrevolution."-- Frank Zappa

  Well, there's the basic socio-economic nut of  " Liberalism", aka modern American conservatism, right there.  While I am more liberal than many, and support several modern social programs, the basic idea of his quote is as real today as ever.  

On "harmful language":

"There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it."
-- Frank Zappa

  In relation to a lot of the current debates in the atheist/skeptic/secularist blogosphere, I would add that there is no word that can rape you, either.  If the word "cunt" makes you feel like you've been raped, counseling will likely provide better results than availing yourself of censorship or promoting laws against "sexist speech".

On Christian mythology and its intended effects:

"So, when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, if you go for all these fairy tales, that "evil" woman convinced the man to eat the apple, but the apple came from the Tree of Knowledge. And the punishment that was then handed down, the woman gets to bleed and the guy's got to go to work, is the result of a man desiring, because his woman suggested that it would be a good idea, that he get all the knowledge that was supposedly the property and domain of God. So, that right away sets up Christianity as an anti-intellectual religion. You never want to be that smart. If you're a woman, it's going to be running down your leg, and if you're a guy, you're going to be in the salt mines for the rest of your life. So, just be a dumb fuck and you'll all go to heaven. That's the subtext of Christianity."
-- Frank Zappa

Nobody else noticed that?   C'mon, people, I caught onto that before high school. 

On afterlife states of being:

There is no hell. There is only France.
-- Frank Zappa 

I've never been to either, but I've met otherwise trustworthy people who've been to France, and I've seen pictures.  I feel confident tentatively accepting the existence of France.

On life in general:

"If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT"
-- Frank Zappa

  Couldn't agree more, though it's not much to do with politics.

I urge you to check out at least these selections of Zappa's musical social commentary, what I call the "Holy Trinity"....three consecutive songs from the album You Are What You Is that spell out the straight dope on American religion:  "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing", "Dumb All Over", and "Heavenly Bank Account".

some youtube links:

The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing

Dumb All  Over:

Heavenly Bank Account:

Also fun and instructive is this 3-song medley of Beatles tunes, re-written to be about Jimmy Swaggart's love of prostitutes and "Moral Majority" horseshit.

I didn't go too deep in commentary or political analysis on this one, because I think the man speaks for himself just fine and I agree with pretty much all of it.  Feel free to disagree, rant, or tell me how much you hate his music in the comments.   Just don't eat the yellow snow, it turns you into Sarah Palin.

And don't forget to Sheik Yerbouti!