Recommended Read: FTW: The Rise Of The Anarchy March by Russ Lippitt

In the not too distant future, the gap between the haves and the have-nots has widened to such a degree that the United States of America has turned into a dystopian nightmare for most people. But Jack, Doyle, Darla, and a raggle-taggle bunch of anarchist punks march to overthrow the government and save America.

Russ Lippitt’s FTW: The Rise Of The Anarchy March is like a lethal cocktail of The Road, Mad Max and anarcho-punk polemic.

Brutal, gripping and entirely plausible.

Find out more about Russ Lippitt here.

Punk Novel Depicts America’s Fall from Grace

August 26, 2020, Los Angeles, California – “Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, the list of cities rebelling, rejecting our current system of government and social order is growing, and the oppressed, the long-ignored, are now rising up,” claims Russ Lippitt, author of the soon-to-be-released novel F.T.W.: Rise of the Anarchy March. “A ‘new’ normal? Get used to it. The reality is there is no such thing as ‘normal.’ It’s an illusion.” Rising authoritarianism, the cratering of the US economy, and geopolitical instabilities, Lippitt proposes a way out. By showing us what will happen if we decide “to continue on a road that is futureless,” and placing Anarchy in a fictional space, he makes an often-misunderstood philosophy more plausible.

F.T.W. dives deep into the bleak and post-apocalyptic nation once known as the United States of America. When the ideals of, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” were taken for granted, those same rights were denied. In the near future, the republic has been torn apart into sovereign countries by politics, greed, and religion. The horrors that ensued from decades of raging wars between the upper and lower classes gives rise to a punk brigade known as the Anarchy March. They fight to overturn their corrupt government’s tyranny on humanity and to save the world from the status quo.    

Lippitt scoffs at the comparisons of his revolutionary and quite disturbing predictive tome, and the “Punks” who lead it, to Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World. “They missed the mark by decades and were wrong about the people who would lead the charge!” Does F.T.W. try to solve some of life’s most complex and looming questions. “No,” says Lippitt, but rather, “It’s a warning shot, decrying the savageness when all seems lost.” The expeditions of the Anarchy March shine a spotlight on unfettered religion, war, and politics in order to understand and co-exist with one another amidst diverse philosophies. 

In the spirits of The Outsiders and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, I raise my gin and tonic high in author Russ Lippitt’s honor!”

— Outsight Radio (review for Lion’s Share)

Russ Lippitt lives in Los Angeles, CA. He is the Anarchologist of our time; the author of the critically acclaimed Lion’s Share, a sought-after counterculture featured columnist, and has several script and film projects in the works. Lippitt is the articulate voice of the younger generation of punks and societal rebels who believe they have been betrayed by the “promise” of America.

November 2020 · 226 pp · 5.5” x 8.5” · Fiction
Trade Paperback: ISBN 9781893660304 · $19.99
Published by Ravenhawk Books

Spellbound: The Story of John McGeoch

john mcgeoch

From Wikipedia:

John Alexander McGeoch (25 August 1955 – 4 March 2004) was a Scottish rock music guitarist who played with several bands of the post-punk era, including MagazineSiouxsie and the BansheesVisage, and Public Image Ltd.

He has been described as one of the most influential guitarists of his generation. In 1996 he was listed by Mojo in their “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” for his work on the Siouxsie and the Banshees song “Spellbound“. Signature characteristics of his playing style included an inventive arpeggiosstring harmonics, the uses of flanger and an occasional disregard for conventional scales.

Musician and producer Steve Albini praised McGeoch for his guitar playing with Magazine and Siouxsie and the Banshees, qualifying as “great choral swells, great scratches and buzzes, great dissonant noise and great squealy death noise What a guy” and further commenting: “anybody can make notes. There’s no trick. What is a trick and a good one is to make a guitar do things that don’t sound like a guitar at all. The point here is stretching the boundaries”.

Big Gold Dream

big gold dreamFrom Wikipedia:

‘Big Gold Dream is a 2015 film documenting the story of Scotland’s post-punk scene, focusing on record labels Fast Product and Postcard Records. Directed by filmmaker Grant McPhee, the film’s name is taken from the 1981 Fire Engines single of the same name, the final release on the Pop Aural label. The film won the 2015 Edinburgh International Film Festival Audience Award.

 

 

Punk Before Punk: The Party’s Over (1962/5/6) by K. A. Laity

olly reed

Just as the word punk existed before the music did, the concept of the rebel outsiders breaking all the rules has existed as long as rules have (probably: I’d bet my PhD on it anyway). One of those iterations surely included the beatniks, at least in the popular imagination. The Party’s Over’s release was delayed for a while due to censorship not of its violence, youthful decadence, matter-of-fact portrayal of homosexuality but – wait for it – for featuring necrophilia. The director Guy Hamilton and producers Jack Hawkins, Peter O’Toole and Anthony Perry demanded their names be removed in protest. It was finally released three years later in 1965 (1966 in the US).

 The film starts with the fanfare accorded to a production company named Monarch, but quickly switches gears by opening on a guy hanging from a balcony crying for help as a party goes on inside the building. Funky jazz plays on a Victrola while desultory young people smoke, smooch, drink, and mill about. The walls are covered with tennis rackets, beer mats and art. We follow a cigarette from hand to hand, introducing some of our key players until we end on Moise (Oliver Reed) who uses it to light a cigarillo and, swilling beer, wanders over to the balcony to take a butcher’s. He responds by pouring some bevvie over the luckless lad.

An imperious Melina (Louise Sorel) demands that he help the unfortunate. Moise instead calls on Geronimo (Mike Pratt) and the others manage to drag the fellow up. Moise shrugs at Melina, who rises and commands him to drop dead. Moise climbs up on the balcony rail and jumps. Cue screams, a passing look of angst on Melina’s face and then laughter from the crowd as we cut to Ollie hanging from a lamppost, smiling around his cigarillo. He bows and walks on.

Cut to the group as they begin desultory walk over a pre-dawn Albert Bridge as the voice-over by Reed describes the film as the story of these young folk who became ‘for want of a better word…beatniks’. It also clarifies that ‘the film is not an attack on beatniks; the film has been made to show the loneliness and the unhappiness, and the eventual tragedy that can come from a life lived without love for anyone or anything.’ Sure we’re going to cast glamourous young actors and make cool beatnik art studios but the message is this is bad.

Also necrophilia, much more clearly a bad thing.

Like so many films that show youth subcultures, it both glamourises it and oversimplifies it. We’ve already seen Reed as the beatnik artist in Tony Hanock’s The Rebel though he was French there. One of the most fun things here is Reed getting to trot out a series of accents in one brilliant scene as he shows down Melina’s American fiancé who’s come to drag her back to New York. So often Reed was forced to play to type, it’s always good to be reminded how much he could do.

The beatniks lead the hapless fiancé Carson (Clifford David) on a merry chase from studio to pub to café and back again until Nina (Katherine Woodville) takes pity on him. Unlike the dilettante Melina, Nina is a real artist though posh as the day is long (which makes all the difference in the end).

The problem is Melina disappeared after a whale of a party and it takes a while for people to begin to put together their fractured memories of what went on at the party. And what’s up with nervous Philip (Jonathan Burn)? With Nina by his side, Carson fights to find out what’s really going on with his mercurial fiancée in the face of the beatnik hostility, mostly wrangled by Reed’s Moise. In between there’s a lot of vintage footage of swinging Chelsea, gorgeously shot and a lot of beatnik posturing, bad art and slang. There’s even a cameo by Eddie Albert that proves surprisingly tender (yes, that Eddie Albert).

Well worth a watch even if you aren’t the kind of person who would watch Reed in almost anything. C’mon: beatniks in swinging 60s London! Currently streaming on Amazon in the US and I think BFI in the UK.

 

The FU School of Writing School by Graham Wynd

When your books are less than successful, when you find it hard to make a splash, people tend to say the same kind of things:

 

Don’t give up! Your audience is out there! You’ll find them and connect. Stick with it.

 

I am here to tell you that this is not true. The majority of us will not find out audiences. We will work and toil and promote and do stupid interviews that no one will read about our books that no one will buy. FFS people can’t even be bothered to read the links to posts for giveaways.

 

‘Oooh, I want one! How do I enter?!’

 

The info is in the link you haven’t clicked, Einstein. It’s pretty simple. But your performative enthusiasm is noted. And worthless.

 

We all know it means fuck all. Because you don’t buy the books, you don’t read the books, and most important of all you don’t review the books anywhere so other people might possibly be persuaded to throw caution to the winds and read something by an author they haven’t been reading since childhood and complaining about almost as long. ‘It’s not as good as their best stuff,’ you’ve been repeating for decades but still shell out for the product because the food may be bland but at least it’s familiar.

 

It’s not going to get better. Late stage capitalism is crushing the life out of all of us except the super-rich and even they won’t be able to survive the collapse of the planet. The planet will. They’ll be going off to other planets in hope of conquest and colonisation because that’s worked for them over the last few centuries. Oh but wait, there’s no servants to do all the things they don’t know how to do, so they’ll die on the new planet’s surface because they don’t know how to open a can.

 

Probably.

 

So why write? For self-fulfillment? For the love of it? For the psychological benefits of expressing your thoughts in a Socratic attempt to examine your life?

 

Well, you can do that. I write because fuck you. I’m not winning awards, I’m not paying the bills, I’m not trying to make a name for myself, I’m not even trying to reach an audience. I expect I’ll die penniless and considered mad like William Blake and so many others.

 

I keep writing because fuck you, I want  to do it. That’s it: I write because I fucking want to do it. It gives me a perverse pleasure in the face of all the forces that want to take you down a peg, tell you you’re nothing and that your words not being worth money means they’re worth nothing.

 

Fuck you. My words are worth it.

 

At every stage of civilisation there have been gatekeepers and fame is a juggernaut that keeps its momentum going like a boulder down a mountain, crushing everything in its path. And in every age some punks crossed their arms, stuck out their chins, and said fuck no, I will not be crushed.

 

Words are weapons. Anger is a an energy, like the man said. Even if they crush us, we go down saying fuck you.

 

I’m going to be your Number one enemy,

All for the hell of it.

The Slits

GRAHAMWYND NOIR

Green Day – Father Of All: A Slide Into Pop Dramatics That Don’t Fully Work by Mark McConville

Green Day was a band that tackled political surges. And the last time they fully exerted their musical muscle entirely was when smash hit American Idiot hit the foundations of the music industry with an almighty bang. In present times, the band hasn’t eclipsed the raucousness and importance of that record. Yes, we received Revolution Radio in 2016, and before then, we got Uno, Dos, Tre, which came as a trio of uninspiring discs. In 2009, the outfit had to try and outshine American Idiot in subject matter and chords. Unfortunately, 21st Century Breakdown didn’t surpass its predecessor. It did have its hits, but also had too many uneventful notes. Not many fans or critics praised 21st Century Breakdown, and its relevance quickly evaporated.

Green Day

Roll on today and Green Day don’t give a damn. All of the adrenaline and musical fundamentals have been sucked out of this trio. New record Father Of All, doesn’t highlight the band’s creative ingenuity at any point. It has its moments where they can be forgiven for their reckless abandon, but missteps are aplenty. The first half of the album, drags on, plastered in mediocre lyrics and one dimensional instrumentals. If you listen on, you think it’s all a dream.

It isn’t a dream. It is reality. Green Day of days gone by wouldn’t have released Father Of All as a record of significance. They were against this sound, this melting pot of inferiority. Some critics have praised the band’s audacity, the risks. But, many fans have been left bewildered by a chocked sound. Father Of All’s second half, although still assaulted by cheap lyricism, beats life into a sound lacking in development and invigoration.

Father Of All Image

Let’s say the opening period of Father Of All didn’t exist and Green Day released an EP with the last remaining songs. The songs which aren’t fit enough, but are infectious enough to count, then we’d be somewhat entertained. Sugar Youth brings forth some stability. It’s a catchy number. Lyrically strangled, but the riffs will please the sceptics. Junkies On A High sparks some eagerness. The words seem to fit into a cohesive sequence, which is a rarity on Father Of All. Grattifia begins with claps and a 1980’s backbeat. Lead singer/songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong, sings with intent and says ‘’This city isn’t big enough for dreamers’’. Surprisingly the song isn’t a slog.

Die hard Green Day fans will be left disappointment, there’s no doubting that. They may revolt, but what can they do? And a revolution will not happen, not a chance. This powerhouse of a band have declined, they may have fallen into state of writers block, or maybe they don’t give a f**k? The latter seems legit.

Bio: Mark McConville is a freelance music journalist who has written for many online and print publications. He also likes to write dark fiction.