NOTE: From here on, i’ll be posting diverse actions made by orriors or orrior-leaning social interventionists. They are meant to possibly inspire creative, confrontational (non-passive) nonviolently-oriented folks to come up with their own approaches!
Flougg Blorngoot, the “semi-crazy” radical’s radical is BACK in Champaign-Urbana, seeking to inspire BATTLE RAPPERS and others of similar SPIRIT to **art themselves** and their excellent intuition with poetic “depth-charges” meant to assist them in more meaningfully articulating themselves. Tuesday night (in the early 2000s), this ‘direct interactionist’ dared to visit several temporary autonomous zones even though he was a bit fearful of the unknown outcome.
listing of sub-heads
HALF-WILD comes out to play
The Target, finally
African princesses and Student Newspapers
Champaign, IL–Whether it’s learned fear to ‘sing’ one’s truths and desires independently of formal permission, or less consciously going along “the least path of resistance”, one thing’s clear amongst most intentional ‘activists’ and their milieu: a severely watered-down version of HEART! Cut to communities where this heart has not been fully watered-down, and you have a prescription for depth with seriously excellent potential.
The social order has been on record for a long time in wanting to block and not allow such potential to even begin any independent challenge, much less sustain that challenge (1). Today this truth has been openly instituted (instead of covertly and illegally, as in years past) with situations like “The Patriot Act”. And those both with a lack of nerve and a lack of in-depth critical analysis stand to continue to be victims of this now legal hardline warfare, unless they can begin adapting and adopting new (and old) styles of resistance consciousness.
HALF-WILD comes out to play
Enter a half-wild, half-crazy guy, once interviewed on WEFT, daring to confront a portion of the resistance which has long been subject to various forms of containment and suppression: the RAP MUSIC/HIP-HOP community.
This last Tuesday night, a masqued wILD-looking dog-like creature-human calling himself Flougg Blorngoot suddenly got the notion to go into his fear of daring to art himself more regularly, and informally “directly interacted” with this community. Blorngoot had read an “interesting” article in the local University of Illinois-Champaign student paper: The Daily Illini: “Spitting game a growing trend in C-U” (Sep.16, 03; B-8). The article had several well-done, full-color pics and a curious article about a ‘BATTLE RAPPER’ whom was speaking about the small, yet increasingly VIBRANT space in which local hip-hop rappers have been able to not only go and ‘flow’, but also network.
“You can see that these guys are in it for the real ness,” Blorngoot said. “The article quotes this rapper dude talking in the wild spirit style of rap cul ture with testimony about how guyz like him are, on the bottom line, in it for the depth of what they’re doing, rather than mere money-making. “Yet if the dude being interviewed is being quoted accurately at all, he’s a serious example of how deeply fucked over rap is these days, Chuck D and other more consciously-oriented rappers aside.”
“So I chose to go into that powerful situation, with all their alleged intent to apparently superficially ATTACK each other–like a kind of gladiator thing, with the–largely white?– audience booing or rowdily supporting-whoever proved the “BADDEST”.
Some thought Flougg was in for an ass-whoopin, as when a beer-drinking white college dude up on a balcony shared. “That’s his fear speaking, not mine. I’ve got deep experience with hip-hop cul ture going back probably before he was born! Certainly there’s a risk quotient, but risk is everywhere. Who knows if you’re gonna have an airplane crash onto your house at any moment? I don’t let that shit get to me too much.”
This was illustrated when Blorngoot met up with a bunch of semi-rowdy White guys drinking some beers after work. “I was prancing around the city because I’d gotten to the rap lounge place”–The Tonic lounge– “and I went by these guys and one shouted across the parking lot at me, perturbed. Well, i engaged him from afar at first, and then kept walking. But I got a little further and thought, hey, I’m going into a possibly severe crowd tonite already, so why not engage my fear and give them dudes my depth-charges!”
Flougg’s “depth-charges” were a handful of “art-flyers” with two main components: An article by Venomous Butterfly called “Do Not Tolerate Me!” (2) and a listing of radical and rarely-known information geared to a very broad audience. “The art side is an original drawing I either have made already, or make right at the moment i give someone the thing.”
“Anyway, I actually RAN back towards these guys– and you know, that messes with the aggression that might be just beneath the surface of their rowdyness– and engaged them, being careful only to give these 8 or so guys one depth-charge because of my financial situation right now.” Flougg is basically broke, waiting for his next paycheck, $23 to his name lastnight (and could use any donations for copying costs). “Well, they reacted really kewl, one even would have given me a beer if they hadn’t already locked up their business. I felt like i really did what i wanted to do. i think a few of them at least would even actually read my info!”
Flougg then proceeded around town, getting various responses. “The reactions I got were almost typical to my other experiences around the country doing this stuff.” Flougg has been doing this interaction form in more than 5 states, and counting, for the past few years. “Typically, I get carloads of guys or ladies yelling wild approval.” Like the guy in a SUV with his buds who said: “Dude, that is fucking awesome!” “Of course, I hadda run o’er dere and give em my ‘depth charge’ and I heard one reading the Venomous Butterfly one!”
The Target, finally
Cut to the actual intended target. The Tonic lounge had finally opened up and preparations for the ensuing BATTLE RAPPER nite in full swing. “I walked in there and basically fast-talked my way out of paying the $3 cover charge, and found myself going easily back into the handshakinz wayz of hip-hop cul ture stYle. It was really fucking great, and I definitely have to go back and stay awhile, and see if maybe my underlying DESIRE to rap up there a little MYSELF might blast out.”
Flougg is of course talking about his past years, growing up around Black folks. “The consciousness of the Black community’s excellent art stYLeZ was not only influential to my own art and writingz, and being, i was also loved and SAVED by some of the more beautiful ways of their community. It was a rocky time when I was growing up, so it wasn’t all peachy creamy. There was a lot of heavy shit coming down all around, but i somehow was tolerated and loved, and i’ll never forget that.”
“I’m not a ‘master’ or even ‘champion’ of rap, by any means.” Flougg says he hasn’t even gotten to first base in the art of remembering lyrics or even coming up with the FLOW of spontaneous RAP SPEAK. “But i got my love of the music, and my writingz, and I got CONFRONTATION in mind, and i’ve been perfecting my po-etic depth for years now, at poetry forums around da nation,,,,” Confrontation, that is, against the way business interests always seek to colonize and contain wild spirit in any form, and how, for one reason or another, rappers get their attention hooked into being tooled, or “played” by this larger Game.
“We all gotta make some money, yep; so we do what we gotta do,” Flougg rationalizes. “The ting of it iz most of us– i don’t care what “radical” group you’re in (many who call themselves anarchists even don’t see how deep things go)– the way the System and its subordinates are SET UP, you get corralled and you get roped and you get broke. It’s all through the WHOLE situation! So-called “radical” politics included. I don’t see Chuck D even seeming to see the totality of this shit!” (3)
Two rappers took Flougg’s depth-charge. “One guy, especially, seemed to move beyond his initial skepticism when i drew art for him right then and there, and then asked him if he wanted the depth-charge ‘arted’ or ‘normal’. He wanted it arted, so i crumpled it up and sent it to him via my own angle of doing the rap flow. It was fucking fine!”
African princesses and Student Newspapers
Asked about other events which made Flougg’s night, Flougg brought up the fateful crossing he had with a few “African princesses”. “The first was giving me a deep smile style and a big thumbs up, but didn’t say anything more. Another spoke something also affirmative and condoning, tho i don’t remember the actual quote.”
There was also a strange time found when an apparent Daily Illini student photo-reporter ‘happened’ to see Flougg while bikin around. “This guy told me he wanted to take pictures to be soon published in his paper. Well, I figured since it’s early on in the semester and it’s a student paper, they might ‘allow’ a bit more freedom of ideas, even tho it’s more likely that my ideas will be framed in a much more superficial way than i’m intending.”
Flougg’s experience is to AVOID the mainstream media at all cost, because he says that “the mainscream media are at war all the time, whether their reporters fathom it or not. They have a long history of fucking with independents in all kinds of ways; I’ve had direct expereince here, myself, back when i was more naïve.” The student press, on the other hand, “***might*** allow for a teensy bit of room for threatening ideas, particularly when the student editors are relatively new to the Game and still a bit idealistic and radically-inclined themselves. The article giving the Battle Rappers some valuable voice is a case in point.”
So the guy made a lot of pictures with his fancy digital camera, and it was a strange experience, because in some ways it was kinda possibly deep, and in other ways i was being kinda swept up into the Meta manipulation of fancy media’s mystifying manipulations. It’s easy to get swept up by it, and suddenly find yourself going along with this whole value system that is being brought into the picture. Like, should I cuss? If I’m ‘too real’ with this guy, and say what i really think, is he going to just totally play me and not even publish anything? And how are these mediators going to take me out of context this time? That kind of bullshit. I’d really rather fuck with their whole Game by refusing comment and cooperation and let people who see me wonder WHY the media doesn’t pick it up, and then stumble into Indy Media, where they can start seeing a WHOLE DOMAIN of otherwise routinely suppressed ideas and information that many people assume don’t even exist!”
1) actual quote: “…A large part of this task is assumed by ideological institutions that channel thought and attitudes within acceptable bounds, deflecting any potential challenge to established privilege and authority before it can take form and gather strength. The enterprise has many facets and agents.” –Noam Chomsky in Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies (direct source found here) See also the history of the f.b.i.’s illegal COINTEL Program where very politically-charged aggressions towards broad-ranging dissent from both the Left and Right are exposed. See also the writings of elite groups like The Trilateral Commission’s 1975 book The Crisis of Democracy.
2) Venomous Butterfly’s writings can all be found online at: http://www.geocities.com/kk_abacus/vb/
3) For demystifying insights into the way business ‘plays’ musicians, even those who think they’re aware, a journal called “The Baffler” had an in-depth article awhile back (part of Steve Albini’s article is online at http://www.thebaffler.com/albiniexcerpt.html )