New Greed for the Old Ceremony

It Was The Greed That Done Us
Originally published in the 2008 edition of The Firebrand


A Breeder Yarns In Brooklyn: The Firebrand's Exclusive Interiview with Jeff Tocci

Jeff Tocci (JT)--…I’m just going to try not to ramble.

Richard C. Root (RCR)—Breeder Ballads. What is a breeder?

JT—Well, a breeder is a light-hearted moniker given to the Adirondack Mountain Region folk of Upstate New York. Kind of a cold weather redneck of sorts. And I recently learned from a friend at the New York City Opera that homosexuals refer to straight people as Breeders. Which is interesting because the exhibiton is located in New York City’s gayest neighborhood, according to the recent census. I love the dual meaning.

RCR—I know them well.


Of Masters and Beauties

Bonnie “Prince” Billy Live @ The Apollo

125th Street in Harlem has its own sort of magic. Of course, it is the location of the world famous Apollo Theater, site of some of the greatest moments in music history. But, the vibe goes beyond that and stretches outwards and onwards towards a type of mystical union of African and American realities. With the right kind of eyes the store-fronts and soul-food joints can be seen as from a different era and a different place other than Gotham. A dirty/pretty place full of vibrancy, music, and tears.


An Inside Job: The Firebrand Storms the Halls of Government

“When The Going Gets Weird, The Weird Turn Pro.”
- Hunter S. Thompson

The Firebrand stormed the New York State Capitol today and spread its dogmatic propaganda throughout the vast reaches of the internet. A stunned Governor David Paterson was left near tears and mumbled something that sounded to this reporter like “it was an inside job…must have been an inside job…Oh God, what can I do now?” The Governor was led away by his secret police who refused to answer for his odd behavior.


Goodbye Forever (We Hope…)

“Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those that hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”—Richard Nixon, farewell speech to staff, 1974

Richard Nixon uttered these words in a drunken, tear-stained stupor as he bid farewell to his White House staff shortly after his filthy corruption became too public to ignore and he was forced to resign the office of president. He left in a cloud of shame and lies forever to be known as “Tricky Dick,” the man who would have been king.


“Shoot First, Think Later (Or Never)” Cowboy W. Aims At Bringing His Version Of The Wild West To A National Park Near You.

In another rampantly stupid and downright reckless move, George W. Bush, otherwise known as the lamest lame duck president ever, has recently decided in his infinite ignorance to allow people to carry concealed weapons in National Parks. Dubya, often seen wearing a huge twenty gallon hat and a pair of toy silver revolvers, has rolled back a Department of Interior regulation that once banned loaded concealed weapons in parks. Dubya’s new regulation would allow licensed concealed weapon carriers to strap on their heat in any National Park near you. Hear that, Plaxico Burress?


Black Friday

“Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said.”
“Wal-Mart Employee Trampled To Death.” New York Times, November 29, 2008.


Awakening from a Great and Terrible Nightmare

November 5, 2008

Last night, America awoke from its fevered nightmare of the past eight years and threw off the shackles of bigotry and racism long enough to elect the most exciting political candidate to hit this nation since JFK blew into the White House over 48 years ago. Today, for the first time in many a year, I am proud to be called an American. And there are millions just like me.


Night of the Lotus Eaters

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, NYC, October 4, 2008

The Nick Cave show had all of the subtlety of watching a bear eat a kitten. It was a fantastic, noise-laden journey into the darkest depths of our collective psyche. It was terrifying and surreal, like taking acid and jumping out of a hot air balloon with only a torn strap as a bungee. Cave and the Seeds attacked with a fury few “modern” bands can even imagine, let alone emulate.


It Was The Greed That Done Us

[img_assist|nid=20|title=Greed|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=175|height=240]When the Great Scribe comes and writes America’s final history, one can only suspect that he or she will sadly shake their great grey mane and write “it was the greed that done ‘em in” as the end verdict. The collapse of the American stock market in September of 2008, and the great and costly buyout by the Federal Government that followed, will then be noted as the breaking point; the exact moment when America officially stopped being a viable world power and where capitalism met its fated demise as the great, greedy folly that it is. And, folks, things will get very weird from here on out.

I fear that America will not bow softly and move easily into its place as a second or third world country like England did after its Empire fell. There will be wars, ladies and gentlemen. America is too crass and unseemly a culture to allow itself to be stripped of its vast wealth and fat standard of living without a fight.

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