Kim Davis has just emerged from a Kentucky pokey, as marriage licenses are being issued to same-sex couples in the building where, just days before, she flat-out refused to do so. Ms. Davis stated, “It is not a light issue for me. It is a heaven-or-hell decision.”
Hopefully things get worked out to where she can remain employed and those eligible can get hitched.
It’s not worth the energy to push the “Lady, you’re a government employee — do the job or quit!” stone up the hill, and it’s cheap to rejoice that her steadfast dedication landed Davis in the slammer for the long week-end. It was a waste of money to lock her up. She won’t change her mind, or “learn her lesson.” Now that she’s an unlikely hero to some and a symbol of ignorance and bigotry to others, her future is uncertain.
Why did I just mention things you are tired of wounding your brain with? Because years ago, a band of heroic philosophers from the middle of our nation took its groundbreaking scientific/cultural message to the masses. Those of us they enlightened are still the better for it.
These Ohio-based visionaries, mere college students, issued a memo that would disrupt all established theories of how we got here and who we are. These young men put forth the following: “They tell us that we lost our tails/Evolving up from little snails.” We nodded sagely, remembering what we had learned from Chuck Darwin and the whole natural selection deal. Continuing on, they stated: “I say it’s all just wind in sails/Are we not men?/We are DEVO!”
That was it for me. That was it for a lot of us. The proverbial “light bulb moment.” It took me years and a lot of living to fully understand what Mothersbaugh, Mothersbaugh, Casale, Casale and Myers were putting across, but eventually, I got it.
Sooner or later, everyone just is how they are. It’s commonly known as adulthood. A lot of the time that’s cool, unless you’re gay, stuck in Kentucky and looking for a marriage license to be issued by a woman who is joined in solidarity by Mike Huckabee.
One way to make your presence known is by your absence. (“The only way to really stay/Is to walk right out the door.” Dio: Holy Diver: track B2, verse 3, lines 6-7) Sometimes you just have to go. It’s not even a matter of cutting your losses but adroitly eliminating unnecessary frustration.
Do you really think that Kim Davis will one day come around and see fit to issue a marriage license to the proverbial Adam and Steve? When she thinks she’s still got an aisle seat in business class on the heavenly dreamliner after this dreary, sin-loaded business of living is over with? Do you really give a fuck what she thinks about anything?
Again, I defer to the Ohio Five: “Monkey men all/In business suit/Teachers and critics/All dance the poot.” Meanwhile, time’s a-wastin’ and you have a lot of listening to do.
By the time we arrive at the end of 2015, those with great taste in music will have to conclude that it was a tremendous year for new releases. Instead of worrying what some woman in Kentucky is doing with herself, you need to get your tubes warmed up for some great spins.
Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley (of White Fence) have a project called Drinks. Their album on Birth Records, Hermits on Holiday, quickly turned into one of my favorite records of the year. I’ve been playing a song a week on my radio show.
Also happening now: the third album by Le Butcherettes, A Raw Youth, on Ipecac Records. I saw the band open for The Stooges years ago at the Palladium and was rockin’ their first album, Sin Sin Sin, the next day. Their second album, Cry Is for the Flies, is fantastic, and A Raw Youth is another total knockout album. They broke the mold on Le Butcherettes’ leader, Teri Gender Bender. A Raw Youth features contributions by John Frusciante and Iggy Pop, to give you an indication as to who is paying attention.
Next month, In the Red Records unleashes the follow-up to Fuzz’s self-titled debut. Fuzz II is a 67-minute double LP that will elicit great spikes of euphoria when played loud and often. Charlie Moothart, the band’s guitar player, is an amp melter who understands tone. Ty Segall on drums and Chad Ubovich on bass totally deliver. Never miss a chance to see these guys live, where it really rips.
Also in late October, Matador releases Teens of Style by Car Seat Headrest aka Will Toledo. Will is a young man who I hope has a lot of records yet to make, because this one is really cool. Go to the CSH Bandcamp site and listen to see if it suits ya.
No matter how many of our species want to drag themselves woefully along, clinging to ancient fears and prejudices, swearing to the end that they are right and just, there are plenty who are switched on in wonderfully creative ways, and thankfully see fit to share it with the rest of us.
Suddenly, Kim Davis is just one of millions of Americans with a rap sheet, who ate cheese sandwiches on your dime, a tiny spot in your rearview mirror as you blaze a trail to the record store. While you’re there, you might want to see if there is a copy of DEVO’s perfect second album, Duty Now for the Future. If so, acquire it and report to your nearest stereo ASAP.
Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.
More From the Mind of Henry Rollins:
The Major Labels Are Screwing Up Record Store Day
When You Claim Racism Is Over, You Get a Dylann Roof
Why I'm Not an Atheist