Beast Banner March 2007
ISSUE #114
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Features

ArrowSchlep Boys
Failing forward in one act

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Britney Budget
Matt Taibbi

ArrowEeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe
Blogger and journalist Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog on the hijacking of democracy and more

ArrowObama
The best BS artist since Slick Willy

Matt Taibbi

ArrowSweet Nothings
Lies my paper told me

Allan Uthman

ArrowMenace in Seat 36F
Based on a True Story

Michael J. Smith

ArrowBEAST gets poetic on dat ass!
Saul Williams schools us on Hip Hop and our choice of lunch

ArrowCelebrity Buttholes Will Be the End of Us
A. Monkey

ArrowThe BEAST Melanin / Electability Index

ArrowThe Truth Spin
Sometimes, honesty really is the best policy

Allan Uthman

ArrowTV Highlights
CBSs Numb3rs signals the end of the end of the American Empire

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Departments
ArrowKino Korner: Movies
The Abandoned, Wild Hogs, The Number 23, Zodiac, Reno 911!: Miami, Amazing Grace, Black Snake Moan, Shooter, The Astronaut Farmer, Inland Empire

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
The Pussy of the Christ, How Great We Art, Dumb Shit, PhD, All You Need is Loathe and more

 

BEAST gets poetic
on dat ass!

continued - page 2

B: No, not really. [That Victoria’s Secret commercial was all class. –Ed.]

SW: Exactly. To me it’s important to keep things in perspective. If I were to say, “I’m not dealing with them,” it’d almost be like I’m surrendering to some idea of their power over me. They don’t have that power over me. I empower them by being frightened of them and of that world, which is not to say that I haven’t been burnt.

I was burned by Sony, Columbia, definitely. I definitely had people sitting in offices, listening to my first album, Amethyst Rock Star, saying that they wouldn’t release it in America because nobody wanted to hear this, as if they could speak for everyone. They’d say, “We’re promoting the Fugees, Nas, and Destiny’s Child, and this doesn’t sound like any of that. What are you doing?” And at that point it became Sony France who was like, “I get it; let us put this out.”

B: In addition to traditional venues, you’ve performed at anti-war demonstrations and rallies with hundreds of thousands of people present. Resistance is growing, but so is the violence in Iraq (somewhere around 650,000 deaths) and it doesn’t show many signs of stopping anytime soon. What can we do to stop the war? Is it possible?

SW: It’s possible when we are able to make connections to the ways in which we’re fighting against ourselves. We’re saying, “Stop the war,” as we drive on full tanks of gas to rallies. We have to be aware of our impact, and that means being aware of your power. So when individuals live up to their highest potential and realize that with power comes responsibility, you’re forced to reevaluate what you call things. Perhaps one might feel that car-pooling is a sacrifice. But is it really a sacrifice – to commune with other people in your vehicle? Even what we label sacrifice, sacrament, oftentimes is neither sacrifice nor sacrament, it’s what the fuck you’re supposed to do. We just have to think about what we’re doing and how we’re doing.

Even here [indicating my lunch] we’ve enslaved the whole fuckin’ world of animals. We don’t think anything about the cheese or eggs we eat or the leather in our shoes or anything about where these things come from. Or the diamonds or the gold or the rubber or the coffee or the chocolate or all these things that come from the continent of Africa that serve as a foundation of our economy. We don’t think anything about the irony of the richest continent having the poorest people. And once we do, then we empower ourselves to change it.

And it is changing; it’s nothing to get depressed or cynical about. For instance, look at what happened with the tsunami. That was the first time where, because of the Internet and what have you, American individuals gave more than America the government. Individuals realized they didn’t have to go through some external system; they can just click a mouse button and give. And now, more and more people are realizing they don’t have to, for example, look for a record deal. They can just click right there and share and sell. People are feeling empowered.

Thus, the government as we know it is going through a shift. The record industry as we know it is going through a shift. And it’s only because people are becoming more and more empowered, and all that means is that they’re realizing their impact / power. Things are evolving, but as it happens there are people fighting to hold on to something that won’t evolve because they’ll lose money. It’s like George Bush giving a special benefit to people who drive SUVs.

And lobbyists fighting against …well, the first cars that came about ran on bio-diesel. That ain’t new, that’s the first vehicles. They ran on electricity and bio-diesel fuel. The technology has always been there. In fact, think of Tesla: light bulb technology reached a point early on where people realized they could make light bulbs that run on solar energy and would last forever. And yet companies like GE shut them up because if they make things that run forever, people won't come back and buy another one. They say it's not a good idea. But all of the sudden, good ethics is starting to seem like a good idea.

B: What’s next for you after this tour?

SW: After this, I’m gonna take a little break, and then start mixing my new album, which I’m now finishing up with Trent Reznor. We have a majority of the songs recorded now, so it’s just a matter of mixing them. That’s going to be in April. To me, that’s the most exciting part. My evolution has been – like I said, the first thing I ever wrote was a song. And I just remembered that. And I’m just at the point where it’s like, “Wow, all of this acting, schools…” You know, Mick Jagger went to school for economics. I wonder how long he was in the Rolling Stones thinking it was just some side thing for him. Because I studied [acting] officially, I always thought that would be what I would do. Now it’s suddenly dawning on me, after working with Rick Rubin and Trent Reznor, I’m like, “Oh, wait. I must be a musician.”

 

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