Re: Our Boys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perf ect Suburb

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Mon, 23 Mar 1998 08:15:40 -0800

> Tim's on the right track. There is music out there that, along with its
> lyrics, begins to convey the appropriate level of anger and outrage.
> Unfortunately most of my early punk is on LPs and thus at work. All my
> Nirvana is at work too, otherwise I'd quote Cobain describing a couple of
> teenage rapists (said to have been "inspired" by a Nirvana song) as "wastes
> of sperm and eggs".

I saw an interview with John Doe of X which must have been 10 years ago.
He was talking about the music scene. Their Los Angeles album came out
in 1980 and Wild Gift in 1981. Songs on these first two albums included
Sex and Dying in High Society (which reminds me of a Hunter S. Thompson rant
in 'Better Than Sex' about the Kennedys), Adult Book, Love Passed Out
on the Couch, The Once Over Twice, White Girl, and the most famous
Johnny Hit and Run Pauline.

It was this last that described a serial rapist meeting
women on a public bus, drugging them and raping them. John Doe said
that something turned mean, what started out as a song condemning
with disgust this type of thing, the catchiness of the song became
indistinguishable from the concept, so they stopped playing it.
He got tired of living with guys coming up and telling him how
cool that song was with a conspiratorial wink. Their music took
a different direction with their 1982 Under the Big Black Sun,
which didn't sell nearly as many as either of the first two. Critics
said that X had strayed from their punk and rockabilly roots, but
they band said they got sick of playing what was turning into
an anthem for rapist.

The same type of reaction happened with several Nirvana songs leading
them to do a benefit concert in former Yugoslavia to benefit women's
groups who were counseling hundreds of thousands of rape victims from
the war; Stone Temple Pilot's Sex Type Thing which describes
the sub-human thoughts of a rapist which became so popular as
a 'rape' song because the parody of the song was entirely lost on
a large portion who heard it; disgusted with the whole following,
lead singer Weiland sang the song in a dress at an MTV concert
as a sort of protest, but of course now all the violent lesbian
rapists like the song now too. Finally there's Sublime's(?)
Date Rape. Another anti-rape song that somehow got miscontrued
for advocating the behavior described. A quick read through
or even listen through to the lyrics the message is obvious
as an anti- date rape song, but nevertheless, the song got
so much negative feedback that a lot of stations refused to
play it.