November 13, 2003

Crypt of Mediocrity

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Right now, right here, in this column/arena/killing field, I am going to posit G.G. Allin as the true poet laureate of the last century. But before I do, let me demonstrate why you need to take this arrogant snide “critic’s” tastes seriously. My favorite movie is Citizen Casablanca. My favorite album is, I don’t know, something by The Beatles. I like Shakespeare and Mozart. And Dave Matthews. Clearly my glorious preferences show that I should have the power to tell you what to think. So type after me: “My favorite song-poem of all time is G.G. Allin’s ‘Suck My Ass It Smells.'”

I know what you’re thinking. The title doesn’t sound promising (or, for some of you, sounds too promising). Well, Langston Hughes was a stupid name too, and he was still the greatest sitcom star of all time. Many people probably already know who G.G. Allin is and what he represents (hint: Romanticism), but because I have very little to talk about here, I might as well assume everyone on this campus only listens to Monica’s new single. So in a Jack Black-inspired frenzy, let me indulge in some PUNK ROCK MOTHERFUCKER!! G.G. was a “musician” only if we admit that feces is an instrument. An average G.G. show in the ’80s consisted of a lot of nudity, urination, and defecation. While Pete Townsend might’ve thrown his instrument at the drum kit, G.G. threw his “instrument” in girls’ faces. G.G. kept all his possessions in a brown paper bag, which is basically equivalent to saying he carried around an empty paper bag for most of his life. If he ever actually owned anything, it was his own blood, except instead of containing it in his body like most people, he vomited it up and fell asleep in it. At various shows, he promised to kill himself, cut his chest with a boxcutter, kicked a girl in the head, and had girls piss in his mouth. His fans, his FANS mind you, broke his arm and beat him up when he was unconscious. Take that, Robert Frost!

But I can hear you asking, “What about the music though?” Music? This is a man who has about ten songs that start with, “I’m going to rape you.” Maybe it sort of sounds like the Germs if they played their guitars by stomping on them in red cowboy boots. I don’t think I’m able to transcribe any of the lyrics (even in this liberal paper), but I will try to get at least one brilliant quatrain through the editors: “Wanna fuck you up the ass, lick the shit out your crack/ Get it in until you bleed, piss in your mouth so you can’t breathe.” This is repeated four times. Note the assonance in the first line and the use of hysteron proteron throughout. The symbolism is both startling and natural, while the similarity to the traditional chanson de geste brings to mind chivalry even as the content betrays a perhaps misogynistic undercurrent. Truly a genius, G.G. lives on in grad seminars everywhere.

Archived article by Alex Linhardt