Perfect Sound Forever

WHITE TRASH CLAN

WTC Olympics by Jim Hayes
(June 2016)


"he who recites dramatic poems in public places makes discoveries about his character, he finds that his voice is more naturally suited to certain moods and scenes, for example to pathos or scurrility, while perhaps in everyday life he had simply had no opportunity of exhibiting pathos or scurrility.”
-human all too human (344)

"fuck the listeners and the audience, I do this shit for me.”
-Anonymous


Anonymous is a poet. He's a lightning bolt that illuminates the territory he strikes. The palette is shaped like Staten Island and the colors range from blue to green to white. Blue for dope, green for death and white for surrender. The flag of Staten Island waves in the breeze. Carnival grounds.

Anonymous is a skinny white guy with glasses and the obligatory baseball cap. He's got a nice flow and an occasionally filthy mouth. When he wears a suit. he looks remarkably normal. In the video, he pulls his collar to exaggerate struggle and it works as a brilliant caricature.

I like the "My World Is Blue” video. I think it's funny but like Husker Du said "It's not funny anymore.” Anytime somebody tells you that they're not glorifying drugs, they're glorifying drugs. What's particularly galling is that drugs are destructive and deadly. Why glorify such a horrible course in life? Is it because all other avenues of adventure are closed? Or perhaps drugs just feel good. Making shame more shameful still, home of the dump truck. CARNIVAL grounds. Maybe drugs and recovery should be Olympic sports.

Like the early hardcore bands, WTC are not necessarily the best musicians but their spirit creates a vibrant cultural document.1 Using the tools available, a riff from the sixties pop hit "My World Is Blue,” the WTC have constructed a narrative. They celebrate drugs, they laugh about taking drugs- they're not ashamed to admit that drugs are fun. It's fun to be high. Unfortunately taking drugs all the time is dangerous. Unfortunately, an artist's death increases sales. Over 200,000 hits after the death of the cute young blue fairy. People are morbid, people are horrible, we know that. Awareness-raising often goes nowhere. Who's kidding who?

Fifty years after "Waiting For My Man,” WTC sing "my man's on his way, got 3 for $50.” It's interesting that we still use this word to describe drug dealers. BTW, 3 for $50 is a good price. It's interesting that we still glorify drugs. Price deadly narrative of life on Staten Island. They're not ashamed to admit drugs all the time is dangerous; unfortunate after death. After cease to exit, more realistic habit: an embossed seal, a degree of exaggerate struggle, mole people in mines, shoveling memories, painkiller paradise, an authentic American writer in action, a conscious homage not ashamed to admit a spirited rhetoric. The mythos has given heavy handed double talk that parallels the desert. Got a smoke for a homie?

Anonymous has questions marks before and after his name. In a world where modern art ceases to exist, where art, especially performance art never asks the right questions, Anonymous asks the right questions. He doesn't have a record? His genre is all over the place. The Lazarus-like resurrection. Staten Island as a social construct. The White Trash Clan videos are equivalent of sitting in a chair. "Sit in a chair & pictures change.”2

Oxy comes in 30 milligram blues. They usually go for $20. Roxy is slang for Roxicodone which is yet another form. So when Anonymous sings"I got one girlfriend, her name is Roxy,” flash to Lou Reed, "it's my wife and it's my life.” So "My World Is Blue” is part of a tradition.

But "Heroin” had a degree of self-reflection. "My World Is Blue” is just about surface level copping, shooting and copping. It's like "Sugar Sugar”; a cartoon assessment of a serious subject, drugs versus love. Simultaneously, WTC are describing a social phenomenon, "painkiller paradise- Staten Island.” This is real. I always heard that, it's not like it's new. Scratch acid the surface and the image disappears mirror man... Staten Island is a mythical island, maybe Anonymous is Robin Crusoe, the last mirror man.3 "The land of the scared and home of the slaves.” Incite is stuck in a trash can at the end. Incite can't get out. It's sad. Anonymous is a poet. But that role takes on certain responsibilities. Burn Trees.

Manson claimed there was a bottomless pit. This is the best song. This is not a love song. The riff is some horror movie theme: it reminds me of some movie thing. Anonymous is cinematic. I wonder if people on Staten Island see the world as a war movie because they sit on that ferry and watch the seasons pass by frozen windowpanes. I'm blind skelly jelly. The rest of NYC sees the world underground, dark tubes burrowing over mountains of mole people. NYC and Staten Island are a tale of two cities, signifying nothing, full of sound and furious five.

He can't hit the bottomless pit. The pendulum always swings, it always swings back and the force is depending on the spin you use. This time, the recent attention directed at Anonymous comes from death. I'm not saying he's using this in the sense of Whitman and Lincoln but tragedy sells. But we forget that the tragedy remains. Like Bob "Black” Mould's bleak output, but when we listen, do we really want to be happy or do we want to be dangerous? Anonymous, dangerous, dangermouse? Does it matter? Is DeQuincy still watching the lights come on at dusk? Lord Byron romantic thug life, what exactly is that? If Staten island is the home of the fake bitch, what are the regular bitches like? "Bitches given head for blooze.” Blue is the frequency.

When he says "drug dealers got me and the fucking cops watch me,” it's so authentic. Boils it down to the fifth degree. After all, like Jersey City, it's free to go Staten Island. The Hudson Tubes might get you to Chill Town but the PATH isn't as cool as the Staten Island Ferry.

One of the first YouTube comments I saw said "they're nitwits.” And y'know, that's at least a creative insult. At first, I thought the Geto Boys were knuckleheads but I don't think anyone ever described despair better. "Dope game ain't no joke.” The world of help, hope and death. Speed to roam. 16 Bar breakdown. He does a freestyle. Parts of it are pretty good. He then does a cabalistic breakdown of all the rhymes, it's interesting. Somebody doesn't like it though. More from We Go Hard TV.4 RR – "This vid dropped on the 14th Looks like one person creating multiple accounts to hate on me hiding behind a computer screen. Thanks again - I love it, get a life.”

There's a rap battle. That's interesting too. These guys face off with rhymes, it's interesting. "Back from the dead” is just offensive- he's just on point. I think this is after his overdose.

The nitwits from Metallica are out again: "YouTube, they're the devil," he told a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the music business. "We don't get paid at all." He said the site's business model, in which artists make money by placing ads around their music was unsustainable. "If someone doesn't do something about YouTube, we're screwed," he said. "It's over. Someone turn off the lights."5 The manager of Metallica is claiming that you tube is satanically inspired.

On L&O SVU, the copycat serial killer stashes the kidnap victim in a dump on Staten Island. Of course, the copycat serial killer is a frustrated journalist: doing the same crimes over and over. The forgotten borough, the land of the dump truck- the receptacle of all New York's trash- where all the memories are buried. "They call it the forgotten borough for a reason.” The Daily News only mentions four Boroughs. As if Bronx Brooklyn Queens Manhattan are the four winds and Staten Island is the murky spirit crown of the upside down pentagram.6

The only people that don't do U-turns at the Verrazano are the ones hauling the trash- the rest are locals, a tribe called... I don't know what they call ‘em. Staten Islanders- they've got their own slang there: ‘jelly' means jealous.

So you have the WTC- these followers of Diogenes waving lamps. They live in NYC but Staten Island is odd- it's not like NYC (but it is). There's this ferry- this ancient mode of transportation, a turtle shuffling back and forth for FREE, an animal that lives in two worlds, the earth & the water simultaneously. The WTC have a hard shell. Who's got a smoke for a homie? Perhaps "My World Is Blue” is a metaphor. It documents the band being underwater and then they rise to the surface. Awareness-raising often goes nowhere.

Yeah but making people "aware” of an issue, does that ever DO anything? I'm sure that people should be made aware of being aware. ‘What, there's a drug problem?' Well, if drugs weren't fun in the first place, why would people take them? It also works in the direction that junkies exaggerate withdrawal to gain sympathy.

"20 pill a day habit, cats are wilding.” 600 megs a day? Yeah that's possible but that would take about a year or two. 300 megs a day is more realistic but that's still expensive, $150 a day at 3 for $50. No wonder people turn to dope. "180 pills a day and I got another script” raps Incite. 6 pills a day, 180 megs yeah that's doable...

The cute chick in the video is dead. She overdosed in March, 8 months pregnant too- what a shame. The rapper in the striped shirt, Incite, he died of acute drug intoxication in August of 2015.

Staten Island is a mythical island, a social construct. Perhaps Anonymous is Robinson Crusoe, maybe he's Diogenes, maybe he's Lazarus, maybe he's Christian Rosenkreutz and Staten Island is a huge tomb scarred with ritual carvings. SI leads NYC in white-on-white crime.

I wonder what it's like to be the biggest rap group from SI. I've heard of Wu Tang Clan but I never heard them though. I like how there's this myth around them and they have like this huge entourage family collaborators. The one thing I know about the Wu Tang Clan is that you can't be a rapper from SI without being compared to them.

I like the part where the chick with the blue wings blows the blue pixie dust. But according to Incite DaRiot, (at the time) Turk's fiancé and the producer of the "My World Is Blue" song, police completely misunderstood their intentions with the video: "We're not glorifying pill use; we're showing that you'll literally end up in jail, the fucking gutter, or worse."7

And to be fair, the WTC do end up in a dumpster. Anonymous: "rap & hip hop my only accomplishment.” Well, I don't necessarily think that's true but if there's no separation between his life and work... The real question though is if Anonymous is going to get trapped in the world of dope- like Royal Trux, no matter how long Neil & Jennifer stay clean, they're still attached to the junkie label. You gotta admire Anonymous ‘cos according to published reports, he's clean. Good for him.

Lou Reed abused meth but because of the song, he's forever identified with dope. It's like being on an episode of Cops- once you're on it, you're on it all right, forever. Anonymous & Incite get beat down in a Cops parody in the "Blue” video. The DEA pig slyly puts an oxy in his mouth during the exaggerated mock beat down. So much exaggeration exists in this world of poetry- being a poet is such a suggestive thing. In the topsy turvy world of recovery, what you're not is more important than what you are: the absence defines the space.

Incite mentions that they're a different part of the White Trash family tree, the urban version and he's got a valid point- the white working class of the urban North are different from their hillbilly counterparts. When an event happens in NYC, it becomes a national event even if it's a local story.

That's part of the problem. They did this funny song about drugs on Staten Island and then the cute chick got popped (selling Oxy at an Edible Arrangements)8 . The cops had to single her out; they put out a fucking press release.9

"Drug dealing is a serious criminal offense not to be made light of by costumed characters dancing to bad rap songs," said District Attorney Donovan in a statement. "Ms. Turk pled guilty to the top count, and we are hopeful she will get treatment for her addiction and reform her ways."10

Staten Island is lucky: their District Attorney is a rock critic. Who woulda thunk it? So she ended up doing the probation thing. Drug tests five times a week? Fuck. She probably had to pay for that privilege. The whole rehab drug court thing is such a racket. Incite and Anonymous weren't involved in any of this.

Apparently, the chick couldn't get out. Her ex said that she couldn't get away from the blue fairy image. No matter where she went, she was haunted by the image, the eye never flickers. It's too bad that she died. At the same time, the fucking NY Post only writes about Staten Island if there's a tragedy ("body found in burger king”). And they put her on the top of the web feed.11 Like the hex signs of the Pennsylvania Dutch: Staaten Eylandt. Crippled on Great Kills Creek.

The "My World Is Blue” video had about 120,000 hits the day of the article now it's got 350 thousand. So the death has generated attention, and once again, Anonymous is a focus. It's like he's poster recovery child for painkiller paradise. The go-to quote guy. There was this really long profile on Huff Post that used him as a prop for their social justice anti-drug piece.12 There's a lot of detail in it. It's a very sober piece that flirts on the edge rock criticism (what is it with social justice commentators and district attorneys that make them want to be rock critics and is everybody in a band now?).

The song "SINY” it's really repetitive almost a classical riff. It starts with the mating call of the ferry- "this shit is real” home of the dust blunt. The three of them. They get on the Ferry. It's Incite, it's Anonymous and it's J-ill.

Incite was named Gerald Kelly13 . He was 32 last summer when he passed away and that's too bad. He was an electrician. He'd been working at that for 15 years. Eltingville is on the south side of Staten Island. It's where the railroad first ended. Settled by Scandinavians. That's interesting. Anonymous' dad was a fire fighter, his mom was a schoolteacher.14 Gerald Kelly was the name of Aleister Crowley's brother in law. He too was a portrait painter. It looks like Anonymous is clean. Good for him

"Staten Island home of the strung out- catch ‘em in the pharmacy- no prescription with the gun out.” WOW. That's like the Geto Boys "we needed money, so we robbed a liquor store.” Its simplicity just nails the raw need inside the obscenely bright carbon copy electric pinball pharmacy machine: the Duane Reade's, the Walgreens, the CVS staffed by East German border guards.

The back story for the NBC SVU detective in the homeless shelter: "I'm from Staten Island.” As if that's where the white people go to blend in. Anonymous calling himself Anonymous is like camouflage in an urban setting. It is designed to hide but instead it sets you apart (but if you manage to escape into the encroaching jungle, you're invisible).15

I saw the future of Staten Island and it's Anonymous. From the next new way, from now on, for the next generation all roads will lead back to Anonymous and how you know him or Incite or J-Ill. Especially since he doesn't have a record. A recording artist without a record- that's interesting. What exactly does he mean? Well, you gotta look at his record. He doesn't have a record. What do you mean ‘he doesn't have a record'? He just make videos. That's interesting. That flips the script. Does he expect to get signed? Is that how this works- there's a couple of photos of him live but that's an awful lot of gigs to survive.

But if it wasn't for YouTube he wouldn't have any exposure. WTC doesn't have a record. Wait a minute, he talks about being in the street everyday, giving out CD's. Okay, "the question mark mix tape”- I can't find anything about it. When you look up ‘question mark mix tape anonymous,' you fall into these hate threads about some metal band "stealing” somebody's name and then all these 12-step meetings pop up. And then you get connections to fucking "96 Tears” but that's not what I'm looking for. It's interesting but calling himself "anonymous” isn't helping- but I like that: a rapper with CD's I can't find. No records- I'm really getting more and more intrigued by this sharky machine of YouTube videos. "It's a metaphor because I don't wanna be anonymous.”16

"Gang Starr, G-Unit, Lloyd Banks is a beast... but mostly I just listen to me, I get off on the stuff I write. I've done every drug in the book, for me there's no better feeling than writing a dope rhyme, recording it and then bumping that track. It's a simple as that.”17

"Fuck the listeners and the audience, I do this shit for me”18 . The White Trash Clan are almost a non-figurative form. Anonymous represents an overthrow of the old forms of rock music. The idea that someone forms a band gets signed (or DIY) makes a record, does a tour, earns an income- now everyone in the audience has a band.

And it isn't even rock music, it's fucking rap and the people that make rap music don't even care about the form of American rock- they're not interested. But that doesn't stop the rap world from appropriating the lawyers, guns and money myth, because that myth has been going on since Byron. In a way Anonymous represents Whitman in his non-commoditized distribution. Anonymous is taking GirlTalk to the next step. And you know deep sigh with GirlTalk.19 (I'm supposed to be thankful for Mac Sabbath? Yeah it's amusing but in long run they're not as interesting as Metz or We Are Hex- I blame the appropriation thing on GirlTalk and to a lesser degree Dangermouse).

Comparisons are a short cut to thinking but I keep going back to the Geto Boys. He's got this big cross on top of this smiley face shirt and it's "fuck you and the god that you worship” so again, I'm confused about the overall metanarrative. They did "My World Is Blue” when they were clean? Awesome. Somehow that makes it better. At the same time too, when you're on junk, you think there's this other person beneath your consciousness. You're not the one doing all these nasty things. Once you get out from under the junk, you think you'll be able to pick up where you left off. Then you get clean and realize that you're someone else. "What do you mean by lucky.”

All these labels, all these assumptions. It's like when On The Road came out, they had to bust Neal Cassidy. When "My World Is Blue” came out, they had to bust the cute chick in the pro-oxy video. It had to happen. It was a given someone was gonna go down. And you know people say to Anonymous that he's "lucky” and it's like Wittgenstein said: "what do you mean by lucky?”

A fucking preamble. Is Anonymous a preamble? A poet that doesn't have any records except those algorithm that lean towards drugs and despair. It's like that episode of Beverly Hillbillies 90210 with the Stones and the one character is in the rehab and someone else is wearing a Rolling Stones baseball cap and he screams the band was a soundtrack to his using. It was fascinating over several levels, the first being that people watched this show at all. You're blaming the band? The next question is how wide is the WTC fan base spread? Or are all their fans strung out and when they get clean they stop listening to Anonymous. How long can drugs, death and despair become safe as milk. His moniker Anonymous makes him anonymous, which is one of the most interesting pieces of poetry I've heard in a years.

It's frankly Lettrist. In times of political repression, the avant garde thrives. In times of the narcotized society, the prescient warning of Lou Reed: "Go smoke your fucking marijuana.” A strange purple sigil floats over the Staten Island sky.

And then I get warned off the WTC, I'm like "really?” They have a sinister reputation. Really? Whatcha got? Oh yeah? Isn't that the point? "Sounds good” closed. Damn, the shit is real. I walk into the record store, Record Store Day, y'know? A guy is wearing a T-shirt that says ANONYMOUS. Staten Island witchcraft? Good Lord.


Anonymous, J-ill, Incite (photo source: Staten Island Advance/Ryan Lavis)

FOOTNOTES:

1. 30+ years later a lot of the original hardcore bands are the best musicians Now.

2. TG, feels like six six sixties

3. Is Staten Island the Garden of Eden? "dark clouds over the Island, never is the sun out” (SINY)

4. https://youtu.be/ytZeL-ijy7Q

5. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-36072736

6. "say you love satan” was on Long Island. Amityville. BOC.

7. http://gothamist.com/2013/02/16/incite.php

8. "I'm waiting for my man/got edible arrangements in my hand”

9. http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/02/staten_island_blue_fairy_groun.html

10. Ibid

11. http://nypost.com/2016/03/02/youtube-drug-fairy-dead-in-apparent-overdose/

12. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/01/heroin-addiction_n_4995253.html

13. http://www.silive.com/obituaries/index.ssf/2015/08/gerard_kelly_32.html

14. Ibid 12

15. Psychic TV

16. https://youtu.be/mLbB1lUilwQ posted 16 May 12 so this is four months after the overdose.

17. ibid: the interview is with We Go Hard TV

18. "Back from The Dead” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LetV2iWprA

19. Lester Bangs once wrote about Mott and said, quote; "(deep sigh)”. Unquote.


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