The Last Bus from Detroit calling Here and There.

by pauland1707

Some things are fairly easy to write. Some aren’t so easy. We can only assume that reading this stuff is equally easy or difficult, stick with this one.

Cue Rob Tyner and the boys:

“They told you in school about freedom
But when you try to be free they never let ya
They said “it’s easy , nothing to it”
And now the army’s out to get ya

Sixty nine America in terminal stasis
The air’s so thick it’s like drowning in molasses
I’m sick and tired of paying these dues
And I’m finally getting hip to the American ruse

I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven’t got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation

Sixty nine America in terminal stasis
The air’s so thick it’s like drowning in molasses
I’m sick and tired of paying these dues
And I’m sick to my guts of the American ruse
Phony stars, oh no! crummy cars, oh no!
Cheap guitars, oh no! Joe’s primitive bar… nah!

Rock’em back, Sonic !
The way they pull you over it’s suspicious
Yeah, for something that just ain’t your fault
If you complain they’re gonna get vicious
Kick in the teeth and charge you with assault
Yeah, but I can see the chickens coming home to roost
Young people everywhere are gonna cook their goose
Lots of kids are working to get rid of these blues
cause everybody’s sick of the American ruse

Well well well , take a look around !
Well well well , take a look around !
Well well well , take a look around !
Well well well , take a look around !
Well well well , take a look around !”

That probably makes no sense at all, even if it was mentioned that it was recorded by the MC5 and that it’s entitled “American Ruse”, it still would make no sense. Let’s say that the MC5 came from the home of Tamla Motown and that they were churning out the all anti-American anthems throughout the sixties and you may start putting some thoughts together.

Detroit, as is now common knowledge, is skint, broke, flat on the bones of it’s arse; screwed over by a global banking system who’s only aim was to reward it’s own. People, real people, the working class MC5 people and African American Motown people became meaningless nobodies; mere faceless hamsters for the ever increasingly financial complexities. And when it all went tits-up, the little hamsters were left out on a limb, to fend for themselves as the city died around them, and with no life-support from central government the people died too.

Back in the day, Detroit was a lively, modern-cultured place where people were not afraid to voice their opinions and stand up to authority. It should have been born with a heavy scouse accent. Or at least a Northern accent. One can only assume that this pissed plenty of politicians and their lackeys off. It did in the UK because it’s not a long step to consider that if Thatcher had not been squashed, Liverpool would have been Detroit, left to die. It’s still on the critical list.

And now (in a bit of government finger wagging blame culturalism, Tory stylee), Northern England, in general, and it’s millions of Working Class people are having their collective throats crushed by Dr Dave and his gang of nascent privatised Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy poxy practitioners: Nurse Mainstream-Media and the James Robertson Justice like consultant Sir Burgeoning Capitalist-Class. Austerity? Bollocks, it’s murder.

Now we could end it there but given that this plot-line came from the rather ace @stoptherow and that we’ve quoted the exceptional MC5, let’s explore this ol’ dark house a little more. The reason for quoting the MC5 was one line, one little phrase: “Phony stars, oh no!”, that’s it. Now the reason why. Or perhaps you need a moment to recover from the frying pan in the face that was Detroit to Northern England with Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Jackie Wilson, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, Junior Walker, Martha Reeves, etc, etc, etc as a sound backdrop. This was the global popular music home for a generation. Really. No Detroit, no Motown. Think about it, for a second, and *ding-ding* we’re off again. Hold tight please.

Seems that the style of _Paul_And_Land_ is reminiscent, according to @stoptherow of a certain Smallweed. Not knowing of such things, _Paul_And_Land_ was forced to research. Smallweed, it appears, was a scribbler of some note who oft appeared in the softie publication reknowned for por speling, the Gradiun. Or is that Graudain. Or Gurdian. Or Gordian, we’re tying ourselves in knots here. Praise is a genre which sits uncomfortably with _Paul_And_Land_. Still, Smallweed. Yes. *

The first of Smallweed’s articles we alighted upon was entitled “What’s in a Name”. Look it up, we’d supply a link but we’re intrinsically lazy; scroungers of the worst kind, hiding behind our shirkmanlike curtains. We’re not really, we’re on a train to work yet we like to dream. Dream of laziness and six weeks holiday. And second homes. And subsidised restaurants. And numerous bars open throughout the day. You bastards.

“What’s in a Name”, written in 2005 introduces us to a couple of “artists” initially. For us, “artists” is used tongue in cheek for they are Tracey Emin and Billy Childish. Both are still household names but have a degree of talent so minimal, so miniscule, that one would need Jodrell Bank to find said talent. Do they even belong on the same page as some of Detroit’s finest? And so, “Phony stars, oh no”. Capitalism feeds us this talent and supposedly keeps it relevant to us. Right, thanks capitalism, fuck you! Steady, we haven’t got to the crux of this, yet.

Hmm, Smallweed. Moving right along we drift into the world of the Cornerstone Group. Let anger commence for this is a far-right Tory group of MPs whose favourite words are Flag, Faith and Family. Oh yes, this gang of nutters are big on Nationalism, Christianity and their own set of family values (Mummy, Daddy, two and a half kids, a Rover in the garage and Sundays based on Church, the missus cooking and daddy cutting the lawns). Oh yeah, and these are the hard-pressed souls with their six weeks holiday. And second homes. And subsidised restaurants. And numerous bars open throughout the day. Huh-uh, they do the hypocrisy stuff with relative ease and go to church on Sunday, which was not a Motown tune. Now you can get really angry because these are the people who decide what happens in our lives, based inevitably on their unrepresentative norms and values. Good eh? **

Let’s leave it with the modified version of the MC5 tune, shall we:

“If you complain they’re gonna get vicious
Kick in the teeth and charge you with assault
Yeah, but I can see the chickens coming home to roost
Young people everywhere are gonna cook their goose
Lots of kids are working to get rid of these blues
cause everybody’s sick of the British ruse”.

* Never let it be said that we’re not kind to you Snallweed
** We will return to these nutters in the future.

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