The Pitt vs. Penn State Rivalry and Other Things Best Left in the Past

I helped the Pitt Panthers defeat the Penn State Nittany Lions for the national championship in 1994.  I was Eleven.

It was played in the stadium made up of both my parents and the neighbors backyards.  I rolled out from intense pressure and threw my neighbor Johnny Lavia the game winning pass in the corner of the end zone.  He had to dive around my neighbors tree to haul it in.

Funny thing is that just two weeks later we both defeated Penn State to win the NCAA basketball tournament, which that year was played in his parents backyard.  He was the starting shooting guard that made the last second shot under pressure and I was the power forward who tipped it in for the win.

We played for Pitt and we played against Penn State because that was the rivalry, and even though it was no longer the year’s marquee game of the eastern football schedule we were surrounded by family members and neighbors who remembered when it was.

I remember the last Pitt/Penn State game at Three Rivers Stadium. Yes, THAT Three Rivers Stadium.  Pitt won 12-0.  It was a weird game.

A freshman at Pitt or Penn State would have been 2 years old when it occurred.  The rivalry hadn’t been meaningful for a solid decade before that.  Perhaps that is why this current version of the rivalry feels slightly meaningless.

The kidz don’t know their history.

I remember sitting at old Pitt Stadium when my cousin Mark would take me to games in the mid to late 90’s.  I remember singing along with the thousand deep student section as they changed the words to the Pitt Fight song so that it said “Freshmen suck! Penn State sucks!  P E N N S T SUCKS!”

It really didn’t make much sense.  They hundreds of kids that make up the current student section don’t sing it anymore.

Pitt Penn State Pitt Stadium 1998
A view of a sold-out Pitt Stadium for the Pitt-Penn State game in 1998. (John Beale/Post-Gazette)

Let’s get to the point…….

The rivalry is never going to be what it used to be, because for very different reasons neither Pitt or Penn State will ever be what it used to be.

Continue reading The Pitt vs. Penn State Rivalry and Other Things Best Left in the Past

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The Long Haired Aging Man at the Robert Plant Show in Prospect Park had the Greatest Time of All.

At one point I had the ultimate experience.  I could just see it all and was like woah.”

That is what he said.

He said it to two other old guys who walked up to him hoping to see what he was seeing.

Through a small break in the fencing at the end of the line of the portajohns that made up the back perimeter of the Prospect Park Bandshell the long-haired man stared into his binoculars and watched Robert Plant.  He was the happiest man in the Park.

I noticed him halfway through the concert.  We too were on the outside looking in, enjoying the show for free.  However we were under a tree with pastel party cups filled with Rolling Rock and an array of fine meats and cheeses.  We were accompanied by a Beagle puppy.

Not my man.

He had an old Led Zeppelin T-shirt on, well-worn from years of following his childhood heroes, and a long mane of gray, white and formerly brown hair.  I would guess he had seen Led Zeppelin many times before.  He had experience.  He brought nothing with him  that would weigh him down.  He was armed with only binoculars.  There is a chance he got onto public transportation with them around his neck both before and after the show.

photo

I think I saw the point of the evening that he referred to as the “ultimate.”  It may have been right after I first noticed him.  He had made connection, he found his sweet spot.  I saw him adjusting the focus on his trusty binoculars.  I saw him bend his knees and find the perfect position.

Than he froze.

He was transfixed.  For that moment his dream of being front row for a Led Zeppelin show was a reality.  It was right there before his eyes.  It was as close as he would ever get. While at first I had worried about the man wondering if he was staring into a crack in the portajohns I soon realized he was not a pervert, he was a Led Zeppelin fan, and he was enjoying the night more than everyone else in the park that night could ever understand.

“Is Weezer’s Pinkerton the Best Emo Album of All Time?” Two Years Later

Two years ago today I published an article titled “Is Weezer’s Pinkerton the Best Emo Album of All TIme?” in the early weeks of trying to create a website called the Secret Party Room.  The website wasn’t successful, the article was.  In those two years everything has changed yet one constant has been that people contact me about the article wanting to talk about how Pinkerton made them feel.  It’s weird.

It’s been found residing in the deepest darkest crevices of the internet.  It’s been posted on Weezer message boards which has brought about international inquiries.  The whole reason I unlocked SPR (which is actually this site right now) is because I was getting so many requests to read the article.

Two years have passed and it hasn’t gone away and because of that I would consider it the most successful thing i’ve written.  Other pieces have been read by many more people, but no one reacted to them, especially in the prolonged manner as they did to the Weezer piece.

Part of that seems to be because of the nostalgia that comes with Weezer from a generation who has seen music go to shit or at least some type of fecal matter that doesn’t interest them.  If you liked Weezer in 1998 what do you like now?  Why do you like it?  Do you like anything?

For me the article is drenched in nostalgia for a time in which I had just moved to New York and wanted to become a writer.  Since then it has happened and it isn’t really the glorious trade I believed it to be when blessed with the good fortune of ignorance towards the situation.  It’s still pretty great though.  If your still reading I’ve already accomplished something.  In an age of instant gratification and attention spans measured in nanoseconds I’ve coerced you to read  five paragraphs.  The average news article read by the average reader would end right here.

pinkertonOh you’re still here? Well than, lets talk about Weezer.  After rereading the original article I still believe that Pinkerton is the greatest Emo album of all time.  For the exact same reasons.  However I realize that the main point I was trying to make two years ago was buried in the deepest levels of subtext. Weezer disappointed many of their fans and for a large percent of that demographic it was the first time they had to break up with a band.  It was too much and we were too young.  Sellouts had to be rejected.  Little did we know what was on the horizon.  The end of the music industry as it had been for decades came about because of the Internet and music lovers ability to download music illegally much easier than buying it traditionally.

In the age of mp3 players and Winamp it was much easier to get an album P2P than it was to find it at the lone record store left in your town and pay $15 for a clunky product that you needed to take various steps to put in a format that allowed you to listen at your convenience.  The music industry moved slower than technology, hung over from their decade of cocaine excess and long nights partying with Lit predicting that their success had no expiration.  Wrong.  Only rap music got it right and they did that by realizing kids buy their music and that you had to find a way to get it directly to them.

There were no rock and roll mix tapes or compilations.  The entire Internet was a compilation and more choices meant more bands which meant more crap which meant a mediocre final product.

This is what I wanted to touch on in 2011 and perhaps I just wasn’t ready.  Pinkerton was my great young love and The Green Album was the breakup that inevitably followed.  Part of me has never gotten over the Green album and how much I didn’t like it.  How foolish I felt for loving Pinkerton so much and how I had to admit that maybe I had over hyped the whole thing.  It was the Kelly Bray of albums.  It was that first love that was so perfect that upon competition you had to think maybe it wasn’t perfect at all, and maybe you don’t know what perfect is, and maybe nothing will ever be perfect.

However just like that first love as an adult you realize you weren’t wrong at all for giving your heart to a band that moved you andJordan-Catalano-My-So-called-Life-adnks101-niks95-24747769-500-351 maybe how you felt at the time was dead on.  It’s all about the moment and in that moment Weezer’s Pinkerton was the best shit I had ever heard.  It is still really good, but perhaps because of the nostalgia surrounding it.  Perhaps because when I hear it I can picture myself sitting in my parent’s basement listening to it on headphones not knowing that life wasn’t going to stay that simple and joyous forever.

Breaking up with a band is perhaps worse than breaking up with a girl when you are young because young love doesn’t know the temporary nature of itself.  Young lovers know love through the lens of Romeo and Juliet and My So Called Life,  young music fans aren’t aware that bands sell out.  Or more specifically they beleive it won’t happen to them and their band.  Like the neighbor on local news who after the teenage girl next door is busted selling Oxycontin to her gym teacher says “I would never believe this could happen here!”  It happens everywhere and it happens with every band and it happens with every relationship.  True love is eternal, but general love has an expiration date.

Weezer was different.  Weezer wasn’t very dark, but they were,  just in a completely different way.  While Soundgarden was singing “Alive in the superunknown. First it steals your mind And then it steals your soul”  Weezer was singing “I want a girl who laughs for no one else, When I’m away she puts her makeup on the shelf.” (Soundgarden superunknown and Weezer’s Blue album came out months apart)  Both are different shades of dark.  Soundgarden is a very literal blackness, their words are what they mean.  Chris Cornell literally wants you to know that the superunknown will steal your mind before it steals your soul.  Both will be stolen in that order and that is it there is no explanation why.  However with Weezer there is a lingering question of “Why do you want the girl you like to pretend she doesn’t exist unless you are in her presence?”  “Why do you have an inability to trust women when they are out of sight?”In 1998 Soundgarden was passing their expiration date, yet who would have thought Weezer wouldn’t stay fresh forever?

Pinkerton exists in a sea of why.  “Why is this so dark, you just made a really successful album?”  Pinkerton is an album that perfectly describes the college experience and rightfully so as Cuomo wrote it while attending Harvard.  College for the modern white male is a time of exploration, dissatisfaction, acceptance, comfort, and then rejection, in that order.  So is Pinkerton.  Now in 2013 at the age of 30 I can view Cuomo’s career as a success, simply because he made those first two albums.  Even if I think everything he made after was poo, now I know it doesn’t matter because those first two albums where just so impressive.  Artists don’t do that anymore, at least not with me, they don’t captivate people, they don’t make people think I want to sound like this guy when I play.  Maybe they do, but I am one who learns from heartache and The green album is a perfect example of musical heartache.

Pinkerton was the last moment of me being a music fan and the Green album was the beginning of me liking music.  I was never going to put as much heart into a band again, I couldn’t handle the let down, just as no one sits by the land line at the age of 30 hoping their girlfriend will call.  It took me until the age of 30 to see why Pinkerton meant so much to me.  Here I am with a back that feels like it is made of particle board and runny dog shit, a knee that pops when I stand up, and grey hairs popping up at an alarming rate, but I really can’t complain.  I did a few things so far in my life and that is impressive because some people never accomplish a thing.  Some musicians never write a song that anyone wants to hear.  Some musicians never get to even play a show.

 Weezer made two great albums and we should all be thankful.  They made a multitude of crap and everyone should let them be. Like young love it wasn’t going to last forever and they were getting older themselves.

So here I am two years later and I am still making my case for Pinkerton being the greatest emo album of all time, only this time I’m doing so to fight for the young man who wanted to be a writer who had something to say.  He doesn’t really come out very much anymore, he’s tired after a long series of long days work, but when he does he is ready to go fight for what is audibly right.  Even if he has never gotten over that first time a band let him down in a way only girls had before.

I’m Getting Big In Croatia

I found this out while doing a quick search of where my stories have been going.

The Croatians love Chaz Bolte. It’s true. Croatian website Dnevno quoted me on one of my favorite subjects, agriculture subsidies, and I learned (through the translator tool) that the Croatians view me as a renowned American blogger. Very cool.

Side note: Croatian is a very interesting langauge.

Here is a brief block quote first in Croatian and then in English. From the article Corporatism at the Door:

Croatian:

“Zanimljiva je i dublja analiza proračuna koju je proveo Chaz Bolte, renomirani američki bloger. Naime, čak 40% novca u korporativnom sektoru dolazi od Ministarstva poljoprivrede. Pravilo je u potpunosti suprotno sa socijalnom jednakošću – što veću imovinu i godišnji promet ima poljoprivrednik, dobiva i veću podršku države. Na taj način 7% korporacija u poljoprivrednom sektoru dobiva gotovo 50% svog poticajnog novca. Wal-Mart i Monsanto su najveći pobjednici ovakvog sustava vrijednosti.”

English:

“It is an interesting and deeper budget analysis conducted by Chaz Bolte , a renowned American blogger. In fact, as many as 40% of the money in the corporate sector comes from the Ministry of Agriculture. The rule is completely contrary to social equality – what more assets and annual turnover has the farmer gets more support from the state. In this way, 7% of the corporation in the agricultural sector receives almost 50% of their incentive money. Wal-Mart and Monsanto are the biggest winners of this system value.”

So to all of my new friends in Croatia: “Možete li pričati sporije? Nemam blage veze!”

Panthers Defeat Bearcats 62 -52.

The 23rd ranked Pitt Panthers defeated the 17th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats 62 -52 in what is likely to be noted as a key away win come NCAA tournament selection time.  The win helped cement Pitt’s 12th straight 20 win season, the 10th straight under Head Coach Jamie Dixon.  Panthers center adams_420Steven Adams showed further signs of his continual improvement as he was at times dominant, scoring 13 points and blocking 4 shots.  Panthers senior guard Tray Woodall led the team with 14 points which helped him surpass the 1,ooo point milestone for his career.  Woodall now joins former Panthers such as Levance Fields, Carl Krauser, Sean Miller, and Brandin Knight in having accumulated over 1,000 points and 500 assists in their collegiate careers.  Forward Talib Zanna added 11 points while pulling down 9 boards and Lamar Patterson added nine.  Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats with 16 points, of which 15 where scored in the first half.  He suffered a hand injury at the end of the first that dramatically limited his effectiveness in the 2nd, a likely key factor in Pittsburgh’s comeback.

The story of the game was Adams who at one point in the second half looked as if he could score at will.  The incredibly raw but talented Kiwi often looks like he is lost on the court, relying on his freakish athleticism to keep him in the game.  However for a 10 minute span in this game he was far and away the best player on the court.  With the game still in reach his quick interior pass to a driving Talib Zanna likely put the game away.  The timing couldn’t be any better for the Panthers to have Adams heat up as his play was likely the determining factor on how they will do in the Big East and NCAA tournaments. With Adams in lock step the Panthers are a dominant team, when he is lost (as he usually is for the first half) the Panthers look like a solid but beatable team.

The Panthers record improves to 20-5 (8-4 in Big East).  they will have the upcoming week off before playing #24 Marquette on Saturday and then hosting #25 Notre Dame on Monday.

In the ongoing Dante Taylor’s legacy watch, the chubby frontman once again made fans question if he earned his 208 title of McDonald’s All American by winning a McChicken Nugget contest.  For a brief moment in the first half Taylor played well.  However after missing an easy layup, grabbing the board, and then missing the following layup Taylor disappeared.  The clock is ticking for Taylor to do something, anything to improve his legacy at Pitt.  The highly heralded recruit has cemented his reputation as one of the school’s biggest recruitment disappointments in recent history. To date Taylor has 629 career points. For comparison Ontario Lett, who was never confused for a star, had 619 career points in his two-year stint as a Panther.  As Adams and Zanna continue to improve there are likely to be less and less minutes designated for Taylor.  He is at a point when he needs one big play in a big game to have his name be remembered by the blue and gold faithful for anything but disappointment.

The win helped Pitt navigate their way to the top-tier of the Big East standings.  The conference currently has 7 teams ranked in the top 25.

Click the link for a video recap of the game.

Roommates: 4 Years Later

Roommates: 4 years later By Chaz Bolte

“Being Roommates is kind of like sharing a wagon in Oregon Trail. Ya know sometimes people just fall off, than you go hunting, than you write something funny on their grave.” ~ Chaz Bolte “Roommates”

In 2008, Greg Ernzer and I had our own show on Slippery Rock University’s WSRU-TV. The following is our unplanned masterpiece, Roommates. Personally, I didn’t even think this was the best thing we did that semester but for some reason, maybe because it aired for three straight weeks, people adored it. It was very, very real and for good reason, a lot of it wasn’t scripted. This was the daily life of two Polish kids from Pittsburgh who were bored as shit going to college in the middle of nowhere and a lot of people could relate.

After the success of Pittsburgh Talk, McNear had to take the next season off to be the lead in Macbeth, which was probably a good call.  Greg and I took the opportunity to move away from recycled WDVE humor that was Pittsburgh Talk (p.s. Pittsburgh Dad sucks) and began being our weird, silly, and non-reality based selves. Each week we tapped into new characters.  We started by selling a goofy looking kids Dreamcast screaming “he must be crazy!”, became a goth band, where high school interns telling dick jokes and then we did this. We went to class in the morning, I waited tables at a Chinese resturaunt in the afternoon and we wrote this at night. Life made a lot more sense than.

We went from the normal quiet kids in class, to the normal quiet kids with a Steelers show, to the weirdo’s dressing like vampires and reciting bad teenage poetry while petting ceramic cats at a frightening pace. This was the beginning of the Secret Party Room and it was happening before a semi-captivated campuses eyes. It never quite worked out for us as a comedy team afterwards, probably because I ran off to Colorado. Now 4 years later we are back with a website and I guess that is a start.

Continue reading Roommates: 4 Years Later

{POLITICS} — An Open Letter To The Clinton Generation

An Open Letter to the Clinton Generation

By professional American Chaz Bolte

The two party system has failed us and cannot be fixed. The polarization of America is a byproduct of the callowness of those who sat through the decade of fear watching the Jersey Shore. With that said what chance is there to right the current situation? I propose to you a new American revolution, a centrist revolution that is likely to come from the left leaning Occupy Wall Street movement. A movement that claims to support the 99 percent cannot exist if it refuses to lean towards the center if that’s what the American people favor and I argue that it is in fact centrist ideals that the American people desire. According to some polls nearly 40 percent of Americans call themselves moderate, the same numbers show 40 consider themselves conservatives and only 20 percent considers themselves liberals.

Here’s the Rub:

Labeling yourself as one thing or another is dangerous. You should view each issue as separate and than make up your mind on where you stand. The people I most enjoy debating with follow this philosophy because in many ways certain seemingly opposing positions are linked. For example I would describe myself as leaning to the far right when it comes to gun issues and I would describe myself equally to the left of the spectrum when it comes to the environment. How do I vote Democrat than? Well, first off I do it because there are no “boutique” political parties. There are only two, blue or red, those are your options. Well, fuck those options. I agree that gun ownership is a constitutional right, but I would refuse to vote for most Republicans because they have an agenda of slowing the pace of scientific progress, and for a lack of a better word that can only be described as retarded. They often do it to prove their convictions to the religious right, but think outside of the box dummies, GOD IS SCIENCE. Not in a scientologist way. God is Science because god allows science to exist and he gave us the clues to figure out answers to the problems we are facing. Let’s go further into this issue, God is real but god is not real. It is unlikely there is a man sitting on a cloud with a full office staffed with angels who fill out G-10 forms about our day to day actions. It is also fairly unlikely that Jesus Christ was the son of god. But to say there is no God is dangerous and naïve. Because God is the overall element of the human experience that is unexplained and science’s biggest flaws is its refusal to accept the unexplained. Why can’t some things be miracles? Science fails us however, because those with the most knowledge go for the most money and that has lead to a generation of middle aged men with 4 hour erections and full heads of hair, but succeptable to global pandemics. OK OK. No writer gets very far bashing science so……

Back to guns and the environment. Let’s exist in a hypothetical moral world for a second; guns are for hunting not killing people right? Than who cares more about the environment than the hunters spending their weekends in the peaceful tranquility of nature with their sons and dog? They care more about a clean Earth than someone sipping Iced Americano’s in a coffee shop in SoHo.

Here are some other positions where I agree with both sides on the same issue. Welfare. Yes, welfare is necessary, moral and just. This nation has a moral responsibility to help its neighbors and provide a safety net to prevent the collapse of families undergoing temporary economic stress; it does not have the responsibility to support those who make no effort to get back on their feet. What is the lesson there?

Also here’s a point where I strongly, strongly disagree with the left. When I lived in Colorado in the height of the Great Recession I had to work at Target part-time to make ends meet. There I had to pass a drug test to be hired for a crappy job that paid $8.00 an hour (believe me working at the Glendale super Target totally sucks). Part of my paycheck went into paying for these social programs that I have never taken advantage of and hopefully never will. If you are going to take money out of a system that I had to pass a drug test to pay into although it doesn’t benefit me than you should have to take a drug test to collect the benefits. In reality neither of us should have to take a drug test to do anything, but if it’s going to happen it should happen to both sides.

Also, the current unemployment system allows a worker to receive benefits for up to 99 weeks with many on the left fighting for these so called ‘99ers to collect longer. I DECLARE BULLSHIT! In 99 weeks a person could be done with a community college training program that provided them new skills to help build a new career. If you work in a career field where you can go 99 weeks without finding employment than you’ve chosen the wrong profession my friend. What is a better investment of government money paying someone to not work or giving them a chance to start anew? America needs to get smarter; America needs to get a new skill set. Manufacturing is dead and those jobs weren’t sustainable anyway. In this global economy those jobs go to where labor is cheapest and that is not here.

This leads to Education. Our current education system is in shambles. Youth are more and more woefully unprepared for the reality of the world and that is likely because their educators do not exist in the real world. They exist in academia, a leftist thought collective that panders to the lowest common denominator, bad and good. No middle ground. America is bad or good. Not true, America is both bad and good and that is what makes America great. I respect teachers for their commitment to a broken system but many need to look in the mirror and realize that they, not the kids, are the problem.   Teachers complain they don’t make enough money but they also only work 9 months out of the year. Do what your students do and get a summer job only do it on a grander scale. Create a company and hire your students. Give them an opportunity to earn a buck in exchange for hard work and treat them fair. They will get more out of those lessons than your bullshit Columbus discovered America speeches. This is America, don’t cry about wanting more money, go make it for yourself. Make it and keep it. Give it to your kids or give it to a church it’s yours, you earned it, do what you want with it. If you make bad choices with it don’t come crying to the government wanting help. It’s called personal accountability and we as a nation have to look into it and it should start with ending the current two party system.

Here’s the thing a three party system wouldn’t work also. It would lead to a string of right wing presidents. So what I am proposing is a system where individual causes can create their own party and than those parties would have to work as coalitions to get anything passed through congress. I believe that this is the only way to achieve anything of meaning in the centrist or moderate political theatre. There are things that we Americans on both sides of the spectrum agree on. Like the fact that corporations have too much say in the political process. There are major reforms that we can make to our country if we move to a more moderate thought process. Issues such as Abortion which polarize America can have their say and those areas of the country that particularly care more than others will have their voices heard, but not to the detriment of the centrist majority. Because most pro-choicers will agree with my take on abortion: I am Pro-Choice because it is not my choice to make. If forced into a situation where I held some sway in a decision like that I would likely not favor an abortion, but I would also appreciate no one else enforcing their beliefs on me as I make that very personal choice. I am not pro-abortion, I am pro-choice.

So I guess what I’m asking is in a country where I can find a never-ending amount of choices of cold beverages why do I only get two choices when it comes to politics, something that actually matters?

There is change in the air, organic change. We need to start participating in government more and we need to be less dependent on our own government just as we need to be less dependent on Middle Eastern oil and Chinese money. We need changes and as a country we need to move to the center. At the basis of Christianity is the golden rule: treat others as you would want to be treated. Yet the religious right loses this simple allegory in translation. Instead they want to tell you have to live your life. And I don’t know about you but I am 28 and I am tired of others telling me how to live my life, from both ends of the spectrum. Don’t make choices for me and if you are going to give me more options of who represents me. The far right may be my enemy but the far left is in no way my friend.

Don’t sell me on hope and then give me forced Healthcare as reward for my support. Fix problems don’t create new ones. President Obama you are not doing a very good job. You bailed out Wall Street and that was complete bullshit, you bailed out GM and that was even more bullshit. Where is the change, sir? I don’t see it. I guess that means that we will have to make the changes ourselves, specifically changing the current aged system so that the moderate majority doesn’t get ignored in favor of the zealous fringe radicals.

Oh you poor Clinton Kids, the fate of humanity rests on your shoulders. No pressure.

Courage,

Chaz Bolte

Chaz Bolte was born in Pittsburgh, Pa where he attended Slippery Rock University. In addition to being the political editor of Secret Party Room he contributes to Addictinginfo.org, WePartyPatriots, Steel Nation Magazine, and Football nation. When he grows up he wants to own a business specializing in organic iced tea and cookies and then retire at 40. He is everything that is right about America.

Capitalism is Indeed Organized Crime and We Are All the Victims…

“When every political idea has to become safe and categorized just so that it can be defined by disgusting “journalists” who¥s only aim is the selling of issues and the cashing in of paychecks, how can we then show the seriousness of the situation?” 

Refused. The band that changed my young existence more than any other was right all along. In 1997 they released what is possibly one of the greatest punk albums of all time, “The Shape of Punk to Come.” In a sea of fun-loving, spiky haired pop punk acts Sweden’s Refused released the final album of their 7 year career and then swiftly broke up and returned home to never make music again. They made a great impression on many young punk fans who never got to see them and it gave their swan song more meaning. If you wanted more Refused you could buy their old albums, which weren’t very good, or you could just immerse yourself in the shape of punk to come. I liked Blink 182, a lot, and then I heard this album. I liked to play acoustic guitar and then I heard this album. I used to feel uncomfortable and confused talking about politics with my peers until i found my manifesto, The Refused Party Programme.

In the wake of our existence, in our parades and in our dances;
touch, see and behold the wisdom of the party program.
Essential in our lifetime and irresistible in our touch,
the great spirits proclaim that
capitalism is indeed organized crime and we are all the victims.
This next one is called Refused Party Program. ~ Dennis Lyxzen

After releasing the album they played the first three shows of their U.S. tour before breaking up.The last act as a united Refused came when they released their open letter to fans titled, “Refused Are Fucking Dead.” Filled with impassioned speaking points about the state of the world the letter shaped a group of fans political focuses and realized what they knew all along, Refused had always been about something much bigger than their songs. Below is the final press release from Refused. Occasionally a band comes along with a purpose, Refused was one of those bands until they imploded under the weight of their own neurotic insecurities.

“Refused Are Fucking Dead”
(The last official pressrelease)

Just like the political theorists and philosophers (Baudrillard, Foucault, Derrida, Debord and so on) we also managed with a sort of self fulfilling prophecy. A manifestation of an idea to a concrete action. When Quilapayuns in 1972 realized the importance of widening their spectrum of action by dividing the band into five different sections to be able to spread their ideas on as many locations and to as many people as possible they had realized theprinciple of collective massorganization. A division into five new directions means in practice five new projects that can challenge and fight the boredom and death that sneaks into our everyday life. Five new ways to make the political manifesto that once was known under the collective spanner of “the Refused Party Program” concrete, five new forces that can devour and choke every tendency of the bourgeoisie shackle that keeps us down.

So why does Refused have to die to be able to rise from the ashes like the Fenix??? It is impossible to take part of a revolutionary program when every aspect of existence has to be projected as entertainment and music, a tradition that both in expression and creation has been dead for far too long. We were hoping that we could be the final nail in the coffin of the rotten cadaver that was popular music, but unfortunately the reification was too big for us to succeed with our feeble attempts to detour this boring discourse.When every expression, no matter how radical it is, can be transformed into a commodity and be bought or sold like cheap soda, how is it then possible that you are going to be able to take “art” seriously? When every political idea has to become safe and categorized just so that it can be defined by disgusting “journalists” who¥s only aim is the selling of issues and the cashing in of paychecks, how can we then show the seriousness of the situation? When the single purpose of every song written is to accumulate capital for the record companies that will only kill every attempt at spontaneity and creativity, how are we then expected to create? When every show played just becomes another brick in the wall between people, between “fans” and “stars”, when we instead of getting communication and interaction are being forced to become nothing but consumers and producers. When people are being praised as geniuses and idols just because they play music or write books or something equally boring and “cultural”, when the widespread belief that their creation is more important than that people take part in everyday life…What does that say about the rest of us and what does it say about the system that we have? When we continue to uphold the bourgeoisie myth of self realization by saying that anyone can make it, just as long as they work hard, or pick up a guitar, we uphold the dream of good vs. bad jobs (rockstar = good, factory worker = bad) thus we also uphold the class system and the justification of it. When the self appointed elite talks about culture, the culture that tricks us into believing that there is such a thing as culture, without any thought or consideration of the political or economical system. When we become just another subculture with all the right attributes instead of a real counter-culture, then it is time to die, to revalue the position that we are in.

Refused “broke up” on the 26th of September 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia, and in a last feeble attempt to break the linear timeline that the modern ways of production has forced upon us we played the last show in Harrisonburg, Virginia on the 6th of October 1998. The show was interrupted after 4 songs by the local policeforce who thought that they’ve had enough. We knew that they were onto us but it was both a chock and a relief that they did not catch us until the last show. Then, after 7 years of trying, we finally managed to create our own timespace within the capitalist powerstructure. The crowd managed to manifest a moment of passionate living when they continued to scream “rather be alive…” to the corrupt and useless preservers of private property.

So what now??? We will continue to, at every attempt, overthrow the class system, burn museums and to strangle the great lie that we call culture. We will continue with new projects and forces to do everything that is in our power to overthrow the capitalist structure that alienates us from every aspect of life and living, smash the reification that forces us to dress in outdated identities and rules: we will continue to demand revolution here and now, and not in some vague future that all reactionary leftist fundamentalists and reformists are talking about. We want every day and every action to be a manifestation of love, joy, confusion and revolt.This is the last that we have to say about it, WE WILL NOT GIVE INTERVIEWS TO STUPID REPORTERS who still haven¥t got anything of what we are all about, we will never play together again and we will never try to glorify or celebrate what was. All that we have to say has been said here or in our music/manifestos/lyrics and if that is not enough you are not likely to get it anyway. WE THEREFORE DEMAND THAT EVERY NEWSPAPER BURN ALL THEIR PHOTOS OF REFUSED so that we will no longer be tortured with memories of a time gone by and the mythmaking that single-minded and incompetent journalism offers us. Instead we need to look forward. We got everything to win and nothing but our boredom to lose.