I remember back in the 1980s when the skinheads started showing up to our gigs at Blondies on 7 Mile Rd in Detroit. I didn’t like seeing them there at our shows, and moved on to other pursuits not long after.
I remember discussing with my buddy back in the days when the Supreme Court was ruling on KKK rallies. It was one of those things I had to come to an understanding of why they were permitted to have assemblies. I didn’t like it, but I felt that I learned why they should be allowed to exercise their rights.
Now, as I’ve written before, one of the biggest keywords that used to draw googlers to my site was because I’d written a lot about Southern Rock, and battle flag tee shirts before. (If I was a smarter capitalist I would’ve started selling tee shirts through the blog, but I never really pursued that. But there was interest there.)
Now, I used to follow a lot of different viewpoints before, and probably quite a few people who considered themselves “race realists”, which probably everyone else would call “white nationalists”. Some of them had some pretty bizarre to me theories, (there’s actually people who are in favour of monarchy, I found out), but they were not espousing violent views, although some of the views seemed outdated to me, (miscenegation, I think one of them is called). Now, this is all just anonymous people on twitter. A lot of them seemed pretty well read, and so they had interesting points of view. I didn’t agree with them 100% on everything, but a lot of their observations on the state of race relations in the 21st Century seem valid and relevant.
So, that’s a little background. I’m sure I’ve written/wrote my views before, and so don’t feel a need to rehash that, now.
The thought occurred to me as I was out on a dinner run tonight regarding the recent events in (my mind keeps saying Chancellorville, but I know that’s not right). The thought that I kept coming back to, is that I don’t think anybody seriously considers White Nationalists, and particular people who profess to be actual Nazis, as that big of a threat. They are a pretty fringe movement, from what I can tell. I think they are a pretty powerless and marginalized movement. I think they are mostly misguided, but I also recognise the social forces that have led them to seek their own identity group, as identity groups have been the de facto way that other groups have gained political power. But the point is mostly this: They are the 90 pound weakling in the sphere of identity politics.
Now, other than saying I somewhat understand the social factors that have led to them seeking their own place in a world that increasingly caters to every one but them, I’m not defending their ideology. I don’t like most identity groups. The fact that so many other identity groups have found so much favour with the press and media probably doesn’t leave them feeling they have many options. But that’s not what I’m on about, at the moment.
The thing that occured to me, that the “Nazis” are a small fringe group, is that this is why the so-called Antifa communists have made them an easy target. And that’s what hit me. Antifa is not calling out to “punch an Islamic radical”, a far more dangerous, in my mind, ideologically driven group; they’re picking on Nazis because they are weak.
Antifa is a bunch of bullies, is what I’m seeing. They’re not picking the hard targets, they’re picking on the soft ones.
I have an unfavourable impression of identity groups in general, and when they take to the streets in rioting, mob violence, and assassination of our law enforcement officers, it only reinforces my ill feeling toward such groups. They do not seem interested in the well being of our country, nor of society as a whole.
I wasn’t a big fan of Yngwie Malmsteen in the ’80s, but I have come to recognise that he was a significant figure in the ’80s music scene, at least where and when I grew up. He created his own style of playing the guitar that most likely had a bigger influence on guitar based rock than probably even many guitar players in similar genres themselves recognise.
Anyway, as I was drifting off to sleep a couple nights ago, I read that he was going to be playing here in sleepy southwest Florida, and that caught my attention. I checked if it was true the following night, and upon learning it was, I ordered a ticket. On the drive home from the show tonight, I reflected on why I did. I wasn’t ever really that big of a fan, but I felt like out of an appreciation for a musician who created his own style of music, a sense of nostalgia for the ’80s, probably, and, well, just how often do we get acts like that in this part of the world, I’d might as well go and see what the buzz had been all about, all of those lost decades ago.
I wasn’t disappointed, it was pretty much what I expected: A guy shredding on his stratocaster with his own unique style, interspersed with slower, more classically inspired pieces, followed by ramping it back up to frenetic trills and riffs. The man seems tireless. He kept his guitar tech busy; changing guitars almost constantly, and having him catch the guitar when he threw it to him several times. It was an entertaining show, and he worked hard at the theatrics, keeping the audience engaged, and just putting on a show.
There were a lot of die hard fans there, and he played to them especially. It seemed clear to me that he fed off of the crowd’s energy, and well, that has always been something I believed in, that when you go to a show like that, you, as an audience member, are a part of the show. You’ve got to do your part if you want him to do his. I can’t help but thinking of the uncountable hours of practise that went into making Yngwie Malmsteen who and what he is, as a guitar player who found his niche and went on to be an influence to countless guitarists inspired by him. The guy is a legend, whether you’re a fan of his style of playing or not.