Today’s WWTFUS begins with a recitation of an excerpt fromLincoln’s 1838 Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois. In the address, a very young Lincoln warns his audience of the threats, not from foreign enemies but from “amongst us,” to the “perpetuation of our political institutions,” calling for reason and sobriety over passion and mob rule. The emphasis below is my own.
By such examples, by instances
of the perpetrators of such acts going unpunished, thelawless in spirit
are encouraged to become lawless in practice; and having been used to no
restraint but dread of punishment, they thus become absolutely
unrestrained. Having ever regarded government as their deadliest bane,
they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations, and pray for
nothing so much as its total annihilation. While, on the other hand,
good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws and
enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense
of their country, seeing their property destroyed, their families
insulted, and their lives endangered, their persons injured, and seeing
nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better, become tired
of and disgusted with a government that offers them no protection, and
are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing
to lose. Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocratic spirit which
all must admit is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any
government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may
effectually be broken down and destroyed — I mean the attachment of the
As for the song itself, it’s “A More Perfect Union,” byTitus Andronicus. See, Liprap requested something a bit more raucous this week. Hence, not just raucous but obnoxious, ambitious, and mighty damned glorious. And yes, “well lubricated, loud, sloppy, and defiant.” Oh yes.
Stickles is pissed off about everything – his lousy life, the poisonous state of New Jersey, the broken promises of his elders, the American Dream that has degenerated into the American nightmare – and he howls his debauched tales in much the same manner as Paul Westerburg and Joe Strummer did, elderly rebels before him. His band sounds well lubricated, loud, sloppy, and defiant, and these songs – most of which stretch beyond the seven minute mark, and one of which extends beyond the fourteen minute mark – set out to be nothing less than the definitive Anthems of Disaffected Youth.To say that they are overblown and indulgent largely misses the point. Of course they’re overblown and indulgent. But they pack a wallop, both lyrically and sonically, and they seethe with righteous indignation
Note the middle-finger/homage to both Billy Braggand Springsteen in a single verse.