Review: Jello Biafra

Jello Biafra
“Machine Gun In The Clown’s Hand”
(Alternative Tentacles)

“America is now under marshal law,” begins Jello Biafra on his new spoken word CD.  He continues, “See how easy it is to get people to embrace fascism by putting a bad guy in a turban on TV?”  On this, Jello’s 7th big spoken word album he aims heavily at the Bush administration and their seemingly criminal conduct both before and after entering the Whitehouse.  Jello takes a close look at the media spin on the events of September 11th in the United States and compares them to the way the rest of the world looked at the events.  He cites business connections between the Bush family and Bin Laden family and discusses the history of the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East in terms of their oil reserves.  He goes on to analyze the Saudi funded Madrass religious schools in Pakistan, many of which train and condition their students into fundamental Islamic extremism.  But why do these Madrass schools exist?  Because, as Jello says, the Pakistani government cut their funding for public education to such an extent that there are very few schools still open and the ones that are have no windows and are lucky to have books.  Why has public education been kicked into the gutter in Pakistan?  Because the Pakistanis funneled all that money into their nuclear program and the military.  This is the same road were heading down in our own country.

Jello discusses the problems to point out how simple it is to remove those problems, and then he gives solutions.  Sure, they’re solutions to our problems with the Middle East and the impoverished hungry former Soviet block countries that many won’t like, but they are in many ways the most practical and simple solutions I’ve yet heard.  I won’t tell you Jello’s solutions here because I want you to buy his album.

With all the heavy political content I must also remind people that Jello is a wonderful performer.  Aside from being enlightening, enraging and fascinating “Machine Gun in the Clown’s Hand” is also very funny.  Even though some of the material is already dated it doesn’t matter; it’s entertaining.  Jello’s delivery and timing makes it all new.