by: Kidman J. Williams
If I told you that Frank Zappa’s voice is what we need in politics today, would you agree? Would you be appalled or maybe even despise the idea?
Let us go even further into the rabbit’s bramble ridden brown eye. What if I confidently said that Zappa was a conservative? It is a shocking, but true statement that most people would not be aware of, given his career and image. Unlike Bobby Brown, he never hid anything and unlike Trump, Zappa really did shoot from his hip. The biggest difference was that Zappa did it with a sharp and well-educated tongue.
Zappa was not a conservative you would think of today like Trump or Pence, who have changed the political ideals of the conservative party. He was not a conservative by party, but by definition. He wasn’t the old money version either, like the Bush Dynasty. Zappa was a fiscally conservative businessman with liberal ideals. By all definitions, he was a Libertarian.
If you don’t believe this and I suspect quite a few people won’t, Zappa’s conservative beliefs are well documented. If you still cannot believe it, listen to Mimi Chen’s interview with him back in 1992 on KDBK. He goes into great length about his politics.
Zappa was a business owner, a champion of free speech, and a family man. He took on the status quo with genius lyrics and a vast knowledge of music theory. If he were alive today, his guitar would eat your momma and spit her out into the MAGA slime.
We hear it all over the United States that people are choosing between the lesser of two evils when it comes to the Presidential Elections. The most moronic thing about that statement is that the elections are never between just Republicans or Democrats. The fact is they are the parties that get the most media hype and we the people are too lazy to do any research. The people of this once great country do not vote by personal likes, interests, or intelligence anymore. They vote by genre and emotion, which is dangerous for a democratic republic.
Through emotional voting comes corruption and manipulation. We have all seen plenty of it in the past twenty years.
When New York was attacked on 9/11, we saw a swing in our social/political landscape. It was one that most people did not see coming and unfortunately neither did Frank Zappa. Fear mongering was at an all-time high in this country. Thanks a lot Dick Cheney.
This was the start of our nation becoming hyperaware of our terminology. Zappa once posed the question, “Does comedy belong in music?” It absolutely DOES… especially when there is a point to be made.
Zappa always stayed one step ahead of the political mind police. He seemed to always know the end game before anyone else. Tipper Gore and her offensive strike against free speech is a great example of this. The PMRC were a group of bored housewives on an agenda to take down the filth of the music industry.
The PMRC had been enraged by the obscenities the music industry was feeding to young minds at the time, so they felt the need to step in, protect and save the children. Hmm. (sounds like people giving up personal freedoms thanks to lazy parenting to me). Zappa was not only an artist and a champion of free speech, but he was also the owner of a label. He knew what kind of blow it could be if Tipper’s army of bored political housewives was able to run free.
We are living in an age of extreme extremism. Hopefully, that is a scary enough buzz phrase. There is no middle ground in politics anymore. We are seeing family members and friends disowning one another in the name of politicians who vote against our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness whenever it serves their pockets. These same politicians vote in pay increases and $50k décor budgets for themselves while they vote yes to most antiemployee laws.
This United States is not the one that Zappa left.
We have a generation that does not know their rights as a people and are far too gullible. They are willing to hand their rights and power away to a small group of people in government while that same group steals money using backdoor politics. I.e., a parental rights or war on drugs bill always seems to result in a pay increase for themselves… for the 13th time in a row since the last time minimum wage was raised.
Moon Zappa said about her Father, “We know he championed the underdog, and we know he was a First Amendment advocate. We know he was outspoken about fascism, church and state, plutocracies and about knowing your civics. If you know what your rights are and know when your rights are taken from you, then you know what can be done about it.”
Frank Zappa was the perfect blend of humanitarian and common sense. He was an artist of the highest caliber with an insanely sharp business sense. He would have been the perfect politician if he would have lived longer. I do not know if he would have been adherently stupid enough to take a high office job, but he would have been great “for the people.”
Now, Zappa did say in an interview about how he would run things if he were President. “Personally, I think I’d make a great President. But who wants that kind of a job? If you go in there and you have to say, HEY I’m the President of the United States! Do you know how many people you have to get along with? In the business I’m in now, I don’t have to get along with anybody. It is such a personal strain to have to get along with people who really don’t mean you any good.”
Funny enough, in 1991, Zappa did in fact entertain the idea of an independent bid for the presidency and he wanted Ross Perot to be his running mate.
Zappa would have been appalled by a lot of the things that are going on nowadays, especially regarding censorship. When his children were brought up during a PMRC senate hearing, which supposedly had nothing to do with legislation, he replied, “I want them to grow up in a country where they can think what they want to think, be what they want to be, and not what somebody’s wife or somebody in government makes them be.”
Zappa was such a powerful force that we still talk about his music and his politics. This country could use more people like Frank Zappa in our governing body.
I know that from time to time, we all wonder what some famous people would do if they were alive today. Between conversations with fellow Zappa fans over drinks, and in speaking with his daughter, I know what he would be doing now. I know what he could do in politics. His daughter Moon Zappa told me about her Father saying,
“He was a cross between Jesus and Spock who believed in the good for the most people the fastest. I feel certain outrage would have given way to brazen art and very vocal, hyper-logical, irreverent cut-to-the-chase solutions. Something the Yoga Sutras offer as a soothing technique to alleviate suffering is to contemplate the actions of a Master when we fall short in our current brainstorming, political or otherwise. So, I commend you on asking: what would FZ do? Maybe internalize him fully, then run for office yourself?”
Her words to me during our email correspondences really rang true in my ears, “Contemplate the actions of a Master.” Change is coming and the harder the people are pushed the harder they are going to push back.
Special thank you to Moon Zappa for her insight.