Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Point/Counterpoint by Freddie Madball

Point: Hold It Down

Enough time has been wasted, and now I’m faced with our realities and what’s to come of this scene. So many come and go - some have disgraced it. I think its time we take a stand, show them what we mean.

You can’t stop this - this thing of ours. Hold it down. This things is ours, hardcore is ours. Hold it down. Time after time, line after line, I must express the truth (‘cause that is what we stand for!). Some live to lie, they will defy and deny our roots.

I pay no mind. You know who we care for.

And I’m not only speaking for myself - I can’t. I hope I speak for everyone else out there. Because, a lot of people think that we don’t care. (But they cant stop what I’m bringing; cant stop what I’m bringing.) Trying to make a change, do what I can.

Conclusion: Hold it down, because we can.

Counterpoint: Set It Off

I see through bitter eyes and the fact still remains. I read between your lies: you got beat at your own game. Take a trip with me, for soon I will sin. Without one regret, the pain will begin.

As the knife got deeper, I won’t go without a fight. But you know the price you’ll pay - that price is with your life. (Suffering and pain, like nothing in your past.) I walk the walk, and my path will be your last. Set it off.

Conclusion: Set it off.

Freddie "Madball" Cricien is a founding member of the seminal New York Hardcore group Madball and a regular contributor to

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Chomsky/Foucault Chess Match

CHOMSKY: Let me begin in a slightly technical way. I extend two closed hands, each containing a pawn of a different color. You select one, and this will determines whether you play as white or black.

FOUCAULT: To be honest, I’m quite indifferent. Neither color suits me. And what’s more, I’ve always resisted this sort of question, as I find it to be ill-posed from the start. Why must I be just one color and not also the other...

CHOMSKY: I don’t understand...

FOUCAULT: ...simultaneously?

CHOMSKY: Well, as you know, it must be one, or the other.

FOUCAULT: I do not agree.

CHOMSKY: [Protesting.] But, you must admit, there is, intrinsic to chess itself, a series of discernible rules which are innate, and found similarly across diverse cultures. Varying individuals with varying experiences in chess must nonetheless obey these rules, as organizing principles which make the game possible. Does Msr. Foucault agree?

FOUCAULT: I do not, but as Mr. Chomsky wishes. Nietzsche tells us: “The iron hand of necessity shakes the dice”. [Foucault laughs, and selects the hand containing the white piece.]

CHOMSKY: Smoke before fire...

FOUCAULT: Yes, or so they say. Personally, I’ve never been satisfied with that formulation, for a number of reasons which are irrelevant. Now, why must I move my pawns forward?

CHOMSKY: That’s a good question, and I think I can answer it. Throughout the history of classical European warfare, and continuing to the present, the function of the pawn, who stands to gain little from the conflict, has always been to advance the imperial ambitions of the wealthiest elements of society — the royalty, the bishops, the knights, their castles, etc., — and to absorb the worst of the casualties at the earliest stage of the military intervention. Now, many pawns will tell you that this is untrue, as there is always the possibility to advance and become the Queen, or any position, really, besides of course the King, but historically, as we know, this doesn’t happen very often. Now...

FOUCAULT: I wonder — may the pawns not also elect to move backward? Or diagonally? Or perhaps leap ahead three spaces per turn?

CHOMSKY: I don’t understand what you mean...

FOUCAULT: [Stretches out right hand, fingers arched and pointing upward, as if about to pick an apple.] Imagine a chess board with ten squares per row; where the pawns move in every direction conceivable and others we’ve yet to dream of; where the King and Queen exchange identities with fluidity and reciprocity, different from one day to the next — from one moment to the next; where the bishops and knights no longer obey the mandate to protect the sovereign, and join instead with the movement of the masses in a collective act of spiritual resistance to power; where pawns of both colors erect a popular judiciary to prosecute those who had sent their ranks to the slaughter in history’s enumerable games of...

CHOMSKY: If I may interrupt, all this is very well, but what would the rules of this game be? You do not expect them to arise spontaneously, as the unified will of the pawns and their allies in the nobility? You surely can’t think...

FOUCAULT: I admit to not being able to define, nor propose in concrete terms, how this may be brought about. However, this does not stop me from raising a number of interconnected problems which have been traditionally ignored by adherents of this game. For example, the admixture of the juridical and pastoral domains, effected by positioning adjacently the bishops and royalty; the ubiquitous presence of the castle — looming above every pawn, inscribing itself within their very souls; the ridiculous manner by which the knight advances, as if he’s steered by a mediocre Platonic charioteer...

CHOMSKY: Yes, and I agree with you, but I don’t think any game can proceed without first establishing a basic model toward which we can advance...

FOUCAULT: [Chewing on nail of pinky finger.] But...

CHOMSKY: ...and though we may not pretend to know the outcome of the game exactly, we should have a basic idea of how it should be played in order to get anywhere in the first place.

FOUCAULT: Based upon what?

CHOMSKY: Based upon fundamental principles of how the game ought to be played. This standard I believe is accessible to all reasoning players. Now, I think that guided by this conception, we can minimize the rapaciousness and destructiveness which that the current organization of the board encourages, and move toward a more just arrangement.

FOUCAULT: But what is this justice? In a game without the distinction between pawns and nobility, I can scarcely imagine those rules in operation...

CHOMSKY: [Loosening dorky tie.] Now, just one minute...

FOUCAULT: [Waving hands around as if conducting an orchestra.] the rules are always in the service of whoever controls the board, and will vary according to the strategies these powers pursue. The rules only reinforce this arrangement, lend it legitimacy. This is why we must interrogate the rules themselves, and not appeal to the traditional forms which keep the pawns ensnared.

CHOMSKY: Do you mean there cannot be some absolute basis, latent in the game, which guides us toward a better conception of how it should be played? Are you saying there is no possibility for reaching a definitive consensus, among pawns of both colors, for what constitutes fairness and justice?

FOUCAULT: One plays chess to win, not because it is just. [Laughing, brushes all of Chomsky’s pieces off the board.]