Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century

“Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.

5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.

6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps “The Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.

7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot or other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.

10. Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

11. Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.

12. Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.

14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.

15. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.

16. Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.

17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.

18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)

19. Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.

20. Be a patriot. The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.”

–Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History, Yale University,
15 November 2016.

[See also Umberto Eco’s 1995 article on Ur-Fascism, published in The New York Review of Books.]

Bicameral Headbanger Episode 56

Here’s To the Protesters Segment

Discharge – “Protest and Survive”

Bikini Kill – “Rebel Girl”

We the People suffer from two spiritual diseases: the first is our staunch narcissisism, the second is our addiction to the image of perfection.

The reasons that you get into arguments or conflicts or fights with other people are the same reasons people have always argued and fought, power, vision, safety, resources, all of that is normal. But when you absolutely cannot believe that someone could possibly disagree with you, the reason you can’t understand them or hope to reason with them, the reason you can’t control the rage you feel when you are confronted by even the simplest of disagreements — that is because you as an American have been trained since your birth to cultivate a personality disorder.

That disorder is narcissism, and we all suffer from it. “A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem; erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one’s own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.” Lurching between delusions of grandeur and blinding fits of rage, unable to imagine or visualize the interests of others, preferring our own simple pleasures to the existential needs of others, not only on a personal level but also institutionally or nationally (patriotism, “life-boat ethics”) — that is narcissism.

The ideological environment that allows American narcissism to exist and to thrive is the illusion of perfection. Perfection starts with a centralized, metaphysically powerful hallucination, such as God, or Manifest Destiny, or the Blood of the Volk, or White Supremacy, or infinite Arbitrage Opportunities, or the hero principle (Stalin, Mao, Trump). That central hallucination takes on infinite significance (you can say anything about God because God is everything and he can do anything – the end of thought – you can say nothing correctly because God is indescribable – the end of innovation – and you must revere the mystery of God because he will kill you – the end of rebellion). Change itself is arrested, all movement is frozen. That’s you driving in your car for four hours a day, that’s spending your tiny allotment of lifetime in front of a television screen watching a bunch of nonsense that can never make you happy, that’s your push notifications and your filter bubbles and your patriotism and those funny blind spots at the corners of your eyes where babies are being killed by your tax dollars, where your chocolate bar pays for toxic waste in the water table. Where any change whatsoever to your routine is endlessly annoying.

Where you are alone. Where you are comfortable. Where you are warm. Where nothing changes. The illusion of perfection.

Perfection and Narcissism are the twin obstacles that are planted inside our minds and our bodies and keep us from actually doing anything to stop the crooks and the thieves and the racists that rule our society. America is an inverted totalitarianism, where instead of the state taking over and killing its opponents, the businesses took over and pacified its opponents, taught them to be “happy” and to “be good to yourself” and “live the good life” and hate anything that is not their own skin. They don’t have to kill you if you don’t care enough to fight. They don’t have to hurt you if you’ve already forgotten, if you’ve already given up your power.

We the American people have got to renounce our narcissism, renounce our perfectionism, and to put it very simply, fight back while there is still time.

Description of the Political Overmind Segment

Darkthrone – “Divided We Stand”

Death Grips – “Hot Head”

Hour of Penance – “Drowned In the Abyss of Ignorance”

The Birthday Party – “Big-Jesus-Trash-Can”

Carcass – “Festerday”

夢遊病者 (aka Sleepwalkers) – “White Linen” and “Plain Wood”

Dying Fetus – “Devout Atrocity”

General Hatred Towards Multinational Bankers Segment

Caveman Cult – “Ceremonial Disembowelment.” That is adorable.

Excommunion – “Nemesis”

Hooded Menace – “Effigies of Evil”

People Singing About Stars and Shit Segment

Jess and the Ancient Ones – “Astral Sabbat”

Blood Incantation – “Vitrification of Blood (Part I)”

Martröð – “Draumleysa”

Mesarthim – “.—-”

Mare Cognitum – “Heliacal Rising”

Black Sabbath – “Into the Void”

Monday Nights 9-11 WOZO-LP 103.9 FM Knoxville and

Bicameral Headbanger Episode 55 – Women of Extreme Music (Nov 14 2016)

Regarding the recent Presidential election and calls for unity, NO WE AIN’T COMING TOGETHER ON OUR OPINION OF THIS RACIST SEXIST BUSINESS FAILIN’ WEIRD HAIRIN’ CONTRACTOR CHEATIN’ LAWSUITS HAVIN’ ORANGE JULIUS JACKASS.  Not while he denigrates women, scapegoats minorities, consorts with white supremacists, or continues to engage in crooked and exploitative business practices.

One thing that we DO need to come together on is the simple fact that misogyny and all mistreatment of women is wrong period.  We need to stop overlooking Donald Trump’s willingness to use such rhetoric for his own political gain, and we need to support equality and equal rights for all human beings regardless of sex, gender, race, class, background, or creed.

One particular action that’s been suggested by many who find themselves taken aback by Donald Trump’s misogyny is to protest the appointment of Steve Bannon as White House General Strategist.  If you are moved to do so, here’s a link to the story.
Protesting Steve Bannon’s White House Appointment

Calling the offices of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (202-225-3031) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (202-224-2541) has also been suggested as a way to protest Bannon’s appointment.

I was also given permission to read some eloquently poetic and sadly accurate responses from local citizens on the subject of Donald Trump’s election on the air – I proudly share them with you here.

B. from Knoxville wrote:
“This isn’t really about politics.
I haven’t been grieving all day because Hillary lost. She wasn’t my first pick by a long shot but I could’ve stomached her for four years. I’m grieving because NOBODY won.
This isn’t about a contest where one team wins and another takes a loss. This is about an overwhelming amount of people validating every hateful, ignorant, entitled, disgusting darkness. This is about a loss of our humanity. This is what happens when fear overrides basic decency. This is why I grieve.
I can’t be fearless, but I will try to be brave. I hope y’all will, too. ❤️
“I don’t know what is going to happen in the next four years. I’m just going to stick to my daily regimen of trying real hard not to be a dick while advocating for women and minorities, raising decent little humans, and serving my community. I will work even harder at listening.
In the meantime, do not try to placate me. Save your “everything’s gonna be alright’s” for the members of your privileged fuck-it club. This country just put a stamp of approval on almost everything I stand against, so don’t invalidate my very real concerns via your own version of peeing on my leg and telling me it’s raining.
Ain’t nobody got time for this shit.”

E. from Knoxville wrote:
“What a silly girl I was to hope love and basic decency would win over ignorance and hate. All my life in hundreds of ways I’ve watched the pussygrabbers of the world humiliate and crush smart girls. I felt it myself at school, at my early jobs, in my marriage and divorce. I hoped my smart, brave daughters would grow up in a different era. Lesson learned: ‘On your knees, bitch.'”

Right now it’s as important as it ever has been for privileged males (whether we think we’re privileged or not) to shut up for a minute and listen to what the ladies have to say.

To that end I (very humbly) dedicated this episode of the show to the ladies.  All the musical acts played on this show feature female members or solo artists performing extreme music at the absolute highest levels of intensity and skill.  If you think a particular musical group or artist should have been featured on this show, shoot me a message (e-mail: and I’ll try to include them on a future episode.

On to the music.  Playlist from Monday Nov. 14 2016.

Abnormality – “Contaminating the Hive Mind”

Windhand – “Orchard”

Cloud Rat – “Daunting Daughters” and “Caisse”

Izegrim – “Victim of Honor”

Wykked Wytch – “The Ultimate Deception”

Landmine Marathon – “Beaten and Left Blind”

Vodun – “Mawu”

Gallhammer – “Blind My Eyes”

Melt-Banana – “Monkey Man” [Toots and the Maytals Cover]

Swans – “Trust Me” and “Black Eyed Dog”

Diamanda Galas – “A Soul That’s Been Abused”

Coven – “Dignitaries of Hell”

Boris – “My Neighbor Satan”

High Priest of Saturn – “Ages Move the Earth”

Black Math Horseman – “Tyrant”

Chelsea Wolfe – “Kings”

Myrkur – “Onde Born” (Live)

Every Monday Night, 9-11, on WOZO-LP Knoxville Community Radio and

Bicameral Headbanger Episode 54 (Nov 7 2016)

Nightbringer – “Et Nox Illuminatio Mea In Deliciis Meis” and “Lantern of Eden’s Night”

The USA Is A Monster – “Poison Plant”

Wolvserpent – “In Mirrors of Water”

Inter Arma – “Transfiguration”

Ulcerate – “Extinguished Light”

Samael – “Into The Pentagram”

Origin – “The Appalling”

Tid – “Frost”

Royal Thunder – “Time Machine”

Suicide – “Cheree”

Bicameral Halloween 2016

First and most importantly: Updates on #NoDAPL from Democracy NOW!

If you are interested in resisting the pipeline, you can check out
If you’re in Tennessee, there’s:

And now, your Halloween 2016 Heavy Metal and Retro Doom (you can actually understand the words this week, weird) Playlist:

Mercyful Fate – “Evil”

Candlemass – “The Well of Souls”

Church of Misery – “Blood Sucking Freak”

Invasion – “Conjure War” – “Alchemy” – “Spells of Deception”

Cirith Ungol – “Atom Smasher”

Lucifer’s Friend – “Everybody’s Clown”

High Priest of Saturn – “The Warming Moon”

Lucifer – “Anubis”

Black Sabbath – “N.I.B.”

Slough Feg – “Death Machine”

Dio – “Invisible”

Judas Priest – “The Ripper”

Manowar – “Kings of Metal” and “Blood of the Kings”

Iron Maiden – “Hallowed Be Thy Name”

Helloween – “Halloween”

Every Monday, 9-11 PM WOZO-LP 103.9 FM Knoxville Community Radio and

The Bicameral Headbanger Episode 52 (24 October 2016)

The Bicameral Headbanger Episode 52 – Playlist

Diamanda Galas – “You Don’t Know What Love Is”

Auroch – “Billowing Vervain” and “He Wreaths the Cross”

Ta-Nahesi Coates – The Case for Reparations (2014)

Portal – “The Back Wards”

Unru – “Das Anna Karenina Prinzip”

Chthe’ilist – “Scriptures From the Typhlodians”

Book of Sand – “White Man’s Burden”

Noam Chomsky – “After the Electoral Extravaganza” (2016)

Every Monday Night, 9-11, on WOZO-LP Knoxville Community Radio and

The Bicameral Headbanger Episode 51 (17 Oct 2016)

Panopticon – “Resident”

Martröð – “Draumleiðsla”

Virus – “Afield”

Suicide – “Frankie Teardrop”

Emma Goldman on Patriotism (read by Sandra Oh)

Morbid Angel – “Where The Slime Live” #ECW

At the Gates – “Unto Others”

Frederick Douglass on the Fourth of July

Yanis Varoufakis on Guaranteed Income

Howls of Ebb – “Subliminal Lock – A Precursor to Vengeance”

Every Monday Night, 9-11 on WOZO-LP Knoxville Community Radio and

The Bicameral Headbanger Episode 50

11 October 2015

Mithras – “Psyrens” and “Worlds Beyond the Veil”

Indian – “No Grace” and “Rhetoric of No” (RIP Bill Bumgartner)

Goatpsalm – “Flowers of the Underworld”

Void Omnia – “A Fallowed Remembrance”

Iron Maiden – “Back In The Village”

Book of Sand – “The Mountains Are Waking Up”

Glenn Branca – Symphony 5, “Describing Planes of an Expanding Hypersphere”

Every Monday Night, 9-11, WOZO-LP Knoxville Community Radio and

The Bicameral Headbanger Episode 49 – In Which I (Falsely) Accuse a Man of Attempted Murder By Means of Delicious Well-Seasoned Hamburgers

At the WOZO 2016 Grillfest, after eating many delicious hamburgers and side-items and drinking many beers I nearly lost my life from puking so much.  I also experienced strange visions, hallucinations and emotions.  I used this thematically-unified show to process my feelings over the airwaves while mean-spiritedly blaming WOZO Grillfest organizer Aaron Campbell for my illness even though I probably just drank too much.

I will not forget, Aaron Campbell.

And I will not forgive.

My heart is flame.

My eyes are flame.

Even though I probably just drank too much.

Also shout out to Krazy K’s dog for allegedly eating my vomit.

Monday, September 19, 2016 Playlist:

Holodomor – Apocalyptic Hangover

Morbid Angel – Blessed Are The Sick

Carcass – Maggot Colony

Jeff Walker Und Die Fluffers – Sunday Morning Coming Down

Ripper – Vomiting Blood

Inherit Disease – Dark Facets of Self-Indulgence

Darkthrone – Effed Up And Ready To Die

Swarm – Rising Up Through Your Chest

At Mortem – Release

Ulcerate – Everything Is Fire

Origin – Consuming Misery

Death Vomit – Indestructible Abominations

Portal – Plasm

Obituary – Splattered

Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight – Sack of Vomit

Ab Imo Pectore – Mass Grave Emanations

Soilent Green – Lovesick

Indian – Rhetoric of No

Nightbringer – I Am The Gateway

The Rolling Stones – Loving Cup

Every Monday, 9-11 PM, WOZO-LP Knoxville Community Radio and

The Bicameral Headbanger Glen Langston Tribute (1 August 2016)

This past week, I was contacted by one of our loyal listeners (actually Jon, the second-most loyal listener of the four) who told me the story of one Mr. Glen Langston, a fine friend of his who recently passed away. He tells me that Glen was a fan of the great Ronnie James Dio, Iron Maiden, and heavy metal in general, and that he would like to dedicate a song to this fine departed friend.

I said hell, any fan of Dio is a friend of mine, and I was going to play a bunch of songs about dead people turning into zombies and mummies and the devil anyway, so tonight’s whole damn episode of The Bicameral Headbanger was hereby dedicated to the memory of Glen Langston as well as all headbanging friends and loved ones recently departed. Gone but not forgotten goddammit


Saint Vitus – “Born Too Late”

Candlemass – “Samarithan”

Samael – “Into The Pentagram”

Metallica – “Orion” (anything pre-Lars-Ulrich-dental-caps is acceptable on this show)

Iron Maiden – “The Clairvoyant” (srsly what’s up with this peeing guy)

Dio – “Straight Through The Heart” (because fuck yeah) (music @ 1:15)

Mercyful Fate – “Black Funeral”

Carcass – “Reek of Putrefaction”

Nile – “The Blessed Dead”

Immolation – “Put My Hand In The Fire”

Obituary – “Body Bag”

Cryptopsy – “Dead and Dripping”

Mortician – “Deranged Insanity” and “Three On A Meathook”

Grave – “Into The Grave”

Black Sabbath – “Hole In The Sky”

Judas Priest – “Beyond the Realms of Death”

Helloween – “Halloween” (does not make literal sense and was therefore designated appropriate) (also some genius made a legit video for the entire 13-minute song awesome)

HIM – “Don’t Fear the Reaper”

Every Monday, 9-11 PM, on WOZO-LP 103.9 FM Knoxville Community Radio and