Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What's wrong with Mojo.

Okay, I like Stuck Mojo and have for years. (First album = 1996's Pigwalk.) So, I say this with trepidation: but I think Rich Ward (guitarist, singer, mainman) may be a racist. This is not in any way an aesthetic condemnation, incidentally; but it does suggest a reconsideration of a lot of his output.

Basically, the situation is this. Stuck Mojo's newest album, which is available for free download at their website, has a song on it called "Open Season". Pretty standard for Mojo; if you've heard of them before, you'll recognize the style immediately. (Aside: that would be my biggest aesthetic knock against the album. It all sounds like what I've heard before.) There's also a video for it floating around on YouTube. Problem is, looking just at the lyrics, it's hard not to see it as claiming that all Muslims are inherently evil:
... Claiming that you're a religion of peace, We just don't believe you, We can clearly see through, The madness that you're feeding your people, Jihad the cry of your unholy war, Using the willing, the weak and poor, From birth drowning in propaganda, rhetoric and slander, All we can say is damn ya ... I don't need a faith that's blind, Where death and hate bring me peace of mind, With views that are stuck deep in the seventh century, So much sand in your eyes to blind to see, The venom that you leaders preach, Is the path to your own destruction, Your own demise, You might say that I don't understand but your disgust for me is what I realize, Surprise! Your homicidal ways has got the whole world watching, Whole world scoping, So if you bring it to my home base, Best believe it, The season's open ...
Etc, etc. The video is a little better, as the images aren't of Muslims generally but Jihadists. A representative of CAIR (The Council on American Islamic Relations) made an oblique and condemning reference to it (which is a bitch to find; it's here, but I had to go through (*gag*) LittleGreenFootballs to find it), and Rich tries to defend himself here.

Here are the problems, though. As said, CAIR may have gotten the wrong end of the stick when it comes to the video, but the lyrics are pretty ambiguous between both interpretations (i.e., all Muslims are bad and deserve to die vs. Jihadists are bad and deserve to die). The comments on the House of the Ward forum are also pretty ambiguous, for the most part, but some are also quite vicious (e.g., on the second page, the commentators who suggest shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pig's blood). Ward is also clearly enjoying the support of LGF and others of the American right-wing psychosphere, so there's a connection (of some kind) between himself and pretty vicious racists. And Mojo has a rep (which I previously thought undeserved) for sometimes extreme right-wing political views.

This is thin, I know, which is why I hedged the claim above as Ward may be a racist. He may also be, unthinkingly, buying into the dominant myth in the US: clash of civilizations, war on TERRAH~!!, Muslims = evil and Christians = good, the same old shit we've heard before. He may also believe inconsistent things (e.g., Muslims are generally okay, but Muslims are also evil and deserve to be killed). The former is the possibility that troubles me.

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