Jeff Moody

Greg Graffin’s Brain

By - Oct 16th, 2010 04:00 am

Bad Religion has never been one of my favorite bands. They’ve never been varied enough to hold my interest for more than four or five successive tracks. I dig fast and hard music (it helps keep my dusty heart beating) but I like a little change-up. Bad Religion never surprises me, and I love surprises.

What keeps me interested in this band though is Greg Graffin’s brain. All these years (30 of ‘em!) these guys have been hammering away, and Graffin’s sense of social justice has never faded. He writes literal, cerebral songs that have never come close to the elegance of, say, Joe Strummer, but I always find myself agreeing with him. Graffin is like the Noam Chomsky not just of punk, but of rock.

In his excellent book Global Brain, the brilliant science author Howard Bloom explains the equally important roles that conformity enforcers and diversity generators play in the shaping of societies. Graffin, as an academic and a punk, has straddled the fence between the two in spectacular fashion for years. The guy is remarkable.

That said, The Dissent Of Man is extremely alright. It ain’t gonna make my Top Ten, maybe not even my Top Twenty for the year, but every generation needs it’s Whitmans and Twains to help it understand it’s circumstances. Graffin is neither Whitman or Twain, but if yer ever feeling alienated, disinherited, even mutilated — he’s on yer side, and Bad Religion, I’m happy to report, can still help you thrash yer way through all that.

Categories: Other-views, Stripwax

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