The Nation of Ulysses - Political Concepts

Political Concepts

Nation of Ulysses described themselves not as a rock 'n' roll group in the traditional sense, but "as a political party" and as "a shout of secession." Explaining their intent, Svenonius said "it's basically a new nation underground for the dispossessed youth colony. It's all about smashing the old edifice, the monolith of rock and roll."

Allmusic's Steve Huey described Nation of Ulysses' philosophy as "a relentlessly provocative (and entertaining) jumble of teenage rock 'n' roll rebellion, leftist radicalism, anarchist punk polemics, and abstract intellectual rambling, an off-kilter, almost tongue-in-cheek approach to a 'perpetual 18-year old's' view of America, and life in general." This tongue-in-cheek political attitude was echoed by a spoken-word introduction to the song "The Sound of Jazz to Come", from their 1992 Plays Pretty for Baby, in which the band describes themselves as "the seriously unserious, reverently irreverent, amoral moralists."

Asked about their use of the medium they claimed to counteract - rock 'n' roll - Svenonius declared "Well, it's a camouflage, to allow for movement, revolutionary liberation from the constraints of everyday composure, basically allowing anybody to move in anyway that they want and to lift spirit to a plateau to destroy 'parent culture.' "

Nation of Ulysses claimed to make weapons, not records. Discussing their second release, Svenonius asserted: "it's like a blueprint for the destruction of the Parent Culture. It's like a zip gun ... It's an instruction pamphlet for kids on how to destroy their home life, you know, their domestic state."

Although their first album was named 13-Point Program to Destroy America, Nation of Ulysses didn't align themselves with a particular political philosophy: "We don't usually address normal political dictums. We aim toward the everyday fixtures of life, like aesthetics, sound, non-spoken things that are inherently political in nature instead of, like bogus politicians who focus on glossy surface issues which avoid any kind of revolutionary change."

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