The 4th of July is supposed to celebrate America’s independence as a country. Some take it as a symbol of their own personal liberty and freedom as well.
But for those of us who are alienated, ostracized, and outcasts, it’s nothing more than an obnoxious day of ear shattering fireworks and a reminder of how we don’t belong or fit in.
Beginning with my early childhood, I’ve experienced not belonging every day of my life – and it has been more painful than any bombastic adjectives I can muster. Growing up I was harassed daily, called every name in the book, and lived under the constant threat of attack from classmates, kids in the neighborhood, my family, and shockingly, even my teachers in school.
It certainly inspired me to rebel, and I wrote protests songs, flaunted my oddness, my unusual physical appearance, my otherworldly energies, and threw it all back in everyone’s face as MY statement in return. And thankfully, it brought about tremendous new innovations in music, art and performance as I waged war on the mediocre, conformist, and hateful world that tried to throw me out of it. The way I felt was that no one’s gonna stop me unless they kill me.
One of my favorite protest songs I wrote was created in the mid 1970s and called No Liberation Here – and it reflected the social and personal degradation that many of us on the outside experience. And to this day, I cherish that song as it speaks an intensely clear message that is more relevant today than when it was first written over 30 years ago.
At that time in the mid 1970s, alienation was a freaky fringe kind of a thing and not a mainstream phenomenon at all. So there I was for the whole world to see: the freak show to be mocked, attacked, laughed at, and sometimes celebrated. And as usual, I was well ahead of the times of where society and the world were at.
When I wrote No Liberation Here, I not only reflected quite graphically my own personal experiences of hell on earth, I also foretold the future of where society was going.
Back then, no one thought that the whole world was going to end up feeling alienated, but now, everyone does. Whether it’s due to race, sexual orientation, religion, political preferences, physical appearance, social standing, harassment and violence, career, money, etc., the world at large feels quite alienated and disconnected.
In fact, mediocre artists now have to play up their own generic form of alienation and act out foolishly in public, get arrested, shoot others or get shot at, have predictable drug and alcohol problems, just to get noticed. Now, alienation is one’s obligatory calling card in pop culture.
So with all of my battle scars, it’s most fitting for me to rename Independence Day to No Liberation Here Day. To everyone who doesn’t belong, you have a home with me, C’mon right in, and let’s celebrate who we are!
And instead of meaningless phallic-orgasmic-symbolic-fireworks, I have a gift for you!
For 10 lucky winners, I am giving away a great Skafish collector’s item that has never been sold. It is a special limited edition promo CD for my most recent album, “What’s This? 1976-1979.” This is not just the retail CD simply marked promo, but a unique piece that has its own design.
I am really excited to be able to offer this gift to you which I will be happy to personally autograph, and I would love for all of you to enter to win. Whether you’ve known me from back in the day or just connected with me recently, to everyone: enter now!
To be eligible to be a contest winner, do the following:
1-Leave a comment here on www.skafishblog.com with the exact phrase No Liberation Here Day in it
2-Leave a comment with the exact phrase No Liberation Here Day in it on my Facebook pages
3-Leave a comment with the exact phrase No Liberation Here Day in it on my MySpace pages
4-On Twitter, Tweet this: @skafish No Liberation Here Day
You can enter once on each site, up to 4 total entries per person and everyone worldwide is eligible to enter and win!
The contest ends on Tuesday July 6, 2010 at Midnight Eastern Time. Then, we’ll announce the winners on Thursday July 8, 2010.
To wearing our alienation proudly and defiantly! – Jim Skafish