Burn After Reading

Go see Burn After Reading. George Clooney and Brad Pitt star in the Coen Brothers movie about CIA-themed madness and violence. It’s crazed, darkly funny, violent. Hey, it’s a Coen Brothers movie!

Special bonus: As the credits rolled, the soundtrack was “CIA Man” first recorded in about 1965 by the Fugs, and sung now (I recognized the voice) by original member Tuli Kupferberg.

Who can kill a general in his bed
Overthrow dictators if they’re Red?
Who can squash republics like bananas
If they do not like their social manners?
Who can train guerrillas by the dozen
Send them out to kill their untrained cousins?
Fcukin’ A, man, C.I.A. man.

The Fugs were maybe the first protest band, as well as the first DIY band. They could be sacred, profane, horny, as well as satirically humorous as witness their antiwar song “Kill For Peace.”

Near or middle or very far east
Far or near or very middle east
Kill, kill, kill for peace
If you don’t like the people
or the way that they talk
If you don’t like their manners
or they way that they walk,
Kill, kill, kill for peace
If you don’t kill them
then the Chinese will
If you don’t want America
to play second fiddle,
Kill, kill, kill for peace

I first heard the Fugs in 1965 when I was a teenager. They had a profound influence on my tender young psyche and I thank them for it. They showed that not only could you protest, you could have lots of fun doing it too.

Kupferberg is in his 80’s now. The Fugs are still recording with founding members Kupferberg and Ed Sanders still active. Their recent The Fugs Final CD Vol. 1 is maybe their best yet too.

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