Boneheads

I watched this shockumentary last night about neo-nazis called Skinheads USA. I had Tivo record it because I thought it was something new, but when I went to watch it I discovered it had been made in 1993. That makes it so out of date I’m not sure what the point of showing it was except to contribute to the general fear mongering of the media (“Tonight, learn how a common household cleaner can KILL YOU!”).

The whole show centered on this small skinhead group in Alabama, which has been defunct since 1997 (not that the show tells you that). Basically, it’s one guy in his 30s who has a house out in the woods where a bunch of young skinheads estranged from their families live. Here they are free to have birthday parties for Hitler, shout out “white power” and “sieg heil” endlessly, shoot assault rifles, and plan their race war. (“Holocaust 2, coming soon to a town near you,” one of them jokes). There’s a reason we refer to these guys are “boneheads” in the punk scene. They are just really dumb to start with. There’s a scene where they are all sitting around the house watching Triumph of the Will. The leader says, “Look at that, see how happy the German people are.” Yeah, dude, you’re watching a propaganda film, of course the people look happy! It’d be like trying to judge the success of collective farms in the Soviet Union by watching their propaganda films. “Look at those peasants, they are so happy!”

The sad thing is that you can see how some of the same factors that get kids into punk also drove these young guys to become skinheads. Abusive families, the corporatization of America, no prospects, political alienation, etc. They just draw all the wrong conclusions. They complain, for example that all the good jobs are leaving the country. But they blame it on immigrants instead of the corporate leadership that makes such decisions (because most such leaders are white, of course). Then they trot out old saws like ZOG (the Zionist Occupational Government, who are supposedly running the show in Washington you see).

So yes, it’s nauseating all right, but it’s also pathetic. When they hold a rally to proclaim Alabama a new homeland for the white man, there are maybe 20 people in attendance and they are far outnumbered by cops and protesters (the reaction shots of the black police officers who have to work the event are priceless). Even later when the skinheads have a “unity rally” and join forces with the KKK, they get perhaps 40 people to attend. If it’s supposed to scare me that a handful of crackpots are holed up in the Alabama woods, the documentary really missed the mark. It is positively laughable that these guys think they are the heirs of the Third Reich. As the Dead Kennedys so eloquently put in their classic anthem “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”, “In the real Fourth Reich you’d be the first to go!”


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