I got really excited when I heard Travels with Myself and Another by the Future of the Left for the first time. Here, finally, is a modern album that deserves to be classified as punk. Andy Falkous (who was in McLusky, a band I have never listened to) has found the ball that was dropped when Jello Biafra left the Dead Kennedys, picked it up, and ran off with it. In searching for someone with whom to share my excitement, I cast my net far and wide, seeking someone who doesn’t shy away from a strong opinion and who, more importantly, has nothing better to do. Finally, I settled on former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who was gracious enough to join me for this conversation about the Future of the Left.
Bollocks!: Good morning, Governor. Or Former Governor, I guess. Anyway, good morning. Welcome to Los Angeles.
Sarah Palin: Hollywood needs to know: we eat, therefore we hunt.
Bollocks!: Okay. We’re in Van Nuys, but I’ll be sure to tell Hollywood the next time I’m down there. To be honest, I’m a little surprised that you agreed to do this, given your well-documented disdain for the media (of which I’m only barely a part) and the fact that I volunteered for the guy who handed you and John McCain your asses in last year’s election.
Palin: Don’t underestimate the wisdom of the people.
Bollocks!: Well said. So let’s talk about the Future of the Left. Travels with Myself and Another is the first I’ve heard of them. Have you listened to any of their other stuff? I know Andy Falkous was in McLusky, for instance.
Palin: He’s also known as The Maverick.
Bollocks!: Andy Falkous is known as the Maverick? Is that why you listened to his album? I noticed during the 2008 campaign that you seem to have a Maverick fetish.
Palin: That’s why John McCain tapped me…
Bollocks!: He what?
Palin: I’m all for contraception and I’m all for any preventative measures that are legal and safe.
Bollocks!: Fine, I guess. But too much information. Let’s talk about the Future of the Left…
Palin: You’re gonna see anti-hunting, anti-second amendment circuses from Hollywood.
Bollocks!: Perhaps I should be more specific. I meant the band the Future of the Left and their new album, Travels with Myself and Another. I think it’s one of maybe two or three truly decent punk albums of the last few years.
Palin: There is much good in store further down the road.
Bollocks!: You really think so? Or are you just saying that because Creed reunited?
Palin: They’re our next door neighbors.
Bollocks!: That makes sense in a perverse way. What did you think of Travels with Myself and Another?
Palin: I see the hand of God in this beautiful creation.
Bollocks!: You do? It strikes me as pretty secular album. How do you feel about the line in “The Hope that House Built” where Falkous sings, “Re-imagine God as just a mental illness”?
Palin: I think there’s a lot of mocking of my personal faith.
Bollocks!: Well, I don’t think Falkous was going after you personally —
Palin: This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America.
Bollocks!: That’s probably because he’s British.
Palin: We’re gonna do what we have to do to protect the United States of America.
Bollocks!: From the British? I think we were done doing that after the war of 1812. What was your favorite – or least favorite – thing about the Future of the Left record?
Palin: I think that’s been probably the most hurtful and nonsensical blast that we have taken. It’s been an embarrassment.
Bollocks!: Wow, you really took this album personally. Why?
Palin: We are facing tough challenges in America, with some seeming to just be hell-bent maybe on tearing down our nation, perpetuating some pessimism and suggesting American apologetics, suggesting perhaps that our best days were yesterdays.
Bollocks!: Um. “Apologetic” is an adjective. You just used it as a noun.
Palin: How ‘bout, in honor of the American soldier, ya quit makin’ things up?
Bollocks!: I assure you that “apologetic” is an adjective. And why would you bring up the troops in this discussion? Is it because it’s Veteran’s Day? Even if that’s the reason, what makes you think we honor our soldiers by speaking like fucking morons?
Palin: It will make us a more peaceful, prosperous, and secure nation.
Bollocks!: What will? Talking like idiots?
Palin: It should be so obvious to you.
Bollocks!: You’re not making sense. I know that’s kinda your thing, but you’re making less sense than usual today. Care to explain?
Palin: God is gonna tell you what is going on.
Bollocks!: Really? Okay. Let’s just sit here and wait for God to tell me what’s going on.
[HOURS LATER. MANY HOURS LATER]
Bollocks!: Still not getting anything. While we were waiting, though, I had the chance to listen the whole album again – twelve times – and I’m really struck by the sense of humor evident on it. It’s obviously angry and aggressive, but there are some laugh-out-loud lines, like “the night might hide my shame/ but shame won’t dry my balls” and “slight bowel movements preceded the bloodless coup.”
Palin: I have that within me also…
Bollocks!: What? A sense of humor? A slight bowel movement?
Palin: Things are perculating…
Bollocks!: I think you mean “percolating.” Do you need to use the restroom?
Palin: I believe I’m a heckuva lot better off putting my life in God’s hands.
Bollocks!: You can put your life wherever you want, but you’d better put your feces in the toilet. It’s just down the hall there.
Palin: That’s reckless.
Bollocks!: Placing your turds in the proper receptacle is reckless?
Palin: I haven’t spoken with anyone who disagrees with my position on that.
Bollocks!: You’re speaking to someone now who disagrees with your position on that. You’re not gonna crap on my rug, are you?
Palin: What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys…
Bollocks!: Look, there is no deal we can strike where I will let you drop a loaf on my floor. I rent this space, lady, and I hope to get my cleaning deposit back. Maybe we should wrap this up so you can go do your business elsewhere. Anything else you’d like to say about the Future of the Left?
Palin: I’m just so extremely proud of Track, my son… on his calf, he has a big ol’ Jesus fish.
Bollocks!: You’re son has a Jesus fish tattoo? Is that like the evangelical equivalent of the tramp stamp?
Palin: You’re absolutely right on.
Bollocks!: Great. Well, I’d like to thank you, Mrs. Palin, for stopping by and torturing the English language with me for a bit. Also, thanks for not pooping on my floor.
In retrospect, I guess we didn’t talk much about the Future of the Left in that interview, so let me just wrap up by saying that Travels with Myself and Another is an aggressive joy of an album and you should check it out if you were wondering what happened to all the good punk bands.