"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
The Tea Party Nation, one of the more extreme factions of the Tea Party movement, has dipped deeper into the conspiratorial waters of antigovernment lore, most recently promoting the Oath Keepers and other antigovernment “Patriots” as the last line of defense for Americans increasingly confronted with “a government verging on evil.”
In a post published over the weekend on the Tea Party Nation’s website, regular blogger Alan Caruba painted a dire picture of the threats to freedom that lie in wait under President Obama, whom he calls a “red diaper baby” and a far-left functionary “raised from birth and mentored to embrace communism.”
“Obama’s disregard for the Constitution, its separation of powers, and Americans suffering greatly from his policies, suggests that he is not beyond making the greatest grab for power using a bogus ‘national emergency’ or manufactured ‘crisis’ to declare martial law,” Caruba wrote. He goes on to cite three recent executive orders as proof positive that Obama is setting up the nation to abandon its constitutional mandates and wage an all-out campaign against freedom.
And that’s where the Oath Keepers comes in.
Founded three years ago by former Army paratrooper and Yale Law School graduate Stewart Rhodes, the group operates under the defiant banner of “Not on our watch,” plying thousands of politically disaffected men and women with ideas of a totalitarian “New World Order” looming on the horizon. The group is composed of active and retired military and law enforcement personnel who vow to uphold their oath to the Constitution and disobey orders they deem to be in conflict. Inherent in the group’s “Ten Orders We Will Not Obey” is a roster of far-right conspiracy theories involving domestic prison camps, the dismantling of the Second Amendment and more.
Caruba is also the communications director for the anti-New World Order American Policy Center, so it’s no surprise that he would repurpose the Oath Keepers’ paranoid talking points. “The biggest question facing Americans is whether the members of our military and our law enforcement authorities would obey [Obama],” Caruba wrote. “My bet is that they would not.”
In a series of articles last year, Caruba lashed out at immigrants, Muslims, the LGBT community and, of course, Obama. In one of those articles, he likened Obama to Casey Anthony, the single mother from Florida who had just been acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. He has also been a perennial opponent of Agenda 21, a benign multinational agreement signed 30 years ago to protect the environment that has increasingly been compared on the far right to a blueprint for the New World Order.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)
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