"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)
One might expect that last weekend’s shooting of a couple of police officer and an innocent bystander by some far-right extremists would naturally result in some soul searching by conservatives. It’s far from the first time in recent years that it’s been revealed that heavily armed, anti-government ideologues were responsible for a killing spree. One of the more famous was the man who shot up a church in Tennessee back in 2008 claiming in his “manifesto” that it was out of his hatred for certain of his fellow Americans:
Adkisson stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country’s hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of major media outlets. Adkisson made statements that because he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them into office. Adkisson stated that he had held these beliefs for about the last ten years.
Similarly, the alleged male perpetrator of last weekend’s shooting in Las Vegas characterized liberalism as a “mental disorder” and incoherently spouted extremist ideology he apparently picked up on far-right websites and social media. Needless to say, he and his wife wound up at the Bundy Ranch and were, tellingly, just two among a number of well-armed volunteers who were deemed too volatile even for that crowd and they were sent packing.
But never let it be said that the right wing isn’t deeply concerned about the threat posed by extremism and domestic terrorism. They are on it. On the same morning that this violent event happened, the conservative website Townhall was sounding the alarm about the mortal peril we are all in from the fanatics in our midst:
Now, one would naturally assume that this person was talking about the one example of such a domestic terrorist, a man by the name of Floyd Lee Corkins, who pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in 2012 for nearly carrying out a plan to shoot members of the Family Research Council over the organization’s stand against gay rights. But oddly, he wasn’t mentioned in the piece.
Indeed, none of the people mentioned in the piece would normally be thought of as violent much less inclined toward terrorism. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to even call them radicals, although I suppose to this writer they certainly are. And the only dangerous weapons they can conceivably be guilty of carrying are legal papers. That’s right. These violent radicals are people who have sued over the discriminatory practice of refusing to make wedding cakes and and floral arrangements for gay couples.
Imagine the sheer terror of the poor baker when confronted with a live subpoena. Try to calculate the horror of a florist being forced to defend his belief that the happiest day of these people’s lives is an act of violence. I don’t know how they’re going to find the strength.
This writer homes in on the true nature of this terrorist threat:
Make no mistake about the LGBT intentions. No longer content to ‘fit in’ or simply be ‘accepted’ by others for living an odd lifestyle, today they are out to castrate the minds and hearts of others into supporting their deviant faith – or crush those who might oppose their ranting into oblivion. As per the LGBT website, their goal is “… to seek to change the hearts and minds of Americans to ‘equality’ …” – unless you happen to be an American who doesn’t want to be brainwashed.
You see, these violent terrorists are seeking to castrate people. Or do something to some part of their body, at least, although it’s hard to picture exactly how that works.( It must be some gay thing …) But basically it comes down to a very special terrorist tool: brainwashing people against their will, also known as “seeking to change the hearts and minds of Americans” — and then crushing everyone who doesn’t succumb into oblivion, naturally. They’re terrorists, after all, armed with dangerous LGBT stealth weapons of persuasion.
And, needless to say, these terrorists have engaged Big Government in their quest to destroy America. Evidently one infiltrator, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, charged a God-fearing decent American with discrimination for refusing to do the floral arrangement for a couple of deviants. She wonders how he could possibly do such a thing when Washington has murderers and armed robbers running around. And then answers her own question:
The obvious answer is simple. Ferguson is out to rid Washington of God, teach Barronelle a lesson, and make a name for himself in the process. And he’s gone after God and Barronelle with a vengeance.
What other motive could he have?
Meanwhile, in Colorado a baker was attacked by another one of these lethal gay-bombs and barely survived. Well, actually he survived just fine but he was publicly embarrassed and that’s just as bad as being shot at by a terrorist. Anyway, he’s now baking so many strudels and crullers for true American patriots that he may not have to make any more wedding cakes for deviants or anyone else. How’s that for all-American pluck?
Unfortunately, “the LGBT” terrorist group that is brainwashing and castrating and forcing people to “jump into bed with their sexual promiscuity and deviance” is continuing to carry on its “violent war” against decent people and “conservatives and Republicans must raise their voices before it’s too late” in order to “fight tyranny in whatever form it takes.”
Pay no attention to the domestic terrorists who are actually gunning down their fellow Americans. They’re just exercising their Second Amendment right to foment revolution and/or kill people they don’t like. The only way terrorists can win is if some gay couples have the right to buy some stale cake and some droopy flowers for their wedding day.
Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby," is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.More Heather Digby Parton.
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)