The Mothers — A nice place to visit

By Allan Kamin

The Varsity, 26 January 1968

Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the Ignited States:

My fellow war freaks; I have often been accused of being plastic (aside to Press – that is, full of bullshit). I can only say in my own self-defence that I love my children, and my children's children, and I will not allow their minds to be enslaved and twisted by dopepeddlers the likes of Mao, Leary, Kropotkin, Kosygin, Feuer, Nasser, and, above all, or rather should I say in all honesty below all, by . . . THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION!

(The President extends his hand as the audience erupts in loud applause, and a halfdozen obnoxious-looking long-haired gentlemen in tuxedos prance onto the platform to continuing waves of applausse. The President presents the leader of the group, the most obnoxious-looking of them all, with a bright orange and a daffodil, and strides nobly off the platform, all the while proclaiming : "Yes, I love my children, love them, love them, love them . . . "

The leader, an ex-ad-man named Frank Zappa, adjusts the microphone, eyes the audience with contempt worn thin by repeated play, spits on a swooning old lady in the first row, and begins some gentle ribbing of his host, the President:

"He's been sick, and I think his wife is gonna bring him some chicken soup."

At this point, the entire Mothers' chorus breaks into a round of:

"Plastic people, O baby, now you're such a drag."

And so the Mothers, whose latest album, yet to be released, is entitled "We're Only in it for the Money," begin another command performance.

The groovy thing about the Mothers is that people like them for so many different reasons. Witness:

A. "I dig the Mothers bescause they tell middle-class straight parents what creeps they really are. Mommy and Daddy are plastic dolls which can be programmed to do whatever you want them to do. The Mothers really sock it to them when they tell them: "If your kids were to find out what you're really all about, they'd kill you in your sleep."

B. "I like the way the Mothers hold musical mirrors to show part-time hippies and hip teeny-boppers their true nature, that of ornate, vigorous versions of middle-class phoniness. Making the drop-out scene? Then 'be a bummer every summer.' And remember, if you're the type of man who blows the minds of the grooviest chickies, that 'brown shoes don't make it' ".

C. "The Mothers' trip is telling the high school set what a fraud their entire scene is; they specialize, in fact, in parodies of old soppy high-school hop numbers. I enjoy the way they cut up the phony sentimentality and pointless emotionalism of puppy love, in fact, of love in general."

From a lecture on enlightenment: You may ask: "How can a person, a person like myself, attain enlightenment?" The answer is simple. The process of attaining enlightenment can be broken into two parts:

A. Denial:
– of the structures which society has placed in your mind;
– recognition of these structures to be unreal, artificial, diverced from your true nature: in short, bullshit;

B. Affirmation:
of a reallity that exists beyound these structures;
– this reality consists of:
   – love
   – harmony
   – the flow of god through all people
   – green things in general

For further instruction on this, read any book by Watts, Alan, but don't believe a word.

If there were a cosmic division of labour (which there itsn't, accordingto my oracle) the Mothers would be the specialists in negation. The fact is, the Mothers act as if there indeed such a division of labour. Why? Because of their own general uprightness,
cynicism, lack of any genuine feel for human emotions.

But why complain? What comes out of Frank Zappa's head (he writes all their material) is the funniest stream of outrage available today. They are especially good on things like vegetable love ("Call any vegetable, and the chances are good the vegetable will respond to you") and a trapped white-collar minds' fantasies about doing "nasty with a teen-aged queen, of about thirteen (If she were my daughter, I'd . . .")

They are also top-flight musicians, who launch frequently into excellent jazzy improvisations.

All of which makes the Mothers a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.