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The Book that Belongs in a Militaristic Kitchen

| 9/3/17 12:47pm

Courtesy of Wired

The song “Militaristic Kitchen” by the Oregon folk punk group, The Taxpayers came out in 2009 on their second album, a Rhythm in the Cages. The band’s statement about the album clarifies that they wrote it about finding out how to “live gracefully under pressure” in these tumultuous times until things start looking up.

Like most punk bands, The Taxpayers have a penchant for getting political. Despite the fact that “Militaristic Kitchen” is less than 3 minutes long and has only 3 verses which are generally very repetitive, it makes itself very clearly about anarchism. The third line of each verse is each time some quick anarchistic platitudes followed by a very enthusiastic “I love you!”. That’s the part of the song that catches my attention for the most part.

It’s not like anarchist punk bands to write lots of love songs, although The Taxpayers have been known to do it more often than other bands of the genre. It’s hard for me to believe, though, that this love song is romantic. The first line of the first two verses refer to the “militaristic kitchen” as a “pluralistic freak show”. In order for anything to be pluralistic it must be made up of a group of people. What Rob Taxpayer appears to be singing to in this song is not one person but a group of people, a group of people who he somewhat lovingly calls a freak show.

Although it’s quite common for folk punk bands to sing lovingly about their crazy anarchist friends (Ghost Mice did it best), I feel that I have reason to believe that Taxpayer is addressing much more than that. In the last verse in the place of calling the kitchen a freak show he exclaims “This is just the beginning now!” then it’s followed by the repeated second line “Get off the hesitation. Get off the fucking sidewalk. I love you”. The third line is then also changed, instead of just stating anarchist values the song commands one to “Watch your back! Watch history! Watch everything and act!” and then instead of the freak show line, the line from the beginning of the verse is repeated.

So, Rob Taxpayer is out here advocating for people to become educated and aware and to begin a violent revolt against the state. Cool, nothing out of place here, everything checks out. Except for of course, that this is a love song. It’s not a love song about one person, no that would be bourgeoisie of them. It’s a love song to us, to people. The message of the song is that because Taxpayer has so much love for people he wants us to fight for this anarchistic future in which was can all be happy and together and get along, and he romanticizes the revolution that it will take to get there.

Really cute wedding invitation idea, you know, for when marriage is no longer an institutionalized form of slavery.