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Well, I read last week’s article on the new Fugazi album (“Kill Yr Idols,” 5/15) more than once, to make sure I had the gist of it and so as not to sound like a knee-jerk, reactionary apologist for the band when I wrote this. I wanted to come up with a sophisticated counter argument to the author’s claim that the new album “may show the members of Fugazi to be more human than anything they’ve done before” and that the band are “as apathetic and phony as the rest of us.”

However, I scrapped that plan in favor of a direct attack on the author: Yr article is completely back-asswards wrong, and you are a bitter, untalented hack. You jerk.

First of all, there is nothing in the band’s previous work that suggests that they are (or think of themselves as) more than human, or human-but-without-sin, or whatever it is you were getting at (but ultimately failed to communicate ’cause you were too busy quoting 7-year-old fanzines and telling pointless anecdotes about flushed hamsters). I’m talking about the work here—Fugazi’s actual songs—not the media portrayal of the band, which, you correctly note, tends toward the worshipful. And I’m not talking about Minor Threat, either—whose legacy of righteous indignation follows Fugazi like an annoying and homely little sister.

As with most bands who traffic in guitar noise, shouted vocals, and propulsive rhythms, Fugazi do seem to be angry a lot; but anger is not all they offer their listeners. Maybe it’s just me, but I actually feel kind of joyful when I hear “Smallpox Champion,” even if the song is about the white man exterminating the indigenous population of America. At any rate, last time I checked, anger is still on the list of human emotions. It is only human to have strong beliefs, and to struggle with those beliefs when the world isn’t in agreement; in that, Fugazi are (and always have been) about as human as they come. So they don’t write songs about girls. So what. It’s not like there’s a shortage.

Secondly, how can Fugazi be “phony” when it’s the media (and overzealous fans) who misrepresent the band as punk superheroes? Of course they’re going to fall short if everyone expects them to be perfect and all-knowing. Personally, I find them more interesting as people who fall short of their ideals but continue working and making good music.

About the new album: I like it pretty well, although that lyric about shit being ripped out of our behinds is pretty bad. Congratulations to the City Paper for publishing a music review that will actually get some reader response. Perhaps that’s why you chose to run it, in lieu of a review that made any sense.

Arlington, Va.

via the Internet