Friday, September 05, 2008
Jello Biafra for President!
For those of them who have seen my candidacy as a publicity stunt or a joke, they should keep in mind that it is no more of a joke, and no less of a joke, than anyone else they care to name. - Jello Biafra
Many punk rockers and San Francisco residents will remember the autumn of 1979 - Dead Kennedys front man, Jello Biafra ran for mayor of San Francisco as a prank, using the Jell-O ad campaign catchphrase, "There's always room for Jello" as his slogan.
Urban legend has it that Jello wrote his campaign platform on a napkin while attending a Pere Ubu concert - fitting in, if you ask me, with the whole Theatre of the Absurd that the band took its name from (go look up Ubu Roi). In another absurdist and theatrical move, Biafra wore campaign t-shirts from his opponent Quentin Kopp's previous campaign and even vacuumed leaves off the front lawn of another opponent, Dianne Feinstein, to mock her publicity stunt of sweeping streets in downtown San Francisco for a few hours. Jello finished 4th in a field of 10 candidates, and received 3.5% of the vote (6,591 votes). That's nearly the number of the entire population of Wasilla, Alaska...
Feinstein won that election. She is now a US Senator.
Now that we are in the middle of what promises to be just as fierce a fight for the Presidency as there has ever been... we could use a little levity. Did you know that in 2000, the year that the current President managed to take hold of the office, Jello Biafra mounted a Presidential campaign? oh yeah.
In 2000, the New York State Green Party drafted Biafra as their candidate. Jello and and a small delegation of Biafra supporters found their way to the party convention. Alas... the party overwhelmingly chose Ralph Nader as their candidate.
Not to miss a single step, the politically minded Jello and a camera crew he called "The Camcorder Truth Jihad" later reported for the Independent Media Center at the Republican and Democratic conventions. Jello's album, Become The Media gives full details of these historic 2000 Presidential election events and the slogan "Don't hate the media, become the media" which comes directly from that album reminds us every day that we must embrace the absurd.