The manifesto is a literary genre that is as equally for something as it is against something else.
Take this as you will, knowing that though the tongue may be firmly in cheek at times, the passion demonstrated here burns hot as a thousand suns.
The electric guitar must be killed. It lives, but in the manner of a mongrel at the end of a chain, balded and scabrous with mange, flea-bitten and worm-ridden, occupying a grassless patch of a backyard in ruthlessly humid southern summer, its master a white man who fondles it in rote repetition of the scales and arpeggios which bore audiences to the verge of suicide, a pock-faced basement denizen who hates women in general almost as much as his mother. Like the captive cur, it would kill itself if only it weren’t so horrifically senseless. In the name of all that is merciful, put the damned thing out of its misery, yesterday.
Whereas the electric guitar had been endowed with a set of symbols (male genitalia and weaponry primarily), much like a sextuagenarian, its potency is now gone. It is a shadow of its former self and must be put down if it is to retain a mote of its former dignity. For it no longer stands in for the young, the new, the exciting, or the energetic. The instrument was surpassed at the vanguard of electrified and electronic music decades ago by newer tech.
It’s a shade, somewhere between life and death. Let it die, and thereby pass fully into the realm of myth and symbol.
Kill it and burn it to ashes along with all other vestiges of Baby Boomer Culture, rid the globe of all symbols of that depraved and detestable age group, henceforth referred to as The Grievous Generation, for their doings are the undoing of civilization, as they have wreaked havoc on the world and all its systems for the greater part of a century, that generation of white free-loaders who took full advantage of the economic prosperity available in the aftermath of the Second World War, to the detriment of the planet’s once abundant, now dwindling bio-diversity. As The Grievous Generation die out, obese and afflicted with self-inflicted heart disease, let their memory and all signs of them be wiped from the face of our still lovely world, though now scarred from short-lived but intensive abuse.
Gibson declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy and we rejoice.
Guitar Center likewise declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy and we rejoice.
May Fender, Ibanez, Vox, Marshall, BC Rich, Paul Reed Smith, Electro Harmonix, Boss, Schecter, Spector, Rickenbacker, Epiphone, Danelectro and the rest follow suit with utmost rapidity. Sales plummet, and those corporations loose their stranglehold on teenage expression. We rejoice as the big box retailer and the guitar companies alike are downgraded by Standard and Poor.
We encourage these trends, although this slow death is far too inhumane to be tolerated by people of conscience, thus our advocacy for euthanasia.To hasten the imminent departure of this long-suffering beast, the electric guitar, one must avoid “playing” it in any usual or expected manner. To wit, I now present the KILLGUITAR MANIFESTO, or a list of acceptable and unacceptable procedures of handling the instrument.
WITH AN ELECTRIC GUITAR, ONE MUST NEVER:
1. Tune it to any standard intervals or chords. Preferably one would never tune it at all.
2. Pluck or strum its strings with a plectrum.
3. Sound triads, seventh, extended, or jazz chords, or any other combination of tones deemed consonant at any period in the entirety of the history of western music.
4. Perform a “guitar solo,” the single most disgusting and abhorrent display of instrumental masturbation the world has ever wished to unsee, the most trivial and superficial mockery of music the world has ever wished to unhear, employed churlishly to impress fellow witless and hygenically-challenged subterraneans. This gut-churning act of public self-abuse must not be performed with impunity, but must be punished unexceptionally for its synonymity to pure perversity.
5. Invest in expensive equipment, especially that capitalist lie made flesh, that infamous sonic tyrant: the vaccuum tube amplifier, outmoded, exceedingly weighty and bulky technology whose miniscule audio differentiation is only detectable by initiates in the instrument’s contemptible and endangered cult.
WITH OR TO AN ELECTRIC GUITAR, ONE MAY (SETLIST):
1. Use it as a feedback generator.
2. Shout obscenities and curses, hurl invectives, insult, or otherwise verbally abuse, destroy its self-esteem.
3. Strike it as one would an enemy: with a slap of insult or challenge, with a punch or kick intended for maximum internal damage.
4. Use it as a piece of furniture, a dish, utensil, or other item of household necessity.
5. Throw it against a wall or floor, or through a door or window.
6. Throw it out of a moving vehicle, or drag it behind, or run it over.
7. Set fire to it, but not in the gimmicky, show-business manner of the Grievous Generation rock stars of yore, in which the conflagration was quickly extinguished and the instrument thereby salvaged, but instead in the immolative manner of the Inquisition, consigning its body to the flames and its soul to hell.
8. Sledge hammer it or otherwise pulverize the instrument with some heavy implement.
9. Break it into many small, unusable pieces by raising it above the head and bringing it down full force, with all ferocity for the odious and reprehensible segment of the population it represents.
10. Shoot it with a handgun or rifle, blast it to pieces with a shotgun or explosives.
Only procedures such as the above will be tolerated, with scalar runs, blues licks, power chords, string-skipping arpeggio patterns, right-hand tapping, deprecated.