How Gene Simmons Politically Alienates the Freaky Fans He Helped Create

The bass playing businessman-in-makeup from KISS helped create a generation of weirdos that his political worldview has no tolerance for.

Gene Simmons is a patriot, goddammit, and America made him great. Or so you would be left to believe if you took the Ayn Rand of stadium rock’s word for it. No offense, Neil Peart, but you’re fucking Canadian.

Where other musicians have struggled to balance their commercial success with their aesthetics, Gene embraced the dichotomy by increasingly trading artistic merit for cash and groupies without internalizing a realistic perception of what an unsavory schmooze this made him. All while allegedly remaining completely free of drugs and alcohol, which is sort of a cautionary tale against mixing rock and roll with sobriety.

Given so much success unburdened by artistic or existential self-doubt, Gene has increasingly adopted the belief over the years that anybody could repeat his level of achievement if they weren’t so much lazier and stupider than him. He believes that his current values apply retroactively to his earlier success, although there is no evidence of Gene’s conservative narrative until after he had sold millions of records and sold out major venues worldwide.

However given the aesthetic vision which he contributed to KISS, and the decidedly rash decision to leave a steady teaching career to play bass guitar in make up and high heels, it could probably be inferred that the younger Gene who engineered this path to fame and fortune was not altogether the John Galt character he seems to think (and certainly claims) that he is. In fact his well known history of making such boisterous claims seems counter-intuitive to the play-it-straight Americana he endlessly blathers about.

Fortunately, as Chuck Klosterman has pointed out, you don’t have to like the people in KISS to like KISS. Which is the most absurd form of gaining eminence and prosperity possible, and also one which happened far more coincidentally than Gene would lead you to believe. And so it also seems to work the other way, Gene doesn’t have to like KISS fans to like being in KISS.

Which is even more fucked up when you consider he probably had a lot to do with making his fans the kind of people he doesn’t like.

The entire aesthetic of early KISS was to be weird. They encouraged individuality and freakiness by embodying it aesthetically, and as a way of life altogether greater a sum than just their music. KISS was an image. And that image said to be yourself and explore the fringes and to ignore what the people judging you thought.

All of which is antithetical to the realistic ways in which success is achieved in the mythological American dream. That path leads us to conform and follow the formulas and to cater to paying customers before personal principles. Genes yellow brick road to achievement, according to his rhetoric after the fact, lies in direct opposition to the message embedded in the image of KISS.

In business the only place where straying from norms is considered beneficial is through novel innovation. While I am a fan of both the music and aesthetic of KISS, neither were particularly innovative, let alone completely original. Those evolved from things like glam rock, science fiction, comic books and pseudo-Asiatic theatrics; which I might note are all also pretty non-conservative sources of inspiration.

Yet the people who dived wholeheartedly into those aesthetics continued to seek out the odd and shocking. They explored the outer edges and transformed themselves into something far removed from the All-American archetype, and in doing so alienated themselves from mainstream culture, and so ever further away from the land of milk and honey.

The political narrative of Gene Simmons is antithetical to KISS and his own success, and it heaps nothing but scorn upon the kind of people who made him who he is through their passion and loyalty. As an added insult to fanbase injury, reality television and other media where he spouts off his inane egotistical bullshit have increased his success further.

Which means that even this facet of Gene Simmons could be a facade he created for shock value and increased status, which would make him an even greater God (of thunder)  or King (of the nighttime world) than his Army and/or detractors can even yet comprehend. That would be some of the greatest meta-level art of the 20th and 21st centuries, even though I doubt it is true. More likely he is a clever but lucky asshole, and we cannot help but always love the first person who spat blood and breathed fire for us.

The Metaphysical Implications of ‘Natural Rights’

god natural rightsAn unfortunate tendency of otherwise reasonable people is to evoke ‘Natural Rights’ in their arguments against the ever-encroaching advancement of the states authority. While I find no fault with the argument that the state is an invading alien force against the individual, when the basis of that ideology is that nature has inalienably bestowed some set of specific rights upon us, it begins to feel vaguely like the ‘social contract’ and other precepts of statists and authoritarians.

From Wikipedia:

Natural and legal rights are two types of rights. Legal rights are those bestowed onto a person by a given legal system. (i.e., rights that can be modified, repealed, and restrained by human laws) Natural rights are those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).

The concept of natural law is closely related to the concept of natural rights. During the Age of Enlightenment, the concept of natural laws was used to challenge the divine right of kings, and became an alternative justification for the establishment of a social contract, positive law, and government — and thus legal rights — in the form of classical republicanism. Conversely, the concept of natural rights is used by others to challenge the legitimacy of all such establishments.

Natural rights are considered ‘negative rights’, which are those which protect you against actions by others, whereas ‘positive rights’ are those which supposedly guarantee you specific actions which may be performed by you or on your behalf.

Natural Law is the basis of Natural Rights, and is said to be the basic principles bestowed upon humanity by God, nature or reason, depending on whatever wacky belief system you subscribe to.

Since a personal supernatural entity refuses to confirm or enforce natural law, let alone its own existence, ‘bestowed by God’ is not a rational argument.

Since nature is the sum of all existence and the interactions of its parts, and since we see the violation of natural rights occur regularly within nature, ‘bestowed by nature’ is not a rational argument.

Since ‘reason’ is the ability to provide coherence and consistency between phenomena, perception and conclusion, reason implies not a singular objective set of principles, but rather a way of arriving at them, ‘bestowed by reason’ is not a rational argument.

Any concept of rights that are granted are logically flawed. Natural rights depend on agency and volition by an external force. Which leads us back to the statist idea that rights only exist when backed by force. Giving that force a metaphysical cause does not change the idea that force is the enemy of the individual. Whether it is subservience to the protection racket of the state, or to that of God, nature or reason, rights that exist as the extension of forces more powerful than the individual violate the same Non-Aggression Principle that ‘Natural Rights’ advocates often adhere to.

The entire concept of rights is flawed. A ‘right’ is an attempt to turn a belief into an absolute objective constant. While those beliefs may be rational and beneficial, the attempt to codify them into the answer in the back of the book of existence is illogical. Positive human interactions are not formed by rights. They occur only with mutual voluntary consent of all involved parties, the details of which will change from one interaction to the next.

It is constants that interfere with humans right to interact in mutually acceptable ways. Rather than arguing for constants, liberty minded people should be arguing against them. Natural rights are, contextually, nothing but another immovable framework. While their content may appear beneficial, adopting the rigid context to apply them is using the same ideological tools of the state. There is no way to evolve beyond that institution so long as we are using the same sort of thinking it employs.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law; love under will.”
-Aleister Crowley

For a more detailed and humorous argument against Natural Law and Natural Rights check out this book, free to read online, by the greatest philosopher of the 20th Century- Robert Anton Wilson.

Natural Law, or Don’t Put A Rubber On Your Willy

Using a Monty Python skit as a metaphor, RAW utilizes an entire short book to destroy the ideological nonsense of Ayn Rand. Before there were online FlameWars, this is how shit got real.