promises are kept

thoughts from the mind of Mitch Brown

Month: February, 2013

Pump Up The Volume Is Still One Of My Favorite Movies

I can’t remember the last time I heard someone talk about the movie Pump Up the Volume. Has it been forgotten?, left to collect dust in some type of post-Reagan/ pre-Nevermind pop-culture purgatory. I’m not sure it could even be labeled a cult classic. The movie was one of my favorites growing up.

Pump Up the Volume centers around the life of Mark Hunter, played by Christian Slater. Mark is a shy, smart loner who has recently, due to his father’s superintend position, moved to Paradise Hills, Arizona . At night he broadcasts a pirate radio station under alias of Happy Harry Hard-On.

He uses his voice to provide a no-holds barred, uncensored societal commentary, with much of his angst directed at the school he attends, and rightly so.

The administrators and faculty there are truly on some rank bullshit. They are expelling kids deemed to be undesirables for such innocuous offenses as getting pregnant or low test scores.

Mark catches wind of this and exposes the school’s draconian bullshit live on the air. The plot thickens when another distraught loner calls the show and threatens to commit suicide. At first Mark is flippant towards him, but when he realizes the caller is serious, he tires to talk him out of it. By then, it’s too late. The caller’s mind is made up, and the kid kills himself later on that night.

The authorities and the school blame Mark, and the FCC and federal authorities are brought in to bust him.

I think a greater understanding of all movies, music, and art can be ascertained by understanding the social, cultural and political climate of the time in which they were made.

Pump Up the Volume dates back to 1990, an era in which 2 Live Crew were put on trial because of the content of an album, the FCC hit Howard Stern with hefty fines, and Andrew Dice Clay had feminists riled up over his vulgar nursery rhymes.

Issues of censorship and the question of how far can someone go with free-speech hung heavy in the air. Pump Up the Volume fired back with an answer.

Pump Up the Volume would not work today as a remake, due to the growth of technology and social media. Mark is broadcasting on a short-wave radio set his dad bought him to keep in touch with friends back East, but the reception wouldn’t reach that far.

Today, Mark could just stay in contact with his friends via Facebook. Or he could do a podcast and not have to worry about the FCC. Although technology has grown by leaps and bounds and culture has shifted, the movie’s message remains relevant, that being that free speech should remain free.

I can’t say this about a lot of movies but when I first saw Pump Up the Volume, I felt inspired , not to become a pirate radio DJ, but to find my voice, use it, and say what needs to be said, regardless of who is offended by it.


Iconoclast (Boyd Rice documentary)


Get In The Van By Henry Rollins



Words Of Wisdom From the Mouth Of Boyd Rice(some of my favorite Boyd Rice Quotes)



The will to label will always prevail over what’s being labeled,
usually at the expense of either truth or understanding”

“I’ve never been a believer in equality. When I was a child I was an elitist because I felt I was more intelligent than my peers. I could clearly see people around me who were just unaware of a lot of things happening in life. It ingrained a feeling of elitism in me. I know the score, and most people really don’t. With all the people harping about egalitarianism, I started thinking nobody’s equal.You can’t find two dogs that are equal. If you get two worms, one of the worms might be stronger than the other worm.This is true throughout the entire fabric of nature. Why should we assume it’s different with people?”

” When you really love life and love yourself, you have to exercise control. You have to use discrimination. To me this means knowing what things are in your favor and what things aren’t, and then acting on that knowledge. This can be as simple as merely realizing that some people aren’t smart and some are stupid, and some are weak, and some are strong. I know this to be true. And I know that if I associate with people who are stupid and weak the quality of my life will be diminished and cheapened. So I act accordingly. And my life is a thousand times better because of it. If I were a misguided idealist and considered every human being a worthwhile individual, I couldn’t enjoy the sort of quality existence I have now. That’s very basic and simplistic, but judging by a lot of people I’ve seen, most people have lost sight of such an idea.”

When you divorcee the concept of love from the organic laws of life, it becomes a meaningless abstraction. It ceases to fulfill its’ natural function, and it becomes something malignant instead. In Africa for centuries, it has been considered an act of love to take weak or unhealthy babies and toss them to the gators. To me, that makes perfect sense. But if a black mother leaves a crack baby in a garbage dumpster to die a merciful death, she’s slammed into jail. It’s the same love, but what seems reasonable in a more natural environment seems barbaric in an environment as unnatural as the one in which we’re living today.

There are a lot of people out there who think that I am their worst enemy, and I don’t even care if these people exist.

“I think Christianity is sort of a slave creed that is out in the world to fulfill a really specific function. I think that certain people need that creed, it keeps them in line and gives their life some sort of direction or order, and if they didn’t have it they’d put all that energy into something else equally misguided or unfocused.”


“Don’t shrink from natures brutal perfection. Take joy in it. Embrace it. Understand it and revel in it. Respect it’s strength, it’s wisdom, it’s brutality and it’s all-encompassing power. The highest law has always been, and shall be, nature; and the greatest wisdom forever lives in and through nature’s eternal Fascism.”