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The Essay
Show #409
The Repelicans
David Gunn

Besides the discovery of a thriving civilization of hyperkinetic space ducks on the moon, the news these days is of war. The Middle East, Afghanistan, Colombia, Chechnya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Santa Cruz--nearly a dozen sectors of the world are ablaze with hot-not-cold war. But nowhere is the fighting more ferocious than in Iraq, and nowhere are the warriors more formidable than that country's Republican Guard.

The Republican Guard is the fearsome fighting elite of the Iraqi armed forces. Formed in 1980, the Guard's mission is to protect the president's regime--much as the Praetorian Guard defended the ancient Roman Empire. However, as feared and fierce as these fighters are, they are mere amateurs when compared with a brutish group of warriors that terrorized, of all places, central Vermont fifteen years ago. I'm talking, of course, about the Repelican Guard, the never-say-die defenders of the Repelican Party!

The Repelicans formed in 1988 for the express purpose of electing Zed Stanton to the office of school board member for the town of Roxbury, Vermont. Stanton's credentials were nothing short of impressive. An esteemed public servant, he had already held the offices of Roxbury town representative, Washington County attorney and Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, among others. The fact that, at the time of the 1988 election, Mr. Stanton had been dead for sixty-seven years mattered not a whit to these aggressive political combatants. For the better half of an especially vitriolic campaign, the Repelicans were the underdog darlings of the political pundits, but then some of their bizarre post-electioneering tactics caused them to fall out of favor with the media. Today, even the most comprehensive news archive pointedly fails to even mention them. Thus, that task falls to me.

First of all, to put an end to any speculation as to how the election turned out, the dearly departed Zed lost in a squeaker, 104 to 14. In hindsight, the Repelicans should have asked for a recount, due to the mysterious nature of the hanging chads on nearly all of those 104 opposing ballots. Stanton--or at least his assigns among the living--never challenged the results of the election, a non-action that served to let their Guard down. Which in turn got their hackles up.

And so the Repelican Guard, already somewhat revolting, commenced a wave of insurrection and rebellion. And while, as already noted, it was fierce enough to eclipse the exploits of the modern Republican Guard, the Repelicans' efforts were entirely without either guns or butter. Their weapon of choice was music.

It was a two-pronged attack: on one hand, they unleashed some of the most raucously cacophonous acoustic events ever heard in the state; on the other, they wrote and disseminated campaign songs that were insidiously euphonious.

The following aural examples--it pains me to call them "music"--are provided as instructional material, only. They are not suitable for children of any age, save for those that you don't like very much, or persons with acute craniorhachischisiological conditions. First, the piece that broke radio transmitters in all 14 counties of the state: "The Supreme Ululation of the Repelican Gourd." [example]

That piece had at least some benefit to Vermonters, as it effectively expelled from their homes all kinds of parasitic vermin as well as many relatives who had overstayed their welcome. It was composed--if I may abuse the word--in one querulous hour by the Repelican Social Realism Committee. A group of anarchists from the state's southern sector briefly adopted it as their alma mater until the group's sole rational member dispatched it with an act of matricide.

Now we turn to the thoroughly evil campaign song. With their backs to the political wall and public support all but gone, the Repelicans fought back with the appalling "Stand Up For Stanton." [example]

The words, in case you couldn't make them out over the drums and screams, are:

   Stand up for Stanton, thirteen cheers for Zed

   Oh put him back in government, for too long hes been dead;

   Roxbury needs him, he'll taketh back our school

   His platform's traditional--home fries and home rule.

   Zed and Roxbury town go hand in hand like beans,

   Vote him into office so you won't live beyond your means;

   Zed's the best one for the job, he's qualified at least

   Unlike that dame, so write in his name, no matter he's deceased.

You see? Perfectly hideous. Not to be outdone, however, is "The Grande Eccentric Marche of the Repelicans." [example]

That was but one verse of three. After the recording session, the recording engineer was so distraught that he swallowed the microphone and briefly hung himself with one of the chads. Now he is institutionalized at Saint Salmon's Hospital for the Terminally Befuddled in southwesternmost Lincolnshire.

Because Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar has, for the past 408 episodes, been an egalitarian clearinghouse for unusual and sometimes difficult music, I thought it would be an ideal forum for the Repelican Guard's sonic detritus. But Kalvos apparently demurred, for instead of embracing it, or at least putting up with it, he up and absquatulated to Florida! Thus, the rest of the show will be Kalvless, though it will feature music from the war-resistant vaults of Canada. Details follow.