Hail Sulla
Half of this album, I figured, would be biographies, which can be detail-saturated and dreary perhaps, and not everyone's cup of tea. Thus, I tried to balance it out with hardcore punk songs. I wanted a homage to Sulla, and the biographies, especially the Roman ones, just proceeded from there.

Hail Sulla- I have been enamored of Sulla since reading the Masters of Rome series, of which he was prominently portrayed, including First Man in Rome, Grass Crown and Fortune's Favorites. He came to particular fruition in Grass Crown. Great historical fiction- truly made history come alive; thank you Colleen McCullough. You opened up a whole new world for me.

Yes, I did love how Sulla 'stole' his armies, and was rumored to have sacrificed women to get to the top, and was utterly ruthless in attaining his goals, as well as being a womanizer and philanderer, an abomination to the aristocracy, and of course talented and accomplished general. None of that, though, is really all that admirable in and of itself, in a noble sense of improving society. I had to search for that- and I finally did come to see him as a perverted sort of Robin Hood. After all, the ill-gotten-gain of his proscriptions was taken from the opulent rich, and was dispersed among the working man soldier, and to rebuild the infrastructure of Rome, or at least contribute to it. Was he the first to 'redistribute the wealth' ? Was he really a socialist? Could he be, while still being an optimate conservative? Hmm... I think I'm getting ahead of myself.

Last Guardian of Rome- I became an Aetius fan from the brilliant performance of Powers Booth in 'Atilla', where he played the antagonist of the barbarian warrior. He really was the last great general of Rome (not counting Belisarius, of course), and did save the West from total annihilation from Atilla. This is relevant today though. Where is today's Aetius? Is it Le Penn? Faraj? Trump ? Who an save the west TODAY ?

Clash of Civilizations- I always connected and identified with Stilicho, upon my first discovery of him. We are both of barbarian blood, but true Romo-philes. We are both committed to cultures that are bent on self-destruction, and as he was betrayed by the very empire that he fought so hard for, I feel betrayed by a nation that I care so much for. He perished ultimately at the hands of his own nation, and I am perishing at its hand, as well.

Man with the Iron Heart- I'm actually more of a fan of Eichmann, perhaps because there was a movie about him that I liked a lot, and I like his surname a bit more. You have to respect a guy, though, that even HITLER HIMSELF called heartless. Hitler, called him, the man with the iron heart. That is heavy praise. I had to pursue this a bit more.

Pervert is Back- I liked the line from the movie 'People vs. Larry Flint', and the fact that he referred to himself so transparently as a pervert. The magazine itself could never hold a candle to Playboy, but I do like the theme, that the American dream can come true for anyone, even a sullen degenerate, and it is a dream that is open for anyone.

The Original- I heard someone once, a DJ on the radio I think, pose the question- who was better, Stones vs. Beatles? I was never a big Beatles fan, and liked the Stones a lot more. They are a 60's band though, and ALL of their good stuff came with Jones in the band. His accents made those songs great, and once he was gone, they became a novelty act, touring and recording on their reputation, with very few even good songs coming out of the studio. I read a bio on Jones when I was 15, and instantly connected with him, as even a rock star, was still ostracized within his own world, a cast-out, just like me. I think that's why Kurt Cobain was so iconic- it's not that he had such great songs. He had a few. It is that every boy dreams of being a rock star, and heck, if only I could be, I think it could be happy. Not only did Cobain have that, but friends, millions of fans, money, a wife and child, EVERYTHING, seemingly, and not only wasn't he happy, he was so distraught that he killed himself. The message was, and will be in eternity now- don't envy me, empathize with me, because we are on the same level, regardless.

First Martyr of Democracy- Such a great story, and parable, the story of the Grachi, two brothers that cared more about their fellow man than glory or riches, tried to do something about it, and both perished ultimately. No good deed goes unpunished, I guess. Strange, that just like the first Maximus, who got the title not for being a great general, but improving society, these two are so iconic, yet not your typical Caesar or Marius, but politicians, who did as politicians are supposed to do- lobby on behalf of THE PEOPLE, and no one else.

All Rise- I hate arrogance. I have been involved in enough court proceedings, to witness this strange phenomenon: ingrained into the process, is this obligatory demand for EVERYONE in the room to rise and hail this dickhead in a dirty black robe. I love seeing people remain sitting, when I have seen it. I haven't been in that position myself, as you can't really tick off the dude who is passing a judgment on you, but who the fuck do these jackholes think that they are, to DEMAND and EXPECT that everyone, even totally innocent observers and bystanders, rise and salute him?

I am a Fashion Mistake- I wanted to write an ant-fashion song. I have a lot of 'anti-' songs, it seems, but also wanted to lampoon the male pantsuit, as I call it- the blazer and jeans. I'm professional, but still kind of hip, aren't I ?

Serenity Now !- I try to put exclamation marks at the end of as many titles as I can, and I don't think they can be overused, either. I love the line from the Seinfeld episode, from George's dad, and how he totally misapplies it. 'I don't think you're supposed to yell it, dad' to which he responds, 'he wasn't specific, about the application', or something to that effect.

I Don't Have an Office- What a mark of a professional man that has made it, and a reminder that I will never make it, in this capacity, I suppose. I began to think about the significance, metaphorically, especially, of 'The Office', and all that it encapsulates. I remember being so awestruck when I entered my dad's office, when I finally visited him at work, or my uncle's office during baseball camp, where he was the head coach, and how plush it was. The ironic thing, is that skilled blue collar labor, anymore, frequently pays more than white collar work, and as Gordan Gekko said, ' it's all about bucks, kid. The rest is just conversation.'

I Wanna Run an Abortion Clinic- The Sex Pistols have an abortion song, so I wanted one also. Not a lot of bands or writers have, or want, an abortion song in their catalog, but how could I be without one? If the only band I can think of, that has one, are the Pistols, then I HAD to write one. There is a whole category of jokes devoted to dead babies: they are actually called dead baby jokes. How about a category of song devoted to dead babies? It is also another satire, this one on the 'what do you want to be when you grow up, Johnny? You can be anything you want.' Has a boy ever, I wonder, in history gave this response, to his folks? You learn a lot in acting about the response/reaction look, as I understand it. This reaction facial show, of BOTH parents, simultaneously, would be priceless.

Underutilized (the Forgotten Man)- You really are sold a bill of goods when you are young- you do this, do that, make all the right moves, and everything will fall into place for you. And then it doesn't. I have had, on several occasions, golden opportunities dangled right in front of my face- that I deserved, and had worked for, and accumulated credentials to entitle me to, to only have the fruit yanked away from in front of me, and with it, the rug from under my feet. It is a theme in my life- one of several, and mostly negative.

I am the Rabble- I was trying to enter a building through a side entrance, and when I was let in, the fellow said something along the lines of 'just trying to keep out the rabble.' And I immediately thought- 'I am the Rabble.' I am not some Hollywood big shot, that lives in an isolated, gated community of fellow millionaires, in their mansions, going to their private parties and their award shows, patting themselves on the back, meanwhile lecturing the masses about their immorality. It reminded me a stat I heard in European History in high school- where about 1% of the population were nobles, 1% were the clergy, and these were the rich and privileged. The other 98% lived in dire poverty, fighting for a loaf of bread, and yet somehow the clergy held the moral high ground? If you really care about the poor and downtrodden, give away 98% of your wealth to charities. You can survive just fine on the remaining 1 or 2 million dollars. THEN, you can lecture me. Pull a Robin Culcorde, for those of you Cheers fans. I wouldn't expect that, but then I could stop believing you are all totally full of shit. Actions speak louder then words, as loud as your words are. I think its a matter, not of white guilt, but rich guilt- how can I continue to condemn the millionaires and billionaires, when I am myself? How can I NOT be a hypocrite? I'll be an outspoken socialist, at least in word, if not in deed- do as I say, not as I do.

Get Off My Nuts- Amazing where you will pick up little bits of wisdom. I overheard a student of mine say this to a buddy of his, and immediately began working it in my mind, metaphorically, as he was using it, and it is such an upgrade over 'get off my back', but I had to take it somewhere else besides that. Then I was talking to a buddy of mine, and how his wife was nagging him to death on a regular basis, and it hit me.