I’m a steelworker, I kill what I eat

There’s this song by Big Black that I really like. In the album notes, Steve Albini (what? You don’t know who he is? Ack!) says, simply, “man, we got a lot of miles out of 2 notes.”

I shared the song with a really good friend of mine that I knew in Nuke school (NFAS and NNPS and NPTU). He was seriously fucked in the head, which is why I liked him so much, of course.

He was ugly as sin – shaved head (wiffle cut), snaggle-toothed, dorky, no fashion sense (he had a home-made mouse skull earring at one point). Lived by his own rules. One time, he was taking apart a camera and we were having lunch at his apartment. He learned something about capacitors that day – he touched one and it stood him up and straightened his arm out. I think it was the cap that fed the camera’s flash. It was FUCKING FUNNY, man, and I couldn’t stop laughing for about 20 minutes. I think I was literally on the floor gasping for breath, I was laughing so hard. He was mad at first, then a little scared, then he thought it was funny. He dared me to touch the cap but I refused, as any sane person would do (I have just a hint, a shimmer of sanity in me sometimes).

Ahh, good times.

He was transferred to the USS Enterprise. His wife later blew his head clean off with a shotgun. True dat.

Now I can’t listen to this song without picturing his skull fragments on the wall, his poor dad that loved his son dearly and was SO proud of him for joining the military, and who had to bury his kid, and his kid brother that idolized him… and wondering how she got away with murder – and the $200K life insurance the Navy gives you (which she had recently upgraded from the default $100K).

Without further ado, I present to you Steelworker from the album The Hammer Party. Enjoy. And rest in peace, Derek (it’s been almost 14 years to the day). And may your murderous, bitch wife’s cunt fall off.

Steelworker.

The only good policeman is a dead one
The only good laws aren’t enforced
I’ve never hung a darkie, even a big one
I’ve never seen an Indian on a horse

And I live like this ’cause I like it
And seen too much to pretend
You can’t ignore the beauty in the things that you love
Like you can’t stand the hatred and the lies

Have you always hunted with your hands?
Can you show me what you’ve done?
Have you always hunted with your hands?
If you catch it, can you kill it?

You don’t understand, see you don’t understand
See, I’m like a murderer, see, I’m like a murderer
And I could rip you limb from limb
And I could rip you limb from limb
Great big thing crawlin’ all over me
Great big thing crawlin’ all over me

See, I’m like a murderer, I kill what I eat
See, I’m like a, I’m a hunter-gatherer, see, I kill what I eat
See, I’m a steelworker, I kill what I eat
See, I’m, I’m a bricklayer, I kill what I eat
See, I’m a, I’m a murderer, I kill what I eat
See, I’m a, I’m a hunter-gatherer, I kill what I eat
See, I’m a steelworker, I kill what I eat
I’m a, I’m a bricklayer, I kill what I eat

Great big thing crawling all over me
Great big thing crawling all over me
Great big thing crawling all over me

Have you always hunted with your hands?
Can you show me what you’ve done?
Have you always hunted with your hands?
If you catch it, can you kill it?

I live like this ’cause I like it
And I’ve seen too much to pretend
You can’t ignore the beauty in the things that you love
Like you can’t stand the hatred and the lies

See, see, see I’m a murderer, I kill what I eat
See, I’m, I’m a bricklayer, I kill what I eat
See, I’m a steelworker, I kill what I eat
It’s a great big thing crawlin’ all over me

Great big thing crawlin’ all over me
Great big thing crawlin’ all over me