U.S. Techno-Industrial Base Eroding Due To Foreign Competition

In This Section

Vol 31 Issue 09

Tom Bosley Named Secretary Of Naps

WASHINGTON, DC—Beloved veteran actor Tom Bosley, star of Happy Days and Father Dowling Mysteries, was appointed U.S. Secretary of Naps Tuesday. "I think the American people can be comfortable with Mr. Bosley's solid record on napping," President Clinton said. "He will serve our nation's napping interests well." Bosley's platform includes a 20-minute snooze at his desk during daylight hours, an occasional dozing-off toward the end of the day, and prolonged weekend lie-downs at home in the early evening hours, when, Bosley said, "I tend to get really sleepy."

Twentysomething Generation Turns 35

AUSTIN, TX—Advertising agencies across the nation reacted with shock Monday, when the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that the mean age of the "twentysomething generation" is now 35. According to the report, the twentysomethings are no longer 20- to 29-year-olds who wear ripped flannel shirts and "hang out" on college campuses. Most are now married and have full-time jobs. Todd Leaks, an Austin-area twentysomething, recently turned 36. "I was 28 when that book Generation X came out," he said. "Man, that was a while ago already." Labels previously ascribed to the twentysomethings, such as "Generation X" and "slackers," have now been transferred to those Americans born between 1968 and 1977, who have also adopted the clothing styles and musical tastes of the twentysomethings.

Visa Fires Bob Dole

NEW YORK—Credit-card giant Visa announced Tuesday that Bob Dole has been dropped from its current "No ID" advertising campaign. "The American people were just not responding to Bob Dole," Visa director of corporate communications Ron Landau said. "People found him to be depressing." When asked how he felt about being fired, Dole said, "I can say my line differently if you want. Tell me how I'm supposed to say my line." He then burst into tears.

Congress Approves $15 Billion MediCruelty

WASHINGTON, DC—With a rapidly aging populace in increasing need of medical care, Congress approved funding Monday for MediCruelty, a new system of health care which focuses on cruelty toward the elderly. "Care is very expensive," Sen. Al D'Amato (R-NY) said. "It will be much more cost-effective in the long run to be cruel to the elderly." The system will offer seniors Emergency Neglect Service, a 24-hour toll-free number that will connect to nowhere. Clearwater, FL, resident Gladys Rankin, 72, is already among the first recipients of MediCruelty. A rare bone disease has rendered her immobile, and treatments for her condition are very expensive. Under Medi-Cruelty, she was left outside her senior center near a back-alley dumpster Tuesday. "My bones hurt," Rankin said.

Firewood, Bread Top New Russian Agenda

MOSCOW—Russian leaders Monday unveiled their new agenda for the next several years: the procurement of firewood and bread. "Our homes are very cold," Kremlin official Igor Kerensky said. "Many of us have not eaten for days." The new agenda replaces a previous one, which involved the development of a technologically advanced, fully modernized nation-state capable of leading Europe into the 21st century. If the firewood plan is successful, within five years Russian leaders hope to shift their focus to obtaining running water and soap. "Do you have food?" Kerensky added. "I am very hungry."

Protecting The Police

In the wake of an ever-growing number of shootings of police officers, including last week's L.A. bank-robbery shootout, debate is raging over how to better protect our nation's law enforcement officials. What do you think?

Rules Grammar Change

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Grammar Guild Monday announced that no more will traditional grammar rules English follow. Instead there will a new form of organizing sentences be.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Late Night

Sleep

U.S. Techno-Industrial Base Eroding Due To Foreign Competition

WASHINGTON, DC—With first-quarter Club Rotation Index figures the lowest in seven years, and imports outselling domestic 12-inches more than two-to-one, economic observers throughout the U.S. are sounding the alarm over the nation's rapidly declining techno-industrial base.

Some of Chicago's 20,000 out-of-work clubgoing elite line up for unemployment benefits. Such scenes are commonplace across the U.S., as the nation's once-great techno-industrial base struggles to keep up with European and Japanese imports.

"America faces a grave moment of crisis," said DJ Nathan Brackett, Secretary of Industrial and Hardcore, in a recent speech before Congress. "Vinyl imports from both Europe and Japan are threatening our nation's once-great techno-industrial power base. Our Gross National Beats Per Minute is at its lowest point since 1991. The message is clear: We must fuck up the mix, or all is lost."

In its late-'80s/early-'90s heyday, America's techno-industrial complex seemed unstoppable. Led by such formidable powers as Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, the U.S. achieved near-total dominance of the global dance-mix marketplace. Even in the traditionally insular Eurodisco field, the loud, banging, clamorous sound of American-made techno strongly influenced such foreign industrial powers as Front 242 and KMFDM.

Less than a decade later, however, the glory days of the American techno-industrial complex seem far away. With over 20,000 former clubgoing elite out of work in the warehouse district of Chicago, and the Detroit house scene over $7 billion in debt, bitterness over the nation's eroding techno-industrial base can be felt throughout its once-thriving industrial centers.

And with the rise of such overseas dope on wax as drum 'n' bass, ambient and jungle, the problem, experts say, is not going to go away any time soon.

In fact, many fear that foreign competition from such heavy-hitting imports as England's Prodigy and Chemical Brothers, Germany's Atari Teenage Riot and Japan's DJ Krush—whose rare vinyl imports fetch up to $29.99 domestically, even for a remix track—will overtake America's floundering techno-industrial base by the year 2000.

Many, including NYC illbient's DJ Spooky, contend that fault lies in American industrial's inability to adapt to the changing realities of modern times.

"We must retool America's angry, metallic, hard-edged industrial mix to better reflect the mellowtronic, groovadelic peace memes of the emergent global cyber-age," he said.

California's DJ Shadow agreed. "We are being beaten at our own game. Trip-hop was invented here, but right now, the British are simply doing it better," he said. "America has got to seriously remix its priorities."

In the face of the foreign dance-floor dominance, President Clinton is urging Congress to pump money into the revitalization of the nation's techno-industrial infrastructure.

"It is not enough to say, 'We must drop bass.' It is not enough to say, 'We must rock the crazy beats,'" President Clinton said Monday in a secret live appearance at D.C.'s famed underground The 930 Club. "If American techno is to become the world's leader once again, we must drop much bass; we must rock mad, phat-ass, crazy beats; and we must do so quick-fast in a hurry, 24-7, 365. And I am out."

Many conservatives in Congress, however, oppose to such change. "U.S. techno-industrial is hardcore, and it must stay hardcore," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). "Would Al Jourgensen wear a T-shirt depicting smiley aliens telepathing 'Love' to their baggy-pantsed children? Techno should be about hate, not love. Techno is about wearing black and screaming, not standing in one place and swaying peacefully. I say, bring back the days of Skinny Puppy."

"Techno? Industrial? I am not familiar with these strange terms," said Rolling Stone magazine's Jann Wenner, speaking from one of his boats. "I do understand, however, that something called 'electronica' is the Next Big Thing. It says so right on the cover of our latest issue."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More