A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 10, 2012
“Government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex”

The musician Frank Zappa (1940-1993) often spoke about politics, usually in defense of Constitutional first amendment protections of the freedom of speech and expression. In The Real Frank Zappa Book (1989), he wrote:

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Politics Is the Entertainment Branch of Industry.  C-SPAN’s coverage of governmental proceedings is wonderful. Caution! Buffoons on the Hill! Wallowing in blabber and spew, regiments of ex-lawyers and used-car salesmen attempt to distract us from the naughty little surprises served up by deregulated corporate America.”

Zappa also said “politics is the entertainment branch of industry” in a 1987 interview with Keyboard magazine. The quote means that industry runs government, and all politics (such as elections) are strictly for the public’s entertainment, fooling voters into thinking that the elections matter. The term “military-industrial complex” replaced “industry” in Zappa’s quote ("Government/Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex") by at least 2002.

[This entry was prepared with the research assistance of the Quote Investigator.]


Wikipedia: Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, recording engineer, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.

Google Books
Keyboard
Volume 13
1987
Pg. 74:
Well, I think it behooves them to have political thoughts, but let me make a definition clarification here. I say politics is the entertainment branch of industry, and government is what we need.
(This quote is from a music magazine article about Frank Zappa. A more complete citation is in the 2008 book Keyboard Presents The Best of the ‘80s—ed.)

Google Books
The Real Frank Zappa Book
By Frank Zappa with Peter Occhiogrosso
New York, NY: Poseidon Press
1989
Pg. 322:
Government in “the New Perfect America”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Politics Is the Entertainment Branch of Industry.  C-SPAN’s coverage of governmental proceedings is wonderful. Caution! Buffoons on the Hill! Wallowing in blabber and spew, regiments of ex-lawyers and used-car salesmen attempt to distract us from the naughty little surprises served up by deregulated corporate America.

27 July 1989, Buffalo (NY) News, “The Opinionated World of Frank Zappa” (a review of the book cited above) by Elmer Ploetz:
“Politics is the entertainment branch of industry,” he says, and “wallowing in blabber and spew, regiments of ex-lawyers and used-car salesmen attempt to distract us from the naughty little surprises served up by deregulated corporate America.”

Google Books
A Small Town for Its Size
By David Collins
Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.com, Inc.
2000
Pg. 203:
“One of the things my artist friends like to point out is that politics, entertainment, and business are the same thing. Like Frank Zappa said: ‘Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.’ It’s all a big sideshow, all set up to divert your attention from the way corporations are screwing the public.”

Google Books
We Are All Normal (and we want our freedom):
A collection of contemporary Nordic artists writings

Edited by Kaye Sander and Simon Sheikh
London: Black Dog
2002
Pg. 365:
Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex
Frank Zappa

Elburro
Kids Ate my Mom’s Computer
November 6th, 2002 By elburro
(...)
Or, keeping in mind the words of Frank Zappa, “Politics is the entertainment division of the Military Industrial Complex”, (yes, I voted though, dammit) I’m going to switch to a subject somewhat closer to my heart: ...

The Times of India
The great Indian game show
Vikas Singh, TNN Aug 18, 2003, 12.00am IST
(...)
Either way, Monday and Tuesday promise to bear out Frank Zappa’s observation that the government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.

Google Books
The Best Liberal Quotes Ever:
Why The Left Is Right

By William Martin
Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks
2004
Pg. 88:
Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex. — Frank Zappa

Google Books
The Snark Handbook. Politics & Government Edition:
Gridlock, Red Tape, and Other Insults to We the People

By Lawrence Dorfman
New York, NY : Skyhorse Publishing
2012
Pg. ?:
Government is the Entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.
-- FRANK ZAPPA

LewRockwell.com Blog
Politics...
Posted by Lew Rockwell on October 9, 2012 12:43 PM
“Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.” — Frank Zappa
(Thanks to Mark Fee)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Wednesday, October 10, 2012 • Permalink


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