Jello Biafra will not be quiet on GPS and the 'Police Truck' story

  • Is the story about the GPS true?
  • Worse, the "Police Truck" reference is true
Marc Broussely/GettyImages

The idea of Jello Biafra guiding you to your location seems hilariously ironic. Biafra is, of course, one of the best frontmen of any group ever, and he is a punk icon. He hasn't always been beloved, but for the most part, you don't have to guess what he was thinking.

But the idea of bringing an AI Jello Biafra voice on the road with you and on your phone seems, well...odd. Turns out there is a chance that the software for this exists, but the problem is that if you do have Biafra as the voice for your GPS, he doesn't stop talking. Like, ever.

According to a difficult-to-believe story from the Hard Times earlier this year (and well, of course, the story isn't true as the Hard Times is a punk Onion), a software engineer designed a Jello Biafra voice to tell you where to go and what to do. Literally. According to the story - and while it's fake, it is funny as heck - a driver used Biafra to get him where he was going but Jello Biafra's voice never shut off.

Jello Biafra on GPS is funny but the "Police Truck" story is not

The driver even took Biafra into a coffee shop with him but Biafra "started loudly proselytizing about ‘the cafe’s farcical fair trade pledge while stocking unethically-sourced Nestlé products.’" Funny. Only I guess the barista was attractive and Biafra became an embarrassment. Many punks see the real Jello Biafra in this light anyway.

A worse story, because it is sadly true, is about the Dead Kennedy's song "Police Truck." The song references the alleged brutality of the Oakland police department in the 1970s and beyond. According to the song, police officers were get drunk and beat people up and do other more sirdid things.

Turns out the song was not only likely true but might have predicted a scandal that would occur at the Oakland police department in 2000 when an officer reported four other officers on offenses such as excessive force and planting evidence. This became national news and might have been the basis for the film Training Day, which starred Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. None of the officers ever went to jail, though the city of Oakland settled a monetary amount - worth $10.9 million - with the 119 plaintiffs that entered a case against the officers for their alleged crimes.

This ties into the Jello Biafra-penned "Police Truck" because the chorus of the song involves the words, "Ride/Ride/Oh, how we ride." The four officers accused of the crimes were known as the "Riders."

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