Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where is the goddamn sun?

People don’t know how to offer opinions, specifically negative ones. No, that’s not quite right. People are under the faultiest impressions of when it’s appropriate to offer negative opinions. That’s much better. Okay, here’s what I mean. Listen up. No, before I even get into this, I should explain my qualifications a little bit. My name is Brendan and I write this blog in which I expound on my often negative opinions of things. Also, I spend a lot of time dealing with other people’s negative opinions of me (ie ‘you’re an asshole, your blog is stupid, your band sucks, you can’t sing, you’re a terrible bartender, you dressed the baby in WHAT?) and on and on and on. Now, make no mistake, I also get plenty of praise and compliments and I’m fine, self esteem wise. I’m not looking for any sympathy here. I’m merely spelling out that I have lots of experience in both receiving and giving criticism. Why is this important? I’ll tell you why…because everyone’s an asshole. Hey, look, me too, but the new sort of western cultural currency of irreverence and this internet thingy have created a world where everyone’s an asshole because THAT’S the best way to be, EXCEPT no one is good at it. (Right now, extra credit question…What’s this all going to come down to, eventually? YES! Exactly. Thank you for paying attention…anyway)
SO, not only am I positing a mass critique of the world at large (which will lead every self important prick who’s been foolishly raised to believe that they’re special to the conclusion that I’m writing about them specifically) but I’m employing a rather sketchy method of operation. Namely, I’m criticizing people about how bad they are at criticizing people, which is the idiot’s definition of irony, and the FIRST thing people who are mentally lazy do when they argue is hop on hypocrisy/irony as an iron clad defense against anything their critics are saying (yes, I KNOW the definition of irony. I JUST said ‘the idiot’s definition’). Am I jumping around too much? Probably. Let’s just suffice it to say that I slept well last night for the first time in weeks and my brain is shooting half baked ideas out faster than I can type. Where are we?
Okay, hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is like blood. It’s in everyone. As such, it’s rather easy to point out if you know someone at all. Anyone who’s ever considered the complexity of the human spirit for any length of time has come to this conclusion, but the idiots of the world act like they’ve made some amazing discovery every time they point out someone’s hypocrisy. It’s the end of the argument as far as they’re concerned. “Oh, you won’t eat meat but you wear leather? That’s it. Game over. You’re an idiot.” This is a stupid perspective for several reasons.
1. Suggesting that you can’t make a small improvement unless you improve every single thing surrounding you is a lazy person’s excuse not to do anything. Small changes are the beginnings of big changes and to suggest you shouldn’t do something you feel strongly about because you can’t or won’t do all of it (oh, you’re in a band? Do you make a living at that? Ever win any awards? Sounds like a real cool band…heh) is just nothing but shit talking and naysaying and pissing on someone else’s enthusiasm/attempts to improve the world they live in. Yes, there’s a complicity that goes into buying leather shoes (I, by the way, eat meat and wear leather shoes, and I wear puppy skin briefs, but I won’t crack eggs. Too cruel.) and YES, self righteous assholes are irritating, but when you flip it on them like that, you’re playing their same stupid game. It’s all just semantics. “You shouldn’t eat meat!” “Well, you wear leather.” Sheesh, people. Which one of you is going to say “don’t tell me what to do” first? Because you’re having the kind of conversation that just sounds like farts to the rest of us.
2. There is no 2. I’m proving a point here. Go ahead and criticize.
3. Kidding! There is a 2. And here it is. YOU’RE a hypocrite too. Yes. Yes. Yes you are, dummy. Don’t pretend you’re not just because you caught someone up in some bullshit game of wordplay. You’re a hypocrite and if that’s an argument ender, then I’d bet that all I’d have to do is go through your text history or your netflix queue or your last FM account to be able to discount your argument completely too. What’s this? I thought you said that your favorite band was Grimple and that Dave Matthews is a dildo? Looks like all you listen to is Dave Matthews. You’re an idiot. Caught in a moment of hypocrisy. That’s the end of your argument about leather shoes. Now YOU’RE wrong forever. See? Yeah. Not the best argument in the world, certainly not an argument ender. (Oh, and yeah, Grimple is an awesome band, for reals)

Next up, opinions are like assholes and yours stinks:
The western world is currently running on a cultural fuel of irreverence. Punk and rap are mainstream music. Frat guys and hairdressers walk around with Mohawks and green hair. Tattoos are as common as obesity. Half our youth culture thinks that religion is retarded and the other half thinks science is retarded (yes…this is a loaded comment, smarty. Spare me. I’M EDITORIALIZING. THAT’S WHAT THIS PLACE IS FOR). Everyone who was once a rebel is now running things and even your parents listen to rock n roll. Hippies and metalheads run the place. What is the result? Irreverence is cool. Irreverence=success. People think that they MUST criticize in order to fit into the greater social scheme of things even when they don’t have a reason to. I mean, all the cool people just tell it like it is, right? No filter. If Howard Stern doesn’t like something BOOM! He just lets you have it, right? It shows that you’re keeping it real when you fucking insult someone a little. Take em down a peg, you know?
This is also the internet’s fault. Dumb people now believe that they have as much a right to everything as anyone else. It’s not just anonymous message boards either (though that’s a huge part of it.) Now that we can follow (for example) Chris Martin’s Tweets, we know he’s just like us, and where we used to see him and praise him, because, you know, we like his music (play along), now we’re so familiar with the culture of “letting it all get out there” that we feel compelled to inject our dumb opinions and say shit like “really liked that first record Chris, but the new one kinda sucks man.”
Why would we say that? Why would we go up to someone we don’t know and insult what they do? Why would we be more impolite to someone whose work we admire than to some total stranger we don’t even know anything about at all? Because we think, erroneously, that he’ll appreciate the candor. Well, news flash. He doesn’t. HE COULDN’T give less of a shit what you think, and he sure doesn’t want to have a conversation with someone boorish enough to just walk up and insult what he does out of the blue about the finer points of what works and what doesn’t. When my friends and I talk, or when I’m really interested in dissecting my work/someone else’s, I’ll ask someone with an opinion I trust, or I’ll enter a dialog with someone who’s opinion I respect. I don’t want yours, random asshole at the bar. I don’t want yours, vague acquaintance. AND before you begin to tell me and chris martin that we’re just being rockstar dickheads, stop and think for a second…YOU DON’T WANT SOME RANDOM DICKHEAD’S OPINION EITHER, MAN. When some asshole comes up to you at the bar and says “nice shirt, fag” that’s fucking FIGHTING WORDS. And, he’s just insulting your dumb shirt, not what you do. (nice shirt, by the way) Do you see what I’m saying? Andre 3000 is not more likely to be interested in lending a song to your movie just because you make it a point to tell him that you’re not a fan of his acting. Same with when I mention to John Mayer that I’ve always hated his music, but now I’m coming around on him because I think his tv show is funny. They don’t care. In fact, that’s wrong. They do care. They’re pissed that you just came up to them and insulted them under the guise of “keeping it real.”
You know why people who are famous for being critical make it? Because they put themselves in positions where their opinions are valid and they speak to an audience of dummies who need opinions. There’s a big difference between being a Howard Stern or a John Stewart or even a Sean Hannity and just being some douche with a half formed idea of what’s working and what’s not. It’s the same difference between being Phil Jackson and being your fat drunk uncle.

It is, to get to the answer portion of this epic post, all a question of confidence. There’s nothing inherently confident about blindsiding someone with your opinion. In fact, it’s pandering and pathetic in a way, because it’s really just dealing out a slight insult with the hopes of being seen as ‘more real’ or ‘cooler’ by the person we’re insulting, because that’s how the people they know and trust MAY talk to them, except we AREN’T one of those people. Howard Stern doesn’t tell Paul McCartney that he never liked Rubber Soul right before he mentions how great Wings was, because it’s irrelevant, and it’s not what he’s talking about and it’s just a weird thing to do, man. It’s not confidence. It’s complete lack of confidence masquerading as the opposite. BUT, as I think we’ve discussed before, that’s the most pathetic kind of insecurity, innit? That’s the combover. If all you want to do is impress upon someone that you like them, stick to nice things. Hell, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been guilty of this shit in the past. That’s why I’m here, right? To explain my own mistakes in hopes of making the world a better place.

Oh, and one more thing, if you really, really don’t like someone, why would you even waste your time giving them your opinion? You wouldn’t. Unless they were up in your face, at which point “go fuck yourself” should suffice. Is that enough hypocrisy and holier than thou, opinionated yet also shockingly sissyish and defensive ranting? Good. There you go kids. Have fun out there!


J said...

Damn, Brendan. You MUST have gotten a good night's sleep. This may just be the best post I've read on here. Definitely some words to remember at the next party/bar/anywhere conversation. Cheers.

Candice said...

you make so much sense. it's very refreshing.

kylewagoner said...

Jon Stewart, no John. You were even on his show, you ignorant hypocrite.

Hey, how did that all go down, anyway? Wasn't it the guy from The Office and The Hangover that interviewed you? I can't remember his name for shit...


Capt Murdock said...

I thought Slapstick was pretty cool and I sorta dug the raw sound of the first two LA records but The Falcon is 349 shades of suck.

Am I doing this right?

Some Young Guy said...

opinions are like assholes. mine is the best.

it's weird, i was just looking at tom gabel's blog and thinking, "man, this guy gets tons of shit for doing what he does. i wonder if brendan kelly gets hate mail." i'm guessing now that you probably do.

i was also discussing this whole self-important critical bullshit thing with a friend of mine last night after a coworker of mine, unprompted, basically told me "you talk too much, tee-hee, i mean sometimes you do. just joking around! but seriously." this post sort of dissects why someone would deem it necessary to say something so fucking stupid.

DrDoom said...

Capt. MurCOCK,

You know what my ass tastes like. This is a proven fact. I can't see why anyone in their right mind would do this. You sir, are fucking disgusting. Plastic swords, Halloween...? What do you do for a fucking encore, drink your own piss for money?

Am I close?

Capt Murdock said...

I wasn't aware I got paid for drinking that?

If memory serves me I was trying to impress a girl.

myassisapipebomb said...

ok, brendan, i'm glad you wrote on this because i always wanted to ask you something in person, but i was afraid to because...who the fuck am i?

but when you play in Chicago, do you get sick of the dudes in the crowd that constantly yell "fuck you" and flick you off and tell you the songs suck all from the sanctity of the crowd? i've seen you play in minneapolis several times, and it was just a more positive crowd than in Chicago. it seems like alot of people in Chicago just want to shit talk YOU in particular for some reason...or so it seems to me. do you have an opinion on this? or am i just delusional?

i really hope you answer this because i've wondered this for about a year but didn't have the sack to ask you in person and kept forgetting online.

PIXI said...

the sun? I want to know where is the goddamn rain? They keep saying it's going to rain, it's going to rain. Well, where the hell is it? Actually I think it keeps going south of us.

PIXI said...

you dressed the baby in WHAT??

Tim & Rac said...

"I really liked that first record Chris, but the new one kinda sucks man"

So this is similar to a German compliment...?

Nico said...

I think people diss popular musicians or whatever to impress third parties. As in "i'm so tight with the guys from The Raging Hormones that I can tell them the new album sucks." Because like you said, if you really didnt like someone's shit, you wouldn't even bother telling them.

Word verification: sactabli.

Robb said...

My favorite entries of yours tend to be those with that aura of awesome catharsis over issue(s) which clearly grind/have ground your gears in the past. Chalk up another.

Apparently Another Bullshit Night is being adapted into a motion picture too. Now I really need to get to it so I'll be prepared to bitch about the film's inevitable inferiority.

Robb said...

And yeah Nico hit it on the head. The intent is always to convey "Oh look--I'm in a position where I can totally afford to say this. The the frontman of -- and myself just have THAT kind of camaraderie"!

Banana@1000MPH said...

From Kylewagoner's comment, now I really, really wish I knew how to get you (Brendan) on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis (Hangover connection) oh and the guy who interviewed Brendan was Ed Helms.

Tony said...

This was one of the best things you've written. Epic.

Andrew said...

pixi we're getting a ton of rain you can have it all.

zamboody said...

I may be tired or drunk or both, but I dont think I understood a goddamned word of this entry. Sorry, it didnt do it for me today. A long blog entry that says, "I hate it when people think that their opinions of me matter when I could give a shit about them as a person." did not hit home. Of coarse my comment is the exact thing your posting on, so I guess I can officially fuck off.

Anonymous said...

All I can think of is when Shaq won a championship with Miami and made that song "Kobe, how my ass taste?" And now Shaq is twittering about how stoked he is the Lakers won this year.

FranklinStein said...

Dear Dawg,
I totally told you that I thought "On With the Show" is the gayest song anyone has ever written back in '07 at a show in Dallas! You were pretty sober, so I doubt you remember. You called me a "tiny-dicked queer". I rofled fuckin' hard!!! Lass uns ficken. Lass uns ficken jetzt!!!

Bridgett said...

John Mayer has a TV show?

droopypunk said...

Hey, just dropping by to express my appreciation for your music and writing.
Now about your universality: earlier this year i went to a Teenage Bottlerocket concert in a small town Nijlen, Belgium me coming from Romania especially for this show(and meeting there my best friend who resides now in Netherlands). Before the show we hanged around with the guys in the band and actually shared a laugh about your "It's the end of the year as we know it" posts. Awesome guys and i am really happy for them recording their new record on Fat(they seemed so thrilled about it).
This shit is so much easier knowing there are guys like you and them out there.

ps: i just finished reading Alan Alda's autobiography "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed" so I figured it would be cool to recommend it, really a nice read.

Anonymous said...

OK I will ask for some advice, please spare me for my amazingly shitty spelling skill's,punctuation a lack of quirky vocabulary words.

I work this shit job that I absolutely hate.
Now I am going to tell you right now I should not hate this job as much as I do because I work 8-10 hours a week.

The thing is I always get called in/off/in late last minute, and because of our shitty economy and my shit redneck town there are no jobs.Nothing like having you're entire day revolve around a 10 hr job eh ?

Anyway that isn't even the point.

Every single day there is this 38 year old guy that comes into my work and likes to harass the fuck out of me because that's the "man" thing to do or whatever.

Here is the thing this guy is some kind of bible thumper
jew,christian,Lutheran. I don't know it doesn't matter

Anyway this guy will come in and try & demean me in every way call me retarded,stupid,ect.
He even said one time well it's not my fault if the kid go's home & commits suicide (jokingly of course).
Likes to joke to all the women in the office how bad they want to fuck him a married fat man mind you that looks like Peter Griffen from family guy if he was bald.

They let this fuck teach Sunday school and preach sermons.

Anyway he is one of those assholes that always turn everything around and wont let you get you're word in.
every word that comes out of his mouth self contradicts his whole
"being a man of god" schtick
and believe me he likes to talk about his faith allot.

Now I am a pretty laid back guy nothing seems to bother me. I know the dude is joking but I have worked here for a year & he has never said anything to me just to say Hi
and I could care less if he did just don't insult me every single time you see me.

So i mean someone saying shit like that to you every single day for a year can kind of get to you sometimes know what I mean ?

I myself still have mixed thoughts on the whole god/evolution theory so you know it is kind of cool to know not all religious people are bible holding zombies, But not to that effect.

like I said I don't think I have ever met a hypocrite that contradicts themselves that much.

I am trying to conjure up a nice little thought to say to him before I quit this job but I'm not sure how I could sum it all up.

meo150 said...

So what happens when were all assholes? They blow us all up?