Friday, May 28, 2010

Hey soul sister!

Well, I knew it. It turns out that we’re all full of shit, and our preferences are really dictated for the most part by our own unconscious self image and how well whoever you’re dealing with matches up to this image.

Oh, I know what you’re saying. “I’m a big fat black lady and I love tiny asian boys” or “my best friend is Mexican and I’m a quadriplegic jew” and wow…yeah, way to be, folks. That’s the kind of diversity and unity that keeps this crazy blue marble spinning, but that’s not entirely what I’m talking about.

The thing is, and I’m paraphrasing this study to a point that’s gotta be absolutely maddening to anyone who actually did the research or followed it closely, you’ve got traits, mental and physical that may be real and may just be all in your head.

Like you out there! Yeah, you! You think that you’ve got chiseled features, but really you’re doughy and lopsided. You, you think that you’re really magnanimous but really you’re a self serving, self congratulatory will smith type dong choker. You don’t know yourself very well. Neither do I. It’s hard. That’s why, when you’re out somewhere and you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror that you didn’t know was there, it’s so fucking unsettling. “Who the fuck is THAT?” you think to yourself, which makes a lot of sense, since you’re really the only person you know who’s never stood there in a room with you across the way. You’re the only one of your friends who’s never looked at you when you’re not paying attention, when your gut’s out and you’re slack jawed and you’re just sitting there playing with your nipple or picking your nose. You don’t know you, bro.

But that’s not really the point.

The point is, you’ve got traits that you share with other people, despite how aware you may be of them. Some, you’ve got nailed (“I’m bald”) and some you don’t ever think about (“I’ve got asymmetrical nostrils”) but they’re all there, and these traits when you see them in other people, engender a fundamental, base level sense of kinship in you that makes bonds like trust and friendship easier to form.

Now, relax, quadri-jew! That’s not to say this is the ONLY way that you find friends or lovers or whatever, and lots of the traits are things that aren’t really consciously discernable, because, as we said earlier, you don’t know yourself very well.

Know how people say you look like someone and you just can’t see it? Meanwhile, you think you look like Jude Law or Mindy Main, but nobody is telling you that. They’re saying Kevin James and Grace Jones. That’s because you’ve got a warped self image. People tell me that my kid and I are spitting images, but I don’t see it, and that, folks, IS the point.

You have this sense of feature related kinship that comes from the primitive notion that your family is there to protect you and be protected by you, and as such, you feel naturally, by way of genetics, close to them. You understand what I’m saying. I’m not suggesting that the only people that you like are those who look just like you, simply that you’ve definitely got a predisposition to feel comfortable around those people (personal opinions of how you or they look [“I think I’m ugly,” or “that guy is a slob”] notwithstanding).

What’s the ultimate manifestation of this? Have you ever heard about the freakish (and sadly, not totally uncommon) stories of fraternal twins, separated at birth who meet in adulthood, fall in love and get married, sometimes have kids, all the while blissfully unaware that they’re perfect genetic matches of each other? Can you imagine? I mean, can you even fathom the deep bond that two twins that didn’t know they were twins would instantly form? It would be crazy! I mean, you think you’re in love now…you got nothing on the self/fraternal/sexual/emotional family/emotional friend/confidant/person that looks so much like me that my primate instincts are ordering me to feel good around this person cocktail of affection that two unwitting twins would have to possess upon getting to know each other as adults.

Shit, man. It’s hard enough out there. It’s hard to find someone you can stand, let alone really, truly get along with. Add in bonability and you’ve got a tough row to hoe no matter how you look at it in terms of finding a mate.

I’ve got a buddy who says things like “I’m gonna just kind of do my thing until I’m 40 and then find a wife and settle down” as though it’s that easy. You don’t get to pick when you find love, buddy. IF you’re lucky enough to find someone who can stand you that you want to be around too, there’s still so many timing issues and bigger galactic problems of families, locations, careers, prison time, luck, bad luck and all that to deal with that the notion of deciding when you’re gonna meet ‘the one’ for you is so completely naïve that it borders on insulting. No, in fact it’s totally insulting to all the people out there who keep dating dudes who bang their friends at parties or girls who have saggy meat bag cans or whatever.

Now, think about meeting the perfect person, against all odds. You’ve won the lottery. THEN, consider the other lottery that you’ve won, the bad lottery, when you realize that your perfect husband is actually your long lost twin.

That’s suicide stuff, folks. And not funny suicide either. Real, honest-to-pete drive down to the bridge and dive off type stuff.

Anyway, I was just thinking about unwitting incest and what a crazy thing it is to be alive, and I thought I’d share it with you. Tune in Monday for “consensual incest: those creepy folks in Australia and more” if you dare.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

no wolf, part?

Yesterday, in the sock drawer, one of my beloved dogs of war left me a link to a youtubed newscast about the gangs or ‘packs’ of werewolves that are cropping up around San Antonio, and presumably elsewhere. That’s right; werewolves. Wow.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, these kids out there, presumably inspired by Taylor Lautner and his ilk have taken to fashioning themselves into ‘werewolves,’ which, to the best of my understanding means that they dress like they’re in Kill Hannah and hang raccoon tails off the backs of their belts. Now, I know what those of you who are lucky enough to have watched the broadcast are thinking: what about the animal style contact lenses, the leashes and the fangs, eh? To that, I’ll respond: ‘um, I think the dudes in Kill Hannah do that shit already too.’

So, anyway, here we are, beautiful San Antonio, just going to school with a bunch of kids who align themselves with werewolfdom. Whatever. I mean, when I was a kid there were vampires all over the fucking place, and they dangled vials of blood and shit like that off their belts. That’s gross. A fucking Daniel Boon hat tail is pretty fucking benign compared to some blood. Blood’s gross. The tails, while kind of gross, are really just more like those rabbit feet that greasers have on their keys: dorky, but likely not swimming with hep B.

The other thing: there are STILL vampires, and these turds are nowadays looking at the new jack Twilight vampires (who apparently don’t really espouse evil and all that, or some such nonsense) and calling them phonies.

Let’s pause to think about this for a second, eh? You identify yourself as a vampire, but of course, you’re not really a vampire, as vampires are, um…not real, but you’re calling someone else’s little dress up version of makebelieve playtime a phony? That takes balls, man. Big, incandescent, white, veiny balls that are doubtless pumping delicious blood through them…but I’m getting off topic. We’re not talking vampires. We’re talking werewolves. My point is just that the dorks that look like they’re standing in line at the My Chemical Romance show who impersonate imaginary characters are hardly new.

Okay, so there are some pretty great things in this little ‘expose’ like when one of the werewolves kind of outs his school’s science program as half-assed when he explains that everyone has a little animal in them, no one is just human. You just gotta look for it, man, or when the news team makes this wild sort of accusation by way of omission about a kid beheading his neighbor’s dog and keeping the skull. They never come out and say this, by the way. They say the dog went missing and then they say the kid was found with the skull, and then they show the kid holding a big ass ceremonial He-Man style sword (something he probably shoudn’t have posed for the news cameras with). They definitely don’t say the kid was arrested, but they let you think it. Crazy wolf kids! They’ll kill your pets (maybe)!

Oh, then there’s the part where the girl in the mall calls other people ‘posers’ while hanging out with a bunch of kids dressed like Metro-Station emulating wolves outside the Chik-Fil-A at the mall food court. That’s pure poetry.

In fact, that’s maybe the best part of this whole culture: the aforementioned decision to call people who somehow aren’t pretending to be part dog or part bat the posers. I mean, I generally hate the term poser. I’ve discussed this before. I think there’s nothing so toxic as mocking someone for their newfound enthusiasm for something that’s outside their realm of expertise. It’s the hallmark of the weak, uninspired, the jealous and cowardly, frankly.

However, when it’s a teenage girl pretending to be a werewolf or a vampire or a mermaid or whatever calling me a poser because I haven’t looked into my soul and found my half animal avatar, well, that’s when it gets awesome. It’s especially awesome because she just doesn’t know. I’m like her. I’m part Santa.

That’s right, kids. When I was in highschool, me and my fellow ‘gifters’ used to hang out behind the petstore and smoke cigarettes and dress up like our own unique brand of half mopey teens, half santas. We were pretty cool, but people just didn’t get us back then. It’s funny that we’ve come all this way only to be called posers by the werewolves. Oh well, you become what you hate, I guess.

And speaking of that, that’s the worst part of this whole newscast: the actual newscast itself. There’s nothing new or even terribly remarkable about these kids but the level of condescension on the part of these newscasters is outrageous. As in: (snicker snicker) ‘everyone needs to be part of SOMETHING, I guess.’ (Snicker).

I want to yell, “Hey asshole! You’re a fucking small market local tv ‘news’ man and you’re reporting about highschool kids following a trend. These are teenagers who have nothing to do and are cycling through their identity options before hopefully not winding up soulless narcissist talking monkeys who are qualified only to wear suit jackets, read off cards and wear makeup all while not-so-subtly mocking children (who are going through one of the toughest periods that life offers, mind you) on crappy local television.”

What’s with the attitude? These kids aren’t hurting anyone, at least according to their parents, teachers, and the pudgy kid with the cat eyes just chilling at the penny fountain by the Macys. They’re not a story. They’re, in the words of the broadcast ‘not emos, not goths’ but hey man, they’re not REALLY that different from that shit. They’re dumb kids who are into a movie. For me it was santas. For the next kids, who knows? Centaurs? Robots? Whatever. I’m sure it’s gonna be strange and newsworthy, whatever it is.

Yeah, in closing, I’d rather my kids grow up to be werewolves than tv ‘journalists’ any day of the fucking week.
That said, those werewolves are dorky as shit.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

those dreaded wednesdays and saturdays

I’m suffering brain drain. I’ve had a smokers cough type situation for about three weeks, which is odd because I don’t smoke. I’m tired. The last two nights have been more or less like this: asleep around eleven (already too late) up at three until four with a baby (really just lying there while my wife feeds her and then getting up to change her) and then up again at five when the kid in the other room starts knocking and yelling to be let out. This shit’s new, and requires some serious early morning daddying. You wouldn’t believe what’s on Nick Jr. at that ungodly time.

Around seven thirty my wife gets up and I go back to bed until about ten. Around ten, this coughing bullshit starts. I can’t think. I’ve got a big conference call this afternoon and I work tonight. The IRS is hassling me. Boning now occupies the same space in my existence as playing on a Slip n Slide in that it’s something I recall that I used to enjoy, but that I don’t really see myself partaking in this summer (thank you very much, unflinching, stalinesque post-birth ob/gyn rules).

Um, what else? I dunno…there’s probably a ton of shit to write about in this space that isn’t just me complaining but, not to belabor the point, I am suffering a brain drain. It’s all grandparents and little kids knocking on doors and suddenly I’m out at a bar until 2 for the first time in years and I’m thinking “wow, I could, in theory be enjoying this job if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve got to wake up with that dude knocking on the door in three hours” and on and on like this. Well, that’s life, kids. First they take your sleep, then they take your party, then they harass you until you’re afraid. Then they put out a dancing with the stars that you can get behind and relate to, then you die.

Apparently the people that drive the rickshaws outside my new job don’t like me. Yeah, rickshaws- the mode of transportation that the ancient Chinese got exactly right. Only, these ones aren’t powered by running slaves, these are hipsters on giant tricycles who apparently don’t like being charged for their drinks when they drink at the bar I work at, and begin to cry when I hand them their bill, despite the fact that it’s my first day and I’m standing there with the owner and only a FUCKING MORON would discount a bunch of people he doesn’t even know on his first day at a new job while standing next to an owner who’s told him not to be just giving shit away. Well, end result? The rickshaw kids seem to think I’m trying to come in and lay down a bold new set of laws in which they’re forced to pay for their shots of Dead Guy Shisky (really?) and dumb beers. I’m like the Eliot Ness of the highly sensitive rickshaw set, I guess.

Oh well. I guess if I want to get anywhere in the six block radius from my bar, I’ll have to walk, which sucks, because if you ignore the fact that walking is free and about the same speed as riding on a dumb rickshaw with a drunk girl pedaling, well, the rickshaw’s a pretty good way to check out wrigleyville, that I’m gonna be missing out on, I guess. Jesus.

I work with this guy. His name’s david and he’s young and he’s got dynamic hair and face piercings and he’s good looking and a really, really nice kid. He’s gonna be doing the punk rock Tuesdays with me over there (which will be sort of opening soft tonight, I guess…come down to the Risque café on clark and Sheffield for cheap beer specials, good food and punk rock music straight out of my ipod [unless that dj dude is gonna be there. I think he’s got a local punk radio show and last time I caught a bit of his set he was playing good stuff {d4 and Dead to Me and Misfits and HWM and shit like that} so that’ll be cool too]) and he’s (remember, we’re talking about the kid I work with now) got some crazy musical tastes that I can only sum up as being um…generationally different than mine.

Have you guys ever heard of a band called ‘a day to remember’ or something like that? Ha! They’re pretty much just metal breakdowns with a more pussified tom delonge singing over it. I guess it’s cool. I mean, no. Okay, let’s discuss this just a bit: it’s not cool at all, but I see why someone would like it, I guess.

On paper, it’s kind of just taking New Found Glory to their logical conclusion, right? Pop and metal riffs. Done.

Now, NFG is hardly the coolest band of all time or anything, but they’re not worth getting all worked up about. I mean, personally, I like dudes who dress like they’re sixteen when they’re older than me. It’s funny. It worked for Fat mike. It’s working for New Found Glory too. I mean, who am I to deny a bunch of old men the right to wear huge shorts and bounce around like they still honestly think those little mid nineties hiccup-style stops in slick pop-punk songs are cool? I’m nobody. Those guys aren’t working at bars or writing blogs, man. They know what’s up. Now who looks ridiculous?

Anyway, this band with the metal and the dumb so-cal vocals, it makes no sense to me. I feel like a grandpa when this guy I work with puts on his music. It just sounds um, really, really wack to me. Since when does metal all sound like it’s being played with actual metal instruments? Since when do pop punk bands do crunchy hardcore chromatic breakdowns? I’ll stick to my VHS tapes and old timey songs about not taking too many showers, thank you very much.

Now, listen up, I’m all for innovation, but mark my words folks, this shit ain’t gonna age well. In ten years ‘a day to remember’ will be known as ‘a day at the county fair devoted to woefully out of touch musical styles from a decade ago.’ Hey, maybe I’ll be working at that county fair. Want a funnel cake?

Hey, what do I know? Stewart Copeland said the same thing about green day.

See you turds tonight. There will be no nu-emo. Promise.

Monday, May 24, 2010

elmo has mail, elmo has mail

Wow. Bret Michaels…hole in his heart, pool of blood in his brain, penis encrusted with the drippings of three generations of slute beavs, shiny, smooth head sheathed in mop ends and bandanas and various cowboy hats has done it folks. He won the celebrity apprentice.

In fairness, how do you fire the guy who had the brain hemorrhage, beat the odds and recovered only to find out that he’s got heart problems and STILL finish your dumb show? Can’t be done, and you know who knows that? Donald Trump. He’s nothing if not a master of compassion and the subtle manipulation of public perception all while somehow making money (“Hey, did I mention that I think Snapple tastes great!”).

Plus, I think he’s got a soft spot in his heart (that makes both of them, heyooo!) for people who have the balls to just kick dignity aside and keep rocking their ‘hairstyle,’ critics be damned. Well, I for one am pretty happy for old Bret. As I mentioned before, he’s kind of a hero of mine and I’m glad to see that he’s still out there kicking ass in the final episodes of dumb reality shows. I’m glad that they cut out the scene of him and Donald climbing drunkenly into the shower on the Rock of Love bus, though. Can’t deal with men squeezing other men’s nipples. I’m squeamish like that.

I guess the other big deal from last night was the Lost finale, but I don’t know shit about that, so suffice it to say it left me completely unsatisfied and with a lot of unanswered questions. I’m gonna miss those days of sitting around the table at the diner, though…sitting there just drooling and playing with creamers while people talk about Lost. That’s gonna be a bummer to leave behind. Oh well.

What else? Hmmm…my BP stock doesn’t seem to be doing too well and Britney Murphy’s husband is dead…who saw that coming? Wait… I mean who’s dead? I dunno. It’s like grandmas, once they die, the grandpa is not far behind…this is kind of like that I guess. Again, not something I really care about. I guess it’s sad. BUT, lots of people die all the time. I can’t light a candle for all y’all, so well, shit. Sucks. Sorry, dude’s mom and friends. He’s uh, somewhere else now? Good. Good enough.

Man, sorry to be so scatterbrained. Last night was the kind of night you dream about…that is, if your dreams are about your little baby grunting and squeaking and keeping you awake and then your toddler waking up screaming and pounding on the door at five AM and then the baby just squealing and so you get up and you just kind of put the elmo dvd on and sit there and remember how much cooler/more emotionally devastating it was to still be up at five in the morning continuing to drinking beers before sleeping until 4pm just a few short years ago.

I’ve been thinking about this lately: the galactic walk of ‘is that clock right?!” Not the walk of shame, where you are a girl walking home in your high heels and dress at 7 on Sunday morning (though that one is pretty funny and I LOVE seeing it) but the one where you’ve just been out with your people getting hammered and suddenly it’s day and you’re like “Wait, is that clock right? Oh my god!” and you open the window and it’s fully morning and you get up and your soul hits your pelvis and you slouch your worthless ass home while joggers and people with babies cruise around you (hyper aware of your shameful state) and you just melt into grossness all the way home.

Ugh. Firstly, there’s no way my body could do that now. A decade ago, I could come home at 9 am (this old bar, the Lakeview, [sadly now it’s a quiznos or a tanning salon or something] used to be open til 5am and then reopen at 6. They also sold sixpacks to go, so we’d buy one at five, go down to the golf course and drink it, go back to the bar at 6 and just hang out) sleep for 4 hours and then wake up feeling great and go skateboarding and do the whole thing again. Now if I stay up until 2 I’m worked over for a week. Jesus. It’s a murderous bitch getting old, I tell you what.

Anyway, my point is, now I’m out at six thirty, but I’m one of the people with a stroller and it’s pretty great to watch the zombies parading home. I think that, truth be told, I prefer this…it’s so much less emotionally devastating. I guess that’s kind of a no brainer, huh? Sure it is. Anyway, I feel like a zombie today anyhow, thanks to the one two punch of loud children who don’t know the value of a good night’s sleep, dag-nabbit!

Sigh. Okay, so I’m gonna start doing a punk rock night every Tuesday over at Risque Café, which is on Clark and Sheffield. I’ll be bartending, there will be cool food and beer specials (I think it’s gonna be real cheap pbr tall boys or something) and we’re gonna have punk rock dj’s, bands, acoustic shit, and good music and good food and fun and all that. Also, we’ll make sure at least one tv has boobs on it at all times.

Should be fun. Starting tomorrow. Wow.

I’m going to the zoo,


Friday, May 21, 2010

And here we go again...

Greetings turds. I’m suffering from a terrible pain in the neck and I’m watching Michael Douglas on the View. What’s happened to me? I used to be dangerous.

So I got a job working at this place called the Risque Café. It’s got a pretty seriously awesome whiskey selection and a ton of microbrews (I know…I know, whatever. We’ve also got cans of Hamms) and BBQ. There’s tons of naked girls on the tvs and generally it’s got sort of a tattoo shop kind of vibe, in that there’s tons of flash and wacky crap along those lines everywhere, and they blast music outrageously loud and there’s a lot of chrome and shit like that.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a rockabilly type place. That, my friends, would be lame. No, it’s definitely a rock bar, but if there’s something about it that’s kind of off-putting it’s that its so clean. If this exact same place wasn’t new and it was all grimy and gnarly, there’d be no doubt that it would be a pretty sweet spot to hang. As it stands, however, it kind of seems like it came out of nowhere.

BUT, that’s where we all come in, right? You people are into rock and roll. Me too. I’m there. You guys like whiskey and smoked pigs, right? Sure you do. I’m gonna be there tonight. Come say hi. It’s located exactly halfway between the LnL and the Gingerman on Clark st.

Anyway, enough of that. Wednesday was a lot of fun. Thanks to all y’all that came out and partied with us. I think we did a real good thing for some people who need it. Nice work everyone. Also, how fucking good is Dead To Me? Jesus. And handsome. Boy howdy! That drummer’s turning straight dudes gay and gay chicks straight like he’s flipping on lightswitches, man. Impressive.

I dunno, kids. I’m real tired, and I’ve got this night of work and I’ve got a lot on my mind and I’m not really feeling like I can provide you all with the witty banter that I’m so well known for today. So, I’m out. See you kids tonight, perhaps? Good deal.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Okay, okay. Hey there. I had to take the new baby to the doctor this morning, so sorry I’m late. Turns out she’s fine but she’s apparently shrunk 3/4 of an inch since her birth. Huh. Nice one.

I’d like to thank everyone for their contributions to the surprisingly heated Forrest Gump debate. That’s good stuff, folks. That’s what the sock drawer is for, after all.

Sheesh. Today is our show. We’re playing at Subterranean to benefit those girls who got brutally beaten. I guess they’re both doing better. That’s good news, right? Sure it is.

I’m excited. I can’t wait to play. Lately my life has been nothing but hospitals and last minute c sections and irrational terror and IRS audits and diapers and late nights and job interviews and getting jerked around by various gatekeeper types, and man, I don’t mind telling you, it’s gonna be nice to get into a room full of friends and just kind of let shit roar a bit.

We’re gonna be doing a variation on the setlists that we were doing on our last UK tour, which was so great that we got invited to some real proper Brit orgies and we even convinced a real live Belfast anarchist to be seen in public with us.

So yeah. That’s that. Today’s also my audit. That’s less fun than the show. It’s funny. There are a lot of people in this world that would rather be audited than stand in front of a room full of people and sing and make up jokes. Today is strong evidence that I’m not one of those people. Which is good, I guess, because no one LIKES being audited, so if I hated being on stage MORE than being audited, well, this would be a really, really shitty day, wouldn’t it. As it stands, it’s gorgeous outside and I’m looking forward to this evening quite a bit. See y’all there.

So, this has been bothering me lately: the iphone…I think this thing is ruining my life. It’s made me eternally dissatisfied. Here’s what I mean: There was a time, not long ago, when shitting was an exercise in solitude, so was walking a few blocks to a bar, so was driving, so was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor or standing there waiting for your filet-o-fish. Hell, there was a time, again, not long ago, when the people you were with were the people you had to talk to. This could suck (I’m at the dumb county fair with my lame parents) or this could be awesome (I’m at this amazing place with this amazing person that may, if I play my cards right, bone me) but it was sort of a given. Here we are in a setting, so lets interact.

It’s not like that anymore at all.

Now I’m constantly on my phone either talking or texting or surfing the internet. This last one is the worst. I don’t have shit to do on the internet. I go to maybe, MAYBE six non vagina related websites and none of them are that important that I need to be wasting whoever is sitting across from me at dinner’s time by checking them. I don’t need to be driving and seeing who may have emailed me. I could probably stand to walk one block in the summer down a beautiful tree lined street and not be talking on the phone to someone who I’ve decided is gonna have just enough things to say to me to get me to wherever I need to be, but not so much that I end up standing around tying up the conversation once I get to wherever I’m going.

The thing is, talking on the phone sucks. So does surfing the internet on a phone. It’s not fun. It’s probably really fucking dangerous, actually. And yeah, driving and reading perez Hilton is dangerous, but I’m talking about just always having this thing by your face/balls/beavers shooting beams in and out. That shit’s bad for you no matter what anyone says. Cows that grow up under powerlines get tumors and die. This is the same fucking thing, man.

Oh, fine. Disagree. I’ll see you in hell and we can talk all about it there.

Nah, just plain old walking and looking around is better than talking on the phone, but this shit’s like an addiction. There’s no good reason to keep compulsively checking my mail or updating my browsers, especially at the expense of the real shit like enjoying a day or being in the park with my kid or hanging out with people I give a shit about. BUT, it’s gonna keep happening, innit? I’m gonna keep doing this shit, no matter how much I intellectually know it’s lame, no fun, counterproductive and dangerous. It’s like smoking or something. Sucks.
The end result is that when I’m not compulsively fiddling with my phone I feel disconnected and edgy and when I AM I feel like A) a dick B) I have no real reason to have this dumb phone and no real pressing things to look at on the internet or in my inboxes C) I’d rather be not looking at my phone…at the very least I’d rather be on my computer.
Really, really great. The only true moments of happiness come when I’m doing shit that makes me completely forget that my phone even exists, like boning or sleeping or playing a show.
Funny thing: I’m only doing one of those things tonight. Can’t wait. See y’all there!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

well I don't need safety gloves because I'm homer simp...

Man, I just saw that Forrest Gump movie for the first time and know what? It spoke to me. That Forrest! Sheeeeeeeit! What a good boy. He’s the god damned American Dream, son! Tell you what! I mean, he ain’t too bright, right? Right! Good! Don’t need to be! Know why? Well, I’ll tell you: God. He loves him. That’s enough. He loves his momma, he loves his god and he’s just a good simple honest hardworking salt of the earth boy with enough brains in his head to know what he knows and stay away from whatever keeps people from loving god and mommas out there.

Hell, did you know old Forrest is a millionaire? Damn straight! He’s loaded! I KNEW he was a good boy when I saw how he wanted no truck with the floozys and the booze and the longhairs (I mean will you LOOK at that haircut! Those pants! That sensible button up tucked into said pants! That’s the kind of Walmartian total package that just SCREAMS America and moms and babies and drubbing communist China using nothing more than a fifth grade education and a small paddle). NOW I can go to Bubba Gumps shrimp co. and know that my money is going to a good, hard working simple boy who wants nothing more than to do some jogging and keep it simple all while pining for his (spoiler alert) dead highschool sweetheart wife and his (one more time, folks) dead momma. Oh, sure. I know he ain’t real, but the good folks that named their place of business after Forrest’s whimsical dedication to his dead buddy’s dream have got to have their hearts in the right place, right? I mean, there’s no room for cynicism and corporate synergy and the notion of preying on stupid scared people by disguising corporate colonialism as jingoistic and highly anti-intellectual sloganeering in a story that beautiful, right?

And hell, even if it was, ain’t that America’s main export anyway these days? Xenophobia and blind nationalism and slavelike devotion to cancerous box stores and their food providing subsidies? I mean, besides oil, folks! You’re welcome Mexico! Heyooo!

What? Sure it was us! Who else has the money and the ballsacks to ruin a big fancy ship? No one, that’s who! USA! USA!

I mean, seriously, those Mexicans don’t need to hop the border no more folks! We just set them up for life! We should start calling the gulf of Mexico “little Saudi Arabia” right? I mean, it ain’t nothing but oil, folks! And if my book learnin’ don’t deceive me, that’s exactly what we’re blowin’ up all those dune [expletive deleted] over in Crapistan for, right? Sure it is. So there you go! Problem solved. USA! USA!

I bet now all them Mexicans in AZ are gonna stop with carrying their papers (if they got ‘em [not likely]). Now that we went n fixed Mexico up all nice you can bet your bible that they’re gonna stop crying about that law that gives em a free ride back to little Saudi Arabia when they leave their (fraudulently obtained) driver’s license at home. Bet on it!

Okay, anyway, enough of that. I just watched Forrest Gump for the first time (I know, it’s an old movie and everyone’s seen it. What rock do I live under? Nice one…whatever. Dumb movie and I wish I’d never seen it. How’s that, assholes?) and now I get it. That was the cultural inroad that successfully posited anti-intellectualism as the true perfect manifestation of the American dream. Now, I’m not suggesting that all the teabaggers and Glen Becks of the world wouldn’t exist without Forrest Gump, but I AM suggesting that it played a crucial role in softening the cervix of the national consciousness (to fashion a metaphor out of some terms I’ve heard a lot of recently) and grounding this anti-intellectualism in something familiar. It didn’t cook up the movement, but it helped to plate it. Well, I guess it would be more accurate to say it put it in a cardboard bucket and smothered it in gravy, but whatever. You get the idea. What a fucking shitty excuse for a movie. It’s like avatar. THIS is what you pulled out all these technical stops for? Great. I guess that’s what pushes innovation…bad storytelling and/or thinly veiled pandering to idiots. I mean, at least a good band invented distortion. That’s about it though. Everything else is because of crappy stories. It’s true. Penicillin? Bad story. The two headed dildo? Thinly veiled entreaty to pretend that eating sub sandwiches is somehow good for you. And on and on like that, folks.

Okay, so in the spirit of pseudo intellectual/literary discourse, I’d like to point out that Forrest Gump is undoubtedly one of the biggest pro-corporate colonialism films of all time. I mean, it’s right in the story. The whole movie is about a dummy just kind of rolling with the punches as business folks and huge companies take care of stuff and slap his likeness on things (even if he doesn’t really wanna endorse em, y’all!) and he winds up so very rich and so very happy.

Now, I’m not suggesting that the people who wrote it had a sinister motive. I don’t think that’s the case. But it’s interesting that as it panders to big (evil? Sure.) corporate interests and the notion of leaving things in the hands of A) god and B) people in suits who know more than you, that they’ve completely recapitulated the traditional American literary trope of how geographic America shapes morality and financial success.

Here’s what I mean: Everyone knows that as you go west in American literature you gain moral fiber even as your finances wither away. Likewise, any trip east is met with economic gain and moral bankruptcy. That’s the tradition, folks. Read Grapes of Wrath or the Great Gatsby for a couple of prominent examples of this. And lest you think I’m unfairly holding a dumb movie about a mongo with a three dollar haircut to the standards of American classics, I’d like to point out that there’s more than passing references to both of these books in Gump AND the scope of the film certainly suggests that it at least would like to be perceived as a new American classic (and for some crappy reason, it is), so it’s actually not a stretch, smart guy!

Anyway, Robin Wright Penn goes west to hang out with (and commit sodomy with) longhairs and lives the morally bankrupt (sad! Empty!) lifestyle that only getting filthy rich with your cock/cunt out can provide, but as she heads back east, she gets her hair cut at walmart and a shapeless dress and comes home to die, married and well…wealthy, I guess, (thank you dummy!) but actually looking a lot like a poor person and living among the salt of the earth and all that. And of course there’s Forrest’s whole thing. Going east to find both his moral and economic peaks, from his stint in China, big upping the USA (in probably the most unbelievable part of the whole movie. There’s no way a hick from Alabama can beat the Chinese in ping pong. I’ll never believe it) to his wonderfully amiable racially diverse home in Alabama where his momma and dead friends and heretofore unknown son and all that stuff reside, along with his stick-to-itiveness and checks for millions of dollars, of course.

That’s a complete rewrite of an American tradition that, when applied to classics makes the East egg a center of good hearted philanthropy and the notion of attempting to better yourself by setting out for the promised land as a surefire descent into depravity, cocaine, blowjobs and suicide.

Whatever. Stupid fucking movie. Insulting even.
Oh, you liked it? Bully for you. I think it sucks.

See you all at Subterranean tomorrow, right? We’re having a party and the money is going to a good cause. There’s gonna be raffles for cubs tickets and shit there too, folks, so bring your dildos for the silent dildo auction.

What? Of course I’m serious.

Okay, I’m out of here. Nap time.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

hey hey, yeah. sorry...I hear you...jesus.

Hey assholes,
Sorry I've been away. had a kid. It was nuts. Someday I'll tell you all about it, but let's just for now suffice it to say that she's (the baby, that is) got all the fingers and toes and faces and butts and shit that she needs. No more, no less. she's real cool and my wife is also real cool. Oh, and they're both still alive. So that's good.
I'm tired. I don't really have the energy to wow y'all with new exciting words for jizz (frosted pee) or dicks (uh...balls flap?) so let's not even go there, eh? Let's not ask what I can do for you, kay? Let's see what you all can do for me. How's that? Have I ever asked anything from you, Dogs of War? Have I? Besides going to my shows and constantly showering me with attention and praise? No. didn't think so.
So here's my thing:
As some of you may know, I've got a wikipedia page. It's been there for a while. I actually learned about the existence of wikipedia because someone directed me to my page a few years ago. I've had a few of you email me and ask me if I did the page myself. the answer is no. I actually don't even know how to post something on wikipedia, nor do I know how to edit something that's already there. Now, I'm sure it's easy and it's as simple as paying a little attention at the homepage or whatever, but I'm not interested in doing that. Once I know that type of shit, I'm just some dork that plays around on wikipedia and well...come on. Who wants to be that? Eh? eh? eh? That's right. nobody. It's pathetic, frankly.

HOWEVER!!!!! You! You there! You already are. I mean, some of you poor fucks already are, right? Right. So why waste that?

Glad we agree. Anyway, I noticed while sitting around in the hospital waiting for shit to happen that there's no wikipedia page for BSC. that's kind of sad. I mean, we're a big deal, aren't we? We have several different sects of followers, from dogs of war to socks to the splinter sock drawer and on and on. We've got shirts (oh, sheila, go ahead and print more shirts. Sorry for the lack of response to your email. I was having a baby and getting audited) and uh...i dunno. There's at least two websites that are at least partly influenced or inspired by this one here, so let's take what's ours, folks! Get out there and make us a wikipedia page!

Also, while we're talking wikipedia, the page on felching mentions lots of people that have done their part to popularize the practice, but again, I'm a glaring omission. Whichever one of you jokesters added "dong huffer" to my name on the page about me now can do something that's actually creative/funny and add me (and this blog, dummy) to the section on the 'felching' page devoted to those who spread the word, and swallow the sweet juice from within the word. Eh? eh?
Jesus. I'm so tired.................................
I'm fucking out of here/it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ah, gary...I remember you.

There’s no baby still. I’m digging the sleep, but I think my wife is getting a little sick of being pregnant all the time. I see her eyeing the Bacardi 151 and the raw hamburger that we keep by the sink. She’s tired of the ‘straight and narrow’ that pregnancy forces on even the most genteel cigarette eating, raw meat loving, grain alcohol chugging mom-to-be. Once that baby comes, boy…hide your booze stills and your livestock.

Nah, I’m kidding of course. Lord knows I don’t want to put anything out there that could possibly be construed as disparaging towards the understandably impatient overdue pregnant lady I share an apartment/bed with. Bad idea 100% of the time folks. So, just so we’re clear: my wife does NOT eat raw meat, she does NOT eat cigarettes (nor does she smoke them) and she doesn’t drink 151 as far as I know, but who knows what goes on when her and her homies gather to watch twilight.


Did I already do the thing where I tell you guys about all my jobs that I’ve had? I think I have, but I’m gonna revisit a job or two, or at least the highlights, because today I’m thinking about my three primary sources of stress: 1) I’m about to have a baby. I want the baby and the mom to be okay at the end of the whole thing (We’ve already talked about this, right?) 2) I’m getting hassled by the IRS. Not really a big deal since I’m fairly sure my shit’s in order and in a second I’m about to go visit my accountant (he’s done my taxes for a decade and we’ve never met face to face. Big day for me. I picture him looking like my friend Eric, but that’s probably just because he and Eric have the same last name. This kind of shit is exciting and almost always disappointing, because I’ve got this perception and it’s gonna be wrong.

It’s not like when I imagine what a girl is gonna look like and then she ends up more attractive. That’s not disappointing, but, well, I don’t have any vested interest in the appearance of my accountant. SO, the end result is this: he can either look exactly like Eric Anderson, or I’ll be disappointed and kind of go through the meeting with this “wow! I can’t believe you look like this!” on a loop in my brain) and he’s gonna handle this shit and it should be cool and finally:

3) I’ve got no job. In the spirit of my unemployment, and in the spirit of that being the only thing on my little list that doesn’t look like it’s gonna resolve itself any time too soon, well, let’s see what I’ve got:

I worked at a comic book store, McDonalds, Ben and Jerry’s, um…what’s the name of that place on the second floor that sells second hand clothes and Halloween costumes and shit? It’s at Belmont and Clark. Ragstock! I worked there for a couple of weeks. I also worked as the door guy at the L and L and as a camp counselor at a jewish themed summer sports camp for third graders. I’ve worked as a copywriter and A and R guy for the media conglomerate Red Scare Industries and I’ve uh…jesus, what else? I do freelance writing for a marketing agency or two here and there. I play in a band and I write a highly successful blog.

Oh shit! I worked at a record store run by one of those guys who tells you all the time how laid back he is, which we all know is code for “I’m high strung as shit and I’ll absolutely freak out at the most random times and you’ll grow to fear me for it.” That guy had a single strip of hairplugs at the top of his forehead (it was all he could afford apparently) but everything else was gone except the toilet seat style ring. He also had a David Crosby mustache and a penchant for absolutely flipping the fuck out and telling people to go fuck themselves and/or kicking people out of the store, refusing to pay people who worked there just based on arbitrary ideas about ‘conduct’ and so on. He fancied himself to be a hippy and his name was gary and he’s by far one of the saddest individuals I’ve ever met.

One of the guys who worked there was a goth kid (actually there were three Goths that worked there) who was a junkie and one day his dealer came in and screamed shit like “hey, where’s my fucking money! I fronted you all that shit and you did it all and you’re not gonna pay me! I’ll fucking kill you!” in front of a crowded store and the boss. Uncool.

Also, this girl named Tara, also a goth, used to brag about the things that the dudes in Coal Chamber stuffed into her vagina on the back of their bus. Really. It wasn’t just dicks and fingers either. Remote controls, he man figures etc. Gross. We wanted to laugh but the whole thing was so generally unappetizing that we couldn’t.

I also worked with a girl who was beautiful and wound up taking cruise ships around the world and discovering and buying exciting and exotic art for a cabal of wealthy collectors. We went on one date after she got this cool new job. She plainly expressed her preference for ‘aryans’ over other races. Somehow, that trumped the hotness and the great job and we never spoke again.

Who else? My buddy mark worked there. He was the other guy who lived in the Lawrence Arms building with Chris and me. Oh, and Jeff. Jeff was a guy who talked about his wife all the time but was obviously gay. He lived in boystown and I don’t know that his ‘wife’ even existed. He also discussed how he used to be in the ‘rat race’ and live the corporate lifestyle and all that but then he decided to give it all up to work at a record store because the pace and lifestyle suited him better. I thought this was a radical (if highly stupid) move until it was revealed that his ‘corporate’ job was working at a coconuts records. Heh.

That job really sucked. I’m glad I’m unemployed. I gotta go meet my accountant now. Wish me luck.

(fart sound)


Monday, May 10, 2010

i love jesus but I drink a little

What’s that movie where the bad guys (maybe the good guys…I’m really reaching for a vague memory here folks…pretty sure it’s the bad guys though) come into the room where the person they’re looking for is, but suddenly he’s not there. He was JUST there, but he’s not there anymore. They’re looking everywhere for him in this small, empty room and then we, the audience, by virtue of a low angle camera shot, see the hunted is wedging himself up against the ceiling by holding his hands and feet against the walls. Then, if I’m not mistaken, a single drop of sweat starts to dangle from his nose. And then it falls. Does this sound familiar?

Because that’s what this baby seems to be doing in my wife. Just wedging itself against the ceiling and sweating bullets. No interest in coming out. She’s past due. The bags are packed. All the car seats are in the cars. Everything is ready. Nothing is happening though. Christ. There’s grandparents up in the house and everything. It’s like a strange Christmas where nothing’s going on and the time when you open presents could come at any time and involves a big garbage can for blood and a gift that won’t ever let you sleep again.

There’s not much else to think about and though there’s nothing going on (how can there be?), I don’t really feel comfortable suggesting to everyone that I just may take off and go for a bike ride or hit the gym or see what Nick is up to…Doesn’t seem right.

I mean, to borrow an urban turn of phrase from the mid nineties, this waiting shit’s straight up wack, yo! I just watched Benji Madden’s workout regimen on Perez Hilton’s website (this sentence is true. Here are the sad components of this nightmare of daytime media: Benji Madden himself as he walks us through his gross insecurities with a smug, Bush-ian smirk [“I’m not genetically gifted, so I bleach the hair, hit the gym, get some sun. Being twins with this guy {indicates Joel}, all I hear is how hot he is and how I’m the chubby twin…” and on and on like this. Good lord.] Perez and the things he has to endure in order to perpetuate millionaire bitchpire, the general public who give a fuck about this kind of gloomy crap, the poor fuckers in Benji’s gym who have to be part of this dumb video and of course, me. This is true housewife status shit, folks. I just learned who Gladys from the Ellen show is. For fucks sake. What’s next? Some knitting? Vacuum infomercials? The VIEW?


I need a shot of whiskey and a blowjob while I drive (too fast) over to the cockfight or something to get my dangerous side back in the game. Well, I guess I’m meeting with my accountant tomorrow to deal with my tax issues. Is that badass at all? No? Yeah…not really. Sigh. I used to be dangerous folks. In 99 I only took three showers the whole year. TRUE!

Also, what else? Um….I dunno. I don’t want to get into my various shenanigans too much, but let’s suffice it to say that I’ve stood drenched in swamp water up to my chest, in front of a ten story bonfire in the middle of the woods with nothing in my pockets, forty five minutes from the closest town, on a Monday night, in france with a war photographer from the Korean war and Desert Storm 1, a junkie with a trick knee who was going through withdrawls, a bunch of French people who couldn’t stand me, and an old man- the only person I knew within about sixty miles, mind you, who had no teeth and couldn’t stop telling me that it was all no problem, he and his friends used to jump dirt bikes while high on ecstasy all the time back in LA.

This did not calm me down at all, by the way. Did I mention I was totally freaking out? Oh, because I was.

This is an excerpt from the story of the far and away craziest night of my life. Looking back, I wasn’t really a badass or anything, I was just kind of losing my mind and trying not to cry. But hey, I was lost in the woods with fifty thousand French hippies who were all driving their cars into lakes and setting things on fire and it was snowing and I was covered in swamp water and the junkie was just collapsing in screams every time his bad knee gave out and those stories the old man was telling me about the great times jumping bikes in LA all high were really just contributing to my unease.

The war photographer ran off with the girl covered in blood to fish her boyfriend out of the muddy bog, and everyone I knew (besides the old man, of course) was an hourlong drive away in a hotel run completely by robots (true!).

Oh, and with the exception of the old man, no one would talk to me because I’d thrown my socks into the woods after my incident with the swampwater. And I was sick. Cough and cold sick. Not like meningitis, so, well that’s a silver lining.

I guess the point is, I’d rather be here than back in those woods. Even if people over here are watching Ellen. It’s just the waiting. Who sang that song? Tom Petty? The waiting is the hardest part? I’m pretty sure it was him.

God he’s handsome.

Friday, May 7, 2010

hey tweens!

Sheeeeeeeeeit. Know what I love? Twilight. I love that shit. I’m so fucking excited that that rat girl and that guy that looks like a high schooler’s cartoon are now such big stars that they’re actually influencing the baby names in this country to a point where there’s articles being written about how the name of the rat girl’s character is now the number one name in America. Wow. Cool. That’s great. I was gonna name my daughter Cheetos but now, I’m thinking Bella. Pretty good name, but it doesn’t really sum up how dedicated I am to the franchise. So, maybe Twilight? That’s a pretty name, right? Twilight? How bout Ed? Sure it can be feminine! Remember Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona (which, by the way is one of my favorite movies of all time. Don’t let that list on my profile fool you)? Ed’s a pretty good name for a little girl. Know what else is a good name: Pattinson. There we go. Ed Pattinson Twilight Bella Kelly. Sounds kind of cool.

Glad that’s settled. It’s so much better than Cheetos Kelly, which was (let’s just get this all out in the open) just something we were doing because it’s a family name. This is better though. Nice.

Twilight is funny and here’s why: it’s so simultaneously successful and virginal. Now, sure, I know that the virgin illusion is all the rage these days. Just ask Justin Bebier’s mom (recently trampled by girls at a Target or something) or the girls that like the JoBros or hell, remember Britney spears? She was a virgin once too (I’m guessing when she was twelve) and yeah, it’s that highly chaste, highly sexualized by-way -of-selling-chastity that’s really stoking the flames. It’s like when someone just breathes on your dick for a while and finally you’re like “Man, I can’t take it any more, bro. You gotta start sucking that thing or I’m finna go cuh-RAZY!” It’s the tease factor. Here’s the thing though, these fucking pugs are ugly as hell.

Oh my god! Yes they are! I cannot sit idly by and get told how gorgeous this guy is for another day. Yeah, sure, he’s got the wacky hair and the sunken, sallow, british pale glow that’s obviously in line with what people want, and yeah, he’s brooding and he looks (not to belabor the point) SO much like a cartoon and….fuck, I don’t know. I guess he’s gorgeous. My wife and her homies certainly think so. Twilight is the one thing my wife doesn’t want me around for.

When her girls come over and there’s a vampire movie on the docket, she says things like, “You and marcus should go get some beers tonight. I’ll get up with the baby. Oh, marcus is working? What’s Chris up to? How bout toby?”

I don’t know WHAT goes on while I’m out, but it must be great. Fine. He’s gorgeous. I take it all back, but man, that knock kneed rodenty budget winona ryder…she’s good looking? Really? I see her being like, the hottest girl that you work with at mcdonalds, TOPS…so you know, when you’re stoned and you’re standing there on some down time you think to yourself “who would I bang if this McDonalds suddenly was the last thing on earth and my fellow employees and I had to repopulate? Probably Kristen.” But that’s about it, honestly.

She’s not hot. Hell, maybe that guy’s so hot that just hanging out next to him makes her kind of hot. Kind of like how if you’re in a lot of pictures with Hitler, just hanging out, shooting the shit, passing the beets, whatever, you’re kind of a dick, even if you never really did anything too wrong yourself. I guess it’s like that.

Nah, seriously folks, and I’ve got two quick points here: 1) dudes play this little ‘last mcdonalds on earth’ game all the time. That’s why guys end up banging gross girls. A guy’s standards (despite what anyone may tell you) are like a law school bell curve. The hottest woman in the room, even if she’s kind of a pig, becomes an A and everyone else is graded on a sliding scale down. The quick scan to find the most bangable woman in the room happens uh…what’s the word? EVERY time a guy enters a new room. Right? No? Come on. Who do you think you’re bullshitting here? Okay, anyway, that’s just an aside….up next:

2) The only cool thing about Goths and vampires is the overt sexuality. Once you take that away, you’re left with nerds and goofballs that are little more than people who walk around 24-7 pretending to be paladins or warriors or wizards or whatever. It’s the overt sexuality that sells the thing (and probably gets so many nerds into it in the first place [check yesterday’s entry for a primer on nerds {and yes, of course I meant Alton Brown! Sheesh}]). Vampire movies without sex are like those ‘all chocolate’ reeses peanut butter cups or nonalcoholic beer or baked lays. It’s just fucking stupid. Period.

Okay, listen. I can’t figure this all out right now. I’ve gotta take my dog to the groomers to get shaved up for summer. We’re giving her the full-body Hitler cut with the Rob Pattinson top of the head. It’s called the Sieg Heilight. Gonna be sweet.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

of geeks and nerds

Hey y’all! The benefit show is all sold out. That’s nice. That’s about the best we can do, right? Good deal. Now all we have to do is play well. Shouldn’t be a problem. After all, we’re seasoned professionals, right? Er…ehrm…uh. Hmmm…Sure we are. Okay, so that’s all set, we’re good. Moving on:

The other day I heard a long discussion about the difference between a nerd and a geek. This is a hotly debated topic and I think that there’s a lot of cultural and regional stuff that goes into it, but I was halfway through this blog this morning when I read over what I’d written and it was little more than a list of complaints about physical ailments and well…that’s not interesting, so in the spirit of continued entertainment and my unfettered ability to just expound on anything without having any preconceived uh…ideas or information at all, I deleted it and now I’m gonna go ahead and separate and define the geek and the nerd for posterity. Never fear. This is gonna be definitive. Anyway, here goes:

Okay, to start we need some archetypes. For ease we’ll go with the computer geek and the Star Wars nerd. These are common sorts. You probably know one of each. I don’t really feel the need to explain who either of these people are, but quickly, if your computer won’t show porn in the proper resolution, the friend you take it to who fixes it effortlessly, he’s a computer geek. The friend that corrects you when you misquote yoda, he’s the Star Wars nerd.

Now, at first, these might seem like unfair archetypes since a computer geek is ostensibly doing something productive (fixing your porn) while the Star Wars nerd is simply irritating the shit out of everyone, but make no mistake, the nerds and the geeks can both be charming lady killers and they can both be hopeless dinguses (ed. Note: the word ‘dinguses’ did not set off my spell check. Hmmmm).

The key difference between the geek and the nerd has nothing to do with practicality, as many have erroneously suggested, but rather the social/personal medium through which they practice and demonstrate their wealth of specialized information. Too vague? Sure. Let’s back up a bit.

The geek and the nerd are hard to separate because inherent in both species is the notion that these people contain a vast wealth of knowledge that society at large doesn’t possess (this, however, leads to a lot of mislabeling, as we’ll show at the end of this article). The difference is that a nerd concerns himself with the intellectual and the geek with the clerical. What do I mean?

A nerd’s stock in trade is memorization, adherence to the rules, facts, fallacies and of course factual errors of the universe that they’ve immersed themselves in. So, our Star Wars nerd will, by definition be able to quote some lines from the films, have some strong opinions regarding what can and cannot be out there on Hoth or in the Dagobah system and so on and so forth. They’ve got their favorite movies and they find parts of the mythology (or, in extreme cases, competing mythology [see the star wars nerd mocking the Trekkie for the highly unlikely methods of time travel employed to bring Kirk back to life for an example of this…very, very sad stuff folks]) to be laughable and worthy of mockery.

Here’s the key part about defining a nerd: there are pursuits that nerds are drawn to like moths to a flame: Fantasy, sci fi, comics, etc. but a civil war historian is also a nerd. Ditto a Dostoevsky scholar, though here’s the interesting thing…a scholar concerned with Dostoevsky’s stories, the meat of the character, the underlying themes, he is a nerd, HOWEVER, the scholar concerned with the formal elements of the Idiot or Crime and Punishment; he is a geek, and that is the difference.

Before we go any farther, yes…the same person can be a nerd and a geek. Of course. It’s just a very different thing to ‘geek out’ and to ‘nerd out.’ We’ll get there in a minute, but first, the geek:

The geek specializes in something more physical than memorization, though memorization plays a large role in geekdom. A computer geek, for example knows the ins and outs of the mac operating systems and that requires memorization, but it’s not something that exists in his head (forgive me for using the masculine pronouns throughout this, but come on folks…we know who we’re talking about here, right?) just for the sake of accruing knowledge. There’s a physical application.

Now, again, this does not make the geek mightier than the nerd. A nerd writing a book about the civil war or the comparative presidencies of Bush vs. Nixon or the financial policies of China or something is certainly doing something more practical than the bike geek who exists to dismantle his bicycle, paint the frame and reassemble it seasonally. But you see the difference. Photo geek, bike geek, computer geek, it’s not just memorization and nerdiness (though that definitely comes into play). There’s something else happening there.

I hesitate to use the terms ‘practical’ or ‘physical’ too much because this IS a tricky area of separation and there is honestly a lot of cross over, but lets look at two seemingly grey areas to try to delineate a bit more clearly, shall we?: The Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast and the Film geek/nerd.

Okay, the Dungeons and Dragons nerd/geek. They read the books, they know the mythology they play the games yet they also construct characters and paint tiny figurines which they set up in topographical dioramas. This is an instance where you see nerdiness (the complete cultural immersion) and geekdom (the physical act of collecting, painting and arranging) coming into play. It’s not difficult to imagine someone doing just one of these things. A nerd that simply knows the mythology yet has no interest in the dioramas beyond “wow, that’s kind of cool” is a common breed, likewise the compulsive collector is simply a geek, even if the collection is something that’s typically considered ‘nerdy’ he’s just geeking out painting those little figurines and arranging them if that’s the endgame, and so often it is.

The film geek/film nerd is slightly more tricky, and this is where scholarly discourse on this subject gets heated and nasty. I posit that a film nerd is interested in something that can be obviously compartmentalized (star wars, the films of Kubrick, Italian cinema, sci fi) while the film geek is more into mass consumption and comparison.

Granted, this is not intuitive based on the preceding article, but it’s just sort of the way it is. Think about it, there’s no doubt that Ebert is a ‘film geek.’ He’s not really a ‘movie nerd’ though that description doesn’t TOTALLY miss the mark. However, your friend that obsessively watches the Matrix trilogy, or star trek or Mel Gibson films or nothing but French films is following and indulging in a nerdy pursuit.

The difference here is attitude. The nerd basks in the glory (ha!) of having a complete wealth of knowledge about a specific area of expertise, one that’s entirely theoretical and subjective, and therefore endlessly arguable, while the geek is immersed in the larger picture, the love of the physical medium.

(Interestingly, while both subsects necessarily have strong opinions, it’s the nerds that seem to revel in argument, hierarchy and peer dismissal, while the geek seems generally more focused on individual pursuit, and perhaps that’s an ancillary definition that needs to be further researched.)

Now, finally, we’re all familiar with the massive nerd and the pitiable geek and the solitary and furiously masturbating existences that they lead, but geeks and nerds, like vampires and homosexuals can be found in all walks of life. I am a nerd. Jesse James is a geek (gearheads being a HUGE arm of the geek community at large). Bobby Flay is a geek. Elton Brand (duh!) is a nerd. Guy Fierri: both (and a fashion maven to boot!).

Anyone who happily obsesses over something falls into one or both of these categories. It’s not as simple as a pocket protector or a snide giggle when someone mentions that they still use hotmail. It’s that moment when you’re at the bar and you realize that you’ve ignored your girlfriend for an hour and a half because the other person at the table is as into black metal as you are. It’s the moment where you look up to realize it’s dawn after debating which paring knife is truly best when you’re cutting game meat. It’s not just arguments about firefox vs. Safari or Darth Sidious vs. Darth Nihils; it’s also which Becky on Roseanne was more true to the spirit of the character or exactly the moment when Metallica started to suck or what the fuck people are doing playing balsa wood semi hollow body telecasters in aggressive rock bands. Geekdom and nerdiness are all around you. It’s your best friends, your heroes and your leaders. It’s you and it’s me.

At this point it’s important to point out that ‘nerd’ and ‘geek’ can both be used as derogatory terms for people who have no social skills…even if said person possesses no great passion or wealth of knowledge [as per the parenthetical notation at the beginning of this article]. It’s difficult to deny that if something quacks like a nerd, and looks like a nerd, he’s a nerd.

However, as we’ve just shown, there IS NO ‘look’ that clearly denotes the geek or the nerd. It’s a fundamentally attitudinal thing. People with no sartorial grace, people with bad eyesight and obsessive compulsive needs to not damage their shirt pockets with pens, people with ill fighting pants, people with sweaters knitted by their moms who do NOT have the mental capacity to be nerds or geeks are simply unfortunate. And man, they’re so unfortunate! The MOST unfortunate perhaps. They’re not nerds. They’re not geeks and that’s very, very sad. They’re the lowest of the low: The dorks.

Because look, remember when your mom told you that everyone was good at something? That’s bullshit. Most people (you perhaps) aren’t good at anything at all. These dorks are the people to pity, not mock. And to call someone a nerd who’s not even capable of telling you the difference between a middle earth orc and a dungeons and dragons orc, well, man, that’s just cruel. That’s like puppy kicking cruel, and I want no part of that.

Jesus, this is long.
Later dorks.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

concerning cynicism

Man, the world is such a cynical crappy place. It’s enough to make me sick. There’s actually a (very, very small but vocal) backlash coming my way for this benefit show (for those of you not up to speed, Lawrence Arms, Dead to Me and Blind Staggers are doing a benefit for the girls that got beaten with bats while stumbling home from a bucktown bar last week) which, you know what? I knew would happen. Here’s the deal:

Cynicism is so much easier to cultivate than enthusiasm or genuine emotion. People my age and younger grew up (and are growing up) in a time where technology has made everyone a target market and where marketing people have figured out how to turn philanthropy into profits and food drops into advertisements and there’s a new duplicity to everything that just didn’t used to exist. It’s the result of the evolution of extremely savvy marketing teams, and it’s not a malicious deal, it’s just the way the world has progressed.

Think about how unusual corporate synergy used to be. Nike teaming up with Coke to do an event or co-sponsor each other’s products, for example, was a crazy notion when I was a kid, but now there are commercials for oh, I dunno, Ritz crackers and Netflix (“watch your favorite movie with your favorite cracker!” [this is made up, by the way. Hands off Nabisco!]) and people advertise that there will be free Axe body spray at the Palms in Vegas for two weeks which gets people into the Palms and gets people wearing Axe all at once.

Pepsi drops food in some crappy desert for some fly covered children and the main thrust of the entire operation is so people see the pepsi logos and think “wow, I’ll drink pepsi! What good people.” But most of us look at that and say, ‘wow. That sucks. Pepsi is exploiting western/white guilt and African/third world poverty just to make sure that they sell more pepsi and don’t have to pay taxes to boot. Fucked up.”

So yeah. It’s a crazy world. And there’s nothing worse than being excited about something (“I love pepsi for their philanthropy and general commitment to the increased quality of life for all people on the planet”) and then feeling the glee radiating off some smug dipshit who wants nothing more than to poke a hole in your little bubble. (“Oh! Pepsi! Good people? Wake up, bro! Ever hear of the Salvadorian death squads? That’s Pepsi. Ever hear of child onset diabetes? Pepsi. Ever hear of John Wayne Gacy? The dude that hit the girls with the bats? Global warming? Oil spils? Pepsi. Pepsi. Pepsi. Pepsi. Pepsi” [editorial note: pepsi is a big, bad company that markets and feeds a very dangerous product to unsuspecting children and fat folk and they’re probably involved in some shady global dealings and all that. I’m sure they are. However, I don’t know if they have any connection to el Salvador, per se…just an off the cuff example of some asshole bursting some naïve young dork’s bubble. So relax.])

So it’s no surprise that when we announced this benefit a few folks piped in with shit like “um, there’s lots and lots of people getting mugged and beaten in Chicago every day. Most of them black, most of the crimes unreported, and most of them on the south side. How come the Lawrence Arms is picking these particular victims? Because the girls are white? Why don’t you do benefits for other victims, maybe ones who need it more? This is bullshit!”

Okay, so I expected that. Sadly, yes. I did. There’s no way to do something nice in this world anymore without people either searching for the ulterior motive or pointing out the ways in which what you’re doing (and being praised for doing) is actually not all that good, and everyone ‘should all stop sucking your balls because you made one dumb, inconsequential probably racist and certainly ignorant little magnanimous gesture, because really, it’s actually totally fucked up.’

And it’s hard to know how to respond. Because it’s not these people’s fault that they’re so cynical. That’s the way we all are. BUT this is still the argument of an asshole, and as such, it’s not really worth addressing, BUT this cynicism is so toxic that to let it completely go just breeds more cynicism vis a vis the dildos around this loudmouth who think “wow, brent is right! These assholes ARE self serving peckerheads who have no fucking idea about their own town until one of their precious little white friends gets beaten up. Hey Lawrence Arms! Welcome to Chicago! (chugs $6 PBR from a can and high fives)”.

AND it’s important to nip this kind of cynicism in the bud BUT it’s very easy to argue from a cynical perspective (that’s why it’s such a popular perspective and why lazy people are so often the biggest cynics. It’s also a cultural salve for the lazy. If you’re personally doing nothing, it’s easier to take a cynical perspective and point out the flaws in what someone is doing than to examine why you’d rather just criticize than get involved. AND, yeah there’s problems with everything. There’s no way to just fix the world wholesale, and as a last resort cynics tend to throw out this hail mary argument and it’s pretty unbeatable. “well, yeah. Now there’s free healthcare in this country but we’ve still got a crumbling infrastructure” even though those are not the same problems, it sounds good and voila! There’s outrage, cynics feel like they won, and here’s the best part: cynics, by definition don’t have to listen to your counter arguments or give them any weight, because they’re [wink-wink] more cynical, smarter and more tuned into what’s actually going on than you, random dumbass.)

SOOOOOOO, what to do? What to say? How bout this:

“Thanks for telling me how it is in Chicago you fucking asshole. I had no idea. In my decades of living in this city it never occurred to me that there was anyone else in it but the blueblood uppercrust that I grew up going to cotillions and caviar tastings with. So thanks for that.

Black people? I’ve heard of em. Sounds like they’re a wonderful people and I’m sorry that their city-state seems to be in a perpetual state of muggings and civil war. Know what they could probably use? Some jet skis, because man, NO ONE is pissed off if they’re riding a jet ski. That’s a promise. SO, tell em to buy themselves some jet skis, and I’d say that’s pretty much solved.

“As for these girls: I’ve said before, I don’t know anything about these girls. They could be rich, they could be poor. I don’t know a god damn thing about them except that one’s from Ireland, and they’ve got some connection to UIC grad school. Oh, and this too: They’re in my community getting beaten very severely and they obviously need help and I’m doing what very little I can to provide it for them and show some folks a good time in the process. What a fucked up thing.”

(On a kind of a tangentially related side note):

You know, it’s like the fucking crazy backlash that these celebrities get when they adopt these kids from third world countries (not that I’m attempting to compare playing a show and adopting and caring for a child for 18 years. They’re both just plagued by a similar brand of cynicism). People actually get snide and shitty and shit talk these celebrities. Now, I’ve got no special love for Madonna or Angelina Jolie-Pitt, or anything, and I’m not here to defend my fave celebs blindly, but um…I can’t think of something more selfless and awesome than taking a child out of a terribly disadvantaged situation and providing them with a new, good life.

People say things in response like “Well, it’s not like they’re taking care of the kids. They’re celebs and they’ve got nannies and shit.” To that I say so fucking what? Where would you rather be raised? Mansion in Malibu by some of the most experienced caregivers in the world or in an orphanage in the desert of Kenya? Kind of a no brainer there.

Then they say “well, they’re just doing it for the publicity” and again the response is so what? These people are VASTLY improving the quality of life of a human being and that’s a laudable thing to do, regardless of what you (a stranger, by the way) thinks their motives may or may not be.

Next, the notion that ‘hey, that money could be spread around and they could help the whole community’ is pretty funny too, since you just KNOW that the Kenyan bureaucracy that distributes wealth to the destitute is a right on and praiseworthy, corruption-free organization. I’m sure that all the money would be well spent and accounted for. And anyway, leaving that aside, it’s not as though the notion that you could maybe build a school or something makes the fact that you adopted a child any less of an incredibly wonderful thing to do.

Finally, there’s the last notion: that ‘hey Madonna! There’s plenty of poor kids right here in America! Why you gotta go to Africa to get one? What about your community?” to this, I’d say, ‘um, hey asshole. Kids is kids. Helping in your community is great (we’re playing a benefit show in our community (at Subterranean) for some people who got mugged right in our community on May 19th. , but know what? It’s cool to do shit for people that live outside your community too. Like if, for example I’d ever heard of the southside before yesterday and had known that there were people getting hurt over there before they all got their jet skis. I could have done something for them, and you’d approve of that, right? Sure you would.

In closing, can we just please be less complete assholes, just for a minute? That would be cool. I’ve got this new person showing up here soon and I’d like her to think that this place isn’t just all snide dicks motherfucking each other for every reason under the sun, at least at first.

Thanks, y’all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Hey dicks. No baby yet, thanks for the good words though. I’m actually just hanging out with my family on our last bit of time as a three piece. It’s nice and relaxing. BUT, I’m not just kicking my legs up and having pina coladas.

I got us a great support band for the benefit show over there at Subterranean just like I promised y’all I would. It’s San Fran’s own Dead To Me!!!!!! How bout that shit, folks? It’s their first proper show in Chicago in four years! No, don’t thank me. thank a violent, horrible world that forces good folks to come together to make everything seem like it’s not just an inevitable doom spiral that ends in plague and death. That’s right, y’all! If it wasn’t for terrible, terrible things, this unprecedented event wouldn’t be happening so…uh…wait. Never mind that whole line of thinking.

I’m just excited to see DTM and play with them. Arrhythmic palpitations is one of my favorite songs of all time. I knew this was gonna be a cool show, because if time has shown me one thing, it’s that no one comes together for a party when a party is needed like Chicago area TLA fans, but man, having Dead to Me be willing to show up and do this for free, man, that’s pretty radical. We’re lucky folks over here, kids.

I know what you’re thinking: “What the fuck? Dead to Me is amazing and everything, but what about a Chicago band? Are we not coming together as a city? Well, don’t think I didn’t think of that you wise asses. That’s why Chicago’s own Blind Staggers are gonna be starting the evening off the way only they know how to do, which is to say drunkenly and with a sweede playing drums while a bunch of hillbillies ‘shoot the moon’ or whatever it is that country musicians do. Shit. Look, point is, this is gonna be an awesome night. Be there or cry. Those are your options.

Now, as promised:

When I was seventeen, I was out smoking pot with my friends Eric and Billy. It was A Sunday evening and we were in one of our favorite spots, which was a wooded area that surrounded the eastern shore of the Lagoon just north of Lincoln Park Zoo (it’s since been mostly deforested). This area was notable because it not only featured young pot smokers looking to sit around and laugh at the reflections of the skyscrapers in the filthy black oily pool that is the lagoon, but it also featured dudes who liked to walk around and give/receive anonymous blowjobs to/from each other. This made for some really amazing moments.

Imagine Billy and Eric and I staggering out of some bushes all stoned only to see a lonely fifty something with a yellow handkerchief dangling from his hand, standing shirtless in the midst of this underbrush next to a filthy mattress that someone had so kindly hauled down to facilitate blowjob giving/receiving. Would the lonely man raise his eyebrows in anticipation of an unforeseen windfall of youthful sensuality? Would the three stoned teenagers laugh out loud? Would there be awkwardness? Would this happen around about every third bend? You get the idea. It was a real gas.

So anyway, they were building the Nature Museum at this time and we decided to climb the construction fence and stop leading on all the creepy old cruisers. So, we went down and sat in the crane and hotboxed the bulldozer cabin and shit like that. Then, for whatever reason, we all took turns peeing into the big orange Gatorade cooler that was obviously there to provide water to the construction workers during the hottest months of summer. When I think back on that now, I’m so revolted with myself. After all, these were honest, hard working dudes who were in the midst of putting together something truly worthwhile: a nature museum, and we, just to make each other laugh, peed in their water cooler. Not cool.

Really, really funny at the time though.

Um…so, on the very off chance that you’re out there, construction guys, sorry. That was shitty. I’m trying to fix things on a galactic scale by helping these girls that got beaten with the bats. It’s kind of my duty, right? Sure it is.

Um, what else is there? I dunno. Can’t wait for this baby, kids. She’s gonna be something. We’re either gonna name her “Sock,” “Sock Drawer” or “Dog of War.”

Just so you guys know, I’m naming my kid after you. That’s how much I love you over here.

Okay, enough bullshitting.
From BSC world HQ on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, I’m out!

Monday, May 3, 2010

getcher asses out here!

Okay, hi. Good morning. My wife is still pregnant and still at work. She’s due to burst oh, nowish, but she can’t stay off those conference calls, boy. Wow. Just saying, if I have to suddenly go this morning, that’s why. There’s a baby a’ comin. Okay, so quickly, on to business:

As you may recall, on Friday I wrote about the two girls who got beaten up with baseball bats while walking home from a bar. The one girl is from Ireland and she’s still in a coma last I heard. The other girl is awake, but she’s pretty fucked up. Broken skull and stuff.

Well, that sucks. It makes me feel bad that we’ve suddenly got this “Visit Chicago! We’ll beat you within an inch of your life!” kind of city slogan right now. I mean, we’re good folks here. Or, I should say there are tons and tons of good folks here and just a few baddies. I mean, I can only speak for myself and my friends, but none of us have EVER beaten anyone with a baseball bat. Not for money, not for fun, not even out of frustration. Okay, one time I was hitting baseballs and I accidentally knocked my brother’s tooth out with a bat on my follow through, but first of all I was maybe nine. Second of all, who sneaks up and stands right behind someone who’s hitting baseballs? I maintain that one was an accident and should not go on my ‘hitting folks with bats’ record, which is otherwise, not to belabor the point, spotless.

Okay, we’re getting off topic, and today’s topic is really quite good if I say so myself. It involves two girls that are in the hospital with broken headbones because some horrible shithead came upon them when they happened to be stumbling home from doing one of my favorite things (boozing with friends) in my favorite city.

As someone who’s stumbled home from my share of bars at 330 in the morning, I feel a deep connection to this plight.

I’ve been speaking with my co-conspirators and we all feel terrible. SO, here’s what we’re gonna do: Me and my friend Chris and my friend Neil (both fellow stumbling-home-in-Chicago enthusiasts) are going to get together one night and play some songs that we’ve written for anyone who wants to pay to come see us do it. We’ll be calling ourselves the Lawrence Arms, we’ll be performing at the Subterranean on Wednesday the 19th of May. The show will be 17+ and every single dime of the money will go to these girls to help them with their bills and their rehab and…fuck, honestly, I don’t even care what they do with the money. If they need some hot fudge sundaes, fine. Go for it, get the biggest fucking hot fudge sundaes you can get. It’s the least we can do as a city, right? Of course it is. Okay, I’m off topic again.

The point is, Lawrence Arms is doing a benefit for the girls that got hit with bats and you all should come. You all should tell all your friends about it and you should tell them to come. We’d really like to get as many people out as possible and this is pretty short notice, so spread the word. I promise great times. There’s gonna be dj’s and raffles and shit downstairs and we’re gonna be playing upstairs. I’m putting my head together with Toby and Chris and Neil to come up with some suh-weet openers. The thing’s gonna be off the proverbial chain. AND it’s all for a very good cause.

Come on Chicago! Let’s come together and change our new city slogan to “Chicago! Yeah, we’ll beat you within an inch of your life, but we’ll also help you get fixed up afterwards!” That’s at least a start. Maybe then we can move on to something like “Chicago! You didn’t get beaten at all last time you were here!” and eventually “Chicago! It’s cold as shit most of the time!”

That’s gonna be sweet, people. Know what else is gonna be sweet? This show at SubT in two Wednesdays. Get your tix early, as that’s a small room and it’s gonna be a sweaty mess of mofos in there just getting awesome. You don’t want to miss it because you snoozed and the tickets all got sold, right? Of course not.

I mean, ask the brits, we’re fresh off our UK tour and we’re playing pretty well. We got five K’s in kerrang for fucks sake! And with the exchange rate, that’s like eight American K’s, so we must be kicking a lot of ass right now.

Also, it bears mentioning that since I’m about to have a baby, this show will feature me at my most sleep deprived and hilarious, AND it’s definitely gonna be the only chance to see us for a while, anywhere. SO, come on people. Fly in from Japan and all that. I know it’s short notice! It’s for a great cause.

Finally, no. We don’t know these girls. We’ve never met them, I don’t think we have any mutual friends or anything like that. Just practicing a little something called ‘good citizenship.’ Hopefully, this will make up for the time I peed in the construction site cooler when I was 17.

Ah, I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.