Friday, June 4, 2010

I'd rather be fishing

Okay, so tomorrow night I’m bartending, guest star bartending that is, at the L and L tavern. You may know the L and L as the first place I ever legally drank a beer and the spiritual home of my band, the Lawrence Arms. This will be the first time this kind of amazing corporate synergy between the L’s and the Arms has ever been attempted and in honor of all of y’all’s unbridled enthusiasm, I’m doing something truly great for those of you who show up.

Due to my big-wheel status down at JBTV, where I host Static Age along with my pal Toby, I’ve been able to secure popular throwback act Against Me! to play a set in the extremely intimate JBTV studio in a few weeks, (less than one hundred people will be admitted) and tomorrow at the L and L we’ll be raffling off guest list spots to that shit. That’s right turds! Who loves you? Me. I’m gonna be giving you whiskey, giving you PBR’s and giving you access to see one of the biggest bands in punk rock in a tiny little setting. Okay, so bring your livers folks, because tomorrow night’s gonna be sloppy. The door guy is the guy who the song “cut it up” is inspired by, for fucks sake (for you nerds out there that care about that kind of thing). Um, so yeah. Come on down tomorrow.

Also, I’ll be cranking up the old Static Age Twitter and firing off ‘blasts’ or whatever the fuck people say nowdays, starting, uh…well I just did the first one just now. Go ahead, follow my tweets. jbtvstaticage is the handle…jesus. I need a teenager in here to hook me up with some terminology asap, because I have the sinking feeling that what I just said makes no sense.

Okay, finally, come see me tonight at the Risque Café. It’s gonna be me and David just uh…I don’t know, hosting beer shotgunning contests all night. 2 buck cans, folks! 4 buck whiskey lemonade in a pint glass. 7 bucks for a half slab of ribs! Quit being such a pussy!

Good god! That’s a lot of advertising for a morning, innit? It’s almost like I’m not even gonna go into a hilariously whimsical tirade about something irrelevant today…almost.

At my gym, there’s a young black guy who swipes my card before I go into the locker room every day. I see this guy all the time and we don’t really talk, but we’re friendly with “hey there”s and “have a good weekend” and shit like that. Well, the other day I was walking in and he was looking at my arm and he got a look of real shock on his face and I said “what’s up?” and he said “uh…nothing. Um, is that, uh, is that that one little dude that’s on the back of trucks just always peein’ on everything?” He pointed to my first tattoo, a tattoo of Calvin from Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, one of the greatest comic strips ever, but also one of the lamer tattoos.

It struck me that this guy, who’s probably only about twenty one or twenty two, probably has no frame of reference for who calvin is outside of the brave new world of high speed cultural discourse that involves his being placed mischievously within pissing distance of some piece of loathed iconography on the back of some hick’s truck as it speeds down the highway, and that, folks, makes this an even LAMER tattoo than it already was.

I’ve seen calvin piss on some funny stuff in my time on America’s highways. I’ve seen him piss on various sports teams, various makes of cars and I’ve even seen him praying a few times, but the best Calvin sticker I’ve ever seen, hands down, was Calvin pissing on the words “towel heads”. I mean, I don’t think there’s a more concise way to sum up what a completely mindless turd you are than to put this sticker on your dumb truck. But that kind of brings me to my bigger point.

Stickers on your car are fucking dumb. There’s really no exception to this rule. Some would argue that the election year bumper sticker is exempt from this, but I disagree. Your car, it should be presumed, will last you longer than it will take for the election you’re all stoked about to take place, and as soon as that election’s over, you’ve got either the loser of the election on your car, like some kind of asshole, or you’ve got the president or the mayor or the governor on your car, and they don’t need any more advertising. they got the fucking job. So yeah, these stickers are worthless, but I’ll grant you that they’re really not the worst.

Stickers that are just completely mindless (“shit happens”, for example) are good. That is, they’re a good way to broadcast that you treat your car like a piece of shit, you’re too dumb to take care of it and you for some (again) dumb reason bought a five dollar bumper sticker, ruined your bumper with it and now drive around as though it’s doing anything by calling attention to how stupid you are, all while trumpeting a slogan that is AT BEST banal and meaningless. But that’s better than the alternative:

Yesterday I parked behind a van that was covered in bumper stickers. They were all Very Serious bumper stickers and the woman (it had to have been a woman) who owned the van was obviously liberal and humorless. “Well behaved women rarely make history” this woman’s van told me, and sure. I believe that’s probably true. “Keep abortion safe and legal” it says. “Celebrate Diversity” and on and on like this. And I sat there and looked and I realized that this batch of stickers was making me incredibly angry. Why? I think that I pretty much agree with every notion espoused on this dumb aquamarine minivan, so why is it upsetting to me?

The answer struck me a few minutes after I’d walked away…it’s because I don’t want to be yelled at by a mini van about anything at all. If I’m being confronted on the street by someone who feels strongly about diversity or gay marriage or keeping womens health clinics safe or whatever, I can choose to walk by or I can stop and chat, but I’m left with the distinct feeling that the person with the clipboard genuinely cares about what’s going on and is actually putting their money where their mouth is and getting out there and trying to do something. A bumper sticker is just an empty slogan that I have to look at all the way from my house to taco bell when I’m stuck behind you. It takes about a second to read and dismiss as stupid but that doesn’t stop it from sitting there just screaming “NO BLOOD FOR OIL” at me. Well, thanks, dude in front of me for purchasing an approximated talking point of your opinion and putting it on your bumper so I could, while I’m on my way to the urologist, for example, be comforted by the fact that I’m hurtling down Lake Shore Drive right behind someone else who doesn’t want to see blood shed for oil. Thanks.

There’s a guy in my neighborhood who has this amazingly pretentious bumper sticker on his car that says something like “those who would give up essential liberty and freedom for a little safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.” The quote, which I’m paraphrasing, is attributed to Ben Franklin and there’s a picture of the liberty bell on the sticker.

This sticker makes me so fucking angry I want to pop that guy’s tires. Now, I like BF as much as the next guy. He’s fucking amazing. He’s smart and he’s truly one of the most celebrated perverts in the history of this great land of ours, but this quote in sticker form is so incredibly high and mighty and condescending and rude and downright stupid that I don’t even know what to do. I need to make a sticker of my own and park in front of him. My sticker would maybe say this:

“Hey asshole, the very notion of denying someone freedom and liberty based on the choices they make kind of goes against the idea that this country was founded on, doesn’t it? Oh yeah, I’m aware that you’re parroting a quote from one of the founding fathers, but do you realize how arrogant it sounds? You’re essentially saying (and actually, you’re not saying anything, Ben Franklin is, by way of your car) ‘if you’re afraid and stupid, you’re a worthless piece of shit, not worthy of the rights of the citizenry’ Well, guess what, self righteous car bumper! Fear is an irrational and uncontrollable emotion AND THIS PLACE IS, IN FACT, VERY FUCKING SCARY!, so get off your high horse and rather than attacking everyone who’s dumb enough to say, ‘uh, sure…I dunno, will tapping my phone keep the Taliban out of Spokane? Then I’m for it’ (which is, I’ll grant you, a completely stupid notion, and destructive to free society) let’s go for a unifying notion of really educating the American people about how to be aware of their surroundings, spot suspicious bags and activities and work as a TEAM to make us all feel safer like they do in Ireland and Israel where this kind of thing is more than just a once-in-a-while problem, because truly, only education can combat fear. There is NO OTHER weapon that can be effective against fear. Just education. That is all. How bout not being such a dick? Thanks for reading. I know this sticker is long, it’s just that when you reduce important arguments like national security vs personal freedom to sloganeering bullet points, there’s no way to not come off as a reductive, smug dipshit. And frankly, if this was easy enough to figure out that the answer could be put on a bumper sticker, well, it probably would be, don’tcha think? Oh, and your car is filthy. How bout hitting the carwash on California and Montrose? It does great detailing for about fifteen bucks.”

That would be a good sticker, right? Okay. I’m done. See you at the L and L tomorrow and see you at the Risque tonight!

xoxoxoxo

35 comments:

Eddie said...

what about a bunch of band stickers on the spare wheel cover on my jeep? bands such as... well, all of yours...

Carl said...

i may have to slightly disagree with this post, based solely on the fact that i saw a bumper sticker once that said "im only speeding because i really have to poop".

Mark said...

The pro-women stickers irritate me. Ones like "I'm a bitch and proud" or "You just got passed by a GIRL" Grr.

Joe said...

The only bumper sticker on my car is a slapstick sticker with the kid eating the record(are there others?)

Donnie said...

Here in Houston I see a lot of McCain/Palin bumper stickers.....

Scott said...

i still read Calvin and Hobbes on a daily basis thank you igoogle comic feed.

Looks like I am going to have to try to get into the city tomorrow night...

EZB said...

yea, unamerican has some good stickers like - fuck work.
my favorite bad bumper sticker was:
git-r-drunk

eRock said...

Song suggestion for your Bar nights or whatever:

SNFU - Bumper Stickers

Stop the senseless killing
Jesus is my chauffeur
Honk if your homo
God drives a Ford!
Do you ever read them?
Bumper stickers
Do you really need them?
Bumper stickers
If you don't like my driving
dial 1-800-EAT-SHIT
He who has the most toys
when he dies wins!
Have you ever bought one?
Did you really need it?
Coaster collecting is very fascinating

listen to it here:
http://new.music.yahoo.com/snfu/tracks/bumper-stickers--1002737

awesome album.

Candice said...

i have duct tape on my car holding my bumper on. not sure if that counts as a sticker.

casey said...

This was one of the best Christmas presents that I ever received:

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Calvin-Hobbes-v/dp/0740748475/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275668818&sr=8-1

Side note: did you know that Bill Watterson rigidly opposed any licensing of his characters? All of those retarded stickers are technically illegal.

Bridgett said...

@Candice
There's duct tape holding my bumper on too! After the Subt show, I ran over a giant piece of something in the road and my bumper broke into several pieces, all still attached to the car. It's pretty awesome and extremely attractive. Even better is that I work at a car dealership, and get hassled for having a car that's "falling apart".

Several cars ago, I had an Alkaline Trio sticker on my car. That was it, nothing else. I worked at a bank, and one of my customers happened to be following me down the road, and made me pretty much explain (this is a 60 year old man, by the way) who and what Alkaline Trio is, in extreme detail.

Jayzilla said...

dumb truck .. heh

Rhymes Akimbo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhymes Akimbo said...

There's a guy who lives down my street who has a bumper sticker that says "If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them" and it pisses me off to no end. I mean i'm down for supporting Canadian troops even though I don't think they should be in Afghanistan in the first place but I digress. The point is, threatening someone with a gunshot to the face in order to spread your opinion is just plain retarded.

sheila said...

what you buy a car and it already has stickers on it?...

this opens up a new and different can of worms ;)

Garfield Roscoe said...

Is that true about the carwash on Calif. and Montrose? I need a good wash and detail...

Drunken Acorn said...

Hey BK and Socks, can you help me out, I recently was out at my local watering hole with friends and one of my friends brought a friend out. I didn't know the guy, just met him, anyways my friends and I rag on each other all the time. Pretty harsh shit too. Well my friends lay into me pretty good and this guy who I just met starts in too. At first I didn't mind but he kept going. So I got a little pissed and told him to go eat a dick and pretty much went off on the guy like a little angry smurf. Some of my friends got mad at me because they work with the guy and now he doesn't want to go out with them anymore. But I didn't think I did anything wrong. I mean who just meets someone and starts to make fun of them, thats just fucking weird man. So should I apologize to this dickhole to make my friends happy?( I probably won't, fuck that guy, but I'd like to know what you think. Thanks guys. Oh great post BK, I happen to hate bumper stickers too. Except the one that says "My kid can beat up your honor student." or in your case "My kid will bite your honor student" that ones cool.

planespotting said...

@ Drunken Acorn: That's a tough situation. Without knowing exact specifics, it seems to me that when giving people a hard time is involved, the best move for anyone new to the group-giving-each-other-a-hard-time is to just stick with giving the person they know a hard time, to show the rest of the group that you're friendly. After you've established yourself as a guy who's on board with the fun, then you can slowly start to branch out to give other people a hard time.

Maybe this guy didn't realize that you were part of the regular group (like, since he isn't part of your usual shenanigans, maybe he thought all of the shit-giving was way beyond something that just friends would do), and therefore thought giving some random barfly a hard time wasn't that big of a deal, especially if all his other friends were doing it. Still a dick move on his part, but at least in that case a breach of etiquette isn't really involved.

But, well, other than that, it's hard to say. Maybe just bring a knife or a gun to his office and settle it there? Better yet - bring the air gun thing from No Country for Old Men and really let him have it.

Eric said...

fucking bumper stickers... how do they work?

Drunken Acorn said...

@ Planespotting. Thanks for the advice dude, the air gun is a great idea. Yeah these are like my best friends I've known most of them since grade school. Some people get a little weirded out by the way we treat each other, I always say someone really isn't your friend unless they can insult you without you getting mad. But thats just me. Thanks again man

Trace said...

I've got a Thrice 3-bar logo sticker on my rear windshield and I like it alot... it's probably the one thing I'll miss when that car runs its course.

I know it isn't a bumper sticker, but... it's still a sticker, right?

Buddy said...

trace, i know the feeling. my lone lawrence arms sticker (hour glass with batwings) looked great on the rear window of my hyundai...i really miss that sticker, actually

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blake said...

"GREAT SANDWICHES...WOAH"

Pretty sure this means the last post ever :(

Johno said...

I saw Against Me! not two days ago and it was really awesome. I saw also saw Tom play an acoustic show with about twenty other people and that was even awesomer.

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Robb said...

'mah dick smells lak popcorn shriiiiiiiiiimp' sounds like something raaaandy would say no? great sticker too

Timothy said...

I just gotta say that Im almost 22 and I love Calvin and Hobbes, I used to steal the books from my sister and read them, greatest comic strip ever!

Sean said...

I was contemplating using my fake to get into the L&L tonight and wrangle me some Against Me! tickets... but I decided against tricking you into serving a minor.

I'm not sure how that kind of stuff works, but I thought I remembered reading somewhere that you don't like serving people with fakes or something (which would make perfect sense, since it jeopardizes your job, right?)

Regardless, I decided that it'd suck if you caught the rap for the shittiness of my ID.

I guess I'll just have to wait the what... 3 months... til my 21st?

(or could I have potentially gone, but just not bought drinks? If somehow they don't ID at the door, I am going to be pretty regretful.)

Sean said...

[p.s. Definitely have that "Complete Calvin and Hobbes Vol 1, 2, 3" set. Best present ever.]

Luke said...

I need to live closer to Chicago

David Dunnem said...

sure Marcus gets a super pop song but "I'll take what's in the box Monty" is still about me though, right?

Daniel said...

Brendan! Glasgow was great, and I'm impatient for Crankstrap to release the DVD. Great setlists, though TGSET deserves more love (and a sequel)

I'm a punisher of the most annoying type for asking the following questions but hey! at least I don't feel entitled to your clothing*

Aaaaaaany opinions on me, as a big Broadways fan:
A) ripping off your old asterisk hairstyle (in inverse; I doubt I'd suit blonde, esp with the quite nifty/ abysmal beard I'm developing) and
B) covering One Man Board of Directors? My bassist and I have it down OK instrumentally (I've a bad recording I could maybe upload for the amusement of anyone interested) and I've made some awful attempts to sing it. Next to introduce it to our occasional drummer.

I may suggest a TLA song too (probably Chapter 13), though I'm the only """""singer""""" so it won't be quite the same.

Anyhow, the Chronicles just get better. Where else can the internet user be educated on sociopolitical issues, celebrity satire and 'alternative' sexual practises all at once? Exactly. Hope your summer's good.


* Neil's rare shirt of said band is a different matter

Adam said...

Although I agree it shouldn't be posted on someone's bumper, I don't think the BF quote is all that bad... It's really opposing stupid shit like The Patriot Act and other such unconstitutional acts. Yes, it's ok to be afraid, but no, we should never give up our constitutional rights to make ourselves feel a little better. I honestly don't want to be spied on or randomly searched cause I'm looking a little extra tan.