Tuesday, August 31, 2010

and now for something completely freaky

Okay, first up: TONIGHT is a BIG night folks! RED SCARE INDUSTRIES’ OFFICIAL DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC HAPPINESS at Risque Café where we’ll be having a sneak peak advance listening party for the Brokedowns awesomely weird new record “Species Bender” (which I think is a reference to being a dog and dressing up like a pig to attract cats or something) AND we’ll have guest DJing by label Premier, Tobias Jeg (for real this time, it was a miscommunication last week) AND we’re gonna premiere the new JBTV static age with live in studio performance and interviews from Against Me! And an Alkaline Trio interview along with a ton of other cool “punk shit” (if they can get the show finished in time, that is). This shit gets started at 9 with a power hour so outrageous that it will melt your face, so don’t be a turd! Get down to Risque Café tonight (Sheffield and clark) because this time there’s actually shit going on, kay?

Okay, on to the real stuff. Yesterday morning I woke up around 730 only to find that one of our recycling bins was super full. It was the one for glass, and when it gets full it gets heavy as shit. I decided that I’d cruise it down really fast just because my wife was still home so she could deal with the kids while I struggled down the stairs and into the alley with this gigantic bag of bottles. I never take the garbage down first thing in the morning. EVER. This was a highly unusual move and as I got to the gate, opened it and started dumping my glass into the recycle dumpster (wearing only gym shorts, mind you) I noticed that a man in his fifties was approaching me with a huge dog on a leash.
Now, I’d only been awake for about ten minutes at this point and this guy was getting pretty close and the whole thing was so unexpected that when he started talking to me, even if he had said something normal like “nice day, huh?” or “can I borrow 27 cents so I can get some food for my dog?” I would have probably just stared blankly at him. BUT, instead in a quiet voice, almost whispering in my ear, he said “did you know him?” and the look that I gave him must have been priceless, because I had absolutely no fucking clue what was going on.

So after what seemed like about forty five seconds of silent mutual staring, he just points behind me to the el tracks. I live right next to the train and the block of tracks by me is really low because it descends from regular elevated height to street level. The zone beneath the tracks is all wild grass and it’s a little future primitive and dorky nerd type people like to shoot music videos and experimental films down there. It’s fairly cool looking, I guess, but today a big section of it RIGHT outside my back gate was taped off with yellow tape. There were four Chicago police SUV’s parked at the perimeter. There were cops talking to a guy and there was, inside the taped off area, a little chair and a table with a coke bottle sitting on it, something hanging from the trestle and a corpse on the ground covered in a sheet. I don’t know how I hadn’t noticed it right away.

So, here’s the scene. It’s seven thirty in the morning. I’m in my gym shorts and nothing else and there’s a corpse right at my back door. The guy with the dog said “yeah, I guess he was out here all night and then just a little bit ago he hung himself from the tracks.” And I said something like “uh…oh. My. God.” And kind of just stared at the scene for a second and then I went upstairs and had some coffee. By the time I came down with my kids for a cruise around the hood, everything was gone. No tape, no corpse and shroud, no noose from the tracks, no little table and chairs and coke bottle. It was like nothing had happened. If I hadn’t taken down the recycling, I’d have never known that someone publically hanged themself not ten feet from my house yesterday morning. How’s that for crazy?

It’s crazy. Lemme tell you, man. That shit is super dark. In the words of my neighbor “go get a beer and do something you like. Nothing’s that bad.” Now, I don’t know if that’s really true, but yeah. Yipes. If you’re having dark thoughts there are people out there to talk to. There’s 1800SUICIDE if nothing else, and that place is staffed by people who care and know what you’re going through. I dunno…this wasn’t supposed to be a PSA about suicide but um…that’s what happens when someone’s night of chilling under the tracks leads to a morning of him swinging under the tracks, so yeah.
Love you guys. Be careful out there. The world is kind of scary sometimes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ah...not this shit again!

The other night I was hanging out with some friends, having a beer after work. I was asked by one of my friends “how was work?” To which I responded “gay.” I then looked at the third friend in the group (a pretty no nonsense lesbian of the most foul mouthed and awesome variety) and said something to the effect of “we’re still calling things gay, right?” and her response was essentially “no, but we can let it slide this time.”
And there we were, at the linguistic, PC vs mongoloid, hawks vs. doves, right vs. wrong, red vs. blue, Dr. Laura vs. black folks debate that kind of seems like it will never die. Ugh.

The other day, Dr. Laura gleefully chanted “Nigger” over and over again to an African American caller who was concerned about the language of her white husband’s friends (and specifically the use of the old N bomb.) We all saw that whole thing unfold, right? Dr. Laura spewed some completely misguided nonsense about how black comedians say ‘nigger’ all the time and so she should be allowed to as well (which she is, by the way. She was not arrested, questioned nor detained after “niggergate”, though she still claims to have suffered and lost her first amendment rights for some strange reason), people got angry, Dr. Laura decided to quit her show and a bunch of morons like Sarah Palin jumped to her defense and branded her as some kind of new age patriot, which I guess if you consider the completely racist history of this country and its founding fathers, sure…she’s a total patriot, but the whole thing brings up this issue of saying loaded words, this debate that rears its ugly head about once a year whenever some bonehead says something dumb, and it really vexes me. Here’s why:

I do NOT believe that people should go through all these crazy games to avoid words. Now, let me state unequivocally that hateful slurs are lame and the linguistic tools of dummies but I don’t like the idea of saying “the N word” either. It seems to me very similar to all those crazy inventions in Israel that they’ve got applied to everything so they can get around technically not being allowed to do any work on the Sabbath. Sure, the letter of the law is upheld, but the spirit of it is totally bankrupt. And more to the point, it’s just semantics and it’s just a construction that allows people to feel like they’re keeping their hands clean when they’re essentially doing whatever the fuck they were gonna do before. Now, the ‘N word’ construction is not quite this simple (unless you actually go around calling people ‘n word’ as in “Hey you N word! We don’t serve your kind here” or whatever the fuck racists say when they’re out there just bumming everyone out) but the notion that there’s a word that’s so off limits to say, that we need to invent a construction around it…it seems like an awful lot of work to go through for a dumb word bandied about by bigots and idiots.

The ‘conservative talk radio’ party line on this is something like “I feel like it gives the word too much power” which I agree with, but it brings me to the real problem with this side of this argument: namely everyone who espouses it seems to be a total asshole.

I mean, yes, yes, yes, yes: if you’re in polite company and you know that a certain word is going to genuinely offend someone, it’s only common decency not to say it. That’s just how it is. That’s why I don’t say ‘buttfucker’ or ‘cumbucket’ in front of my mother in law (and, honestly neither of those have really ever come up in conversation, but if they did, I’d definitely circumnavigate very carefully) but at the same time there’s something about language that’s really amazingly specific and important, and (to get back to the original situation) calling a shift at work ‘gay’ is different than calling it ‘lame’ simply because they’re different words and therefore have different gradations of connotation. BUT, should I say it just because I can? Especially if it’s offensive to someone?
This is tricky. Sarah Silverman once said that she felt that if she ever altered her act based on who’s in the crowd (like if she left out some black jokes because there were black guys sitting in the front row) then that would make her jokes racist, because they’d be part of an “us vs. them” sort of situation where she’s telling jokes about black guys to white guys behind closed doors. I can fully back that, but it’s more complicated than that.
If her jokes are funny, are they racist? I would say no, because as I’ve said before here racism isn’t funny, so if what you’re doing is genuinely funny, it’s not racism. Now, that doesn’t mean it can’t be offensive. My friend was certainly not offended by me saying ‘gay’ in the traditional sense. She didn’t suddenly think I was homophobic and lumping the gays in with the lames, she just thought I was being a typical lazy white straight male who decided to use a hot button word to kind of be a little funny in my pretend ignorance, ignoring the fact that being gay is not easy, especially as a teen or in a small town and that EVERY single thing that works against that, no matter how trivial, is hugely detrimental and ultimately super, super gay. Insensitivity isn’t even really the issue anymore. It’s more of just not being an asshole, and I get that, but there’s another side too:

There are two kinds of American Totalitarianism: the California and the Texas and I really hate them both. The Texas is the retard executing, hard ass, you know…texasy thing that we’re all too familiar with from shows like “texas justice”. It’s conservative and no bullshit and a little crazy and it’ll tell you what to do in no uncertain terms. The same thing exists in California but it’s all done under the banner of tolerance, community and coexistence but it’s just as fucking insidious and just as hard line and even more fucked up because they pay lip service to a completely free society but they’re just as arch and authoritarian as the Texans, it’s just about different things. I hate both of these ideologies, and therefore I hate saying something is ‘gay’ as much as I hate the raised eyebrows if I do. It’s different anti authoritarian strains fighting in my head for superiority and the end result is a stupid argument with myself that only tangentially concerns me in the first place.

Saying something is ‘gay’ is way different than saying “n word” or “N bomb” because there’s a different endgame. With saying ‘gay’ (as in, “that shirt is mad gay” [assuming it’s not like, a leather shirt that says ‘daddy’ or something, you know, actually gay]) you’re conveying something about yourself, either that you’re an ignorant dipshit or that you fancy yourself such a cosmopolitan friend of equality that you no longer feel the need to bow to your gay dad’s ideas of casually offensive language, and that everyone should recognize that because, check you out, you’re fully calling things ‘gay’ in mixed company like it ain’t no thang.
Saying “the N word” is saying ‘nigger’ for cowards. That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s an ugly, hateful word and saying it is no fun, but that shouldn’t get you out of having to do it if you feel so strongly that it’s what you need to say. I don’t find myself ever EVER saying ‘nigger’ or “the N word” because that shit just doesn’t come up unless I’m talking about this specific topic. Why don’t you just pick another word if you’ve got such a problem with that one? Eh?

I don’t know. Like I said, people on the ‘anti n word’ side of this argument tend to be total assholes and I’m not gonna figure it all out today, but shit….I guess I’m gonna stop saying gay?
Except when I mean gay…
Kay, I’m going to the gym. It’s mad gay in the locker room, yo.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I got the AIDS down in A-frica*

Well, this is exciting. Last night was my friend Toby’s birthday and we celebrated by getting him totally loaded and full of high spirits before eventually leaving him to carouse with the five most famous budget discount whores that Chicago has to offer: Betty, Starlene, Jo, Dennis and Gary.
We started off huffing a little gold paint out at the dumpster behind the Sherwyn Williams, then we went down to the park district where we snuck into the ladies’ room and hid beneath the toilet tanks so we could catch glimpses of big anonymous round asses sitting down to pee (and sometimes poo, unfortunately). After a brief scuffle and a little running we reconvened at the bar in Clark St. Hot Dogs and had a couple of quick cocktails and corn dogs before heading down to Steamworks where we farted our way through a little “towelboy for an hour” roleplaying.
THEN we went back to Clark Street Dog where we met up with our wives who had already been hanging out with Dennis and Gary. At that point, someone pulled out a bag of yellow powder, a razorblade and a lightbulb and we went under the train tracks behind Redmonds and got Gary so high that he decided to call up Starlene, who just got out of jail Wednesday morning. We met them over at the dumpsters down at the Wilson redline stop.
At that point things get a little blurry, but I remember Jo and Dennis pulling off Toby’s jockstrap/leather vest right there between the station and the garbage while Starlene and Dennis and Gary managed to squeeze a few whippits out of a discarded carton of old reddi whips.
Yeah, it was a pretty good night, all things considered. And now Toby is old. If he’s still alive, that is. Good times.

So, I’ve got a buddy named Nick who shot this incredibly upbeat popcorn flick of a movie about AIDS nurses in Malawi. It’s a documentary and Nick spent, I don’t know, like 2 years there filming these women and among the many brutal realities that his film touches on, probably the most shocking (and I think pretty ancillary [yet sort of unintended] to the main thrust of the film [these women are saints, this place is totally fucked up, these hospitals are like dumps for still twitching corpses, nobody cares, holy jesus god! Someone do something!]) is the notion that out there on the mean streets of Malawi, life is just cheap. It’s just not a big deal when people die because everyone is so familiar with death that it’s not even remotely a shocker.

This comes out the best in a rather calm and otherwise fairly standard follow up interview near the end of the film when Nick returns to see how his subjects have been doing since principal filming wrapped and the main woman in the movie informs him in a rather matter-of-fact way that her young toddler son, who is in a lot of the movie, is now dead. She’s not stoked about it, but she says it more like she’s saying ‘I got a flat tire yesterday’ than “the love of my life died.” It’s a pretty quick moment in a completely heavy film, but it was the most haunting part for me.

It’s one of those moments that make you realize how full of shit we all are, not as westerners, but as a complete race, this woman included; or more to the point, how we’re all so cerebrally autonomous that we can only relate to our individual life experiences and the potential consequences and how completely freaked out we’d be. I’m not really saying this very well, so let me try it again:
When I was a kid, I was absolutely terrified that my mom would find out if I ditched school or blew off band practice and got high or had a girl in my room or snuck out or anything like that. It didn’t alter my behavior at all, but the notion of being caught was a fate worse than death. I can vividly recall a cop holding me face down in the street outside a bar that served underaged kids when I was seventeen and being more terrified that this would wind up with my mom finding out than me in some sort of jail.
Of course this is ridiculous. There is no situation now where I’d rather go to jail than have my mom find out that I’d done something wrong, but those were my parameters as a kid, and as such, that was the limit of my stress and that’s fine. That’s the way it was.

Likewise today I know people who don’t bat an eye about going BACK to jail and other (very different) people who have full blown panic attacks about fucking up a conference call with the NYC office.
Hell, there are people who KILL THEMSELVES because their standard of living is threatened by losing their job or a big debt or sudden market crash. And then there are people who lose children that discuss it pragmatically as though they’re discussing a dinner that didn’t turn out as well as it could have.

So, what I’m getting at is not that we’re a bunch of babies over here and need to sack up. That’s stupid. I’m just pointing out what so many of us already know, that individual stress and worry and sorrow is so different for everyone, in a large part dictated by what’s come before in one’s life and one person’s dead pet is another’s dead kid is another’s broken watch is another’s missed appointment and in every case, those feelings are justified and normal and not worthy of reproach. It’s just how shit is.
What a world we live in.

I’m going to the zoo.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Man, this world has gone crazy! Oil spills, war, muslim presidents, cockfighting, and now Heidi Pratt wants her tits out. It's true. Now that she's shopping her sex tape (um, totally awesome by the way) Heidi's bad mouthing her ex and her tits and saying that she feels manipulated by all three of them and ultimately trapped in her body. I'd like to be trapped in her body if you know what I'm saying! HEYOOOO!!!!! Get it? It's a euphemism for banging, folks.

Now, I know what you're thinking: she's gross, she's covered in surgeries and she's on tape gargling spencer pratt's weird balls and that's pretty fucking disgusting, but you know what? I think she's WAAAAAAY hotter now than she was back when she was ugly. I know, that's a terrible thing to say and she shouldn't have to change her face and ass and yadda yadda yadda and everyone thinks she's weird looking now. The thing is, she was fucking weird looking before. Weirder in fact.

Yes, her tits are unnatural. I know, I know. Can't help it, folks. I think they look pretty good. And you know what? I've got lots of unpopular opinions about specific celebrity women and I'd like to share some of them with you today:

Jwow from the Jersey Shore: She's a babe. She's so hot and huge and skanky and awesome and drunk. She looks like she weighs about 180 pounds and towers over me at something like 6'4" but that's probably because she's always hanging out with that wasted little orange troll. Usually I don't like my women bigger than me, but I'd definitely make an exception for Jwow. She doesn't really seem to make that many bad decisions relative to the rest of the cast which means, if my math is correct, that she's marriage material, too. Yup. Can't help it. Love Jwow. Also, are those things real? Because they are gravity defiers on par with David Blane and Falcon the balloon boy (I'm referring to her cans, just btw).

Angelina Jolie- She's kind of got this 'mantis with a lot of baloney hanging out of its mouth' look that I can't get past and I think she's a little gross. She's all veiny and serious and she's covered in shitty tattoos and you know that when certain subjects come up she gets a little fake British accent thing going on while she tries to sound erudite. Now, yeah, of course I'm not saying that I wouldn't bang her. It's my theory that you HAVE to bang famous people no matter how gross you think they are (provided that you're not you know, married with kids, which I am, so YES, this is all purely theoretical of course) simply so you can impress random people at bars/totally bum out your ex boyfriend or future spouse with the story. AND, sure, if she wasn't famous and randomly approached me at Hedonism 2 out by the pool, yup, I'd probably be stoked. But as it stands, as a regular dickhead out here in the midwest with an internet connection and an asshole opinion, nah. She's gross.

J-Lo- icky, old, barfy, and looks like she smells absolutely terrible. Also, you can kind of just tell she's a horrible cunt. Plus, Senior Skeletor that she's married to is creepy and he's probably had a negative effect on her vagina, like chronic cobwebs or bones stacked in piles around the entrance or something like that.

Scarlett Johansen- Looks very nice, but seems like she'd be a terrible lay. She kind of talks like she's braindead and has a timbre in her voice that suggests halitosis. Um, what else? I mean, I can't stress this enough folks, she's hot. I'm just saying, she's such a bad actress, so dead eyed and monotone and simultaneously weird and ego driven enough that she's making a living in hollywood, man...that's a bad combo that's not gonna lead to a good bone sesh, bros. I could be wrong. I HOPE I'm wrong. I hope one of my dogs of war writes in and tells me that "in fact she's great in the sack. I know, as I've pumped her," because I love Van Wilder and I can't stand the thought of him going through all that college tang just to wind up with a lazy dead-fish that won't so much as blow him for the rest of his life.

Simpson sisters- Gross. Gross. Gross. Gross. This is hardly a unique take on anything. Just saying, they're gross.

Lindsay Lohan- SOOOOOOOOO hot. She's incredibly fucked up and crazy and unlike Johansen, there's just no WAY that she's not incredible in bed. She's got more daddy/self esteem/drug issues than most of the Digital Playground team and it's a pretty safe bet that she would have wound up making movies there if she'd stayed out of hollywood until she was 18...but alas, we get Herbie Reloaded instead. Whatever. I know, I know. She's just so hot. She's hot in the courtroom when she's pissed, when she's crying, when she's passed out with her beaver splayed all over the place like a cheeseburger in the Hasslehoff mansion. She's awesome and I look forward to her newfound freedom to make more bad decisions and look hot passed out in any array of new locales with a vast array of hot, sexy, multi colored and missing panties left home in her drawer.

Who else is out there? I mean I think Katy Perry is real good looking, but she's really into the lord too...BUT she puts up with Russel Brand, who seems like a right good bloke, and let's be honest, who DOESN'T think Katy Perry is good looking, right? That's about as controversial as saying Deniro is a good actor or that the McDonalds down the road is full of lard asses. I like Montana Fishburne's moxie...but her dad seems so bummed that it's kind of making me think of all the dads out there who are bummed at all the porn girls out there and the whole thing seems a lot sadder than it does when uh, you know, the cameras are rolling. I guess I dunno about ole' M.F. She's good looking, into trouble and obviously destructively fun (all plusses) but uh...she's making me kind of have 'dad' perspective and I don't like that one bit. Um...moving on quickly.

Kim Kardashian- She's like the Heidi Pratt upgrade. She's better looking, slightly less terrible to hear speak and genuinely rich. Also, she's got a sex tape that doesn't have Spencer Pratt in it. Hmmmm....Well, again, like Katy Perry, she's good looking and everyone knows it, so this isn't really that unpopular of an opinion. AND hey, but the way, I wasn't putting Heidi on the level of Kim or Jwow or KayPer or even ScarJo in terms of looks. I was just saying that everyone thinks that she's gnarly but I think her monstrous and operatic surgery of deformity really suits her better than her old trashy gross naturally hideous face. That's all.

You know what? I think I'm sending all kinds of bad messages here. I gotta somehow make sure my daughter doesn't find this someday. Uh, maybe I'll just make sure she never ever learns to read. That should work.
Kay. Gotta run.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Tonight at the Risque Cafe (clark and Sheffield) is PUNK ROCK tuesday!! We're doing power hour nine to ten and then guest DJ and Red Scare CzarToby Jeg will play all the greatest shits of Red Scare bands past and present, as well as some classic jams by bands on real, honest labels. PLUS 3 buck drafts all night and AND!!!! If you bring in ten people, YOU drink for free all night. How's that for plutocracy, eh? See you tonight!

So, everyone's pissed that they're building a mosque at ground zero, huh? Well um...that's kind of a strange way to put it since the proposed site is two blocks away and the structure in question is a community center that's open to everyone that has a mosque in it, among various other things. SO, that essentially would be the same as calling OKC airport a church because it has a chapel inside and then complaining because it was at the Oklahoma City ground zero (the scar of an act perpetrated by a devoutly twisted christian), despite the fact that A) It's not a church, B) it's not at ground zero and C) Buying private property and putting up a community center is not illegal and the idea that because some assholes perverted the name of a religion and killed a whole bunch of people that other people who practice the religion peacefully should be denied rights and/or treated with suspicion is so entirely fundamentally opposed to the ideas that this country was founded on (much more so than the ideas of public option healthcare or shrinking our global military presence, by the way) that it IS fundamentally anti American and borders on treasonous.

Okay, you know what? I'd love to go on like this and continue to be outraged but I've got one kid up my ass because the dinosaurs are no longer on tv and the other one just won't stop moaning and twitching and just take the fucking nap she so sorely needs. They're nickel and diming my time here, people. Every sentence I've typed so far has been punctuated with trips to the living room or trips to the diaper table or trips to just pick this little beastlet up and jiggle her around a little. This shit's hard. Hold on. Be right back.

Hi. Back. Jesus. Know what's messy? My house. It's also loud and full of stupid kids music coming from the TV right now (anyone out there watch Jack's Big Music Show? it's okay as far as kids shit goes). Okay things seem to be calming down. Where was I?

Oh yeah...the 'mosque' at 'ground zero'. You know what? I'd wager that there are more than a few people that practice Islam right there in that immediate zone (and I'm not just talking about all the other mosques that are already located around the site. I'm referring to businessmen, food vendors, cops and public servants who work right there around ground zero and must, at some point pray to the east just right in their office or on the sidewalk or whatever, as that's a big part of the daily ritual of Islam). Should they no longer be allowed to do that in that neighborhood because the idea of them expressing their faith so close to where a bunch of people died could make the bereaved families uncomfortable? Because there's really no difference. In a country founded on the idea of religious freedom and free market capitalism, the notion that a private group with money can't buy a private building, open it to the public, and put a structure in it that assists their daily worship routine, um...there's no argument there. It's fucked. It's MORE fucked than the idea of a real mosque really at Ground Zero, which let's be honest, is pretty insensitive, if for no other reason than because there's been lots of talk of building a memorial there and to simply up and build something that's in no way a memorial and definitely controversial is gonna piss people off for sure.

I don't know. The idea that this is even an issue is crazy. I know that this topic is beaten to death at this point from both sides and I'm not nearly the most articulate person to address it and especially with the piecemeal way that I'm putting this down (thank you very much, needy offspring!) I'm probably not bringing anything at all new to the table, but I do want to register my disgust at the way that this bullshit is being spread around and voice my support for the freedoms provided by our constitution that are specifically defends our citizens against having to deal with shit like this. That's all.

Oh, and you like my computer? It's provided for me by you guys! It's great! It was easy to set up and it provides excellent pornography, though it did come with a couple of cd's and no disk drive, which I think is kind of hilarious. I dunno, maybe there is one, but I can't find it. Anyway, thanks again to everyone who chipped in. I'm here, back on the trolley and I'm gonna maintain through these various needs of these various monsters (the little one just farted so loudly that it startled me from across the room, by the way. She's 12 pounds.)
Oh, there she goes. She's furious again. Gotta run.
See you tonight!

Friday, August 20, 2010

whaddaya mean I don't pay my bills?

BBBB writes:

"Christ, this blog has gotten terrible. That last few months all it has become is bitching and analyzing the dumbest shit ever (paragraph after paragraph about the word "ironic"?---fuck). And then a legion of tools that further disect it in the comments. Done with this blog!"

Now, there's nothing I hate more than disappointing my public, and let me tell you, this critique from BBBB got me right in the ballsack. I'm so, so, so terribly sorry that he (?) doesn't like what's going on here. It's a shame. I hate the idea of him waking up in the morning, getting to work or school, finally going to take a dump, punching up this page and finding nothing more than a stupid bitchy rant about the dumbest shit ever. It's gotta be disheartening to be BBBB in that situation and I feel for him. And now, he's done with this blog, so he'll never even see my heartfelt apology or know how much his criticism has punctured my very soul. Sigh.

Well, if I were to somehow be able to have any sort of meaningful discourse with BBBB I might say something along the lines of "um, what the fuck are you talking about? This blog has ALWAYS been bitching and analyzing the dumbest shit ever. That's kind of what I do. And while we're on the subject, that's what most blogs do. This is a BLOG. It's bitching and discussing minutiae by design, so if that's not what you're into, well, go to any of the zillion other webpages/tv shows/newspapers/magazines/videogames out there that have a different purpose and/or agenda, eh? Okay. Glad that's cleared up."

Anyhoo, I'm not gonna sit here and bitch or analyze the dumbest shit ever today, folks! No, I'm gonna heap praise on a sock drawer poster named virtual visor (mesmerizer). That shit is funny, man. Now, full disclosure, I'm guessing that he incepted my appreciation of his weirdness using a meticulously crafted and carefully monitored dreamscape environment and all that, but regardless, shit's funny.

Okay, enough of the sock drawer for now. I've got bigger fish to fry. Guess what I'm doing this afternoon? That's right! I'm interviewing Megadeth, Slayer and Testament. That's big time thrash, kids. For those of you who don't know, these are some famous ass bands. Dave Mustaine was in fucking metallica for fucks sake! Anyway, it's gonna be a lot of heshers and me just kind of hanging out and shooting the shit about drugs and war and religion and all that. Should be a good time. I'm gonna ask slayer about the nazi pyramids on the moon. I'm gonna ask dave mustaine what the best drugs are and I'm gonna ask testament if the cover of practice what you preach is in fact an interpretation of a dream that the guitarist from faith no more had or if that's just a midwestern hesher rumor.
Oh, and I'm gonna ask Dave Mustaine about his new book (yeah, that's what I thought too) and his affection for wacky as shit wingnut Alex Jones.
Point being, I've got a lot of research to do and my kids are kind of going nuts and hey, it's friday and I just can't really be bothered to sit here and write anything, especially now that my new mission statement precludes doing what I do best, namely bitching about the dumbest shit ever, so, uh...later dildos.
See you at the sundowner show.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

hello me! it's me again!

with so much going on in the world, it's hard to figure out what to write about. I'm, in theory, picking up my new computer today. Also in theory, Dr. Laura is leaving her show after she repeatedly said 'nigger' for some reason. And in a move that was surprising for more reasons than I can enumerate, a topless Tila Tequila was attacked and bloodied up at the eleventh annual gathering of the juggalos. Pretty wild. But today I want to talk about the most maligned word in english and its relationship to hipsterdom: Irony.

irony - 6 dictionary results
i·ro·ny1    [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-] Show IPA
–noun, plural -nies.
the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite ofits literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” whenI said I had to work all weekend.
Literature .
a technique of indicating, as through character or plotdevelopment, an intention or attitude opposite to thatwhich is actually or ostensibly stated.
(esp. in contemporary writing) a manner of organizing awork so as to give full expression to contradictory orcomplementary impulses, attitudes, etc., esp. as ameans of indicating detachment from a subject, theme,or emotion.
Socratic irony.
dramatic irony.
an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might havebeen, expected.
the incongruity of this.
an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.
an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition,quality, etc.
I'd like to point out that this definition provides ample room for people to say "that's ironic" at a whole ton of times when pseudo intelligent dickholes tend to sneer and point out that the word is being abused. Actually you're right, irony police. It's being abused by you and other people who scoff and pooh pooh everyone who uses the word in any other context besides that of the first provided above definition. That makes the word 'irony' about as scary to use in a crowded room as the word 'nigger' which is pretty uh...ironic? (No.) Heh. Now THAT'S a misappropriation, folks.
Nah, it's just weird how a bunch of smarmy smart guys somehow all decided to narrow down the definition of this one particular word and decry the popular usage and all that. Why? Alanis Morrisette? Is she really behind all this? (For those of you blessed enough to not know, in the 90's, Alanis Morrisette put out this terrible song called "Ironic" which fully bludgeoned the meaning of said word and beat it within an inch of its life. She listed off a series of scenarios [rain on your wedding day, a free ride when you've already paid, something about a guy dying in a plane crash] which were, to the last, not ironic. This incensed a bunch of people, your blogosphere overlord included). Well, we should take a page from the Goonies script and take it back. Take it all back. Right? Good.

Okay, anyway, onward to today's topic: hipster irony and the use of wacky turns of phrase, facial hair, antiquated notions, bizarre cocktails etc and the desire to be seen as simultaneously ironic and unironic at the same time. Let's take typewriter guy from a few weeks ago. He was presumably being 'ironic' (you know, sitting in a coffee shop writing on a typewriter; it's totally contrary to what might have been expected, bro!) but at the same time, I'd bet my dick that he had some dumb planned out explanation about why using the typewriter was actually terrific and how it was truly, TRULY his preferred method of putting his ideas down, thereby rationally explaining his seemingly ironic choice and rendering it unironic, and instead the result of pragmatic decision making. He desired irony and the lack of irony all at once.

Here's what's funny about irony: as soon as you can recognize it you're doing it. Here's what I mean: the other day this dude told me that he enjoyed having a mustache 'unironically' which struck me as a totally bizarre thing to say because 1) what the fuck does it even mean and 2) you can't really say that and have it be true. Once you recognize something's ironic potential if you choose to do it you're being ironic. This is true 100% of the time. Let's examine the mustache as an example, shall we?

I've got an uncle named Steve. Uncle Steve has had a mustache for as long as I've known him, which is about 33 years (he actually recently shaved it and it totally melts my brain to see him without it, but that's really neither here nor there). He presumably enjoys his mustache and what it does to the perceived dimensions of his face. He does all this simply and without much thought. There is no irony in Uncle Steve's mustache. In fact, were you to approach him and ask him wether or not his mustache was ironic, he'd have no fucking idea what you were talking about. Much in the same way that if someone asked me if I drank coffee to be ironic I'd be completely confused. "Uh, no. It's not ironic. I don't even really see how it could be ironic. It's good, functional, and I like it."
There's no wiggle room here. Even if you told me that you thought drinking coffee was terribly ironic, I wouldn't believe you and it wouldn't change my opinion of coffee. It would only change my opinion of you and make you (in my eyes) either a total nutjob, a retard, or some desperate for attention dildo that pretends to find irony in regular things in order to seem more bizarre.
Ditto my uncle and his mustache. He doesn't have the perspective that you dinguses at the bike shop have; You know: the one that states that the mustache is the sole domain of perverts, cops, gym teachers and gay guys with huge muscles. He'd never dream of twirling his mustache because that shit makes you look like you just stepped off the Wright Flyer 1 and it's just not what's done these days. He MAY be able to look at some dildo like me and say "that's a weird mustache. What are you doing that for? To be funny or something?" but that notice wouldn't have anything to do with his mustache. His mustache would still be unimpeachable and normal because it just is.
However, I could never grow an unironic mustache and neither can you. Know why? Because you know that mustaches are ironic. To repeat the phrase: there's no wiggle room here. If you see the ironic potential, you're being ironic. There's absolutely no way around it.

Here's another example: metal. I'm talking about real metal here folks: metallica, slayer, maiden, megadeth, that sort of shit. There are people out there who rock this shit and wear sleeveless jean vests and mullets and wristbands and fucked up hi tops and shit because that's the cultural norm for a metalhead in, say, Kitanning PA. There's nothing ironic about any of these choices. They're the available and normative styles. However, once one of these buzzards leaves Kitanning and goes to live in Brooklyn, he's gonna be derided as some ironic 'neo thrash' dork by everyone except the other neo thrash dorks who will get to know him and suddenly be confused because he's not being funny. He's just himself. Now, these neo thrash dorks probably think they look awesome and they genuinely like how they look, but there's a level of thought that goes into it, a level of subverting expectations that our PA boy doesn't consider when he puts on his bandanna. He's just doing himself. That's how irony and non irony can look EXACTLY the same and yet still be completely different.

Now, the question is: once he's lived in Brooklyn for a while and he's gathered enough information to understand why people that dress just like him are being ironic, if he continues to dress that way, is he still unironic?
This one is hard. Firstly, the odds of him gathering this huge amount of cultural data and still staying unchanged are pretty low. Secondly, he developed his style on his own and presumably what's cheap buzzard wear in Kitanning is expensive boutique shit in Brooklyn and finally, the odds of this buzzard actually hanging out with the types of hipsters that pretend to be buzzards (and vice versa) are practically nonexistent. This is, after all, a hypothetical situation.

All that being said, I don't know the answer. My brain kind of pops every time I try to work it out. I don't know.

This whole thing is seemingly very condescending, isn't it? I mean, who am I to suggest that somehow some metalhead from the boonies has such a lack of breadth of knowledge of cultural norms that he'd need to immerse himself in a new culture and learn a lot in order to be ironic? I dunno...
I just don't know anymore. All I know is this: if you've got a mustache or a typewriter or a mullet and you know why that shit is frowned upon by the popular culture at large and you STILL DO IT you are a dork.
That is all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

well, that was a scary couple hours, eh?

Before we get to the good stuff: PUNK ROCK TUESDAYS at Risque Cafe tonight!!!!!!! There will be cheap tacos! 3 buck fancy drafts! Punk Rock! Someone acting sketchy! Naked chicks! Shotgunning contests! The hour of Power (at 9!) and more! This shit has been super fun the last few weeks and I'm glad that y'all seem to be enjoying it! Let's get a beer or something, eh?
On clark at Sheffield.

Okay, onto the daily drivel:

Hi kids. You all are real nice. Seems you not only went and bought me a 'puter in my hour of need, but also took the time to weigh the pros and cons of doing something like this for someone who can (presumably) afford such a thing already (you know, in terms of global/socio economic ethics and all that). Well, here's my two cents:

1) You guys are awesome. I'm touched and it's a real cool gesture. It's also worth pointing out that I wasn't gonna be buying a computer any time soon, and not just because of money issues either. I have two kids, and as I said, that shit takes a lot of time and energy. As a mister mom, I get very few moments on this earth to do things like relax, whack off, watch tv, read books, sleep, eat food, sit quietly and shop for things. I'm out of pants. I still haven't seen inception. I've got three pairs of socks to my name and I haven't bought a new book in seven months (which is technically fine since I've got tons of books in this house that I've never read, but the point remains, buying a stack of books used to be one of my greatest pleasures, up there with random glory hole analingus and now I don't hardly ever get either. Sigh). (At this point I should mention that yes, yes, of course having kids is my own doing and raising them is my responsibility and NO, I'm not complaining about the time crunch in my life like it's unfair or anything like that. Wouldn't have it any other way. Just simply stating the truth.)
SO, my point here is that I have lots of shit to do, and plunking down some money (which I don't really have) for some crappy computer that's not the 'real' computer i 'really' want just wasn't on the horizon. I was simply NOT gonna just buy a computer just to have one. There was NO chance that it was gonna happen any time soon. SO, if in fact the rumors percolating in the Sock Drawer (of you guys doing a pool and buying me a computer) are true, then you, Socks, Dogs of War et al. have done me a great favor/solid and you have indeed contributed a wonderful and worthwhile gift to me, your overlord. I wouldn't have done it without you, and as a result the wonderful day waster that is BSC would have probably suffered and/or not been as regular. Y'all are real sweet and you didn't have to do that (can't state this enough. Y'all really didn't have to do that and just to be clear, this is an entirely unexpected and unanticipated outcome of this whole deal) , but since you did, gotta tell you, I'm real stoked. You kids are all right. And my mom says you're nothing but perverts! What does she know?
Listen, dude who is in charge of this: Just email me at the addy that's linked on this page and we can sort it all out. Shit. Y'all are the best.

2) Concerning the notion that I can buy my own computers and that people don't need to do this kind of thing and if they want to be altruistic they could do something that makes a real difference instead of giving some gross old man a computer which he can use to beat off and rant at the rest of us via this here blog: Yeah. Totally. That's true. It bears mentioning though, that it's a really nice thing to do and lots of very nice things to do technically come at the expense of doing something nice for someone who needs it more. Now, this is a slippery-as-shit slope since I'm essentially defending the notion of a bunch of strangers buying me something that's not cheap, but um...I dunno. Hear me out.
It's very hard to think globally and do anything at all. Buying shoes often means that you're supporting (however indirectly) a pretty fucked up system in which people are exploited just so you can walk around on a cushion of air. Buying fruit and meat at the grocery store, ditto. Now, it's easy to get defeatist when you begin to think like this and say something like "well, fuck it. What can I do? I gotta have food. I gotta have shoes and unfortunately, I don't live in some dipshit hipster mecca where environmentally sustainable shit is available to me, and I'm too poor to be vegetarian and not just eat fries and mac and cheese all the time, so fuck this. I'm doing none of it."
This is obviously defeatist, lazy and not a cool way to go through life. You do what you can for the things you believe in and you must at some point decide how far is far enough for you to go and be comfortable with that line. For some, it's real far. For others, not so much and there's lots of disagreements that arise as a result. This is why even though your shoes are canvas and you're eating locally made hummus, the anarchist girl in your sociology class still thinks you're a half stepping dildo. This is also, in essence, a very simplified allegory that works towards explaining why radical religious fundamentalists hate infidel sodomites like myself. People have different ideas about how far they're willing to go for what they believe in, and once you start pointing to your line in the sand and saying it's the true one and thumping your dick about it, you're gonna look like an asshole to (and bum out) everyone else. Now, maybe you're right. Doesn't change the fact that people all figure out their own line in the sand and they're not about to adjust where it is because someone calls them names. It's never EVER worked.
Okay, so I'm off topic, but lemme see if I can steer back a bit.

The argument was essentially that since I'm an employed man with a wife who's also employed that the idea of strangers buying me something is absurd. There are people with no fucking plumbing for fucks sakes! There are kids in thailand who have to literally suck old wrinkly penises for pennies and the dollars that were put towards this computer (which, the argument goes, I ultimately would have bought myself) could actually make a difference in one of those kids' lives and get the dicks out of her mouth forever or at least until she meets someone she genuinely wants to blow and how dare we sit here in the first world and buy nice things for strangers when people have it so bad and we have it so good.

Yeah. True. I mean, there's no way to argue against that. BUT at some point you gotta live your life and you gotta do what makes you happy and you gotta do things that you think will be nice for your friends. I just bought my wife a robe that she desperately wanted but didn't buy and then kicked herself for. Using treachery, I found the name of the place where she saw it, called em, asked them if they remembered her, had them put aside the appropriate robe and send it to us. When she got it she was really, really happy. It was a surprise. There was no real reason for it other than I like her and I like when she's happy and when she's in a robe there's usually not much on underneath, so my lecherous purposes are served thusly. Sure, I could have done hundreds of thousands of other things with the robe money that would have been more meaningful or effective or helped out people in need more, but man, I love that girl and I want to see her in the robe that she wants and I shouldn't have to look at every single person on the earth who's got it worse than me and need to justify to myself or anyone why i got someone I like something they want. Is that shitty? Some say yes, some say no. It's all about your line. My line leaves me pretty comfortable buying my wife something that she wants for no reason other than that I like her.

Now, let's reiterate that this is different. I didn't ask anyone to buy me a computer and you all aren't my wife or anything. Presumably you're all just a bunch of people who read this blog when you should be working, anywhere from everyday to only when I mention Tom Gabel and it gets picked up as news. The gesture was unprompted, unexpected and supported by a group of people who all chipped in a little. To me, that sounds like a groundswell idea, so what the fuck? It's not a bad thing to do something nice for someone who produces something that entertains you in hopes that it'll prolong said entertainment. I mean, I don't need to tell you that I've never made a penny off this blog, and I don't even really do it for any other reason than I like it. It's probably the purest form of expression I've ever dealt in honestly, because there's no end game. there's no notion that I'm gonna parlay it into anything and there's no glory in blogging. It's nerdy. Period. SO, the fact that you guys like this drivel enough to come back day after day after day and read this and comment and have a community here and care enough when the going gets tough to take it into your own hands and help me out, fuck. That's great. That's punk rock, innit? That's the community coming together and doing something for the guy who does something for the community. That's why I got into punk rock in the first place and I'm flattered and humbled and so so SO happy to be a part of shit like this (even if it is on a dumb, nerdy blog).

Now, let's be transparent here: Yeah, I'm a grown man and if someone had come to my house and demanded, gun to my head that I buy a computer asap, I could have pulled it off. There's no doubt about it. I've got money. BUT, I don't have much money and I have a lot of things to spend it on and as I said in topic 1), I had no plans to do so on a computer....SO, I just have to say thanks to all of you that hooked it up (provided that this is really happening. If not, I'm gonna feel like a real heel), and to the uh...naysayers: Yeah, you've got a good point, but really, this is small potatoes in the world of misappropriated funds and people living their lives in ways that are counterproductive to society. In the time it's taken me to write this someone has started a meth lab using about a hundred bucks. A bunch of kids each chipping in a ten so they can continue to have reading material while they shit at work hardly seems like a place to aim your crosshairs. And if that doesn't sway you, how bout this: You all get my records free and I've never had a problem with that even though I used to sell that shit for a living (now I'm a bartender); it made me money. money that could have gone to zimbabwe or montenegro or somewhere where there are people with real, legit problems. Instead it went to me and you got music in exchange. Now my music is free. So's this. I've got no problems with any of that. The universe sometimes works itself out. It's called galactic poetry.
thanks for the gesture. It won't be forgotten.

Friday, August 13, 2010

And I never will forget the day we met...

Well, the dream is pretty much over. Just over two years ago I started this blog. I was new parent and I was just coming off being on a pretty fun tour cycle and I figured that I could write down my various clever and witty remarks here every day and it would presumably keep me interested in things and keep my brain sharp. I've posted here almost every weekday since I started. There's over five hundred pages worth of material on this mustard colored digi-scroll. A lot of it is repetitive and a lot of it is drivel, but it HAS in fact kept me interested in the world and it's kept me writing, which is important in terms of exercising a brain.

Of course, my brain has taken some major hits in the name of the science of blogging as well. I've spent hours, nay, months on websites like Perezhilton and such just in hopes of finding some bit of 'news' that was outrageous enough that it would send me into a mental tailspin so I'd have something to bitch about here. I've also let my kid watch vastly more TV than I'm comfortable with while I sit here and crank through these entries. He's currently watching some dumb show about spiders living in some field. It looks like cheap computer flash. BUT, he's not flushing magazines down the toilet and lord knows that the fifteen to forty five minutes I devote to this blog every day I've come to think of as a time that I don't want to be disturbed, so therefore if he'll sit still and watch this dumb show about dumb arachnids, so be it.

This will all have to change.

See, two major things have happened in the last few months: 1) another baby started living here and 2) my computer broke. To address number 2 first, it's fucked. The dude that examined it referred to it as a 'paperweight' but suggested i may be able to make a little money selling the screen which was 'still in pretty decent shape'. That's a problem, as you can imagine. I mean, that's how I get my genius onto the internet, man. It has to be strained through a computer or it won't stick.
Now, I've been scraping by using my wife's computer because she's been home on maternity leave but (to get to number 1) this is her last day and then she and her computer go back to work and I'm stuck here with these two little gremlins, no computer, no lactating breasts, no patience nor experience in hauling two kids around, no sleep, no relief, no sanity etc. It's gonna be (to borrow a phrase from one of the greatest mesh hats ever) nucking futs. AND, I'm having a hard time seeing a way to continue to regularly produce this, at least for a while.

There are options. I could wait until the evening when everyone's asleep and use my wife's computer when she brings it home. I could uh....wait, that's my only option. I could do this at night. That's an okay solution (I'd like to take a little time out here to talk about this last word: solution. Modern American corporate jargon has created this bold new way of talking that for some crazy reason no one seems to realize is completely retarded. The most common example of this that I see is the new substitute for solution. People talk about finding 'solves' instead of solutions nowadays. A solve is not a thing, folks. I get that it's an edgy new repackaging of your grandpa's dusty old desiccated verb as a dynamic and radical new noun, but uh...lame. That's what's going on out there? "We need a quick solve for this whole copyright issue in the Johnson account' is what they're saying in those iron and glass stalagmites down town. They're saying it in the mailrooms in hopes of sounding like the people who are saying it in the corner offices on the ninetieth floor. It's a lowdown dirty shame is what it is. Said it before and I'll say it again: hell in a handbasket!) but it kind of comes at the expense of the very tiny little ribbon of time that I get to spend relaxing with my wife and/or watching tv/reading/drinking a beer and generally decompressing, which coincidentally competes with the tiny little ribbon of time I get for sleep. My motivation is suffering as I type this. SO what's the solve here folks? I really don't know.

I've got to get a new computer, that's for sure. BUT, I don't really have any money. So that's an issue. I've also got to find the time to use it. Also an issue, one that could also be solved by money, of which I (not to belabor the point) have none. So, what to do? Who knows? I'm not saying that I'm gonna stop doing this thing. I'm not even suggesting that I'm planning on slowing down, I'm simply throwing out there that I don't, as of now, have ANY idea how I'm going to keep it up. BUT, it's like those shows with the kindly dad who loses his job as christmas is looming and when his kids say "daddy, what about christmas?" and he says "don't worry pumpkin. We'll make it work somehow" and then the kids go to sleep all happy and they dream of ponies and bikes and shit and the dad gets that worried look and the music starts and it goes to commercial...you follow me? That's how this will be. It'll work out, Dogs of War. BUT if you don't see me for a few days, that's why. I'm gonna be computerless and swamped with kids that just like to scream, shit, eat, and never ever sleep.

With that, I'm off. Last day of maternity leave means that I've still got a little time. Monday, I'm doomed, so I dunno. I'm gonna go get a beer and take a nap or something. Oh, and I just killed a two inch millipede. Pretty gross, God. Even for you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

tie them to an anchor, then we marvel when they drown

Okay, shithawks. Let's get the bullshit out of the way first: PUNK ROCK tuesdays over at the Risque Cafe are gonna be happening tonight with brand new exciting specials: Not only does punk rock tuesday have the HOUR OF POWER at 9 but also tacos for only a buck and ALL DRAFTS for only 3 bucks! That's a great deal because some of the drafts are pretty fancy and boozy, so get down there and get yer drunken taco farts on. We'll play all the finest in punk rock! AND we'll have special guests Toby Jeg, Czar of Red Scare Industries and 2 time european basketball league MVP and three time champ Lenny Matela! That's right folks! We're going international/cross entertainmental...This is the single greatest moment of sports/music synergy since Shaq appeared on the Fu Shnickens album. Anyway, see youse up in there!


OOOOOOkay, so the other day we were driving, as we were on a road trip and the car in front of us had a bumper sticker on it that said something to the effect of "my son defends the freedom of your honor student." this was, as far as I could tell, an officially sanctioned US army sticker. And I think it's finally dawned on me that these 'honor student' themed stickers are pretty much summing up the entire warped discourse of our society at large. Here's what I mean:

So, kids started getting stickers from their schools for being honor students. This is presumably kind of a cool thing as it "rewards" scholastic excellence and creates an easily tangible way for parents to show their kids that they're proud of them. Nothing wrong with any of that, except that the stickers are kind of lame and when your kid gives you one, or more likely, when it comes in the mail, they (the kid) probably don't REALLY want you to put it on your car and you probably don't really want it on there either, BUT not putting it on there sends a dangerously unsupportive message and after a great deal of anxiety by both parent and kid, the dumb sticker is put on the car to the satisfaction of no one (exceptions being, of course those families from sitcoms where the dad is an immigrant or a kindly old janitor and the mom is dead and no one in the family ever graduated 8th grade until now and they all hug about the sticker beneath the coal burning stove that they use to keep their one room hovel warm in the brutal winters...but you know, that's rare).

On the other side of the coin, we have all the folks who's kids didn't make the honor roll. This is obviously the majority, as singling out excellence naturally produces an elite minority. However, in this case, the sticker's braggadocio creates a feeling of resentment in the unwashed hordes, who presumably don't want it shoved in their faces that they aren't making any honor rolls and the much more populist, vastly more stupid and entirely dangerous-in-its-rhetoric "my kid beat up your honor student" sticker gets rolled out, slapped on cars, and hey, the battle's on. It's Sean Hannity vs. Barack Obama right there on the back of your cars. On one side, the intellectual dick thumper professing superiority and on the other side, the gleeful rebellion of the dangerously dumb, chuckling about their clever little way that they've subverted the ethereal notion of intelligence by using the practical, visceral rhetoric of the real, tangible world (beating the crap out of someone).

THEN, someone like me comes along and says 'uh, really? We're sending the message to kids that beating up people for being smart is something to celebrate and brag about? That's a little fucked up, innit?" and the response is "um, don't be such a pussy. It's a joke, kay?" And that's a perfectly valid response, because it IS a joke, but it still comes from a place of anger and resentment and that doesn't make it a "ha ha joke" as much as it makes it one of those jokes where you go up on the roof of your frat, tie one end of a string to a guy's dick, the other end to a cinder block and throw the cinderblock off the roof. Of course, the string is long enough that the cinder block hits the ground with no extra strain on the wiener of note, but the poor dude is scared shitless. Once he stops crying, the jokesters say something like "hey, don't be such a pussy. You're fine. Let's get a beer" and they laugh it off.
Now, this and the bumper sticker are both jokes, but neither of them are really funny. Well, the sticker is just dumb and very mongoloid in its delivery, while the frat hazing prank is downright sadistic but actually a little bit funny too, but you get the idea. There's a pointed cruelty that's more than just saying asians can't drive or Kathy Griffin looks like someone put drag makeup on a ham...there's a violence implied and that's dangerous here in our country where violence and stupidity are all out of control.

(Editorial note [within an entirely editorial piece]):
Now, I'm not suggesting our stupidity epidemic is worse than other places. In fact, nothing enrages me more than when people suggest that Americans are somehow more stupid than anyone else. Now, don't get me wrong, we've got some real mongos up in this piece, but for everyone in the states that thinks that invading Iraq was an appropriate response to 9-11, that the rapture is actually well on its way and that having public option healthcare is the first step to socialism, there's some dude in Ghana who thinks the goat in his yard is actually his grandfather, and a Saudi who thinks that blowing up in a fireball is gonna get him laid by a virgin. So what's the scale here? Western nations? Well, that's pretty xenophobic (and yes, I understand that there's a different between traditional ideas of spirituality and intelligence, but in the face of what's going on in the world these days, a lack of healthy skepticism about absolutely everything = dumb dumb, no matter what your story is. Sorry)? Well, I've met people in England who think that Michael Moore is the only smart American. How's that for a dumb statement? That's "Grandfather in the goat" dumb if you ask me. You get the point. There's a lot of dummies here in America, but guess what? They're everywhere else too. (end editorial note)

Anyhow, once it gets going, this kind of back and forth is hard to stop, obviously. But this army sticker: "my son defends the freedom of your honor student" seems particularly bizarre to me. It's completely tangential for one thing. It's got a real "hey, look at me over here doing stuff too!" kind of vibe to it, but that's not the main thing. The main thing is that implicit in this simple statement is the idea that somehow the people who are raising or performing as honor students don't understand or appreciate freedom. It may as well say "hey you smarty pants asshole! If it wasn't for my 'dumb' son dying out there in the desert, you wouldn't have your precious honor roll" which to me seems quite contradictory to the whole idea of keeping america great and all that. I mean, don't you WANT the people that your son is defending to strive, to succeed and to be the absolute best they can be so he's NOT just out there in the desert dying for a bunch of buzzards who are huffing paint out behind the Tastee Freez? Doesn't that make more sense than creating an "us vs you" in which 'you' are the intelligent and 'we' are the righteous. Can't we all strive to be intelligent and righteous at the same time?

Now, I know that the argument against this is that this sticker isn't nearly this well thought out and it's just a way for parents of troops to support their kids in a similar way to parents of honor students. BUT the equivalent sticker, were it that simple would say "Proud parent of a serviceman in the US army" or "my son is a decorated corporal in Iraq" or something like that. There's no reason to drag the nerdy honor students into this whole deal. They didn't do anything to you, besides maximize an opportunity and reap the benefits. AND lest you think that the entire thing is purely classist/racist and all that, I'd posit that anyone can make the honor roll with a little dedication. That's something that happens entirely within the unique institution that you attend. It's not like going to Harvard, where if you come from a dumpy and run down high school, you're at a serious disadvantage. The honor roll is a construct that exists within your dumpy run down school, so if you don't make it, you really can only blame yourself.
That is, if you even care about that kind of thing, which you really don't have to. Most folks don't. Or they say they don't. I mean, the stickers, the honor-student-opposition stickers seem to tell a different story, don't they? Because you don't see anyone making stickers that say things like "My kid beats up your kid who just happens to be the winner of the Harrison fellowship for visual art" or "my son defends your son's right to run the projector in the AV club" or even "my son can beat up your football player."

Nerdiness will be tolerated. Mongoloids will be tolerated. Fruity artistic pursuits will be tolerated. The only thing that really seems to make the hordes angry is the idea of someone applying themselves, succeeding and taking pride in their success. And if America is in fact doomed (spoiler alert: we are) that's why. It's not the mexicans or the married gays. It's the idea that we'd rather watch someone beat up a success than be a success.

See you at hooters.

Monday, August 9, 2010

One week and counting...

Well, it's monday. I'm home from the Nader nuptials and I've gotta say it was a pretty great time, BUT I'm a little disappointed that no one got super wasted and/or pulled out their cock/beaver or generally did anything too crazy. We did get to sit at the table with the DJ and wedding photographer, both of whom were fatties and both of whom hoarded/housed the family style dinner with the dignity and zeal of two recently rescued castaways, both sweating out a mayonnaisey substance all the while. That was pretty great. There was also an all black wedding in the adjoining banquet hall, so there were tons of all orange or all blue three piece suits cruising around, complete with matching derbys. It was cool. One thing I don't really understand though, if a white guy like myself wore an all blue or orange suit with a vest and tails and a matching blue or orange derby I'd look like willy wonka's chauffeur or at the very best, an off duty clown, but these guys looked awesome. Well, whatever. I'll settle for being able to hail a cab, I guess. Anyway, moving on...

Prior to leaving for the wedding, I met Chris over at his house, as he was giving me a ride, and out his window I saw the following: a large boned, wide hipped five tennish earth mother type and her skinny longhaired bespectacled pussyish male companion walking their snake outside. This shit's unacceptable folks. You're walking your snake? I mean, I get that the snake probably likes to get out and see the little strip of grass between your apartment building's sidewalk and the street I guess... Actually, no. You know what? That snake doesn't give two fucks if he's in his cage or if he's in that little strip of grass. Snakes are kind of slothlike in their ways and I'm fairly certain that sitting on a heated rock and eating pre-stoned crickets is fine for your snake, hippy lady. Don't walk your snake. If he REALLY wanted to be outside, if it really turned him on that much, he'd escape. He's a snake. that's what they do, right? Slither out of things and away, silently? That snake didn't give two shits. It just chilled while the skinny guy put him in some sort of tupperware bowl after their walk. Walking your snake...man. What's the world coming to, you know?

Untraditional pets are, as a rule kind of lame. A snake, as chris pointed out after we sat there, mouths agape, watching these dipshits walk their snake from chris's living room window, is an appropriate pet for exactly two types of people: muscly weirdos with lots of tattoos, spiky hair, black tank tops and reflective wrap around sunglasses and little kids. The former can get away with a boa constrictor or something just because he's got that kind of creepy dude vibe already and the snake just seals the deal and the latter get the snake so they can feed it mice, gross out girls and learn a little something about taking care of something that can die anytime and it's not a huge deal. I know, that sounds cruel and snakes are people too and all that good stuff, but you get my drift. I'm not condoning anything here, just saying that there's a precedent out there for kids having snakes. Same goes for hamsters and gerbils and guinnea pigs and other various cuddly rodents. Those are kid pets and if you have one, well, you should really be under fifteen and learning the truth about death. Although, they're fine. They're all acceptable pets if you're into that kind of thing.

Rats though? No way. That's just gross. Having a rat is like having a pet lobster or something. It's just such a gimmick. Rats are gross, man. Mice, maybe I can get behind that, but keeping a rat in your house on purpose is completely demented. It's like cutting your hair into a combover when you're not bald or hammering dents into your car. And you know what? The kinds of people that keep rats are also the kinds of people who 'wear' their rats out with them and keep them on their shoulders at all times to wig out the squares or whatever. It's a lot like walking your snake, actually. Oh, look at the subversive girl on the el with her rat on her shoulder just sitting there reading Fante. Cool. (fart sound).

Worse than the rat though is the ferret. Ferrets stink, they're gross, and as my friend Gen pointed out (after Chris and I relayed the snake story and the resulting conversation about weird pets broke out) they're covered in some kind of pheromonal goo that gets on everything and also stinks. AND they piss everywhere and they're just disgusting. I've been in a few people's rooms with ferrets and it's always the same deal: wether it's a friend of a friend or some girl that I was trying to make out with during highschool or while on tour staying in someone's living room, the story is always the same with the ferret: he's stinking up the place, the room he lives in is a complete fucking sty, covered in dirty clothes and pizza boxes, he's chewed through the box he lives in and gotten out, pissing on everything, chewing through an electrical wire and he's somewhere right now in the vents of the house.
Cool pet. When you have a ferret, you're announcing to the world that you live in your own filth and you're cool with it and you celebrate it by getting a little roomie that's even more vile than you. Then you lose him. Why does this always happen? Probably because ferrets suck and it's best if you just let it chew through the box and maybe die chewing through the lamp cord, or at the very least, get into the walls where it can kick it with the other rodents in your home.

If you want a good, honest pet that's disgusting, have a child. They do nothing but yell and shit and barf and stain things with their urine and once they're done with all that, it's just about a small six year window before they're actively telling you to fuck off, throwing parties and banging questionable people in your bed just to spite you. That's a pet folks! One that will (hopefully) someday wipe your ass and put you in a decent nursing home and one that will maybe say something nice at your funeral. Let's see your fucking snake or ferret do that shit, eh?

Oh, and turtles are salmonella hosts, didja know? And they smell.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I say old chum! is that a dirgible up there in the ether?

Heyo. When I was in Denver, I woke up one morning among the clouds, a full mile above sea level, to the pounding headache associated with altitude poisoning (which is a fancy way to say hangover) and decided to go get myself some coffee. The coffee shop was a retrofitted little affair that used to occupy some kind of crappy garage or something but was now being run by an extremely pleasant, good looking and painfully slow woman who seemed about as interested in moving the line for coffee along as an average person is to just up and die. As a result, I had the pleasure of looking around at a wild assortment of hipster dipshits for (no shit!) about fifteen minutes. The longhaired asian guy in the straight-brimmed cap and the striped tank top was telling the slightly putrid fat girl in the cats eye glasses all about how his store was 'killing it' and then proceeded to give her a little square glossy flier (probably for some kind of DJ oriented event). The various guys with their various mustaches were all sitting around with their various highly individual ideas about fancy teas and at some point I realized that this noise, this horrible clacking noise was irritating the shit out of me on top of all this.

I decided to sneak a peek around and here's what I found: at the bar, in a deep v neck purple shirt (probably with a scarf) and some dumb glasses and 'uniquely groomed' beard was this dildo (I hate to just skim by this...this guy was such a dildo that there needs to be a new word. What do dildos use as dildos when they're sitting in the bedside drawer just playing with themselves idly? Because that's what this dude was, a dildo for a dildo, a dildo's dildo. Beyond the doubleheaded dildo or the vibrating, pearl filled dildo; beyond the veiny complete-with-hairy-sack dildo, beyond the pocket rocket or the fleshlight or any dildo cousin lies this guy, the worlds biggest dildo of all dldos, and here's why:) (please note that I was typing a colon followed by a parenthesis and not trying to make a smiley emoticon right there...sorry bout that) typing on a fucking typewriter.

This typewriter was the sort that was full sized. It was probably a foot deep and it easily weighed at least thirty pounds if not significantly more. This choach was plucking away at it with the skill of an eleven year old boy with down syndrome playing the intro to "One" by Metallica and he had a stack of "work" next to his giant typing machine. AND this thing was making a shit ton of noise. However, the longhaired asian store owner, the fat cat glasses girl and the slew of other deesh in that place seemed oblivious to this most outrageous of social blunders and the appropriate response, namely: when you show up somewhere lugging thirty pounds of awkward pretension with you and then sit there and annoy everyone with your 'dedication to the way things once were' at the expense of not only your ability to get whatever super important shit you're pretending to do done well and without mistakes, all the while showing off that you can barely use the antiquated dinosaur of a machine that you dragged from your home to use in public specifically so people would see you using it (at nine in the fucking morning, by the way) the people around you are required to openly mock you and/or piss on your shoes.

But hey, that's denver. They still think there's gold in the mountains and they watch the Nuggets. Maybe they don't know any better, but you, my dear gentle Dogs of War, I beseech you! Keep your wacky ideas about doing shit the old timey way to a minimum or face the open mockery of the world at large. Sure, you can shave with a straight razor and ride horses every day and have natural vagina based childbirth and 'hang ten' on your longboard and you can put on your leather helmet and goggles and ride your pennyfarthing and wear a bathingsuit with sleeves and curl your mustache (yeah...I know. I know. I'm free to decry my own actions. This isn't Russia) and make woefully out of date references to the collapsed USSR and its draconian policies, but ultimately you're just really wearing a sandwich board that says "I'm an attention starved dipshit who's all out of good ideas and this is what's left".

It's true folks. Enjoy your weekend. I'm off to detroit.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

kiss the tip!

hey y'all! I just got home. My computer is dead and my wife's computer isn't letting me run word, so I'm typing this in an email and then subsequently posting it. Take note, lazy younger generations! I'm doing what used to be known as problem solving before the liberals got their hands on our english and turned everything into PC thuggery. Anyway, I'm here, in Chicago after a long arduous journey to hell and back where I saw the majestic natural earth-cans of the rockies, smelled the sweet methy morning air of the ozarks and feasted on the succulent fat children of St. Louis all while dragging two screaming offspring and enough luggage to supply an entire season of the simple life along.

And I'm leaving again tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm going to Sean "the meat" Nader's wedding in Detroit. Now, for those of you Dogs of War that don't know, Sean Nader is one of my best friends and a former roadie extraordinaire for my band, the lawrence Arms, and Saturday in Detroit he gets all grown up and gets to lose his virginity and all that kind of good stuff and well, I'm gonna be there watching the whole thing. I can't wait, and not just because it's been a long night since I sat in on someone else's wedding night. No, I've just been on a long and ruthless family vacation and while it was a fabulous time (thank you very much, assorted family and friends!) there is absolutely nothing that could possibly provide such a perfect antidote as a Nader wedding. Here's why:

Nader, besides being our roadie is also an extremely talented visual artist. He's also completely out of control in a very fabulous and endearing way. He's the guy that the first verse of the song "demons" is told from the perspective of. For those of you not familiar with my band, the opening line of the song is "I got too drunk at your wedding and my voice got loud and I said some creepy things and I staggered around and even though your best man had to kick me out it was a pretty good time either way". That line is inspired by a tale that Nader told me of showing up shirtless to his buddy's wedding reception and apparently casually challenging a few people to a fight (as in "hey, you got a fucking problem with me? what are you looking at?" That kind of shit). This story would not even cause anyone who knows Sean to raise an eyebrow in surprise and truly I do NOT put this kind of behavior past him, even here, in the face of his own wedding. AND I know for damn sure that so many of his worthless lout friends (of which I am most definitely one) see the institution of "Sean Nader's Wedding" on the horizon and think to themselves "oh shit, that's gonna be quite the party." Final results? There will be much fun and at least ten zillion good stories to come out of the evening. That's the Paul Anka guarantee. Color me tickled pink, folks.

Now, of course, we're all older and no one (save MAYBE Sean himself) would probably dare to get as awesome as he did at his buddy's reception (possible exceptions include a rarely drunk PT [our old tour manager, who rarely lets himself get drunk but when he does...hide your sons] and Jimmy Lucido (sp?) who was the drum tech for that dildo from Soundgarden and Audioslave's solo tour and also shirtless at the same wedding reception, [in a united front with Sean, not as an opposing mothra like rival]), but I'm real stoked to be going to a wedding of someone I care about a lot and someone I respect the shit out of who's primarily into fun and being a good time. I'm gonna wear a suit, I think. But not one that I can't spill on, if you get my drift.

Actually, now that I think about it, I don't know what this deal is gonna be like, as I think the bride's parents, who are presumably throwing the party, aren't really big partiers (as in they're really into christ their savior and all that)...but I could be wrong. Hell, whatever. Sean Nader's getting married, folks! Ladies, you've all missed out on getting his own unique version of HPV! Sorry! Well,no, actually, PT has a very similar strain of it too and he's still single, so there's still a chance.

Okay, I've gotta go wake everyone in my family up and get down to the pool so I'm gonna bid you all a good day. Congratulations Sean and Kristen! Love you guys and I'll see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

we gon find you!

yo! after what seems like an eternity out on my hillbilly quest to see all of missouri and a slice of colorado (side note, thanks to the dudes in 10-4 eleanor and every one who showed up and provided me with a great show in ft collins on sunday. y'all are radical) is over and I'm gonna be home tonight (tuesday) just in time to provide all you worthless queef bubbles with the Risque Cafe's newly awesome punk night, featuring the hour of power at 9 and cheap cans and dollar tacos all night. This all goes down at sheffield and clark in wrigleyville. I've been gone for 3 weeks so I'm bringing in Red Scare Czar Toby Jeg as a guest DJ. Y'all need to come in as 3 weeks of vacation has left me broke, exhausted and in need of time with grown ups that didn't give birth to me or my wife or my kids. Come down and let's rage. Cool? Cool. Okay. That's all. I gotta go to bed. It's the middle of the fucking night for chrissakes.