Monday, February 28, 2011

healthy white baby? What else you got?

Last night was the Oscars and like so many of you I was glued to my seat hoping to catch just a glimpse of some overpaid Hollywood turd sucking off some other overpaid Hollywood turd. Highlights included mila kunis’s dress and lowlights included what? Anne Hathaway? James Franco? That’s what I heard. I didn’t actually watch the thing if we’re being honest.

In fact, I was out at a rock and roll show and in what I can only call one of the most bizarre spectacles I’ve seen on stage under the headline of ‘punk rock’ I witnessed a bunch of hot girls in skanky (read: awesome) dresses playing violins. I didn’t know there were that many hot women out there that were willing to tour and also play the violin and like/appreciate irish tinted punkrock. It was a little bit wild.

It’s kind of like that opening scene in the Social Network where homeboy talks about how the number of people in China with genius level IQs is equal to the whole population of the US. Is that what he said? I don’t really know/care, but that’s what I heard. This is fascinating because it just highlights the whole monkey/Shakespeare/typewriter theory, which, for our purposes here I’ll sum up as “the more motherfuckers you’ve got around, the more of em are gonna do X, pretty much no matter what X is, no matter how weird, difficult, improbable or immoral or just downright wacky it is.”

They say that there are more people on the earth now than all the rest of the history of humanity that have ever lived combined. That’s astounding. I know we discussed it the other day when we were talking about how doomed we are due to food shortages and overpopulation and all that, but there’s another side to it too. We can call it the ‘hot girls playing violins on tour with a famous punk band’ side. Essentially, everything that’s weird will someday be somewhat normal, not because of a global understanding based on awareness, but because there will simply be so many people that do it that it’s no longer weird by default. This has already started. Being a skateboarder used to be kind of a weird thing to be. Now it’s not, just because it’s everywhere. It will not stop with quirky individual sports though.

Let’s think about this for a second. There’s a group of people that are really into sticking long metal electrodes into their dongholes and shocking themselves that way. That’s weird to me. However, based on the explosion of population, that could soon be the kind of thing that a ton of people are doing and it may not even be out of the question to discover that (lets say) your two business partners are both into interior dong-shockery. Just stands to reason. More people everywhere=more people in the margins.

There will also be more graphic designers, more mechanics, more models, more perverts, more serial killers and dead-skin mask wearers. There will be more sociopaths and more extremely conscientious smart people. There will be more mongaloids. Will there be more priests? Hard to say…that’s something that’s kind of dying out, but there will be more holy men for sure. Will there be more beautiful blonde girls playing the violin? Probably yes. Will there also be more lurky perverts? Almost certainly.

This will also lead to a huge amount of movies, songs, poems and paintings that are so completely different from each other and even anything that currently exists. Art is gonna get weird.

Well, this is already happening. Hell, all this is already happening. When I first started touring (for example), there were just a few bands that toured. It was a big deal to do independent tours. There were literally just a couple hundred bands out there, tops. Now, there are hundreds and thousands of bands all over the highways and every single one of them has a totally different idea about what good music is, and probably a few of em also wear those deadskin masks and shock their wangs from the inside out.

Look, I’ve got a head cold and I can’t really think. What were we talking about?

Friday, February 25, 2011

ah...let's just relax, people

Since I’ve started this little conduit of ideas, I’ve been told in no uncertain terms several times to ‘shut up and just play music’ by people who disagree with my opinions. This is a funny sentiment because I’ve also been told throughout the course of my life to quit playing music entirely by people who think that my music sucks (people actually usually say ‘don’t quit your day job’ which, ironically, was always music). Now, presumably, if I quit playing music the only other marketable skill I have is writing. You see where the quandary here is, don’t you? I mean, critics or ‘haters’ or simply strangers who seem to know what’s best for me (or know what’s best for the world at large [much better without my music/writing]) have hurled my soul into a ping-pong match of competing low-paying, highly aggravating professions, and I’m kind of stuck in it, since I may not be a great musician and I may not be a great writer, but you should see me try to do pretty much anything else. I’m really, really terrible at that.

Well, that’s not entirely true. You know those Chinese balls that you rotate in your palm (heyo!)? I’m excellent at manipulating those (again, heyo!). I can do it both directions with both hands and never clink the balls together. I’d dare say I’ve never met anyone who can do the balls as well as me (though I’m sure those folks are out there, probably in China). What else am I great at? I’ve got a really good sense of how to season eggs. Sometimes I make ‘em a little too salty, but usually, no matter what style I’m going for, I pretty much nail it. I’m not much of a cook otherwise, but I can fuck up some eggs, boy. And that’s about it.

I feel pretty good about this list of talents. I mean, I’ve got one thing that I can do to express myself concisely (writing) one artistic outlet (music) one way to provide myself with tasty food (egg seasoning) and a way to just relax (balls). I also bone like a hitatchi magic wand attached to a perfect dong attached to a gyroscope, but that’s really neither here nor there.

The point is, I’m cool with being okay at a few things and great at one completely useless thing. Hell, most of you aren’t good at anything. Eh, it’s true. That whole notion that everyone’s good at something, it’s a fallacy. And before you throw up your hands and call me a pessimist or an asshole or a cocksucker or whatever (and tell me to shut up and stick to music) think about your lame cousin or your girlfriend’s ex boyfriend or that chick you used to finger behind the mall dumpsters…You know plenty of people who aren’t good at anything. I mean, I know a ton of people who just suck at the whole deal of being alive. It’s not uncommon. In fact, it’s the MOST common, and interestingly, the people most likely to believe this whole notion that ‘everyone is good at something’ are the exact people who are left out of the equation: namely, those who have no particular talent at all.

But I’m kind of getting off the subject. The point here is that in all too many instances, masses point to creative type folks and decide that they can have no opinion pretty much because they’re already acting/singing/drawing Garfield. I mean, how many times did I hear someone say that Kal Penn (our beloved Kumar) should stick to acting when he was analyzing the situation in the middle east. Never mind that he’s highly educated on the subject (to the point where he even got a cabinet position [if only because our president is a Kenyan cigarette smoking socialist]) and the people telling him to ‘stick to being a stoner in movies’ almost certainly know less than he does about the situation at hand. Why is his opinion automatically tossed off as shitty, superfluous and a pain in the dick to hear?

I think the answer lies in the fact that he’s lucky enough to make movies for a living. He doesn’t need to concern himself with wahabi sects in Saudi Arabia, man. He’s living the goddamned dream, and I’ll be dipped in shit if I’m gonna listen to someone that I PAY TO ENTERTAIN ME say anything other than what I want to hear them say. I think that’s the general rationale. Yeah?

Now, I’m no Kal Penn. I don’t know shit about anything, and I’m not formulating any policy, AND I’m not rich or living anything even close to ‘the dream’. I’m just a dipshit sitting here wasting the time that I could be spending making music, which I should really stay home and not play, if you follow the logic, but see, that doesn’t really work for me.

In fact, when people say that kind of shit to me, or use patently lazy rationalizations for why my opinions are wrong (I can’t argue about my music…it’s not that good and I’ve got the sales sheets to prove it) it really doesn’t make me want to quit or back down. In fact, kind of the opposite. Case in point: hmmmm….well, there have been a lot of situations where I’ve been told to stuff my opinion up my ass and just sing and dance like I’m supposed to: Against Me!, Bruce Springsteen, Punk Voter, microbrews, uh, what else…there’s something else recently that I said that got some people’s panties all bunchy…hmmmm.

Oh, right. Motorcycles. Listen, if you can’t even follow the fact that (firstly) I’m NOT just talking about weekend warrior harley dads, you need to take a comprehension class. I’m talking about all you dorks, including those that ride BMW’s, old Hondas, Ducatis, Yamahas, crotchrockets, the whole deal. I actually spent some time going into the various brands of dipshit-on-motorcycles that I was decrying, so don’t act like I’m being reductive and missing out on the big picture (it’s also worth mentioning, speaking of the big picture, that no one specifically told me to shut up and stick to music at the expense of my motorcycle hating yesterday…just so we’re being fair and balanced, and all that good stuff).

As I said, I’ve got people I count among my very best friends in the world who ride bikes, and I know what I’m talking about, and my opinion stands. I’d in fact, since you brought it up, like to point out that riding a motorcycle is like smoking cigarettes, in that it’s something that’s done EXCLUSIVELY because it’s “cool and dangerous.” It’s an affectation. That’s it. (Now, right here is a good place to go off on a tangent and say smoking sucks and people who do it are or were insecure/desperate for acceptance [and then subsequently strangled by the vice of addiction] but some smokers are still cool anyway, yo, but I’m not gonna do that, because I’d like to think that it goes without saying). AND before you tell me that riding a motorcycle ISN’T an affectation, I’d remind you that you knew it was dangerous and that’s what attracted you to it in the first place. Sure, in Europe and other places with narrow roads, it’s a practical vehicle, but here, nah brah…it’s not. I mean, gas mileage? Don’t you bullshit me about gas mileage at the expense of passengers, things to combat inclement weather, the noise and the fact that those motherfuckers break down like crazy. “cool?” eh…maybe (no). “Practical?” Nooooo.

Besides, why don’t you take a hint from your insurgent lifestyle and go burn some rubber and ignore one little dirty diapered shithead on the internet who doesn’t like your dumb hobby…Actually, you know what? That’s totally fucked. Insurgent hobbies are BY NATURE disliked by most people…that’s A HUGE PART OF THEIR APPEAL. If you don’t like me or anyone else disliking your hobby/lifestyle, get one that’s not offensive and carefully designed and maintained to remain ‘outside the box’ (a massively lame term I would never use to describe something cool, by the way). Your choice, bro. I mean, what’s next? You only like skateboarding in helmets and pads at the skatepark? You only listen to MxPx? Come on. Being hated is the best part of doing something that’s out there.

Now, make no mistake, I’m on the side of enjoyment and I’m unequivocally against hating on someone for doing what they love. BUT, what some people fail to understand is that this here blog (I mean, it’s a blog…) is a fucking joke. It’s named Bad Sandwich for fucks sake. If you’re gonna get butthurt every time someone pisses on anything you like in a forum designed for entertainment or everytime a blowhard asshole on the internet hints at your dick size, well, I frankly don’t know how you get around this crazy world (and specifically the internet) at all.

Now, to get specific: as for your completely asinine counterargument that using this reductive logic, I’m no different than Benji Madden, you’re wrong. Know why? Benji Madden is successful and I’m not. That’s the only difference between us though. So in that sense, you’re right. We both play in bands, we both write the best songs that we can come up with. The only difference is that a large chunk of people like his songs while mine appeal almost exclusively to a pretty small subsect of a larger subculture. If you think for even one second that I feel that I’m above Benji because he lifts choruses from Jay Z and wears goofy clothes, I’ll thank you to remember that I lift choruses all the time and used to bleach my hair and wear medallions. AND, the only people on earth, generally that I truly feel like I’m better than are sad little motorcycle enthusiasts who can neither laugh at themselves nor divorce themselves from their dumb hobbies.

Now please, bear in mind that I’m constantly, CONSTANTLY mocked for what I do, be it being a bad blogger, lame singer, horrible musician, purveyor of dumb cultural stereotypes, someone who ‘complains about being a dad too much (so spoken by someone I’d really like to yell at, but it wouldn’t be funny or entertaining, so I’m gonna just leave it at that), or general loser/drunk/clown/asshole/wannabe….and these are all comments on my personality/abilities and I’m not crying about generalizations…these are PERSONAL stabs taken at me by strangers…and yes, I shouldn’t’ dare try to entertain people if I don’t want criticism…I’m comfortable with that, but YOU came here and posted in the sock drawer, a part of this blog that is exceedingly well traveled and oft referenced by me…I didn’t come to you.

Soooo sack up, and don’t fucking bring your sad-dog face around here complaining that my dumb, unfunny jokes have hurt your feelings due to being grossly tied to a lame stereotype (thereby missing at least 2 points), and suggest that I’m a close minded asshole. It bears repeating that 3 people that I would consider BEST FRIENDS, people I would donate organs to (and probably will have to due to their dumb fascination with motorcycles) are bike owners and enthusiasts and so, you know…jokes, bro. Jokes.
This, however is not a joke: You’ve got the balls to ride a motorcycle, how bout you grow the balls to read about one. You can cry and argue this shit like it’s a court case or an official referendum on you and your Yamaha cafĂ© racer, but it’s just a goddamned blog written by an asshole.

And seriously, I’m just being a wiseass. Don’t be so sad. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. That said, thanks for the offer, but I'd rather ride an ostrich than a motorcycle. Oh, and to the other guy who says I complain too much and longs for a return to the way this blog used to be, seriously, you can go sit on a dick. Eh? That a little more what you were looking for? Good.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

fire all of your guns at once and...

Recently I had the pleasure of taking the Amtrak from Chicago to Detroit for a buddy’s wedding. Getting there meant waking up at 5am, taking the el and then sitting on the Amtrak for 8 hours. And it was unbelievable. I just got to sit there and read and enjoy silence and not think for the first time in what seems like forever. There were no screaming children and there was no strict, hard and fast deadline within which I needed to do whatever it was I was supposed to do (like, when my kids finally go to bed, if I want to do anything, and this includes eat, read, shower, get on the internet, do work, write music, judge a blowjob contest, watch tv…anything at all, I’ve gotta figure out how I’m gonna pack it all into the tiny exhausted sliver of time left before I pass out, and if we go out, I’m constantly thinking about the babysitter and the inconvenience/money that is at stake for every hour I’m not heading home). It was, and I’m not shitting you people here, one of the best times I’ve had in recent memory.

In fact, when I replay the whole weekend, the trainride out there was the highlight. This throws one thing into sharp relief: my life is getting weird. If sitting in a seat with no one bugging me for 8 hours is the best time I can hope for I may as well get it over with and move into a home. Although, at a home, you don’t get to watch Illinois, Indiana and Michigan unfold outside the window, and this was truly one of the nicest parts of the ride.

For most of my adult life, I’ve been in a van. The feeling of watching shit whip by into the past, the feeling of riding along the timeline of your life, seeing what’s in front of you and watching the past dissolve behind you, is so ingrained in me that on that train I felt like I was finally back in my element. I was finally able to relax and just unplug and enjoy myself. And it was at some point on this journey that I saw, in the driveway of a dilapidated shack that butted up against the train tracks, somewhere in the middle of a dumpy Michigan town in the middle of nowhere, two very nice crotchrocket style matching motorcycles, one blue, one yellow, just chilling in perfect tandem.

It got me to thinking, whoever owns those bikes (and GOD I hope it’s a husband and wife, but I bet it’s just one dude or a pair of dudes) obviously spends most of their money on their ride, as the house was, in no uncertain terms, a shit shack. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. To borrow from the classic tale: some folks spend all their money on a nice suit and wear underwear full of holes and some people get the nicest underwear and wear the cheap suit. There’s distinct advantages to both and I’m not trying to tell these ruff-riding hillbillies how to stretch their checks.

But the question that came up in my mind, which I’ve been thinking about for a while now, is what they do. Do they ride those things around that shitty little town to the crappy bar or the Burger King or take it out to the casino? I mean, I don’t want to sound like a dick, but it seems like all the glitz and glamour and freedom that comes with getting the fancy bike is kind of undermined by the stark reality of the strict ‘no glitz, no glamour, no freedom’ policy that’s being put out there by the town. I guess it seems sad?

Nah…it’s not quite sad. It’s funny and kind of weird. Eh…it sucks. No. No. Hmmm…

Look, motorcycles are the realm of the dildo. This is a pretty unequivocal truth. The Harley Davidson logo is far and away the most obvious signifier of the clueless dipshit (even more than tapout or ed hardy…it’s true) and these sporty asian bikes that all the big black dudes ride now are equally lame.

That’s because all motorcycles are lame. Yes they are. I don’t care about your friend that fixes up Hondas from the 80’s and is the ‘most laid back dude ever, bro’. I don’t give a fuck about the fancy Hitler bikes or the Italian bikes. I don’t care how ‘fun’ they are. People say those running shoes with the toes in them are comfortable as shit but that doesn’t take them out of the realm of being the most pussy-repellant, dorky, shitty looking, wouldn’t-be-caught-dead-in-them shoes I’ve ever seen. Same shit goes for motorcycles. One guy who can pull off riding a bike doesn’t diminish the overwhelmingly wack cultural currency that motorcycles have worked so hard to cement into the fabric of our society. Motorcycles signify a few things about the owner and almost nothing else ever. Those things are:
1) I’m a dork.
2) I’m an asshole
3) I ran out of things to spend money on, so I bought this dumb idea.
4) I really admire a dork/asshole/moneywaster
5) I have an obsession with ‘freedom’ and ‘the seventies’ and bullshit like that
6) Small penis
7) I ran out of ways to point out to strangers how much cooler than them I think I am.

Now, not all bikers fit all 7 categories. In fact, I’ve got a few friends who ride motorcycles (some very, very close friends, in fact) and I’m not even sure what their deals are (Six seems the likely culprit). I’m not saying that in all cases it’s an all encompassing douche-tude that ensconses you once you become a bike enthusiast. In fact, lots of people can like their bikes and be otherwise so cool that you can completely overlook their dumb obsession. I’m just saying it’s a blemish, a blight on your character. That’s all.

And, fine. If we MUST, let’s get it out there. Old ass men who live out west and just live to ride are pretty awesome. You can’t really fault that shit. But that’s not you. That’s not your buddy. You two look like you’re riding your blue and yellow surrogate dongs around your crappy little town just solely for the purposes of getting the word out that you’re exceedingly awesome. And that’s what dorks and assholes do. Sorry.

Hey, just my two cents. I ride the fucking dinosaur train after all.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

there is no spoon, bro

There’s currently a lot of noise in my house. It’s 730 and I’ve been up for 2 hours. If I get up at 530, I’ve got enough time to take a shower, brush my teeth, make some coffee and BARELY get started doing something I want to do (today it was writing in my ‘lyric notebook’) before people in this place start getting up and slowly adding to the din until it’s like it is now, which is frankly dizzying. It’s like a weird acid test, but instead of The Dead playing over here and Country Joe and the Fish playing over there, it’s screaming people, screaming cartoons and Hoda and Kathie Lee’s drunk asses all butting against each other like so many swarming stygimolochs.

In the one room, there’s a screeching and howling baby. She’s not upset, she just likes the newly discovered feeling of chirping and howling at the top of her lungs. In the next room closer to her, my wife’s got the television on. She watches Today or Good Morning America or something in the morning, and the godforsaken racket of that show, were it the only sound in the house would still be a lot to deal with. However, in the other room, my son is watching Go Diego Go, which is, I believe I’ve mentioned before, a show about a young latino boy who just constantly screams. He’s also got a backpack full of shit that also screams, like his camera and the backpack itself and I think there’s a map or compass or something that also screams…to borrow a turn of phrase from Skwisgaar, it’s ‘a lots of screamings.’

And I’m just sitting here in my gym shorts drinking coffee wondering what I could potentially do to turn all this down. There’s not really much of an answer. I suppose, actually the answer is that I could make a ton of money, move into a gigantic house, hire a nanny and sleep in, or at least have my coffee and write in my lyric book up in my solarium on the fourth floor while everyone else gets their noise on below me, but well…that all seems unlikely to happen this week or next week, and so there’s nothing much to do but sit here and fantasize in vain about silence and just kind of tune things out, like I do when I talk to most people.

It makes me think though, there are certain situations in which, if you’re comfortable with your lifestyle, mean that you’ve completely won and the things that usually seem really important become kind of unnecessary trappings of the rat race and you’re kind of free to just live and chill. It bears mentioning that almost all of these situations would involve not having kids, but then again, I’m speaking from a masculine perspective where the pinnacle of abstract success is often associated with freedom from responsibility (ask Charlie Sheen) and actually, if you’re in a place with safe streets and decent public schools, a lot of these can probably work out for you even if you have kids. So, what am I talking about?

Well, what if you’re say a surfer, or a fisherman or a sailor or some other such thing that involves the sea. It’s your passion. Perhaps you’re not great at it, but you love to do it. Now, let’s say you work at a gas station or some other shitty mindless job as a cashier near the beach and near your house, which you can afford to rent even with your shitty cashier’s paycheck and you just sit there and chill, your boss is a decent enough person, and at the end of the day you leave work and you don’t ever think about it at all when you’re not there and you’re free to indulge your hobby whenever you want. That’s living. This would also be effective on or near a mountain too, but less so because lift tickets cost money and things in general tend to be expensive when they need to be driven up mountain passes. That said, the beach bum/ski bum lifestyle seems like a way to win without ever playing the game.

Now, if you want to take this a step further, what about the guy who just rents the boogie boards and surfboards and shit to tourists? You know that dude? He just sits there drinking beer, collecting money and sitting on the beach with a cooler outside his little hut. That guy has got it made. Think about it: if everyone else on earth pays a great deal of money and goes through the discomfort of packing and traveling to be on that beach, and he’s there making money and living; he’s kind of winning, isn’t he? Of course he is. It’s even better than being in a band or something, where you’re always at the concerts that people are willing to travel miles and miles to see, because firstly, you get sick of your own concerts, you have personal things you want to do at home, you deal with pressure and you deal with tons of constantly changing circumstances and the constant worry that someday, everyone will stop showing up and you’ll be fucked(now, that being said, being in a band for a living is an awesome job, don’t get me wrong).

Nah, when you’re on the beach renting out boogie boards, you just have to worry about the various happy hours that are going on around you. That’s the dream, man. That’s the dream even if you don’t have a lot of money and you live in kind of a shitty house. If you live somewhere truly beautiful and you do something that’s mindless/easy/fun, you’ve won life. Once you’ve divorced yourself of all desires and needs to compete you’re really doing something that’s Buddhist a little, but you can even do it while existing somewhat in reality. That’s pretty great.

Or you could just be a DJ at the titty bar and bang all the strippers. That’s probably pretty great too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

doooooooomed. again

Okay, the world is really truly going to hell, innit? It seems crazy that I’m here for it. Of all the millions of people who have ever lived on this earth, we are the ones who get to see the whole thing go to shit, eh? I mean, don’t get me wrong…it’s pretty cool to see the only world I’ll ever know go up in flames, but I’m not too partial to the rapes and pestilence and the starvation and human displacement and shit, especially now that I’ve got a family.

Oh, fuck…ten years ago, bring on the apocalypse. I could have just packed up some sweatpants and a pair of sunglasses and fucked and sucked my way out to the coast (figuratively of course) and ridden out the rapture in style, but now I’ve got a house and a baby and a toddler and a wife and well, that makes shit a little harder to figure out, don’t it? I can’t just be train hopping and living by my wits when I’m traveling with so many tiny helpless little easily abusable people. I mean, even just traveling with my wife during any sort of doom would be too much. You know?

Nope. It really seems like the only way to survive in any sort of every-man-for-himself situation is to be unencumbered by any semblance of affection for anything you’re traveling with, because the second you encounter someone that’s truly evil, well, they’re gonna use that relationship to their advantage by way of harming or threatening to harm those things that you love…I mean, that’s what I’d do if I was evil. It seems like it would be very effective. Man, I don’t even want to think about that stuff. Let’s just suffice it to say I’m no longer the lean, mean apocalypse navigating machine I once so very recently was.

And lest you think I’m being glib regarding the end of the world, lets look at what’s happening out there: the entire western part of that super sketchy zone over there is starting to get pretty nutty on an ever expanding scale (that’s what’s known as the ‘beginning of the end’ in lay person terms), gas is gonna, in no uncertain terms hit five bucks a gallon very soon, food is getting more and more expensive, there are more people on the earth now than have ever lived here combined, the biggest generation in America is getting old but refusing to die, if you lined up Chinese folks six across and had them walk past you at four miles an hour (quite a feat, btw) the line would NEVER END due to the rate of repopulation over there, flooding and increasingly erratic weather conditions threaten to displace huge numbers of people in the next couple of years and this article I read yesterday indicated that the amount of food that the earth will need to produce to feed motherfuckers in the next forty years will have to be equal to the amount of food produced in the last 8000, which is probably a lot….I don’t know.

So yeah. Looks like the end of the world. I mean, I doubt the WHOLE world will end, but the only places that are gonna survive are gonna have to be remote, near fresh water and able to grow shit…so, uh…not here. That’s for sure. We’ve got 3 million hairdressers, waitresses, copywriters and dudes that work at Foot Locker here and not a single person that can probably navigate doom in any sort of reasonable way. Well, the southside of Chicago is already pretty much a DMZ, so those folks (no pun intended) may just turn out pretty alright. I mean, what the fuck does the end of the world mean to someone who already doesn’t have plumbing, who already hears gunshots every day, who subsists exclusively on Doritos and pork rinds, to someone who already feels completely trapped and doomed? Right?

Fuck. That’s really, really depressing. On that note I’m off to the museum.

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's going on right under your nose!

Okay, it’s president’s day and it’s one of those days that’s kind of a holiday but not really, in that you probably have the day off of work or school, but you don’t have any ‘president’s day plans’ to speak of. That’s because president’s day doesn’t really have an agenda. It’s a fake day off, cooked up by the greedy greeting card companies to sell more cards. Or, uh…wait, we used to have Lincoln’s birthday and Washington’s birthday and now it’s just president’s day, eh? Hmmm…seems like they could have made more money with two holidays, right? Hmmmm…I gotta do some research on this whole deal.

Anyway, if there’s one thing I know about days off with nothing to do, it’s that most of you guys are gonna spend it getting high. So, I’ve put together a small list of some quirky and offbeat ways to get high. It’s pretty much exactly what the founding fathers would have wanted me to do, right? Of course. Without any further ado:

Gasoline: Um, I remember in highschool, there were some people I knew that got high inhaling gasoline. This one guy, Chris Bundy was his name, told me that one time he inhaled some gas and started laughing and it felt like his mouth opened so wide that the entire top of his head was just an open mouth. Sounds hilarious. Word to the wise: Gasoline will kill you. Don’t drink it or light it on fire or smoke while you huff gas or huff it indoors or fuck…even outdoors. Also, it’s gonna make food really expensive, what with the rising cost of oil and all the unrest in the middle east and everything, so even if you don’t huff gas or drink it, gas will probably end up killing you. You know, when the starving hordes start burning the shit in your neighborhood.

Smoking banana peels: This was popularized by hippies and later by the Dead Milkmen on their breakout album Beezlebubba in the song ‘smokin banana peels’.
Officially, the way you smoke banana peels is to scrape out the white stuff and dry it out, then put it in a pipe. From my experience (the only time I tried to smoke banana peels was with my friend Eric when we were in high school) you can’t just take the banana peel as-is and light one end and suck on the other end. I don’t know what we were thinking. Apparently it gives you a pretty serious headache and doesn’t really get you that high. In that regard it’s a lot like the weed the busboys at your job get.

Nutmeg: if you eat a bunch of nutmeg, you’ll trip. This is true. The effects are pretty serious, in terms of really wigging out and not knowing what’s a real talking jello mold and what’s just a talking jello mold that’s all in your mind. They say that once you eat the nutmeg the effects kick in between one and thirty six hours or something. SO, this is a great way to kind of dose yourself at some unforeseen time in the next few days.

Dust off: this is something that used to be popular when computers had discs. It was a cleaner for discs that got you high if you huffed it. When I was on tour at 18 I went to a party where kids were spraying this shit into a sock and then putting the sock up to their faces and then laughing their dicks off. The whole thing struck me as a little bit uh…hillbillyish. Which leads me to:

Paint: When I was in Montana about fifteen years ago these two native American women tried to break into our trailer while we were sleeping in our van. When we went back to see what they were up to, they asked us for some change. They both had gold paint all over their faces and clothes. They were nice enough, and we hung out with them for a little while. They told us about their dealer, the guy that sells them bags of paint, and while we were laughing about how hilariously sad this little corner of the black market was, the dude in question came walking up. He was wearing sweatpants and a dirty, painty undershirt and he had long hair, a mustache and a body not dissimilar to grimace’s from McDonaldland. He also wore those glasses that are tinted dark (the same one that kid on your little league team who had to hit off the tee used to wear). I said, “wait, this guy’s the PAINT dealer?” and the dude said “hey! Keep it down! Why? You want a bag?”
Apparently the gold and silver paints are the ‘dank’ paint. That’s what this dude told us. What he apparently did was pour a little paint in the bottom of a brown lunch bag and then sell it to people who just kind of stick their faces in and breathe deep. We didn’t end up buying any paint because, well, there’s very little as pathetic as getting high on paint, except maybe for being a paint dealer.

Jesus: Man, in this crazy workaday world, every once in a while you gotta just let yourself go and snuggle up in the baby jesus and all his good, snuggly warm feelings. Ever see those weirdos speaking in tongues and shit? That’s not just the way normal folk behave. They’re high. They’ve been smoking the baby jesus, brah. Of all of these ways to get high, this is the only one that’s not really very dangerous, but it will definitely make you the lamest of your pals at your ’11 presidents day party.

Have fun out there, everyone and happy birthday mr Lincoln!

Oh, and um…don’t get high. Especially by inhaling stuff. It’s just tacky.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kids' Show Content Ahead

So yeah. Today I’m typing this while watching Dino Dan. It’s a great show about a young group of fairly fey (and at times mentally challenged) Canadian pre-teens, one of whom is obsessed with dinosaurs. Actual living dinosaurs seem to exist in and wander the streets of their suburban Toronto town, but they never just go nuts and kill everyone, and strangely it seems that the townspeople who aren’t Dino Dan himself can only see the dinosaurs every once in a while, when it’s convenient for the plot.

Well, that’s one (highly cynical) explanation. The other is that everyone else in this town is so used to the massive creatures cruising around their neighborhoods that Dan’s the only one that really notices or cares when a gigantic Brachiosaurus farts all over the place (something that really, truly happens on this show), or a T-rex shows up at the sled hill or the jogging track. Dan gets pretty stoked (I mean, he loves that shit. His name is DINO Dan, after all), but for the most part, everyone else just kind of moves on with their day-to-day. Crazy Canadians. Oh, it bears mentioning that at least 50% of the Kids in the Hall are teachers at Dan’s school. That’s weird. I guess alternate-universe kids programming is where you get spit out after the rough and tumble roller coaster ride that is vaguely offensive myopic Canadian sketch comedy. Who knew?

Kids programming in general is weird. This is hardly a controversial statement. We all grew up with a gigantic transgendered talking bird who was best friends with a clinically depressed, super high, tuskless wooly mammoth that everyone else believed was a figment of the bird’s imagination (if you’re young, you may not remember when one of the main bits of frustration surrounding Sesame Street was that Snuffy [sigh] always walked off RIGHT as Gordon[or anyone else, actually] was coming around the corner, and therefore no one believed he really existed. This used to make me go completely fucking nuts…but anyway) and now a quick scan of Nick jr programming will quickly reveal a gay disco manboy in an orange jumpsuit/British imperial guard hat, a pair of screaming latino children with no parents, a pansified Cyclops, a softspoken cancer boy, a complete pussy of a turtle that wears a bandanna, a sassy guinea pig, a couple of world traveling, turtleneck wearing swine and of course, and this is what I’m here to discuss today, a band of turds that make Taylor Swift look like GG Allin.

I’m of course referring to the Fresh Beat Band. The Fresh Beat Band is a four piece ‘rock act’ featuring a white guy, a black guy, a Latina and a redheaded white girl. In an attempt to debunk all possible stereotypes, the white guy is the beatboxing dj (he’s also the dumbass/pre-stoner/shaggy type), the white girl plays the drums, the black dude plays keyboards and the Latina plays guitar. The whole thing, as you may have guessed stinks to high heaven.

There’s so much to talk about here. I don’t even really know where to begin. Their names, on the show are as follows white girl-Marina, Latina-Kiki, White dude and black dude respectively- Twist and Shout. How bad does that suck? I mean, it’s bad enough that I have to look at these two turds dance around and beatbox and mug and shuck and jive with all the soul and genuine emotion of a French Justin Bieber impersonator, but I’ve also gotta call them Twist and Shout? Eh…truly the white guy’s real name is John Beavers, so he probably doesn’t mind being Twist all that much. It bears mentioning that I hate both of these guys.

The females on the show are slightly less reprehensible (Marina is actually vaguely good looking, but seems like the kind of person that would go absolutely insane on you at the drop of a hat) but they have been put in the unfortunate position of having to pretend to be able to play instruments that they just absolutely cannot play. Watching Marina ‘play’ the weird 1980’s Level 42 style electric drums or watching Kiki struggle to correctly finger an E chord is awkward enough that I’m pretty sure even my mom would recognize that they’re pretenders of the utmost. It’s just embarrassing…much like the way that the guys are named Twist and Shout. It’s not OFFENSIVE, but it’s so painfully lame that it’s hard to sit near.

Of course, the whole show is about sharing and friendship and that kind of bullshit, as it’s aimed at people who are 3. The songs are terrible and almost every tune has a beatbox solo by the big gomery white guy, but the worst person on the show, far and a way is Shout. He’s such a pathetic company man of a performer that it actually is offensive. Firstly, he’s one of the only people I’ve ever seen who can’t realistically pretend to play keyboards. He also can’t leave his broadway-esque dance stepping, understated vibrato and eye contact behind, even as he’s pretending to be a carefree rocker in a gumdrop town who just wants to ‘Sing a Rock n Roll Song’ (a song that he reprises a lot, in which he dons a poofy blond ‘rocker’ wig and growls, but which decidedly fails, on every level, to rock) and generally, he’s the kind of guy that you can just tell has no compunction about doing anything and going along with anything, no matter how biblically wack it may be…in short, he’s got what it takes to be very successful, but he just bums me out.

The whole show sucks so bad and promotes such pussydom that I’d rather my kid watch Franklin (which is about a totally lame turtle boy who’s always crying) and that’s saying something, folks.

Okay, look. Dinosaur Train is on now, and we’ve already discussed this madness, so I’m gonna bounce. I’m headed to Detroit this weekend to watch my favorite gigantic Polish tour manager Paul “the kielbasa’ Tylenda get hitched. I’m taking the Amtrak. Meet me at Union Station at 7AM and slip me some of your grandmother’s prescriptions, kay? Good deal. See you tomorrow in the AM.

And remember, get outside, get into nature and make your own discoveries!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

i got a shack of crazy people over here!

This baby I have decided recently that rather than nap, she’s just gonna scream. She stands up and shakes her cage like a speed addled death row inmate and howls like it’s a full moon and she’s # 42 on the Beavers, as though it’s gonna do anyone any good. What I think she fails to realize is that all it does is put my nerves on edge to the point where I’m a sweaty, irritable dick all day, which doesn’t serve her purposes even remotely. Right now, if I wasn’t looking at a monitor of her standing in there, were I to guess what was going on based on the sounds, I’d say a pack of goblins in terrifying costumes and masks were slicing pieces of her off and eating them. That’s how this shit sounds. But that’s hardly the only thing that’s going on here today.

My boy, the other kid, is kind of OCD. I say that in the same way that you may say that Tommy Lee is kind of a dipshit or that blowjobs are okay. He’s got certain things that he’s GOT to do, or it fucks up his whole day. One of those things is shutting the door for everyone who leaves the house. It’s actually pretty funny, because he slams that shit right on your ass the second you cross the threshold, leading to a pretty uh…brusque send off. We try to discourage it, but secretly it’s pretty funny. Anyway, one of the main people that he closes the door on is his mom. She puts her coat on in the morning and he says “mom, I wanna shut the door” and he goes and stands at the door until she leaves. This morning, however, something went wrong and he missed the ritual. This has caused no shortage of pain and malaise over here in the two to three age group. He doesn’t want to eat or even watch Diego. He just wants to shut the door for mommy. It’s a lot to deal with, especially interlaced with the soundtrack of screaming terror coming from the back room.

I hope he takes his craziness and uses it to overthrow the matrix or meticulously research and design whatever the facebook of twenty years from now winds up being, rather than ending up a neurotic wingnut in a tinfoil hat walking around with a sandwich board, screaming at tourists about aliens, taxes and cockroaches. I mean, chances are good he’s gonna do the facebook one, but you never know.

It’s funny, parenting. People, to the last, have a story about how their parents fucked them up forever. No matter if you’ve got the best most supportive parents in the world, they said or did something at just the wrong moment in your development that stuck with you forever. I mean, fuck. Anna Quindlen wrote a piece for Newsweek on the day her daughter graduated from Harvard or Yale or something and in it she talked about how after a highschool test, in which the daughter got the best score in her class, 98 out of 100, Anna, rather than offer congratulations or praise, asked what the questions she got wrong were. This, apparently was the story that this girl picked to be the example of her mom’s domineering attitude that she apparently never let her mom forget.

Pretty fucking benign, eh? I mean, ooooooooooh! That’s the worst moment of your childhood? No getting locked in the closet for a few days by your ‘new daddy’? No having to take a note down to the liquor store to pick up mommy’s gin on Sunday mornings? No being constantly told that feces is revolting and having that manifest as some Freudian weirdness that haunts you to this day?

Well, no. And that’s kind of the point. Everyone only knows their own life and no one really even realizes that they have it rough or great until they get to an age where they start recognizing what other kids went through, but regardless, they’ve got their scars, and no matter how deftly you try to parent, you’re gonna fuck em up, because the worst moment is always gonna be bad to them, even if it’s not actually bad at all.

Think about it. Think about the people you know the best. They’re totally fucked up, right? Your BEST friends, your roommates, your long term coworkers that you’ve dealt with round the clock, your parents…they’re all complete nutjobs under the surface, right?

That’s because everyone is, folks. Every single person on this earth has a huge bag of issues, neuroses, and idiosyncrasies that they don’t even recognize as abnormal and everyone has a moment or two or ten that they attribute to their own parents’ weirdness, so what’s the moral here?

You’re gonna fuck up your kids, because every person on earth is fucked up and everyone blames their parents for it, SO, uh…don’t even try? Nah…you gotta try. Just don’t worry when you tragically scar your kid for life. Everyone has those scars. Even you.

Fuck. Especially you. You’re nuttier than a sack of elephant shit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm out of bed and dressed. what more do you want?

You know, I just watched Exit Through The Gift Shop this past weekend and today when I sat down to write I was gonna kind of expound on my theories about sincerity, specifically in terms of someone who creates art. It seems like something that people find to be particularly important for some reason. Sincerity, it could even be said, can completely validate or invalidate someone’s whole canon in some people’s eyes, regardless of final product. This makes sense when it’s, say a senator who puts out legislation opposing gay marriage on moral grounds but secretly has gay sex with rentboys (or fucks around on his wife, which, it seems, is a greater perversion of the idea of marriage than making it all about wangs…) but not so much when it’s a guy who’s just making something to dance to or to hang on the wall. It kind of seems like the sincerity behind something’s not the issue. The issue is how the piece resonates with the spectator/listener/consumer…right?

Well, no. That’s not how it works at all. As it turns out, we need the people that are creating our art to believe in it 100%, and kind of live it. Otherwise, it’s often argued, the whole thing is ‘fake.’ This seems kind of irrelevant. My friend Tony is a chef. He (supposedly) makes great tasting food. Now, he won’t cook for me for several reasons, most of them having to do with us living across the country from each other and me being a turd that doesn’t go visit him or eat at his restaurants. But if he did cook for me, I think I’d tend to judge the food on presentation and taste, not so much his personal attitude. For example, let’s say he hates salmon. If I order salmon and he makes it and it’s good, is that a betrayal of the sincerity of his art? Of course not. He can hate it and do it well and I can enjoy it, and nary the twain shall meet, bro.

With visual and auditory art, this is different. The main reason this is the case is because artists in general tend to think of what they do as vastly more important than it is, and they tend to be passionate and there’s very little in terms of objective measuring that can be used to evaluate art, and so someone’s commitment, training and unique vision (or lack thereof in all three cases) tend to be given a ton of weight. This is true for music and sculpture and movies and everything in between. WHY you do something is absolutely as important as what you do, and in the case of the judgment of the untalented but passionate (99% of people creating things) it’s often MORE important somehow.

Now, in Exit Through The Gift Shop, there were several competing threads focused on the quest for sincerity. The big one obviously was the motivation of one of the artists in the movie, who it could be said was highly derivative and commercially motivated and generally a bit of a poser (I hate this word a LOT, by the way), but there’s also the question of the sincerity of the whole piece. Were all these artists who they claimed they were? Was the whole thing a sham? Is the ‘subpar’ art really created by one of the other artists? Is everyone in on it together? Is the whole thing (as they say in Britain) a pisstake? Is this just levels of highly sincere, Kaufman-esque insider tomfoolery designed to further insulate the true genius of art from the turdlike minds that enjoy it?

Eh…you gotta figure the answer is yes. That movie is pretty smug. But there’s more to it than that. The thing is, these two competing notions of sincerity are completely opposite. On one hand, we’ve got the desire to believe that our art is made because of a sincere need to create and not because people want to fool you into liking something that comes from a place of self-aggrandizement (fame, money, etc) but on the other hand, if this whole thing is a smug joke, then it’s nothing but self-aggrandizement at the expense of the audience, yet somehow that’s more palatable, perhaps because just seeing that potential outcome lets viewers pretend that they’re in on the joke…maybe. Who can say? The whole thing is weird.

The funny thing is that once things become overtly sincere, they cease to be great art. This is almost always true (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a zillion more times before I die, Thomas Mann’s Death In Venice is a monument to this notion and it’s something that everyone who wants to create ANYTHING should read). Want a recent example? How about this: Did you watch Eminem’s weird bro-love Dr. Dre worship-a-thon on the Grammys? That shit was highly, highly wack.

Sure, Eminem loves Dre. Dre made a bunch of Em’s favorite records and gave him a career. He’s his mentor and hero and friend. That’s quite a bond. BUT, when Eminem goes out there with a look on his face like he’s in a Mexican standoff, furiously rhyming about why he’s only there because he owes everything to dre, it’s painful. It’s terribly painful. Because it’s embarrassing and dorky and schmaltzy and overwrought and uh…well, it’s too sincere.

See, Eminem made his name by saying things that no one else would say, or at least that’s how he clearly sees it if his self aggrandizing rhymes are to be believed. However, somewhere between the Marshall Mathers LP and now, he traded in his ‘honesty’ and replaced it with ‘sincerity’ which is not nearly as cool. Sincerity, apparently, is cool only in terms of motivation, but in terms of actual output it totally sucks.

This is why it’s such a weird kind of paradox to praise an artist’s sincerity. If they are really, truly sincere, then they’re not very good, but if they’re not, they’re manipulators or something…I mean, it bears mentioning that the very word ‘art’ shares a root with ‘artifice’ and ‘artificial’ and uh…I don’t know, man. This is making me dizzy.

How bout this: in closing, the internet makes art and artistry kind of lame because it enables us to really see who the creators are as people, and that rarely goes well. That shit poisons enjoyment…it doesn’t really work the other way. You don’t tend to find people who say shit like “I thought this guy’s book sucked til I saw his facebook page and now I love it.” It’s a joykiller, this glut of too much information. It gives people too many things to potentially dismiss. And that sucks. I mean, everyone that makes stuff isn’t as totally ball meltingly kick ass as me, people. And that’s a real shame.

Monday, February 14, 2011

holiday advice!

In 1812, Jerome Lee Valentine ran naked through the streets of Pigeon Forge Tennessee being chased by a large older man with a hacksaw, who was screaming something incomprehensible about his twelve year old daughter. Now, years later, in honor of that brave dash, lovers the world over celebrate Valentines day. It’s about love. It’s about boning and for a huge percentage of the population it’s about feeling smug or lonely because Valentines day doesn’t really apply to you (because you’re single and therefore no one loves you). Regardless though, there are pitfalls to navigate and that’s why I’m here. So settle into this special VD themed edition of BSC and see if you can’t learn a thing or two, eh?

If you’re single:
Listen, this is a rough one. Sure, you can stay home but everything on TV is gonna feature Jennifer Anniston and you’ll get that pitying look from the delivery guy AND you’ll kind of wind up feeling defeated, so what’s the move? Go out to a restaurant by yourself and watch all the botched proposals? That’s kind of fun, but the trade off is that everyone there is gonna think your date stood you up. Maybe you just go to the bar and prey on the lonely souls/predatory dipshits that haunt the barstools on Valentines day. It’s a great night for watching SLOPPY drunks and maybe getting in a casual hate-bang. The one thing that you should NOT do, however, is call up all your turd single friends and have a ‘lonely hearts night’ because A) it’s so fucking dorky that it’s embarrassing to even type and B) your one creepy friend will probably show up and/or another group of dorks will show up and the awkward insistence that no one’s actually lonely and the weird mating dance that’s bound to ensue will be pretty unbearable. AND there’s probably gonna be someone who’s been through a rough break up recently, so you’ll have to listen to that shit all night. And honestly, who gives a fuck if his dumb cunty ex girlfriend blew the drummer in that band? She was laaaaaame anyway.
So what does that leave? Get a prostitute. It’s classy, discreet and they’re probably wondering what to do as well. Hell, take em to dinner. Just don’t be surprised when they order something gross and eat with their hands.

If you’ve just met:
Yahoo and other highly wack news sites will tell you that this is very tricky. They’ll say that it’s the kind of thing that puts undo pressure on a new relationship that’s still hazily defined and all sorts of other nonsense. But they’re pussies. Here’s what you do: You show up unannounced, drunk and just kind of start banging on the door and yelling. Make a few vague references to marriage and blood and possibly even hurting yourself. Slump down at the base of the door. Moan. Be sweaty. When your new Valentine inevitably comes to the door, immediately perk up, smooth down your hair, look confused and say, “oh, shit. I’m sorry. I’m totally at the wrong place. Weird. Sorry. Jeez. Um...Wanna get a pizza or something?” This pretty much works every time.

If you’ve been dating for a few months:
You’re probably at the point where you can’t stop boning, and Valentines day should be no exception to this awesome trend. Get a tarp and a large thing of lube. Put your tv in your room and find some filthy pornography. Wait naked on the slick, tarped up bed until your valentine comes over. Have the pornography going. Put a bucket of ribs or chicken (or other similarly sexy dish) somewhere that’s easily reachable from the bed. Be sure you’ve had a shower. Have some Nine Inch Nails cued up on the stereo. Get weird.

If you’re in a committed LTR:
Avoid your valentine all day. Act nervous and weird. When they give you your valentines day present (if they’re worth a shit they did SOMETHING, even if it’s just a flower or a homemade card or something, right?) break down crying and say you’ve just found out you have herpes. Midway through the fighting and yelling and breaking things, tell him/her that you’re just joking and show them this entry as proof of your awesome shenanigans. Laugh. Bone like the church is on fire.

If you’re married w kids:
Eat a hastily assembled dinner. Clean up. Have a cocktail. Put the kids to bed. Slump defeatedly into a chair and watch some lame tv show. Vaguely mention love through yawns. Go to bed. Be too tired to bang. Pass out with your hand lovingly resting on your spouse’s junk.

Okay folks! Good luck out there! I’m going to the Walgreens to get some discount candy! See you kids soon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

the great divide!

I’d like to preface this entry by pointing out to the dumb dildo in the Sock Drawer who suggested that I don’t know what I’m talking about the other day that in fact, squids and octopi are mollusks…specifically, they’re cephalopods, so suck my balls.

Now that that’s out of the way…

Ah, the female nether regions. Nothing better, is there? It’s a powerful and mysterious zone that women get weird about, men get really weird about, and to top off the mystery, no one can master it, ever. What works for one doesn’t work for the other. What works for one on Monday totally snaps it shut like a dusty hinge-shelled bivalve on Tuesday. And what works in pornography RARELY works outside of pornography (unless jagermeister [or perhaps cocaine?] is involved). To make matters more confusing, the operating system functions more like the mind boggling Theremin than like the straightforward bike pump. Generally, it’s the most mysterious thing on the earth.

There’s a wealth of topics to discuss when it comes to the uh…womb, and I’m not getting into most of them today. The one aspect I do want to talk about is the way that we talk about them…the clams, beavers, and burgers of the world. It’s such a weird thing. Much like the organ itself, just referring to it is a confusing and terrifying ordeal, and often what’s appropriate in on setting becomes totally wrong in the next.

Consider the weird (highly gross) debate sparked by Oprah’s use of the term vajayjay (a stupid word that only the lamest euphemism-giddy dorks would ever use). It was noted, by the women of the View (all of whom probably have TERIFFIC vajajays by the way…no, seriously, picture Whoopi, Joy and Barbara sitting on that couch with no pants, legs spread…it’s glorious) that there’s a certain cultural communal shudder that occurs when people say ‘vagina.’ Barbara Walters then went on to illustrate this point by saying vagina over and over again. It was weird. And gross. And she’s right. The word vagina is pretty clinical and it’s not doing anyone any favors.

It’s a lot like penis I guess. You can’t use the words penis or vagina in a non medical way, (except as an insult. ‘don’t be such a penis’ is a good thing to tell someone) so while you can tell your doctor, “I’ve got an itchy vagina” you can’t say ‘oooh, baby, do you like the way I’m rubbing my vagina?’ without sounding like a total weirdo. Hell, you can’t even tell your friend that you’ve got an itchy vagina. You’d have to say what? What do women say? I know the general male term is pussy, and that women often say pussy when they’re talking intimately or crassly, but I just don’t really see women sitting around saying pussy to each other. In fact, I kind of think that women, for the most part refrain from even using euphemisms and go fully for kind of vaguely referring to the general zone, saying things like ‘down there’ or ‘in my pants’ or at the most specific something like ‘cooch’ which I guess is about the closest thing to ‘dick’ that the pussy has…but that’s sort of the thing I’ve been getting to.
What about the word pussy? Can’t really just bandy that one about, can you? I mean, I guess pussy is sort of the equivalent to cock in that it’s kind of a naughty word, but it’s also kind of like dick in that it’s pretty casual. It’s a good word, but you’re not saying pussy in any sort of polite company without really raising an eyebrow or two.

So, anyway, my daughter has a rash. It’s from diapers and it’s totally normal, however I’m not really comfortable using any term to really describe where the rash is. This has come up in talking to my wife, when I’ll say “oh, just so you know, the baby has a rash on her….uh….” and then kind of trail off. I mean, technically, it’s a pussy…but that’s just weird. You can’t call a baby’s vagina a pussy any more than you can call a babys dong a cock…it’s perverse somehow. You’ve pretty much gotta say ‘vagina’ or else you’re a weird, weird weirdo. But saying vagina, as we’ve mentioned before, kind of sucks. But there’s no real other way.

My son has a wiener. He’s comfortable saying wiener and so am I and if he brings it up in mixed company, it’s not that bad. It’s funny, and no one really gets uncomfortable. But when he asks me where his sister’s wiener is, and then asks ‘well then, what’s that?’ I don’t know what to say. What’s the cute little euphemism for clam that you can tell a toddler to use when referring to the main difference between himself and his female contemporaries? Burger? Snizz? Muff? Kitty? Twat? Gash? Snatch? Hedgehog? Vertical smile? Axe wound? Curtains? Squid? Cephalopod?

No. They’re all terrible. There’s not yet been a word invented that can be comfortably be used to describe female genitalia, specifically in a non-sexual, non clinical way.

Well, there’s cunt…maybe we’ll just go with cunt.
Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Peeeeete! Noooooooooo!

Pete Wentz is getting divorced, eh? Well, fuck. I guess the world really is the cruel unmanageable bitch goddess that the poets all talk about. I mean, if you think about it, it’s all gotta be so fucking horrifying for him. He got that wife of his spruced up so she was no longer a gargoyle faced troll, quit his band, had a kid and was living the dream, (though you can just tell that his wife is the exact kind of person that completely stops all the sucking and dirty texts once the baby gets there [also she seems like a complaining pain in the ass, AND she’s got that dad…ugh]) so there’s Pete, out in LA, growing out his jewfro rocking a BJ free existence getting constant calls from his father in law and his wife who are eternally yelling at him and (probably) insulting his masculinity…and he’s dealing with it, because he’s living the dream. He’s part of one of those couples that make news just by being around each other….

No, actually, this whole thing sounds like it sucks. There’s no way to spitshine being married to Ashlee Simpson. She’s a dumb toad and there’s very little escape from that. So there’s Pete, hounded by paparazzi, hounded by Joe Simpson, hounded by Ashlee, constantly driving meals over to Jessica’s house (again, probably) and all the while taking care of some kid that’s gotta be A) weird looking and B) duuuuuumb. What? No, okay, hear me out here:

Firstly, Ashlee’s ugly. Well, sure, she looks okay, but keep in mind that your idea of her being good looking is that of a 22 year old girl who’s already had plastic surgery. MOST girls are at least in decent shape at 22, and once you rearrange the face, you’re doing great. You’ve got a hot girl, unless you want to breed with them, because as scientists in the 1700’s discovered, no matter how many generations of rats you mutilate by cutting off their tails, the newborns maintain the genetic code of having the tail…you can’t alter the genes, so that means that baby is likely gonna wind up with that hook nose that Ashlee has, and that propensity for fatness that her sister has, and that general sheen of retardation that they both share. It’s gonna be rough, but hey! There’s Pete too, right? He’s part of the genetic material that goes into baby whatever-dumb-name-he-is. Right?

Well, that’s true. However, I don’t think Pete’s femme good looks or his immense talent are gonna tip these scales in the face of such overwhelming dumbness/grotesquete. I mean, let’s be honest…Pete’s a handsome dude. He’s not exactly the most uh…gifted musician in the world. If he was, that fat turd in the expensive hats wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar (and puh-lease spare me all the ‘pat stump is skinny now!’ shit…he’s always gonna be that little if-the-pilsbury-doughboy-loved-prince looking dude that I fell in love with) I’m a bass player, much in the same way that Pete’s a bass player. I stand there, I flail around, I occasionally play the bass, and I talk between songs. I’m not the greatest musician in the world, but I’m Getty Lee compared to Pete Wentz.

No, Pete is (was) in that band because he’s A) good looking (something that his kid will not be, for the reasons stated above) and B) clever (again, above) with his sparkling wordplay and his irreverent disdain for concise song titles and all that.

Honestly, Pete’s a uh…(god I hate this word) visionary if he’s anything. He figured out how to rope a trio of complete dweebs together and have them make music around him while he just kind of stands there. He’s also figured out how to parlay that into being one of the most famous people in the world. No small feat when you consider that he’s the most useless of those four guys, in terms of actual output, and that those guys are dorks, like first-name-basis-with-the-guy-at-the-comicbook-store-dorks. (at this point someone will undoubtedly point out that Pete contributes a TON of output because he writes the words to the songs, to which I will respond ‘uh, so?’ Thanks to Mr. Stump’s lack of enunciation, every line of every fall out boy song is completely incomprehensible, which means that even if Pete’s words are amazing [they probably are] they’re irrelevant. It’s like suggesting that I’m increasing the value of my house by putting on little plays for my dogs in my bedroom…regardless of quality, it’s not at all what the buyer is looking for.)

SO yeah, Pete’s a smart dude that somehow shepherded a flock of nerds to the top of the charts and became famous for fucking a baby into a chick that was ugly then forced herself into hotness and fame even though she’s one of the most uniquely untalented and irritating mongoloids to ever wipe an ass. He talks to Jay Z on the phone and he texts his dick around…It bears mentioning that he’s gotta be rich as shit too…He’s from Winnetka, so I guess technically he’s always been rich as shit….eh. Probably has a gaggle of chicks lined up to blow him and text him tit pictures now too…I dunno. I’m going to the fucking museum.

See you in hell.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

highly stupid pseudo science content ahead (with a little buck angel, just to keep it classy)

So, the world as we know it, the age of mammals, it’s gotta be coming to an end soon, right? I mean I’m not a doomsayer or anything, I don’t think we’re all gonna die in a fireball, but in the next say, 1000 years, something’s gonna happen, something’s gotta give, don’tcha think? I mean, I’ve been watching the discovery channel (well, not recently, but I HAVE watched the discovery channel) and they have a ton of shows devoted to super volcanoes, massive typhoons, meteors hitting the earth, nuclear devastation, life after man, magnetic pole shifting and switching and so on. Add to that the fact that we’re running out of things like water and oil and the weather is getting more and more erratic and well, like I said, I don’t think WE specifically are fucked, but our kids’ kids may want to get their living in early. I mean, there’s no way this bullshit’s gonna stand for another millennium, right?

Of course not.

They say that the mollusk is the likely candidate to take over the role of dominant class of animals after we’re dead. As you probably know, octopi already display remarkable dexterity (which is crucial in evolutionary high-function brain development, apparently) and are pretty adept at problem solving, even figuring out how to unscrew the lid of a jar to get to something inside. AND they pick winning soccer teams. Can’t forget that.

The point is, once the dust settles (millions of years of evolution after the land and/or air can no longer sustain mammals) and the squids come out of the sea and start swinging from trees, there’s an evolutionary blueprint that seems to indicate that they could be the next species to develop shit like umbrellas and shoelaces and hair gel (well, those are probably three pretty bad examples, but you don’t know how a million years will change a mollusk, bro. They could all have feet and hair and prance around in pompadours on their way to the titty bar just like you and me [though in fairness, it seems highly doubtful that they’d develop tits]). However, this seems to ignore that there are probably a zillion other ways for environment to usher in an evolutionary focus on the higher brain functions, right? Ways we haven’t thought of…ways that aren’t just the way that we (ya know, by way of the monkeys) got here. It’s a crazy mixed up world man. Different strokes get different animal classes into that coveted top spot. And we’re probably the worst at being on top of any animal ever, so we should probably ignore our path to dominance, as it was likely kind of a flukey glitch.

That whole virus theory that was explored in the Matrix (Hugo Weaving suggests that humanity behaves not like mammals, who enjoy a symbiotic relationship with their environments, but rather like a virus, which consumes, depletes, destroys and moves on) is actually a little more interesting and thought provoking than most people would like to admit to something from a Keanu Reeves movie being. Obviously, it’s dramatic, but we do exist in a profoundly weird ecological zone where we’re not really doing anything but depleting and destroying everything else. It’s not like when the bears kill the deer and the raccoons (for example) as part of a larger food chain/ecological exchange/population balancing situation…I mean, obviously. I’m not gonna get into all that. I’m also not saying we’re a virus. I‘m more just kind of riffing on how doomed we are (and did you know that the one Warshawski brother that’s now a woman used to date [and fuck!] Buck Angel??!! How rad is that?) and thinking, as a person of my unique social grouping is wont to do in the mornings, about dinosaurs.

Any alien that would ever take the time to examine our planet would undoubtedly categorize it as a planet of giant, scaly, feathery beasts. Our planet’s history is so overwhelmingly dominated by giant lizards and birds and bird/lizards that to suggest that this is a planet of humans is kind of like suggesting that your grandma’s old house is a house that’s traditionally inhabited by bats just because a few lived in there for the last two weeks before the shit was bulldozed. Them dinosaurs, boy, they were around for a long time. I mean, 160 million years (if the pop-up literature strewn around my living room is to be believed). We’re just dust in the wind, the buzzing of flies to Vigo and so forth. And yet here, at the pinnacle of our technological advancement we’re so into getting the rubes riled up and watching celebrity cokeheads show their pussies (which, in fairness, is awesome) that we’re just gleefully sliding into the sea like some kind of mixed metaphor Nero/Caligula/California situation.

I’m not complaining. I’ve been reading about dinosaurs all morning. They seem like they were even bigger idiots than us, so uh…there’s that.

Although they do have that time traveling train, which is pretty advanced.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Recently, one of my tweetards (if you’re on twitter at all, you’ve probably noticed that all the really good celebrity accounts [snooki, perfect example] feature little terms of endearment for their followers, and that these terms of endearment are almost always ‘tweet’ based puns…and I’m nothing if not an amazing celeb tweeter, y’all) turned me on to the website and I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty amazed by the whole thing. It’s left me deeply shaken and confused, but I guess at the end of the day I back the whole thing. I guess…Hard to say. Okay, let’s start at what little I can glean from my perusal:

At first glance, Is anyone up is a fairly typical blog not unlike guess her muff or is she filthy (RIP) that features random naked chicks. Nothing weird there. I mean, something like 64% of the internet focuses on the successful pairing of tits/pussy and honestly, when I get to a website DEVOID of female nudity, I’m a little disappointed. Anyway…

This website also features a pretty sizeable helping of cock in the mix, which is cool. I’m into dudes showing off their junk, if for no other reason than it’s pretty hilarious to see the shots that a guy picks as representative once his dick is out. It’s pretty much all focused on how good his dong looks in the picture (um, it’s always gonna look funny), and this can be at the expense of him having his gut grossly bunching up or a completely weird look on his face…whatever. It’s pretty amusing to see dudes whipping out their dongs, period, but in a situation where they’re attempting to be sexy for anyone other than other dudes, well, uh…heh.

Okay, so that’s the main gist of the site. The pictures, it should be noted, are almost all self portraits, taken with cel phones and/or with laptop cameras. It also becomes apparent after a little looking around that while a lot of the pictures are sent in by the people in the pictures, a lot of them seem to have been sent in by other people, as in, I send you a pic of my tits because we’re fucking/having flirty times via cel phone, you send them to the website just to kind of be a cocksucker and then I send them that pic of your wang and boom! We’re both on this website where kids communicate through a whole series of misspelled words, acronyms and strange (third party, pirated, non porn) pictures that I’m aware enough to realize are part of one of a few pretty large memes, but not really into enough to see the humor in. In short, the whole thing seems kind of cruel and dumb, but there’s two points that make this fascinating:

1) The people on the site don’t seem to find it to be cruel or dumb. In fact, what started out as a guy posting stolen and repurposed private beav shots (the legality of the whole thing baffles me, but they’ve got a legal section that they claim absolves them from all uh…I dunno lawsuit type problems? Seems like it’s gonna fuck em in the ass, but what do I know?) has now turned into chicks and dudes sending him pictures. They whole thing is wildly popular and it bears mentioning that the dude that runs the site is probably up to his ears in pussy, he’s got tons of uh, ‘fans’ and they all operate under the same general pretenses which are: ‘we dont spell or punctuate or capitalize and we leav the last letters off words and use tons of acronyms LMAFO’ and ‘getting naked on the internet is awesome, and it doesn’t REALLY matter if that picture was supposed to be private as long as the commenters think I’m hot” which leads me to the second reason that this website is so fascinating:

2) I’m clearly old as shit, because none of this makes any sense to me. I look at all the misspellings and the uh…I guess ‘betrayal of trust’ (though that’s a highly fruity phrase that I don’t like using) that’s fueling this site and I think that it’s a depraved fucked up world of mongos, but then GASP!!!! Isn’t that what my parents thought about the shit I did when I was a kid? Isn’t that the eternal struggle between young and old? Isn’t it that VERY NOTION of not being able to realize when something’s dumb vs. just fun or something’s ‘how shit is’ vs. ‘depraved’ that makes people old and square? I mean, at the risk of answering my own rhetorical question, um…yes. It is. I mean, it’s become clear to me, via this website, that I’m completely out of touch. I’ve been respectfully asking for pictures of your cans/snizz/piece for years, and sure, I get one here and there, but this guy just started taking em without asking, and now he can’t update his site fast enough, there’s so much tang in his inbox. I guess that’s the way you get shit now. You just take. Wow. It’s cold in the D, folks.

I suppose it’s kind of a weird parallel to how I don’t illegally download records, not because I’m terribly opposed to stealing (I do it with porn) but because when I started consuming records, I had no choice but to buy them, and so now when I think about getting a new record, I think about buying it, because I KNOW HOW to buy records, and I don’t know how to download them. I know it’s easy and I could learn, but what the fuck? It seems like something I should just buy, I always have.

BUT, I talk to some of my friends that are in their early 20’s and they’ve NEVER bought a record. EVER. That’s the way it’s going. Those people would never just start paying for something that they’ve always gotten for free. It’s a totally, totally different set of rules, and I guess maybe that’s what’s happening over at Is Anyone Up too…it’s a whole new world of getting shit for free and kind of being rewarded for taking that I don’t understand, but I guess I’m not really supposed to. I’m just a desiccated grandpa that has let the world pass him by.

Also, it bears mentioning that a lot of the dudes who’s cocks are featured on this website are ‘famous’ but I’ve never heard of any of their bands. I mean, I would guess they’re bands from New Jersey and Orange County based on the haircuts and humongous amounts of tattoos on these people (which is a whole other thing…these kids are covered. Their dicks, tits, faces [faces!], throats, hands, fingers…I mean, I’m not some square that’s worried about them getting a job someday [never gonna happen by the way], I just think it’s crazy that you’d cover your whole body at such a young age. What about later on when you want to get a tattoo and the only place left is under your nutsack? What about the fact that your whole body is gonna be a walking, talking ode to the aesthetic sensibility that you had when you were 22? It seems a bit crazy, but again, what the fuck do I know?) but I’ve never even HEARD of these bands and I’m guessing that they’re pretty popular. They pretty much all look like they’d be in AP, if they’d put their dicks away.

What the fuck happened? I used to know what was going on…I used to be with it, but (to paraphrase Abe) they’ve clearly changed what ‘it’ is…WTF? LMFAO. LOL. Sigh…

Tits? Send em in. Fuck…I’ll post em. Is that what you people want? Where’s my cane?

Friday, February 4, 2011

hut! hut! Heeeeeeeeeeeike!

So, this weekend, Saturday to be specific, I’m gonna be hosting the depravity down at the L and L tavern on Clark and Belmont. I’ll be trying to get your speed addled bodies back to a reasonable ground zero by putting beer after shot after beer in front of you (spoiler alert: You’re still gonna end up shitting your pants). Don’t be a pudwacker. Come down and celebrate the day before my mom’s (and Axl Rose’s) birthday in style.

You know what else is this weekend? The super bowl. That’s right, people. I’m sure it’s slipped everyone’s mind, since it’s kind of a low key event for understated sophisticates and everything, but I remembered. I actually mark it on my calendar so I can get out there and get my shit together before our nation’s stores of cheese poofs and guacamole are depleted. This sudden spike in junk food sales must make it a weird time to work in the frozen, oven bake jalapeno popper factory. Just a thought.

Well, I for one absolutely hate football. I find it to be boring and slow paced and hosted by smug mongoloids in bad suits and aimed at the kinds of people who drink pepsi right out of the two liter (and don’t get me started on that fucking dance-stepping robot/truck thing on Fox). The whole thing is loud and obnoxious and it sucks and it’s been bumming me out ever since I started forming opinions on things.

I know, I know. This makes me sound like some kind of lame, effete, elitist shitsack, and you know what? Fine. I’m a lame effete, elitist shitsack then, because as far as I can tell, the ONLY thing about football that’s even remotely cool is that it’s an excuse to get hammered and eat garbage on Sunday morning/Monday night, and that’s respectable for sure. But couldn’t we have come up with something that wasn’t so fucking dull? No? No one? I’m the ONLY person on earth that doesn’t give a fuck about football?

Fine. But hear me out.

When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was watch Diff’rent Strokes and Silver Spoons. These were the programs that got me through my week. They were like my Dinosaur Train, (if I can extrapolate what’s going on in my living room right now back a couple of decades), and I loved them. They came on Sunday nights, after football. This would inevitably lead to my shows being pre-empted for the final 3 minutes of some dumb game that for some ungodly reason would drag on for forty five minutes and ultimately lead me to miss Arnold and Willis all together and join Ricky and Alphonso already in progress, which, to put it mildly, was bullshit of the highest order.

This began my hatred of football, but it in no way stopped there. In gradeschool I was kind of a faggy nerd and I used to use recess as an opportunity to practice drawing comics and reading. Every once in a great while, for some dumb reason, everyone that was playing football would corral me into playing and of course it sucked because I was (here comes what‘s known in stand up as a ‘callback,’ folks) an effete pansy and had no idea what the fuck was going on. SO, after abandoning my markers and my sketches of Garfield, I’d go out onto some field with a bunch of kids that didn’t like me (for the express purposes of evening out their teams, that I couldn’t give less of a fuck about) in order for them to humiliate me and call me a homo because I didn’t know shit about their dumb game that I DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO PLAY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

So the hating of football continued.

When I turned ten my friend Nick turned me onto the Dead Milkmen and I started skateboarding and suddenly, I was no longer a pariah. I became uh…I guess whatever the ten year old version of ‘edgy’ is. I was, as a result, fully able to dismiss the gradeschool hegemony, including Aerosmith, Nikes and of course, football. Suddenly, rejecting football was making me kind of interesting. This lasted pretty much the entirety of my youth, through highschool and college and well into my adulthood.

But then shit changed. I was never much of a jock, but lots of my friends had super athletic backgrounds. I mean, I played team sports, but I either sucked at them or didn’t give a fuck about them or most likely both (an exception to this is hockey, which I played for 12 years until someone held me down and shaved my head with sheepshears, when I was 16 [a story worth its own entry] finally forever severing the last of my interest in sports) and at some point they all decided to start following sports again. Fine. I got no problem with that. I’m a pretty decent fair weather fan (which is fine, you drooling loons. If everyone painted their fucking stomachs, you wouldn’t even be a blip, duuuuude. It’s only in relation to the casual fan that the weirdos can forge their identities based solely on liking something that they don’t do, so relax).

I like baseball and I remember the glory days of bulls basketball (when I was buck naked on Lincoln Avenue and a truck of riot cops pulled up and rather than arrest me, they just said “hey, get your beer off the street” and drove off. Awesome), but one place that I could never follow everyone to was fucking football, the most popular and lame of all sports.

So suddenly, here I am, 34, surrounded by fantasy football, superbowl parties, a bunch of dildos in stupid uniforms, some dumb weekly trek to sit in some loud room while a bunch of assholes scream in unison and scare the shit out of my kids and all for what? So I can have a fucking beer and some nachos? Fuck that. I don’t care. The emperor wears no clothes. Football is still stupid and it’s still the pastime of mongoloids. And fine, I’m a lame, effete spoil sport, the worst kind of elitist. I can handle that. I’ve been that my whole life. Fuck you people and your dumb game.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Garfield sketches to finish up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

the gossip game

The big news, of course they’re rioting in Egypt and Anderson cooper got his ass whupped a little bit. It seems like it’s very exciting and scary and it’s gonna get uglier before it gets better, but man…big deal. I urge everyone to keep up on these events as they unfold because mark my words, they’re gonna be the basis of a whole lot of things that go on worldwide this year, for better or worse.

In other news, I’m bartending this Saturday at the L and L on Belmont and Clark from ten to three. It’s gonna be a raucous good time and I expect to see you all there. I’m gonna be bullshitting and slingin suds in a one time only appearance, so get down there and ask me awkward questions about songs/blogs/old bands I used to be in and watch me roll my eyes and pretend to wash glasses. This is the bar where the Lawrence Arms was born, folks and no understanding of our childish, remedial songs can be complete without hanging out there while I hand you beers. Don’t get caught sleepin, yo!

Finally, I’ve got a new demo recorded and it’s really exciting to me. I’ve now got 2 dope tunes done and 2 more still in the grist mill being mixed (as well as another 7 in my head) and I’m feeling pretty good about shit. Things are happening, folks. Slowly, to be sure, but they’re happening.

Finally finally, it’s a good thing I have this demo because it’s so cold and snowy here (in Chicago) that there’s no going outside, there’s no moving the cars. There’s nothing to do but rot inside and there’s NO BETTER way to pass the time when you’re avalanched in than to snuggle up to the rumor mill and warm your hands. Below are five stories about famous punk rockers snatched from my crack team of investigative journalists and printed here for your pleasure. All these stories are 100% true, except for one, which is fabricated. See if you can spot the phony story.
Have fun folks!

Punk rumors with Beex!

Item! Tom Gabel seen with Les Moonves discussing the fate of Chuck Sheen and by extension the CBS programming empire. While recently on tour in LA, Tom met the network chief at the Ivy and was overheard to say “fuck, Les, what are you gonna do? He’s a cash cow and we both know that money talks….Well, not like the way Kacey Jordan’s been talking, am I right? Seriously though, get that cheese, Les.” they then reportedly burst into laughter, unbuckled their belts, lit cigars and leaned back onto large pillows of money.

Spotted! Matt Skiba who’s made no secret of his love for post-depression era Teutonic regalia turned more than a few heads this weekend when he showed up to Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe’s ‘get the cold out’ party dressed as none other than the kraut kyboshing Winston Churchill. With his head freshly shaved into the traditional toilet-seat ring, a fat suit and Winston’s telltale limp and cane, Skiba’s new style surprised partygoers and raised quite a stir when he remarked to NeNe’s daughter “my dear, I may be drunk, but you’re ugly and in the morning I’ll be sober.”

Orange Alert! A very inebriated Tim McIlrath was spotted leaving a Detroit nightclub and reportedly got into a scuffle with some local clubbers when someone called him “Snooki,” referring to the results of his new bronzer and tanning bed regimen. A slurring McIlrath allegedly pulled a pistol from underneath his oversized Raptor’s starter jacket and told the gathering crowd that he was “ DTF some mofo’s up” and asked “who wants to step to this?” before his entourage reportedly whisked him into his humvee. McIlrath is wanted for questioning in Wayne county.

80’s night? Brian “coco” Fallon made a stir when he debuted his new look on a recent taping of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Coco reportedly arrived to pick up Bruce Jenner wearing a “tron-esqe neon lycra jumpsuit and robotic backpack.” When aksed about the ensemble, Coco was heard to laughingly remark “Don’t be a biiiiiitch! Tron is fabu!” He and Jenner reportedly then got into Fallon’s lime green ford Fiesta, pumped up Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax and sped off into the night.

Someone’s got a case of the Uh-Ohs! Looks like Tim Armstrong of Rancid fame got a little more than he bargained for when he inadvertently tweeted a picture of his erect penis to his one million plus followers accompanied by the caption “tastes like cocoa puffs.” The tweet has since been deleted but not before it created quite an uproar. Reached for comment, Armstrong remarked “it’s unfortunate to be sure, but I have hedonistic proclivities just like everyone else. It’s deeply lamentable that this faux pas occurred and I express a deep regret that…” ah, fuck…I should stop. I don’t even know this guy.
Come see me on Saturday!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Prince

So, the other night I was out late (keep in mind that in my world that means [and I’m not shitting you here] that it was 845) working on a rather large editing project with my friend Nick when we ran out of beer. This was hardly surprising, as the only beer we had at the office was a single bottle of Corona, the last survivor of an ancient six pack that we’d purchased over the summer back when this project first got underway (it survived so long due to the fact that it’s been cold and only perverts, dangerous psychopaths and wealthy, hulking, oddly shiny black dudes drink Corona when it’s cold out) and a Heineken that Nick pilfered from his mom’s refrigerator before coming to the office. Editing is long, hard and tedious work, and there’s pretty much no way to get through it on just one Dutch beer and one Mexican beer, so I volunteered to make a quick run to the store across the way.

Well, it was cold and the store was closed, but at this point I’d already committed, so I got into my car and drove down the block to a liquor store that I knew for sure was gonna be open.

It was Sunday night, really cold and really dead. The only other person in the place was the swarthy north African/middle eastern looking guy behind the counter. He had a buzzcut that extended seamlessly into his stubble and he was wearing some sort of Areopostale zip up situation with one of those little mock turtleneck pop collars. He had on what I can only imagine were very expensive jeans and though I couldn’t see them, I’d bet nine inches of my large intestine that his shoes were a bright primary color and extremely fast looking.

This dude was dressed pretty nicely for being a clerk at a liquor store, but in my travels, I’ve come to realize that only the American white, black and latino population really just gives up on appearance once they start working as a cashier. And if we’re really being honest, it’s the white folk that drop off first. You can still go to a Taco Bell in downtown Cincinatti and see a nineteen year old girl with her shirt knotted to the side, a fresh weave in and long, bright red nails, a Monroe piercing and super red lips sitting there chatting with her girl who’s got new braids, nice lashes and diamonds all over her phone…all while you just want either one of them to grab you one of those gross burritos so you can get the fuck out of there. You can still find that without too much trouble.

Definitely if you’ve got a young black cashier (even dudes!), the chances are at least 50% that they’re dressing for the job they want (young millionaire who can indulge whatever goofy ideas about fashion might just pop up at any given moment) not the job they have (“would you like to super size that?”) and that’s a pretty cool thing.

You can also find Latina women dolled up behind the register. This is burned into my memory due to the preponderance of gorgeous Latina women that various friends of mine, upon seeing behind the counter at the movie theater/711/Burger King/grocery store have all talked about going back to ask out, just due to her massive hotness to which I reply “um…that girl was seventeen at MOST,” to which some joke is usually made that has no place in polite society but let’s just say it involves skirting the finer points of the law and snug fits. Usually, the Latina girls have painstakingly constructed makeup situations that seem to require no less than three autonomously functioning minds/hands to apply and huge tits. Pretty good combo. And that’s pretty much where it ends in America.

The rest of the clerks…the vast majority of them, are dressed like Mark David Chapman. I mean, if we’re talking ANYONE over the age of 30, you can bet that they’re nothing but oversized t shirts, jeans, slack jaw, hair that’s never been combed, vacant stare of the damned, a small teenager worth of unsightly neck and belly flab dangling off them and a general sense that they hate themselves and by extension you…even though, actually it’s probably the other way around. You know what I mean. If you live in the US, or you’ve even spent any time here, you’re well aware of these cashiers, people who barely look like they did anything at all between getting out of bed and glaring at you for wanting a pack of cough drops, but that’s not how it is everywhere.

No, most places, and even in the states when you start dealing with non-American clerks, people dress nicely and maybe they’re not NICE (because, frankly, expecting someone that works at a liquor store or a fast food place to be nice is kind of asking a lot) but you get the sense that they’re not just ready to fall over dead or commit a crime. You don’t get the feeling that they cry at night. Sometimes, like my guy in the liquor store, they’re spruced up pretty fucking impressively, even. This is particularly true of the younger north African/middle east guys, and there’s something else about those dudes…

A few years ago, I went into a convenience store in Prague to buy a bottle of water. When I walked in, the dude behind the counter (Indian) said “hey boss, how’s it going” with the exact same accent, inflection and attitude that the guy at my corner store uses. And of course. English is the Esperanto of right now and the dude in Prague and the dude in Chicago could have come from the same town…why would their delivery be any different. But it struck me as wild that the experience was identical, even in another country where everything else is different, that convenience stores with foreign clerks are the great cultural portals here in the western world. They’re all the same. It’s the same English, the same clerks, the same items…it’s like a tiny little outsourced embassy, no matter where you go. You will be called boss or buddy and you will be able to get a coke and some peanut butter cups.

Woah. (What if C-A-T really spelled ‘dog’ bro?)

Anyway, so I’m cold from my trek to get the beer, and by this point it’s creeping towards 850, so I’m in a hurry to get back so we can get some more shit done and I can get to bed at a reasonable hour, and I decide that, because of the weather, I’m interested in some dark beer. I like a stout or a brown ale when it’s cold, and I was especially interested in this sort of stylistic weather synergy because I’d just choked down that unseasonable Corona.

So, I’m standing there trying to navigate the baffling world of beer that’s kind of expensive when this guy walks in.

He’s about 6’4,” he’s got the body of a big, sloppy refrigerator and he’s wearing a red knit hat that slides down and doesn’t fold back up, like the kind that snowboarders wear. It’s got some wacky grey design dancing back and forth across it. That part isn’t that weird. His coat, however was pretty questionable. It was black, floor length, with a perma-popped collar and zippers all over every inch of it. It was something that Marilyn Manson would have worn fifteen years ago or Jared Leto would wear now. It was skin tight. The bottom of the coat parted to reveal his combat boots with big, lift soles. The guy, in short, was a total clown.

He sashayed in and swept past me, giving me this look like I was spontaneously sprouting dicks from every pore in my face (although it should be mentioned, in fairness, that I was just kind of staring, open mouthed, at this dude and his skin tight floor length coat [which was in no small way acting like a girdle, holding the waves of processed formerly-filet-o-fish meal-fat rolls]) and stopped briefly in front of the cooler with the shitty beer. He grabbed a sixer of PBR and strode back towards the well dressed clerk. Again, he shot me a shitty look.

I followed with my purchase (a sixpack of Newcastle) and after this dude pranced off into the night, I gave the clerk some kind of knowing glance, kind of a ‘how bout that turd, eh?’ kind of look, to which the clerk responded by giving me a look that clearly said “um, you dildos are all the same to me, bro.”

So, yeah. I got my beer and walked out, and there, waiting for the bus right by my car was the prince of dark zippers still giving me the evil eye and clasping his PBR like a dainty little purse up by his chest.

I think he may have just officially ruined PBR for me. I know that it’s already the domain of all sorts of deesh and the hipster kids have brought it back from the edge of the grave due to its cheap irony and all that, but I can deal with a bunch of mustachioed fruits covered in sweatbands and antlers that think they’re way cooler than me…I can handle those fucking guys. It’s the complete dorks that flummox me.

There’s irony and genuine enjoyment and there’s a third thing…a thing where you just can’t deal with being a fan of something that certain other people like. It’s a delicate thing…it’s the people that are one or two clicks away from you socially.

You can like Ke$sha and ICP with impunity because it’s so far from your perceived taste that you can just kind of say “yeah, fuck you…that shit’s dope” and feel iconoclastic or like you’re bucking notions of stereotype or whatever. You CANNOT, however like Hoobastank. Even a good hoobastank song (bear with me) is just uh…you gotta pretend, man. Because there are dudes that look like me who DO like hoobastank, and I don’t want to be confused with those guys. People KNOW I’m not a juggalo or a teenybopper, but the day that I get mistaken for one of those San Diego dipshits that wears the punk-appropriated-by-nu-metal-and-von-dutch style, well, that’s too far. I know, this goes against everything I’ve ever said…life’s full of paradoxes and contradictions, man. It’s a many splendored flower, bro. Uh…woah.

That’s kind of how I feel about this fat zipper prince and his PBR. And here’s the weird thing: I don’t even buy PBR. I just can’t bear that me and that guy are into anything approaching the same thing…for any reason at all. Well, we obviously both like ketamine and whacking off. So maybe I’m turned around on the whole thing.
I don’t know. It’s only 830am. I don’t have it all figured out just yet.