Friday, May 27, 2011

Terror and punk rock. Not the band Terror. The other terror.

Remember after 9-11 when they pulled all the metal and aggressive songs off the radio and suddenly the only shit that anyone was playing was some John Cougar song about a perfect world and Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton? That was weird, right?

I mean, it made sense I guess, and lord knows that anything at all that makes Let the Bodies Hit the Floor seem inappropriate can at least be said to have a silver lining, however infinitesimally small. But I remember thinking, around September fifteenth or so that the country, at least sonically, had undergone a massive pussification. The hardest song that got radio play was Alive by that band of tubby latino dudes in hockey jerseys and braids. And let’s be frank, that was not the best song in the world, but those first couple of notes in the chorus were pretty bombastic and it came about as close as anything that was being peddled at the time to speaking to the feelings of anger, hurt and a desire for some kind of ‘redemption’ (barf) that was being felt en masse by a lot of people who were kind of struck dumb by an extremely senseless act of violence.

Eh, right now would be a good time, I suppose, to call myself on the bullshit of that last statement. “Senseless” is a completely inappropriate word in this context. The violence that a bunch of unfortunate innocents [and probably some real assholes too if we’re just taking the general makeup of the personalities of any randomly selected group of 3 thousand people and applying it here] were subjected to at the WTC was terrible and shitty, but there was a perverse logic to it. In fact, the logic is not even really that perverse. It just sucks.

However, it’s funny, and it seems that in this post 9-11 world there’s become a need to reduce the “Terrorists” out there to a pack of drooling mongoloids with no grip on reality in one breath and then in the next breath whisper about the elaborate networks, global schemes and macgyver like nuclear devices that they’re able to create out of dust and rocks and sneak onto planes and detonate from remote locations. You can’t really have it both ways. Either they’re sneaky geniuses that operate outside our vast network of surveillance somehow, or they’re idiots.

Look, I get it. We’ve got an Orwellian newspeak deal going on with the Islamic extremists and the words we can use to discuss them are words like “simple, zealots, senseless, monsters, evil,” shit like that. That’s all part and parcel with taking sides in a war. The model that our propaganda would have us believe Al Qaeda most closely resembles is that of an ant colony. There’s a familial head that controls everything from deep within its lair. Everyone else is mindless, controlled by compulsion and subliminal directives from inside the ‘brain’ of the operation, but the resulting network is remarkably adept, despite the unfeeling, almost brainless nature of the drones that make it up. But really, it’s not like that at all.

In fact, most of us know, whether we’d like to admit it to ourselves or not, that there in fact was a real, concrete point to 9-11 and it was essentially something like “Hey assholes! You’re in our country making zillions of dollars! We’re all poor and you’re killing us and the results are nothing but a bunch of fatties zipping around in SUV’s from the KFC to the whorehouse and back again halfway across the earth from where my dead mom (who you killed) is buried, and we’re not gonna take it anymore!”

Of course, in actuality, most of this terror is plotted by billionaires who have no practical or visceral reason to be enraged or die (and who are, in a lot of cases complicit profiteers in not only the petroleum business, but also the business of war) and carried out by young people who are super stoked to be part of something and (usually) super angry because western occupation has probably fucked up their family/life/home at some point. In this way, it’s not a stretch to draw a comparison between young terrorists/freedom fighters (depending on who you are) and punk rock kids. Yup. Truth. Look:

Both come from all walks of life and both bring in recruits using jargon, sloganeering and a hefty ‘us vs the world’ mentality. Both are sort of helmed by an extremely loose federation of wildly successful men and in both cases, the young zealots that are newly indoctrinated into the lifestyle are willing to do just about anything to prove their allegiance to the cause. AND, both are remarkably ineffectual, despite what the news would have you believe.

Punk rock is about as significant a catalyst for true social change as a bunch of snickers bars glued together in the shape of a pig is a viable presidential candidate. There’s nothing wrong with that. Punk rock is fun and cool and as someone who spent my entire youth and early adulthood operating completely in the trenches of the punk rock economy, I gotta say it’s an unbelievable good time and a great way to meet people and learn about stuff, but it’s no more of a catalyst for real change than any place that offers an experience. It’s no different than law school or backpacking through Europe or a calligraphy class in Chinatown. It’s something that YOU do and YOU get an experience out of it and perhaps at some point YOU will apply those punk rock experiences and ideas in another avenue and revolutionize something, but punk rock itself is just as much of a tired institution as anything else, and it’s got no momentum. It’s just doing the same shit over and over again as new people discover Crass, Nofx, Blink 182, Fifteen, the Clash or Greenday, and as old, disenfranchised punks get tired of pledging allegiance to the same slogans that they promised to love forever when they were sixteen. Punk rock is a journey in that regard, or a transforming tunnel ride at Six Flags. You go in dumb and you come out jaded (and for most of us, still dumb).

Islamic terrorism is the same kind of thing, but with a real overtly stated mission to change the world. It could be argued that they totally nailed it one time (9-11 is the Clash of terror) but they’re NEVER gonna come anywhere close to achieving what they’re trying to achieve. They’re just a bunch of ragged outsider kids who freak out the squares, talk a big game and when shit gets real, don’t really have a lot of brains in their heads or practical know how to pull much off. I recently watched an interview with a global terror and warfare expert and when he was asked who we, as Americans should fear, he said “fear China. They’re repurposing our military satellites remotely. Al Qaeda can’t even blow up their own underpants.”

And that’s true. That’s remarkably frank and true. And it’s a good reminder that this shit isn’t all just propaganda and idiots that somehow fall ass backwards into pulling of sophisticated acts of mass death; that in the world of terror, there ARE intelligent misguided people. They DO have an agenda that’s maybe evil, but not always senseless and they ARE by and large ineffectual idiots. In punk rock, we are intelligent and misguided people with a smattering of various agendas and in the end, most people are idiots and we’re no different.

The biggest similarity, however, is that while both “movements” fail completely (and always will) at delivering their purported goal (of a harmonious world that thinks and acts just like them) they both completely and unequivocally succeed at their overt, unspoken and distasteful-within-the-ranks-of-the-converted goal. Punk rock is entertainment and Terrorism inspires fear.

And in those regards, both absolutely nail it.

Okay, I’m off to listen to Vanessa Carlton. Enjoy your weekend!

(oh, and just by the way, I'm in no way trying to belittle any suffering at the hands of terrorists or acts of terror anywhere worldwide so don't get all pissy. That shit's horrible, and while it's reductive to call things completely ineffectual that have a concrete result of somebody's loved ones ending up dead, the point that I'm making is it doesn't further any agenda besides instilling fear, so please, please don't misread the point. Thanks!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baby, baby, baby!

Man, so two of my best friends (they’re a husband/wife combo) had a little baby last night. I went to bed around ten and the last thing I said to my wife was something along the lines of “good night. I’m really glad you didn’t just have a baby…wanna bone?” To which she replied “no I don’t wanna bone. And yeah, me too.” Having babies is exhausting. The funny thing about this is that our former baby and current three year old did something that he’s never really done before last night. Namely, he got up several times throughout the night and walked around yelling.

He wasn’t particularly upset or anything, he was just kind of rolling around the house yelling “mommy, daddy,” and essentially celebrating that he’s figured out how to escape his room. He woke up for the day at a completely unacceptable 502AM, and this is after a night of yelling. I FEEL like my old lady just had a baby, I tell you what.

But, there’s a difference between having a new crying baby and having an impudent toddler just flouting the rules in your house. The baby, one would hope, you treat with the tender concern of the terrified new parent (scrambling for diapers, food, etc) while with the toddler you just fight the urge to hog tie him and leave him on the porch.

I’m currently exhausted and it’s rainy out today. Therefore, I have nothing to do with my kids and no energy not to do it with. My baby is just waking up now (738) but I’ve been up for an ungodly amount of time, and I’m bound and determined to get this blog entry completed before I go in there and start bowing to her inevitable list of demands. Fuuuuuuuuuck.

It’s funny to think about this: the greatest minds of our future, the scientists and musicians and scholars and porn actresses, they’re all little babies and toddlers right now. Right now, someone that will grow up to completely revolutionize life as we’ve always known it is pissing in a corner somewhere with a magic marker up their nose. Your future son in law is shitting in his pants as we speak and a president of the United states, one that may be responsible for the deaths of millions of as-of-yet untargeted brown people is currently somewhere begging for someone to please give him a string cheese, turn on Go Diego Go and wipe his ass at the same time. It’s pretty wild.

Conversely, there are the perverts and the weirdos and the evil people of the earth. The next guy to (for example) cut up cheerleaders and turn their tits into hats is probably sitting beneath the coffee machine watching his mom suck off longshoremen in some motel 6 lobby somewhere. AND, because of that guy, a few other babies out there won’t reach their potential as the next Colonel Sanders/Barack Obama/George Lopez/Rick Santorum/Kal Penn/David Blaine. Life is bizarre, and there’s nothing so bizarre as checking out the way kids grow up and defy expectations.

A buddy of mine used to flush rabbits down the toilet. He once locked his cleaning lady in the basement of his house for like three days. He once uprooted a clearing of saplings with his bare hands on an ecology field trip. He was, in no uncertain terms a very bad kid. He had all sorts of learning disabilities and behavioral problems and he generally terrified most parents and teachers in our community. His parents were also nice people, married and well off. He had a brother who was pretty well behaved in comparison to him. There was no reason that I, as a parent who tends to look at things like causality can see that made him such a menace. And yet, he was a total fucking menace. The assumption, I’ve gotta imagine, was that he was gonna wind up in jail after the inevitable trail of dead animals he would leave in his wake turned into dead hookers and then finally dead cops, but actually he turned out to be one of the nicest, smartest, most well rounded dudes I know. In fact, he’s the guy I just made a feature film with. He’s not only a technical and artistic whiz, but he’s a goddamned college professor, for fucks sake.

As a parent, this completely baffles me. I was never in trouble in my life. I always got good grades, never once had detention, was only grounded twice in my life, never had any trouble with cops, nothing. I got excellent SAT scores and in general, my record is spotless (except for in second grade when I truly fucked up in math and had to stay in during recess to get tutored, but that’s a whole other salacious blog entry) and yet, look at me: I’m an abject failure. Who saw that shit coming?

There’s no way to know if you’re doing a good job or a bad job as a parent because, as I’ve often said, there’s no correlation at all between how a kid acts and how they are as an adult. There’s only the most limited correlation between what someone’s exposed to and how that effects them (ask Kna’an and Redmond O’Neal), and there’s just NO way of knowing how bad you’re fucking up your kid until you become an old, old person and they look at you and say “dad, it’s because of you that I’m a doctor for the underprivileged/middle school janitor that sneaks into the girls bathroom to set up cameras to catch them peeing” and then you know, it’s too late.

Congrats to the Halborgs!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

how television is turning your kids into gay, Latino communists (or: Jesus I'm up early today)

Have you voted for BSC for best local blog on the Chicago Reader best of 2011 internet poll yet? If not, giddyup!

Well, today seems like it’s gonna be interesting. My kid woke up at 5am complaining of an upset stomach. This is code in my house for having to shit. I don’t know how he got clued in on the euphemistic nature of our fecal discourse at such a young age, but I guess what they say is true: they grow up so fast.

Anyway, for his entire life as a toddler, we’ve had this thing on his doorknob that makes it impossible for tiny hands to turn. It’s like those resistance bands that you hang on your door that ‘turn your dorm into a full gym’ but it’s just a little thing you snap around your doorknob that ‘turns your toddler’s room into his prison.’ It’s a very helpful device, but like most non-dyson vacuum cleaners, it’s got a serious and fundamental design flaw that we just discovered; namely, while my kid’s hands may be too small to turn the doorknob with this thing on it, they’re not too small to remove the thing from the doorknob entirely.

So, now he’s up and cruising around at 5am. He’s gotten my wife up and taken his dump, but he’s banging around and just kind of hollering and threatening to wake up the baby (which would be a fucking nightmare for several reasons too horrifically domestic to go into here). AND when I finally went out to check on what was going on (my wife handled the first shift then went back to bed) he’s gotta dump again. Not squirts, regular dumps…I know how it is. Sometimes you just have to take a few dumps in the morning. BUT, then he said he was cold and wanted to cuddle and that’s the kind of thing that melts the ice in my soul…so here I am. As a person responsible for taking care of kids all day, this is very much like getting called into work two hours early at the last possible second. My workday has just begun and I’m still in my underpants and it’s still hours before I usually get out of bed.

I tried to nap but all he wants to do is route trains all over my face and shit. So, I’m up. It’s currently 730 and I’ve been up, doing this shit for a long time. This is problematic for several reasons, but the big one is that we’re already running out of shit to do for the morning and his goddamned sister isn’t even up yet. I’m watching this cat in the hat show and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a show that is dedicated to the notion of teaching kids that their parents fabulous gay friends are the most exciting people to hang out with.

I mean, I’m assuming most of you have never watched this show. The cat in the hat is gay. There’s no way he’s not. He’s flamboyant, he speaks in a gay accent (or affectation…I don’t really want to get into that can of worms, but suffice it to say his voice is gay sounding) and he wears a silky bow tie and he’s got all sorts of exciting gadgets due to (presumably) his massive amounts of disposable income. AND he likes to burst into showtune type songs, and well, not to put too fine a point on it, but this cat is just obviously supposed to be gay.

And hey! That’s great. I think what is sorely lacking in my life is a gay friend who, burdened by the shackles of not being able to marry and having to jump through thousands of unfair hoops to adopt, wants nothing more than to watch my kids all the time and take em around in his fancy (highly dangerous ) car on all sorts of wacky adventures. That would solve a lot of my time issues.

I mean, in this particular episode, the cat takes the kids to his buddy, the bear, also a single dude that lives alone but bursts into songs and hangs out in bars full of other bears (probably).

I’m sure there’s a weird, creepy rightwing conspiracy attitude that could easily look at children’s programming and see it as preparing kids for the scary takeover of all the non white Christians by the brown, jive talking sodomite masses; Diego and Dora are mixing English and Spanish and they’re just Mexican, without a hint of trying to be white at all! Ni How Kai-Lan is teaching our kids to fall in line and obey our future Chinese overlords. Dino Dan is exposing our neighbors to the north as the dinosaur harboring good natured pussies that we always thought they were. And now, we’ve got the cat in the hat, a beloved character from our collective past recapitulated as a highly flamboyant homosexual who always wants to hang around with your kids!

Well, listen, my kid’s gonna need to understand some latino and Chinese culture if he’s gonna be able to function in the world that he’s gonna live in, and if my childhood is any indication, your parents’ gay friends really ARE the most fun babysitters, so, well, I guess I back this conspiracy fully. Hmmmm….I dunno though, my childhood was a long time ago…

In fact, some kid put an advice query in the sock drawer and it wigged me out completely. He said his grades were good: a 4.1 GPA and 2110 on the SAT’s, both scores that were literally impossible when I went to school (I do remember hearing tales of potential 4.5GPA’s for people who got all A+’s, but I didn’t go to any schools that went for that shit). If I don’t even know what grades are anymore, maybe I’m just a desiccated old fossil who wouldn’t know anti-god propaganda if it was on television right in front of my kids.

Eh, who knows? I think these shows seem fine. I wish I was still asleep though.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I need a jack and coke

Hey everyone! Just got back from Montreal and besides getting on the wrong train on my way to the airport at 630am, a two hour ordeal in the Toronto airport where I was questioned by a good cop/naughty cop team that switched roles halfway through, (making it more of a good-then-naughty cop/naughty-then-good cop routine, I suppose) and a blood curdling hangover or two, I can safely say that the whole trip was a magnificent success.

Firstly, I heard this song in some weird boutique that serves fresh squeezed lemonade to shoppers in stained glass shotglasses, looks like a red cross in a fairy toadstool village, and sells angel wings made of garbage (among other things). The song is awesome, but interestingly, the more you know about the dude that does it, the worse it becomes. I’d like to encourage all of you to just listen to the song and imagine yourself deep in the whimsy forest of a French Canadian weirdo boutique going ‘man, whoever did this seems really cool” rather than looking up the guy and becoming insanely disappointed. I mean, I was hoping for a fat French dude or a German group of sets of twins or something like that but the actuality is literally one degree of separation from Ultraviolet Hippopotamus (who you can read all about here) and that kind of ruins everything for me. But seriously, try. Try not to think about that and listen to this song, because truly, truly it is AWESOME.

The rest of my trip was fairly uneventful. I bought some clothes and played some amazing shows, watched some great bands, drank a little beer and generally hung out with my friends and my wife AND because my kids weren’t there I slept in past 630am two days in a row. It was great. Oh, and I didn’t have my phone. I didn’t want to use it in Canada because of the insane expense. It was nice. I have an iPhone and I have found myself increasingly addicted to it. It’s extremely hard not to look at, fuck with, check things out on etc. It was a real nice change of pace because recently I came to a startling conclusion, which is essentially that the iPhone and the one ring to rule them all are pretty much the same. Here’s what I mean:

Firstly, let’s be clear for those of you who aren’t complete nerds. The one ring to rule them all is the central item that starts all the trouble in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and the Hobbit. It’s hailed as this magnificent piece of technology that will supposedly enable the bearer of the ring to conquer the world. Now, so far you’ve gotta be with me on how this could just as easily be about the iPhone, right? Good.

Here’s the thing about the ring though, it DOESN’T actually make it so the bearer can conquer the world at all. In fact, the only thing it does is make it so the person that made it can see exactly where whoever’s using it is; and it performs some semi entertaining parlor tricks that don’t really have too much in the way of practical application, but are pretty dazzling. In fact, the only person that it seems really gets any sort of power at all from the ring is the dude that made it.

Okay, getting pretty weird, huh? Well, here’s the final point: once you’ve had the ring in your possession, you start to feel like you need it. You feel lost without it and you realize suddenly that you’ve become so reliant on it for everything that you’re essentially nothing more than a drooling maniac with no way to do anything without it.

I lost my phone a couple of months ago and I couldn’t even call my fucking house. I was Gollum: stringy hair, bad teeth, lisp, the whole deal. Sad, sad shit. There you go. They’re the same. Steve Jobs is Sauron.

Also, and this really isn’t about the parallels between the iPhone and the one ring to rule them all anymore, but what the fuck was Sauron thinking by creating that thing in the first place? He was already powerful as shit and all the ring did was create something that someone could chop off of him thereby banishing him to a weird ethereal half-existence. It’s like, instead of it making him the ruler of middle earth, it became the one thing that could keep him from completely destroying everyone. Not a very well thought out plan.

I dunno. Just something I was thinking about. Anyway, I’d like to thank Hugo Mudie for being a great host and Pouzza Fest for being the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Listen up, bands: This is seriously the coolest fest in the coolest city in north America. When your booking agent asks you what you want to do with your spring next year, say Pouzza Fest. You’ll be so glad you did. The food is amazing, the beer is everywhere and even though they wear bras now, the sexy breakfast is in full effect.

Tabernak, y’all.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I’m pretty excited to go to Montreal this weekend for Pouzza fest. I’m gonna be up there doing my best impersonation of someone who can play the guitar and sing at the same time and I’m gonna check out the sights and smells of French Canada with my friends in the Ste. Catherines, Elway and the Holy Mess. Who else? I know my friend Joe is gonna be up there. Let’s conduct a quick Google search…

Hmmm. Yeah. That’s about it. There are some other people that I kind of know and some folks that I’ve been corresponding with, and of course Joe Queer, who I don’t know but kind of want to observe from a distance, but the folks I mentioned in the first paragraph are the people that I’m gonna be going to get poutine with, the people I’m going to the all nude diner with and the people that I’m gonna go to that weird place where you stick your dick in the tube and the woman behind the glass that’s molded in the shape of tits works a bellows until you jizz into the public ball emptier. Oh, you’ve never been to Montreal? Well, let me walk you through the culture a little, ya know…just to get you ready for everything.

Montreal is awesome. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. It’s one of the uniquely weirdest places on earth. Here’s why: English and French Canada maintain a mutual respectful disdain for one another (and it really is quite polite in the way that only Canadian generalized mutual dislike could ever be), while the French, the classic, or ‘old school’ French from France, outwardly and rudely dislike the French Canadians, to the point where they’ll pretend that they don’t even understand Canadian French when it’s spoken (the notable exception to this, of course is the cursing, which everyone agrees the French Canadians have taken to an almost profound level of creative artistry. ‘Tabernak!’ Is the go to if you’re looking to exemplify the vulgar canon of the Quebecois and I guess it means tabernacle. Our curse words are all about sex and poo, but theirs are all about religion. I don’t know. Seems weird to me too, but whatever. If you’ve ever watched a bearded French Canadian with no shirt, holding a violin, piss-drunk in the snow, accidentally stub his toe and scream ‘Tabernak!’ at some stranger over the course of his nightly staggerings, well, you’d know that it’s a pretty cool word).

The upshot of all this disdain is that French Canada has a real plucky and ‘fuck all y’all’ attitude.’ It’s a very culturally self-propelled place. The fashion is really unique. The haircuts are ahead of their time and the whole city of Montreal, which is beautiful, has a vaguely ‘mad max’ kind of vibe as a result. Oh, and the food is totally awesome.

Poutine is becoming exploited by gastropub dipshits all over the US, but it started out as the 2AM go-to in Quebec. It’s fries covered in cheese curds and brown gravy. You drunkenly shovel it past your mustache at 3am with a plastic fork while packed in, 6 dudes to a booth or small car, or alternately while walking home. It’s delicious and every place in Montreal claims to have the best poutine. Most of them are correct. The other gastronomical feat that Quebec has mastered is the sexy breakfast.

Sexy Breakfast was introduced to me by my friend Sam the morning after a show in Montreal a few years back. It’s a diner where you can get bacon and eggs or poutine (I got poutine) and everything about it is normal except for one thing: there’s no windows. Why? Well, because the waitresses are buck naked. No panties, no bras, just a little apron for the checks and a pot of coffee. It’s wild. When the coffee at the next table gets refilled, you’ll likely find yourself staring right into someone’s asshole (it’s up to you if you think that’s awesome or gross or distracting or curious or whatever). The crazy thing is that there’s really nothing else to this place as far as I could tell. It doesn’t sell dildos or lapdances or anything. It’s just a diner with naked waitresses. As usual, Montreal keeps it weird.

Finally, there’s the dick-tubes. These establishments look like a cross between a peep show and a dentist office. You go into a highly sterile clinic type place, and there’s a glass partition that’s got a mold of a woman’s naked body in it. There’s also an apparatus which is clearly designed to put your dick in. So, a woman comes out, writhes around behind the glass, puts her body in the mold (presumably so she can, for example, put her tits in where the tits of the mold are and you can touch the tit shaped glass, which looks like tits, but has to feel like feeling up a statue), while this reverse hose thing sucks you off. I’ve had friends who have done it and they’ve all referred to it as both awesome and weird. I’ve been in the places for a ‘consultation’ just to see everything for myself but I’ve never done it (for two reasons. Reason one: it’s expensive. Reason 2: I’m not sticking my dick into some tube that a zillion other losers that fuck blowjob machines stick their dicks into every day, regardless of the cleaning regimen that they endure) and I’m probably not gonna do it this time either. I mean, my old lady is gonna be with me, and she sometimes lets me touch her without a barrier of molded glass between us, which is a nice personal gesture for a wife to offer her husband every once in a while during a working vacation.

Anyway, see you folks in Montreal. For the rest of you, have you voted for BSC for best local blog in the reader’s poll yet? If not, go here. It would be truly great for a free web based publication that haphazardly tosses terms like ‘dick tubes’ around to get recognition in a long running metropolitan weekly, would it not? Of course it would.
Tabernak, y’all. Tabernak.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's like a weird twist on the movie Junior, where Arnold got someone ELSE pregnant. Whoa.

Arnold had a baby with the maid, eh? That’s pretty cool. I mean, there’s absolutely no way that anyone out there on earth bothered to consider that Arnold wasn’t wantonly dipping his dick in absolutely everything, right? I’m actually pretty surprised that this is the first kid that we’ve heard about. He’s gotta have zillions of ‘em, all over the world. I mean, look at the evidence:

He’s self obsessed. Check out his body for most of his life if you doubt the truth of this amateur psychiatric evaluation. That means he’s vain as shit, which means he’s mindbendingly insecure, which in turn means that he’s desperate for validation which means that he’s gonna fuck just about anyone he can get within a dicklength of. He’s also a Hollywood actor, a powerful political figure and an Austrian(!!!!!!).

I don’t know if you guys have ever been to Austria, but if the pornography that they sell on the rack located at toddler level in the gas stations is any indication about their lack of sexual hang ups, frankly I’m surprised it’s not Austria that’s about to displace China as the population capital of the world. Okay, that’s not really fair. One need only look at the covers of the aforementioned pornography to immediately realize that not only does semen rarely end up in the vagina in Austria, but it seems that the vagina is kind of a distant fifth place as far as the ‘places to stuff dicks ‘ ranking scale goes.

Last time I was in an Austrian gas station, the cover of a pornography magazine, plainly visible on the rack by the door, mind you, featured an extremely pregnant woman in a leather hood with a mouth zipper. She was covered in semen and being double penetrated while a third and fourth guy peed on her. I’m not making that up. Austria is pretty cool, and it seems like they know what they want and they go for it, be that a mid 20th century reunited homeland with strong centralized government, the Mister Universe title, a Planet Hollywood or two, six strains of piss cascading down the front of your gimp mask, or the Governor’s mansion in Sacramento. But Arnold’s self-obsession, Austrian-ness and drive is really only half the story.

Have you guys seen this little clip of a young, highly rapey Arnold showing us around Brazil? It’s pretty amusing, to say the least (that is, if you’re amused by gigantic, pervy musclebound weirdos manhandling underdressed girls) and it only serves to make me once again ask the question that has got to have been on everyone’s mind once this whole maid-baby thing came to light last night. Namely, is this REALLY the first out-of-wedlock child for this fucking guy? Seriously?

Look, I’m no action hero, but I’ve seen a thing or two about what goes on in those Hollywood trailers. I’m no politico, but I’ve read the published text messages from the higher-ups to their pages, and I, like the rest of the world remember what presidents tend to spill on their interns. I’m no Mr. Universe contestant but if that isn’t just a flimsy excuse to oil up your dick and walk around until someone puts it in them some way or another, I don’t know what is. This dude has been deeply, deeply entrenched in some of the most notoriously promiscuous professions in the history of professions (besides whoring and cleaning truckstop bathrooms) and he’s obviously a driven, powerful man who’s had to deal with almost no consequences for anything he’s done, so by the law of probability, he’s gotta have at least 2000 kids.

I mean, shit. You guys heard that whole thing about how Arnold killed that British aristocrat in the 70’s right? Oh, well, you should go here and check it out then. It’s truly an amazing tale that I can only hope is legit. Because here’s the thing: I like Arnold. He’s a true superhero. I don’t give a fuck about his politics or his personal life, his murder resume or even his movies. I just love that the world actually produced a real live walking talking fictional character and that he’s become one of the most successful ‘human beings’ ever to exist, despite the fact that he seems to be fairly unintelligent and more than a little creepy. So, today, while you’re out there celebrating Norwegian constitution day, I want you to take a second and give it up for Arnold and his trail of offspring out there. They’re all going through a rough patch.
That’s all.

Oh, and don’t forget to vote for bad Sandwich Chronicles for best local blog in the Chicago reader online poll here! Thanks!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Heeeeey! Yooooou! Guuuuuuuuys!

Hey hey! It’s that time of year again, where I ask you all for a favor. Listen, I’ve been doing this for a while, and besides a computer, some bank records, some great tee shirts, a bunch of gifts for my babies, tons and tons of great emails and a sense of weird (if highly aggressive in places) community, you people haven’t given me shit. And it’s time for that to change.

The Reader is a local Chicago paper. It’s the kind of paper that’s free and it has vaguely irreverent columns that are obsessed with local politics and culture. The back features ads for whores and personals involving dick size. You get the idea. You’ve probably got a similar paper in your town. Anyway, another thing the Reader does is host a ‘best of’ election type thing each year where people are encouraged to vote for their favorite stuff from Chicago. This is a pretty exhaustive election, boasting probably a hundred categories. One of the categories is “Best Local Blog,” and I want all of you to go here and vote for Bad Sandwich Chronicles.

It’s the very last category on the last page and you don’t have to vote for everything for your vote to count, however, you should also vote for Red Scare Industries for best local label, because it totally is the best local label, and you should all vote for Katie from the Gingerman for Best Bartender, because she truly is great. Beyond that, hey, go nuts. What’s your favorite way to subvert a survey? Put your friend’s mom’s house down for best dildo emporium? Say that your sister has the best burger in town? I honestly don’t care. I just want to win best blog. Thanks in advance!

I’d like to just throw out there, that I think it’s really nice of the Reader, an ancient and desiccated combination of paper, ink, staples, glue and folding, to give props to us new jack awesome-o’s out here in the ether totally kicking ass in the future like the hot-cocked studs that bloggers are so famous for being. I mean, you didn’t hear leeches big upping Tylenol when they started revolutionizing the headache cure. Lots of people in business don’t like to admit that they’re operating in an outmoded style, much less cheer on those who are destined to replace them (except parents), but the Reader clearly has a quiet dignity that it maintains even in the face of overwhelming evidence that its very existence is nothing but an environmental burden and a sad reminder of the days when people gave a shit about the opinions of journalists, before the great democratization of the internet, which has (rightly and awesomely) made every dumb asshole with a computer super important and capable of disseminating broad sweeping statements about how badly everything sucks, and the ability to leave homophobic slurs as responses to YouTube videos.

Now, far be it from me to shit talk the very publication that I hope to someday grace the cover of as blogger-champion extraordinaire. The Reader is where I first learned about felching and where I first read Savage Love and where I discovered that nuclear power is a great, safe, clean form of energy. The Reader is where, back before the internet, I used to find out what bands were coming to Chicago, and the Reader is the place that I go to when I want to hear a third opinion on a movie that I’m interested in but don’t plan on seeing, right after I check out the AV club and Roger Ebert. It’s also the home of Missed Connections which is one of the most hilarious and enjoyable things to read in the world (it’s a lot like the missed connections on Craigslist but, you know, there’s a lot less of them).

Nah. The Reader is pretty cool. I grew up with it and I’d really be stoked to be a part of this year’s ‘best of’ so if y’all would mosey over and vote for this blog, I promise that I’ll keep the dick jokes coming for years to come. Thanks again, y’all!


Sunday, May 15, 2011


Vote for me for best local blog, and well, all the blog categories. It would be so great to win an award for this bullshit!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


my baby is 1 today! Pretty stoked. I think this means she's got the makings of a healthy human being. Anyway, I'm gonna go feed her some cupcakes and try to figure out some activities that she likes to do besides trying to stick her finger in light sockets and eating dirt and see if I can't whip up a fun day for her. You guys are gonna all have to rely on your own dads to entertain you this morning.

Later dildi!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

beaten by the internet

First and foremost, my buddies in Elway put out their awesome new full length “delusions” yesterday on Red Scare. It’s a really cool record so head here and pick it up, everyone. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about darkness.

I had to unfollow the PolyBiAsianGirl on twitter. She’s It was giving me weird late night waking nightmares and stuff. That shit was, quite simply, too much. Okay, I have always considered myself pretty open minded when it comes to most anything, especially choices like deciding to be a slut or have a weird sexual proclivity. I think who you fuck is pretty much your business and however you fuck them is pretty much great as long as everyone is having a good time (or enjoys having a bad time). Hell, I even thought that Animal Passions had some touching moments in it, and that movie’s emotional center was a hermit that’s married to a fucking pony. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not touching kids or ya know, raping people, then good on ya.

Which is why the whole deal with PolyBiAsianGirl is so shocking to me. Okay, here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on here: I came across this girl on twitter the other day and decided to follow her because her tweets looked interesting. As it stands, I already follow some porn stars (mostly because I think the sex industry is pretty fascinating and because when someone tweets out something like “I just sucked off a stranger under a bridge LOL” I wanna be right there to retweet it) but this girl isn’t a porn star. She’s just a girl from Denver who is into polygamy, submission and boundary pushing (like fucking rooms of strangers and shit like that, which hey…That room of strangers ain’t gonna fuck itself) and at first glance, her twitter is fucking hilarious.

She tweets weird pictures of her banging dudes, or showing her ass, or of her naked, wearing her dog collar or her weird tattoos or her giving a blowjob but then she also tweets out long detailed explanations of fixing her motorcycle (she’s a total gearhead) or a play by play of her and her sister at the chocolate festival or her puppies that she’s raising and their dietary regimen and stuff. It’s a bizarre combination of fairly depraved shit mixed with a lot of typical life banality that’s pretty rare in a twitter persona. Usually, you either tweet out pictures of you stuffing a flashlight in your ass, OR you tweet out the blend of formulas that you’re using to wean your puppies and that kind of thing. Rarely is it both. That kind of weirdness got me on board, but as everything progressed, more weirdness started to emerge. Let me walk you through my level of understanding where she’s coming from in the 2 days that I followed her on Twitter.

As I mentioned, PolyBiAsianGirl tweets pictures of her tattoos, like the one that says ‘polygamy’ and has a rainbow snowflake type thing beneath it. It’s pretty typical hippy shit and so at this point I’m thinking she’s just a sexually liberated hippy and that’s the end of it. BUT she also has a tattoo of a slave collar on her chet and a tattoo that says (and I’m paraphrasing a little) “Dennis’ little fuck slut” above her beav, and tattoos that say ‘property of dennis’ and one of those sailor birds with a banner that says “I swallow” and a back piece that says ‘nympho’.

Okay, she’s a slave that LOVES to fuck and has a husband named Dennis. That’s okay. That’s fine. She tweets things about how she’s a worthless whore and she’s just a dumpster for jizz and dongs and she wants to be abused (and on and on like this) and while that shit kind of makes me a LITTLE squeamish, eh…her bag is her bag. I don’t care if she wants to call herself a cum dumpster. She obviously is into degradation and stuff, but she also is pretty vocal about calling out people who are shitty to her on twitter, so whatever…she’s not a zero self esteem victim, she’s just really, really into being a slave. Cool. Weird, but whatever.

Then she tweets out the picture of her husband’s tattoo that represents that he’s married to her and her sister. This was where I started to kind of get out of the zone of being comfortably skeeved out. THEN she started talking about banging her sister, which, well…I’m a Midwestern boy with old timey sensibilities I guess, because that’s a little gnarly to me. At this point we’re looking at incest, polygamy, slavery, wang dumpsterdom and motorcycles…Then she starts with the tweets about how she’s forbidden from using condoms when she bangs random strangers, all the random jizz and the drinking and the hoarding of it and honestly, it’s not the kind of thing I even want to write here, and I don’t usually consider this to be a forum that I have to censor, but the whole thing, frankly, is a little crass for my taste.

The last straw came this morning with some anecdotes so creepy that I’m not even gonna get into them at all, but I will say that I don’t necessarily believe them to be true. However, the whole thing has, for the last two days been creeping me out at an almost 24 hour a day level, which is impressive when you consider that twitter is a very small part of my day, and she’s a very small part of my twitter feed.

So I unfollowed. Whatever, man. PolyBiAsianGirl seems like she’s very nice and fun, but my tender soul can’t handle it. Part of me feels like a pussy or something, but I guess the truth is that I like my depravity fairly mild. True, long form depravity is WAY too heavy for me.

That said, please send me your nudes! Okay, have a good day!

Monday, May 9, 2011

in todays battle, the victor is man

So, competitive eating is a big thing, eh? I mean, the nathan’s challenge is one of the best things to cringe through your hands at that’s on tv all summer. Kobayashi is one of the more fascinating humans on the earth and that Joey Chestnut dude, while excruciatingly revolting, has brought the big championship belt to America, finally, where it undoubtedly belongs. Here’s why: we’re huge and disgusting and everything we consume here is kind of done in such a way that it means that someone else has to go without and there’s no more perfect a metaphor for our grotesque obsession with making sure that we can throw something away so no one else can get it than a bunch of assholes pigging out for glory.

Take shoes or jeans for example. The only way that we can afford to have nice, inexpensive shoes or jeans is if somewhere out there, there are people working long hours for no money producing jeans and shoes, who could not, themselves, ever afford said shoes or jeans. If that system wasn’t in place, and people were working regular hours for decent living wages, jeans would be extremely expensive and that would be a bummer. The upshot of this whole thing is that we consume with a blind eye towards the undeniable and horrible truth sewn into our clothes and pretty much everything we own (on a side note, this whole thing comes home to roost pretty quick when you look at the way that certain unions in the US have hamstrung their employers with ever increasing demands which have forced lots of factories overseas, where pesky unions and rules about how old you have to be or how flammable something must not be aren’t running the show. But do you know WHY this is? Sure, it’s about money, but the real, honest to god truth of the matter is that we as consumers aren’t willing to pay what it costs to produce things in the western world. No one is buying the same shitty converse sneakers for two hundred bucks, when it costs nothing to just pretend that the ones you have weren’t stitched together by a starving child) and there’s NEVER been a metaphor for the gluttony and dirty diapers of the west that’s as apt as a bunch of overweight pigs eating twenty pounds of chicken wings in under five minutes.

Man Vs Food, for those of you who don’t know, is a show about a gluttonous lard ass who gleefully prances around the united states stuffing his bloated gullet with monstrosity after monstrosity, all under the guise of just loving the food industry and its many quirks. The truth, however, is vastly more porny than that. Adam Richman insists that he hasn’t gained any weight since he started this soul-harvesting bacchanal, (a claim that creepily mirrors wayward porn stars insisting that they don’t have daddy issues/coke habits) but his chins tell a different story.

Obesity is epidemic around here, and strangely, in other parts of the world, hunger is a big problem. This guy is traveling around and glorifying an extremely unhealthy lifestyle with all the compassion of Marie Antoinette or some fat billionaire using a bunch of starving kids from Sudan as human plates for his sushi parties. He’s becoming ugly and physically gross, he’s making money by eating food he neither wants nor needs by the shovelful, celebrating his victories over food like a prizefighter, all while making everyone kind of simultaneously hungry and grossed out in the process. It’s one of the most uniquely gross shows ever put on television and I mean that in several ways. Here’s the other thing about it though, it’s insanely fun to watch.

Adam is a charismatic guy and the show is carefully constructed so that each episode sets up a conflict, a challenge and a resolution. It’s very satisfying television. The part they leave off the show however, is the part where he’s taking brutal dumps after eating ten meatloaves, or where because we decide to make a pizza using ten pounds of cheese there’s something in the neighborhood of twenty people out there on some side of the world that aren’t gonna get any cheese at all, and most tragically, the fact that there are animals that literally die and are turned into food, just to be left sitting on the scale and thrown away after the challenge runs its course.

I mean, I’m not trying to preach the evils of eating meat (though, honestly, it’s pretty cut and dry. There’s nothing so undeniably evil as killing something and eating its flesh. That’s why Hannibal Lecter scared us so much. That’s why [most of the time] the meat we enjoy is processed to not resemble the animals that it used to be, particularly if its some sort of animal we can feel empathy towards [like a cow or sheep, who seem a lot cooler than a chicken or a lobster {a gigantic bug that is disgusting no matter what and also excellently discussed as a food source in the late, great David Foster Wallace’s brilliant article Consider the Lobster which everyone should read, if for no other reason than because it’s hilarious}]) but there’s something seriously fucked up about killing something and processing its flesh into, lets say corned beef, and then just setting that corned beef in a gigantic pile and eventually throwing it away. It’s really, really, really, really fucked up for at least 2 reasons:

1. Motherfuckers out there are hungry! There are children on this earth that literally eat stones and dirt to stop hunger pains. To just throw shit away is not just wasteful, it’s cruel to the point of scariness.
2. That was a living thing at one point, man! It’s one thing to kill an animal and eat it, but what the fuck kind of life is it when you are born for the express purpose of becoming food someday, you live your entire life working towards the burger you will someday become and then once you’ve taken the plunge and turned yourself into food (kind of euphemistic, but you get the idea, once you become food) they just throw you away?!?!?!? Seriously? You sent my body through a machine that cut out the sinew and separated my muscles from my bones, drained my blood and put the meat from my ass and legs into a brine, cooked it over fire, and then rather than even enjoy it, you THREW IT AWAY!?!?!?!?!?!!??!

That’s just fucked up, man. It really is. That’s EVEN more fucked up than just eating it even though you’re full and it will definitely make you sick. That’s like killing a hooker and not even making her into a dead skin mask or cutting out her vagina and putting it in your scrapbook of hooker vaginas. It’s like tossing puppies into a river for fun. It’s so demented and there’s an industry that not only thrives on that, but simultaneously celebrates bad health, wasting food, laughs heartily at the inequality of life on this planet AND gleefully encourages gluttony and grotesquite.

I dunno, man. Watched a lot of that shit this weekend and I’m feeling kind of gross today, so that’s what’s on my mind. I realize that pointing out the repulsive evils of competitive eating is about as edgy and visionary as singing a punk song about how cops suck or making a porn that celebrates the male orgasm like it’s a fountain of gold, so you can spare me the bullshit. Kay. Good deal. Have a good Monday. I feel like the world is kind of out to get me today, so be cool.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

perversions ahoy!

Quick advertisement: Hey, I’m bartending at the L&L this Saturday on Clark and Belmont. Come down and marvel at my awesomeness.

Everyone in my house is sick. I’ve got a sick baby, a sick toddler, a sick wife and even a sick houseguest. The only person who is not moaning, dripping and hacking up crap is me. It goes to show what I’ve always known: my healthy lifestyle pays out dividends that can’t be overstated. I’ve tried to convince my wife to drink some seagrams this morning, or at least give some to the kids but she’s having none of it. My grandfather was such a seagrams enthusiast that he had 777 vanity plates (those were during the heady days of an innocent pre 9-11 America when driving and hard alcohol were as inseparable as cigarettes and cartoons) but she doesn’t care about the family lineage. According to her, there’s no precedent that allows for getting the kids drunk, and well, I guess we’ve already got enough problems with them both just shitting anywhere and getting pissed off and acting irrational, so I guess I see where she’s coming from, but still, I’m gonna stop suggesting things pretty soon if all my ideas are just gonna get instantly dismissed as ‘stupid’ or ‘cruel and illegal.’

Whatever. Let’s talk about fucking the dead today. My friend recently posted a picture on twitter of himself sucking the zombie penis of a corpse mannequin. The picture is disturbing and funny, and necrophilia is as fascinating as it is gross. It’s a subject that, once you learn about it when you’re say, 10, is never too far out of your general quiver of notions of ‘perversions.’ Necrophilia is vastly more a part of our conversations regarding strange proclivities than fucking animals or fucking pumpkins or slicing a hole in the couch and lining it with warmed up baloney and fucking that, but it’s also far and away the most disgusting.

Why is that? Well, wait…let’s back up. IS corpse fucking the most revolting of the perversions (I’m not counting horrible things like rape and kid touching and shit like that, which fall squarely in the ‘crimes’ category, though they’re also perversions, [and sure, fucking animals/corpses is a crime in most places and probably should be a crime everywhere, but you know what I’m saying; I’m examining the more perversiony perversions, not the more rapey perversions {and yes, I’ve heard all about how fucking animals is rape…pretty much everything we do to animals is rape, folks. It’s a very sad subject if you want to get into animals giving us their consent. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be tenderly fucked by some weirdo than shot in the head, skinned and turned into a chalupa and a belt}]].

Here’s the big crux: fucking an animal is weird because presumably, you’re not supposed to find (let’s say) a penguin vagina attractive with a human libido/dong. Fucking corpses is weird because we spend almost every moment of every day trying to pretend that we’re not all eventually gonna die. We burn up and bury corpses (after we dress them up and paint them so they look like they’re alive) we hide our age spots and our grey hairs and we avoid the weak and the crippled and the infirm because they’re just that much closer to death than we are. We crave youth, life and vitality and EVEN those goth kids who go sit in the graveyard and all that, are experiencing life and shunning death by getting the visceral thrill of doing something that’s highly unusual and seen as weird and/or depraved.

But that’s not our corpse fucker’s MO. At least, it’s not his only MO (and it’s gotta be a ‘he.’ I SERIOUSLY doubt that female corpse fuckers exist for 2 distinct reasons). There’s no way. Here’s a scenario:

A beautiful woman dies. Let’s say she’s uh…strangled. She’s got some bruising on the neck, sure (and, well, she’s also dead…can’t forget that) but otherwise, she’s still the same beautiful human woman that would never in a billion years look at this disgusting and lonely morgue assistant/funeral home warehouse guy. The woman is there, she’s dead, she’s naked and well, she’s not gonna mind. The guy hasn’t been laid in so long. What’s the harm? It’s pretty victimless (unless you believe in the glass bottomed boat of heaven, in which case….uh, you’ve probably stopped reading already, so yeah…) and it’s sort of like getting to stand on the mound at Wrigley Field during a special tour.

Only very talented men have ever been here, and you’ve done none of the work to get there, but through this stroke of luck, you’re here, and sure, you’re not really worthy, but no one’s using the mound right now and….wow. Gross analogy. Didn’t really think it through, noun-wise.

Anyway, that’s my general take on corpse fucking in broad and reductive strokes: it’s the move of the person who just can’t get laid by the living. That’s maybe a pretty big reason why people take those jobs in the first place, though honestly I don’t know anyone in those industries and I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to besmirch the morgue/funeral/death trade. I’m simply speculating. There are, undoubtedly tons of altruistic, non-corpse fucking individuals who busy themselves with our dead, and I’d hate to offend them.

With Animals, it’s gotta be a specific urge, right? Like, you get hot for dolphins, so you feel compelled to fuck dolphins. But with the dead? Is it the same? I don’t know. I’m asking here. I think it seems logical that the people that fuck the dead are into weird shit, but what shit is it? It’s not easy to fuck a corpse. It can’t be. The logistics are almost impossible to wrap your head around. Firstly, corpses aren’t just available. Secondly, they smell and they’re hard. They smell bad enough to KILL you in fact (in the 1700’s it was not uncommon for grave diggers to be struck dead by the gasses trapped in a coffin when exhuming bodies [they eventually started burning the gas off, but you get the idea…the dead are unpleasant folks to be around]).

Honestly, I’m not trying to figure this all out today. I just kind of started typing and this came out. I’m as grossed out as you, so uh…I’m done. Bye. See you Saturday.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Who shot who in the what now?

So, Osama is dead and people are loving it, eh? That’s okay, I guess. I mean, it’s very, very strange to cheer at someone’s death. It’s a little bit ghoulish. Now, sure, there’s no doubt about the fact that this dude used extremely shitty tools (religion, poverty and fear) to convince a bunch of dummies to do extremely evil things, and he did so as the wealthy son of one of the richest men that’s ever lived, thereby really operating somewhat above the risks and the muddy huts and, it turns out, even the caves in the Pakistan mountain ranges while his lackeys starved and slept in the sand. He killed tons of people and he expressed no remorse about it. It could, in fact, be argued that Osama is responsible for the civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan (I am not arguing this, just saying that if you’re looking to heap blame on someone, this is a line of argument that you could pursue with some degree of success depending on your level of righteousness and your eloquence). But I mean, at the end of the day, rational people are cheering and partying because someone died. That’s a little weird.

Now, let’s make no mistake. I get it. I’m not suggesting that I’m some pussy who believes that no one should be executed under any circumstances or anything like that. I mean, I’ve got a family and revenge would enter very strongly into my emotional vocabulary incredibly quickly were anyone to ever harm them. I don’t think anyone made the wrong move by finding Osama and killing him. That’s a thing that kind of has to be done, but the glee is what kind of astounds me.

To use the example of someone harming someone in my family. I would probably be interested in aggressively pursuing a situation where the said perpetrator would end up dead, were that through the justice system or just through myself tracking them down. I would assume that I wouldn’t rest until that person or I was dead. BUT, I wouldn’t take any joy in their death. It may be satisfying, but I suspect that it probably wouldn’t. It’s just another death. It doesn’t change anything. It wouldn’t fix whatever they had undone around me, and it seems that in the face of crushing grief, that’s kind of the only way that it could turn around to happiness.

And as I consider this, I truly believe it to be true. There’s no amount of killing that somehow prolapses killing and makes it not killing, and there’s nothing ‘fun’ (which is the general feeling that needs to be present in me to become happy and feel like partying) about killing someone.

Am I glad he’s dead? I guess, yeah. Totally. But REALLY, I wish that circumstances were really different and I had no idea who he was because instead of being an international murderer he was just the kind of wealthy playboy that fucked supermodels and wore gold tee shirts. I feel no sense of joy that some guy got shot and dumped in the sea. I understand the desire people have to see his corpse. I think that’s acceptable. I really, truly do. That’s a different than being filled with glee when confronted with the fact that he’s dead.

I mean, I guess I’m not articulating myself too well. I’m not trying to hate on or shame anyone for however they deal with this, one of the biggest news stories that we’ll ever live through, and the images of people in the middle east celebrating after the twin towers came down were disturbing and lots of people want to retaliate in kind and I guess I understand that. But to me, and again, I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do or think, joy seems like a weird response. It’s like if someone grabbed your dick and it made you hungry. It’s fine, I guess, but that would never be my reaction and even if I watched a thousand dudes get their dicks grabbed and then suddenly run over to a thousand delis and house a thousand reubens, I’d be no closer to thinking that dick stimulation was someday gonna make me hungry. Even if the hand grabbing my dick was attached to someone awesome and the reubens looked great (and I LOVE reubens and dong grabs) I’d remain unsure of how the two things were connected.

I don’t know man. Maybe I’m crazy. I’ve got a bit of a cold, so maybe I’ll pick up the party when I get rid of this sore throat. I kind of doubt it though. Tell you what, I COULD go for a reuben, since we’re talking about satisfaction.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Gooooooooood morning everyone! Welcome to another week of mindless drudgery and hellish repetition. The one thing that should make this week a TINY bit less terrible is essentially that we get to do all the shit we hate doing with sun shining outside. That’s a real nice change of pace. It’s like putting a cocktail umbrella in a log of shit that you find on your doorstep.

Last week was cool. I went to the aquarium with Lexi Belle, I hung out with Los Tigres Del Norte and I got to stand there while one of the most important bands in my life sang one of the most important songs of my life and substituted my band’s name into the lyrics. That kind of shit is not a big deal. I know that those little personal touches that are so cool to be on the receiving end of don’t really require a great deal of energy, planning or even magnanimity to put out there, but I gotta tell you, I don’t care. I can’t even begin to describe the impact that Punk Rock Girl and the Dead Milkmen have had on my life and how subsequently thrilled I was to get a shout out. Of course, it’s Monday and I’ve got about two pages to fill here, so I’m gonna try anyway. Bear with me.

When I was eleven, my friend Nick and I first heard the record Bucky Fellini. Nick’s older brother, Rich and his friend Jesse, who at the time seemed like bad ass skateboard troublemakers but in retrospect were just regular kids with hilarious haircuts were into the Dead Milkmen. They gave the cassette to Nick who shared it with me. (side note: once we got to highschool, Jesse was reputed to have a gigantic wang. I have no idea if this is true or not, but the legend was whispered about in the halls for my entire tenure as a student. Also, he had a super attractive much older sister who I recently saw and even now, at forty something, she’s still smoking hot).

Rich and Jesse were, as I mentioned, skater type dudes and the Dead Milkmen were a popular band with skateboarders in the 80’s. They referred to the music on Bucky Fellini as hardcore, pointing to songs like Going To Graceland as examples of super aggressive music. In hindsight, that’s hilarious, but at the time it really WAS aggressive and scary to me and I remember being blown away that this band was singing about the death of someone like it was a wacky joke. I mean, I’ve never been a big Elvis worshiper (unrelated: three best Elvis songs are Hunk of Burning Love, I can’t help falling in Love with you and Devil in Disguise) but the thought of making fun of someone for being dead seemed so crazy and irreverent to me.

The whole record was like that. Every single inch of it was a dramatic wake up. I had never heard guitars like that. I’d never heard someone sing like that, or play these kinds of rhythms and tempos. I’d never heard sarcasm so all consuming (take Instant Club Hit as a perfect example of form following ironic function). Hell, I’d never heard music that wasn’t on the radio before. Just the fact that this record existed at all was a revelation. Nick and I immediately began writing and recording songs, all completely influenced by the dead milkmen. I did my best to sing like Joe and Rodney (depending on what the song called for) and when I started playing guitar, I attempted (poorly) to ape Joe’s style. Our first song that we ever recorded was Fish in the Sea, which was an extremely stupid and simple song done in the style of one of the Dead Milkmen’s more mellow numbers. That was quickly followed by crowd favorite Nuts, Nuts We Want Nuts, Blowjob (actually written by nick and his brother) and a whole ton of others, all essentially bad Dead Milkmen songs, where we sang about things that we thought the Dead Milkmen may sing about, even if we had no real idea what we were saying.

The next year I was in fifth grade and I was watching MTV when the video for Punk Rock Girl came on. I had never considered the notion that there was more stuff by the Dead Milkmen beyond the one record I had, and I was so excited that the second the video was over I sprinted out of my house and down the street to Rose Records and picked up the Beezlebubba cassette. So many of the songs on that record are amazing (Stuart and Life Is Shit are particular stand outs) but Punk Rock Girl was my most jammed song for…well, honestly I can’t think of another song that’s so consistently been in my mix for so many years. It may very well be song I’ve listened to the most of anything ever. It’s not only pretty funny (when Joe busts out with “eating fudge banana swirl” that’s one of the most awesomely placed bits of weirdness in any lyric in the history of rock) but it’s sweet, it’s unique and it occupies a completely solitary spot in the canon of rock and roll.

Punk Rock girl is kind of mainstream, kind of punk, kind of alternative, kind of whatever that weird shit that every single girl my age listened to in seventh grade (I’m talking Violent Femmes, Smiths, Lemonheads, uh…what else? New Order or something like that?) and it’s embraced by everyone because it’s JUST weird enough that people of all walks of life can agree that it’s not cheesy. BUT that’s the beauty of it: It’s completely cheesy. In attempting to make a simple pop song with purposefully saccharine lyrics, these weirdos created something bizarre and enduring that is neither alternative nor mainstream, but instead is just Punk Rock Girl. Everyone claims it for every team. Punks say it’s punk. Dorks that like Weird Al say it’s comedy. Seventh grade girls say it’s great on mixtapes and they’re all right.

I’ve mentioned before in this space that the Lawrence Arms are heavily influenced by the old Goo Goo Dolls records Hold Me Up and Jed. But I personally can easily say that Joe and Rodney from the Dead Milkmen have been my single greatest influence as a musician. The first concert I ever saw (fear of a beige planet tour) was the Dead Milkmen at the Metro. The first song I brought into my guitar teacher to learn was Punk Rock Girl (the solo is surprisingly hard to play. Sounds like it would be pretty easy, he’s a deceptively talented player), the whole notion of keeping humor alive in music even if it’s serious may have been perfected by Propagandhi, but it was introduced to me by the Dead Milkmen.

This weekend we played right before them and when they played Punk Rock Girl Joe sang “we asked for Lawrence Arms. They said He don’t work here” and it was the kind of thing that makes my 34 year old unbelievably jaded and cynical ass feel incredibly happy and cool with the world.

That only lasted like, an hour though. Now I’m back to feeling doomed. Sigh.