Wednesday, March 30, 2011

god DAMN it!

Man, you know what sucks? I don’t get a lot of cultural outings these days. In fact, you might even say that short of books and the internet, anything of any cultural value that goes on in this house is purely accidental. That’s why when I saw that a theater not too far away from my place was putting on a production of The Master and Margarita, one of my favorite novels, I was really excited. The run was to be a little more than a month and I found out about it the day it was announced. I cut out the ad and put it on my refrigerator along with all the various scribbles and pictures of other people’s kids, dinosaur magnets and a weird, handwritten note I got from the guy at Barneys thanking me for buying pants. I was determined to not miss out on the Devil in St. Petersburg.

Well, fast forward to now. There are three shows left, one is Sunday night, which is when my show is, so that’s out. The other two are Friday and Saturday, but here’s the thing, they’re all sold out. What a dick punch. I feel like a kid that looked forward to something for months only to get grounded the day before. I’m bummed, to say the least.

Here’s the thing: Bulgakov, the dude that wrote the novel-turned-play in question was also a playwright and even worked at a playhouse for a while. This particular work wasn’t adapted by him, nor was it even published in his lifetime (in fact, he made his wife promise to burn the manuscript on his deathbed, something she thankfully refused to do), but the notion of seeing a Bulgakov play in a small playhouse in a snowy metropolis in on a cold spring night is awesome, and I don’t believe I fucked it up. It’s such a bummer, and it’s truly no one’s fault but my own. And that’s the worst.

And that’s indicative of a big thing in the US. Namely, culpability. We’re obsessed with blame here, and no wonder. It seems like 95% of the educated people in this country are lawyers. We love, I mean, we absolutely LOVE to imprison people here and even more than that, we love to sue. We love to sue the shit out of people and ruin their lives forever, and perhaps even the lives of their kids and THEIR kids, often over mistakes. We need to sue, because litigation is one of the last few things in this country we produce. The whole thing is fucked and stupid and the results are that we’ve got a culture obsessed with blame, as though it’s almost okay if something shitty happens to us, just so long as there’s someone we can clearly and easily blame and then suck dry either emotionally or financially, or ideally, both.

Sooooooo, when it’s me, when it’s completely my fault, I don’t even know how to deal. I can’t feel smugly superior to someone, I can’t squeeze out an apology. I can’t do a goddamned thing but sit here and read the reviews of what seems like it was a pretty decent show while I listen to my new favorite bit of entertainment, Dora the Explorer, blast out of the living room. I need to sue the people that made me want to have sex and procreate. That’s what I need to do…soooo, who’s that? Paul Guccioni? Anna Nicole Smith? That girl in my sixth grade music class? I mean, my wife’s cool, and she’d probably just sue me back, so that’s out.

Ah, fuck. Don’t forget, I’m at the Beat Kitchen this Sunday, totally kicking ass. Are you coming? Please do.
Good deal.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Exponential times

So, I’ve come to realize something. The children we’re raising here these days are gonna be fucking insane when they grow up. I’m sure this gets said every year and has been thought by every single generation since we were just titted monkeys chasing mice and hiding from mammoths, but it bears repeating. Sure, my parents grew up without tv. Their parents grew up with limited access to flush toilets and electricity (and almost no slaves) and before that, fuck…who even knows? People were wiping their asses with corn cobs and using leeches to cure their herpes and stuff. The past, no doubt was a rough and tumble place and every generation that gets born into a world with more conveniences gets suspiciously looked over by the reigning guard and the thought is formulated: “these fucking kids are never gonna know the bullshit that I went through on a daily basis because there was no other choice, and the results are, they’re gonna be a bunch of insane pussies.”

And, well, they’re kind of right. You’ve gotta figure that way back in the old days even being a king or a pharaoh or something was kind of shitty compared to say, being an upper middle class college student somewhere in the Midwest. I mean, sure, you’d have servants and banks of people to cater to your every whim and shit, but you’d still have to just crap into a hole and be cold at night and hot in the summer and stop reading at 6pm and die from strep throat and so on. And that sounds like it sucks, and that probably makes me a pussy to a lot of people in the past, and probably a lot of people right here in the present who still deal with these kinds of problems, but hey, this is the world I’m born into and I can’t really do anything about my own expectations, no matter how unreasonable they may seem to other people.

But these kids, I think it’s gonna be different. When I was a kid, there were 4 television channels and I remember being blown away when my parents told me that back when they were kids, that all television was black and white and that it went off the air at a certain time. When I was a kid, phones had cords and if you wanted to talk to someone, you had to call their house and potentially talk to their parents, and even then, people could be listening in on other phones. I know this isn’t shit that happened that long ago, but think about this:

My kids don’t even have to wait for a show to come on. Not only are there over 900 channels on television, but time scheduling is completely meaningless to my kid. He just says ‘dad, can I please watch Diego, the one about polar bears?’ and I can punch it up for him immediately. Likewise, when he starts using the phone, he’s gonna grow up in a world where he just reaches into his pocket and makes a call and always gets exactly the right person immediately, and fuck, that’s good. Being a slave to tv scheduling is lame, and having to talk to the mom of the chick you’re trying to feel up after the basketball game is a dreadful task, and one that, thanks to technology, will soon be as distant a dream as Morse code or churning your own butter.

But, the upshot of this is that the notion of patience is gonna vanish as any sort of meaningful thing that needs to be cultivated. I mean, there is literally NO reason to wait for anything anymore, AND the things you can get (fifteen different shows about talking dinosaurs, for example) are so spectacular, instant and plentiful that I don’t know if there’s even a sense of true wonder at finding them anymore.

If you fast forward a few years, I have another practical example. When I was a kid, I found the torn out back pages of a Cheri, which was full of ads for phonesex numbers and had awesome pictures of naked people boning and giving blowjobs and stuff. I folded these pages and buried them in a plastic bag. Then later on, I transferred them to a hiding place in my room. A few years later, my contraband supply increased dramatically (but in a much less explicit manner) when I found a stack of playboys on a dumpster (including Anna Nicole Smith’s first issue, which makes my own story with her that much more interesting). This stash was so sacred to my young self, I obsessed over it and carefully hid it, moving it every few weeks so it would never get discovered.

But these days, you can see two women blowing a panda on a public trolley at the click of a button. You can see that shit on your phone if you want to. Again, the notion of patience and waiting for something or even the dumb luck of finding something unexpectedly awesome is undermined by the fact that dumb luck and waiting are being systematically eliminated from the day to day of kidhood. But it gets worse.

This life that we lead here in the western world is on its last legs. The economy has collapsed, we’ve outsourced all our means of production and we’re just a nation of waiters, graphic designers and clerks who are gonna be hitting the shit-end of the sandwich pretty soon here. The oil: it’s all getting used. The earth: it’s brutally killing people. The world: it’s at war. My kids may grow up in a house with DVR and air conditioning, but they sure as shit aren’t gonna raise their kids in one. This day-to-day luxury’s all on the way to becoming crazily expensive and when you look at some of the more terrifying things that people are hoarding out there (like the way coke and this texas billionaire are buying up all the lakes and sources of fresh water in the world…um, that shit’s free now, so what’s the deal? What’s with the hoarding? Does that mean, in the words of the Cobra Skulls, that water is next…is that what you’re telling me? Jesus, that makes me thirsty. Apparently we’re also running out of tequila, which is gonna put a huge dent in the ‘performing abortions’ economy) it seems pretty likely that these kids are gonna have to be equipped to deal with a world that requires great patience and even a little bit of think-on-your-feet-survivalism, and uh, they’re not gonna get any training for that here.

End results: they’re gonna be weird. Yup. Your kids too. Sorry.

Monday, March 28, 2011

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Okay, so this show is coming up this weekend. This Sunday, April 3rd, I’ll be dazzling the Beat Kitchen with my own unique take on what music sounds like when filtered through a dirty man with questionable talents and I would like to encourage all of you to go, if for no other reason than I’ve been practicing and it’ll really suck if I did all this practicing (at the expense of taking care of my children and personal safety, mind you) and then no one showed up to see the wonderfully halfassed results. I mean, this shit’s gonna be poppin off, y’all. Are the kids still saying that kind of thing?
Good.

Okay, I’m highly uninspired today. I started writing about what a dildo Fred Phelps is, and I was gonna segue into Kirk Cameron and make some kind of wacky correlation that proves that closeted homosexual self-loathers are some of the most fucked up people on earth, but it just seems like that’s not really that interesting. I was also gonna touch on my weekend, which was DEFINITELY not interesting, even though I went to a hockey game and had a good time watching two gigantic black twins (dudes) make fun of a trashy drunk mom while we were all crammed into an elevator….ah, good times.

Anyway, the long and short of this is that today, I’m out of ideas, but it’s Monday and I know you all need SOMETHING to do while you’re taking dumps, so here’s this, the most content-free BSC entry in some time. I don’t have anything nice to say, nor do I have anything negative to say. I hate Mondays…I guess that could be construed as negative…BUT! One of my favorite dudes is coming to visit me this week, so that hatred is tempered by enthusiasm for the near future. Also, I’ve got that show, which means I’ll be seeing some of you, my lovely Dogs of War, and that’s a pretty great thing too.

Ah fuck. That’s all. I dunno. Maybe I’ll close with a joke.

This joke was first told to me by the incomparable Pete Anna one day when we were making the journey between Elgin and Chicago (which direction we were going escapes me) in his red Jeep, probably fifteen years ago. It goes like this:

A penguin decided he wanted to take a road trip. He had never really been out of Antarctica and really wanted to check out the States, so he flew to Miami and rented a car with the intent of driving to San Diego before flying home. Well, everything is going swimmingly until, somewhere in the middle of Texas when the ‘low oil pressure’ light comes on. “That’s not good” says the penguin. he pulls off the highway and as luck would have it, finds a small town with a service station.

The mechanic tells the penguin to hang out for about an hour while he figures out what’s wrong with the car. The penguin decides to walk around and check out the little town and return back in an hour. So, he’s walking along and he sees an ice cream parlor. Now, penguins LOVE ice cream, so he runs in and gets a large cone before continuing on his way. BUT, the cone begins to melt in the heat of the Texas sun and the penguin, having only flippers, was ill equipped to deal with the drippings. By the time he arrived back at the service station, he was a sticky mess.

The penguin walked up to the mechanic and says “so, did you figure out what was wrong with my car?”

The mechanic says “Looks like you blew a seal” and the penguin says “what this? No. This is ice cream.”

There you go folks. Pretty good joke. Share it with someone you love.

xoxoxox

Thursday, March 24, 2011

ah, sentimentality

I remember seeing Tim McIlrath’s old band, Baxter at a VFW hall in Arlington Heights Il. for the first time. My band, the Broadways, were loading in and this group of kids, fronted by a crazy looking dude with a wild afro were playing this weird blend of hardcore, metal, emo and pop punk. I turned to one of my dudes (I think it was Dan, but it may have been Chris [or honestly, knowing the way I tend to repeat myself, it was probably both of them]) and I said “mark my words, that dude is gonna be famous someday.”

As long as I’ve known Joe, he’s been one of the most driven and dedicated people I’ve ever encountered. He’s not only a great bassist, but he’s also so fucking determined to be a great bassist, and that’s a distinction that’s important. Once you’re the best, if you maintain the drive that got you there, you’re onto something. If you sit back and rest on your laurels, you’re just another person who was briefly interesting for a second. Interesting fact about Joe: he almost exclusively eats Italian food, or at least that was true when I used to see him regularly. It was ALWAYS pizza or pasta, and never anything else. It’s amazing he’s not six hundred pounds.

I could go through and talk about Zack (a nice dude who was in GWAR [which is amazing] and who’s always been super cool to me, but who I don’t really know very well) and Brandon (a great hang, one of the most fun people on this earth to get into trouble with) but that’s not really the point. I’ve known Joe and Tim forever and they just had a record that debuted at #1 in Canada and #2 in the US and that’s fucking incredible. I’m super, super proud to say that I’m from the same page in history as those dudes, even if my name is written much smaller (and please, that’s not some sort of attempt to fish for compliments or me belittling my own relevance with false modesty. I’m stoked for what my band has done and I wouldn’t rather be in any other band in the world [except maybe Millionaires]).

There’s a lot of shit talk out there in the world of punk rock these days, and if there’s any lesson to be learned from it, it’s that that kind of shit is sort of poisonous and lame. There’s a difference between having an opinion on something and being an asshole. There’s a difference between friendly competition and smarmy bullshit. There’s a weird, increasingly prevalent mentality where people seem content to turn their rifles on each other rather than shooting outwards, at the whole shitty world that corralled us into this subculture in the first place.

I mean, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t call people out for doing stupid things, or that you can’t say that something sucks when it does, only the most small minded pussies in the world would say something like that, but what I am saying is that it seems like there’s not enough positivity being sent out there in the kind of grand, visible stream of collective consciousness that negativity so often treads in, and today man…I’m super stoked for some friends that I knew back when I was a kid that have pulled off a truly amazing feat for a punk rock band, or any musician for that matter.
Bottoms up, Rise Against! (heh…that’s a funny, funny thing to say.)

Okay, I’m out of here. I’m going on about 5 hours of sleep. Time to dust my dick off and get outside.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm gonna howl now

Well, Liz Taylor is dead and on television I just found some asshole pre-teens advertising something called “Kidz Bop” to my 2 year old (no small feat considering that this ad is on an educational channel which specifically promises to never have advertising…I guess Kidz Bop is such a good product that they fudge the rules for it).

Liz Taylor was extremely beautiful for a long time. She was Cleopatra. She got married, got divorced, got married again, she was kind of like the horseshoe crab version of Madonna, in that she was a different breed of ‘take no bullshit’ kind of woman than the staunchly anti-fun, anti-male types that people tend to think of when they think of anything surrounding the idea of women’s rights (though that’s completely stupid. It’s about the same as thinking that everyone in the army is a moron or everyone that’s Mexican in the US hopped a fence or swam to get here…but that’s a whole other deal).

Liz Taylor kind of took ‘slut’ and turned it into ‘go fuck yourself,’ which is pretty cool. She was classy and hot and then she got old and crazy (you’ve all seen her howl at the moon when, near the end of her life, that reporter asks her if she’s gonna marry again, right? It’s worth a google if you haven’t. Wow) and she hung out with Michael Jackson and I dunno, man. She was an original and her actual life was a work of experimental art. It’s sad that she’s dead. What’s left? Kidz Bop.

Now, Kidz Bop, for those of you who don’t know, is a CD of hit songs as sung by kids. So, it’s the tunes of dipshits like Jason Derulo, BOB, that one douche with the real soft voice…Mark Posner, shit like that. Some of these people are little more than kids themselves and the whole thing seems to wildly vacillate between completely irrelevant and vaguely offensive. I mean, I really don’t have a problem with kids listening to whatever songs they want. I had a rogue copy of 2 Live Crew’s “Hey, we want some pussy” that I listened to on headphones when I was a wee lad, and aside from being a jobless waste of space with a penchant for foul language, I turned out okay. It’s just more that I don’t want to hear kids singing about lighting up clubs or fucking on the dancefloor, not because it’s salacious, but because it’s fucking stupid. These kids don’t even know what they’re singing. Nope. Actually, they really, truly don’t. Let me give you an example.

The song 50 Things by the Dead Milkmen was a big part of the soundtrack of my middleschool years, when I was approximately the age of the kids in the Kidz Bop ads, and it featured the line “no, I haven’t got any pills. No, I haven’t got any hash” and I thought that it referred to vitamins and corned beef hash. I thought the song was literally about getting your day started right, with a hearty breakfast and some vitamin C.

Now, it’s completely possible that this could be because I was stupid, but it’s more likely simply because I was a kid. Even though I did shit like write graffiti and look at playboys and ride skateboards and follow skateboarding and punk rock culture through magazines I sent away for, and even though I hung out with the dude that ran the bong shop that was located inside the skateboard shop, and I heard people talking about drugs and stuff, I just NEVER even considered that the song would be referring to ACTUAL pills and hash. Here’s the weird part: I didn’t realize what this song was really about until I was in my late 20s, and to this day, I still vaguely associate that song with breakfast.

My point is, kids don’t pick up on direct references, so they definitely don’t pick up on Usher’s euphemisms for getting head. I dunno, maybe they do. Maybe the kids are just that much more sophisticated than they were. I guess that’s entirely possible.

I mean, what happened to that simple time when a young girl from Arkansas could grow up and marry 8 times and hang out with a manchild with an ape for a best friend? What happened to that golden, bygone era of sweetness?
RIP Liz Taylor.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trust Jesus

Okay, let’s get this out of the way first. I have a show coming up that first Sunday in April (the 3rd) at the Beat Kitchen. It’s just gonna be me and my lovely guitar and voice and the whole thing should be a pretty good time. Dave from the Arrivals is playing acoustic, along with the full band stylings of the Haverchucks and The White Wives (which features two of your favorite Chrises from Anti Flag). Come down, have some fun and stagger home drunk, or at least drunk on punk…or spunk, depending on what you’re into. I can’t predict nor can I control the actions or sets of anyone else, but I can promise that I’m gonna be totally great up there. That alone should be enough reason for you to come out. Don’t be a pussy. Bring your friends, or if you’re a loser with no friends, bring a pocket of drugs. Expect new songs and old favorites, lots of singing from everyone around and a pretty low key atmosphere. Is that cool? Can we still do stuff like that? I just did this kind of thing in Denver and it was amazing, and that was booked in like a week. Don’t let me down Chicago. They may have the weed depositories and the mountains, but we’ve got the weirdos, right? Of course we do!
See you there.

Now onto our regularly scheduled prepared remarks.

The best crime involves art. I think that of all crime in that’s ever been concocted in the history of the world, graffiti is by far the coolest. I mean, putting up ‘illegal art’ is so awesome sounding that it conjures up visions of rebel artists and rouge designers battling in the shadows against an all-powerful, joyless military state, and I guess on some level that’s what’s going on (if you’re a hyper dramatic dork), but really, practically, it’s kind of about going around the corner on the train and seeing a huge, brand new mural illegally installed on some roof duct of some shitty warehouse. It looks cool, but that’s just part of it. It’s also like a weird rare flower or something that only blooms for a few days and then it’s gone forever.

The impermanence of graffiti is a huge part of what makes it so cool. But then there are some pieces that beat the odds and stick around forever. The whole thing is a dice game with no basis in quality or anything. In that way, graffiti may be the most tragically perfect reflection of humanity that we’ve ever come across in art. Much in the same way that John Lennon and Len Bias were senselessly scrubbed off the earth after a short time but your creepy pederast great uncle lived to be 90, a beautiful and poignant stencil or mural, meticulously crafted with its surroundings in mind, may be up for as little as twelve hours, but that dumb, hastily sprayed potleaf on your garage may stick around for forty years.

And yeah, it bears mentioning that most graffiti is more like the latter than the former. Like all art, or all of anything, most of it sucks and just a fraction is good. Now, I’m by no means an expert on graffiti, but I used to do a little graffiti writing when I was in highschool (I really never wrote much of anywhere but on newspaper boxes in my neighborhood and in the school bathrooms, and I abandoned the hobby when I realized that I was terrible at it, and I could go to jail. I stuck with guitar, which I was[am] also terrible at, but which is vastly less illegal) and I’ve followed the progression of the genre just a little here and there, and as such, I’ve got some pretty half cocked opinions on the matter.

The best graffiti, hands down is the stuff done by burnouts. The pentagram out by the drainage ditch, the words “zeppelin rulez” on the back of the highschool, the weird nicknames like “Stinky Dave” or “The Falcon” (which is, not coincidentally where the band name comes from…it’s an imaginary burnout’s tag. It’s funny, because people always ask me what Lawrence Arms means, but the story is dull. The Falcon actually has a cool genesis, and it’s never been brought up…goes to show: don’t think about anything ever, because no one else cares). After that, I like the stuff that’s real non traditional, the stuff that doesn’t look like what you expect from graffiti. The weirder the better as far as I’m concerned. My very favorite artist is a dude named Alexandre Orion from Brazil. He’s great. I think Banksy is great too (I hear a lot of people out there groaning, but hype machine notwithstanding, he’s doing really cool things and breaking the laws of art in new and exciting ways. I mean, he put his own shit up in the Louvre for fucks sake! That’s cool, and if you don’t think so you’re A) lame or B) lame and old) but I like anything that’s not just that shitty 90’s wildstyle with the ghetto duck dudes hanging around. So, if you come across someone who, say, hastily brush painted a shitty, drippy tv on the side of a walmart with pink interior paint, that’s cool, but a big thing that you can’t read that’s all blended and pro with some kind of dumb character next to it, that shit is wack. That’s my feeling on the whole thing.

Coming in after the weird stuff is the retro NYC in 1980 shit. Bubble letters and turntables and shit like that. That stuff is pretty neat, just because it seems like it’s mostly done by people who have a really weird idea of what’s going on. Now, I’m sure there are hipsters and stuff who paint that old school stuff as a tribute or whatever, and that’s okay I guess, but there’s still a TON of that shit around NY (and by extension the whole country/world) that’s obviously done by people who are trying as hard as they can to be relevant, with no idea that they’re doing something in a style that went out of favor and came back twice already, and that’s the stuff I’m really talking about.

But graffiti is just one facet of art crime. People who forge works of the masters or art thieves, who steal famous art from museums and sell it to weird sheiks who don’t care that they’re housing something hugely famous that they can’t really show anyone, that shit is incredible. It’s just a simple truth. Any crime is cooler once art is involved. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. Killing Dimebag wasn’t cool. That was lame. I mean, frankly, music may be the exception to the art-crime corollary. Nothing criminal is cool just because it happens around music. I guess it’s pretty much just a visual art thing, actually, because forging, say, a Mark Twain diary or going into the sewers with swords to act like Frodo seems more like the pursuit of a dork than a cool work of criminal genius.

Eh, who knows? I’m off to the aquarium.

Friday, March 18, 2011

friiiiday! Advice! Windsurfing!

This is the best ad I’ve seen in a while. I mean, you want to talk effective and on-message without being a chore to watch? I don’t know who did this, but the world of people selling things should be banging down their door.

So anyway, it’s Friday and I thought I’d kick things off with a little more advice for y’all to marinate on over the weekend. Here’s the query:

Q:
So yeah, since you're dishing out advice, and obviously have had luck in this department here it goes...

I'm in my late 20's and a mother one pretty rad little girl. In fact, she's so rad that I've decided I want to make another. Now my husband says he's on board with this but ever since we made the decision to "try" our sex life has gotten weird, mechanical, and almost nonexistent (which as we all know is NOT the way to make a baby). The first time he knocked me up was kind of an oops that turned out to be one of the greatest things to ever happen to us. We were newlyweds, it was after a wild night at the titty bar, and it was pretty hot. Now actually trying to get knocked seems, well, not hot at all. In fact, the whole act of "trying" totally turns my husband off to the point that we have less sex now than we did before (and I'm not even that crazy bitch with the ovulation kit saying "I'm fertile, it's time!"). All I want is to get laid every other night but the entire act of "baby making" sex seems to turn my husband off (and no, I didn't let myself go after the first one I'm actually pretty hot). How do I make trying to have a baby sexy? Does he just not want another kid & is afraid to tell me? I'm pushing thirty and my clock is ticking...

Help!

Fertile and not getting laid

A:
Okay, well, this one seems like kind of a no brainer to me, but that’s maybe because I’m a man with a penis and for us, the answer is ALWAYS blowjobs….But let’s start at the beginning. The situation here is that your husband, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to bone you. You’re hot. You guys usually enjoy hot sex and now, in the act of trying to make a baby, he’s not interested. You’re not trying to make the whole thing clinical but it’s too clinical for him. Is that about right? Hmmmmmmm….Tough one.

Um, there are two possibilities here, and I think you’re aware of them. The first one is the one you’re putting out there on the surface. He’s turned off by the notion of sex as a reproductive function. He wants to fuck you and he wants a baby but when the two things are combined it sucks and there’s seemingly no way around it. This makes sense on paper. Shit, I love chocolate ice cream and I love salmon, but I don’t want them together. In fact, these two things I love and often desire, when combined make me sick. This COULD be what’s going on. If it is, the answer is pretty simple. Give him blowjobs. Make him blow his loads in interesting places. If you’re so inclined, take it in the ass. In short, completely eliminate the possibility of a baby happening while you get your sex life up to warp speed and then, once the pressure’s off and you’re fucking like drunk nineteen year olds, you’ll be able to uh…water the lawn, so to speak, without it seeming like a big, functional deal. See? The answer, ladies, is often blowjobs.

BUT! There’s also another possibility, and it’s one that to me seems VASTLY more likely: he doesn’t really want to have another kid nearly as badly as you do.
Kids are hard work. Kids change the shit out of your lives and kids change people from hot chicks and cool guys to moms and dads. Even if they’re hot moms and dads, they’re still moms and dads. The wild nights at the titty bar are probably not what they once were, are they? The blowjobs at the breakfast table have probably decreased in frequency, eh? The nights of sloppy drunk sex or the mornings where you just lay around all day and bone, then put on a robe to get the pizza you ordered and then go back to bed are probably kind of gone, right?

I mean, I should hope so…you’ve got a kid running around. This is all stuff that just happens, not only because of a change in the way sex is desired after a kid is born (although that’s a real thing too) but because of the practical considerations of having a little person around who wakes up, sees things and needs attention all day long.

Now, I’m using sex as an example because this question ostensibly concerns sex, but this is just one of the many ways that life changes once you have a kid. It’s a big, huge change. And having two kids is a big, huge change from having one. It’s scary and unknowable and the prospect of a stranger coming into your house and completely fucking everything up now that you’ve finally got a handle on this last person that came along and fucked everything up, can be a hard thing to get your head around, much less get excited about, even if it’s almost guaranteed that you’re gonna like this new stranger.

But you’re on board. You want another kid. You’ve got a limited time to have one. You’re hot and you’re fun to be around and your husband realizes that this isn’t the kind of thing you can just put off, and he wants to give you the things you want, AND he realizes that by denying you a kid he’s altering the “Things You Want Out Of Life” irrevocably, but having another kid may NOT be something he can really feel like he wants to get behind right now.

Now THAT’S an advice question: “dude, my old lady and I have a great kid. Recently, she decided she wants another one. We both love our daughter and we’re not getting any younger, so I said “for sure, let’s go for it.” The thing is, the idea of another kid freaks me out. I feel like I’m BARELY getting the hang of having one, and I just don’t know that I’m ready for another one right now. My wife is doing a great job of not pushing me too much, but any pressure feels like a lot and the result is that I’m just completely clamming up when it comes time to bone. She thinks I just hate the clinical aspect of ‘baby making’ and I can’t bring myself to correct her and tell her how I’m feeling. She’s still super hot, and I know that she wants another baby and that we kind of have to do it soon if we’re gonna do it, and I know that we CAN do it and that I’ll love the new baby and our new, bigger family, but I can’t shake the dread that consumes me whenever I think of a second screaming baby in this house, much less the burden on our finances and what remains of our social life. What do I do?”

Is that possible? Is there even the most remote chance that this is the case? I mean, like I said above, I’d bet you ANYTHING that it’s this and if it is, you guys need to have a serious talk where you listen to each other and take the time to understand that you’ve both got legit life altering issues on the table, and do it as a team, not as competing negotiators. I mean, after all nothing fucks up romance like financial problems and kids and about 100% of the time, those things go hand in hand. Obviously, there’s no one besides the two of you that can say ‘have a kid’ or ‘don’t do it’ with any authority, so y’all need to hash it out before he winds up windsurfing in mexico with a broken soul while you start over screeching at the kids between dates with kindly, well meaning dorks.

SO, my advice is to seriously discuss his apprehensions, which he definitely has, because let me tell you something about the penis: as someone who’s had one for 34 years, very little can get in the way of wanting to bone someone you find attractive, if you’re just ready to go. If I was in a stinky porta potty and my old lady wanted me to bone her to take her mind of the smell, it would be no problem. If we were at my best friend’s funeral and she wanted me to bone her as a measure of consoling, no problem. If we were on a plane heading into the ocean…you get the idea. If everything you say here is true, then there’s almost no way that it’s simply the rote act of baby making that’s bumming him out.

But hey, if it is, try the blowjobs and the buttfucking (but keep in mind that if your husband is smart, he’ll gladly go the buttfucking and blowjobs route just to put off the conversation you’re going to inevitably have to have. I mean, what’s the downside there, right?)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Austin Massachusetts?

I’m up early. I’m not the greatest sleeper in the world and last night was just one of those nights where it doesn’t happen for me. I got up at 515 after lying in bed for an hour and pretending that I was gonna fall back asleep. This will, in no uncertain terms wind up biting me in the ass today in the form of grumpiness that almost brings me to tears sometime around 2 when these kids should be napping, but mercilessly decide not to. That, however, is neither here nor there right now as I’m awake and very comfortable. I’ve just done some exercise and now I’m drinking coffee and chatting with you turds. So, what’s on the docket today?

Well, since I’ve been home from SXSW film, a bunch of people have asked me different versions of the question “what’s the difference between the music festival and the film festival? Which one do you like better?”

Well, they’re definitely different. For one thing, there are just WAY more people slithering around during the music festival. Everywhere you look there’s some group of filthy mongos with guitars, playing on the sidewalk, washing their balls w a water bottle right there on the street shielded only by the open shotgun-door of their van, staggering drunkenly all over the place and generally being the human equivalent of piss stains. I’ve been this guy more than a couple of times down at SXSW, and it’s been pretty fun, but it’s one of those things that I’d liken to being at your local hipster bar.

Namely, at your hipster bar, you look around and you see a bunch of people that you think are ridiculous, who look like they listen to terrible music, who are making lame fashion choices and acting aloof to the whole stupid thing going on around them, which can be defined in no uncertain terms as them and their ilk making an already lame place lamer by their lame existence, appearance and attitudes. BUT, don’t you see what’s really going on? They’re looking at you the same way! You’re part of the crowd to them. YOU ARE ACTING ALOOF!!!! RIGHT NOW! UNAWARE THAT YOU’RE PART OF IT! JUST! LIKE! THEM!

Yeah, that’s what the music part of SXSW has always been like to me. I’ve always kind of walked around thinking to myself, “look at all these dumbasses. Don’t they realize that this festival isn’t gonna do shit for them? They’re just gross wastoids stumbling around, Peter Panning their way through one of their only moments of being ‘on tour’ before they go home to their crappy, dull lives,” blissfully unaware that I was every bit the dildo I was describing to myself.

I guess there’s one difference between me and my presumptuous vision of everyone else, and it’s not insignificant. There was NEVER a point upon me attending SXSW or CMJ (the new york version of SXSW. For those of you who don’t know anything about either of these acronyms, essentially both are ‘discovery zones’ where zillions of bands and a bunch of tastemakers completely take over a city and play/go to as many shows as possible over the course of a week in hopes of becoming/finding the ‘next big thing.’ I’m sure that both festivals have hearty and impressive resumes of the artists discovered therein, but I don’t know/care what they are) where I had any thoughts of being “discovered” or signed or anything like that.
We actually never played any shows anywhere with that in mind. I guess that I always felt that our records were better than our shows when we started out (yipes!) and if anything was gonna get us signed, it would be those, and by the time we got good live, we were on Fat, so for better or for worse, I guess we were truly the WORST kinds of musicians at SXSW: unnecessarily filling up space, not concerned with playing well, happy to just stay in the Omni and get free beer and eat at Stubbs.

So, in closing, the music festival was always a FABULOUS time. No pressure, no worries, nice hotel, free beer, packed show, no expectations, on to the next town armed with a warm feeling of unwarranted, smug superiority.

The film festival is probably like that too if you’re a filmmaker in the festival, but if you’re a guy with a plane ticket, no badge, no place to stay, no friends and a bag full of your movie’s trailer on DVD, it’s a whole different scene. It’s daunting. Everyone gives you the once over and then decides to ignore you (something that happens at the music festival too, but since I always qualified as ‘someone’ [if only in delusion] I never paid it any mind). When people asked me why I was there, my answers ranged from pathetic (just down here with a bag of trailers to see what happens) to bald faced lies (I’m covering the festival for Vice/Rolling Stone) depending on how desperately I was trying to get into whatever was going on. I ate free food that software companies were giving away on the street and I slept on floors, took the bus and had to stand next to a clown named Thwappy who constantly screeched through a megaphone just so I was able to drink his company’s free beer beneath the merciless Texas sun. I don’t recall going to the bathroom even once on the trip. I definitely never took off my shoes.

I watched two movies, one great, one not so great, under vastly different circumstances. The great one I had a VIP ticket for. The not so great one, I literally ran into when the ticket taker went to the bathroom. I also met some really, really cool people and kind of got to immerse myself in a completely new world. I used subterfuge and what would be called ‘charm’ on someone who was actually charming in order to get to know some people that I would never have otherwise met, and who I’m excited to attempt to stay in contact with and work with.

Fuck, at one point, I found out I had scored a meeting across town that I wasn’t expecting to get, so I left the bar I was in, tab open, card behind the bar, cheeseburger already ordered but not yet arrived, and sprinted ten blocks, hit the meeting, and then came back an hour and a half later, found my freezing cheeseburger and carried on, thanking the dude next to me for saving my stool/only meal of the day.

The shit was super exciting and nerve wracking and fun and vaguely dangerous, which is always cool.

At the music festival, I had no expectations or aspirations and I met them with ease, without ever even thinking about it. With the film festival, I had no expectations but my aspirations were through the roof, and that, to me, makes the film festival more fun, if only this time.

Hell, in a few years, when I’m back in the Omni, I’ll probably be back to unwarranted smug superiority. Til then though, um…yeeha? Yeah. That’ll do.

Yee ha.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Which seat should I take?

Goooooood morning! This timechange is fucking up my whole program, but I don’t REALLY care, because the feeling of waking up and looking at the clock and seeing it say “730” is rewarding somehow, even if my body is still waking up at the same time. It’s nice out today and I had a good weekend and I’m ready to face the universe today, which is not usually my program during the beginning of the week.

As some of you may know, I spent the weekend in Austin at the film festival part of sxsw and it was pretty cool. I met some really great people and I think I may have even made a connection or two that could wind up being helpful in selling my movie. Nothing terribly lifechanging happened, but it wasn’t a bust, which is uh…pretty good considering I went down there with no place to stay, no badge, no real contacts to speak of and nothing but my farty charm and grating sense of humor. Someone in a position of actual power in Hollywood did tell me that I looked “neither young nor dynamic” during a brief chat at a party, which I thought was a pretty good way to put it. Maybe that’ll be the name of my solo record. “Brendan Kelly: Neither Young Nor Dynamic” Then you kids can call it BK:NYND. Pretty snappy name….anyway, let’s get to the point for today.

Obviously, some terrible stuff has gone down in Japan recently and there really seems like no end in sight. In fact, it seems like it may all get worse before it gets better. In my experience, Japan is one of the most welcoming and generous places I’ve ever been. It’s really heartbreaking to see all this footage (especially that footage or the fishing boat caught in the whirlpool. That, for whatever reason made my spine tingle more than any of the other horrors that were broadcast immediately following the earthquake/tsunami). I came home from Austin a little bit giddy after a much needed vacation and a fairly successful business trip, and I was fully expecting to come crashing back to reality, bombarded with even more images and tales of horror from Japan.

And there were some of those, for sure. 2000 bodies floating in the sea…that’s grim shit. (That’s so grim that it would be a good name for a really brutal band. I’m not trying to make light of anything here, but 2000 Bodies Floating In the Sea is too good of a band name to just pretend it’s not there. Okay, just sayin). But the world, and our societal focus had definitely shifted by the time I got home. And to what?

This.

Now, I get it. I do. Really. It’s bad. Ha. Ha. Ha. Okay. It’s even REALLY bad. But really? This is worth all the commotion? I’ve gotten this fucking link so many times in the last 36 hours that I’ve gone from curious to fascinated, to bored to deeply disappointed. Look, I’m all for people mocking the shit out of one another, and I’ve said it right here in this space (about myself even) that you shouldn’t dare try and entertain people if you don’t want to be mercilessly ridiculed and have your self esteem put to the ultimate endurance test, but really everyone? Really whole world? We’ve got one of the nicest nations on earth floating in a sea of corpses and nuclear runoff and we’re all going apeshit because some thirteen year old girl didn’t fully flesh out her abilities before attempting to pull off a manifestation of her dream? Sad. That’s what it is. It’s just sad.

For those of you who don’t want to click on the link, it’s to a video for a song called Friday by a girl named Rebecca Black. My research reveals that she’s 13. The song, no doubt about it, sucks ass. The video is lame and the whole thing smacks of…well, of being a collaboration with a thirteen year old. Apparently, the sort of mob mentality here is: How dare this dumb, untalented little rich girl use the tools at her disposal to do her best version of something when it’s so bad. She didn’t even write the song! She’s got a label! This REALLY SUCKS! IS IT THE WORST SONG EVER?”

Well, yeah. It sucks. It does, but so what? I guess maybe (to take back my earlier statement) I just don’t get it, actually. I don’t care for making fun of someone so young just doing what they want to do. I mean, when I was thirteen I had lots of really half cocked, retarded ideas about who I wanted to be when I grew up. I briefly considered being a pro basketball player, for example, and I played basketball as badly, if not significantly worse, than Rebecca Black sings. I was a pretty half assed skateboarder. I even wrote and performed horrendous songs. The difference was that I didn’t have an avenue with which to put those songs and other assorted efforts in front of the world. But if I had, it would have undoubtedly be disastrous and that’s the part that bugs me about this: Thirteen is an age where you’re doing ALL SORTS of stupid shit and doing it poorly to boot. The general sentiment that I’m getting from the world at large here is “wow, ha ha! Thank god I was too shy/unconnected/cowardly/smart to attempt anything when I was still young and dumb. Look how fucking poorly it turns out!”

Man, that’s terrible. And people make fun of this girl because she’s rich enough to do something like this? Well, what the fuck does that have to do with her? She’s 13! If I was presented the opportunity to do something like make a video the world would see when I was thirteen, I would have jumped on it, whether it was from my wealthy dad trying to help me realize my dream or from some weird indie record label in LA (that's actually just a production house that produces high quality videos for dumb kids with popstar dreams [most likely at the expense of their [gasp!] rich parents). She’s just a kid, man. She’s just a kid who wants to sing. I mean, she’s not even particularly aggressive or shitty in the video. She sits in the back seat for fucks sake! She’s not ‘fronting’ on you or anyone else. She's not even the alpha dog in her own video! She clearly isn’t presenting herself as anything more than a young girl doing her best impersonation of the music she likes with her friends. What a monster.

Look, I realize I’m being a wet blanket and that this is hardly a big deal…except our world has MADE it a big deal. I mean, I dunno. Let’s see what happens. Maybe it’ll be revealed that this whole thing is the product of some Banksy-esque genius and ‘rebecca black’ is really a 27 year old Parisian man and the whole thing’s a farce and all that. Then, the joke will be on who? Me? All of us? I dunno, but man…I dunno. Seems shitty.
Yup.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm magical, y'all!!!!

Okay, I'm off to Austin. No time for the old in-out love. Sorry, just came by to read the meter. If you're drinking this weekend, don't drive and if you're driving, don't drink, but if you live in or are staying in Austin, email me a picture of your hotel room and I'll make a decision about whether or not it's nice enough to grace with my presence...Seriously, I'm sleeping on the streets, people.
Wish me luck, assholes!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

the triumphant return of advice!

Hey everyone! I haven’t done the whole advice thing in a while, but I got a good query from a young lady who seems to be in dire straits. What some of you old timers may remember is that I used to dole out advice semi-regularly with the wisdom and panache of a sassy gay man wrapped up in a no nonsense obese black woman, but due to lack of advice inquiries, the whole thing has slowed down…wait, that seems like a perfect segue into this latest advice query! You’ve still got it, Kelly!

Q:
My husband and I are in our late twenties, been together about six years and married for three (no kids). Overall our relationship is great, he’s an awesome guy, and I love the shit out of him.
The thing is, and it’s kind of a big thing, is that he doesn’t want to bang me anymore. We used to have an amazingly wild sex life, and it’s withered away to almost nothing. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time we had sex and that really bums me out. I don’t think this is my fault; I’ve stayed in great shape, take care of myself, and haven’t gotten gross in any way, and I’m still way horny. The issue seems to be that he devotes all his energy to porn & masturbating rather than me. I totally understand that guys whack off and stare at porn (I DO read your blog, you know), but I think it’s a little excessive… he has frickin’ calluses on his dick (I’ve seen the few times I’ve gotten to handle it), he’s always “too tired” to bone. And he just gets really embarrassed when I try to talk to him about it. I know some masturbation is healthy and fine by me, but it’s totally destroyed our sex life.
I’m starting to feel like Peggy Bundy nagging Al for sex, but he’d rather in the garage with his Big’uns. It feels really, really shitty. I don’t want this to be the reason for a divorce or anything, I love this sexless dude with all my heart, but I’m a sexual lady in my twenties and I still want to fuck. Is there any hope of reviving a lively boning relationship?

A:
Okay, well…first off, good on ya for seeking a solid and healthy resolution to this problem instead of doing what a lot of people do in this situation and just throw their cards up in the air and start boning someone else on the side. That, unfortunately for the day and age we live in, says a lot about your character.
Okay, now that the asskissing is out of the way, let’s get down to it. You are correct, dudes tend to look at porn, and it’s this humble advice columnist’s opinion that those dudes who don’t have weird issues that are rooted in some unfortunate form of shame, but that’s neither here nor there. Obviously in this situation we’ve got a partner who seems to understand the role of porn in the male sexual pantheon and another partner who’s, uh…to put it bluntly, kind of going whacktastic, and obviously isn’t dealing with any porn-shame issues.

Let’s digress for a moment. I whack off. Most people do, and as a man who has lived through puberty and the subsequent 20 year mardi gras of malthusianism that followed, I can say I’ve done my share of beating off. I’ve talked to friends about beating off, we’ve discussed what happens when you beat off five or more times in a day (it’s like dry firing a gun) and truly, we’ve all over-indulged to the point of rawdong, which is an unfortunate, but not uncommon side effect of being born a male with hands.

What I’ve never in my life experienced, nor heard tales of, is calluses forming on a dick. That’s pretty wild. Now, far be it from me to say that’s ‘outrageous’ or anything like that. It could have to do with your husband’s skin or his pounding style or any number of other things I’d rather not picture, but let’s just put it this way: if the callused up dong was the whole problem, I’d be telling you to relax (even though, and I can’t stress this enough, I don’t know how you do that…I’d say my crack team of cranking-off researchers have crested the threshold of human endurance more than a few times, so maybe we’re dealing with an almost superhuman ability to find the time to beat off, which brings me to my point…)

This is obviously more than a cosmetic issue. It’s ruining your marriage and the forensic evidence seems to suggest it’s taking up a ton of his time, to the point where he’s undoubtedly putting other things off as well. In short, he’s not just not boning you. Were it that simple, he’d be a regular, normal guy with a raw dong and a bad attitude beating off a relatively benign 5-6 times a day, but that’s not what’s happening. Here’s what I think:

You’ve heard psychologists talk about rapists before, right? One thing they always say is that rape isn’t about sex. It’s about power. Similarly, this beating off compulsion can’t be reduced to the self-satisfaction of the sexual urge. If it was, there’s no way he’d be doing it that much, nor would it make sense for it to COMPLETELY replace accessible sex. Beating off, more times than not, isn’t even about being so horny you can’t take it any more. It’s about boredom, it’s about escape and (and every single dude out there knows what I’m talking about here) it’s an avoidance behavior.

Once the regular routine daily quotient of beating off has been achieved (and that’s different for everyone. Could be once every three days, could be four to six times a day) any extra cranks to the chain are likely avoidance behavior, where you’re beating off to not deal with something else. Say you’re doing your taxes and it’s stressing you out, or you’re trying to find a job or you’re sick of trying to deal with your relationship or self loathing, or you just don’t want to get out of bed because you can’t stand your situation, or any number of the zillions of other things that come along in day to day life that can be mentally crippling, you just beat off. It’s mindless, physically rewarding, relaxing, releases endorphins and has a concrete beginning, middle and end, which so many daily problems (shitty job, I’m ugly, my wife’s fucking someone else) don’t seem to have. What is that the recipe for?

Addiction. Any escapist hobby can become addictive and I’d say that unless there’s something major that I’m missing here (he’s beating off to GAY porn, you’re insane, there are actually NOT calluses on his dick, he’s having an affair out in the garage) there’s absolutely no doubt that your husband has cultivated an unhealthy addiction to beating off/pornography. Your disappointment in his lack of sex drive likely only makes him want to seek refuge in the cloak of his addiction, much like the way confronted drunks tend to go binge drink and overeaters, when mocked about their fatness tend to seek comfort in food. Your husband’s bottle of Wild Turkey or his pie a la mode is in the garage on his computer.

Now, this is the kind of problem that’s bigger than an advice column. You, as a monogamous member of your relationship, have a right to expect to be fucked on a regular basis. If you look at Maslow’s pyramid (an easily googleable chart which outlines the importance of the things humans need, also referred to as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) , sex is right there by food, sleep and shitting, beneath even personal safety, so what he’s doing to you by not addressing this problem is akin to withholding sleep or starving you (There are people who have low sex drives who will undoubtedly read this last sentence and scoff, but sex is a fundamental instinct, and I stand by this. It’s literally torture to withhold sex from someone who is unwilling to fuck up the life they have by seeking it elsewhere).

SO, here’s what I’d say: show him this column. Make him see how seriously you’re taking this whole deal. Obviously, you’ve tried to talk to him but whatever it is that he’s truly refusing to deal with has become tied up in your sexlife and well, if it were as simple as having a conversation, he’d still be fucking you. Tell him that you’re worried about what’s bothering him and that you want to see him take steps to figure it out, whether that’s seeing someone professional or another route, but that you won’t just sit there while he ignores your needs and beats off in the garage for the rest of your lives. As hilarious as it sounds, he needs a bit of an intervention, a kick to the balls so to speak, because he’s clearly in the grip (pun unintended but enjoyed) of something more powerful than simple conversation will be able to loosen.

And if he refuses to listen or talk or try to make the steps to fix himself, tell him you’ll divorce him, and if that doesn’t motivate him, do it. If you stay stuck in the situation you’re in now, you’re either gonna wind up fucking someone else and look like the bad guy, or you’re gonna go crazy and your life is gonna start to suck on a chronic and eternal level. You seem like you’re at the end of your rope (otherwise why would you write into a smarmy dildo like myself for advice) so do yourself a favor and treat this like the very, very serious problem that it is (AND, don’t listen to him when he says that it’s not a problem and that I’m a retard and that I’m way off and that he’s not avoiding anything and that this VERY PART OF THIS COLUMN RIGHT HERE is total poison bullshit, because THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE WHO ARE ADDICTED TO THINGS SAY WHEN THEY’RE CONFRONTED WITH THE REALITY OF THEIR ADDICTION.)

Um, yeah. Good luck with this. Pretty rough. Calluses? Really? Wow. Anyone else out there get the calluses?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the stars at night are big and briiiiiiight....

SO, this weekend I’m headed deep into the heart of BBQ and 3 liter sodas to hop some fences, run from some bouncers and see some movies. That’s right, I’m going to Texas: Austin, Texas to be exact, where the belt buckles are big, the mustaches hang low and once in a blue moon or two, a few vast worlds of nerds convene to show movies, watch movies, do key bumps in bathroom stalls, negotiate blowjobs and generally do whatever it is that needs to get done to get a piece of shit movie off the ground, and I’m doing it without any badges or credentials, just a pair of running and climbing shoes and my fartastic charm.

It’s the SXSW film festival, not to be confused with the music festival, which is, I guess, more famous (although, I could be wrong about that. I tend to have a fairly myopic view of popular culture as someone who’s spent a lot of time in the music industry. It’s completely likely that the film festival is a bigger deal than the music part [though I kind of doubt it, because music festivals in general tend to be bigger spectacles than film festivals…or am I being from LA again {this is a reference to the geographical knowledge that people from LA tend to possess, which essentially entails knowing that SF is above, Mexico and SD are below, and everything else is on the east coast, hence the conversation I have EVERY time I’m in LA which goes like this:
THEM: where are you from?
ME: Chicago.
THEM: Wow…East coaster, eh?
ME: *extended sigh, slight feeling of unearned, unwarranted superiority*}?
It’s quite possible that I’m underestimating film festivals in general because I’ve never been to one before. I have, however, been to more music festivals than I bet Lou Pearlman’s gonna have to go to in his brimstone filled afterlife, so I DO know a thing or two about those….Anyway, let’s move along, shall we?]) and I’m going down there because a few people I know are premiering movies and have invited me along, and since I’m in the final stages of finishing up a movie myself, I figured, what better way to prepare myself for the grueling, eternal glory hole that is breaking into Hollywood than to shoot down to a film festival and try to be charming around all these various gatekeepers/people who have already sucked their quota of dicks and gotten in?

Now, I’m no idiot (this is debatable). I’ve been invited to some cool afterparties and the people I’m meeting up with down there seem to be somewhat important. They’re directors that make big movies that people see, and they’re gonna kind of take me around a little, so I’m not gonna be one of those dipshits with a stack of DVD’s just wandering in and out of movie theaters or trying to toss them to directors or producers as they walk by on the other sides of some velvet ropes or what have you…I’m gonna have some access to the insider parties and shit like that, and I’ve recruited a friend who’s a local and extremely well liked member of the Austin bar/music/movie scene who seems to think he’ll probably know the people working the doors of the parties that I CAN’T get into…and that’s everything I’ve got. I have no credentials of any kind besides being on a guest list or two, and that’s gonna make shit kind of interesting.

See, being with the right people is important, and looking like you know what you’re doing and like you’re supposed to be wherever you’re trying to get to is also important. I’ve got those things (kind of) going on, and that should work some of the time, but the rest of the time, I’m gonna have to get a little sneaky, which is pretty fun/scary to think about. Essentially, I’m headed down to Austin with no place to stay, no credentials for this festival and nothing but a vague idea of what to do when I get there, besides try to sneak into events and be overwhelmingly awesome. I’m gonna be wearing those pants that have a breatheable window for my nuts to hang out of (which ladies seem to adore), and I’ve got a few funny anecdotes about 9-11, the holocaust, abortion and religion that should really sort out who’s cool and who’s square…so things are about as ready to go as they’re gonna be over here, y’all.

But shit, I started writing this movie almost two years ago…maybe it’s even been over two years at this point…and now it’s almost done and it’s super exciting to try to move on to the next step, which is overcoming the crushing and overwhelming lack of interest the powers that be will have in watching it. Once we surmount that obstacle though, there’s the next step, which is even better…I’ve worked on this shit for 2 years. Not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought about it in some way. Many days I’ve spent dawn til dusk thinking, sweating, toiling and worrying about this movie and it’s gonna take someone an hour and a half to sit there, watch the whole thing and go “it sucks,” and that’ll be the end of it.

Eh…pretty rad. Anyway, if you’re in Austin and you’re super cool, lets meet up and you can help me get over a few fences or buy me some beer or bring me a tarp to sleep on.

Ah, what a magical journey this is shaping up to be!

Monday, March 7, 2011

back in MY day...

Lately, for reasons vastly too stupid to go into here, I’ve been revisiting the music of some of the bands I was in when I was a teenager. I’ve been struck several times by a few things. Namely: I really, really used to be an even worse singer than I am now and I used to spend an awful lot of time singing about the ethereal idea of ‘freedom.’

It seems that the me of approximately twenty years old felt that freedom was the most important thing in the world, the homeless exemplified living this dream and were subsequently ostracized by everyone else caught in the stranglehold of the enemy of freedom, the Job.

As a twenty year old, I’d had a few jobs but none had ever paid me so well as making music (this isn’t saying much…the notion that I made more from a royalty statement [back when people used to buy records] than working at Ben and Jerrys or McDonalds [actual jobs I held and even wrote about a year ago in this very space] is hardly a surprise. Those jobs didn’t pay shit. And they sucked. And I didn’t really need them because my expenses were exactly 0 dollars and I made a little bit of money just fucking off with my band.

What I’m saying is, I was completely free at that time. I’d attained total freedom and I guess these songs were a sort of ode to living the dream on one hand and on the other hand a ‘fuck you’ to the world of people with jobs. That’s slavery, man. Fuck a job. Fuck you, you drones! At least the homeless have their freedom, man!

And on and on like this for record after record.

Here’s what I didn’t understand: A job is not a yoke. A job isn’t slavery. Yes. Lots of jobs totally suck dicks and especially right now, it’s hard to get jobs so people often feel stuck…but jobs don’t have an agenda for YOU. YOU can quit. The job won’t care. It will get someone else to do the job that you once did and it’ll be fine. The job is a tool that allows you to have some money and do things with the time that you have where you’re not there. That’s all it is, and that’s the way the whole thing should be measured.

Do you have time when you’re not at your job where you’re able to enjoy the money that they’ve given you to be there? Not always. Lots of people work really hard jobs and at the end of the day they just come home, drink themselves to oblivion and then pass out, wake up and do it all again. That sucks. That’s the kind of job you should probably quit. But otherwise, if you’re enjoying your money (which is what you get in exchange for working…I’m not trying to paint a grossly materialistic portrait here, I’m just emphasizing the nuts and bolts exchange that exists when you have a job) and your free time, well, in the great scheme of things, you’ve got a pretty good job (I’m not really getting into things like ‘enjoying your work’ or being self employed, or any self actualization that comes from just doing your job well…mostly because for our purposes here, it’s kind of irrelevant, but believe me, I’m acutely aware that those are huge factors in feeling like you’ve got a good job or not).

But the fact remains, the job is not your master, and neither is your boss. If you want to, you can tell your boss to go fuck himself. You’ll probably be fired and getting another job may be hard, but it’s not an illegal thing to do, nor is it uncommon. The thing that makes you a slave is the way you spend your money and your leisure time. THAT’S the enemy of freedom. Not work. Work is a tool that can help you to enjoy your freedom. A house that you own, however, or a family, THOSE things require responsibility and money and a pretty never ending supply of both. And it’s usually only through your old buddy, the job, that you can get that steady flow, and that’s where the whole thing becomes perverted to young ideologues who have never really stared down the notion of freedom vs slavery.

It’s easy to rail against a boss (because bosses are cocksuckers a lot of the time) and it’s easy to rail against a large corporation (because lots and lots of shady stuff gets done in the name of maintaining a favorable bottom line for the ‘fat cats’ while poor people slave in factories). And big corporations and bosses DO tend to suck, but they’re not the enemy of your freedom (unless you live in China and work for Nike). They’re the people that enable you to decide if you want to work and have money, or not work and not have money. They offer you a tool that you may or may not use. That’s it. Again, they don’t have an agenda for you. They’re just trying to give you money in exchange for part of your life, but only if you’re willing to make that deal.

BUT, there’s not really a good, angst-y way to rail against adjustable rate mortgages and babies. To bitch about babies is to be a real weirdo/asshole, especially if you’re just a kid doing it theoretically. And singing hardcore songs about bank loans is so painfully dorky that it actually may have gone all the way around the dial and become a cool idea, so uh…I dunno. I’m not gonna do it, but maybe one of you should.

I guess my point is that I sang all these songs about freedom from responsibility and jobs back when that was all I knew: freedom from responsibility and jobs. And now that I’m older and I listen to those songs, I can’t help but notice that I’m singing against all the wrong things. Not like I’ve changed my mind or that I’ve ‘grown up and no longer believe,’ but rather that I was railing against a straw man.

I dunno. Maybe that IS what I’m saying, but I still like freedom and I still like to have no responsibilities. But you know what? Responsibilities are things you take on in exchange for cool stuff, like having a house or a family, things that are really, really nice and hopefully, things that make taking on that responsibility worthwhile. And you know what else?

There’s nothing so gross as the grownup that’s never taken any resposnsibility for anything. Living in a shitty hovel and bumming around and being broke and out all night and shit is romantic and awesome when you’re 22 or 19, but when you’re pushing forty? It’s gross. It’s like doing jumps on stage while you’re playing guitar or dying your hair funny colors or any number of other things vaguely associated with being young and cool. It’s cool when you’re young, but once you’re not young, that shit ain’t cool. Don’t believe me? Go down to the hipster part of your town and hang out in a happening bar that’s full of cool people. Look around for the dude that’s older than me with the bleached hair and the hip clothes talking to the 22 year old girls. Is that cool?
Nah, brah.

Get some dignity.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WOW!!!! ADVERTISING!

Hey! I'll be starring in a post dinner theater version of "A night at the L&L tavern on Belmont and Clark" this saturday night. I'll be playing the role of creepy bartender with a beard. You should come down and get drunk. It's the part I was born to play. I'll be serving tigers blood and chocolate milk and everything else that could possibly relate to the insane popularity of Charlie Sheen's meltdown...um...yeah. Come see me. It's the least you can do. er...um, winning? is that it? Rhymes with winning?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ooh la la

There are two main demographic groups that go to lady gaga concerts: gay dudes and older women in bras. As I walked around the united center a couple of nights ago, I was repeatedly bombarded with this realization. The gay guys weren’t a shock. Lady gaga is to gay clubs and parties what that fat bunch of turds that sing about the bodies hitting the floor is to Marines (but not dead). As if to compensate for being such a large and potentially unshocking majority, the gay dudes were dressed up in costumes the likes of which this reporter has never seen.

I pissed next to a dude who was easily 6’6” and wearing platform boots. He was also wearing a prison striped bikini. Okay, that’s fine. That’s not even really that weird. I mean, I ordered my beer ($9) next to a cowboy in a large-mesh, skintight pink fishnet shirt, rainbow cords, a mesh cowboy hat and full on Elizabeth Taylor makeup (blue eye shadow, ruby red lips, mascara and false lashes, rouge). He was in his late forties, and in my opinion, he was rocking a much weirder outfit than boots and a bikini. However, my buddy in the bikini had also built a box around his head which had bars on the front that he was looking out through, like a mind prisoner or something. Oh, he also had a little guy on a leash, who ordered him to stand up and pee (there was a bit of a debate as to whether the mind prisoner should sit or stand, all conducted in sassy gaytino accents, which made it endlessly awesome).

So yeah, the gay dudes were out there, glammed up and in some cases, massively perved out, like the dude who was just in the assless leather speedo, knee high boots, spikey necklace and ball gag. The whole thing ran the gamut from disturbingly awesome to awesomely disturbing, but it was the women that really kind of surprised me.

At any concert, one will find women dressed up to maximize their assets. This is sometimes colloquially referred to as ‘dressing slutty’ but in my experience that paints a truly awesome style in a negative light, and I don’t want to do that. So, lets just say that at the Gaga concert there were plenty of women who felt their best assets were their tits, asses, legs, stomachs, backs and so forth. A humongously popular trend was being old and wearing just a bra instead of a shirt and a bra.

Now, it’s not that I’m one of those people who thinks that you’ve gotta be super attractive to dress sexy. That’s kind of shitty. And it’s not that these women looked bad in their bikini tops. I guess I’m just kind of surprised that women that age would be into that. I mean, I know women in their thirties. I know a lot of them. And I cannot for the life of me think of a single one of my thirty something female acquaintances that would go to a concert (or really anywhere for that matter) wearing just their bra, and I’m friends with some serious skanks. (At this point, before we leave the shirtless women and move on to the actual show, I should point out that most of the women in bras seemed like they were in their late thirties and early forties…not the twenty year olds, not even the thirty two year olds, the thirty nine to forty five year olds. It was a sight to behold….anyway).

Gaga has never struck me as attractive before. I mean, I think she’s super magnetic and I like her style (more than I like her music, though she’s really, truly an impressive vocalist [as evidenced during her performance, during which she obviously sang live {though to a track during the choruses, which I still consider to be fully acceptable, since after all, it IS the chorus and on those recordings the vocals are at the very least quintupled}]). But man, I’m wrong. And you out there…you that has seen the close ups on Larry King or the View or in front of capitol hill or at the grammys or whatever, you who think she looks like a melted pee wee herman in drag, you who thinks she’s got a fish chin, you who thinks, like I did, that finally, FINALLY a woman who’s not that hot is being celebrated worldwide for her talent and not her hotness…well, sorry to say, she’s SMOKING hot. She’s sexy and hot and beautiful and I’m as surprised to be writing this as you are to be sitting there shaking your head and saying ‘bullshit! Who does he think he’s fooling? I’ve seen her! She’s a pig!’

You’re wrong. I was wrong. She’s a stone cold fox. One of the best looking women I’ve ever seen in person. I mean, look…You’ve all seen pictures of famous people before and then seen them in person, right? They don’t really look like their pictures or movies when you see them live. Sometimes, they’re actually grotesque and ugly and sometimes they’re vastly more attractive than you’d ever imagined. That second one is what’s going on with Lady Gaga. (And me too, honestly. Have you ever seen pictures of me? Sure, I’m great looking in photos, but in person I’ll peel the paint off your barn [so to speak] with my incredible visage. Yeah, my sloppy, sweaty, droopy eyed photogenetics, stunning as they are, absolutely mask my unthinkable beauty. It’s no wonder I’ve done a ton of underwear modeling [the massive dong doesn’t hurt matters either].)

Anyway, the show started and it was a gigantic spectacle that probably costs a million dollars a day, bare minimum to do. Now, I’ve noticed that when big fans of lady gaga (gay dudes, old women in bras) talk about her shows, they say crazy, grandiose things like “oh my god! Lady gaga totally fucked my face with her mind” but to me, it was just pretty good. I mean, don’t get me wrong, she’s spectacular as a performer and the whole thing was executed beautifully, but I’ve unfortunately been raised in a world of quick cuts and spectacular feats of pyrotechnic prowess and such and the result is that after about forty five minutes of looking at almost anything, I get kind of bored. So the show was cool, but it didn’t compare to standing in the concourse and watching the freaks and slutes giddily flit about. That was the real party.

In closing, we were born this way my little monsters.

And so forth.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

if you try it once you’ll die, your face will melt off, and your children will weep over your exploded body.

I love Charlie Sheen. Well, no. That’s not really true. I liked Platoon, I thought Major League was spectacular and I kind of like the bug-eyed sincerity that he brought to that Hot Shots franchise. I think he was great in Young Guns and his role in Ferris Bueller’s day off is nothing short of spectacular. That’s easily his finest work.

Well, until now. Obviously, Carlos has been in the news a lot recently, and it’s been pretty wonderful. I’d like to think he built this whole thing for us to enjoy. Oh! It’s possible. Don’t think it’s not. Remember, we’ve spoken before about how these days, what with all the 24 hour news cycles and the Life and Style’s and the US weekly’s and our obsession with ‘reality,’ the prime avenue through which celebrities now entertain us is no longer through their work, but through their lives outside of work. The work is just the stepping-stone to the real stardom…or not, actually. The actual work is actually becoming unnecessary and outmoded, not unlike dial-up or computer discs: just a superfluous step that we’ve finally evolved past.

This is really the only explanation that anyone needs for why people like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton are famous: they’re reality stars. They don’t necessarily have to star on reality shows, they’re stars of ACTUAL REALITY, and in the truest, most dynamic and modern way possible, there IS a show, it’s just not a TV show (I know that Kim has a show, by the way, it’s called making a point, so relax).

In fact, this is really an interesting phenomenon. Everyone from record executives to artists to marketing people at McDonalds talk about how they want to utilize social media and all sorts of ‘alternate avenues’ of shoving crap down the consumer’s throats. “it’s not enough to have commercials on TV. We need the internet, viral campaigns, twitter, facebook, water cooler buzz, a STORY LINE etc.” What no one seems to really notice is that (for example) Lindsay Lohan has completely pioneered this idea and perfected it to the point where nothing needs to exist at the heart of it. She’s the star of a wildly successful and drama filled show. You hear about it from clips on the internet, tweets, facebook, youtube, photos here and there, news briefs, but make no mistake, it’s not just real life playing out. It’s a full on multi-media reality show.

And she’s a star. She’s a HUGE star, in fact. She’s the star of a show with a colorful cast of characters that’s being told in a completely new, completely digital way that’s not beholden to schedules or executive board whims or even media formats.

This IS what the people that are trying to get the word out about a new type of Filet o Fish are trying to achieve…Say what you want about Lindsay, but she’s made the first blueprint of the way that entertainment is going to wind up. People aren’t gonna need TV shows any more, they’re dying anyway. It’s so much cooler if shit just happens. Banksy kind of does this too a little bit, but in a more sparse (and sophisticated) way.

Anyway, this is a long tangent, but mark my words. Lindsay Lohan is the future of entertainment in all media. It started with the Real World, hit critical mass with those shows about fucking someone who’s fucked Flavor Flav, and has now finally stepped out of the primeval ocean to take its first steps on land.

Okay, so back to Sheen. This guy has set the basis for his show up really, really admirably. Britney, when she first pioneered the movement of a Reality show (capital R to indicate a show about reality not bound to traditional episodic television) kind of scared me. She’s a young girl and she was having a lot of pressure put on her and she snapped, and it was sad. There were moments that were scary. I mean, sure, it’s fun to watch a millionaire go into a gross bathroom with no shoes on and everything, but Britney seemed like she was obviously deep down a nice girl who was lost and she had genuine fear in her eyes when she shaved her head and went all “the Penguin” on that paparazzo’s van.

Sheen, however, taking a cue from the Spears Show has absolved us from any guilt we may feel in watching his demise by being a woman-beating sack of shit. He also maintains a look of smug omniscience, which is one of the most hatable traits a human can possess. And finally, he’s just going completely balls out. Where Lindsay has no choice but to be followed by her story and life, whereas Britney ran from it, Charlie Sheen is texting messages that undermine his (former) publicist’s cleanup efforts, he’s blitzing every media outlet he can, he’s getting pornstars in his house tweeting shots of their beavers and his massive bottles of vodka. He’s hitting the ground running and absolutely making sure that no one, regardless of what weird outpost of media they’re getting their entertainment from, is missing even a second. Hell, he’s probably telegraphing dong shots all over Mongolia and the north pole.

And once he’s there, in the public eye, man, is he saying the BEST stuff. Today on Howard he told us that he’s worth a hundred billion dollars, and that’s just on a cellular level. He’s on a drug, it’s called Charlie Sheen. There’s tiger blood in his veins (and that’s gotta be illegal) .He’s saying things over and over and over again and then saying they’re jokes. He’s passing drug tests(?) and then apparently just going right into the next room and smoking crack before he does his interviews. He’s GLEEFULLY pissing on the heads of everyone that he stands above, and pissing on his own career and reputation in the process, and just LOVING THE SHIT OUT OF IT, which is fun as shit to watch on a zillion levels.

I thought Mel Gibson was entertaining, but this shit makes Mel Gibson look like a pre-recorded game of Pong. I mean, Charlie Sheen is literally dismantling one of the most successful careers and franchises in history all for our amusement and to what end? He just wants to party with hookers and blow and hold a bitch’s head under the water in the toilet until she learns to listen in peace, without all the ‘turds’ breathing down his neck? Is that it?

Well, that’s the greatest part: That’s NOT it because now he’s going apeshit demanding his show back and attempting to galvanize his massive legions of fans! I mean, it bears mentioning that he’s on EVERY network, in EVERY magazine, on EVERY website (including this one) and in the world of all-publicity-is-good-publicity, he’s KILLING IT like no one ever has before, except maybe Monica Lewinsky or Osama. And that’s no easy task, folks.

Okay, I’m off to sprinkle magic all over the day of a toddler and his young baby sister, so I gotta stop wasting time here, but remind me, tomorrow I’m gonna tell you guys all about my experience with Lady Gaga last night. In what can only be described as an unexpected revelation, she’s incredibly, incredibly hot.

That shit’s true, folks.