Monday, December 6, 2010

Best Songs Ever Part 2: This time it's personal...

Jawbreaker-Chesterfield King- I almost don't want to comment on this song. This was the song that made a Jawbreaker fan until they bury me. The whole song, and the entire story it tells probably happened to me about six quadrillion times. Still does. If you don't know (obviously you're an asshole), the song is about what happens when you don't make a move. You know what the fuck I'm talking about. It's about that shit your mind does when you leave a room and you know you should've done more. My favorite part of the song to be totally honest though, is when the character in the song goes to the convenience store and hangs out in the parking lot. In perfect detail you can totally visualize the toothless woman that stops and asks for a cigarette. You can almost see that our protagonist is going "fuck this is the last thing I need". I love that. Jawbreaker is notorious for that shit. The little details you think about when the big shit happens. The stuff you notice. That's reality. Jawbreaker sang songs about stuff they knew. Nothing more authentic than that.

NOFX- Liza and Louise- Now for something totally different. And really immature and crass. The song is about a chick who steals her boyfriend's car and then goes to the city. Where she meets Louise. And the song turns into Penthouse Letters. And it's really funny. That's it. I love singing it in the car. The end.

Ozma- Natalie Portman- Hahaha. This is a bit of an obscure one I think. The other stuff maybe you heard of. This one probably not. If you know the lyrics to this song then you get the little inside joke I just typed. The song is titled "Natalie Portman" who many people know is the ONLY celebrity I would marry. But that's not why I love the song. No. It's about ANY girl. It's about looking at some girl from far away and going "this girl wouldn't touch me to smack me". And just when you think THAT'S all the song is about, he goes "If I'm a proper Jewish boy...would her family love me?". Suddenly the song IS about Natalie Portman. I can totally relate to that. A lot of people who know of this band call them the poor man's Weezer. I can see that. They right dorky powerpop songs about girls. If that's a poor man's Weezer then everyone of these new "indie rock but really we are corporate rock wannabe's that want to be featured in the new Michael Cera movie" bands is a poor man's Weezer.

Shai Hulud- A Profound Hatred of Man- Yeah. Shit just got real. I will hurt you if you're within three feet of me while this song is playing. Just sayin'. I won't mean to do it. But I go a little nuts whenever I hear it. There's not much to say here other than if you want REAL metallic hardcore with true heart and substance, this should be your favorite band too.

Jawbreaker- Kiss the Bottle- Yeah two Jawbreaker entries. Deal with it. Who hasn't been in this situation? I should've, but I got too drunk. Yeah. I don't think I even need to say anything else. But I will. Blake Schwartzbach again describes every single detail. It's like a blueprint for personal failure that despite my best efforts I seem to follow to a tee. Shit happens I guess. Worship this song.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Best Fucking Songs Ever Part I: A list of things you should listen to. But don't.

  It has been many many moons since we found ourselves here in the hallowed halls of Rag Rants. I've been busy ya know? So I've been thinking a lot about music these days and I gotta say, everything sucks. I don't like the new "indie rock". I tried to. But I just don't like it. Way too pretentious for its own good. So that means I pretty much hate a lot of what you probably like. You have shitty taste. So I thought, I am usually pretty vocal about the stuff I hate. What about the stuff I like? Well, I have decided to list a bunch of songs that I think are the greatest songs ever. Note: I said what "I" think. That means only my opinion is going to count here. I don't care if you agree (although you should if you were cool). So. Here it is. In no particular order.

Joy Division- Love Will Tear Us Apart- So what if I start with some melancholia? Many songs on here I can sing along to. This one I can, but do not. It is way too morose for that sort of thing. Basically the last song Ian Curtis wrote before he killed himself, it's about failing relationships and basically falling apart. You know as you listen to the song that there is no happy ending. There is no getting the girl back. The song basically says life's a bitch and so was she, but with much better vocabulary usage and symbolism. When this song comes on, I have to pause whatever I'm doing until its over. I don't know why. Admittedly, nothing like what the song describes has ever really happened to me. Not to that level of intensity anyway. Still, it'll hit ya like Charlie Sheen hits porn stars.

Black Flag- Police Story- Our first of many Black Flag entries. This song is a pissed off train wreck. This song, like the one above, was written a little bit before I was born but I can only imagine what people hearing it for the first time ever must have thought. It's as relevant now as it ever was, but if I could build a time machine I'd send myself to 1980 just to hear this song live. I'm sure I would go home bleeding and sweaty, but shit I would be happy. Now granted, no cops have ever really done anything terrible to me, but I get it. I totally understand what they're saying. True story: one day I decided to listen to the entire "Damaged" album which has Henry Rollins' version of the song while driving to the supermarket. This was about three years ago maybe more. As "Police Story" came on, I suddenly became aware that a cop was pulling me over. Right as Rollins was yelling how much he hates them. Totally fucked. Also, if you are a fan of the Flag it's generally a terrible idea to listen to them while driving.

Weezer- Across the Sea- One of my favorite songs off of the nerdiest album ever written. It's also possibly the most messed up. Taken literally, it's about our hero Rivers Cuomo imagining getting together with a schoolgirl from Japan and how she touches herself at night. Yes I know. This sounds sick. But if you choose to be a rational human being and take the song for what it really is, which is an ode to not getting the one you want because there is a barrier you can't break, like a "sea", then it takes on a whole new meaning. This is the meaning I get out of the song. I think this is what the intended meaning was, although the song kind of descends into a peeping tom madness. I will admit that I go a little nuts when this comes on the IPizzle. You may see me wailing "Why areeeeeeee yoooooouuuuuuuuuuuuu soooooooooo far awaaaaaaaaaay from meeeeeeeeeeeee?" very loudly while driving on occasion. You may see me get a weird smile on my face when I sing the really creepy part, or the beginning "You are 18 year old girl who live in small city in Japan". Like I'm not really singing the lyrics but something else entirely. Like I'm remembering something that happened one time while this song was playing, or someone. Ya never know and I'm not fucking telling. Wait till we get to other songs on "Pinkerton".

The Smiths- Girlfriend in a Coma- Mozzer and the boys are gonna be on here a lot. Deal with it. This may almost be my favorite Smiths song. It's so simple yet so great. Basically it's this really sarcastic song about a girlfriend in a coma. I'm serious. The whole song Morrissey is almost hoping his girlfriend doesn't ever wake up. I read somewhere that the song is actually sort of an homage to those tragic 1960's death songs like "Leader of the Pack" or "Dead Man's Curve". Shit like that. The twist in the song being that The Moz is remembering all of their worst arguments and how he could've strangled her himself. It's because of this that I choose to interpret the song as a not too thinly veiled "I don't like the girl I'm with" song. You can almost hear him asking the doctor in the line "Do you really think she'll pull through?" Like almost like he's saying, really? are you sure? how about I give you five bucks so she doesn't wake up for a while? No? He's telling us all how serious it is, like he's guilty that maybe he should care more. It's a really morbid song if you think about it, but in a sort of humorous way. I know that doesn't make sense but fuck you I write what I want.

Dead Kennedys- When Ya Get Drafted- This song has a sort of special significance for me. It was the first real punk rock song I ever heard. It completely changed my life (or ruined it depending how you look at it). There was no turning back after this. I could never love regular radio rock again. Everything else just seemed so...I dunno "Safe" after that. There was something about that song that made me almost look around my room to make sure my mom wasn't around. Like I was going to get in trouble just for listening to this. From the anti-war lyrics to the sick, scary solo at the end, this is not a song to fuck with. Jello Biafra was never one to mince words with his lyrics, this is no exception. Instead of insinuating that maybe, perhaps corporations are the reason we fight wars with deft poetry or metaphors, he flat out says "What big business wants/big business gets/it wants a war". Boom. Just like that. Nothing is open for interpretation. The cards are laid out on the table. Play at your own risk. What it did to me was make me a lifer. Everything I listened to since (even my death metal period...don't ask) had a punk rock base. I instantly knew that I was dipping my big toe into a scary body of water. There's no getting out. Nothing I have heard since that day has been so life altering. You should let it happen to you too.

Saves The Day- At Your Funeral- I want to get this out of the way now. I hate the term "emo". I think it's a stupid nonsense word made up by stupid nonsense media people. That being said, I know that many consider this song to be "very emo". Whatever the fuck that means. This song is a constant in the rotation, just like the rest of the album it comes from. In a way, it's very much like the aforementioned "Girlfriend in a Coma". It's pretty much about a dude celebrating the day when the harlot that ruined his life croaks. I mean "at your funeral/ I will sing the requiem" or how about "lay me on the dinner table/I will be the pig/the apple in my mouth the food to celebrate your end".  It's a rollercoaster ride of emotions and feelings I guess. Either way, this was the song I used to tell people I hated when I was younger. I really didn't want to love this song as much as I did, and still do. Sometimes I still hate myself for loving it but I do and there is no denying that. I was too cool. Yet I wasn't cool at all. Cool people don't even know about this song much less have that kind of emotional response to it. Much less pretend to hate it just to maintain some sort of fake credibility that doesn't exist in the first place. I have been known to go apeshit when seeing this song played live, or when it plays on the shuffle. I know every word, drum fill, and vocal tic. I know every high and low. Sometimes I even hum the parts that got messed up on the old tape I used to have of this album. Messed up because I played the tape in my car about 7 billion times a week.  More on that later.

This concludes part one of the series. Keep reading.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The month in Rag

Well kids I have decided to grace the three or four people who read this with a brand spanking new post. This has been a busy month for all things unimportant and nonsensical. I think we'll break it down into a list or something. Here we go.
The World Cup- I love soccer. Fuck you if you don't. In fact, the only real reason people in this country hate soccer with the same passion as say, England, loves it is because most Americans can't fucking play soccer. There it is. I have heard more "soccer is gay" jokes this month than there are actual gay people. Basically, if we collectively suck at something as a nation, we instantly disregard it and call it names. Also, not to get off topic but, inanimate objects, sports, or situations are not "gay". Adjust your stupidity accordingly. Anyway, the United States national team for two minutes actually almost changed all of this. There was, for a brief little moment, hope that the US team could actually make a showing at the Cup. Nah. They tied and stumbled their way into the knockout stage and then shit the bed. I saw it coming. Same with England. Look for another post about this shit later.
Why the fuck did they remake Karate Kid?- I don't know. Also, why did they put Will "Oh Helllllllll no!" Smith's kid as the lead? And furthermore, I know this is just semantics to some people but what the little bastard spawn was doing was not karate but Chinese boxing or kung fu. How do I know? BECAUSE JACKIE FUCKING CHAN IS TEACHING HIM THIS IN THE TRAILER. What the fuck stop remaking my childhood.
New Ceremony album "Rohnert Park"- Is fucking awesome. It's like hearing "Damaged" for the first time.
New Gaslight album "American Slang"- You know it's good...but it's not great. Doesn't really thrill me not gonna lie.
I don't care about the Deftones. I know, blasphemy. But I don't. In fact a lot of people's favorite bands kinda suck out loud. Just sayin.
Also, American Recordings put out more Johnny Cash songs called "Ain't no Grave". It's gut wrenchingly awesome.
A word about the whole Lebron James thing- I will be totally honest, I hate the NBA. There is nothing worse than a bunch of disgustingly rich athletes in my opinion. Especially lazy rich athletes that prance around for an hour endlessly on a gym floor. Boring. Well AIDS is worse. African politics too I guess. But this is a blog about nonsense. I have decided to strike everything serious from any future writings here. SO for right now, the NBA is the worst thing ever. Lebron James is a perfect example of what's wrong in sports. The guy was drafted in after high school. Fucking high school. He didn't go to college, never actually had to work to get anywhere, and now he is on the most stacked team in all sports. I don't care that he didn't sign with the Knicks. I wouldn't watch anyway. The fact that the American media made such a huge deal about where he was going was the worst part about the whole thing. Really? Where this asshole goes is that important where the entire TV universe shuts down to hear this guy's prepared statements? How grateful he is to god and family and the billions of trillions of dollars he will make in endorsements and salary over the next 5 years? FUCK HIM.
IPhones are stupid. Apple has single-handedly turned us all into a bunch of Ritalin kids where brand new shiny things reign supreme. How bout we look up from our tiny little phone screens for two minutes and do something? Smart phones my ass.
Remember when kid's movies were good? These kids have nothing. Seriously we had The Sandlot, Little Giants, The Mighty Ducks. I can go on forever. What do kids have now? Vin Diesel? The Rock?  Plus, and this a big plus, our cartoons were drawn by hand. That takes talent. Hollywood churns out this pixar bullshit almost daily. Kids have it rough.
I think I dislike most ed majors. Myself and a handful of others not included. Well no I kinda suck too.
Also I have been watching NetFlix movies all day. Later.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The All Out War show report

  Well once again it has been a long time since I posted anything. Let's just say life got in the way of doing useless things. Well since I will have an abundance of time on my hands you will probably see a few more of these. Anyway, last night I went to a hardcore show of somewhat epic proportions. All Out War, a band I pretty much grew up with was playing a hometown show in Po-City. I had to go. I know Floor was playing in the city, but even if I had a choice I would still go to All Out War. The fact they were playing with Death Threat and No Redeeming Social Value was just a bonus. Here's the rundown.

1. Price of the show: an exorbitant $15.50. I would complain about this more but apparently the show was a benefit for some dude with cancer. So therefore I will save my usual "I hate capitalism at shows" rant for another time.

2. Local bands: a ton of locals played. They weren't that bad though actually. We had Problems, a band of kids I knew. My Only Escape, who played a Warzone cover so that was cool. Some terrible death metal band who sucked out loud until they played a Cro-Mags cover which was surprising and kind of cool. Hv Skum who always do something fucked up because they are fucked up kids.

3. To all locals, you play an old hardcore song I will instantly like you. Even if everything else you do eats it.

4. Beards: Enough. That's another reason I got rid of mine. Everyone has one. I have to be different.

5. Skinny jeans: No actually there really weren't. Thank god.

6. When I went to high school: girls didn't like punk rock.

7. Spider web elbow tattoos? Yes.

8. Spider on the neck tattoos? Yes.

9. Big Fat Old Dudes? Yes.

10. Big Fat Old Dudes bring their Big Fat Scary Girlfriends with flaming skull tattoos? Yes.

11. Did I mosh? Not really. Too many Big Fat Old Dudes with Spider Web elbows flying around for my comfort.

12. What the fuck moment: Did No Redeeming just throw a microwave into the pit? Yes. Yes they did.

13. Did this microwave hurt someone? I am going to say yeah just because of the amount of blood and glass on the floor afterwards. Yes I said blood on the floor.

14. No Redeeming Social Value? Dangerous and hilarious as predicted. I have never seen them live before this and I wasn't disappointed.

15. Death Threat: Played old songs, brought the ruckus, caused damage, and all that happy horse poopy.

16. All Out War: Seeing a band you grew up listening to is always kind of a great thing. But All Out War is different. They are a lot older, fatter, and slower than they used to be, but they still brought destruction and annihilation with them. It was brutal, it was heavy, and I was thrown around like an empty paper bag. Like I got smacked around pretty good. I haven't seen people fuck shit up like that in a really long time. Kids, Old Dudes, girls, everyone. I saw noses broken, bloody faces, everything I came to expect. They played their one really good album and that's it. I went nuts. So did everyone around me. Good times.

17. How the fuck: did I cut my leg?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bamboozle: two weeks late

 So for all three of you that read this thing, I'm sorry. I haven't posted shit on here in over a month. To be honest it's a bit tough when you actually have no time to devote to silly pursuits like a pointless blog about nothing. Anyway, down to business. I went to Bamboozle about two weeks ago. Even though after last year I swore I wouldn't. I am a liar. Here's the festival report.

Festival climate: Sub-tropical to fucking sub-Saharan Africa hot. It sucked.

Price of water: $4 in a fucking paper cup. Really? It's 1299489458473738292943847475 degrees outside and you can't offer water for free or at least cheap enough to buy? Honestly.

Price of beer: 10 fucking dollars.10 FUCKING DOLLARS. I don't think I need to go any further.

Girls: A quarter million.

Girls of age: 0

Total fucking dbag award: The very drunk (or maybe just stupid) guy who myself and everyone I was with collectively elbowed because he was going to extreme lengths to be a dbag. In fact he nearly ruined Saves the Day for everyone. Kids like this should be killed by pressing. Like Giles Corey.

Kids shouldn't: buy anything at Bamboozle. Especially t-shirts from bullshit clothing outfits that entice you to be a rebel and buy a shirt that says "fuck" on it.

Who the fuck is: Justin Bieber?

Number of concussions Erick Miller probably got from Bamboozle: 30

Sunblock: doesn't fucking work.

Kids should: look at themselves in a mirror for a second before leaving the house

Number of times I puked: once. It was awesome.

Best band: Minus the Bear

Best band runner up: Saves the Day

Best band second runner up: Piebald

Worst Band: Weezer. I would like to pause for a moment and comment on this if I could. It boggles my mind how bad Weezer is these days. Like they have plunged the depths of suck, boldly going where not even Metallica has gone before. They haven't put a decent album out since Green and not a good one since Pinkerton. Plus, the three old songs I heard them play they fucked up to unlistenable levels. Does Rivers Cuomo know this happens? Is he insane to the point where he thinks what he does is good, or is he doing this on purpose as some sort of ironic joke? Either way, Weezer suck woolly mammoth penis.

Worst band runner up: MGMT. How fucking boring can you be?

ADHD award: Girl Talk. Was that toilet paper?

By Sunday night Bamboozle resembled: an African refugee camp.

Do people: actually listen to half that shit?

In conclusion: The lineup was better than previous years but it was still a mess of corporate bullshit marketed for rebellion. By rebellion I mean angst your parents can drop you off safely to. It was hot, food and drink was overly expensive, and in my opinion outdoor "punk" rock festivals aren't really all that much fun. Unless I was seeing a band (and I had to LIKE the band) it was kind of a miserable experience. The best part was that Saturday night when we just hung out and got kicked out of an Italian restaurant. We couldn't effectively tailgate and I'm not paying ten bucks for a beer under any circumstance. I don't care if fucking the fate of the world depended on it. Bamboozle should really figure their shit out for next year because at this rate no one is going to go. At least the lineup was better. I guess.

Monday, April 5, 2010

On Baseball or, how I learned to still hate the Yankees while still loving the sport

 Yeah I know it's been awhile since I graced the three people who read this with a new post. Sorry I've been a bit preoccupied. Let's get down to business. Many people who know me know that I boycotted the 2009 baseball season. Entirely. I felt that the sport was still in a decline of almost Roman proportions and that money and pure capitalism had completely ruined the sport I have loved since I was a tiny kid. I did not watch one professional baseball game the entire season unless it was on in the room I happened to occupy at the time. In this time the fucking Yankees won another World Series and many questioned my ability to continue my quest to ban baseball due to my prior history of being a Yankee fan. I am proud to say if not for Facebook I wouldn't even have known who played. That's right, I did not watch the World Series. However I did openly criticize those who suddenly become die hard Yankee fans in October. That has always been a bit of a problem I had even when I was a Yankee fan. I tried to watch as many games as possible, where the fuck were you people then? After much thought, and a trip to Cooperstown, I will openly and unapologetically embrace the sport of baseball once again. However, I still will not support, watch, or speak of the Yankees in any way except negatively for as long as I deem necessary. Why? Because I realized who I was really mad at all last year. It wasn't baseball. It was the motherfucking New York Yankees and their bullshit over-rated third baseman A-Roid. I hate him. I always will. He is one of the people ruining the sport of baseball with every dollar he collects. His whole career is an asterix. Just like Bonds, MacGuire, Sosa, and all the others who turned the late 90's into a suspect half decade. The sports best records were broken by people who fucking cheat. That is really why I was mad. It was spiteful, and now it's over. Why do I still hate the Yankees then?  Because the Yankees (and many of their "fans") are everything that is wrong with baseball in this new century. After spending a day in Cooperstown, I can say without hesitation that this current Yankees team (with few exceptions) are not even fit to wear the uniform. Fuck the Yankees and their overpriced and overhyped machine. They tore down history and replaced it with steroid addled, ego-inflated disgrace. I have decided that this year I will watch baseball without investing myself in supporting one team over another. I will watch it much the same way I watch world soccer. I like some teams more than others but I am not emotional when one team beats another. Unless that team beats the Yankees or the Red Sox. Then I will become a demon from hell. Because as much as I wish that the Yankees were the only team worth hating with fiery passion, they aren't. The Red Sox (and the argument can be made for the Mets as well but they get a pass because they have yet to use their cash flow effectively) are just as bad if not worse in some respects. Just like it suddenly becomes "cool" in October to love the Yankees despite the fact these people haven't watched a game all season, it suddenly in recent years became super-cool to love the Red Sox. What the fuck is wrong with people? Do you even know why you like the Red Sox? You live no where near Boston. If you did, maybe I'd understand. The Red Sox have the same amount of money the Yankees do and the Baseball trade market is basically a fight between the Yankees and Boston year after year. Even if other teams had the cash to compete in the baseball transfer market they don't have the ability. It's terrible for the sport in my opinion. The Mets in contrast have the money, possibly the highest payroll in the National League, yet it (to me anyway) is a running joke year after year that they use this cash in the most illogical ways imaginable (as I write this I should point out that they looked pretty good today however). Big money dominates every sport in the world. There is no avoiding that. I just think if that money was fairly distributed in baseball the sport would benefit greatly. A salary cap for instance might help do just that.

So in conclusion, I have returned to baseball. And I say fuck the Yankees with a giant rubber godzilla schlong. That is all.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Shai Hulud show report

 It was Thursday. It was nice outside but the reports threatened that rain was imminent. In the midst of quite a tumultuous week, I decided to schlep out to Gooooooooooshen (or Middletown? I don't think there's a difference really) to see the mighty Shai Hulud destroy everything in their path like so many rubbery giant Japanese city destroying monsters. What follows is some in depth reporting of what transpired.

Location: Sounds Asylum, a tiny venue with no stage. The place was about as big as my living room. Awesome place for a show like this.

Best Shirt award: This has to go to the kid with the Antischism patch on his hoody. Granted, this technically isn't a shirt as it was homemade, the award goes to the kid based on the fact that he wasn't wearing a Terror shirt.

Worst shirt award: Any kid who was wearing a Bleeding Through shirt. Really now? Bleeding Through? That band had one decent album like 5 years ago that wasn't even good enough to warrant them being signed. And what was funny is that these kids wore the shit like it was a badge of honor. Bleeding Through is bad metalcore for kids with IQ's lower than George Bush's left testicle.

Brutal chick award: The blonde, petite girl covered in tattoos who clobbered me in the back of the head during Hulud's set. When I first saw her she seemed calm enough, albeit having a "don't fuck with me" expression on her face at all times. After the painful blow to the cranium, I stayed the fuck out of her way.

Pit Commander award: The really big fat kid with the really huge holes in his ears who was pretty much hell-bent on destroying all that stood in his way. This would include the merch tables which were parked precariously close to the large beast's stomping grounds at the front of the venue.

Twilight Zone moment: When I first get to the show, I step out of my car and some kid comes up to talk to me because I am wearing a Ceremony hoody. Listen, I know how cool Ceremony is. I get it, so do you. However, just because I am wearing said item does not mean I want you to talk to me. In fact, just the opposite. I do not automatically want to talk to every asshole kid who thinks Ceremony is a cool band. Especially when the entire conversation will consist of you using every synonym for "awesome" you can think of and apply it to the subject under review. Please, stay the fuck away from me.

Violation of personal space award: The fat guy who stood in front of me so I couldn't move or breathe. It turns out he would later play in the Bayonet later on that night.

Surprisingly awesome band: Forgotten Sons. Local kids make good music.

Shitty band: Whoever the fuck played after Forgotten Sons. Way to copy and paste Coliseum riffs and pass it off like you wrote it. Also, your singer is a giant dbag.

Chug band award: The band called In Alcatraz 1962. First of all, what kind of stupid fucking band name is that? Two, how many breakdowns can you pop into a song? It doesn't get boring after a while?

Surprisingly awesome band, part 2: The Casting Out. Pop punk (sort of) that sounded like a happier Boy Sets Fire. Also, a bunch of old dudes.

Other band: Bayonet. They are like one of those ex-this, former member of that band. Basically a bunch of dudes from other failed hardcore bands that play more hardcore in a style they think the kids might actually like this time. Well, they were clearly going for that Bridge Nine sound and with their name drop factor they'll probably sign to them if they aren't signed already. I for one was not impressed.

Shai Hulud: As always, despite 900 lineup changes, a great time. My voice is still fucked two days later from screaming. And there is no better way to see them then in a small place with no stage. Also, kudos to the kids at the show for being there to fuckin pile on for Hulud. It makes me think that some kids actually know what's going on a little. Just a little though.

Well that about wraps it up. Hope you enjoyed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Steppin on my soapbox

 I'm sitting here on my couch. It's early Sunday and I am enjoying McDonald's breakfast and George Romero's classic Day of the Dead. Somehow, this all reminded me that the fate of health care reform will be decided today. I have written in the pages of this blog how I feel about it, so if you really want to know just refer to that. However, I understand a little bit better what is really at stake here. It isn't just about covering all Americans for their health care needs (you know, the civilized and moral thing to do). It's really about money, and power, and who controls both in America. Obama, for as much as I criticize him for not being as progressive as he campaigned, does really mean well I think. He wants this thing to pass as it is and despite my misgivings I guess I do too. Better that there's a starting point I suppose instead of nothing at all. I saw an interview on NBC with Dennis Kucinich, who is about as progressive as is allowed in Congress, where he stated that he's voting for the bill and why. He pretty much said what I did, and that if and when this thing passes he will work to amend it so that a public option might be put into it. Yeah because that might happen. I think I will address these real issues, money and power, separately. Not like you really give a shit what I think but I'm bored and I don't want to do laundry yet so fuck off.

Money- Here's the real issue. Everything that is done in our government these days is about money, and who can have it. Clearly it was decided at the beginning of this new century that we weren't going to let average citizens have any of it. Instead we decided that the business will prosper at the expense of everything else. Much has been made of the ever changing price tag of the bill. To be totally honest, I don't give a fuck what it costs. Health care is and should be a fundamental right in this country. The ability to be healthy and live a full life directly coincides with the creed of our slave owning, hypocritical, yet sometimes insightful founding fathers. That being the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (despite the fact that the founders owned slaves like I said above, denying them all three). I am a diabetic. I can barely afford my supplies but I'm insured. What about the people who have chronic illnesses like mine but aren't insured? Because of circumstances mostly beyond their control in our corporate dominated society they are basically fucked. That is unacceptable to me. You can't have life without health care, you can't have liberty if your medical bills put you in lifelong debt, and that sure as shit won't make you happy. Sometimes the moral and right thing to do requires a certain amount of sacrifice. Health care reform is the moral and right thing to do. I would much rather be paying taxes to a system that helps its citizens instead of one that builds weapons and military technology to kill people. Also, two trillion dollar wars are being fought and the "fiscal conservatives" haven't batted an eye. So I don't want to hear about the cost of health care reform. If this government has the money for these two devastating and pointless wars, and the money to bail out the very people who bankrupted our economy, we surely have the money to pay for a reformed health care system. But wait, I'm sorry. It's not really about how much money we have, it's about how much money we can make. Insurance companies are there for one reason and one reason only. Profit. It's the lefty theory of "profit over people" in high-lighted letters. The reason why insurance companies deny people based on pre-existing conditions is because they know that if they accept these people it will cost them a little money. I say little because to a large insurance monopoly, the money the average person pays for lets say cancer treatment is really a piss in the bucket. To us, it's our entire life savings. Insurance companies are like any other business in America. Money comes first. Therefore, a Government competitor, who has no board of trustees or a CEO, is a bit of a threat.

Power- It's a simple equation to me. In my opinion, the scariest thing to happen in America in the last ten years is not terrorism. Terrorism really is just a fancy word for criminal anyway. No. The real threat to me is the change from the United States of America to America, INC. What the hell am I talking about? The increased privatization of everything in this country. Every aspect of our lives is soon to become a business opportunity. Steps are being taken right now to turn our public schools into a business venture. The goal of Ronald Reagan and those who love that fucking twat was to little by little overturn the entire New Deal, and turn our country into one where unrestricted capitalism will reign supreme. I for one say fuck that. So what does any of that have to do with health care? Everything actually. The insurance companies are afraid that with an "option" to have government health insurance that they won't be able to monopolize the industry.  Private health care should have been outlawed a long time ago. People on the tea bag side of things like to claim (under thinly veiled racism and old school Commie baiting) that under Obamacare people won't have the freedom to choose their health care provider. Earth to misinformed ignorant shitheads, people don't have that right anyway. People are given whatever shitty health insurance that their company provides. That is, if they have jobs of course. If not, well, they're fucked or have to buy their own insurance at twice the cost. Just ask me. I know all about it. To me that's not a choice. That's a decree. You will use our shitty health care that no specialist takes as payment or you will die in a box on the street. If you have a condition, fuck you die even slower. Is that really a choice? No obviously it isn't. Under the reforms, insurance companies are not outlawed like they should be, so they can still scare enough people to not choose government care, if that was put into the bill that is. They already have their corporate automatons in Congress doing just that. When this is done, America, INC will try and take over our schools, then stop any legislation to help the environment. It is all part of a concerted effort to turn the world into one large board room. If they get their way, movies like Blade Runner, Brazil, and Akira will no longer be cool little warnings about our future. If health care reform under any language passes, that undermines the whole process which both democrats and republicans are a part of. The reason the republicans are now the party of no is because they know who lines their pockets with cash. They have one job now in the Obama presidency and that is to prevent another New Deal. The New Deal set back the corporate interests for 50 years at least. God forbid poor people should not be poor or minorities have any opportunity to make their lives better. How awful.

  I would like to see health care reform pass. I voted in 2008 for health care reform and the end of two wars. I would like to see one of those happen at least. I'm not hopeful though. Too much money is at stake and there are not enough moral people in Congress to overlook that. Also, those in Congress have a lot to lose by voting for health care reform. Namely their 200k jobs in office. And that really is what it's all about. Nevermind what's in the bill or the supposed price tag. It's about who pulls the strings and who can profit. I leave you all with this, a Propagandhi lyric: "Ordinary people do fucked up things when fucked up things become ordinary".

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The triumphant return to the show report

So last night myself and a few friends schlepped out to Sayreville, New Jersey to see Saves the Day (me) and New Found Glory (them but me a tiny bit too I won't lie). What follows is an in depth, hard hitting, crack news report on what transpired. I haven't done this for a while, and I haven't graced you all with a new post in a while either. What better way to waste your time. Here it is, the show rundown:

1. Best shirt: Mine (Dinosaur jr) because everyone else was in plaid or flannel or some derivative of these designs and fabrics.

2. Girls? A fucking ton.

3. Girls over 15? Probably. But I couldn't really tell.

4. Single girls? No. It was almost as annoying as Valentines Day. Well there might have been a few single girls.

5. Did you talk to any you pathetic human being? Yes, one. It was a conversation that lasted about 12 seconds. It went something like this, and I'm paraphrasing: Girl, slightly cute but very drunk: "Hi you seem like a cool guy". Me, very confused: "I do?" . Girl then walks into a sea of bodies pushing each other in various ways, never to be heard from again.

6. Nice surprise: Fireworks playing a Kid Dynamite song.

7. Worst band I have ever seen live: Hellogoodbye. It was like my ears were being raped by a gorilla on steroids.

8. What the fuck moment: Stupid fucking kid in a Terror shirt practicing his tiger style kung fu while Saves the Day was playing...Freakish. Wrong show dbag.

9. Shut up: Chad from New Found Glory

10. Saves the Day: played the best fucking set of music I have ever heard them play, EVER. I won't try to list the set, but I will say that my voice is completely fucked. They played shit from Can't Slow Down. They played shit from Through Being Cool. They even played the acoustic ep. It was like the shitty albums never happened. In fact the whole show was like taking a time machine back to 1998, and then 2000. I am now kinda pumped to hear the new album.

11. I still hate: Chad from New Found Glory

12. New Found Glory: played the self titled record in its entirety. This is not a bad thing, but I will continue to hate them and wish them ill for as long as I live. Despite liking some of their songs. My reasons for this go back many years, and I will not get into it now.

Also (number 12 part 2): New Found Glory always made me think they were a Revelation records youth crew band trapped in a whiny pop punk band's body. Like if the Gorilla Biscuits were collectively castrated or something. However, it's probably more like everyone in the band really likes hardcore, but they really, really, really like money.

13. Venues: need to not let so many fucking people into shows. We were all nearly trampled to death by herds of plaid clad Luke Skywalker haircut kids.

14. Did I mention: How awesome Saves the Day were?

15. Well done: the guy who didn't kill the stupid Terror kid after being punched in the face.

16. Why the fuck: do kids mosh for pop punk bands? Like really. It was like instead of New Found Glory playing the self titled it was like fucking Madball was playing "Demonstrating My Style".

17. I'm sorry: I don't own skinny jeans.

18. Why can't: Saves the Day play "Through Being Cool" as a whole set? I mean how fucking awesome would that be?

19. Little Hayley-noun;adj.- when a girl dresses herself up to look like the little hussy from the band Paramore. They are often found at outdoor "punk" festivals, shows, high schools, and MTV. They usually are about 15 years of age and very, very stupid. Approach with caution.

20. Little Hayley count: 234. I didn't actually count but I'm sure I'm not far off. These little tramps come out in droves for this sort of thing. Even though none of them were alive when half the songs played by either headlining band were written. Well maybe they were alive, but they were like six years old tops.

In conclusion: Saves the Day played an amazing set, New Found Glory was tolerable because they played older songs, I still hate Chad Gilbert, and kids these days love their flannel and moshing inappropriately. $20 bucks well spent.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A social comment

There I was. Minding my own business in the teacher lounge, quietly re-reading Howard Zinn's masterwork, "A People's History of the United States". Suddenly, my peaceful attempt to re-educate myself was interrupted by a gaggle of middle-aged ladies fully equipped with their lunches. It was clear they were friends, and that they meet here every day. I thought nothing of this, and continued reading. This would be a silly mistake on my part. They sat down, and immediately began crowing and babbling at a medium to high volume about the Grammy awards last night. I didn't even know that shit was on. Even if I did know, I would have avoided it like I avoid eating at Taco Bell. Yet they seemed to all be emotionally invested in the award show, as they commented endlessly about those "artists" that appeared. They said things like, "I love Taylor Swift" and "That Lady Gaga is a sicko (other colorful adjectives were also used)", Michael Jackson this, and some person who wore virtually nothing ( I assume female). I tried not to listen to this nonsense, but due to their volume it was impossible. They kept going. About how these people are supposed to be "role models" and whatever else. There was no point trying to read anymore. God forbid I get five minutes to feed my brain without someone destroying my peace.

Like I said, I did not know the Grammys were on. Nor do I care. I wouldn't know Lady Gaga if I hit her with my car and the only reason I know who Taylor Swift is is because shes on magazine covers at Barnes and Noble. I have never heard a Lady Gaga song in my life (that I'm aware of) and as for Taylor Swift the only reason I've heard her shit is because it was on in the background somewhere and someone pointed it out to me. I've said it before, and I will say it again. I am proudly and blissfully unaware of current pop culture. I just do not care to know. The music I listen to is far better than anything the Grammys had to offer. This isn't my opinion. This is cold hard fact. I challenge anyone to put any of that shit from the awards last night versus something on my itunes and tell me there's is better. I AM a music snob, and I make no apologies for that. As for the role models comment. Are you fucking kidding me? Apparently, as I am remembering this part of the conversation as I type, this was referring to how a bunch of rappers were virtually "bleeped" every other rhyme. The fact that anyone even wants musicians (or in this case rappers) to be role models is a fucking joke to me. Music, since the Big Band era, is designed to piss off the older generations and tear down social norms. Unless these ladies listened to The Carpenters in the 70's, they liked music that did the same thing. Rap music has been doing that for 30 years (even though it too suffers from over saturation and pop music capitalism) I may not like what I hear sometimes, but I won't deny its right to exist. Unless, like everything on the Grammys, it's vapid pop music with absolutely nothing to say and absolutely nothing to contribute to the world. Lady Gaga, I don't know who she or it is, but I guarantee she brings nothing to the table musically. That much is certain. Also, it is very telling that the ladies in that room "love" Taylor Swift. Makes perfect sense to me. Taylor Swift from what I gather writes empty love songs that are pleasing to people who don't really like or appreciate music. Or people who have small children. It's on the radio, it's catchy, so no one cares that it has as much substance as a Styrofoam cub.

In essence, this is exactly why the record companies are failing. Not the file sharing services or blogs, but bad (read terrible) music. No one wants to PAY for that crap. That's why they download it for free. Yes, the indie rock community suffers from the freebie issue as well, but more people are apt to go see those bands live, or buy a shirt. I have never seen a kid at the high school wear a Lady Gaga shirt. I think there's gonna be a big change in music in the next few years. Even Jay-Z thinks so. He said (and I'm paraphrasing) that indie rock is gonna be the next big thing. He's apparently a fan. He's kind of right. Thousands of kids turn out for the bigger shows. I want to see The National in June. I guarantee a big crowd of kids. Even in punk rock, where the audience is a little younger and angrier, a shit ton of kids show up. This is where the money is made in music these days. Not in record sales. And thank satan for that. At least one gigantic corporate empire will be taken down pretty soon. One day, the Grammys won't exist. On that day, we can all look upon our work and see that it is good.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The State of the Union, Howard Zinn, and the western. Yeah somehow I think they're related

Last night, Obama made his first State of the Union speech as President. I was very interested to see it. More than usually. If I was President, my speech would have probably gone something like, "Nothings changed. You can all go home now". Well, I'm not the President. Obama was clearly pissed as he took the podium last night. In his speech, he called out his opponents who pretty much surrounded him (yeah I'm talking to you Pelosi you spineless witch). He made some jokes, and tried his best to inject some of that campaign era hope and change stuff back into public discourse. Here's my opinion. I was encouraged that he seemed to be genuinely critical of himself, especially when he said "change hasn't come soon enough". I was happy he called out his enemies, to their faces. I was happy when he said "if you have better ideas, let me hear them". I was happy he "hated the bailout", and was a bit surprised at his new anti-wall street agenda. I was even happy he tried once again to make the case for health care reform, and that he blamed himself for not communicating clearly to the public about what it would do for us. I would be happier however, if I believed any change could come from this government. I know better. "Hope" and "change" are nice things to say, but making things happen has never been this government's strong suit. If we really want to change anything in this country, we are going to have to do it ourselves. I know for a fact that everything the man said at the podium fell on deaf, stupid, ears. Those people that sat in front of him (mostly standing and clapping after every sentence) will not, god bless them, lift a finger to make the Obama agenda happen. Democrat and Republican alike will do all they can to protect their lobbyists and their corporate campaign contributions. Especially now since the Supreme Court has basically given corporations a blank check to fund any candidates they want, effectively destroying the average person's ability to decide who will represent them in government. Voting now has been rendered completely useless, so don't expect another 2008 election to ever happen again. If you had any doubts about who really runs this country the Court's decision I think makes it catastrophically clear.

This brings me to my next topic. Right after the address, I heard that Howard Zinn died. Howard Zinn was a historian and activist, best known for writing "A People's History of the United States". It is still the best book on American history I have ever read. Howard Zinn dared all the way to his death to challenge the official version of American history. Every textbook we have ever read on history was written by those who won, not by those who suffered as a consequence. Zinn changed all of that in one book. His basic points: war for any reason is wrong. Economics drives all policy. And most importantly, especially now, nothing was ever changed in this country through government, but by mass social movements. Howard Zinn, in every book I own that he wrote, caused me to think about how our emperors present the history of this country, and how they use it to justify what they do now. Think back to the last dufus in office and how for eight years he used the official version of WWII history to justify his war in Iraq. Howard Zinn's heroes are not Washington, Lincoln, or Jefferson. In fact, he analyzes these official heroes and lifts the facade about who they really were. His heroes are people like Eugene Debs and Emma Goldman, dissidents and agitators you have never heard of. Yet, without Howard Zinn's heroes of American history, we would still work in sweatshops, women still wouldn't be allowed to vote, and the segregation would still be law.

Lately, I have been watching a lot of westerns. You're saying, what the fuck does that have to do with anything? Well, allow me to explain. Westerns are a dying genre in American film. It's a shame, because some of the best movies ever made are westerns. These movies also have me thinking about Howard Zinn's writings in a kind of abstract way. Most of the westerns I own have either John Wayne or Clint Eastwood in the starring role. Clint even directed some of his. One thing I have noticed is that there is a striking difference between westerns done by John Wayne vs. those done by Clint Eastwood. The western is a complicated genre of film. They are meant to tell fictional (sometimes true) stories about a particular period of American history. They often deal with the Civil War, railroads, gold rushes, Spanish, Mexicans, Indians, you name it and if it was a theme for this time period there's probably a movie about it. The main difference between John Wayne and Clint Eastwood westerns is the fact that Clint Eastwood never, ever kills a Native American in any western he has ever been in. It's true. Don't believe me? Check out IMDB. John Wayne on the other hand, kills Indians at will. The Indians in John Wayne movies are often portrayed as these evil savages, hellbent on destroying the good, God fearing white people on the frontier. The Indians in Clint Eastwood movies, when there are any, show a different side. "The Outlaw Josey Wales" is the perfect example. Not only does Clint's character not kill any Indians, he befriends them. He even finds a way to settle a dispute with a Comanche chief by saying in essence "there is no need to kill each other. We can share the land". John Wayne must have had a shitfit when this movie came out. One character in the movie practically has a 10 minute monologue about how the white man destroyed Native American life. In every movie where John Wayne came across the Native people, they were dead soon afterwards. John Wayne during his career made two types of movies. Westerns where he killed Indians and war movies where he killed everyone not American. The standard American hero version of historical events. We are the good guys so whatever we do, no matter how horrible, is the right thing to do. Everything is black and white, good vs. evil with a extremely low level of moral ambiguity. The only exception would be "The Searchers" where John Wayne sort of comes to terms with his irrational hatred's and becomes semi human. He still kills a lot of Indians though. Clint Eastwood westerns, whether he directed them or not, are the total opposite. Eastwood's characters are usually neither good nor bad in the child sense of the terms. They have complex issues and demons and motivations that go beyond right and wrong. The historical issues in Eastwood westerns are also interesting in that many times they show the traditional "good guys" doing terrible things. For example, in "Josey Wales" where the Union soldiers kill Eastwood's character's entire family. Basically, whether he meant to do this or not, Clint Eastwood involved himself in westerns that challenge our traditional viewpoints.

SO what's my point in all of this. Howard Zinn gave us the Clint Eastwood western version of American history. Right and wrong when it comes to American history, is determined by those who are writing the history. John Wayne made propaganda films. He helped to perpetuate the myths we take as gospel in High School textbooks. What's more, he knew he was doing it. It was no secret what side John Wayne was on. Howard Zinn recognized this, (maybe not in terms of John Wayne movies but whatever I'm trying to make a connection fuck off), and sought to change our view. He knew what he was taught in school wasn't necessarily wrong, but biased in one direction. He also knew that change does not just happen in America. America has to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing what is right, and he aimed to illustrate those people in our history that helped make that happen. Like Clint Eastwood westerns, Howard Zinn challenged our views on who the heroes of American history really were. That is why he will be missed. Especially now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jersey Shore postmortem

Well, the unholy abomination that was MTV's "Jersey Shore" came to its ridiculous conclusion Thursday night to much Facebook fanfare. There are literally thousands of more important things I could use this space for, but fuck it I prefer to be ridiculous. Now as the show went on, and the scenarios became more insane, writers on all sides of the print and internet media wrote in depth articles trying to figure out why the fuck America watched this shit. In fact, I read quite a few well intentioned articles about how the show is actually showing how gender roles have changed in America. Their evidence came from the show, as the guys in the house dressed up and over gelled their hair everyday, and the women looked homeless in sweatpants. The guys cooked, the ladies sat on their asses, and so on. They go on to say that basically the show was some sort of "feminist triumph" (I'm not quoting I'm paraphrasing) or something. Are you fucking kidding me? I highly doubt that anyone who watched the show thought into it that deep. America didn't sit and wonder about the sociological significance of the characters' actions. No. They watched because the commercials showed some behemoth with Dragonball-Z hair decapitate some drunk guy with one punch. They watched because Snooki was half senile at 22 years of age. Three year olds have better developed brain matter. They watched because some guy actually had the balls to call himself "The Situation" without any hint of irony. Not like he's aware of the term irony anyway. What's more, everyone in the house called him that as well. They watched because they saw slightly hefty ladies punch each other. By slightly hefty I mean Buffalo extras from "Dances with Wolves". They watched because they wanted to see some asshole punch Snooki, and then didn't get to see it. They watched because they couldn't believe people were actually like that. They hated themselves for watching but couldn't turn it off. They watched for the same reason they slow down when they see a car on fire on the highway. Everyone loves to see a train wreck.

If there is anything of substance to be taken from the show, it was showing those who live outside of the tri-state area a glimpse of the type of douchebag we have here. It was like a National Geographic special that was on for a month. The douchebag in the wild, in their natural habitat if you will. We saw them in their bizarre mating rituals, where they'd go to the same club and then wonder why the same girls kept stalking them on a boardwalk . These rituals include the need to apparently cut their hair every other day, go tanning in the summer when there's a fucking beach right in front of their house, and work out (or steroids). We saw their drinking habits, which usually lead to fighting. We saw bizarre tribal dances (which go with their tattoos) that made no sense to them much less the average person. And we also saw what would happen if certain aspects of our culture didn't exist. Like books for instance.

Now why did I watch this? Because it was fucking funny. There was no other reason. If I wanted to see morons with blowouts I would've gone to the Newburgh waterfront. This was way cheaper than that. These people do exist, and I'm positive they act just like that. They get drunk and fight anyone who looks at them wrong. They fuck around. They look stupid. They have shiny t shirts with stupid logos on them that they paid $78 for. Every moment of the show was hilarious. Every fight, every goat "The Situation" brought home, every time Snooki spoke, the UFC spinning back fist, every kid who started with them at the bar because they looked like dbags, pretty much anything that happened. My favorite for obvious reasons was the Israeli stalker girl. There will not be a better example of culture clash seen on television this year I assure you. That kid had no idea what the fuck he was in for and I thought it was great.

So "Jersey Shore" is now over. And now my trash TV fix will have to come from elsewhere. Until "Jersey Shore" 2, or Bret Michael's Bang Bus Volume 2, or Flava of Love 18, or some other terrible thing that makes most people vomit. I will be there. Why? Because I am not them. I am not an aging cock rocker that never should have had a record deal in the first place. I am not an aging rapper with Hepatitis. And I am not some dbag with a blowout, a spray tan, shiny pressed t shirts, a steroid problem (and the rage that accompanies it), and a pickle addiction. Therefore, these horrid abominations make me feel better about my life. And that, I think, is why America loves this shit.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Things that piss me off

Well the results aren't totally in yet but I think it's a foregone conclusion that the Democrats are going to lose that seat in Massachusetts. Honestly, I think it's hilarious. Massachusetts is just a tiny window showing what's inevitably going to happen in the midterm elections and most likely the next Presidential election. The democrats had their chance, and they fucking blew it. And you know what? It doesn't matter in the slightest. The election was seen as a referendum on the democratic health plan. To me, the health care plan died when the public option was taken off the table. When the current bunch of spineless persons of government decided to allow these crackpot tea-party psychos to dominate the argument, also allowing the declining Republican party to have a massive resurgence, any hope of actually getting anything accomplished died with a whimper. Where are all the kids who voted for Obama now? Maybe if some of us on the left would open our mouths something could possibly be accomplished. I for one gave up a long time ago. This just proved I was right. Politics in this country are a joke. As I type this, the corporate news cable channels are all reporting that the Democrats are all blaming each other for fucking this up. Well, yeah they should. The Democrats have fucked up the argument for health care reform since day one. For a party with no ideas and no actual rhetoric, the Republicans became quite powerful again didn't they? It is no surprise to me then that the election was lost.

Something else that pisses me off. We all have seen what happened to Haiti last week. Words really can't express what those people must be going through. It is sad to see history repeating itself again in less than 10 years. Once again a poor region of the world was struck by natural disaster and once again government institutions are powerless to do anything to help. Well, not powerless. They just aren't really trying. I'm not sure what I was expecting. Especially since a city in our OWN country is still basically in ruins 5 years later. A few things have stood out to me as I watch the reporting on this disaster. Here is a brief list:

1. As I watched the corporate cable news media, I stopped on Chris Matthews (one of the few shithead pundits I can almost stand) as he was interviewing the former Haitian Prime Minister. He asked the ex PM and I'm paraphrasing, whether or not there are any organizations that people can send money to other than the Red Cross that are safe and dependable. The Prime Minister without even missing a beat and completely devoid of emotion says, "No". No. This says more about the tiny nation than any history book ever could.

2. As I continued to watch the coverage, I happened upon video of what seems like a "Peacekeeper" firing into a crowd of survivors with rubber bullets. This infuriated me. I understand that the government in Haiti is nonexistent and there is a great need for additional law enforcement due to the nature of the disaster. But the LAST thing these people need is to be shot at by reactionary bonehead supercops. Try giving them water and maybe they won't riot. Really, what the fuck do you expect?

3. Bill Clinton is all over the news as he "pitches in" in Haiti. This from the guy who most recently helped blow that country into the stone age (ask me about this or look it up). Maybe it's guilt? Either way the champion of NAFTA and globalization said something to a reporter that struck me. He was talking about the help efforts and he stated how many countries are "helping" and how great the international community is, blah blah blah. It looks more like these nations are vying for their own spheres of influence in the USA's brand new protectorate. Disgusting.

4. This made me the most angry. I must give the President credit. He reacted quickly to the tragedy and it seems as though he's sincere in trying to help. Yet, the big money number we are donating to the relief effort tallies up to be...$100 million. $100 million? That's fucking it? We gave the corrupt CEO's at AIG and their ilk billions upon billions of dollars last fall. We gave the car companies billions more. All these companies did collectively to earn this treasure was fail at business and piss away the nation's life savings. We actually rewarded their stupidity by handing these companies billions because it was "important to the financial stability of America". Yet we can't give Haiti the same treatment WHEN PEOPLE'S LIVES ARE AT STAKE. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? These people need water and medical help and all the most "powerful nation on earth" is willing to shell out is $100 million? Shai Hulud said it best, "words cannot express my disappointment".

I read an article written shortly after the earthquake happened that basically stated (again I'm paraphrasing) that if we want to at least pretend to help these people we have to own up to our role in Haiti's situation.I could not agree more. Haiti has been a victim of blatant colonialism since it's founding and this disaster won't do anything to change that. In fact, I predict it will be worse. The more pictures I see the more disgusted I am. America really needs to re-evaluate itself and what our role in the world really is. I think it's also time to take some responsibility for our foreign policy shortcomings. However, I will also say that I applaud the Red Cross for everything they are doing for these people. With no supplies and under incredibly terrible conditions they seem to me to be doing an outstanding job. I just hope they will be able to continue the effort with the piddling little bit of money they are receiving.

And as for the democrats, this better be a wake-up call for them that they are losing the war for hearts and minds in America. Wake the fuck up. You can't get anything done when you are losing the argument. So how do you win the argument? You counter the loud assholes in the tea party by being loud assholes yourselves. Drag this country kicking and screaming to the finish line. If it weren't for a few loud assholes (and bitches) we still would be working 15 hour days without weekends for 2 pennies an hour. If not for these same miscreants the only people voting in this bullshit election would be landowning white guys. And surely no woman would be a candidate. Think about that a little and then grow a fucking spine. Maybe then I'll vote next election.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

100 movies that are better than Avatar

The two or three of you that read this thing I waste my time on know that I disliked Avatar. Like really disliked it. Therefore I have decided to make a list of sorts. Every single movie on this list is better than Avatar. What's the point of this? To prove that if I filmed myself pooping it would still be better than Avatar. This is why obvious choices like The Godfather or Star Wars aren't on here. They are not in any real order I just wanted to count them down. So enjoy.

100. American Ninja
99. American Ninja 2
98. Conan the Destroyer (the one with Grace Jones)
97. Total Recall
96. Pumpkinhead
95. Ninja 3: The Domination (yes this piece of shit is better than Avatar)
94. Shaolin and Wu-Tang
93. Bloodsport (Van Damme masterpiece)
92. Double Impact (times 2)
91. Only the Strong (I hear the Capoeira theme music in my head right now as I type this)
90. Marked for Death (Seagal vs. Jamaican drug dealer voodoo guys)
89. Big Trouble in Little China (Kurt fucking Russel vs. Chinese evil wizards)
88. The Punisher (with Dolph Lundgren not the newer ones)
87. Phantasm
86. Robocop
85. Death Wish 1-5 (Charles fucking Bronson)
84. Predator
83. The Principal (Best good guy in a bad school movie ever)
82. Children of the Corn
81. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (even the odd numbered Star Trek movies are better than Avatar)
80. Superman 1-4 (yes even IV: The Quest for Peace is better than Avatar)
79. Commando (Schwarzenegger vs. half of South America)
78. Under Siege
77. Die Hard
76. Killer Klowns From Outer Space (James Cameron wishes he directed this fine film)
75. The Blob (the 1987 version)
74. The Fly (with Jeff Goldbloom)
73. Rambo 1-3 (even the new one is better than Avatar)
72. The Fist of the White Lotus
71. Delta Force 1-2 ("All Americans and Israeli's get down!")
70. Missing in Action 1-3 (Chuck Norris ain't nuthin to fuck with)
69. The Octagon (Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks an entire ninja clan)
68. Kickboxer
67. The Five Deadly Venoms
66. Shaft (the original not the one with Samuel L. Jackson)
65. Blacula
64. Attack of the Killer Tomato's (classic cinema)
63. Police Academy 1-6
62. Hard to Kill
61. The Five Element Ninjas
60. The Toxic Avenger
59. Earth vs. The Flying Saucers
58. They Live
57. Dick Tracy
56. Clash of the Titans
55. Every Godzilla movie ever made
54. Mothra
53. Virus (with Jamie Lee Curtis fighting cyborg things on a boat)
52. Slumber Party Massacre
51. Die Hard
50. Shogun Assassin
49. Conan the Barbarian
48. Red Sonja
47. The Hobbit (the old animated Disney movie)
46. Krull
45. The Neverending Story
44. Labyrinth
43. Willow
42. Pete's Dragon
41. 8 Diagram Pole Fighter
40. The Dark Crystal
39. Re-Animator
38. Night of the Creeps
37. Twilight Zone: The Movie
36. Flash Gordon
35. Tango & Cash
34. The Secret Of NIMH
33. Red Dawn
32. Road House
31. Scanners
30. I Come in Peace (Dolph Lundgren vs. an alien hitman that throws killer dinner plates that decapitate people)
29. Highlander 1 and 2
28. The Road Warrior
27. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (before Mel Gibson's Nazi era)
26. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(1 and 2: The Secret of the Ooze)
25. Enter the Dragon
24. Turner and Hooch
23. Falling Down
22. Suburban Commando (Hulk Hogan's finest hour)
21. Gremlins
20. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
19. The Thing
18. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
17. Rocky (1-5. Yes even Rocky 5 is better than Avatar)
16. Iron Eagle
15. The Last Starfighter
14. Enemy Mine
13. Stephen King's Silver Bullet
12. Dune
11. John Carpenter's Vampires
10. The Day the Earth Stood Still (not that Keanu Reeves bullshit)
9. The Omega Man
8. Soylent Green
7. Freejack
6. Planet of the Apes
5. No Holds Barred
4. Friday the 13th (the original 8 movies)
3. Darkman
2. Blade Runner
1. The Mighty Ducks

Thursday, January 7, 2010

An open letter to James Cameron

Dear James Cameron,

I want to start by saying that once, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a fan of your films. I think Aliens and the two Terminator films were beyond great. In fact, they are still some of my favorite movies. Even True Lies was a good time. Then for some ungodly reason I will never understand, you made Titanic and destroyed our relationship. I have never forgiven you for this atrocity. Then, to make matters worse you were nominated for like a billion Oscars for that giant 4 hour slice of brontosaurus shit. And even worse than that, you won. That not only shattered my view of you, but it shattered my faith that the Academy had any idea what the fuck they were doing when they picked movies to be the Best Picture of the year. Luckily for myself and other like minded people, you then took a long absence from making movies. You left the shitty movies for Michael Bay to direct, and direct them he did. When Avatar was announced, it seemed like you finally came to your senses and realized where your bread was buttered. I saw robots, shit blowing up, but those first trailers gave me nothing as far as plot. From what I could tell, a Sci-Fi extravaganza was coming. As the trailers mounted, and hype grew, it then became apparent that you actually didn't return to your former greatness at all. Instead, it looked like you filmed some kid playing Halo for 4 hours. Well, I finally saw this thing you call Avatar, and I ask you this Mr. Cameron. WHY? You remember when science fiction films had...actors? Real sets? Instead we get this CGI blue screen/green screen shitshow that was very close to 3 hours in length. Did you and George Lucas plot to destroy science fiction or is that just a coincidence? It seems like you guys hang out. I mean you have what seems to me to be the Jar Jar Binks alien things versus the George W. Bush run American military. That's about the extent of the plot. Your movie is like Dances with Wolves had a baby with Star Wars Episode I, and then had a torrid affair with the Lion King, who in turn spawned an illegitimate Braveheart child. What the hell were you on when you wrote this movie? The humans are looking for, what was it called again? Unobtanium? Unobtanium?!?!?! That was the best you could come up with? You have this entire movie hinging on humanity's need to mine a fake mineral called...Unobtanium. Wow. That is some creative shit right there. Oh that's right, the plot and the characters played only a minor role in your attempt to revolutionize film. What the fuck kind of revolution did you think you'd start? Pretentious much? I for one hate CGI and think instead of being imaginative your movie ended up being a computer generated ode to mediocrity. Now by no means was this the worst movie I have ever seen. I've seen much worse, believe me. I did mention Michael Bay right? However, when I'm laughing at the cliched "emotional" parts of the film, where my heart strings are supposed to be tugged, when I'm supposed to sympathize with the heroes of the film and hate the evil bad guys, there is something definitely wrong. Like really every major plot event I saw coming one hour into the film. You could have shaved off at least an hour and a half from this steaming pile of self indulgence. I would've been much kinder to you then, believe me. The only thing that would have made this thing worse would be Celine Dion singing at the end credits. I was almost disappointed you thought better of it. Thankfully, you did cast Sigourney Weaver in the movie. And she was predictably great. I just was wishing an alien would pop out of the main characters chest so she could say "Stay away from her you BITCH".

Mr. Cameron I would like to now take the opportunity to ask a favor of you. Just...fucking...stop making movies. Really. No mas. Gigantic swing and a miss. When the inevitable sequel comes, I think I'll stay home and watch Casablanca or The Godfather. You know, a film with a plot that Walt Disney didn't write in 1940.

Rag Rants blog

You gotta be kidding me

So for a few days I have been struggling with what I'm gonna write here. I love wasting your time dear readers, so I wanted it to be something stupid, ridiculous, and completely useless. Today I happened to be perusing a magazine rack when I see this month's issue of Alternative Press (the kids call it AP). I think I laughed out loud. The cover, in huge bold alien letters, states that the band of the The Devil Wears Prada. Are...You...Fucking...Kidding me? Now, I am more than aware that AP is not the source for punk rock related news. In fact, no one should ever read that piece of shit drivel. It would serve you better to use it to train your dog to be housebroken. Even when they have an "old school" segment it's still contrived and ill informed. The few times I have had the displeasure of reading this trash I usually throw it down in disgust. Therefore it doesn't surprise me that they would pick that horrible band as the best of the year. Apparently AP has never heard of Ceremony or Paint it Black. However, I guess I should thank them for giving me something to rant about.

Now to make fun of their choice. This next segment will be a shit talking extravaganza. If that's not your thing then click the little "x" on the top of your screen. First of all, who the fuck names their band after a fucking Meryl Streep movie? Why don't you just call your band Mama Mia or Sophie's Choice? Wait Facedown records probably already signed a band like that. Secondly, I don't know for sure so excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong, but since when did screaming for Jesus become cool? It seems to me these days every band wants to be Underoath. Underoath, I am sorry to inform you all, might be the worst thing to happen to hardcore music since Minor Threat broke up. I never, ever, liked that band. When you can audibly hear a kid scream into a microphone about the hows and whys of Christianity, I'm sorry but that leaves me feeling dirty. These kids are like televangelists. That's not to say that religion has not shown up in hardcore music before. Bands like Bad Brains and 108 have very strong religiously motivated themes in their music. But there is a fundamental difference between what Underoath and their clones do and what the bands I just mentioned did and continue to do. The Bad Brains and 108 practice alternative religions. Rasta and Krishna are not exactly religions mom and dad would like you to be a part of. Plus, Bad Brains and 108 used these themes to talk about other things. Underoath just scream for jesus and swoosh their hair around. And they're not even original. Strongarm and Zao did what they do a long time ago, and despite my disagreement with their religious themes, did it better. I was at one of the outdoor "punk rock" (note how I put that in quotes) festivals and I had the displeasure of catching the end of Gwen Stacy's set. The guy singing actually said "jesus loves you" and was dead serious. I also found it ironic that kids were literally killing each other in the pit below him as he said that. What the fuck are you doing? Are you trying to be some missionary here to convert the heathen punk rock kids? Go fuck yourself. How about you leave Pat Robertson's (one of the biggest assholes in America) political agenda out of the punk rock scene. Punk rock should stay out of the church. Period. In fact, all music should. Why? Because Hardcore and punk rock was meant to be for everybody. These bands make it an exclusive thing. They are leaving out a ton of kids who maybe don't follow their religion (or any religion). I'm not saying that people shouldn't believe what they want. Not at all. Just keep it to yourself and off the stage. Now musically, these bands also suck tremendously. A breakdown every five seconds and the good cop/bad cop vocals I have grown to hate over the years. Not to mention the Iron Maiden guitar leads. I guess I can thank the success of Killswitch/Engage for that trend. I'm just happy that there are bands out there that actually play hardcore music and not this metal hybrid bullshit. It's almost now a parody of itself. These bands are like hair metal from the 80's. It's a dead subgenre, so fucking go away.

That will be all. I hope this was an adequate waste of your time.