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".