September 9

Radio Radio… Why Do You Subject Us To Crap?

I live in terrestrial radio hell.  We have minimal rock stations, a couple of cookie cutter hiphop stations, and a shitload of country music (calling that crap music is a stretch, I know) formatted garbage.  Mainstream audio broadcasts suffer heavily from “all sizzle, no steak”.  There is almost zero substance to what they play, and in the case of my area, filled with on air talent (yes, I know, stretching again) like a local craptastic guy we shall refer to as Bobby Notalent.

So, I admit, I’m in my mid 30’s.  I’m old, I’m out of touch, I don’t understand the music of today’s generation.  Well, I didn’t understand it when I was 16 either.  It was overly produced pop crap and hillbilly bullshit designed to appeal to people with no sense of individuality and are desperate to be part of the in crowd.  What they played 20 years ago sucked just as bad as what they play today.  And don’t get me started on hipsters, bunch of pretentious tools with a superiority complex that have made it such a point to avoid the mainstream that they became a part of it.  You aren’t cool because you like obscure stuff, hell, you aren’t cool at all.

My coming of age was on the tail end of being able to identify the city you were driving in by the radio station.  I somewhat long for the days where I could take a road trip from Lafayette to Houston and get a different listening experience as I crossed over into different regions.  Now, thanks to Clear Channel/I heart Radio or whatever the fuck they call themselves, I can get the same assembly line radio as I pass through Lake Charles, Beaumont, and onward to Houston.  It doesn’t even matter that the stations are not owned by the same mega corporations, they all sound the same.

Radio is like McDonald’s!  No matter where you go, the menu is identical save for a couple of specially marketed local options (Go to Texas, you can get a Texas Big Mac or whatever).  I suppose that it’s fine when you have no options and need something that you know quick, but fuck, it’s so boring.  It doesn’t take that much of an adventuring spirit and a couple bucks more to hit up a place you have never been and experience something truly epic.  Of course, people want to play it safe, and so, what’s what makes money, and that’s what makes it all suck.

I miss when radio was fun.  Now it’s lame as hell, and of course, I can’t even enjoy a morning show without the hosts trying to be political.  Who the fuck programs a rock station with the most liberal artists ever to take the stage with two hacks who do stupid voices while pushing a right-wing agenda?  They have formats dedicated to political nut jobs on either side.  I don’t want to hear it in between tracks of ZZ Top and Black Sabbath.

If it sucks now, how bad will it be in another 20 years?  At least we have podcasts, streaming music, and satellite radio for better entertainment options.

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September 1

Random Ramblings and Ranting (Sept 1,2015)

This past weekend, I completed another trip around the sun and am now firmly planted in my mid-30’s.  It was a night of bowling, beer, and bullshitting back at my place.  I got a couple of cool gifts, hung out with some rad individuals and had a good time with zero drama.  I’ve found that with the current collective of friends I’ve associated with, there is far more joking around and less of the pissy attitudes that used to invade these sort of events.  Thanks to all.

I care little about NFL football as the years go by.  People and the league commissioner have sucked the fun out of it.  I’m a baseball nut, having supported the Houston Astros since I was a kid.  I suffered through the post 2005 World Series downturn, the retirement of my heroes, a change in leagues, and three consecutive 100+ loss seasons.  Last year, the great hope was to not lose 100 games.  They did that with a record of 70-92.  Today, they are 73-59 and have an 80% chance of reaching the playoffs.  It has been 10 years since they reached the World Series, much less obtained a playoff berth, and all I really hoped for was for the team to finish above .500 for the year.  I’m desperately trying to schedule a road trip to catch a game before the season ends.

This Thanksgiving will mark my 4th year of residing in Lafayette.  I still love it here, as that move has drastically improved the quality of my life, introduced me to some really great individuals, and just broke me out of the bitterness I experienced growing up in the small town, small-minded areas that simply would never allow me to fit in.  I’m sure Lafayette will not be my last stop, but for now, I’m glad to be here.  With that said, I’d like to ask why the local media is so selective when it comes to covering certain aspects of what goes on, not so much in the way of newsworthy events as I do local culture and happenings.  If I had to only rely on The Advertiser or The Ind for local music, I probably would only know the names of Jamie Bergeron or “Cocaine” Wayne Toups.  Nobody is writing about other local bands, covering the variety of sounds.  Hell, did you know that bands in Lafayette play more than Zydeco?   I see other midsized cities put much more effort into these events, but here, a city that claims to be a hub for music, does very little to promote these bands.  I’m not saying you need to show up and review every show and shit like that, but that a lot of people bust ass, and are generally ignored by it.  I mean, previously, the best that was offered was a shitty hipster movie reviewer.  That guy sucked.

I just kind of feel that nobody is writing about those bands, those shows, or the real people who are part of those different scenes.  Probably because it’s safer to talk about seeing bands like Spank The Monkey play the same exact set they did in the late 90’s (I guess I’m exaggerating, but I don’t really want to go see them play to find out).  I suppose what needs to happen is a group of talented locals band together, start their own site and do it themselves.  I’d do it, but I’m a pretty mediocre writer who doesn’t get out as much as I’d like.

Oh, I forgot to mention, my wife got me a Deadpool cake for my birthday.  How rad is that?

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August 27

Living The Life Of Iconoclasm In A Digital Universe

Iconoclast – A person who criticizes or opposes beliefs and practices that are widely accepted

Rebel In Search of A Cause is dead.  The comments received were either made by uneducated rednecks wanting to find a flag, or social justice warriors thinking the page was an open invitation to join their inane movements.  I was getting traffic, but the majority of it was idiotic nonsense.  Plus, for whatever reason, my posts kind of sucked.  I wanted a fresh start, and after a stiff drink and a random brain fart of a thought, I came up with The Digital Iconoclast.

I came of age on technology.  As a child, I was a gamer, in my teens, mischief on telephones, and early adult hood, the internet embraced me.  I was part of the first generation to come of age during the era where technology migrated from a few hobbyists to the mainstream.  I was one of those kids in the 1990’s whose parents owned a computer before it became as common to households as owning a television.  I moved on from pranks and other shenanigans performed on the telephone and logged onto “the net” (after listening to mid-90’s episodes of “Off The Hook”, I kind of feel old realizing how dated that term is).  Soon after, I discovered an abundance of random information, logged into IRC chatrooms, posted to message boards, etc.  Suddenly, after spending life in a rural area outside of a town populated with bigoted, white trash country music fans, the world had opened up, and it became far easier to find like-minded individuals that realized there was music besides Hank Jr, and that despite how it was presented, small town living and the so-called values they claimed to still have were a pipe dream.

This would also have been around the time I seriously began questioning a lot of what I had been taught.  I got into trouble for asking too many questions during religious classes, as I had difficulty accepting that I just need to have faith and not worry about the details.  As someone who enjoyed science education, I began seeing the conflicts and inconsistencies.  Eventually, I came to realize that religion did not make sense to me, and went through the motions as I had grown tired of being chastised over my “attitude problem”.  When did trying to learn more by asking questions become an “attitude problem”?  Oh, when it involves a subject you should never question.  Made no sense, and the responses I received for trying to learn more drove me away.

As I grew older, I began to question more and more about what traditions people embraced, the things they held sacred, and how little sense it made when critical thinking was applied.  Once I began looking at the world like that, it was far easier to discard certain ideals I felt held me back, and appreciate others for what they were, even embrace them more.  Certain holidays are just another date on the calendar.  Hell, even Christmas to me is just a hallmark holiday, but I appreciate the aspect of friends and family during that time of the year far more than I ever did when celebration was mandatory.  Granted, it took me a few years due to the bitterness I felt in the early stages of adulthood, but the journey is rarely a smooth road.  If you think it is, you probably haven’t truly lived.

Feel free to slaughter those sacred cows.  Embrace the idea of abandoning outdated traditions.  Realize that there is more to life than just what is presented to you in the confines of where you live.  Leave behind those who abandon you as you begin to walk without the crutches that the previous generations forced upon you.  Don’t worry about those who claim anger and outrage over your decisions, sometimes those who said they were your friend were only there out of convenience, and it is far better to find people in life who will stand by you no matter what.

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July 6

Escaping Where I Came From, Embracing Today, and Enjoying the Journey of Tomorrow

For my own personal growth I had to set out on my own.
-Frank Press

People change, situations change, and times change.  Some people fight this, resist it, and even pretend it doesn’t occur.  They lament about the good ol’ days, usually viewing those memories while wearing rose colored glasses.  These are the people I meet that I find myself bored with.  I see them as very one dimensional, and feel they are exactly the same person today that they may have been 15 years ago.  The resist growing as a human being, and continue on with the same routines and habits that were taught them by their parents or guardians.
I grew up in small towns that desperately tried to isolate themselves from the outside world and hold onto this mindset that the citizens were superior to others.  Today, they are filled usually with abandoned mom and pop businesses that shut down decades ago, decaying houses, a drug problem that locals pretend doesn’t exist, and a collective of people who cannot fathom living in another zipcode.  They fear the idea of leaving those borders and residing outside of their comfort zone.  Almost everyone goes to the same church, listening to the same sermons, discussing how they believe in loving one another, while in actuality, they reject, harass, and cause harm to those who are of a different belief, sexual orientation, race, etc.
 I grew up in these towns.  Filled with the holier than thou who, despite the love of throwing bible passages in peoples faces, have never actually read the damn book.  I’ve met more athiests than christians who have read the bible.  It never stops them from using it to justify bigotry and hate, and tends to show how most cherry pick what they want to follow.
Just imagine living in these places and being born a homosexual.  The local culture says it is perfectly ok to scream faggot.  Decide one day to become a vegan, you should prepare to be told constantly that god put animals on this earth for you to eat, and you need to quit with the hippie bullshit.  Or seperate yourself from the religious beliefs that were taught to you from birth because you feel that Buddism makes more sense to you, those same people will have no issue telling you that you will burn in hell.  Such love, right?
It’s only fair to say that not everyone in these places act in such a way, but sadly, their voices are overwhelmed by the loud and obnoxious drawls of those that fear anything different from what they were fed in life.  And, when those they harass are allowed their opportunity at equality, they immediately play the victim.  Whoa is them for now they are no longer allowed to discriminate.   They now cry that they are repressed, the irony being they are still the majority, and were those who committed to repressing others for as long as history can remember.
I escaped these places, and have never regretted it, despite so many telling me I would.  Over the years, I have met people of multiple religious backgrounds, some raised on it, and others who abandoned the faith of their parents to find their own path.  I’ve met vegans and vegetarians, some of whom made the choice for personal morals, some for health.  I’ve met hipsters, country folk, metal heads and punks.  Some were really cool, others not so much.  I’ve made friends with Athiests, and despite everything I’ve ever been told, have viewed them as some of the kindest individuals I’ve ever met.  Artists, wherether it be painting, photography, even creating comic books, I’ve encountered, and enjoyed being in the presence.  I’ve had conversations with men and women who were born gay, and heard of the pain they endured due to the ignorance of others.
The last five years have been a facinating journey, and I’ve encountered so many great individuals who I’m glad to call friends.  The type of people who I would have never encountered had I stayed in the small towns I consider dull and stale.  I had to escape the small mindedness of those who surrounded me so that I would have an opportunity to grow myself, and for once, have the time to figure out who I am, and who I want to be.

June 12

But I have this friend, Tyler Durden, who….


“I am Jack’s sense of neglect”







It has been about two months since I have written anything on this page.  I suppose I’m due.  May and early June was an eventful month.  Friends had kids, fixed existing issues, and prevented a massive house flood.  You know, typical shit.

Most of the month of May was spent in kind of a funk.  The only good thing about going through that is rediscovering things that you enjoy doing.  Between getting back into a gym routine (finally), I also have been focusing on reading again.  And, I am working on digging into a lot more thoughtful literature.  I had difficulties reading fiction recently, and kind of fell into this confort zone of technical and biographical writing.

Nothing wrong with it, but now is the time to step outside of that zone.  It is easy to stay within a comfort zone and feel safe and warm, but in doing so, you deny yourself the opportunity to discover something new, to feel something other than just what you want to feel.  It is important to challenge yourself, step into the unknown, and embrace it.  Break out of your bubble.

“I am Jack’s sense of change”

jacks 3




If you are wondering why I am peppering this post with Fight Club references, it is because I just got in the first issue of Fight Club 2, and a friend has shown that he has way more love for the book and film than I did.  I’m considering re-reading the book (it has been five years), just to re-immerse myself back into that story.  I fell in love with that twisted story upon first discoverying it when I was 19 years old.  I picked up the book a couple years later and gained a whole new appreciation for the work that the writers, actors, and directors put into trying to stay as close to the source material as possible.

Today also marks day 1000 of documenting what I eat.  I think today is a good starting point to push my own Tyler Durden away and being focusing on positive things that improve body, mind, and spirit.  That’s where breaking out of my comfort zone comes in.   As you improve one, it becomes easier to improve the others.  Change is not always awful, and sometimes, it can be for the best.

“I am Jack’s determination”

Fight Club-Odd Jobs

April 17

Miseducated by FM, Enlightened By Bootleg

I was born after the FM’s era as the home of alternatives to traditional radio.  By the time I was old enough to have some sort of concept of music, FM was pretty much the standard used for mainstream broadcasting, and as I moved from adolescence into adulthood, all of those local radio stations were gobbled up by media corporations who began to implement cookie cutter formats and syndicated content.  Traveling from city to city once meant you were presented with an audio experience with a little regional flavor infused, like finding that eatery that offers up local cuisine.  Today, corporate media owned radio is more like McDonalds in that no matter where you go, you are going to get the exact same Big Mac and Fries.  It’s familiar, well known, but just kind of bland.

I missed out on the era where DJ’s and Program Directors had some actual say in what they played on the air, coming of age well into the idea that you have to play only what’s popular, and not bother with the rest.  I’ve long accepted that just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s good.  But, growing up in a rural area, miles away from friends left a lot of available time, and my options were radio or my parents music collection.  Looking back, outside of a few worthwhile options in my mom and dad’s collections, it was pretty grim.

Then in junior high, I had a friend who was more than willing to provide those of us who had limited access to funds and access to music stores with cassette copies of some of his favorite albums and occasionally compile a mix of his favorite songs using the so badly overused “First name-Last name Experience” written in ink on the paper insert that came with blank cassettes  (Or in the case of one friend, whom had to keep secret what he was listening to due to his extremely over-religious parents, store purchased cassettes recorded over with an assist from scotch tape).  While some of the music provided was known standards, a lot of it was simply not being played on radio or being discussed by friends.  Mine felt like a generation that had no appreciation for what was created by the previous ones.

Two tapes given to me really stood out.  One was a dub of Ramones Mania (one of many greatest hits compilations of The Ramones) and Green Day’s Kerplunk.  The first track of Ramones Mania was I Wanna Be Sedated and is a song that always managed to end up on a random mixtape, homemade compilation cd, and later playlists on portable audio devices.  It also was something of a joke right before I had my wisdom teeth pulled.   Kerplunk was Green Day’s last album on Lookout Records before they hit mainstream success.  At the time, this was a radically different sounding type of music for someone who grew up in a region dominated by honkey tonk and pop radio.  It grabbed me with that weird excitement and curiosity that you tend to lose the older you get.

From there, my musical tastes became more erratic and unusual, and I pretty much would sit and listen to almost anything.  I gained so much joy from going to any store with music and digging through the racks, though none so much as the bliss that came from walking into All American Music and Video and searching the selection of used cd’s.   I owe a special thanks to those kids who found religion and decided they needed to get closer to the lord by selling off their evil satan influenced devil music.  The excitement of basically buying a shoebox of music for a fraction of the price is something that I’ll never forget, and would give anything to experience again.

Of course, these experiences faded in the 2000’s as digital distribution took over, and suddenly buying albums became more of a hassle.   BMG and Columbia house shut down, and with it was my last option for discounted physical media, around the same time that carrying a device with thousands of tracks make it extremely easy to have variety and ease of use without having to travel around with binders filled with discs.   Subscription services took it even further, as it made listening to anything extremely easy and possible at a moments notice.

As usual, I feel behind on the times, and have witnessed the rebirth of vinyl records, while radio still continues to become more generic and boring.  While it’s far too easy to walk into McDonalds, with it’s safe, familiar settings, faux artsy decor, and easily recognizable menu, it’s a lot more fun to walk into that gritty looking dive and take a chance on something you have never tasted before.

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February 15

Live Life and Fuck Worrying About What Others Have

I’ve never really been envious about what others have, as far as physical goods, but I do admit to being a little jealous of people who have had a person in their life that heavily influenced who they became.  And by that, I mean someone they actually knew, spoke to, was taught by.  Not a celebrity that you find interesting and cool.  I think hearing an artist, musician, writer, or performer tell about how this person mentored them and helped them grow into whatever they became, how they helped focus their skills and talent makes for the most facinating stories.

Sadly, most people just pine for what others have, but, they mask it by way of some type of social standing.  Spend a day on facebook, and you will see people pissing and moaning over who gets government money, who in your mind doesn’t work as hard as you (though most of the ones I see bitch don’t actually work, their spouse does), but they still get an iPhone.  Or bitching that they get a bigger tax refund than you do.  It’s sad, petty, jealousy.

Oh sure, you blanket it by saying that they are taking handouts or living beyond their means, but really, you just envy that someone may be getting something that you are not.  The world is filled with people with real problems, and your biggest concern is what others might have that you don’t.  Ever stop to think that people even use that same mindset to look down and say the exact same thing about you.  Trust me, they do it, and they sound exactly like you do.

If you are pissed off about what you don’t have, don’t bitch about it, get off your ass and figure out just how to get it.  Go out and work harder, or educate yourself and grow the fuck up.  You will get way more out of life with a positive mental attitude and a willingness to get your hands dirty and do some work.  You won’t get that by whining like a bitch on facebook.

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February 5

The Opportunities That You Didn’t Miss

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

-Ferris Bueller


I’ve been in a weird state of mind as of late.  Thinking about people that I met in the past that were not in my life for long but made an impact.  Thinking back to the year 2002, I had one of those events.  It was magical, and when it ended, it really seemed like a downer, but also I did not go completely back to the mindset that I had before.  For better or worse, I had a new outlook on how I wanted to live. Slowly, I was able to move from the wait for things to happen and try harder to make things happen.

No details will be mentioned because while it is no longer a painful memory, it’s still mine and the people that I share it with is very limited.

The moral is, pay attention to the people that appear and disappear in your life.  Some may be casual aquaintenses, some become lovers, some significant others.  Some will mean nothing in the long run and others will turn you around completely.

So pay attention.

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January 31

The Subtle Art of Grade School Anarchy As Performed by The Outcast Collective

No matter what I do with my life, or how successful I am, I will always be a socially awkward penguin inside.



When I was in elementary school (or grade school for others), a teacher asked the class us something about ourselves we were proud of.  Plenty of kids provided answers about athletics and hobbies.  For me, the simple answer, easy answer would have been something about art, as I spent way too much time sketching in a notebook sitting on the floor of my grandparents livingroom too close to the console television.  But, because I’m a bit fucking dense and think I need to not pick the obvious answers, responded with “I guess that I’m smart”.  Naturally, this particularly bratty girl a couple seats over felt the need to inform me that I was conceited.

Thanks a lot, you obnoxious bitch.

As a kid, I was obviously a geek and a nerd.  This was something that people never hesitated to point out, and as I got older, it became easier to appreciate the benefit of being an outsider, geek, and an outcast.  Once you accept that, it becomes so much easier to just embrace the things you love and not worry about the need to forcefeed what others think is cool.  Being the cool kid in school seems like a big deal when you are living in that moment, but when you get older, and see that most of the people who made an effort to be seen as cool are pretty miserable and pathetic.  Plus, most of what people do to be cool is usually the stuff that the next generation mocks as dorky and lame.  Meanwhile, us geeky kids who wore jeans and tshirts displaying our favorite bands, movies, or whatever are in fucking style, and have been for a while.  Fuck yeah!

So, naturally, the outcast kids tend to find each other and end up bonding, partially out of necessity, but mostly out of the fact that you discover that you all have the same common interests.  And those bonds tend to be way stronger than so many others that I have observed.  This spring will make 22 years that I have known my best friend.  We have been the best man in each others weddings (the irony that we both are married, one of us, I won’t say who, said the concept of getting married is fucking dumb), we’ve shared a lot of the same joy, the same heartaches, and will have a lot of stories to tell grandkids about dumb shit we did as kids.

So naturally, we all did dumb stuff together, especially pulling what now are just really lame pranks that we thought were genius and clever at the time.  Trust me, we still laugh at the idea of hot glueing chairs to the floor of the art room, or sketching penises into the background of a landscape sketch that nobody but us caught.  It was so juvenile and silly and immature, but it was pretty damn fun.  It also proves something I was told a few years ago over the idea of quantity over quality.  I’ve learned that it is better to have a few really close friends that you can confide in, bond with, and just share experiences with rather than a shit ton of people who may occassionally say hi while going down the isles of a grocery store (unless you are fortunate like me and got to move away from his home town and do not have to run into people when trying to find a jar of fucking pickles).

It is also really weird that it has become fashionable to be “viewed” as a nerd or geek.  I’d like to believe that it would make life for kids who wear the shoes I wore in the 90’s would have it easier, but I kind of think that when a culture becomes acceptable and even popular, it creates a mindset of overprotectiveness which becomes elitism.  Elitism fucking sucks, and elitist can go eat a dick, because it’s fucking pathetic.  Because then you are no longer the outsider or the outcast, but you are moving into the role of that kid who called me conceited for answering that I was smart.

Of course, I’m rambling about people younger than me like I have a fucking clue as to anything people consider cool.  Shit, I didn’t have a clue when I was that age, and I don’t really even care, because I was able to discover things that I love and enjoy to this day, and a lot of those others are looking at photos asking themselves what the hell were they thinking, or have vague memories of why the hell was my purse glued to the empty chair I sat it in.




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