Miseducated by FM, Enlightened By Bootleg

Written by  on April 17, 2015

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.

Live Life and Fuck Worrying About What Others Have

Written by  on February 15, 2015

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.

The Opportunities That You Didn’t Miss

Written by  on February 5, 2015

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.

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

Written by  on January 31, 2015

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

–WIL WHEATON

 

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.

 

snip2

 

My Hatred Of Political Fanboys, Media Left Behind, and People Bitching about Female Movie Casting

Written by  on January 30, 2015

I hate politics.  I find the two major parties to be detestable.  I’d register as a First World Anarchist if that party actually existed, so I settle for Liberterian.  And I know both of the two bigs love to attack anyone who aligns with an alternative party, but fuck them.  And for the record, I don’t agree 100% with anything the Liberterian party pushes, only the most basic concept of an individuals right to liberty.  So, before anyone on the left or the right start their usual, cliche filled attacks, just fuck off.  At the end of the day, nobody should ever agree 100% with any other person, unless they are a perfect example of a sheep needing a sheppard.  So shut up, hang out, have a beer, soda, or glass of milk, and chill.

So, I felt the need to rant because gawd forbid anyone have something to say positive or negative about a political figure without either side feeling the need to attack with lamebrain propaganda.  If the current president does something I even remotely agree with, it does not mean I hate ‘Murica and freedom, and if I disagree, it doesn’t mean I was a Bush supporter and feel that it’s ok to restrict the freedoms of others due to some outdated form of thinking that should have died generations ago.  Believe me when I say that you can formulate your own thoughts and opinions, and believe that both the current president and the guy before him suck ass.

OK, let me catch my breath and get to the point.  I actually applauded the President’s zinger about no longer needing to campaign.  Just like I was ok with that small group of GOPer’s applauding when he said the first half, I thought his was the perfect response.  Now, I know some people have attacked it as being spiteful and he needs to learn to be a classier individual, but please feel free to point out any politician with an ounce of class.  They are all lobbiest purchased, overpaid and underworked dipshits who are clueless as to the real problems of the population that elects them and are more concerned with offering favors for their buddies…..

Dammit, I started ranting again.

The President did another thing that caused an “uproar”.  He allowed himself to be interviewed on a Youtube show.  So naturally, the cable news networks and other members of the collective genre that now refers to themselves as “Legacy Media” felt the need to insult, attack, and riddicule this webshow.  Of course, it’s never unusual for the establishment to react this way when they suddenly feel threatened.  Afterall, their business model is in jeopardy due to the fact that younger generations are not dishing out hard earned cash for Cable TV subscriptions, and use the internet to consume their news.  They are scared by the fact that a generation of content creators have figured out that you don’t need a huge budget, fancy graphics, or even a traditional look to gain viewers.  Internet distributed shows have skyrocketed in popularity in the past few years, enough so that they either are able to attract legit advertising or build a fanbase that is willing to make monthly donations.

The internet is slowly taking the spot that traditional media once dominated, and it scares the hell out of them.  And who out there still refuses to take it seriously?  Cable news networks and their viewers.  These viewers, by the way, average in age at around 68 for Fox News, and around 62 for MSNBC and CNN.  These were not people who came of age as the internet took off, or were born into a world that always had it, so of course, most are clueless as to how this type of change can come about.

Also, if you don’t think TV is scared of the internet, then why are the big cable companies working so hard and spending so much money to fuck it up.  Support Net Neutrality (and don’t go to cable news to get info on what that is).

And because I’m feeling extra obnoxious and ranty today, who else is bitching at the idea of an all female ghostbusters?  Pissing and moaning and being butthurt over the fact that they are rebooting the movie and casting women and trying to turn it into some type of feminist propaganda designed to ruin your childhood is the dumbest fucking reaction I’ve read.  It’s unwarranty and ignorant, and I can think of a few good reasons why this movie will suck, and it has nothing to do with the casting of women.

I think this movie will suck because they will take a movie that was very specific in style and era, and modernize it.  The modern style of humor and the style of 1984 are vastly different.  The writers crafted that movie in a way that just isn’t done today, where they were able to blend humor into what was made to be serious events (well, as serious as you can be while getting a supernatural blowjob or battling a 100 foot marshmellow man).  Today’s style is presented with sight gags that are somewhat obvious and in your face.  And just like in the 80’s, 90’s, and whenever, that style works when paired with the right plot, and other times it falls flat.

The biggest issue is taking a film that is beloved by so many, and not only modernizing it, but replacing actors that are so deeply associated with it that it will have an automatic backlash.  Remakes by there very nature suck ass.  Just look at the reboot of Nightmare on Elm St.  You simply cannot replace Robert England.  He is Freddy.  So, feel free to be of the mindset that this movie will suck because it’s trying to capture a type of magic that just will not occur again, but don’t transform into a misogynistic asshole because they are letting girls play the roles that men used to.  You are just being a petty, whiny dick.  So grow up, assholes!

Besides, it could be worse, at least Ghostbusters is not being remade by Michael Fucking Bay!

The Punk Rock Response To The Lame Ass NFL Starring Marshawn Lynch

Written by  on January 28, 2015

I’m Just Here So I won’t Get Fined.

-Marshawn Lynch

The National Football League is a fucking joke.  Between that and the lame ass bandwagon fans that jump on and off depending on a teams win/lost record have really soured me on watching football.  Well, that and the shitty commentary teams that viewers get subjected to.  So, this decade, the sports league that gets to be the joke is the NFL, the other organizations thank you.

The root of this is probably due to the braindead politician in charge of the league, Roger Goodell.  I bet the makeup artists work extremely hard to cover the brown streak on his nose.  I mean, I’d assume it would be stained considering where he keeps it.  He is more concerned with the leagues public image than acting as an unbiased leader, with very little regard for fairness when it comes to punishments for rule breaking.

I mean, this is the league that considered a two game suspension just for a professional athlete knocking his wife out cold.  They even had video, but tried to hide it, because it’s more important for the league to look good, than admit that one of their players could commit such a horrible act.  Of course, because of that fuck up, when they backpeddled and tried to cover their asses, Ray Rice challenged and had it overturned.  Good job Goodell.  You were made the bitch of the players union.

But, they will make sure to enforce fines for a player who skips a media appearance.  And I know, people will piss and moan that “oh, he’s a highly paid professional athlete, he should quit bitching and just go out and do his job”.  I somewhat agree with that, as he signed a contract, and agreed to it as part of that contract.  Of course, it does seem petty as fuck that the NFL will enforce this beause they believe they are some legit kind of authority, but will cover up for a piece of shit that beats women.  Fuck the NFL.

So, Lynch did what I think is the most punk rock thing anyone in the NFL could do, and that’s set a timer on his phone, and respond to everyone with the same answer.  Me, I applaud him for spitting in the face of those fuckers.  After all, he did what he agreed to do, he answered reporters questions, and he gave them the answer he wanted.

A Quote by Patti Smith

Written by  on January 26, 2015

Sometimes you’re doing really well, then, after three or four years, everything inexplicably crashes like a house of cards and you have to rebuild it. It’s not like you get to a point where you’re all right for the rest of your life.

-Patti Smith

 

Social Misteps in the Attempt to Not Be A Damn Sexist

Written by  on January 24, 2015

The misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who’s confronted with it.

-Joss Whedon

Two articles were presented to me very recently.  One was written local university’s newspaper/website, and the other was a response after a social media discussion on taking kids to a comic book store.

@Ashley__Hinson  posted an interesting article called Sexism, The Cycle That Feeds Itself In Music that covers on how women tend to be viewed in the music industry.  She brings up the point how this particular gender of artists get labeled as “female singers and/or songwriters”, and stuck with the stereotype that women performers are pidgeon holed in pop music.  Granted, I dislike pop music in general, whether it be male or female, simply because it’s not so much about being about anything other than how much can we sell.  Music is a business, and not always about talent or even what is good, otherwise, bands like Nickelback would never curse our auditory senses.  Country music also falls under this, as it can be just as cookie cutter from one artist to the next.

I am, however, a huge fan of getting to hear a female performer who just comes off as a badass singers, musicians and artists.  Even though she is kind of pop, I appreciate a lot of what Pink has to say in her songs, plus she has a very fuck you attitude, which I love.  Kristian Rowles and Jen Blackwood of The Creepshow are just awesome vocalists that melds perfectly with the bands Psychobilly sound.  Aimee Allen’s gritty, dirty vocals on The Interrupters debut album are badass (check out the opening track “Take Back The Power”).  And of course, if you really want to go back and find something pissed off, just find a few Patty Smith albums and spend an afternoon listening (Dancing Barefoot is a personal favorite).

Go read Ashley’s article, trust me, it’ll be worth your time.

And, on a random Facebook post, a friend discussed difficulty in getting his kids to find something at a comic shop that is outside of their comfort zone.  I casually mentioned that my wife has enjoyed the Harley Quinn books, and maybe his daughter would when she got older.  He then presented me with an article called “What Taking My Daughter to a Comic Book Store Taught Me“.  Because I’m not a parent, and a bit shortsighted at times, I learned I just recommended books drawn by men who enjoy making characters dress in skimpy clothing and a near impossible amount of cleavage.  So, I felt a bit shitty over that, but his wife also pointed out her dislike of people recommending “girl stuff” and that her daughter could perfectly enjoy any number of comics.  Bam, I committed a double whammy”.

Granted, my intention was not suggest either of those things, it was just a casual comment, but…………………………

dammit

So, as I was saying, it was not my intent to suggest any of these things, and I chalk it up to a typical fuckup on my part, and yet another lesson to learn from.

That time I Insulted A Burlesque Dancer

Written by  on January 20, 2015

Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.

-Neil Gaiman

There are situations where you are trying to be funny, and end up just saying something fucking dumb.   I did this very recently, and even mentioned it in a previous post.  With a group of people playing Cards Against Humanity, it’s not uncommon for vile and awful jokes to get thrown around.  It’s pretty much expected.  And I managed to make a joke that caused everyone to go quiet.  And it wasn’t even that good a joke.

 “What is the difference between a stripper and a burlesque dancer?  A burlesque dancer doesn’t have daddy issues”

And of course, a woman who performs burlesque was sitting at the table.  Fuck me, right?   I did appologize for the lame joke, not meaning to intend it as a direct insult, and was just being a smartass (or dumbass, you pick).  She was cool about it, and began telling someone else about the kind of stuff she does.  She also showed me a video of the pasties she purchased that had color changing LED’s (no, it was not a video of her wearing them, just that they were delivered and looked cool).

So, I fully admit to it being just a dick thing to do.  It would be different had this been a person I know, and it was some type of inside joke, and ha ha, you do artsy stripping, and such.  But, this was a person I had just met, I think.  She did seem familiar, and I suck at names and faces.  But, that’s besides the point, and I’m glad she didn’t get pissed off or was hurt, and at least somewhat forgiving of this loud mouth asshole who just insulted something she loves.  The intent was to get a dumb laugh, not to hurt someone.

I do find the whole burlesque thing facinating, and not because I’m a guy and would be there for the potential to see skin and boobies and such (come on folks, the internet offers plenty of that).  I always find it interesting to meet people who are have the abillity to say fuck you to any of societies so called “moralities”.  Considering everyone grows up with the idea that seeing or showing off your privates is a pornographic act and you are a devient for either doing it, or watching it as it is being performed (ironically, the people who preach that sort of thing in the past are the ones whose computers get hosed by the amount of malware installed from adult entertainment sites).  I think it’s a pretty badass mentality to have.  I also understand not everyone who performs does it as a fuck you to social standards, but because they believe in the art and performance aspect of it.

So, in the end, as usual, think before you make a bad joke (or at least know the people you are making the joke toward), and if you think that seeing a female nipple is vile and shameful, get the fuck over yourself.

 

The Universe is Filled With Facebook Narcissists

Written by  on January 19, 2015

“I don’t care what you think unless it is about me.”
― Kurt Cobain

I’ve come to realize just how much the users of Facebook employ the “me, me, me” mentality on everything.  I now understand that my rant about people bitching that good vibes are not prayers for that “unspoken” request they spoke of was off.  It has nothing to do with believing in something, it has to do with not agreeing with what I believe in.  Everyone on facebook is a selfish asshole (even me).

You do not even need to try hard to find examples, just randomly pick a timeline and browse through it.   Different religous beliefs:  Going to Hell.  Showing cleavage:  Slut.  Gettings tattoos or coloring hair:  Immature (If you are an adult who enjoys going play in the mud, please don’t say anything about maturity).  Woman cuts her hair really short:  Lesbian…. Yes, I can go on and on and on and on.

Don’t think you are being a narcissist?  How many selfies do you post a week?  How many times do you put down others because they don’t worship how you do, don’t listen to the music you do, cut their hair the way you do, blah blah fucking blah.  And realize that this self centeredness transfers to your children.  So there is the possibility they will become insufferable douchebags as they get older, but if we are lucky, they will at least rebel and point out this in you.  We can only hope.  I’m sure this kind of thing is always passed down generation to generation.  It’s also why people feel so unhappy with themselves at times, because condesending members of this collective feel the need to tell them they are too fat, skinny, tall, short, or whatever.  Most of the time, I think it’s pure jealousy because maybe they are too chickenshit to do what they want and not worry about that type of criticism.  And to those that don’t give a fuck about it, I respect and even envy them.

And yes, even I am guilty of this at times.  Just a week ago I made a bad joke about burlesque to someone who performs.  I appologized and she seemed forgiving.  Hell, she even showed me a photo of the LED pasties she purchased for a performance (not of her wearing them).  It was a dumb comment that could have easily been treated as a “fuck you” rather than a simple joke.  Of course, I’m sure the same people I described above would be quick to call this person a slut, whore, or whatever because she chooses to perform wearing next to nothing, or possibly nothing at all (I’ve never seen her perform, only met her once).  Because shaming others is just a way to boost ones own self worth and stroke their own ego.  Of course, when the table is turned, it’s an awful atrocity, and what is this world coming to.

So in the end, be different, dress how you choose, and fuck those who feel the need to put you down because they are just miserable pieces of shit.  If you want to know the truth, if someone labels you as odd, weird, or unusual, you are probably a good deal more interesting than they are, since they are just following whatever is trendy anyway.

Stop censorship