Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vicarious pleasure

This man functions as a wonderful stand-in for all those who have fucked with someone on a bike.

Something serious did indeed just happen.

I fucking hate this country, pt. 2

You're gonna need more than "Obama's help."

Here you have the SHAC people in prison for some organized crime bullshit with a "terrorism" enhancement for trying to shut down an animal testing corporation, but those fascistic, woman-hating hicks who kill people, they don't go to prison until they kill/try to kill someone.

There is undoubtedly a long history of organized terrorism, as in actual terrorism, as in trying to intimidate and coerce people into changing what they do through threats and practices of extreme violence and death, when it comes to anti-choice people and groups. These people have their little "activist" organizations, loads of websites, prisoner support groups, and endless protests. Clearly, they have an agenda, one that has long included premeditated murder.

But the government doesn't do much about that one, do they? They bust people after they kill. They don't try to silence Operation Rescue or others like them, who clearly and adamantly promote an agenda of fear, violence and death, even having the audacity to openly celebrate the murders of doctors. Their intimidation goes unchecked, and not just by the government - we let them have their ways, we let them push people around. I think if they faced some of the same, they wouldn't be nearly so bold.

No, they go after SHAC, a bunch of people accused of running a website. That's who the state says terrorists are. Or people who try to get in the way of industry gone wild. And of course the standard religious targets. A succinct summary of today's perceived terrorists:
  1. Muslims
  2. People who come in between business and profit.
Why not prosecute the anti-choice thugs? It's not for lack of feasibility. There's obviously ample evidence and ability, at least judging by the government's success in going after SHAC and people involved with the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. I see a few reasons why they don't go after God's Army Of Loving Christ Crusaders For The Cross Of The Baby Most Holy In Jesus' Name - one, the people who run this country are and have always been varying degrees of sexist, misogynistic and male-centric. Abortion is a "woman's issue." Another is that people in this country are, by and large, religious and socially/politically conservative, so there is not a whole lot of support for abortion rights, at least not in comparison to something like support for gun rights. Finally, and this is a huge one in my eyes, that abortion doesn't generate a lot of money, and certainly not in a concentrated way. Animal exploitation industries, on the other hand, those are huge money makers, along with other ALF/ELF targets, like the timber industry, luxury home construction industry and producing genetically modified crops. There is no real abortion industry lobby to fill politicians' coffers. If abortion were to be outlawed tomorrow, the economy would not suffer a substantial loss and no CEO would lose his job.

As an addendum, I would add that this war on choice helps to promote the chaos of daily life, making it essentially impossible for people to focus on and unite against their common oppression under capital and industry, and also does some of the ugly groundwork necessary to keep women subjugated, anxious, afraid and marginalized. The government could absolutely ameliorate this ridiculous tide of fear and violence, but they won't.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I fucking hate this country

Straight up. Fuck this place.

People in general are out of their minds, on a species level, but some of us actually try to rein it in. Not so in so many places, such as Louisville, Kentucky.

Ken Pagano, the pastor of the New Bethel Church here, is passionate about gun rights. He shoots regularly at the local firing range, and his sermon two weeks ago was on “God, Guns, Gospel and Geometry.” And on Saturday night, he is inviting his congregation of 150 and others to wear or carry their firearms into the sanctuary to “celebrate our rights as Americans!” as a promotional flier for the “open carry celebration” puts it.

“God and guns were part of the foundation of this country,” Mr. Pagano, 49, said Wednesday in the small brick Assembly of God church, where a large wooden cross hung over the altar and two American flags jutted from side walls. “I don’t see any contradiction in this. Not every Christian denomination is pacifist.”
Right on, Ken. God and guns. Fucking fantastic. Go America. Hell fuckin yeah bro. Right on. Right fucking on. Bang bang - is that the sound of two knees hitting the ground or two bullets leaving the barrel? Is there a difference?

Fuck this place. Fuck everyone's shitty, empty religion. I don't care what it is, fuck it. It's stupid and fake. Whatever god you worship doesn't exist, unless you're a staunch capitalist, cause money surely exists. Fuck everyone's stubborn refusal to think.

They want their guns in church. Isn't that supposed to be their refuge, their time to be the flock of sheep to their boundlessly loving shepherd?

Uh oh - looks like Big Brother is comin for ya Jethro! Better hide the guns in the pig feed!

Arkansas and Georgia recently rejected efforts to allow people to carry concealed weapons in church. Watching the debate in Arkansas was John Phillips, pastor of the Central Church of Christ in Little Rock. In 1986, Mr. Phillips was preaching in a different church there when a gunman shot him and a parishioner. Both survived, but Mr. Phillips, 51, still has a bullet lodged in his spine.

In a telephone interview, he said he found the idea of “packing in the pew” abhorrent.

“There is a movement afoot across the nation, with the gun lobby pushing the envelope, trying to allow concealed weapons to be carried in places where they used to be prohibited — churches, schools, bars,” Mr. Phillips said.

What does he know? If everyone else had guns, they could have shot the guy who shot him! That bullet in his spine just makes for cooler x-rays. But no, prohibition is the PROBLEM, don't you see? Of course we need more guns in schools and bars. Definitely, what a great idea. Yes, guns in bars. I'm all for it. The quicker to weed us out. Guns wherever we want them - hospitals, nursery schools, roller coasters, mental hospitals, airplanes, comic book conventions, wherever. I WANT MY FUCKING GUN, DON'T YOU GET IT??????

And no, I'm not a pacifist either. It's just that I'm not a single issue lunatic who thinks that guns = freedom, that there is no better measure.

We live in a backwards country overflowing with dumb hicks who believe and fear things like the GUVMENT CUMMIN TO TAKE MUH GUNS AWAY. That's your fucking priority? THAT'S your concern? THAT'S your big issue? Fucking GUN CONFISCATION? THAT'S what really troubles you in the grand scheme of the world? Fuck. How could I ever fit in a place like this. I can't, that's how. Cause I'm an alien.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


We're going out on tour this coming August with Corporate Avenger. They are fucking sick and represent all that is good in the world, and certainly the future of music. Fuck yes. Dates to come soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Empire of dirt

Last night, half of us (Phil and Chris), along with two former Write Back Soon vocalists, Brain and Enron, attended the Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction performance at the PNC Bank Arts Center. Really.

We were pretty psyched, cause we all like Nine Inch Nails (except Enron, who was just in it for Jane's Addiction) a lot. They are one of my favorite bands, since early high school. Fuck, those first three records are incredible - Pretty Hate Machine, Broken and The Downward Spiral. All amazing, and quite different from one another. The Downward Spiral is one of the most sonically and lyrically brutal records I have ever heard.

But none of us has ever gotten to see them, cause they always play huge places and tickets are a million dollars. The fact that Trent announced this as their last tour motivated us to go see them while we still could, knowing full well we would be kicking ourselves, and one another, were we to never see them.

So, armed with our $25 lawn seat tickets, we trekked to the Arts Center, in Holmdel, New Jersey. Getting there was easy enough. Once we got there, things got weird.

These types of performances are not the variety that any of us frequents. I haven't been to anything like this in years, since someone gave me tickets to see the Pyschedelic Furs, the B-52s and the Go Gos at the same venue in the year 2000. While my memories of it are not sharp, they are fairly fond. It was entertaining and not a stressful event.

I think we all went into this expecting something along the same lines, where we would stand on the grass and watch Nine Inch Nails and it would be cool.

Trying to park gave us our first indications that we had gotten ourselves involved with something unexpected. As we drove through/past lot after parked up lot of cars, we saw an unsettlingly large number of people pregaming, including one group of people congregated around a Hummer and blasting Soundgarden. Many of these people were already visibly/audibly trashed by 7:30. The tribal tattoos and sleeveless/rolled up shirts were plentiful, as well as a good number of men who judged shirts to be unnecessary. Just in the parking area, we saw a horrific collection of manly men and their bellicose, drunken attitudes. I suppose we should chalk this up to our naivety regarding "concerts" and the standard behavior that accompanies them, but none of us expected a crowd so heavily populated with these types.

The lengthy walk through the parking lots up to the entrance gates of the venue was further eye-opening in a likewise manner. We exchanged a good number of exclamatory "wow"s and wide-eyed, open-mouthed glances. Disbelief, I tell you.

As we arrived at the lines to pick up our tickets (We got will call, cause to be honest, I don't trust printing my tickets at home. It seems like it could cause avoidable problems.) and pass through the gates, it became dishearteningly apparent that we were indeed in an open-air bar, packed front to back, side to side with a good deal of the filthiest specimens of humanity. The whole night, we never became desensitized to the endless displays of depravity, baseness and indulgence. Similarly, we never became desensitized to the literal constant streams of smoke from tobacco, clove cigarettes and weed.

So many adults, a good number of them considerably older than any of us, acting as three year olds, their abilities to control themselves or to make any real decisions regarding doing so long thrown out the window. They were playing the part crafted for them by corporations and media so well, imbibing at the big concert. Getting wasted and seeing live music, even distantly on a screen, go hand in hand, they reveal in ads. I've never understood why, and no one has ever been able to explain why, outside of "fun." I'd rather remember what I did and paid for. Nearly everyone we encountered was smoking or drinking something. And just like the disgusting "punks" in the basement, they weren't just drinking, they were getting wasted.

Intoxicant consumption aside, holy fuck were these people trashy. Where do they keep them during the day? I wish I had a camera to document these sights. We felt like anthropologists, on an excursion into a strange culture.

There was this guy behind us wherever we went who was raging HARD the whole time. He did a good job of being a metal stereotype, with long, black frizzy hair, a Cattle Decapitation shirt, cutoff shorts and boots. He was also remarkably drunk. He was behind us in line, he showed up behind us while watching Nine Inch Nails, and then when I moved because I did not fancy him hitting me from behind while standing on a hill, he came and stood in front of me. My, was he a waste. He was going off all by his lonesome during the "hard" songs or whatever (Mr Self Destruct, Reptile, March of the Pigs), and doing so in an irresponsible manner. I had very little tolerance for this behavior and the two times he fell down, Phil and I not only refused to help him up, we held him down for a little bit. Thankfully, his girlfriend had the clarity to see that he was causing problems for himself and kept chilling him out whenever he would get too rowdy. I really did not want to get in a fight or whatever, but god was this guy a shitbag. I decided that I was done after the second time he crashed into us and contemplated the potential outcomes of either grabbing hold of his hair while he tried to thrash about in an otherwise placid crowd or kneeing him in the back while he fell down. I suppose that it's much better that it didn't come to that, as I really just wanted to see Nine Inch Nails and be left alone.

Adding a vile layer of shit into the spectacle we were temporarily living, this woman, also in front of us, and directly next to Metal Manic, insisted upon relentlessly grinding on her visibly uncomfortable and unenthused friend. They were both drunk, but Grinder seemed to handle her alcohol quite poorly. For at least the first half of Nine Inch Nails' one hour and forty-five minute set, she did not look in the direction of the stage once, instead grinding on her friend, yes, to Nine Inch Nails, mouthing random lyrics and pointing to her friend whenver a pronoun like "you" or "she" would come up, all the while holding her beer as far skyward as her arm would allow, like a hard-earned trophy. For some reason, Grinder moved on to a guy next to them, who, on the other hand, was VERY enthusiastic. He wouldn't keep his hands off of her once that started and very clearly was trying to get her to hang around for a bit longer than the end of the performance. He got real bummed when she got bored with him and started up with another guy, staring at her the whole time. I thought that Grinder and her first friend were about thirty-five, but Brain informed me that he went to high school with her, making her no older than twenty-three. Wow. He said he knew that he was doing something right in life, by virture of her failure to recognize him. Not only that, but they didn't even offer us any of the joint they were passing around. Man, how selfish.

Perhaps by now you have forgotten that I am writing about seeing Nine Inch Nails, or that I didn't really pay attention. I did, I swear. It's just that the above situations were in my direct line of sight, and were impossible to ignore.

Nine Inch Nails though, they were fantastic. So tight. They are a very "professional" band who clearly rehearse relentlessly and have everything down well beforehand. Long gone are the days of chaos where Trent would trash a keyboard mid-song or throw a mic stand at the drummer. Not a lick of that. They played, played well, and played hard. They were pretty relentless, going song after song. Not a whole lot of breaks in there. Also, they are a smaller band than I have seen on film over the years - Trent, a guitar player, a drummer, and a bassist. A four piece.

Also, as you can see up top, Trent is fucking ripped now, if you didn't know. From what I understand, he was basically at death's door a few years back, living on drugs. It seems that, at some point, he said "I'm forty, time to knock this shit off and get jacked." And damn, did he. Barely has a neck anymore. Good for him. Strange turn of events, though.

So anyway, they finished with Hurt (which was accompanied by a sea of cell phones recording it) and on went the lights. We left RIGHT fucking quickly. I love Jane's Addiction, but I wasn't too into seeing them anyway, as they broke up eighteen years ago. It's kind of after the fact now. I'm not one for reunions, generally. However, I was open to the prospect of sticking around if they were good, but we couldn't take being there any longer. ANY longer. We left immediately, and boy did it feel good. Ron though, he stayed and watched, getting a ride back with another friend. That was the whole reason he went, you know? He said that they played well, Perry Farrell talked about being wasted (quite an accomplishment for a fifty year old man) and the crowd was only a hair less shitty.

All said, we were quite glad that we went. It was totally worth it. We finally got to see Nine Inch Nails. Sure, it wasn't under the best circumstances, but there haven't really been great circumstances under which to see that band in a long fucking time.