Dangerous Reflections in the Witching Hour

Should I note the internet makes far easier than it ought—nearly inevitable, when you take a moment to think about it, which either is or isn’t troublingα—to encounter a rather striking fusion of fast cars, allegedly glamorous women, and “Cigány Himnusz”, it might seem reasonable to wonder in turn how many people might ever find the idea of such a troika significant in any context.

Or perhaps that is naïve; I am an American, so the proper question is whether anyone has a clue what the question means.

Damn. Wrong punch line.

Er … ah … oh, right: Perhaps I am naïve; being American, I’m probably making far too big a deal out of it simply in noticing.

There would also seem to be a certain shade of irony present, but it’s almost scary. Or not. It’s probably an Americanism.

Never mind. Try it an action movie voice-over: Fast cars. Faster women. Cigány Himnusz. Oh. That’s right: Don’t.


α No, really, there is fair debate about expectation and inevitability in the context of infinite or merely vastly overwhelming potential, i.e., compared to the Universe itself.

The Skerik Story

Let us speak, then, of Skerik.

Yes, that Skerik.

So here’s the basic story: For whatever reason, my partner wanted to go hot tubbing, and, frankly, public baths were never really my thing. Yeah. Whatever. Go figure.

Skerik, performing live, undated.So as we walked from Wallingford to the U-District, we passed The Rainbow, and who should be on the bill but Crack freakin’ Sabbath?

Hot tubbing? Beer with Skerik? What, is this really a hard choice?

Something about body temperatures and sperm production, the amount of alcohol consumed, and so on.

We conceived our daughter after that show.

Yes. Really. Thank you very much.

So to some degree, it can be said that my daughter would never have been born without Skerik.

We’ve joked about it before, because it just annoys more prudish people in the family to hear the connection of this wonderful child to something that scares them like the idea of a “Crack Sabbath”, but yeah, at some point we have to admit that it really is true.

Thank you, Skerik. ‘Twas one of the stranger Valentine’s Days I’ve ever experienced, but also, in retrospect, the damn happiest of them all.


Colyer, Troy. “Crack Sabbath | 02.14 & 02.15 | Seattle”. JamBase. 18 February 2002.


¿What the f@ck is that f@cking noise?Truth told, my problem with phone alarms, quite simply, is the difference between snooze and reset. But, still, yes, it’s something akin to answering a phone in a dream, which really ought to be a line in a pop song, except those bands are all gone, now. Would probably have gone over better than answering machine songs.


Image credit: Detail of Randall Munroe, xkcd #1359.

I admit, this is surprising

All things considered, the numbers are surprising to me. Then again, I’m not hip, anymore.

The top-earning tours of 2010, from Pollstar via BBC:

  1. Bon Jovi, $201.1m
  2. AC/DC, $177m
  3. U2, $160.9m
  4. Lady Gaga, $133.6m
  5. Metallica, $110.1m
  6. Michael Buble, $104.2m
  7. Walking With Dinosaurs, $104.1m
  8. Paul McCartney, $93m
  9. The Eagles, $92.3m
  10. Roger Waters, $89.5m

Continue reading

Gorillas on fire (Did I get your attention?)

Jason Linkins at Huffington Post calls it “Todays Great Moment in Photojournalism”, and I make no critique on that either way. The image comes with Jason Schrieber‘s report for the New Hampshire Union Leader

Jason Schrieber - New Hampshire Union Leader - April 8, 2010

—and reminds me of a song:

The vision was a masterpiece of comic timing,
But you wouldn’t laugh at all.

And it goes beyond just that line. Five points for anyone who can tell us about the other half of the joke.

Last week in silly ….

Just call it one of those strange things. You know, like—

Rock band Led Zeppelin were labelled “old fashioned” and “unconvincing” by BBC producers when the group took part in a radio audition in 1969.

—”Say what?”

I mean, right. You know? Says the BBC:

Documents from the BBC’s archive reveal that producers invited the group to appear on a trial basis only and criticised their performance ….

One member of the 1969 audition panel said the band were “not for daytime radio – specialist listening only”, while another described them as “derivative” and “unconvincing”.

And, according to a third, the group had “an old-fashioned sound”.

Famous last words?

I mean, come on. It’s forty years later and nobody has really caught up. I can get that they didn’t go over well with a BBC listening panel in 1969, but really? Old fashioned? Derivative? There’s something ironic about that; I just can’t put my finger on it ….

So, yeah. Anyway. Today in self-generated headlines. Or, I guess, last Thursday. Whatever. Insert weak punch line here.

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer hatemonger

It’s hard to not call it good news in the War on Drugs. Via SeattlePI.com:

Grammy-nominated reggae star Buju Banton has been arrested on drug charges.

The Jamaican dancehall singer, real name Mark Anthony Myrie, was held in Florida on Thursday, December 10, 2009 on a charge of conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, more than five kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine.

The star is currently being detained in a Miami, Florida prison, and if convicted could face up to 20 years behind bars.

Just make sure to cover your batty … boy.

Just … because

Okay, I’ll just quote Dave Segal over at LineOut:

But, you know, Scrotum Poles. Well, it got me to blog about them 30 years after their “heyday,” so respect to them.

See, the thing is that I know someday I’m going to make a joke involving the phrase “scrotum poles”, and this way it will be easier to find again in order to … you know … er—justify the joke?

I don’t know. Or maybe it would be easier to tell people to look them up on MySpace.

I know. I know.


A nostalgic trip back to the Heavy Metal Wars

Ah, how people need to be offended. Anyway, I found this while looking up a reference to the time Ozzy pissed on the Alamo. One Terry Watkins apparently penned this screed during Sharon Osbourne’s battle with cancer (ca. 2002-03):

One of the hottest celebrities today is the vulgar, violent and demonic Ozzy Osbourne. MTV recently launched the profanity-soaked The Osbournes family show. The Osbournes is simply filmed during Oz and family’s normal (if you could possibly call it that) daily life. No acting. . . No pretense. . . Just simply being their abnormal self. It’s just “family time with The Osbournes“. I stomached one nauseating viewing of The Osbournes (and believe me – that was one too many!). I counted 51 occurrences of the “F-word” in a little over 15 minutes (episode “Dinner with Ozzy”). Profanity and perversion is spewed by all the Oz kin – Oz, wife, teenage daughter and son. Of course, MTV “bleeps” the worse profanity out, but the actual words are easily understood. In between the onslaught of f-words, and depravity, a drug-cooked-burnt-out Ozzy staggers, mumbles, shakes and screams in a state of spaced-out, confusion. Much of the subject matter and perverse acts can not and will not be repeated in this article – but believe me – it’s sicko, sicko and sicko. . . And sicko. . .

MTV’s vulgar and vile The Osbournes is the most successful show in MTV history! It received the highest ratings of any other entertainment program on any other cable station this season. Over 8 million viewers tune in to The Osbournes. MTV’s contract to extend The Osbournes profanity-program another two years was the most expensive in MTV’s history! Over $20 million!

    “. . . men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. . .”
    John 3:19

Knowing MTV’s usual subject matter and tweenie audience the huge success of the disgusting The Osbournes is no real shocker. The more vile. . . The more vulgar. . . The more offensive. . . The more teenagers. . . will watch MTV.

Let’s just start with, Wow.

It’s really quite simple. So, it’s what, six or seven years later? The thing is that even I forget most of what I’ve posted to the web. As that comprises, literally, millions of words over the last ten or so years, I don’t think that lapse is particularly unusual. But every once in a while something pops up and I think, Did I really write that?

Here’s the problem, though: When I was a teenager, Tipper Gore and the PMRC, as well as other censors—including the consummately dishonest Bob Larson, who needed to rewrite the lyrics in order to communicate the perceived offense—demonstrated only that they hadn’t a clue what they were dealing with or talking about. And so it is with the unfortunate Mr. (Reverend? Pastor?) Watkins and the Dial-the-Truth Ministries.

Just a little hint: When your underlying premise is that teenagers are too stupid to understand things like rock and roll music, or cheap reality television, the only thing you’re going to accomplish is raising a generation of idiots.

I mean, sure, I’m occasionally embarrassed by a naîve argument about gun control, or a misconstrued argument resulting from having read a source incorrectly, but, by Christ, I can’t imagine making such a stellar fool of myself as Terry Watkins has managed.

While he even trolled Hit Parader and Circus magazine for quotes, he somehow managed to miss the one about Ozzy and Randy and Geezer watching an amazing porno featuring a well-hung man and a really exhausted-looking chicken. I mean, come on. The bane of your life hands you a gift, and you miss it? Of course, that’s part of what Watkins doesn’t get, anyway. Put something like that in front of a teenager, and he might laugh his ass off, but few and far between are those who would actually go out and fuck a chicken.

But, perhaps that’s part of the point. Watkins’ form of Christian righteousness has nothing to do with Jesus, compassion, or Christianity. Rather, it has to do with satiation of the ego. He looks at an addict and sees the Devil. Anything to denounce. Anything to vent that fury, that hatred. But, of course, he wants to seem like a good Christian, so he asks us all to pray for Sharon and the family:

IMPORTANT: Please pray for Ozzy’s wife Sharon. She has colon cancer. Pray that God would open her eyes, at this critical time, to the serious consequences of dying without the Lord Jesus Christ. What a blessing if she got saved! And what if the whole Osbourne family got wonderfully saved?

Anyone else would be embarrassed. Perhaps Mr. Watkins is. Then again, he bothered in the first place, so who am I to presume he has anything remotely resembling a sense of shame? All I know is that if I put that much effort into missing the point, I would probably be horribly embarrassed. We can only hope Mr. Watkins is so fortunate.

In the meantime, I’ll thank him for the chuckle. It’s exactly what I needed, as the clock pushes half past four or so in the morning, to put a smile on my face. Ah, nostalgia! It’s almost enough to make me pine for the Heavy Metal Wars with the PMRC.