Oscar Fever 2012 Edition: Thoughts and Predictions 5 Minutes Before Air

Because the Academy are a bunch of guilt-riddled, PC homos, my guess is “Lincoln” and “Les Misrables” will win everything this year.

My only real hope is “Searching for Sugar Man” wins best documentary. It was easily the best movie I saw this year!

I try to see all the contenders, for the major awards at least, but due to the overwhelming amount of Best Picture nominations, that’s near impossible.

This rant will be incomplete, as I didn’t see “Les Misrables” or “Flight” but I will dish a little about what I did see, because fuck you.

“Argo” is up for:Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay.

“Argo” was good, but not great. It’s considered to be, and not without merit, Ben Affleck’s best directorial effort so far, but I still liked “Gone Baby, Gone” better. John Goodman (who is always overlooked for awards) and Alan Arkin were the best part of the movie, although I don’t understand how Arkin pulled a nomination for his role here? He’s just comic relief and he already undeservedly won once in this category for a similar role: 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine.” That award was Jackie Earl Haley’s to lose for the powerfully dark “Little Children.”

“Argo” MIGHT win best picture. It would be a welcome upset over the favored “Lincoln” and “Les Mis” but I don’t think so. I hope I’m wrong. It won’t win it’s lone supporting acting award, either. That one belongs to Christoph Waltz. Speaking of…

“Django Unchained” is up for:Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay

I think it’s gonna win the latter two. Best Picture is (unfortunately) not gonna happen, but I’m almost 100% sure Christoph Waltz will win for this, his second straight nomination in the Supporting Actor catergory under Tarantino’s direction. I also think Tarantino will win for Best Screenplay. He’s due. And his script was easily the most entertaining of any in this catergory.

“Beasts of the Souther Wild” is up for:Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supprting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay

A micro-indie I enjoyed much less than I expected to, I predict it will win nothing. Except maybe Best Adapted Screenplay. It’s chock full of talent and my silly problems with the film (namely the dumb prehistoric metaphor boars and Hushpuppy’s glass-shattering screech) don’t hinder it’s chances, but it’s just too small of an indie that was released too early before “awards season” to remain memorable.It’s cool that wunderkind child actor Quvenzhane Wallis is nominated, as she may be the most honest performance in her catergory, but, plainly put, the Academy is not in the business of giving awards to 9 year olds. Not since Tatum O’Neal killed all those people…

“Life of Pi” is up for:Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Visual Effects

I really liked this film, although the ending is so ambiguous it almost ruined the entire experience.

It would be rad, and I mean RAD, to see Ang Lee win and restore his credibility as a director, but I just think the decks are stacked against him. It also won’t win Best Picture, as it kinda bombed here in the US (it DESTROYED overseas, however) and the Academy probably think all those animals really died, hence making it anti-animal and therefore untouchable. Racist pun intended.

However, it WILL win for Visual Effects. Nothing else in that catergory (“The Hobbit” “Snow White and the Huntsman”) can hope to match it.

“Lincoln” is up for:Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay

…and it’s gonna win fucking everything. This movie was boring as whale shit, but it’s gonna sweep. At least the Big 3: Picture, Director and Actor. Why? You fucking figure it out!Daniel Day Lewis is always good and the only serious challenger he has in this catergory is Jaoquin Phoenix (for his outstanding performance in “The Master”), BUT I did not see “Flight” and although I heard the movie itself was dogshit, I also heard Denzel Washington was fantastic in it, so I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if he pulled the upset.

P.S. Sally Field was either awful in this, or it’s just that she’s up against Day Lewis in most of her scenes. Much like “Gangs of New York”  he’s the best thing about the movie and everyone else pales in comparison.

Tommy Lee Jones, though great, is gonna lose to Christoph Waltz.

“Silver Linings Playbook” is up forBest Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporitng Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay

This was a good movie. I’m sorry if you disagree. I didn’t expect to like it at all, but I really liked it. I thought Bradley Cooper and especially Jennifer Lawrence pulled it off. It’s one of the corniest stories imagineable (two legitimately crazy people compete in a dance competition and fall in love) but it had enough good acting and enough heart to hold my attention. That being said, I expect nothing less than a complete shutout. I don’t know how popular the book was, so it might get it’s Best Adapted Screenplay award, but so could any of the nominees in that category. David O. Russell, the indie darling that he is, is too controversial to win over Spielberg. I don’t think Bradley Cooper can win over Day Lewis and as much as I like Jen Lawrence, my guess is the Academy will give her award to a completely bewildering nominee, Jessica Chastain or a lady who should have won a decade ago for “Mulholland Dr.” the amazing Naomi Watts.

“Zero Dark Thirty” is up forBest Picture, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay…and it stunk. People that “can’t believe Katherine Bigalow got snubbed out of a Best Director nod” obviously didn’t see this movie. And don’t even get me started on Jessica Chastain! AUGHHHHHHH!! SHE IS FUCKING TERRIBLE IN THIS! I really like her. I think she’s gorgeous. I loved her in that racist, shit-pie movie, I loved her in “Lawless”, I even loved her in the unbelievably awful “Tree of Life” but she was NOT right for this role. She’s supposed to be this hard nosed CIA operative and she looks and sounds like a loud noise would shatter her very bones. It’s too bad “Homeland” exists, becaus the entire time I was watching this, I was wishing her character had been played by Claire Danes, because at lease then it would have been believable. The last 30 minutes of the film (the raid on bin Laden’s compound) are fantastic; everything else: lame. Sorry. Just my opinion. I hope it wins nothing. I predict it will win Best Actess and Best Editing.

Now for my gripes:

Where is John FUCKING Hawkes?!?!? He was sooo good in the otherwise underwhelming “The Sessions”! He really did get snubbed. Yet Helen Hunt, who got a nod for showing her (remarkably pert) 50-year-old cans did?? Oh well.

Again, Jessica Chastain should not have received a nomination. Helen Mirren, who was overlooked for her role in the little-see “Hitchcock” should have. She wouldn’t have won, but at least it would have made sense.

Amy Adam’s nomination for The Master makes absolutely no sense. She’s barely in that movie and all her lines sound like dialogue Phillip Seymour Hoffman refused!

Kerry Washington should have received a Best Supporting Actress nod. Was she that outstanding in Django? Not really. But she did speak German in her role and that’s a hell of a lot more than Adams or Hunt did.

Lastly, LOOPER!! One of the best movies of the year, although it would never pull that nom… The little boy who plays Emily Blunt’s son, whose name I don’t know, might be the greatest child actor I’ve ever seen on screen. He should have been noticed. For real. And Rian Johnson should have got a nod for either writing or directing. Fantastic watch if you haven’t seen it.

If you didn’t feel like reading my rant, here’s my picks. Not necessarily who I think SHOULD win, but who I think will win:

Best Picture: Lincoln
Best Director: Steven Spielberg
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway
Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo
Best Animated Feature: Wreck-It Ralph
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Best Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugar Man

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My last blog entry was over 6 months ago??

After my last blog in August, I distinctly remember that since I’d published nothing in September I’d do something special for October: I started re-listening to Black Sabbath’s first 6 albums in preparation to write a lengthy review of the lot and, of course, procrastination reared it’s ugly, unshaven head and I forgot I had a blog until now.

I’ve always wanted to do a proper write-up on Sabbath, and now with a new “reunion” album approaching, it’s more pertinent than ever.

I am on the fence about it. I’ve aligned myself with the “No Bill Ward = No Black Sabbath” brigade for the last year or so, and with good reason.

Not only have they strung out this godforsaken record for over a decade (they began recording sessions with Rick Rubin at the helm in the early, early 2000’s but Ozzy’s own record label, Epic, intervened and demanded he give them a new solo album first, the heavy, lackluster, but not totally unsalvageable, Down to Earth), but now they’ve essentially FIRED a founding member after making such a hullabaloo about the whole mess!

In early 2011 (10 years after those first sessions took place) Kelly Osbourne let slip during an interview that her father was in England working on a “top secret” project that may or may not be Sabbath related. Okay. She straight up told a reporter he was writing a new Black Sabbath record. Then, in early November, the official Black Sabbath website added a splash page that read simply “11-11-11”, cryptically assuring fans something big was coming.

And sure enough, when November 11th came to pass, a press conference emceed by Henry Rollins announced that the original four members, Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill, had been clandestinely working on new songs for a new album. They gathered at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, where they first performed in America some 40 years prior, and posed for pictures, all wearing sharp black suits with red rose corsages, smiling, waving, glad-handing…. LYING.

Not long after the announcement, Bill Ward announced publicly that he had been offered a shit deal he found offensive and because of it he would not be taking place in the reunion.

Then poor Tony Iommi was diagnosed with cancer. Another major setback that cut down a proposed 2012 world tour to just a couple select dates on either hemisphere.

The internet was afire with grievances of justice for Bill and well-wishes for Tony, but in the end, Bill was not given a new contract, Tony seemingly recovered from his illness, and Brad “Rage Against the Machine” Wilk was announced as Sabbath’s session drummer for the new record.

I had a reasonable, well thought-out tirade of why this album will, not might, WILL suck, months ago, but now… I don’t know.

I was of the opinion that Ozzy’s voice is trashed. Or at least that’s what I thought based on the few live performance clips I’ve seen of him lately.

Then I finally checked out his last last solo album and, save for a couple songs, Scream is not only a highly listenable album, it’s Ozzy’s best work since 1995.

I know people don’t like Ozzmosis, but trust me, they’re wrong. That album was great. It was Ozzy as, brace yourself, a MIDDLE-AGED ROCK MUSICIAN! OH NO! It was essentially Heavy Adult Contemporary, and it was refreshingly mature and flawlessly produced. It was exactly what it needed to be and I was pissed when Ozzy went the opposite direction with the aforementioned Down to Earth and the HIDEOUS Black Rain!! (I could do a whole blog on why that album is not only bad, but offensively bad)

On those two albums you can almost hear Sharon screeching somewhere in the background “WE’re FAMOUS now, Ozzy! You need to sound like WHATEVER’S ON THE RADIO OR ELSE!!”

Yuck. The poor guy.

But getting back to Scream: Is it overproduced? Yes, being an Ozzy Osbourne album, of course it is. That’s long been a trademark of his solo catalog.

Does it have absurd songs designed to appease whatever target market his woefully clueless managerial staff have pigeonholed him into this decade? Yes. There’s a song called “Soul Sucka” that is so gross in it’s implication when fans got wind that this was ALSO the proposed album title, they launched an online revolted, effectively succeeding in changing it to the much more digestible “Scream.”

But what it had in spades where good songs! Something Ozz has been missing since Ozzmosis. There, he had Lemmy Kilmister and Geezer Butler; on No More Tears he again had Lemmy and the criminally underrated Bob Daisly. That all changed after The Osbournes hit and Sharon smelled the money.

Instead of employing proven songwriters like Kilmister, Daisly or Jack Blades, they hired unknown, record company shills that promised high volume at a lower pay. This did not prove successful, but that didn’t stop them from making two albums worth of dreck over the next 8 years.

But then something happened: Ozzy’s newest album was written, supposedly, by only himself and his producer/drummer Kevin Churko at Ozzy’s new home studio.

My guess is Churko now knows Ozzy’s voice better that Ozzy does, having worked with him longer than any other producer, and now, free of outside influence and steps away from the studio, they were able to bottle lightening, i.e. craft some smart hooks and meaningful lyrics for the first time in ages.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I liked Scream a lot. It restored my faith in what Ozzy would be capable of in a studio with a good producer.

My next concern was the lyrics. Ozzy rarely (read as: almost never) wrote lyrics in Black Sabbath. That task belonged to Geezer Butler. Again, Ozzy’s bass player and, if you know your “War Pigs”, you know how great a wordsmith he is.

I assumed with Sharon now managing the entire band, that she would insist Ozzy (and whoever his ghostwriter was for the recordings) receive full credit for the lyrics, ensuring he alone received that fat royalty check (in common record contracts, lyricists receive 50% of song royalties).

This, however, is not so! It was announced Geezer would be writing ALL the lyrics for the new album. I can only guess this was at the insistence of Rubin and HOPE it was also the band’s desire.

So another welcome notch in the belt is made.

And lastly, the drummer situation.

Bill Ward, in his day, was a phenom. I won’t go into too much detail here, but rest assured, the man was never at a loss for an idea. It’s very interesting to revisit Sabbath’s early catalog and witness his evolution from a wild, fit-a-fill-where-ever-one-fits, jazz-obsessed monster into a solid, professional studio musician.

But, as great as he was, the problem with old Bill is old Bill is old.

If you watch any vintage Sabbath clips from their early days touring Europe you’ll see Animal from the Muppets behind the kit. If you watch footage from any of their 1999-and-on reunion tours and you see a old man, still competent, but it’s a shadow of the Bill Ward who made those first records so engrossing and full.

My guess is Bill’s contract was less about money and more about them dumping him outright. Perhaps he’s just not strong enough anymore to play at the level a reunion album of this magnitude requires. And that sucks.

I’d be totally okay with Bill playing on the records. Even if he’s more Phil Rudd than John Bonham these days. I think we all would. But someone behind the scenes made that decision for us, and now we’ll never know…

What I do know is it’s getting late and this is going nowhere. I’ll try to get a new and hopefully much more interesting collection of rants and ramblings up this weekend.

Until then, “Shine On, You Crazy Diamond!”

…that was them, right??

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How Magnets Work

What is a Juggalo?

This question has baffled many normal tax-payers for close to 20 years now. Anyone who has had the misfortune of encountering a group of the slovenly, morbidly obese, greasepaint lathered, dark clothes-clad unwashed can attest to the cloud of depression and confusion they both create and thrive on, yet exactly what this gaggle of human-formed puke actually is has yet to be explained.

Here I attempt to explain it to the layman, pulling from both my own experiences with members of the “Family” as well as information from satirical research documents I too haven written for the purpose of the joke.

My storied hatred of the Juggalos stretches back a decade…

The fist time I heard Insane Clown Posse I thought it was a joke. A joke that wasn’t funny, with a punch line I did not, nor would ever, get.

To be honest, it was a bit of a letdown. Several of the music magazines I read praised the group for their flourishing underground popularity and DIY work ethic.

I’d read many interviews with Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope and always found them entertaining, if not all that informative. This fascination continues to this day. If they ever appear on Howard Stern or Adam Carolla, I make a point to listen. Sometimes repeatedly.

Then I heard their music. Upon my first listen I knew immediately it was my duty as a music lover… as an American… nay! As a human, to hate them forever. Hate them with that undying, driving hatred only a militant atheist can know for organized religion. That perfect, special hatred only a father can know for his son.

The Juggalo

A couple years after my ICP virginity had been raped away, I had the good fortune to work with not one, but two self-described Juggalos. I began hanging out with one of them outside work, usually at a daytime bar frequented by fellow nightshifters, and sometimes, at our respective homes.

“Juggalo Mike,” as he will be known, decided he was going to turn me. He proposed we get really, really stoned after work and listen to “The Wraith,” the groups most current release (it was actually brand new at the time) and that I was to really listen to it without prejudice or preconceived opinion and just try to enjoy it.

It didn’t take. The only legitimately enjoyable part of the experience, aside from the weed, was watching Juggalo Mike, half-asleep, mumble along with bits of the music and throw up a hand, fingers snarled into a shape resembling a gang symbol/palsy victim grip, from time to time. Juggalo Mike fell asleep before the album had played through. I woke him when it was over to tell him how much I didn’t like it and he immediately replayed the last track, making sure to point out that in the last few lines they divulge their up-until-now hidden devotion to Jesus Christ. That didn’t help like it any better.

Juggalo Mike explained he was shocked by it and was unsure where this left him as a fan, since the rumor at the time was this was to be the groups final album.

I have a feeling that’s always the case with ICP. Every album could be their last, due to innumerable civil suits filed by large groups of parents trying to blame someone for their 27-year-olds still living at home.

I don’t know whatever happened to Juggalo Mike. We lost touch after I left Grand Forks, but he and another coworker had frequently talked about quitting their jobs, driving to Miami and living on the beach. It sounds like a fantasy, but that’s the kind of guy he was. Outgoing as hell, but to a disturbing degree.

To this day, he was the BIGGEST pothead I’ve ever known, and I’ve known some of the biggest. He was the kind of smoker that didn’t stop smoking. Ever. He was high as a kite, or as high as a 300 lb kite can be, 24-7. He’d smoke in the showers in the back of the truck stop where we worked. He’d smoke outside the building, blatantly in view of anyone. He smoked before we went to the bar and after we left. And he smoked again before he went to sleep that morning. Heck, he probably even smoked before coming into work!

Oh yeah, and he’d only been smoking weed for about a year.

Juggalo Mike was also an alcoholic. He prided himself on his love of Southern Comfort and ability to drink it.

Yeah. I know. SoCo?

Anyway, Juggalo Mike once lived in Sioux Falls for over a month in the alley behind a bar. He’d saved up or come into some money and made the choice to become a filthy lush for as long as he could afford it. He’d get wasted at the bar all day and all night until they kicked him out, find a spot in the alley to pass out and whenever he woke up, he’d head right back in and do it again. He said once it got so bad he woke up and it was pouring rain and he just rolled over, covered himself with a piece of loose cardboard and fell back asleep.

Another time, he’d been working at a turkey farm near Detroit Lakes and got into a fight with what he described as “the craziest Mexican on Earth” on the roof of the place. Also, did I mention it was A KNIFE FIGHT!? ON THE ROOF OF A QUANSET!! IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!!

This was 10 years ago, but is still relevant and should give you a good idea of the personality, and personality disorders, your common Juggalo possesses.

I liked Mike, but he was insane. He willfully made terrible decisions with his life and his health daily. Whether is was drinking too much, smoking too much, picking fights with the wrong people or listening to ICP, he was almost constantly in jeopardy, a trait that is still common in the Juggalo of today.

The Juggalo of today is far, far superior. Stupider, fatter, uglier and possessing more willful ignorance than ever before, today’s Juggalo have cast off those restrictive chains of true individuality and adopted a specific look.

Your garden-variety Juggalo of today generally weighs between 300 – 70,000 pounds and is more than okay with it. They normally wear ICP or affiliated group t-shirt(s) and if they do wear pants, they’re of the sweat-variety.

In some cases, when the Juggalo has consumed enough methamphetamine to develop what passes for a waistline, outdated polyester “chain-pants” pulled partially over outdated South Park boxer shorts are acceptable attire.

Facial piercing are a must, and the more severe the better. If the holes in your ears bigger than the hole in your premature babies heart, you might be a Juggalo.

Speaking of premature babies, they’re in vogue! Due to exorbitant drug use paired with unprotected sex, most Juggalettes can expect a new addition to their own “Family” every 4 to 6 months!

Teeth? Who needs ‘em! Methamphetamine combined with 8-12 daily liters of Faygo and a general disregard for personal hygiene leads to serious tooth decay. Most dentistry is self-service and many Juggalos make crude necklaces out of their own spent fangs. People with healthy teeth are deemed freaks and are forcibly exiled.

(from Official Juggalo Report 2009ID-2b, Department of Homeland Security)


The Juggalette

This poor unfortunate soul was hanging out with a friend of mine, or more to the point, he was hanging with her for some ungodly reason…

She was chain smoking Camel 100s and hadn’t eaten in 3 days. The skin on her face was tight and her eyes were sunken behind her glasses. Also, she was 5 months pregnant.

Her reasoning for the smoking was since she gave up drinking for the baby, she was entitled to smoke during the pregnancy. I’m no doctor, but that just don‘t sound right.

She didn’t know who the father was and claimed she didn‘t care. She was living in an apartment with 3-4 Juggalos and all of them were suspect. She did say, however, that the guy she hoped was the daddy probably wasn’t…

While smoking outside the Empire, she started talking about ICP. I asked if she was a Juggalo and she immediately corrected me that she was in fact a Juggalette. I asked her what it was like being a diehard fan of awful, unlistenable music? She stared daggers. I laughed and said that although I didn’t care for their music, I did like the guys themselves and had recently heard them on Howard Stern.

She said the reason I didn’t like their music was because I am ignorant (this almost exact reasoning has been hurled at me more than once over my incomprehensible dislike of ICP) and it doesn’t matter what I think because the Psycopathic Family doesn’t give a fuck!!

I was shocked. Besides the fact that I’d bought this freaky little gutter rat her first decent meal in half a week and had been overly nice to her for the sake of my friend, one cross word against her saviors was all it took to identify me as the enemy. I changed the subject and asked her what she did for money. She said she’d been out of work for about 3 months but knew how to operate a Bobcat. She asked me for a light. I asked her when the baby was due…

This is perhaps the most perfect and visceral encounter with a Juggalette in the wild one can hope to have. Here is a lost and broken person who is content remaining lost and broken. You want to feel sorry for her, but her vile attitude and outright refusal to acknowledge reality leaves you at a loss.

I saw her a few months later walking towards a burger stand. Extremely pregnant. Proud ICP hoodie adorned. Cigarette in mouth.
Juggalos can readily be identified outside of their “uniform” by their menial jobs:

Simple sales position in malls stores such as Hot Topic or Spencer’s Gifts or jockeying cheap jewelry kiosks serve the Juggalo/Juggalette well.

Similar low-paying positions like part-time dishwashers and bus boys are easily attained in restaurants that either hide their employees from the customer or are not required to obey Federally mandated health codes: (McDonalds, Hardees/Carl’s Jr., Wendy’s etc)

Low-skilled jobs usually occupied by women that require face-to-face dealings with the public, like waitresses or stewardesses, are normally not occupied by the ghastly Juggalettes, who are already at a disadvantage in the workforce simply by being women.

Generally the intelligence of the Juggalo is very low, hovering around the 80-90 point mark. One can often draw this distinction from the dead, dull look in a Juggalo’s eyes, but not in all cases.

In cases where the dimwittedness of the Juggalo is not visable to the naked eye, simply engaging in conversation will be telling enough.

The Juggalo is generally good natured as long as you treat them with the dignity regularly reserved for actual human beings. Once that status is questioned, the Juggalo will retract from any moral sense of kindness and prepare for the attack. Using ignorance-fueled clichés, like accusing you of being “ignorant” (often pronounced “ig-nant”) or informing you that you are “cliché‘”

“You don‘t know me!”, a popular idiom that originated as a white trash mating call, has been adopted by and is used almost incessantly by all Juggalos. Usually for identification purposes and to audibly announce ones individuality.
(from the United Stated Department of Justice, Juggalo Research document 22-4a)

The Idiot

I recently got into an argument with a self-described Juggalo on Facebook.

A friend had posted his opinion about the FBI recently adding the Juggalos to the Top 10 of a list they call the Gangs Assessment List. Meaning the Juggalos have been identified by the American government as a real gang, or pseudo-gang as the Bureau actually calls them. He denounced it as a violation of an individual’s rights as a private citizen. And he’s right.

He added that something as innocuous as the KISS Army might also come under the same scrutiny and that what really bothers him is that nobody will take notice of or fight it because of the Juggalos classification as second-class citizens.

I responded in jest, at least I assumed he and even the smallest of children would understand I was joking.. well, maybe half-joking… but still making my own point with humor:

“Yeah, except the KISS Army are a bunch of harmless middle-aged consumers who might see a concert once a year and the Juggalos are a bunch of drug-addicted trailer trash who probably relish being recognized as a gang.”

Almost immediately I was accosted by an unbelievably vile Juggalette we shall simply refer to as “Stupid.”

-Stupid said that I “didn‘t know shit” and that I am ignorant. Stupid said people like me are bad because I make generalizations about people I don’t even know.

-Stupid then informed me of what a sad, tired cliché I am and what an inspired and original addition to humanity she is.

-Stupid even dropped the infamous “You don‘t know me!” line followed by about a million exclamation points

I wanted to tell her that there isn’t anything more ignorant or cliché than personally attacking someone she’s never met (ala “u don’t know me”) through a computer. Oddly, simply throwing around the words ignorant and cliché is probably considered a cliché.

I wanted to tell her that responding to criticism in such a crass manner was unbecoming of a young lady and taking a stand to defend an entire group of dullards, though commendable, is no way of showcasing ones original individuality.

But instead I just made another joke:

“Look, all I’m saying is any group of people who legitimately rock out to Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap” in 2012 is to be feared. And possibly executed.”

This was attributed to nothing she said. I came up with it as a joke for my Twitter feed based on Juggalos regularly referring to one another as “ninja” and that Vanilla Ice had in fact appeared at a recent Gathering of the Juggalos concert. It’s just good science.

Anyway, Stupid lost her mind. Somehow, I had managed to offend quite possibly the only person on Earth that would take such an obvious joke as a real and personal insult. She launched into two full paragraphs of tired, cliché-riddled vitriol. She said that she does indeed rock out legitimately to “Ninja Rap” all the time and is proud to do it…

(note: I am not making any of this up)

She then said she is completely comfortable with herself (apparently needing me to know this) and because of that fact she can never be topped in a debate because she knows herself better than other people know her…

(this is where it is okay to do a facepalm)

She finished by accusing me of being mentally handicapped (using much harsher language) and typed out a strange dog-like howl of “AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! TRUE FREEDOM!!”

So far we know that true freedom comes from attacking someone unprovoked and that she is attempting to make a real argument on nothing more than my playful criticism of a gang most regular people don’t even know about, let alone take seriously.

In short, Juggalos connect freedom to unwarranted preemptive strike followed by illegal occupation: Juggalos are Republican.

I wanted to explain to her that if her idea of True Freedom is attached to a computer in any way she’s missing the point of life.

I wanted to tell her that attacking someone else’s intelligence based only on the fear that your own intelligence is in question is, well, stupid. (and ignorant)

I wanted to tell her that I too loved Vanilla Ice… when I was 10 years old, but I’ve grown up and not even nostalgia can convince me that an awful rap song isn’t awful or that it was ever good. My dignity will not allow it.

But instead I said this:

“You’ve given me a lot to think about.”

Now I am just fucking with her. I’ve yet to resort to name calling. I am using good old-fashioned sarcasm. She is not familiar with the concept.

She again goes on the offensive, stating that what I just said made her laugh really hard because: “HOW COULD SHE HAVE GIVEN ME A LOT TO THINK ABOUT WITHOUT ME KNOWING HER!!!”

(Seriously. I’m not making this up.)

Not only does she not understand sarcasm, she doesn’t even seem to know what simple phrases mean.

Even though I do believe in my heart that all Juggalos are scum, I am open to correction, yet her terrible job of defending Juggalo culture is only solidifying my belief with each of her subsequent posts. Nothing she has typed, or will ever type, will convinced me otherwise. She is a living stereotype. So…

I tell her she won the argument.

I tell her she has convinced me to become a Juggalo.

I tell her I plan to get on wellfare and spend it on ICP’s entire discography, which I will listen to on repeat while I get a bunch of awful tattoos (with more welfare money, of course).

I tell her that I’m even considering having a FAS baby out of wedlock! Sky‘s the limit!

(fact: Juggalettes never stop ovulating)

Whatever channel of her brain that isn’t gummed up with weed resin or hasn’t been completely destroyed by meth abuse must have allowed her a single moment of clarity, because she FINALLY seems to understand that I have been fucking with her the whole time. She apologizes to my friend for clogging his thread with our argument, deletes her previous posts and says her goodbyes.

I beckon: “Wait! You can help me! I seriously need your advice! Do I DRINK the greasepaint and SMEAR the Faygo on my face… or do I have that backwards?”

She says she can’t believe I am still trying to insult her (this is honestly the first thing I have posted that could even be construed as a direct insult) and all my failed attempts at insulting her (???) only make her laugh harder.

I tell her I never insulted her, that I was asking a serious question only her expertise could answer. I also ask if she deleted her previous posts because she didn’t want the public to steal her thoughtful, expertly-crafted, Mensa-level rebuttals?



Later the thread comes alive again, this time a different group of people are now praising the merits of Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap”

(still not joking..)

Much later in the day I actually take the high road and apologize for the argument, and say I’m sorry if what I said hurt her feelings.

Stupid responds that I never hurt her feelings because if I had “WE WOULD BE SEEING THE RESULTS OF IT ALREADY” (!!!) and finishes her bizarre threat by accusing me of having Down’s Syndrome (again, she does not use proper terminology).

My friend cuts in and says there’s no reason not to debate the subject, but stresses his initial point was the governments fucked up targeting of a group of music fans.

I say: “Look: that any faction of the government would begin targeting music fans as potential threats is low, and a reflection of what a sad state our government is in.”

Stupid then says that’s what she meant all along (WHAT?) and calls me stupid.

I then post:

“All jokes aside, ICP, as businessmen, are geniuses. Odds are the Feds investigating/infiltrating the Juggalos has less to do with any illegal activity they may take part in and everything to do with ICP making bank outside the corporate music industry.”

Again, and forever more, we have silence. Not so much was she defeated as she had simply run out of insults to hurl. They only have so many pre-loaded before they resort to childish name calling.And she probably thought it was going to turn into a bizarre political debate which I’m willing to bet she knows jack shit about too.

This argument is invaluable when studying the irrational and limited reasoning skills of the Juggalo.

We now know:

Juggalos often accuse their enemy of ignorance and being “cliché” when they themselves are at a loss and resort to using tired clichés like accusing people of being “ignorant.”

Juggalos fear intelligence and those who possess it. When engaged in a battle of wits, they immediately resort to attacking their opponents intelligence, ironically, by calling them “retarded“

Juggalos are hypocrites.

Juggalos threaten and will resort to violence. We see very clearly that Stupid would escalate a simple online debate to real-world violence once it becomes apparent she is losing the argument.

The Juggalo does not accept defeat. Arguing for the sake of arguing accomplishes nothing. Pride comes before the fall because that’s what tips you over. And Juggalo are lousy with pride. Knowing when, and being willing, to step back and admit defeat requires wisdom, bravery and intelligence. Since the Juggalo possess none of these, they are unable to know when they are wrong and suffer unto pride. Here we see someone who believes as long as they have the last word, they’ve won the argument. This rationale is not based in reality, but in the drug-addled fantasy the Juggalo has created for itself.

Juggalos are mentally ill. Believing that you are being attacked personally by an innocent statement suggest attention deficit disorder, low self-esteem and poor self-image; conditions all Juggalos struggle with until their inevitable suicide.
(from my personal archives, 8-18-2012)

“What is a Juggalo? I don’t know.” goes the song. Unfortunately, I do.

This concludes our lecture. Coffee and pie is available in the foyer.

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Scissorfight: My new favorite band I’ll (probably) never see play live.

I have this habit of discovering new bands long after they’ve broken up. My first favorite heavy band ever was Black Sabbath, which I originally got into in 1995. A good 16 years after the original lineup played together. Fortunately, they did reunite and I got to see them at Ozzfest ’99 when I was 18 years old. It’s still the greatest concert I’ve ever been to.

Other bands followed: Faith No More; easily one of my favorite bands of all time. They broke up in 1998 and I didn’t really start listening to them until, well, 1998 – but only because their record label issued a greatest hits package called “Who Cares A Lot?” later that year and I listened to that fucker relentlessly.

I’ve since amassed their entire Mike Patton-era discography and. lo and behold, they finally reunited in 2009. I could tell almost the same exact tale of Mr. Bungle, Mike Patton’s original band/side-project.

Coalesce: the missing-link between post-hardcore and what would become known as metalcore. A group universally praised by the press, but financially, and maybe artistically bankrupted, split up in 1999. I discovered them in 2004 when their debut album was reissued. They got back together in 2005 and I was lucky enough to catch 2 of their reunion shows and meet them in person. Their lead singer, Sean Ingram, was an asshole.

Don’t meet your heroes, kids.

These are poor examples, because these are three of my favorite bands that eventually reformed. There are a multitude of bands I’ve found that will likely never reunite and I fear that may be the case with my newest favorite band I missed out on the first time: Scissorfight.

Scissorfight was an underground hardcore/heavy metal/hard rock band from New England and I wish they were still together.

Imagine a minimalist Clutch, but heavier. Crank up the guitar (both in volume and wicked soloing), add a major dosage of Southern rock, hardcore punk and a blatant affinity for every drug imaginable, and you’d have something close to resembling Scissorfight.

Rumor has it they went on hiatus in 2007 after the tour-cycle for their last album, 2006’s “Jaggernaut.” Half the band, guitarist and bassist, moved on to form a couple different bands and their singer, Ironlung, has become an artist and released a few CD-r’s of self-produced ambient music.

And it’s a low down, dirty shame.

I stumbled upon them a couple weeks ago. On my Twitter feed, I saw a retweet linking to one of those online polls you may have seen recently, where some online magazine pits different heavy metal bands against each other.

Apparently they’d run out of bands, because they were now voting on frontmen. One of the guys they were voting on was named “Ironlung.” I knew the name from years ago. I used to read Metal Maniacs magazine (RIP) and I remember one of the features on Scissorfight interviewing a backwoods hillbilly-of sorts named Ironlung. I thought the name was great and the interview must have been too, because I remember looking for Scissorfight albums in the local record stores of the city I was living in at the time. Of course they didn’t carry albums from an underground hardcore band from New Hampshire and this was before I had a checking account so mail order was out of the question. Also, this was pre-torrent internet, so it was safe to say I wouldn’t be listening to any Scissorfight for at least 12 years.

So I got home from work that night and decided I would check online for some Scissorfight music. I found a few tracks on YouTube and was hooked. I loved that start-stop, swinging and shaking rock n roll I was hearing. This was my music. That style is something I’ve always dug, yet you can never seem to find it! Or at least not enough bands that do it.

It sounds silly, but when I was a teenager, I envisioned being in a band that played this type of music. When I first heard Helmet, I felt like someone had read my mind and stolen my idea! I say it again and again, and although I love some death metal and worship certain grindcore bands, all that heaviness and speed are absolutely meaningless without that GROOVE!

And Scissorfight had it in spades.

The groove comes from the band. Simple as that. You can throw any rag-tag bunch of fools together and teach them to play a song, but if they don’t mesh; if they don’t gel, they will never groove. Take Jay Fortin’s awesomely angry guitar, add Kevin J. Strongbow’s lockstep drumming (which is unintentially humorous as he seems to play essentially the same beat on more than a handful of songs) and Jarvis’ in-the-pocket bass playing and you get that sound. It’s hard to describe. It’s just something that happens when you get the right group of people together. It’s what some folks might dare to call magic.

Then you top it off with a unique vocal approach, and you make history.

“Ironlung” was given his nickname for his inhuman ability to consume drugs, not his amazing singing. In fact, he is not a great singer. He growls, shouts and talks his way through every song, and luckily his lyrics are interesting enough to keep your attention. It works really well. Maybe a little too well.

Read a couple of interviews with Fortin and Jarvis about their new groups and you might get the feeling they resent Ironlung, which is understandable. They’re the primary writers, yet, as the frontman, Ironlung got all the attention.

Ironlung was hired, as the legend goes, “to stand there and look scary.” The dude is well over 6 feet tall and looks like your Biker Uncle had a kid with your Lumberjack Uncle and that kid was brought up reading survivalist manuals in tandem with Jim Morrison’s poetry and Timothy Leary’s dissertations, all while being taught never to get a haircut or shave. That’s Ironlung. And he was a great frontman.

They released 5 full length albums and 3 EPs in their 12 years together. My favorite records are “New Hampshire” and “Mantrapping for Sport and Profit,” their 3rd and 4th albums respectively.

“New Hampshire” is not only my favorite, but serves as the link between the bands early, low-fi, death metal-tinged style and the better-produced, balls out, rock n roll boogie that defined their later career.

Excellent, excellent rock guitar work throughout, mixed with some doomy runs and some monstrous breakdowns, work perfectly with the sing-along, gang-vocals of big numbers like opener “Granite State Destroyer” (“We’ve got a war to wage!”) the bizarre ode to animal fighting “The Ballad of Jacco Macacco” (“You’re money’s on the monkey, the monkey wins!”) the possibly-Manson Family inspired “Injection Site” the pirate tale “The Gruesome Death of Edward Teach” and the enormous, fuzzed-out dirge of “Musk Ox” which might be my favorite song on the record.

“Mantrapping for Sport and Profit” is a similar album with slicker production and more concise songwriting. But make no mistake, they’ve lost none of their grit.

Opener, and maybe the definitively titled Scissorfight song “Acid for Blood” is a stomp-heavy, anthemic ode to pharmaceuticals. If the chorus of “MORE. OF. THOSE. PILLS! ” doesn’t make you grin, you’re at the wrong party, son! Followed immediately by the equally anthemic “New Hampshire’s All Right if You Like Fighting” add the rollicking “The Most Dangerous Animal is Me” and the creepy-fun “Blizzards, Buzzards, Bastards” and you have a formidable record perfect for tripping balls while getting lost in the woods.

Their last album “Jaggernaut” is also great, but I’m done playing music critic for this blog. I just wish more people knew about this band. I wish band members themselves knew how much their music means to their fans. I wish they’d come back and give the people what they want.

I know I’m not alone, even if I’m the only person in North Dakota who likes them enough to order a bootleg Scissorfight t-shirt that I’ll probably never see from a shady online vendor.

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What hath God wrought?

Hello. This is my first blog. I doubt it will be very interesting or that anyone will read it, but it is mine.

It is cheap and it is quaint, but it is livable. Also, it smells a bit. Like the air conditioner sprang a leak and dripped moisture all over the carpet until mold spores formed and found their way into you nasal cavity.

I don’t know how to manage or edit this thing in the least and since I have no patience for reading instructions I will have to learn as I go.

Also, I just realized I say “I” a lot. We’ll have to work on that.

I have a Twitter page. On it I try to write jokes or humorous bits or incendiary comments specifically to incite a riot.

I’ll probably use this blog as an extension of that or for more serious subjects I feel like writing about.

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