Sunday, June 29, 2008
From the opening track of "Whatever people say I am, that's what I'm not", indie group Arctic Monkeys 2006 debut album, one is left dizzy and gasping for breath due to the nonstop barrage of interwoven guitar melodies, enchanting grooves from their spontaneous rhythm section and their impassioned, half-shouted lyrics delivered via Yorkshire accents as thick as maple syrup. The momentum here is never lost, even during the bands only down-tempo song, "Riot Van", a youthful and taunting disregard for the law and those "silly boys in blue". Here are a group that certainly aren't afraid to "take it on the chin".
The English lads never relinquish their firm grasp of mystery. Even as lead singer, Alex Turner, dismisses blood-thirsty bouncers in "From the Ritz to the Rubble", his youthful age is covered like a blanket by the presence of hindsight and acceptance. Never here do the boys show their years, though all are under the age of twenty. The description of people and places and the recollection of the urgency of life spent on the dance floor draw a picture of a much older and traveled troubadour.
From the condemnation of the whores and scummy men of "When the Sun Goes Down" to the reluctant acceptance of promiscuity in "Still Take You Home" the gamut is crossed and then crossed back again. An urban landscape of bad people and bad decisions is painted with unflinching realism amongst a backdrop of 1980's pop culture references and working class poetics. From the pursuit of "lairy girls" with "bunny ears and devil horns" in the opening song to the closing number's concern over the faults of friends that are not met with scorn, but are merely dealt with quietly, we are narrated through what appears to be a long and arduous weekend. Perhaps these faults are the same social circumstances Turner riles about throughout the album. Perhaps his acceptance of others shortcomings extends to the cast of characters that roam like tribes through the hard streets of his memories. But maybe that task is reserved for someone not nearly as resolute as our narrator pretends to be.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
And yeah, the rockabilly broads are just pigeon-holding themselves into a somewhat less popular stereotypical archetype of beauty, but at least they're fully aware that they're nothing more than cliches. They do know that , don't they?
Putting the Cosmo starlets and rockabilly broads aside, the subgroup of females that really has my support are the gals that need support the most. Ass support. What support, if any, does a nylon string cutting up your smelly ass-crack* provide, hmm? What happened to thongs being merely for strippers and porn stars? This goes back to my belief that real women hate the way they look and eat fried chicken. And, girl, you know that fried chicken's going directly to that big ol' ass of yours. But that's ok. That's why fruit of the loom made briefs. So put on a pair of High Rise Briefs and throw out that crusty old g-string. Or, better yet, put it in your medicine cabinet. The next time you get some chicken cartilage in your teeth, hey! you've already got floss!
Not that I really give a rat's ass what other people think is beautiful, though. I'm just lucky enough to have the most beautiful girl in the world right by my side day and night. But ladies, if you need that pink thong with the little lacy thingies coming off it to feel beautiful, then go ahead and feel beautiful. But if you're hungry for a drumstick, well that's alright, too.
"Oh baby, this is dedicated to all the pretty girls. All the pretty girls in the world, and the ugly girls too cause to me you're pretty anyway."
-Ol' Dirty Bastard
*No one wants to smell poop when they're sniffin' your panties. So please keep your drawers from rubbing up on your hairy old butthole. Thank you.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Recently, Austin hasn't been coming around. He's been occupied by these two other neighbor boys (they're not red-bones, just retarded looking) who live across the street. Long story short: the two other neighbor boys are little bitches who would hang out with Austin at home but wouldn't even say hello to him at school because he wasn't hip enough. They're also little bitches because one of them fell on their bike the other day and cried for his mom. Austin just stood there and looked at the kid like he was the biggest pussy on Green Street. (What an eight year old little bitch)
Austin's coming over more often now. Apparently both sets of parents didn't think it was a good idea for the boys to hang out after Austin opened up a stone cold can of 'dude, you got blood all over my fist. not cool'. I wanted to high-five Austin when he told me this but I thought it might seem a little immature. Austin's a Viking, though. Immaturity is his families motto. He's got two older siblings who both have speech impediments and work menial jobs. I think they all have different daddies because none of them look alike. Austin calls the head Viking daddy, but Austin's real daddy died a couple years ago. That's about as specific as I could get. Bekki and I have an ongoing joke where we pretend to be Austin's momma in the middle of 'paying rent' (it gets pretty raunchy). All in all, they're a very colorful cast of characters. But it gets better. . .
The mighty Viking hoard had a family outing to the tattoo parlor the other day. The father and daughter both got tattoos. How sweet. Austin was going to get his ear pierced but pussed out (he is only eight years old!) In what issue of Southern Living does it recommend going to get inked as a wholesome family activity? Now, I went to public schools. I smoked the marijuana. I even slummed it on the weekends at my mom's double-wide, but I was never white trash enough where my mom would let me get my ear pierced at eight years old. There's a difference between working class and white trash and I think that line might be drawn in the cigarette ash in front of the tattoo parlor.
Oh, and Austin's daddy. He got a tattoo of a $100 bill. On his penis.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
The Baptist Church across the street actually has a three person team dedicated to saving the souls of the damned. I find that a little pretentious. Especially when they came to my door. Like I said before, I AM damned, but how do they know that? They're either assuming that anyone who isn't a member of the Baptist Church is damned OR they know what I do in the shower when the door is locked. Either way, I find it a bit pretentious and arrogant that they think they have the tools to offer me salvation and everlasting life in Heaven. Wouldn't it be a trip if the next time some false Holy Man comes to my door that I try to save HIS soul. It would probably just turn into a dead end argument of 'oh yeah, my god can smite your god!' followed by 'nuh uh! my god can smite YOUR god!'. All of this talk about salvation got me thinking. And so I turned to a man who has offered me great comfort and wisdom throughout my life: George Carlin.
After watching his stand-up routine for "Religion is Bullshit", I got to thinking about other things that are bullshit. First off, the police officer that pulled me over the other night was bullshit. Both the ticket and the lip he gave me were bullshit. The DMV that told me all of my fines from a year prior were paid when in fact they weren't was bullshit. That same DMV that still couldn't locate the fine in their computer system that the cop had cited me for was bullshit. And the cop taking the license plate off the back of my car and telling me not to go "cruising" was definitely bullshit.
The fact that gas is so inflated that I can hardly get to work, much less go "cruising" is bullshit. George W. Bush having yet to address the issue despite everyone knowing that him, his family and his friends are all connected with and profiting from oil is bullshit. The fact that the oil inflation has caused such a tear in the economy that thousands of people (like me) are losing their jobs (like mine) due to nonexistent profits (like my workplace is experiencing) is bullshit.
But through all of this, I look to my wife's beautiful smile, I look to the life we've built together and I look forward to the peaceful walks we take along Southern Street every night. These are the things that keep me sane. Having my dogs bark at the neighbor boys. Having my wife beg me for a back rub. Having the throngs of religious zealots yearning for my soul- these are the simple pleasures of Mountain life. All of the unnecessary death, disease and poverty in the world is bullshit. All of the child prostitution, drug addictions and warfare is bullshit. All of the endless and unnecessary suffering that religion claims to fight but in actuality only perpetuates is bullshit. But as I sit in my backyard and watch the dogs chase lightning bugs, all I can say is . . .
. . . so what?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Some folks would have you believe that the Wigga is nothing more than an individual obsessed with popular culture. They feel that the Wigga displays this with his dress, mannerisms and speech patterns. I will state my case in order to convert the nonbelievers that the Wigga is indeed a false heir to the throne of the Negro.
I do not believe that characteristics are inherent for certain racial groups. I have therefore left off the -er on the end of the root word, Wigg, and opted for the more socially accepted -a. I do not think of the Wigga as a "White Nigger", but as a "White Nigga". Aside from the obvious racial slur that the "Wigger" implies, I can honestly say that I have never seen a White man trying to emulate an Uncle Remus-type persona. Perhaps the closest there ever came to this would be Stevie Ray Vaughn. No, the Wigga is driven by urges unknown to the scientific world to copy and emulate the mid-Eighties to the Present urban black culture where it's members are self-identified as "Bitches" or "Niggas" . It is this specifically crafted stereotype that the Wigga spends every waking moment trying to emulate. This is who the Wigga is.
I'll open with a quote by one of the top spokesmen of the Nigga Movement, Tupac Shakur: "Niggers was the ones on the rope, hanging off the thing; niggas is the ones with gold ropes, hanging out at clubs." This does as much as any argument to paint the differences between the two words and their meanings. So, in turn, a "Wigger" would be someone who only wants to drink from the "colored-only" water-fountain, whereas a "Wigga" would be someone who only wants to drink Colt 45 (and probably from a brown paper bag).
So, in establishing that there does exist a Black subculture that refer to themselves as "Niggas", we can disprove those who claim that Wiggas are only emulating popular culture. Corn row braids, baggy FUBU pants and 22inch rims on an 88 Pontiac are not products of pop. culture, they are the hallmark of the Nigga Movement. Therefore, when a White person has or does these certain things, they are trying to establish themselves in Nigga culture, but due to the fact that no matter how hard they try to drop their S's they will never be "Niggas", they are cast aside as wanna-be fake pussies or the preferred "Wigga".
Wiggas are not evil because they try to assimilate themselves into a culture that will never accept them. Wiggas are evil because they have taken the most vile actions and stereotypes from a Black subculture and held those vices to such high esteem. They thrive off materialism, masochism and violence (or the facade of violence because they're really just huge pussies that could never hurt anything except maybe their girlfriends' feelings when they refer to them as 'ma baby momma').
The Wigga can be saved, though. And it is this, the white man's burden, to free the Wigga from the clutches of a meaningless subculture. Like a dog that is distracted by a shiny object (most likely platinum), we must roll up the newspaper we call civility and smack their wet noses until some sort of appreciation is formed for rational thought and respect for all of mankind (not just the thuggish kind). The Wigga is not our enemy. They are just like us but they are lost to a sea of commercialism first navigated by the likes of Snoop Doggy Dogg, Easy-E and Dr. Dre. Indeed, these pioneering sailors of crap are at the core of this cancer spreading through every race and nationality in this great country of ours. Not just the Wigga, though, but also the Essays (Latinos), the Stir-Fried Niggas (Asians) and the OG's (the true Niggas) need our compassion and help to overcome this crippling obsession with apathy and poor style.
Yes, the Nigga Movement has spread to almost every aspect of American culture (mainly thru Mtv), forever embedding itself into our collective consciousness. We owe it to the misguided young white, black, latino and asian people to stomp out this atrocity. We owe it to the youth of America. We owe it to ourselves. This is not just the White Man's Burden, this lies on the shoulders of us all.
P.S. The next time you see a gaudy looking thug walking down the street like a peacock, kindly remind him that the Italians did it first.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I don't mind that we're in the middle of an unjust war started by falsified facts. I don't mind that large corporations and powerful politicians are making record profits off of the record gas prices. I don't even mind that a movie can show death, destruction and mutilation and still receive a PG-13 or R-Rating, but the second you show a man's un-erect penis, it's rated NC-17. I don't mind those things, because those are the things that make America so special.
But what does bother me is the news that Anheuser-Busch is considering moving all of its plants overseas. Honestly, what is more American that Bud Light? It goes Apple Pie, Jesus, Racism and then Bud Light. We could never have crushed those damned British during the American Revolution if our boys in blue weren't throwing back cans of BL to ease their woes. BL is the social lubricant that has enabled us to slip our proverbial fingers up the rectums of loose college girls throughout our history. In order to understand the preceding metaphor, replace 'proverbial fingers' with 'hard cock of justice' and replace 'loose college girls' with 'towel-headed evil-doers'.
I'm not sure if anyone remembers the outsourcing of Converse a few years ago, but I still roll the horrible memory around in my skull at great length. Remember when you could throw on a pair of grimy old Chucks and march down your neighborhood street and proudly display your 'Made in America' logo with pride? Those were the days. Then the Converse Company went and got castrated by China (via Nike) who in turn jacked the price up to over $35 for a shoe that previously sold for under $20 and is only really worth $10. I know Chuck Taylors were the original basketball shoe, but has anyone ever tried to actually play a game of b-ball with those P.O.S.'s on? They sucked, but at least they were OURS! (by 'ours', of course, I mean us as Americans)
I would rather bleed all over the basketball court as my skin scrapes and tears as it rubs against the rough canvas interior of my American-made Chucks. I would rather spend my substandard paycheck on a 24 pack of Bud Light with the Stars and Stripes brazenly displayed on the box than a 12 pack of some imported sissy piss-water that won't even get me buzzed enough to forget about my miserable, pathetic life. And, you know what, I would rather sit through a box office American blockbuster, shoot-em-up, kill-fest than see one more artsy-fartsy French film about two fags who fall for each other in pre-World War II Tokyo and slap their flaccid penises against each other in the closing scene.
And for those of you out there who would rather see a limp dick than bloodshed, check out Edward Norton's package in American History X. They show it twice!
This is America. Jealous?
Monday, June 9, 2008
So, being the poor slob that I am, all I can afford are my thoughts. And so on the hour long trek to work I tend to flex my brain muscle (that's what working class call 'thinking') about a number of things, but mostly concerning how god damn poor I am. Gas finally reached $4 a gallon in Podunk, NC and the sad thing is that in a month's time I'll look back on this and think what a deal it was. Even the price of bananas has gone up 15 cents! That may not upset you, but I love my B-A, B-A, nana, nana, nanas. Hey, Gwen Stefani, drop me a line and we can buy stock in Chiquita.
So as I wasted $10.45 on my way to work the other day, I popped in a cd that I hadn't listened to in while. It's a live concert by Utah Phillips. All the songs are by or relating to the Wobblies or Industrial Workers something something. It's good stuff, though. All about joining a Union and being poor and hating your boss. One song in particular, 'Hallelujah, I'm a Bum', really gets the blood pumping to my testies. The last line goes, 'Why don't you save all the money you earn. If I didn't eat I'd have money to burn!'. I suppose you'd have to hear it to comprehend the magik. But the point it makes is that the enemy is not the working class here in America or in Iraq or Iran or whatever country we're gonna 'free' next, but the Big Business Tycoons who make ten fold off of our sweat. It sounds simple, but it really puts a different spin on the whole class issue. The album gets bawdy at times, but he does read a poem, i know, i know:
The Two Bums
The bum on the rod is hunted down
As the enemy of mankind;
The other is driven around to his club
And feted, wined and dined.
And they who curse the bum on the rods
As the essence of all that is bad
Will greet the other with a winning smile
And extend him the hand so glad.
The bum on the rods is a social flea
Who gets an occasional bite;
The bum on the plush is a social leech,
Blood-sucking day and night.
The bum on the rods is a load so light
That his weight we scarcely feel,
But it takes the labor of dozens of men
To furnish the other a meal.
As long as you sanction the bum on the plush,
The other will always be there,
But rid yourself of the bum on the plush
And the other will disappear.
Then make an intelligent, organized kick,
Get rid of the weights that crush;
Don't worry about the bum on the rods,
Get rid of the bum on the plush!
And then that gets me thinking (excuse me, flexing my brain muscle) about the whole election coming up. I realize that I have a biased view on who should win the presidency, but to me it's clear who stands by the working man and who stands to make a profit. John McCain is going to do what every Republican does, claim that he holds the monopoly on morality that Americans fiend for. This does not make him a representative of the working man. He is still for big business, he doesn't hide that fact. Just because he says he is against abortion and pro war doesn't mean anything is going to change. W was prez for 8 years and Roe v. Wade didn't get overturned. Morality in politics is an oxymoron, anyways. Just because he is pro war doesn't mean we're going. . . oh wait. . . hello Iran! But the fact is that food, healthcare and gas prices are all I care about right now because I can't afford any of them. McCain intends to do nothing about any of these issues. Maybe Obama won't be successful, but at least he claims he wants to try. Oh and a little sidenote for all the Clinton supporters who are going to jump ship and vote Republican, shut the fuck up you racist hillbillies. If you wouldn't vote for Obama, who holds all of Clinton's beliefs, just because he's black, then you belong in a party that cares more about facades than facts, anyways.
Underneath that damn sign at the bar, it says: '$6.95 Trout with Baked Potato. . .' I tell you what, Honky, that ain't no god damn poor man's supper. I wish I had seven bucks to throw down for some trout. Tonight I'll be having sardines and saltine crackers with a side of discontentment. That's a poor man's supper.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Where do people get off thinking they can run over roaming cats in their cars for a laugh? Why do people view pets as disposable property? They're members of the family. For Christ's sake, they're not negroes, they're pets! They should be loved and cherished. I know not everyone has the same insane love for domestic animals that I do, but they should respect me and my small collection of firearms enough to never mess with me and mine. That goes for little kids who throw rocks, too. Don't make me get the dualie.
I've got the best dog in the world right now. He's a six year old Rat Terrier. Ratties are small, compact dogs with large personalities. Just imagine all the loyalty and tenacity of a APBT in a family size companion. That led me into thinking. . . what if you mixed a Rattie with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier (not the large AmStaffs, but the smaller English version). I wondered what it would look like and so I went along my noble quest for knowledge. I scaled the mountains of Tibet and brought back this picture of a Raffie (or Ratshire as they are more commonly known):
Aside from being noticeably stockier, the body greatly resembles the Rattie. The long skinny legs, the rat-like feet and the black and white coloring are all stereotypically Rattie. The face is where the Staffie comes out. The nose is more muted and the mouth and neck much wider than a normal Rattie. This is a truely awesome dog. Also, upon my decent from the Tibetan mountain of Whatever, I crossed paths with a lonely hermit fella who offered me a toke of his opium pipe and a picture of this wild specimen:
The Jack Staff or Jackfordshire Russel
I don't know where this lonely hermit peasant got this picture (possibly google), but thank you, wherever you are. Also, for the purists among us and mainly for my own viewing pleasure I must include some pictures of the full bred versions.
Here is a Rat Terry:
Here is a Staffordshire Terry:
Here is a Bradshaw Terry:
Breeding dogs just brings in more puppies to flood the market when there are already hundreds of thousands of strays and unwanted pets who get put down each year. I would never buy a dog from a breeder or pet store when you've got doggie-Auschwitz down the road at your neighborhood vet's office. But if I were to breed a dog, I'd probably mix the Rattie, Staffie, throw a Blue Heeler in for good measure and call it the Charleston Terrier. Hell, why is Boston the only town with it's own dog? Anyways, I'll sign off with a quote:
"You can judge the progress of a society by the way they treat their animals".
Sunday, June 1, 2008
My wife asked me the other day why I didn't put my real last name on my blog. First off, it's not because I don't want those who know me to find out all the horrible, terrible, no good things I say, because trust me they already know. Steve Ignorant once said, "If you're worried about what people are gonna say or think about ya then you'd better forget it now, 'cause whatever you do they're gonna slack* you off and criticize you into the ground". I agree.
Secondly, anyone who knows me knows how proud I am of my name and heritage. The world WAS built by Italians, wasn't it? So don't think I'm pulling an Allan Stewart Konigsberg on anyone(yeah, that's Woody Allen's real name, crazy right?) I, not at all unlike Mr. Allen, thought that my given surname might be a tad hard to remember - if anyone, you know, ever wanted to remember my name in the first place.
So I publicly scrapped DeAntonio and opted for Valentino as my nom de plume. Why Valentino? Because Rudolph Valentino was the first male sex symbol the world had ever known (and also Italian, but aren't the two sort of inseparable?) Also, there's already a pseudo-famous published writer by the name of Michael DeAntonio (he wrote some book about chocolate I think). I don't think we're related, but if we are just drop me a line, Big Guy. So there you have it. Oh, and my picture is currently of Rudolph Valentino, not myself. But that is a pretty cool bow tie, right? I thought so.
*i don't know what he says there. it might be slag, but whatever it is, you get the picture.
On this beautiful Sunday morning I awoke with a longing for the past. Not my past, but not the past of someone else, either. Perhaps this is a past that hasn't happened yet. And it's one that probably never will. It is a past sung about a long time ago by a young man who hadn't yet found his own.
A few years ago a friend gave me an original copy of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (on vinyl, of course). So after I stumbled for my coffee and put on my only pair of blue jeans, I cranked up the old record player and placed the needle to the opening chords of Blowin' in the Wind. The urgency in his words and in the vocal delivery still resonates 45+ years later. The rainbow of emotions and experiences are covered here: love and love lost, anger, hope, fear and, of course, nostalgia.
The eloquent verses about our own collective pasts as Americans spilled thru the speakers and all over my blue jeans. At a time when war, civil rights and social change loomed large like Goliath, David stood firm in the center of the hurricane with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a homemade harmonica brace. The lyrics in A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, Oxford Town, Talkin' World War III Blues and I Shall Be Free do as much to remind us of the times as John F. Kennedy, video clips of the Vietnam War or Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have A Dream Speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (albeit, just minutes from a young Bobby Dylan taking the stage with Joan Baez).
He also sings of a past that brings heartache with Girl from the North Country and Don't Think Twice, It's Alright. This past brings heartache, but it also brings hope for a possible future where the lonesome girl from the north does indeed keep her hair hanging long and a coat for cold weather. It brings hope for the young man who leaves his lover at dawn, shuffling his feet down the dirt road and kicking dust at that damn crowing rooster. Maybe he'll find whatever it is that she couldn't give him. Maybe the next time I listen to this record, he'll turn from his crossroad and return to his darling love as she sleeps soundly in that (big brass) bed of hers wrapped in white sheets. Maybe this time it will be different.
No one song hits me harder during these last few months, though, than Masters of War. The corruption and contempt displayed here have not faded with the passing of the years. Perhaps the protagonist can be found on some street corner today, singing bitterly. Perhaps on every street corner in every town in this country of ours there is some reincarnation of the protagonist or, if not, there probably needs to be. It's funny how current his plight seems during these days of bloodshed. It's not the fact that over the past 45 years we haven't heeded the protagonist's message that saddens me the most. It's the realization that he has been declaring this message since the beginning. And not the beginning of this century or the last. His past does not start in December of 1962. His past starts on the battlefields of Troy, Himera and Bull Run. His past starts with the spilled blood of a million wandering souls. Since the beginning of time kings and generals have given death to the world for the selfish spoils of war while far greater men have given that same world a simple song and a voice to sing it with.
My coffee is finished now. The record has stopped playing. But whenever I wish to revisit the past or the past that will possibly one day be, all I have to do is put the needle to the opening chords of Blowin' in the Wind and close my eyes.