About two weeks ago, the house up the street had a moving van in front of it. At first, I didn’t think much of it. After all, I live in Atlanta and people are always moving around in order to avoid the rampaging hordes of flesh-eating reptiles that roam the streets at night. Had I not built a Y2K shelter some years back, I would have probably been devoured myself. My family and I hide there during the evenings, watching old VHS copies of The Young and The Restless until the wee hours of the morning with shotguns in our hands. My 4-year-old is particularly skilled at shooting the beasts when they try to overpower the deadbolt. She’s a great shot for 4. I’m hoping that one day she can lead the humans as we rise up and try to take back control of our cities from the robot overlords. Maybe she won’t. We all grow up thinking we are going to be something special. Sometimes, we just end up working in retail.
The fellow coming in and out of the moving van seemed nice enough. He had longish hair and a mustache that made him look something like either Ron Kovic or a relief pitcher for the Brewers in the mid-70s. I greeted him with my usual Sufi chant and politely asked if he minded if I took a lock of his hair in order to fuse his DNA with a water buffalo. He looked a bit shocked, so I put my shirt back on. That way he would not have to stare at the eyes that had begun to grow out of my stomach.
Suddenly, a feeling of recognition overwhelmed me. I knew this fellow. He was in the band Mastodon. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. I immediately asked him to autograph my copy of .38 Special’s “Wild-Eyed Boys of The South”. I had been carrying this copy of the album with me for months asking celebrities to sign it. So far, I had gotten Rick Wakeman, the former Yes keyboard player who currently works at the Publix deli counter in Decatur, and Jerry Mumphrey, the former Yankees outfielder who lives inside of my right kidney, to put their names on it. Had this Mastodon guy signed it, it would have completed my collection and allowed me to pass into the cosmic netherworld of alien dwarves. But he refused.
He broke my heart. As a fan, all I ask is for a little acknowledgement. After all, I’ve spent hours of my life listening to that album with the whale on the cover of it. Is a signature too much to ask for?
It’s like the time I broke into Cal Ripken’s home and demanded that he sing all of the lyrics to “Covered With Sores” by Cannibal Corpse at gunpoint. I wasn’t asking a lot. My request certainly didn’t warrant the two and a half years I served in the Allenwood Federal Correctional Facility. Or the removal of all of my teeth at the hands of some hired goon named Vito. But the Ripkens can be brutal when you cross them. I learned that the hard way.
So here I am. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. I am covered in honey and ox blood from head to toe. Waiting. Hoping. I’ve been in the guy from Mastodon’s living room for 3 hours now playing Black Ops 2 on his Xbox. I wonder if he’s at the supermarket. Or collecting and trading pig exoskeletons with his church group. Or meditating at an ashram in Utah. Or at the park reading his dog-eared copy of V.C .Andrews’ masterpiece “Flowers in the Attic”. He has to come home at some point. Doesn’t he?
Greetings everyone, my name is Matthew Bailey. I’m a blogger over at Left Hook from Right Field and a close friend of one Keith Spillett. Like you, I spend upwards of 14 hours a day online, reading Tyranny of Tradition. I’ve come to find this wonderful blog as the most influential online news source of this generation, or any. Thanks to Keith’s fantastic writing and knack for those “special” news stories, I have learned about King Diamond’s political career, Rick Santorum’s war on heavy metal and all sorts of fun facts about Cronos. I have come to see the Tyranny of Tradition as not only a source of entertainment, but my best link to my surrounding world and the most fun way to spend time at the office, when I’m pretending to do work.
But friends, I have to tell you something which is so shocking, so heinous that I may very well be risking my life by doing so…Keith Spillett is a liar! That’s right, it turns out, these so called “news articles” are nothing more than satire. My neighbor, John Fredricksten, told me that Bert Reynolds once said, “Satire is the lowest form of literature, worse than readers digest.” I have to concur here. Any idiot could write satire, hell Thomas Paine wrote satire and he lived in France for a stretch! No, my friends, Keith Spillett isn’t the genius you all thought him to be, he’s really nothing more than a poor man’s Mark Twain, a purveyor of exactly the kind of low brow literature that led to the demise of that great America we all loved in the 1870s.
I first began to become suspicious of Keith when he claimed he interviewed Dave Mustaine at North Dekalb Mall, a popular shopping destination, located outside of Atlanta, Georgia. You see, first of all, Dave Mustaine played a concert that night in Santa Fe and I seriously doubt that he would have had the time to do an interview, fight his way through Atlanta traffic, catch a flight and have the time to make the stage in time to deliver classic thrash metal songs in which he speaks during the verse and sings the chorus. And another thing! Keith specifically said in this blog that he was drinking an Orange Julius, a seemingly innocent fact, but in reality a telling truth. You see, once in 2006, I asked Keith if he liked Orange Juliuses, to which he replied, “they’re ok I guess.” Aha! This little slip got me suspicious, but oh, there’s more.
On January 9th of this year, Keith wrote a blog entitled, “Dickey Eaten by Mountain Lions, Mets Sign Christian Knuckleballer Tebow” Being an ardent sports fan, I found the blog informative and intriguing. In a pure stroke of genius, Mets GM Sandy Alderson somehow pushed aside the grief of losing one of his most reliable starting pitchers in a terrible accident, and signed one of the most popular and pure athletes of our time. Even though I’m a fan of the Atlanta Braves, I couldn’t wait for the approximate 645 annual Braves /Mets games, so that I could watch endless hours of Tebow coverage in my own hometown! I went to subway to celebrate by purchasing a footlong tuna sub for only $5, when I asked my wonderful sandwich maker, Doug, his opinion on the news. I couldn’t believe what he said…
“Tebow, on the Mets? Are you stupid? Tebow isn’t going to be pitching for the Mets. You see, my sister, Elizabeth, who we all call Beth for short, is a fortune teller or witch or something and she told me that Tebow would be traded to the Jets and for some odd reason, the media will actually care.” I generally shy away from confrontation, so I fought the tears as I quietly paid for my sandwich and fled the store to go somewhere and think. After eating my sub, I was still at a crossroads. What did this all mean? Why would Keith lie? What did he have to gain? After many hours of quiet meditation, I decided to just laugh off poor Doug and his delusional sister, I mean honestly, I knew his story was wrong, because why would the people of New York, who made two AFC Championships in the last three years care to trade for or give any media attention to Tim Tebow and potentially sabotage their young quaterback…it just didn’t add up.
But then it happened. Beth’s apocalyptic fantasy came to life. The media did care and poor Tim Tebow was subjected to unnecessary scrutiny and was even booed at a Yankees game. I felt my grip on reality slipping. I knew Keith had lied to me, but I didn’t know how. Then, late one night I read a book in which the word sarcasm was used. Being the recipient of a Georgia public education, I didn’t know what the word meant, so I looked it up. Not in a dictionary, but instead in a thesaurus, as the dictionary was upstairs and I didn’t feel like walking that far. That’s the first time I saw the word satire. From there, I delved into a world of liars, thieves and moral midgets. I subjected myself to things which most well-meaning people could only dream of. I read books by Aristophanes, watched Dr. Strangelove and in an act so masochistic that I have still yet to recover, listened to “Bad Hair Day” by Weird Al Yankovic. It turns out, there’s a whole subculture of sub-human creatures which not only participate in this vile form, but thrive in it. Apparently for all of written history, satir-philes have plagued our good earth with their filth.
But, how to confront Keith? I mean, I am the Godfather of his daughter and one of his closest friends. I couldn’t face him and risk a fight, not to mention risk becoming infected with Satircitis, myself. I had to think of a way to trick this disgusting man. So, I sent him a facebook message and asked if I could write a post on his blog about Andre the Giant coming back from the dead to star in a Bull Durham sequel. Of course, being so blinded by his satircism, he agreed. Instead I posted this.
It’s all a big nothing people. Keith hasn’t been delivering us up to the date news on our favorite irrelevant metal heroes. He’s been lying all along! He tricks you into spending upwards of four minutes, up to three times a week reading his deceitful literature, all so that he can click “like” on your facebook comments, complimenting his work. So, be free people! Read outstanding blogs by Anderson Cooper or Tony Kornheiser, because this Tyranny of Tradition is exposed. Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.
Matt’s blog “Left Hook From Right Field” is easily one of the best places in the filth-ridden sewer that is the internet. Check it!
A wise man once told me not to pay for what you can get for free. He’s currently doing a stretch of 2 to 5 years at Rikers Island for passing bad checks, but his point was well taken. After my ticket for Saturday night’s Ghost, Opeth, Mastodon show at The Masquearde in balmy Atlanta, Georgia fell through, I was faced with two possible futures. One involved me jumping in my car, heading over to The Varsity and drowing my sorrows in 12 pimento cheese sandwiches and the other involved me standing out in the parking lot and craning my neck around some light poles to get a glimpse of Ghost, the current greatest band in the history of the universe. The choice was obvious.
By the time I got to a spot that allowed me to view 1/12th of the stage, they had already launched into a rip-roaring version of their Mercyful Fate tinged masterpiece “Elizabeth”. Apparently, I was not the only person leery of actually paying to see a concert. There were two 15-year-olds staring over the fence with expressions of cold, awe-struck horror. One of them had his “throwback” Bullet For My Valentine “Scream, Aim, Fire” shirt on and the other one looked like he was dressed for the eventual random onset of a golf match. They clearly were in the wrong place:
Metal Kid #1: Why is the singer of Mastodon wearing a Pope hat?
Metal Kid #2: I don’t think that’s Mastodon. That’s probably Opeth.
Me: No….that’s Ghost. Ever heard of them?
Both Kids at Once: No????
Me: They are completely crazy. Keep watching. You’ll see some terrible things.
Metal Kid #2: What do you mean?
Me: Well, first of all, you know where he got that hat from?
Metal Kid #1”: No.
Me: He stole it from the real Pope.
Metal Kid #1: No….No way! Is that true?!?!
Me: Oh yeah. These guys are pure evil. The drummer punched the Pope one time at an IKEA in Munich and the singer took the hat and ran. They mugged the Pope for Godsakes! They were supposed to play America a year ago but they were banned from the United States.
Metal Kid #2: Whoa! What for?
Me: They are into trafficking and selling animal organs. The singer got caught trying to sneak 150 sheep livers into his suitcase when they went through customs. It was a big international incident. That and the whole thing with the walrus got them into a bunch of trouble….
Metal Kid #1: (horrified) Walrus??? What happened with the walrus???
Me: Jesus, doesn’t anyone read the newspaper anymore!!!! They did a concert in Poland and at the end of the show they brought a walrus on stage and beat it to death with hammers. They cut it up and gave pieces to everyone in the audience. It was unbelievable. They put birthday candles in each of the pieces! People ate it completely raw and something like 46 people died of food poisoning. Horrible! That’s what got them on the FBI’s 12 Most Wanted List.
Metal Kid #2: Oh my god! Wow! These guys are awesome!
Metal Kid #1: Do you think they’ll kill a walrus tonight?
Me: God no! They found religion and recently became Jehovah’s Witnesses. They swore off all of that praising Satan and slaughtering animal stuff and now they go door to door preaching The Word. The guitarist, the one dressed like a Jawa from Star Wars, he sold me a copy of Watchtower magazine last month.
Metal Kid #1: Whoa!!!! That’s amazing!
I quickly tired of filling the minds of these kids with insidious poison and began to focus my attention onto the mellifluous tones of Ghost. The solo from Ritual was casacading to its nearly perfect peak when I became aware of a terrible presence only inches from my right arm. As the song ended, I turned and came face to face with The Hipster With the Glass Eye.
The fella was probably six foot three and 98 pounds soaking wet. Imagine your average beardo coffee shop barista decked out in his best Piggly Wiggly tee-shirt and you’ve basically got a mental image of the dude I was looking at. Except this person had a glass eye. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Did he have some terrible accident Vespa racing? Was this some kind of sadistic, post-ironic fashion statement? Did he pull the original eye out in frustration when he couldn’t find a copy of the new Band of Horses album? Do they sell glass eyes at Urban Outfitters now? This rare specimen of humanity had my interest for a full two minutes worth of conversation. Then, things got ugly.
Me: Nobody knows who Ghost is. They’ve only done two interviews. Both of them were in caves. The interviewers were blindfolded and driven hours away to a secure location. They did the interviews wearing hoods!
Hipster With The Glass Eye: So, no one knows who they are?
Me: No one!
Hipster With The Glass Eye: (excitedly) Wow, so they are kinda like Banksy??? That’s awesome!
I looked away and shook my head in horror. An uncomfortable, awkward silence fell over us both. He stood there waiting for a response that would never come. I decided that the night was officially over. I walked to my car filled with hopelessness and despair. At least the band was good.
All that is left in my world is Sigh’s new album “In Somniphobia”. I love it. I can’t stop playing it. Over and over and over and over again. I love it so much I want to rip off my shirt and paint the letters S-I-G-H across my chest and run around the local Walgreens screaming at the top of my lungs. I want to beat myself over the head repeatedly with a claw hammer until I do such severe damage to my hippocampus that I forget I’ve heard the album just so I can have the pleasure of experiencing it again for the first time. I long to leap off of a bell tower screaming the lyrics at the horrified spectators. I dream of ripping each of my teeth out and sending it to members of the band to thank them for all the joy they have brought to me.
My love for it transcends all possible love I could experience. I want to go to a beautiful meadow, set out a picnic blanket and caress the album telling it all the things I know in my heart and have been afraid to say. I want to run through a field with it in my arms, laughing girlishly, dancing to the wonderful sounds of the wind whipping through the grass. I want to whisper lovingly into the albums ear, telling it my deepest secrets and most personal desires. Surrender unconditionally to its alluring charms. Bathe it in pure, unadulterated affection.
I feel jealous that others will have the chance to hear this album. When I think of others listening to this album I am filled with rage. I will kill them. I will grind their bones into dust. It is my album. Mine! Their love is cheap and tawdry while mine is filled with the sincerity and innocence of a child. They cannot feel what I feel for this album. They are mere mortals while I have been imbued with the gift of second sight by the god Amen-Ra. They live shallow, meaningless lives. Their love will flicker and fade the minute something else comes along. My attraction will never fade, no matter what happens. If nuclear bombs reign down on the city of Atlanta and all around me is melted and disintegrated, the only thing left will be my boney, skeletal fingers embracing the album, stroking its brow.
Don’t listen to the album. You and the mortals around you don’t deserve it. I’ll know if you are listening to it because I’m in front of your house right now. Watching you. I was at the supermarket yesterday when you bought two bags of pork rinds for 2 dollars and 28 cents. I saw you stop at the gas station and get approximately 8 gallons of gas. I know that you stopped in Hot Topic at 3:45 just to look around. You didn’t buy anything. I am watching you all the time. Even as you sleep. If you dare to listen to this album, I will tie you to a chair and feed you hundreds of pounds cheese dip until either your stomach bursts or your entire body explodes.
I’d give it a 2,389,124 out of 10. I am currently in the process of undergoing a medical procedure to add an additional thumb so I can give it 3 thumbs up. There will never be anything better. Music as we know it is over. People should not even bother to try to create anything else. This is the pinnacle, the zenith, the apogee, the climax of all civilization. It is the Hanging Gardens, the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. There is no future, there is no past, there is only Sigh’ “In Somniphobia”.
“Beware of the hobby that eats.” -Benjamin Franklin
The modern world can easily be a paradise for the highly committed and deeply disturbed among us. A person can amuse themselves endlessly with useless acts of rebellion meant to add luster to the dreary, humdrum, day-to-day flatness of life. Abbie Hoffman once figured out how to obtain a free buffalo from the Department of Interior. He was a bit more creative than I am. Having become sick of ending up with piles and piles of junk mail I set my sights on turning this annoyance into an affirmation of the uniquely twisted nature of today’s world.
It all started at Kroger on a rainy Friday afternoon many Octobers ago. Kroger is a supermarket chain that exists down here in Atlanta, Georgia so that people have a place to go if Publix is too crowded or closed. I had recently been forcibly removed from the place for getting into a shouting match with three employees over my belief that they were intentionally overcharging me for the 35 boxes of store brand pudding I was trying to purchase. I was in the mood for mischief, but not the type that would again lead me to being tossed onto the ground and called a “pudding hoarder” by an overzealous store security guard.
At Kroger, you can get a card that, in exchange for surrendering loads of personal information, can help the cagier shoppers among us to save lots of money through special discounts. Of course, once your information is in their hands who knows where it ends up. They can sell it to anyone they want. They can give it to the KGB for all you know. For fun, I decided that if they were going to get someone’s name, it ought to be The Boston Strangler’s. So, now when I look in my mailbox and some company is trying to send me coupons for, say, diapers, those coupons are addressed to Mr. Albert DeSalvo. Kroger and the other litany of corporate octopi that spend thousands of dollars to figure out whether I might buy more or less than 100 dollars worth of Kleenex per year are actually trying to appeal to a maniac who terrified the people of Boston for months on end. Cracks me up every time.
My fake criminal spree continued at CVS the next day where I signed up for their consumer rewards program as Dr. Jack Kevorkian. This has led to a series of bizarre exchanges including the
CVS Customer Service Agent: Do you have a CVS card?
Me: Sure. Here it is.
Agent: (swiping card) You saved $3.52 on those cans of formaldehyde Dr. Kevorkian.
Agent: Hey. You are not the famous Dr. Jack Kevorkian are you?
Me: No. That’s my brother.
Agent: Your parents named you both Jack.
Me: Yes. And we are both doctors.
If you were to ravage my mailbox, you’d see a regular who’s who list of famed murderers. Target knows me as Ted Bundy, Hobby Lobby calls me Ed Gein, Iams Dog Food thinks I’m David Berkowitz and The Omaha Steak Company sends their annual Steak of the Month mailing to a connoisseur named Jeff Dahmer. It’s really rather a strange feeling to see pictures of smiling, deeply contented people in a Macy’s catalogue that has just been sent to Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez.
Why does this make me laugh? I’m not sure. It’s childish, insensitive and really asinine. Murder is certainly not funny, particularly the sheer perversity of the acts committed by my alter-mail-egos (except, of course, Kevorkian, who really doesn’t belong in this group of sickos). Maybe it’s a way of trying to make sense of the perpetual flow of slickly produced come-ons that follow me around where ever I look. Maybe it’s an indicator of my inability to see understand the nature of true horror. Maybe I just need another hobby. It’s hard to say.
Probably my weirdest hobby is rifling through the trash of my neighbors. They seem to find it annoying and even frightening, but I think it’s important to get to know the people around you. One of my neighbors happens to be Radric “Gucci Mane” Davis. Mr. Zone 6 and I haven’t spoken much, although he once complemented me on the azaleas we are growing in our garden. He tends to like to keep to himself.
I have been going through his garbage regularly for about a year and a half. I haven’t found much worthwhile. I can tell you he eats a good amount of pimento cheese and is a regular user of Rogaine. Beyond that information, the only thing I ever found in there that was worthwhile was this copy of the original lyrics from his hit song “Lemonade”. I like this version much more than the original, but Gucci knows a lot more about making hit music than I do.
Anyway, here’s a Tyranny of Tradition exclusive! The original lyrics from Lemonade….
By Gucci Mane
Patent Yellow Leather Garanimals
Yellow Baby Pandas
Yellow Fin Tuna
Bacon Lemonade in the Cheese Cup
Bag of Shoulder Blades in a Periodontal Disease Cup
Baking Lemonade in a Cheese Cup
Military Blockade of the Sleaze Pluck
The Romans invented Yellow
Yellow was a verb until 1943
Yellow is a mixture of blue and green
I painted my house Yellow
I painted my cat Yellow
My wife and I paint each other Yellow
I cleaned my sink with Yellow Drano
Donovan sang about Yellow
Bacon Flavored Waves in a Sneeze Cup
Feeling Vague Unease at Seeing My Wife’s Lung
Bag of Frozen Peas and a Pork Chop
Drinkin’ Mayonnaise from a Tea Cup
My uncle comes from a planet where all the women are Yellow (BURR)
They ride on Yellow hovercrafts that are made of Yellow Martian flesh (BURR)
The capital of Ottawa is Yellow (BURR)
I’ve seen the greatest minds of my generation destroyed by Yellow
What rough Yellow beast, it’s hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be Born
The square root of 27 is yellow
Yellow, a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar, bartender says “Is this some kind of joke?”
Lemon Yellow sun, arms raised in a V
Yellow was the reason they passed the 28th Amendment
If it weren’t for Yellow all the settlers at Jamestown would have died (BURR)
Yellow was the third Vice President of the United States and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel (BURR)
15 General Lee’s in a Pigs Skull
I Feel No Burning Need for the Speeze Guck
Missed The NBA Because My Knees Suck
Boiling Bag of Fleas in A Pink Lung