Presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump recently demonstrated that his New York roots run deeper than anyone would have guessed. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Trump remained characteristically unpredictable by revealing that he was the original singer of New York hardcore legends, the Cro-Mags.
While the identity of the notorious band’s “real” first singer remains a long-running point of contention, Trump may have finally put the argument to rest, saying, “Some people believe John Joseph was the ‘Mags original singer, while others insist the band was originally fronted by guy named Eric Casanova, but I’m here to tell you it was me all along.”
When asked why this information was not already common knowledge, the Republican nominee explained, “Back then I went by ‘DTs’ to not give myself away. I never actually recorded with the band, but I do take some credit for helping shape their sound and approach.”
Unbeknownst to the mavens of the New York scene, Trump had been attending punk and hardcore shows in Manhattan as early as 1978.
“Oh my God, I saw so many amazing gigs at places like CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City,” he enthused, “The Misfits! The Ramones! Hell, even a couple of early Blondie gigs. It was amazing, the bands were just tremendous. By ’81, I knew I had to get a band of my own going, even if it was just a weekend thing.”
And so he did. As a capable organizer, Trump pulled together a rag-tag team of youngsters to help realize his passion for the bare-knuckled music from the mean streets of the Lower East Side.
“I was 36 when things first fell into place,” he continued, “I took Harley Flanagan of The Stimulators, who were a great band, by the way, under my wing, and then found a couple of other kids who were hungry and motivated. My goal was to come up with some of the toughest tunes the Bowery had ever heard.”
In the meantime, Trump’s forays as a developer were already paying big dividends. It became increasingly difficult for him to remain incognito in the underground music community.
“Some people knew who I was, but they kept quiet about it. I wouldn’t throw my weight around, I was just part of the scene. I even got a black eye when Roger Miret [vocalist of Agnostic Front] elbowed me in the face at a show at City Gardens. I took my lumps with the best of them!”
Once he hit the stage with the newly-minted Cro-Mags, it became clear that the multi-millionare was not destined to make his imprint on hardcore history.
“I played several gigs with the band, and while the music was reaching people, a lot of them turned on me. I had put up Trump Tower by then, and I’d hear a lot of shouts from the audience, like ‘rich kid!’, or ‘go build another skyscraper, faggot!’. It really hurt. I was dead serious about what I was doing there, but I couldn’t convince them. Finally, I decided to step down. I let the band keep my lyrics to songs like ‘Street Justice’, and ‘Malfunction’, which is really the best thing I ever did. It’s an outstanding number, I have to say.”
No video footage or photographs exist of Trump’s live performances, but upon closer examination, he can indeed be spotted in photographs from many a classic NYHC show. Trump took things a step further by removing his blazer and shirt to show off his array of tattoos, at this point almost a body suit.
“I never stopped getting tats, actually. They mean a lot to me, and they tell my story of my time in that scene, and the double life I had to lead to do it. I’ll always be proud of that, and for my involvement with the Cro-Mags. My holdings, my properties, my candidacy, it all feels so unimportant compared to those shows and that music. I will always keep it close to my heart.”
At press time, Mr. Trump had just completed an election rally appearance in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he recited the lyrics to “World Peace” in their entirety.
An artist’s hyperrealistic impression of Franc EZ Co-Pounder 1.0.7
BEIJING, China—The drummer of Fleshgod Apocalypse, Italy’s foremost symphonic tech-death squad, passed the Turing test yesterday, dispelling longtime rumors about its humanity.
Franc EZ Co-Pounder 1.0.7, affectionately known as “♩ Pounder” to its bandmates, accomplished the historic feat at an Internet café during a tour stop in China’s capital. An annual World of Warcraft (WoW) mega-raiding session, sources confirmed, was happening at the café then.
The test, named after British computer scientist Alan Turing, is a text-based question-and-answer game that investigates whether humans can detect if they are conversing with machines or fellow humans.
A machine passes this test if, 70% of the time, it appears human to its human conversation partner after five minutes of written communication between the two. The test does not gauge the machine’s ability to correctly answer questions — only how closely its answers resemble those that a human might produce.
And Co-Pounder 1.0.7 delivered.
From 7:58 to 8:03 a.m. Pacific time yesterday, the 32-year-old convinced 137 of 196 WoW gamers in the café that it is human, defeating some 109 other competing artificial intelligence (AI) systems at the scene, including Goldfarmbot01, Goldfarmbot02, Jinnongfu108, Caishenye88 and mathematics undergraduate Fu Xundong from the National University of Mongolia.
Co-Pounder 1.0.7’s stunning display of humanity unfolded over five minutes of simultaneous private-chatting with every present WoW gamer, China’s state television broadcaster CCTV reported.
Eyewitnesses said that it “whispered” lasagna recipes in traditional Chinese to every human player at the climax of a fourth-stage Legion Invasion when the raid boss unleashed a Flame Fissure. Reportedly, all human players were distracted by the unsolicited culinary wall-of-text, and perished in flames.
As a result, Co-Pounder 1.0.7 was barraged with a torrent of vitriol and, most importantly, questions from the angry players. (Questions are crucial to the Turing test.) It then replied in Morse code to elicit more questions, and continued the rest of every conversation by doing its best impression of Paganini in Sanskrit and accented Maltese.
When Chinese players who interacted with Co-Pounder 1.0.7 were debriefed after the test concluded, they expressed surprise at the identity of their in-game murderer.
“Provoking a response with Taiwan’s written language, and then replying in various foreign languages was very convincing, very human,” said Huo Bumie, a player who fell to the Flame Fissure.
“I did not suspect at all that the stranger who chatted with me is Fleshgod Apocalypse’s drummer. Laowai machines are really as smart as they come! I will ask my politician dad to smuggle in one for me.”
Although Co-Pounder 1.0.7’s achievement is one for the books, close friend and bassist Paolo Rossi—who presided over the test as judge—remarked that its source code “was not originally written with heavy-duty online chatting in mind.”
Tweaking its source code to enable heavy-duty online chatting only came after Co-Pounder 1.0.7—through Rossi’s Google Glass—read derogatory YouTube comments about its octopus-android parentage on uploads of “Thru Our Scars”.
Offended by how many people suspect its humanity based on scant information and wild speculation, Co-Pounder 1.0.7 indignantly insisted that Rossi modify its source code “right [there] and [then]” so that it could “prove these insolent 60-BPM-loving plebeians wrong once and for all.”
Once the deed was done, Co-Pounder 1.0.7 leveraged the café’s free Wi-Fi to hack into New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) servers and manipulate penny stocks. It made a killing of approximately $2.7 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.
It then installed itself on Rossi’s assigned computer in the café, bought a hacked WoW account from 58.com (China’s Craigslist), logged into the popular online videogame, and the rest is history.
While AI enthusiasts, philosophers, computer scientists, robot rights activists, and Fleshgod Apocalypse fans celebrate Co-Pounder 1.0.7’s passing of the Turing test, however, at least one expert was nonchalant about the drummer’s triumph.
Dr. Michael “Mick” Kenney, a leading UK authority in robotic gastroenterology and experimental paraphilosophy, noted that Co-Pounder 1.0.7’s passing of the Turing test does not mean much in the face of Turing’s original philosophical question: “Can machines think?”
“That question, which Alan Turing pondered and quickly circumvented in his landmark paper, ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’, is the crux of the creating-true-AI puzzle,” Dr. Kenney told BBC News. “Passing the Turing test does not directly answer it at all. Rather than reveal the ghost in the machine, Co-Pounder 1.0.7’s accomplishment simply revealed some people’s failure to recognize an incredibly well-programmed imitator of humans for what it is.”
He warned that satisfactorily answering Turing’s original question “necessarily involves pinning down what ‘think’ means, which opens a can of worms.”
“Let’s say thinking involves self-awareness,” Dr. Kenney continued, “then before I wonder if Co-Pounder 1.0.7 is aware of itself as a drumming thing, I better wonder if people around me are aware of themselves as thinking things.
“I have never been inside anyone’s mind but my own, after all, so who’s to say that my fellow humans are not biological automata?”