Archive for May, 2014
Pope Francis raised many eyebrows last week when he announced that he wouldn’t have any qualms with baptizing a Xenomorph or Body Snatcher if they sincerely accepted Jesus into their heart and promised to only kill for food, not fun, but this week, the Pontiff is upping the Catholic ante even more. His Holiness has determined that Oderus Urungus will be sainted.
Anticipating the imminent arrival of intergalactic extraterrestrial visitors who feel an urgent need to turn from their evil lust for riches and pleasures of the flesh, the Pope has deemed it necessary for the church to provide a patron saint to whom these E.T.’s can relate to. Without a saint to whom they can pray, the Pope fears that a lot of aliens will lose heart in their search for the meaning of life beyond the meaning it currently possesses.
Pople Francis presented his case before the Council of Saint Making and asked, “Who else but Oderus Urungus could fill this void? The Predator? That spider face with dreadlocks and a skull fetish? Nay my friends! E.T.? That little scrotal looking guy with the glowing finger and a Reese’s Pieces addiction? Absolutely not! Only Urungus can bring the joy of stigmata to our interplanetary seekers.”
Eyewitnesses outside the Vatican gasped in surprise when putrid green smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, confirming that the canonization of Oderus Urungus had been finalized. Some Catholics are less than enthusiastic about the choice of Urungus, feeling that the Popes stint as a roadie during the ’92 America Must Be Destroyed tour played heavily into the decision.
Sister Mary Margaret Macmillan, one of the most outspoken opponents of the canonization of Urungus, released a statement to the press, “The Holy See has apparently lost his mind, only John Carpenter’s Thing has the versatility to get into the hearts and minds of those whom would become living sacrifices for the one, true Space Lord. I hope the first death pod hits the Vatican and immolates the Pope!”
A few days back I got into an intriguing conversation. I was asked who I would consider a “happy person”. I drew a complete blank. I couldn’t think of anyone. I pushed myself on the question for hours. Nothing.
I found the thought troubling. Is it possible that there are really no happy people? Am I so blind to happiness that I am surrounded by many happy people and completely unable to notice it? I could name 100 people I think of as angry or miserable people who have suffered greatly, but I could not come up with one person who I would think of whose defining characteristic to me would be “happy”.
I couldn’t come up with an answer that made any sense. I decided to attempt to find someone who considered themselves “happy” and really hear them out on their point of view. I put up a post on my Facebook page seeking someone who considered themselves a “happy person”. I got several responses.
The person I ended up interviewing was perfect. Her story is compelling and thoroughly poignant. She is extremely honest in her answers. She asked that I did not use her name so that she could tell her story as truthfully as possible without the potential problems with being entirely truthful in a venue that can be accessed by anyone on earth. (She was comfortable with me mentioning that she is from Portugal)
You consider yourself to be a happy person. Why?
I always see the positive aspects of everything. I’m an optimist, a glass half full kind of person. Smiling or laughing are my default modes. I always enjoy my meals or the view from my window. I love to put on my headphones and listening to a podcast while I perform boring chores. Some people say their children revived that spark in them but in my case I’m trying to create a permanent spark on my son.
How do you define happiness?
I wouldn’t. As a sociologist I’m very careful with my concepts. I often feel tense or anxious, of course, like all people. But aren’t we mistaking moments for the grand total? I have terrible moments. Rage, sadness. But overall I am very happy, my life has been comprised of more positive than negative.
What percentage of the time would you actually consider yourself to be happy?
90%. I do understand other emotions and I don’t deny them.
Do you believe your happiness is more a product of what is inside of you or of how you were socially conditioned?
The answer is, of course, a mix of both. My mother is very pleasant and a really good person but very pessimistic. My dad was very harsh but also very funny and carefree. I think I took a bit from both of them. I do believe it’s inside of me because my parents always told me I was a very happy child, way before I could understand what it all meant.
Do you think there are circumstances that could change your view of yourself as a happy person?
Yes. I think that continued trauma could change this. But it had to be something big, much like torture. As I told you privately, if we’re taking circumstances, I’ve been through stuff. In the past I’ve had two pregnancy terminations, unwillingly, one as an early miscarriage and the other one due to severe heart malformations. My father passed away earlier this year. Then, I underwent knee surgery. My husband is going to be away from home for a month during the ending stages of my thesis work. In July my scholarship ends and I have no prospects. I SHOULD be unhappy, right? But I’m not. I’m sometimes tense and anxious. But I’m not unhappy.
I still have my healthy mother. If I’ve had those children I wouldn’t have this particular child right now. Because after limping for six months my knee is now fantastic. My partner is an amazing person that is leaving his son to bring home some extra money and it’s only a month. If I don’t pursue the academic life in the future at least I’ve tried it for a bunch of years and I’m able to say that I’ve lived my dream for a while. I live a blessed life, with a happy healthy child, a loving partner, full of gadgets and entertainment and funny people and friends… why should I be unhappy?
Why do you suppose so many people feel unhappy?
Money, life events, the news… life is tough, man. I’ve been lucky all my life, so far. The pros column is full and the cons column has some stuff but nothing that can overshadow a lifetime of success and happy moments. Sometimes it’s really hard to do this math, I’m not a guru or an expert and I’ve had my moments so I truly understand unhappy people. It’s very easy to get swallowed in the vortex of unhappiness.
People use the expression from time to time “ignorance is bliss”. Is happiness a condition of self-delusion/ignoring personal pain and the suffering of those around you (and in the world as a whole) or do you believe people can authentically recognize pain and still be happy?
I am very blissfully ignorant about some subjects that I know will hurt me. I hide Facebook posts about abandoned or hurt animals, for example. Also I don’t watch videos, tv shows or movies with extreme violence or with scenes that can upset me, I see no reason why I should put myself through pain just to “understand”. Not knowing some things makes me less unhappy. But, this being said, my thesis is about children in institutions. I’ve read hundreds of cases of negligence, abandonment, severe abuse. I’m all but blind to this reality that maybe other people can’t stand, like I can’t stand abandoned dogs. My role here – and what makes me happy – is that I’m able to write about their experiences and show them to the world.
What role do you believe spirituality plays in people being able to experience happiness?
For other people probably a lot. For me none. I’m an agnostic prone to atheism and I’m very happy with the fact that I’m here for one life only, folks. No reward in the afterlife, no spiritual guilt right now. I’m responsible for my actions as a human being and as a citizen of the world. I must respect laws and human boundaries. Otherwise I feel free and loved and having God means nothing for my personal happiness. As far as religion and spirituality goes I’m in the “don’t care” category – I don’t care what you believe in, as long as you are a good person. Whatever makes one happy, right?
Monsanto is a multi-national conglomerate known not only as an environmentally conscious citizen corporation, but a lover of good old-fashioned heavy metal. In the hopes of speeding up the production of heavy metal albums, the company has figured out a way to genetically alter metal musicians in order to reach their peek productive capacity.
According to Monsanto spokesperson Arthur Friendly, “Over the years we’ve seen a drop off in production from metal bands. It used to be that you could expect a band to put out an album every year, but nowadays you’re lucky if a band like Slayer or Iron Maiden put more than two albums per decade out.”
This is why, Monsanto, a corporation on the cutting edge of technology and the development of mutated humans and animals, has spent billions of dollars in research and development in order to a secret process to maximize the productive capability of bands.
Thanks to Monsanto, we can expect eleven Slayer albums, forty-two Testament records, and even seven Pantera LPs featuring a Frankensteinized version Dimebag Darrell in the next year alone. Even prog-death legends Necrophagist will have something out by 2019.
However, there have been a few unplanned side effects of Monsanto’s new process. Iron Maiden drummer Nikko McBrain was unable to play a concert last week in Liverpool when he came down with a case of swollen udders. “It’s hard enough trying to keep up with the rest of the band with one bass pedal. You try hitting the hi-hat with udders swelling out of your chest. Steve told me he’d kick me out of the band if he got squirted one more time with pus infested milk.”
Drummer mastitis is not the only problem that has come from Monsanto’s bold experiment. Other members of Iron Maiden have has been mutated by the process. Thanks to Monsanto, Bruce Dickinson has developed corn on several parts of his back, Janick Gers has become a giant cockroach and Dave Murray is good looking.
Iron Maiden isn’t the only band that has suffered due to the unintended consequences of science gone mad. Slayer guitarist Kerry King has developed a rare disorder where if he gets wet, tiny Kerry Kings will grow on his body, sprout and run wild, reeking untold mischief and horror on anyone nearby.
Suffocation vocalist Frank Mullen, who recently developed fallopian tubes in his nose as a result of Monsanto, has been an outspoken critic of the genetic modification of heavy metal artists. “When Monsanto came for the milk, I did not speak out. I was not a cow. When Monsanto came for the corn, I remained silent. I was not corn. When they came for heavy metal, there was no one left to speak for me. At least, no one without horns and a tail.”
An unInterview With Johnny Gorilla of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell; Babies Should Be Eaten, Not Heard
I learned a few things while interviewing Johnny Gorilla from Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. First of all, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is named after a famed Naval Officer. Secondly, a Naval Officer is not stationed in a persons bellybutton. Nor in an orange. Also, even though a person’s last name is Gorilla, that doesn’t mean he is actually somehow related to the animal. It might simply mean his parents are named that.
Johnny and I were locked in a mason jar on Funk and Wagnell’s porch (six people on earth just laughed, three checked wikipedia, the rest simply moved on assuming it was yet another in a series of unending, culturally obscure references that plague this site).
Both of us were miniaturized by Taiwanese scientists. 50 tiny tarantullas were placed in the jar with us. At the end of the interview, we both were bitten and died in each others arms. Like brothers in a bad Civil War movie.
Why was Stacy Keach kicked out of the band? Was it an amicable split or did you pay mobsters to kidnap his children?
Why all these bedwetters are moaning about Ginger Baker?
If an Earwig is brown, then surely it’s only right that Turtles make Lemon Pies.
Why is music?
The next time I go out, I’m gonna go to the chemist, and then pick up some of those little ‘pillows’ full of washing liquid to pop in the washing machine. I never did like marzipan.
What’s the difference between Napoleon and Nelson?? Nelson held his had like this, and Napoleon held his hand like that.’
In order to be ironic, do you plan on playing any concerts on the Isle of Scilly?
I like what you did there. Do you think I look good in sweaters?
I once lent an old man a tissue. He grabbed more than he groped and at once I could see a wonderful human being with a lassoo for us all.
When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading?
It’s often said that Billy (Bill Darlington) is one of the best drummers in the world, and I tend to agree with him.
A guy once told me sherbet is made out of donkey bones. I thought he might be kidding, but then, gelatin is made out of the hooves of horses. Do you think he was being truthful with me?
There has been a lot in the news lately about rockinghorses being the main cause of shoplifting in Guatemala.
Somebody once told me that rain is just the tears of God because of all the sinning we do. I have a dog speech?
Did you hear about the baker who had brown hands? No, me neither.
Aren’t raisins stupid? Especially the tiny boxes?
It’s about time someone did something about floorboards. Silly creepy things that crawl up your trouser leg and bite you while your watching VH1. Or is that rainbows??
I hate the word “trousers”. Especially when people say “trouser leg”. I’ve felt this way for a very long time.
Trent Reznor stunt double and heavy metal magician, Criss Angel, has been incapacitated after a charity performance went horrible wrong. Angel was performing illusions at a Las Vegas fundraiser to purchase several new pineal glands for Nickelback singer Chad Kroger when, literally, all hell broke loose. Those familiar with Angel know that he thrives on pushing the boundaries between normal reality and heavily edited video reality. In an effort to freshen up his act, Angel decided it was time to attempt a magic trick of epic proportions which skeptics couldn’t write off as hard rock sleight of hand.
Taking the stage before tens of tens of spectators, Angel announced that America is lagging behind other world superpowers in renewable energy efforts and that he was ready to make the U.S.A. completely free of it’s addiction to fossil fuels and chemtrails by summoning the Sumerian god of clean energy, Hexxoncoalatreius Theourge. Angel allegedly planned to trap the Great One into a salvaged Boeing 747 turbine to create an infernal combustion engine capable of supplying power to all of North America.
The chaos started when Angel guided the blindfolded members of Nickleback into the center of a pentagram he had drawn on the stage with a mixture of crude oil and muskrat pancreas. He then commenced to sounding out words from the Necronomicon while moonwalking back and forth across the venue until a cloud of coal ash began to materialize above the crowd. Three loud thunderclaps rang out and Angel stared in disbelief as several members of the audience burst into green flames and the rest of the mob of panicked attendees fought to hide in the trunk of his nearby Prius. Suddenly a vortex of pitch darkness opened up behind the stage and tentacles began making their way towards the stunned magician.
Angel was observed throwing playing cards and colorful handkerchiefs at the gibbering entity that began to emerge from the vortex and he appeared to confuse the beast with a squirting flower and a Rubik’s Cube while he strategically placed the members of Nickleback between himself and the creeping abomination. In what appeared to be a moment of calm, the beast enveloped the members of Nickleback in a mass of writhing limbs and pulled them into a parallel universe where their hit song, Something In Your Mouth, is the theme song of the Spanish Inquisition and Tipper Gore is Pope.
Americans vote for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they are concerned citizens who believe they can use the ballot box to change the direction our nation. In other cases, they do so because they feel an obligation to participate in the rituals of the democratic process. Not me. I vote every chance I get in order to amuse myself to no end by voting for my favorite metal artists.
It usually takes me a half an hour to vote. I go through the races I’ve followed closely and am able to intelligently evaluate, like Senatorial or Congressional elections, and try to pick the best person for the job. I know I’m being hustled here and am sure that nearly any candidate I pick is a shill for some multinational corporation, but I saw “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” one too many times and allow myself the illusion of “making a difference”. Once that nonsense is out of the way, I get to the fun stuff.
Often in elections, you are given the choice of candidates you have almost no hope of being able to evaluate. For example, how on earth can I possibly determine who would be the best Head of the State Department of Agriculture? I don’t know a thing about farming and wouldn’t have the foggiest notion of how to pick the most appropriate person for the job. I don’t even really know what they do. That’s when I start voting metal.
Georgia offers the write-in option in all races. Therefore, if you want to vote, like I did, for Venom’s gravel throated frontman Cronos to make the state’s agricultural policies, you can do just that! I felt bad about leaving the rest of the original Venom crew out so Abbadon and Mantas received my nod for seats on my local school board. For County Sheriff, I voted for Sodom’s Tom Angelripper. After all, shouldn’t the saw be the law?
I stand there typing in metal artists laughing maniacally. I have voted for Ronnie James Dio in every election going back to 1998 for positions ranging from Superintendent of Schools to Federal Judge. Confused people peer over at me and avert their eyes when I look back at them. They probably think I’m a madman. I’m merely a Surrealist-American doing his part to bring this nation one step closer to the golden age of weirdness that has come to be known as The Freak Future.
Usually, you have about 20 different judges to vote for. They often run unopposed, so unless they happened to give you a night in jail for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit or get caught in a brothel covered from head-to-toe in ox blood, you are going to vote for them. I see this as a great opportunity to pack the courts with metal luminaries ranging from Quorthon to Lemmy. I voted “Slayer” for a seat on the Bench. The whole band. I struggled mightily with the question of whether this would mean the original Slayer lineup or some of the later incarnations. Who would be the Court drummer Bostaph, Lombardo or Jon Dette?
Sometimes I get bored and switch to other weird possible candidates. One year when the ballot was particularly long, I began voting for excellent defensive shortstops. Mark Belanger, Ozzie Smith, Omar Vizquel, Rey Ordonez…on and on.
Mostly I stick to voting metal because this is America and I have been told I can vote for what I believe in. I have been fed an endless supply of bromides and hackneyed platitudes about what size the government is supposed to be or when a baby is truly alive or how a marriage should be defined or what this nation should stand for. Politics is about who gets what and how much of it. At the end of the day, I’m really just voting on whether Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil and Boeing are going to receive larger tax breaks based on the size of their contributions.
The horrible truth is that climate change is causing environmental catastrophes everywhere. We are engaged in an endless stream of costly, bloody foreign wars. Politicians are empty vessels who have become nearly indistinguishable from mattress salesmen. America is circling the proverbial drain and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it. When someone asks me how I believe we should handle these problems, I look them square in the eyes and I tell them the only thing I can say that makes any sense to me anymore…
“Don’t blame me, I voted for Heavy Metal”
You may have never heard of the song “Hammer Smashed Face” by Cannibal Corpse, but apparently Led Zeppelin has.
According to recently released phone recordings of Jimmy Page talking to Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant, the two conspired to steal the opening riff from “Hammer Smashed Face” and put it in their legendary song “Stairway To Heaven”. Page, who studied the art of transcendental time travel in an ashram in Northern New Jersey in the early 1960s, allegedly leaped ahead in time in order to find inspiration for Led Zeppelin IV.
While in the year 1994, he astrally projected himself into a movie theater in order to watch Jim Carrey’s comedy classic “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”. While watching Cannibal Corpse’s bizarre cameo in the film, he came upon the opening riff from “Hammer Smashed Face” and a rock’n’roll epic was born. Moments later, he teleported his soul to a local Sam Goody where he purchased “Tomb of The Mutilated”.
When Page returned, he played the song over the phone to Plant. The two were in the studio in a matter of hours. The rest is history.
“If you listen to the two, the similarities are obvious,” said metalhead attorney Butch Carnage. “It’s not just the guitar parts either. The blast beats are even exactly the same. Who do these guys think they are kidding?”
This is not the first time a metal band has accused Led Zeppelin of plagiarism. In 2009, Obituary charged that Zeppelin lifted a portion of “Chopped in Half” to create the song “D’yer Mak’er”. Texas death metallers Devourment have claimed that the song “Whole Lotta Love” is practically a carbon copy of “Parasitic Eruption” off of the album “Conceived In Sewage”. Nuclear Assault has also alleged that Zeppelin covered “Good Times, Bad Times” on Led Zeppelin I without properly crediting them.
We tried on several occasions to contact members of the band to get their comment. We even went so far as to hire a psychic medium to conduct a séance in order to speak with the spirit of drummer John Bonham. However, the band has yet to make a public statement on this brewing controversy.
One of the worst parts of being a part of a culture based on mindless, endless consumption are the hustles you have to put up with on a daily basis. Look, I’m a grown man. I walk around America with my eyes wide open. I know that someone is always trying to get a hand in my pocket. These are the rules of the game and unless I plan I on some grand Henry David Thoreau move to the hinterlands of Mongolia, this is the game I get to play. Fine. Just don’t puke on my back and tell me its warming lotion.
There is nothing fun about the fun-sized bag of M & Ms. All it is are M & Ms in a smaller pouch. If I want to have fun I might choose to go play basketball or go to a carnival or maybe sit under a tree on a sunny day. I certainly don’t plan on deriving my pleasure from a tiny bag of chocolate. Yet, those soulless vultures at the M & M Company try to convince you that eating roughly 12 M & Ms is a regular party in a bag.
I’m not saying eating chocolate isn’t fun. It’s great. I can’t get enough of the stuff personally. A regular sized bag of them is kinda fun. I could have a fine time with one of those gigantic bags that look like they could strap it to a horses’ face and feed it for hours. But, the M & M schmucks don’t call those “fun”.
Those miserable frauds lie to you when they don’t even have to. What would be wrong with calling it “the little bag” of M & Ms? Would that somehow demean the product? Would I somehow be having less fun?
If they were just to level with you about the thing you’d know what you were getting and there would be some integrity in the act of consuming them. They have to suck you into to some worthless, disgraceful lie about the type of experience you are going to have. I only want a few M & Ms, therefore, I’ll get the small bag. Seems reasonable. But everything has to be celebration. Even getting a tiny bag of freaking M & Ms, which is really one of the duller experiences a person can have in the general scope of things.
The worst part is, if you want a small bag of M & Ms, you have to participate in this con. I ate one of them earlier today and couldn’t shake the feeling that some retired scumbag ad executive is sitting on a beach somewhere thinking about the millions of dollars he has collecting interest in a bank in the Caymans because he thought up the idea of calling a little bag of M & Ms “fun”. I hope a shark eats him. In front of his grandkids.
I want to drink a soda, not an “icy cold Coke”. I don’t want to “Just Do It”, I want a pair of sneakers. I don’t want to be “the best a man can get”, I just want to use a razor from time to time so I don’t end up looking like The Unabomber.
Just leave me the hell alone. If I want something, I’ll buy it.