This Week in Things That Pissed Me Off! 10/27/06

So it’s fairly late at night and I am surfing the web when I get an email. Enclosed within is a message informing me that someone wishes to be my new friend at Myspace. Oh boy! Who is this mysterious person who I have never met who wishes to brighten my entire dark void that I call a life with pointless comments and as much of their unfunny banter as possible? I’ll tell you who this person is, its that crappy emo band that covers Whitesnake with trumpets, or that 13-year-old girl who dresses more slutty then a prostitute in the Dallas Cowboys locker room, or perhaps it is neither and maybe its just Tila Tequila.

Regardless of who the invite is coming from, its always the same motive, they only want to be listed at the top of the Internet popularity food chain. Well guess what? It’ the Internet, no one really cares about you, and sadly, the only reason people will accept these invites is to boost their own level of self-security and raise their level of Internet popularity by a few numbers. Plain and simple, I don’t care about your crappy band and the crappy music you put out, I don’t care about how sexed up you wish to be at the age of 13, and I most certainly don’t want to be your friend. Oh and to all of you 21 year old girls who dress slutty and want to be my friend, you need to stop too. I get enough scantily clad girls from the True adds that liter the screen every time I need to log on because a friend harasses me to comment on a new picture of theirs, if I want to see T & A I’ll download some porn. Please, this is the INTERNET for Christ sakes, lack of cloths isn’t as good as no clothes, and no clothes is even more accessible then a little bit of cloths, so please just stop.

Further more, to people who aren’t in the boat of winning the popularity contest, please stop showing off your crappy artwork and awful mini self-projects. Myspace is NOT a place to be artistic either, go and create your own web page to show this stuff off, I swear these people also most likely add a link to their Myspace account on job resumes nowadays to show off their work and what they are capable of. Finally, on a personal side note, stop sending out those retarded chain letter posts, no one is going to come back from the dead to kill you if you don’t continue to post them and true love won’t find you not because you didn’t send out a new bulletin, true love won’t find you because you never step away from you lousy computer screen.

Moving on, I was at the bar last weekend, and it was a fairly good time and everyone was having fun, and then what had begun to occur was possibly one of the biggest crimes against humanity that I have ever witnessed. A girl weighing in at 250+ got up on the bar top and started to dance. I swear to god, you’re not hot, you don’t have a good body, and no one wants to see your ass crack. If you are a fat girl, don’t show off your goods, no one wants to see that, and you know who I am talking to. Girls who weight under 115 pounds go crazy trying to lose weight to fit into a bikini, so why do girls weighing 215 have no trouble putting one on? Are they that delusional? Do their friends tell them that they are sexy and cute? If you are a fat girl, do not wear skimpy cloths, do not dance topless at bars, its that simple, you will make people throw up. I don’t see how this is such a huge issue today in America, but it happens all the time, its not something that’s an isolated incident, fat women think they are hot and dress as if they were 10 sizes smaller, please, this goes out to all those fat girls friends, tell them they are fat, tell them not to wear certain outfits, do not let them dance on bars when their pants will fall down, just say no to them, don’t worry about hurting their feelings because when someone calls them a beached whale, it’ll just be that much worse on them and you could have prevented it, I mean sure, fat chicks need love to but, that is why Thomas Edison invented the damn light switch.

To wrap this week up I will just be posting a very one sided online conversation this week between me and John.

Big Danny D: the batman
Big Danny D: the crappy cartoon on channel 11
Big Danny D: on Saturday mornings
Big Danny D: they are up to Clayface 2 already
Big Danny D: I turned it on
Big Danny D: and they were actually calling him Clayface II
Big Danny D: and I was mad
Big Danny D: so very very mad
Big Danny D: because that shits pointless
Big Danny D: especially on a kids cartoon
Big Danny D: its just not needed
Big Danny D: like they REALLY messed up Clayface
Big Danny D: the show originally focused around batman and these 2 cops
Big Danny D: who were trying to get him and arrest him
Big Danny D: one of the cops, a guy, was Bruce Wayne’s college roommate
Big Danny D: and they were prominent characters
Big Danny D: and the cop who was Bruce’s friend…
Big Danny D: he became Clayface
Big Danny D: Clayface I
Big Danny D: which, ok, I’ll admit, it was cool
Big Danny D: he had a real back story
Big Danny D: u knew who he was
Big Danny D: and u felt bad for him
Big Danny D: cause he legitimately was a good guy
Big Danny D: who became a bad guy thru the torture of people on the street not accepting him
Big Danny D: he went insane
Big Danny D: now
Big Danny D: Clayface II
Big Danny D: was just some smuck
Big Danny D: who we didn’t know
Big Danny D: and they gave him a background story in 10 seconds
Big Danny D: and u got an evil clayface with no remorse, and a good Clayface
Big Danny D: I understand, the 2 Clayfaces of theater
Big Danny D: comedy/tragedy
Big Danny D: its dumb
Big Danny D: why?
Big Danny D: because its a kids cartoon
Big Danny D: and 12 year olds can’t understand this
Big Danny D: i hate when they switch shit up in comics
Big Danny D: but 10-15 years can warrant a change
Big Danny D: 2 seasons on a damn kids cartoon?
Big Danny D: its like the god damn power rangers, i hate that shit
Big Danny D: and even they were full time real actors who had to be paid and eventually want to move on in their careers
Big Danny D: this is a villain on a cartoon, taken from a pool of what? 60+ other batman villains
Big Danny D: who appears in the show once, MAYBE twice a season?
Big Danny D: were the writers that much out of ideas?
Big Danny D: they couldn’t come up with a new puzzle for the Riddler?
Big Danny D: or something with 2 sides for two face to steal?
Big Danny D: or an insane rampage with the joker thru the streets of Gotham?
Big Danny D: or did they just run out of giant birds for the penguin to steal from a zoo
John: haha
Big Danny D: the original batman animated series made it thru like 4 seasons with no problems, then went into justice league for Christ sakes
Big Danny D: they even gave robin teen titans
Big Danny D: so pissed off

Now go link this article to at least 15 people or you’ll be forced to sit through 1 episode of Perfect Strangers for each person under 15 that you don’t send this too.



Hey as you’ve probably noticed we’ve hit a lull here for a while.

I’ve got a ton going on right now that are keeping me away from the organizational things that the site requires to keep running smoothly. There have been a lot of things in the works for the site that are still coming but at the moment need to be put on hold till they are ready.

I love this site, I love the people involved and the ideas and actions that come from it. We will be relaunching with a ton of new ideas, focuses and features and I promise when it happens we’ll be stronger than ever. I can’t say exactly when for sure at this very moment but I promise it will happen, and it’ll be awesome. But I’m not going to do it until it’s 110% ready. So it might seem like there is little going on here but I assure you behind the scenes it’s far from true.

However in for immediate future I have more important things to focus on. But I will be back.

Stay in touch people, the forums are still open and Bear is posting up a storm lately in his blog. I’ll still be around. If you need to contact me please hit me up on AIM, or via email.



The Infamous Mentos Cat

Freshman year of college a group of friends and I found ourselves inspired. We we students at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Probably one of the most liberal of art schools in the United States, (and that’s saying something). Being college students and art geeks; we had both too much time on our hands and spare video equipment laying around. Not to mention over-active imagination and a deranged sense of humor.

Pratt is famous for a lot of things, one of them is the fully operational steam engine on campus. One of the oldest in the country, and one of very few still functioning. The engine room is located pretty much in the dead center of the campus and is – as any Pratt student or alumni will tell you – a haven for the massive stray cat infestation. Apparently the warmth from the engine room attracts them from the cold New York air. While all the cats were harmless, not everyone was a fan, as you soon will see.

What follows is a video dreamed up, shot, edited and rendered all in a one hour break between classes. It is something that caused a controversy for about a week and spread around campus like wildfire. For that week we were both loved and hated by much of the school, we were rockstars. It’s something, as sick and juvenile as it is that I’m still proud of to this day. Enjoy. (Quicktime 6 or higher is required, which you can find here.)

Watch The Video

(© Jeff Dodson, Max Cameron-Bell, Mike Safianoff, John Morrison and Marcos Landeros. Mentos is a registered trademark of Van Melle USA Inc. the individuals involved in this video and are in no way affiliated with Van Melle USA Inc. This video is a parody, as allowed by US law. Please don’t sue.)


11/02/04 – Judgement Day

Go Vote!

Go vote for peace, vote for our safety, vote for prosperity, vote for our economy, vote for the people outside our communities, vote for our children, vote for our respect, vote for our troops, vote for our future, vote for our jobs, vote for our loved ones, vote for our firemen, vote for our education, vote for our environment, vote for those lost but not forgotten, vote to save democracy, vote to save the bill of rights, vote for sanity, vote for honesty.

Vote to correct a miserable failure.

Please, for yourself, for me, just go vote.

Vote to take back our nation.


MR interviews Pat Thetic of Anti-Flag at Warped Tour 2004

At this year’s Warped Tour on August 7th I got the opportunity to sit down and speak with Pat Thetic, the drummer from the politically charged Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag. Pat was generally an easygoing guy with strong opinions who was open for discussion and knowledgeable on pretty much anything we threw at him. We asked his thoughts mostly about Warped Tour (which was celebrating it’s tenth anniversary this summer), the state of the music industry and the upcoming election.

Pat Thetic of Anti-FlagAs you’ve probably heard, early this year Lollapalooza announced the cancellation of it’s tour due mostly to low ticket sales, what do you think sets Warped Tour apart?

I don’t really know. I would think that the ticket price for warped tour they’ve always tried to keep it as low as possible. I don’t know if thats the same for Lollapalooza. And I think the fact you get so many bands that kids still come out to Warped Tour. Lollapalooza bands play for an hour or whatever, at Warped Tour you get about 5 bands in an hour that you can go see. So I think for the money it’s a much better value. I don’t know if kids really think that, but I think there is just so much going on… it’s like an A.D.D.fest you can’t pay attention to one. For young people thats a better thing that seems to, in just my vision of it, (Lollapalooza) seems to be slower than Warped Tour.

What do you guys in bands like about warped tour? Why’d you decide to play this year?

It’s a traveling misfits show of outcasts and fuck ups and that sort of appeals to us. The fact is that there just is a whole bunch of people who don’t know what else to do with themselves. And the family that Warped Tour has sorta created is sorta a unique one. We like that there is a place for screwed up people to hang out for the summer.

Let’s talk about The Terror State, you guys worked with Tom Morello on this album..

We did

How did you meet up with him?

We did a tour with Rage Against The Machine in ’98-99, somewhere in there, it was The Battle of Los Angeles tour; their last tour. They called us up and said ‘Do you wanna do these shows with us’ and it was amazing and scary, ‘cuz it was like huge rooms, it was like stadiums err… arenas. So we got to know him there and when we were getting ready to record this record we were like ‘who would we like to work with?’ and the guy who has been most successful and believes the similar ideas as us and who we really like is Tom, ‘lets ask Tom to be involved’. So we sat down with him while we were on tour in LA and said ‘do you want to be apart of this?’ He said ‘yeah, I’d love to’ so it worked out, it was great.

How was it working with him?

He’s great, he’s got great ideas, he’s got influenced people and yeah he’s just an amazing person. And he’s just a cool dude other than that.

It seems like on this album you mixed more sampling into it? Did that have anything to do with Tom’s influence?

Not so much, more Tom’s influence was in the artwork and the original writing of the songs. In the end production he didn’t really have… He was like ‘yeah that sounds good’ or ‘no that doesn’t sound good’ but he didn’t come to us and say ‘you should put samples in or something.’ That was all stuff that we came up with on our own.

Alright, what do you guys think about new production methods? ProTools and Such?

Love it

Love it?

Love it, can’t get enough of it. As a drummer who grew up.. There are two types of people, there’s drummers and then there’s people who play drums. I’m more of a person who plays drums than a drummer. And ProTools is able to take poor performances and make them good. But what we try and do is get ideas out, and sometimes the performance gets in the way of somebody hearing the ideas. And the beautiful thing about ProTools is that you can clean the performance so people can hear the ideas and not hear that you’re out of key, or off time, or whatever.

You don’t think it waters down things at all? Like some bands are manufactured almost, like a Britney Spears sorta thing?

Well yeah. But she’s going to have a great sounding record no matter wether ProTools is there or not, they are gonna cut tape or whatever. For those of us, who… It’s also, we can create a better record for a lot less money which in punk rock world is very important. Actually, we have a ProTools rig at home, that cost very little money and we can do editing and stuff on our own just in our own office. So yeah, it’s really sort of like the germ warfare of music it has leveled the playing field of music, so that everyone has access to really good sound if they want to. I don’t know if that analogy translated but in my mind it makes sense.

You guys are known for your politics. How do you think the things that have gone on in the last year with things like Punk Voter and how do you think it’s going to play out in this election. Do you think there will be a significant change in things?

I think it will. You know the poll numbers are like well: Kerry is down by three points or two points and Bush is up by two points or three points. But what those polls are taking into account is the voters who have voted in the last presidential election. I think that through MoveOn, I think through Punk Voter and those types of things, I think there are going to be a lot of voters who have never voted before who will actively vote and I think that those people will have a great impact on the election. I’m hoping.

I’ve been saying that for a long time and I finally heard Michael Moore say it on Larry King Live and I was glad someone else is thinking it. I read an article recently how Howard Stern is going to affect voters because he’s really under fire from the FCC and they were saying that most of the people that were into him are already from liberal areas where the state was already to go to the democrats. Do you think that may be true…

That may… The thing about Howard Stern is he’s got access to millions of people. And Howard Stern saying one thing can affect a lot of people. I know that Pittsburgh, which is where we’re from, has traditionally been a Democratic stronghold but in the last election it was close and we have Howard Stern on the radio in Pittsburgh so I think that he will have an impact with, again, people who are first time voters that never felt that their voice needed to be heard.

But do you really think that things like Warped Tour and Punk Voter are really going to reach people in conservative areas? Like Texas for example.

We go to.. We’ve plays alot of shows in Texas, and we’re doing a Punk Voter swing state tour. And so we are going to focus a lot of attention in the areas where people are traditionally more conservative than liberal.

In The Terror State you have an pamphlet that talks about taking back the Democratic Party. What made you guys really fall along part lines? Where as in the past it’s been..

Yeah, it’s sorta a change for us and it sorta leaves a bad taste in our mouth because we’re not big Democratic party fans. That pamphlet is not actually a pro-Democrat pamphlet that was a pro-leftist pamphlet, saying get these people in the Democratic Party and move them further to the left and present an opposition to the Republican Party not just Republican-lite. In having said that, four more years of Bush is too painfull for us to accept so we are helping to get rid of Bush, not really helping to elect Kerry.

Ideally who out of the Democratic Primaries would you have preferred?

(Dennis) Kucinich is an amazing dude. Kucinich was a great guy nobody gave him any attention, nobody gave him any press and it’s difficult to get the press unless you’re winning. It was interesting because Kucinich was running all the way until the convention but nobody paid any attention to him because Kerry had already won the election.

How do you feel about Nader’s involvement in this election?

Nader. People are always trying to villianize Nader and Nader is an American hero. Nader has done more for the American people than George Bush ever has. And I don’t think Nader is the enemy, and the Democratic Party is making him out to be the enemy and the Republicans are making him out to be the enemy. I think that he’s a hero and he needs to be received that way. And it’s just tragic that everyone has made him out to be the enemy.

Do you think it’s possible that Kerry could be elected and Nader could still get 5% in this election of do you think that it’s going to be closer?

I hope so. I hope that Kerry can get elected and that Nader can get 50% of the vote. If people get to hear what Nader has to say, they are gonna… as always, the American people are intelligent people, caring people and if they hear or have access to information they make the right decisions. And thats why the Democrats and the Republicans didn’t want Nader in the debates. My goal is for Nader, if not Nader than someone with similar views as Nader having a voice and being able to get those ideas out.

Let’s jump back to a bit of the industry stuff and then I’ll let you go.


How do you guys, as a band, and you as a person feel about digital music? I don’t necessarily mean file sharing, I mean things like iTunes and stuff. I noticed that Fat and A-F Records’ content aren’t for sale there, is there a reason for this?

We are trying to be. (Editor’s note, since this interview was conducted much of A-F’s music has been added to the iTunes library) And I am interested in it, as a record company, and as a musician I want people to have access to our music. If people choose to do it digitally, I don’t care. Ultimately I want people to also have access to the information that we put in there, thats why we make records. The amazing thing about the internet age that we are in right now is that we can put out a record and then have a website that has, you know, pages and pages of information that we are passionate about. And thats an amazing thing. We don’t necessarily have to put the record out, we can just have the record come out digitally and the information be on the website. Then we’re saving resources, we’re saving trucks that have to ship around that’s an amazing world for me.”

Some bands, like Linkin Park for example have complained that it could kill the album format. That people wouldn’t listen to the whole piece and that’s what their ‘creative vision’ is.

And I understand that, but that means you have to write good music. You know Britney Spears, God bless her, she’ll be done. Because people will be like ‘alright downloaded the one song and I don’t care about the other 9 tracks of filler.’ You know, that’s our responsibility as musicians. If we can’t create songs that people want to hear, then fuck us, we’re not worth being around anyway.

That would have put someone like Lou Bega out of business.

Who’s Lou Bega? I don’t know who he is.

Mambo #5

Oh yeah. Yeah, exactly ya know, that’ll hurt the music industry. (laughs) I don’t give a fuck about the music industry. Ya know, if the people who like what we do are the kids who buy A-F records stuff, if they want to buy it in a different format and we can… or not buy it, but get it, in a different format and we can supply it to them then that’s fine with me.

Do you think that this will lead to a break up of the major music industry?

I hope so, sure. They are consolidating and getting more and more crap. Because they are only worried about record sales and they are like ‘oh I can sell more of Jessica Simpson or whatever the fuck she is, or uh whats her.. the new one, the little one’s name..


Ashlee Simpson! Yeah so ‘we’re going to look for more people like Ashley Simpson’ Fuck that, that’s why we have independent music. Because we have people who care about music and ideas and not just about wether you can sell records or not. And I think the digital world has that ability a lot more, it levels the playing field, again.

So do you think, not necessarily for you guys, but for a different kind of band that is trying to make it big and spread there ideas. You guys are kinda ‘niche,’ you’ve expanded out of it, but do you think that it’s important to have the major labels there for bands to promote themselves, like a band like Less Than Jake.

No (laughs) I would love to not have the majors. I would love to not have radio that you have to spend two hundred thousand dollars, to get a song on the radio. I don’t wanna live in a world like that. I would much rather live in a world where ya know, if a song’s good it gets on the radio. We’re not in that world, if a songs ‘okay’ and it’s got $200,000 behind it kids have access to it.

But like a band like Rage, they kinda got their message by being on Sony.


And they probably wouldn’t have gotten as much of a following if they weren’t.

That’s correct.

Do you think that’s important?

No, I think good music, if everybody has an internet connection in their house, which at this point, it’s not true, but in the future, if everybody has access to an internet connection and can access to good music, people will find good music and good music will find people. And you don’t need some creepy dude in New York or L.A. to tell you wether it’s good or not and that’s an amazing world for me. I’m excited about that world.


Rebuttal to Enjoy the Silence 3

In his article “Michael Moore: Patriot or Treasoness”, staff writer Matt Van Dam makes some interesting points regarding Michael Moore and his actions as a writer, filmmaker and self proclaimed patriot. Given the release of his new film “Fahrenheit 9/11” this is a hot topic sparking some heated debate and I think it is deserving of BP’s first follow up article. It is suggested that you read Matt’s piece before reading this one because it is essentially a rebuttal, though I still feel it can stand on it’s own, so it is not required.

Not to offend anyone from the start with this article but the definitions Van Dam cites for a Patriot and a “Treasoness” are not only outdated, but also based on a monarchial system. These definitions are still based on when England’s government previously believed itself to be divinely appointed and therefore without fail. Keep that in mind, the definitions don’t really hold true in the US or in this day in age at all.

Now I feel I can safely say that anyone interested enough in politics can tell you that Moore does have his own slant to things. It is undeniable; while he might not be a liar he is masterfully manipulative of the facts and often leaves out details and tweaks things to fit his views. Despite that, I for one still view him as a patriot, I truly believe in most of Moore’s causes.

Most educated Americans, liberal or conservative, will admit our government has it faults and could always use improvement. Unfortunately though there will always be a lot of people that just don’t see it that way. Some have a bizarre denial that we can do no wrong; others have no idea of what’s going on, because previously they’ve simply been apathetic to such a thing. Moore’s target audience for Bowling For Columbine is these people. He tries to sort of “shock” people into realization of these disturbing situations. Regardless of my appreciation for Moore I’ll be the first to admit parts of it are very deceptive in their methods, but mean well, shock is a commonly used practice and a powerful one if used well. Matt’s claim that it gave him a very bad impression of the United States, while interesting and still relevant is mostly because he’s not the kind of person intended for the viewing of the film, he is not a disillusioned member of American society, therefore not the person Moore is trying to change the perspective of.

I enjoy Moore and I admire him greatly for his ability to pull things together beautifully, stand up for what he believes in and create such a convincing piece; written or visual. I honestly think his heart is in the right place but I won’t deny he does himself a disservice with his small twists and skewed facts in some regards. However, one could argue that his slant to things is really no better than the slant the United States government puts on things themselves, and I don’t think Moore is any better or worse for it in that respect.

That being said, there is one thing that makes me like, admire and trust Moore much more than anyone in our government: he’s really not doing this for himself. Sure he makes a hefty profit, but he gives the money back to his community, back to charities and into ongoing projects. He is consistently raising his target on more and more people he feels are hurting society, hurting the people of this nation and doing our forefathers a disservice. I’m not saying he’s not making a sweet profit doing this, because he does, and he’s the first person to admit it, but if all he was about was making money he wouldn’t devote so much time himself into things, running his website with daily updates and stressing himself with project after project, often admitting his faults and taking on more causes. You cannot say Moore is hardly resting on his laurels and just sitting back to collect a check. Moore is someone who works for his money, and at the same time he is doing something he loves and doing it for other people.

Now, I’m not saying Moore can do no wrong, because I feel he has a lot of faults both in his person and in his work, but that’s due to the fact that he is merely human like us all and we cannot hold him to any higher standard than we’d hold ourselves.

Let me get back on point. Matt makes the argument that under the definition of patriot that Moore is no patriot. According to a Patriot is defined as: “One who loves, supports, and defends one’s country.” Matt claims that because Moore makes the United States look bad and points out it’s faults he is doing it a disservice and definitely not supporting or defending it. I disagree entirely; I feel Moore by pointing out the faults of our nation is helping strengthen it. His criticisms of its actions are in defense of it, of the true values of this nation’s foundation. To assume otherwise is to try and say our government is without fault and should not be questioned. Such a belief is pompous, ignorant and flat out wrong. As I so much love to point out our great (Republican) President Theodore Roosevelt even stated:

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

Society can only learn from its mistakes, history shows this clearly, so criticism should be welcomed and embraced. When you start trying to squash dissenting opinions you start to encroach on people’s liberties, and therefore lose sight of the original goals of this nation, the values it was built on and committing treason yourself, just because it is people in the government doing so (coughJohnAshcroftcough) doesn’t mean that it should be accepted as correct.

I know I’m going to be stretching here but much as the Declaration of Independence criticized the king of England for the good of the American people, Michael Moore’s attacks on the President, wrong or right, is done out of love for this nation, for the people, because he wants to see it improve. Moore, like you and I don’t want to see the US fall like many other systems before it. He is defending the United States in a way many don’t think to and therefore at least in my mind, a patriot.


“Out of the Blue and Into the Black”

There are often events in the course of history that define a generation. What happened on April 8, 1994 is one of those events. Despite what people will tell you it’s not April 5th, 6th or 7th that really had an impact. It was on April 8th that an electrician in a small town outside of Seattle, Washington called a radio station to announce he had discovered the body of Kurt Cobain in a room over the garage in a house owned by the deceased. But the house had been put up for sale. The details of Kurt’s death can be debated to the point of exhaustion; although it was ruled a suicide there is significant reason for some to believe there was foul play involved. The world had seen an alleged suicide, but more importantly a tragic ending to the life of an amazing person with a tortured soul. But it is not that controversy that I want to discuss or remember today.

Today, April 8, 2004, we mourn the 10th anniversary of Kurt’s passing, something that seems impossible to many, but is undoubtedly true. Love him or hate him, Kurt was the voice of a generation and he made an impact on society greater than many before him or since his death. The phenomenon that surrounded him was exactly what John Lennon meant when he claimed the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.” There is no sacrilege in this comment; it’s merely a representation of popularity and of icon status. Kurt, to many, is beyond this, he has been placed on a pedestal and viewed as a deity of all things good and right about rock and roll. Ironically, this is not what the man would have wanted at all, but his death sealed that fate, just like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean before him. Kurt died young, in his prime and will forever be remembered as flawless, never hitting a decline like so many other artists.

One has to wonder if the achievement of flawlessness through early death was taken into consideration while whatever act was committed; be it suicide, murder or whatever. Though that thought alone stands against much of what Kurt believed and stood for. He was a humble man who simply enjoyed writing and playing music, it was well known that he hated his celebrity status and the worship that followed him. It bothered him so much that Kurt actually felt guilty for it, expressing often that he was not what everyone thought he was and that he really didn’t want to be a rock star. Yet it was inevitable, Nirvana was one of the biggest things to happen to music and western society since “The Twist”. Their impact on culture today is immeasurable and there is no telling how many people have been inspired by it or will be for days to come. The realization of this for Kurt was too much to handle at times and he would indulge in heroine and alcohol to relieve this suffering; as well as the persistent stomach pains that has followed him throughout life that were no doubt stressed and unaided by the pressures of life in the limelight.

Those who were a fan of Kurt’s work remember his death like our parents remember President Kennedy’s death and Martin Luther King’s death. Many of us can recite exactly what we were doing, where we were, and what we did following— it had that much of an impact on people. It is scary to think that there are two things in my life that have had and enormous impact on me: Kurt’s death and the events of September 11th. I am not by any means comparing the two, but I think it is very significant that those both stand out in my mind as evoking a similar series of emotions.

Why do we do this? What compels human beings to glorify movie stars and musicians to such an intense level so that their deaths have as much impact on our lives as the loss of thousands or the loss of a grandparent? Surely this must be yet another unhealthy side effect of our increasingly media driven society, but it’s one we’ve come to deal with, even adapt to and openly embrace. If it’s not Kurt, it’s Princess Diana or Jerry Garcia or so on. This just doesn’t seem right, but we justify it. We justify it based on how those people make us feel. Kurt’s wounded voice was something so many of us could instantly relate to, he spoke in riddles that somehow made sense of it all and tapped into many emotions some of us weren’t even aware we had. Kurt meant a lot of different things to a lot different people. For some he just created music. For others he created more than this, he gave them a voice, he gave them purpose and something to believe in.

While it is natural for us to do so, it is not my belief that April 8th should be remembered as sad day at all. I believe it should be a day on which we celebrate the impact of one man who really made a difference in a lot of people’s lives. While he was only with us briefly we should appreciate what he did during this short time for we were lucky to have it at all, a man who never wanted to make a difference at all, who inadvertently made the world a better place if only for a moment by just being himself.

“My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Out of the blue and into the black
You pay for this, but they give you that
And once you’re gone, you can’t come back
When you’re out of the blue and into the black.

The king is gone but he’s not forgotten.
Is this the story of Johnny Rotten?
It’s better to burn out ’cause rust never sleeps
The king is gone but he’s not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There’s more to the picture
Than meets the eye.”

-Neil Young “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)”


Five Easy Steps to Mosh Pit Survival

Step One:

Identify mosh pit and possible dangers. There are many genres of music that produce mosh pits, however; there are three basic styles of mosh pits, each with its own dynamic and therefore dangers.

Hard Core Mosh Pit:
Music: Loud, angry and screaming.
Consists of large skin heads with forearms the size of an average persons neck,
windmills—the act of spinning ones arms violently while running in circles to create maximum damage; and lots of raspy screaming voices, large men slamming into one another and thrashing.

Punk Mosh Pit:
Music: Fast drum beat accompanied by rebellious and/or politically charged
lyrics. Lots of crowd sing-a-longs.
Consists of many spiked and pierced individuals, plenty of arm and leg thrashing as well as synchronized jumping and finger pointing (especially middle fingers and ‘rock on’ [first and pinky fingers]).

Ska Mosh Pit:
Music: Reggae or punk beat with a horn section peppered with plenty of ‘yeahs’
‘heys’ and ‘ois’.
Consists of skanking—the act of lifting ones knees and kicking out ones legs
while thrashing arms and body to the beat; spinning, jumping and general
pushing also included.

Step Two:

Remember general mosh pit rules. These include: never let your hands get pinioned to your sides, keep your elbows out to fend off unwanted roughness, as well as to propel yourself forward through the crowd; secure a spot for your feet to prevent falling over, steer clear of anyone without a shirt on (sweaty skin heads are just no fun), and remember that shoving is always an option. Never at any rough point should you stick your tongue out, you are liable to bite it off, and never crouch or bend down, you might not come back up.

Step Three:

Courtesy might seem like a foreign concept in such an environment, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Moshers have a deep and unspoken respect for one another. So logically, if you are entering a mosh pit, remember your manners, that is: don’t be the asshole who gets rough in a ‘calm’ area, if people wanted to get pushed around they would move to a circle or ‘rough’ area; if someone falls clear a small area for them and help them up, getting trampled is no fun; if you decide you don’t like the band that is playing leave the pit, don’t shout obnoxious comments or attempt to beat up the fans, that’s just rude. First and foremost, always sing if you know the lyrics, get rough and have fun!

Step Four:

Be prepared for mosh pit phenomena. Phenomena can be defined as the events that occur uniquely within a mosh pit, or specific mosh pit style. Any and all phenomena can occur in any pit, so always be aware. The following are some common phenomena in their indigenous styles of mosh pits.

Ska Pit:
Flying Elbows! Those skanking around you will most probably be throwing their elbows back in your direction, make sure to steer clear and never stand behind a person more than five inches taller than you or you could leave the pit with a broken nose.
Spinners. If you’re standing on the edge of a circle beware of people who grab hands and spin. Eventually you’ll either get pummeled by a fly-by spinner or wind up as a catcher when the two finally let go.

Punk Pit:
Wall of Death. If you are participating in this event, remember to keep your arms up and keep up with the charging crowd and pray you don’t get trampled!
Circle Pit. A circle pit is one of the most adrenaline inducing mosh activities, while engaged in a mash of people running in a frantic circle while thrashing arms and legs and creating general havoc remember these simple rules: keep moving, when you need to exit move towards the edge and thrash your way out and remember to keep your arms up.

Hard Core Pit:
Crush! This is not an activity for the claustrophobic, if you are inclined to close contact paranoia and notice a crush coming on, leave! If you get caught in a crush of people above all else, stay on your feet. Try to flow in the direction of the crowd. Do not panic if you are lifted off the ground, step on peoples legs if you must until the crowd thins. Be aware of your surroundings, this is possibly one of the most dangerous moshes.
Crowd Surfers. If a crowd surfer is over head help with the support and shove forward with all your strength. If you intend to participate do not ask the six foot eight inch, 250 pound man who as just lifted twelve people to lift you; that’s just rude. Try not to flail, remember that you surf at your own risk and have a very good chance of falling.

Step Five

Be prepared, not stressed. A good mosher is aware, but not paranoid. As with any endeavor, practice makes perfect, so get out there and mosh as much as possible! Go to as many shows as you can, look for new experiences and try out a different scene every once in a while. Even the most dedicated punk rocker should go and experience the hard core scene, at least once or twice. Remember that moshing isn’t about disgruntled youth just being rebellious (although that’s part of it), it demands a respect for others and a dedication to music and the culture that music creates. So be open minded, look for new opportunities; have your pop culture friends come to a hard core show, and make your punk rocker buddies experience the thrill of a ska pit. Moshing was designed to bring people closer (not just physically), release pent up emotions and celebrate the inspiration that the music awakens in each person. Get out there and create some chaos!

Warning: Author is not in any way responsible for any injuries and/or emotional scarring due to the moshing activities listed. The aforementioned description and advice is the result of the author’s personal moshing experience and is subject to interpretation and change.


Soundtrack to Life – Good Luck and Best Wishes, Aki-Bee

‘eeeeeyyyyy! Welcome to the first installment of Soundtrack to Life on the brand new BP site. Most of you are familiar with the run down, but I see a few new faces in the crowd, so allow me to explain. We all have songs that remind us of important times in our lives, whether the song was playing at the time or the lyrics hold a specific meaning. What would our lives be without a soundtrack? I encourage the readers to send in their stories about a song and what it reminds them of. By the time this is posted, John should have put up the entire archive of my work, so you can take a look at what I’m looking for. You get full credit for the story, unless you wish to remain anonymous. Anyways, let’s kick things off with a story about one of our own.


Good Luck and Best Wishes, Aki-Bee
“The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out”/”Screws Fall Out” by Less Than Jake

Along the course of our lives, we meet a plethora of different people. Most, we never get the chance to know. Others we know will become tight allies. Still others, bitter enemies. This story is about one of those people who you never thought would make a huge difference in your life, but they did.

Starting early on in life, you tend to look for those on the playground who have similar interests and allign yourself with them. For me, it was videogames. Though this deemed me a nerd, I found my allies in the 2nd grade. Scott, Nick and Jason were the primary three. We all did the same things; videogames, Hot Wheels, and Cub Scouts. At seperate times, I was in the same den as each of them. We’d invite eachother over on weekend nights, do all those fun things we did when we were kids and sleep over on the occassion. In 3rd grade, Nick left, went south to Kentucky. Over the years, I’ve lost touch with him, but from the sounds of it we’ve both walked very different paths.

Our favorite past time, amidst our entire circle of friends was night games, particularly capture the flag. This was always played at either Scott or Jason’s house. Scott’s yard was rather uneven, the backyard was a high hill which sloped all the way to the ditch at the end of the front yard. So more often than not, we played at Jason’s. Scott had an older sister that stayed out of our business. Jason, however, had a little sister, who was always interested in whatever it was we were doing. This was Aki (I’d say her real name, but I think she’d stab me for that). She quickly became the tag-along annoying kid sister I’d never met.

Normally, I had no problem when she got involved, as I am an agreeable guy and just like to avoid arguments (you know, the typical “You can’t come with.”/”Why not?” argument oft held between siblings). Occasionally, the games would get a little rough and she’d have to run inside, but we’d include her anyways, even if it was against her mother’s wishes, on a school night. Usually in these games, she’d team up with Scott. Scott was the athlete and looker of our group, so it’s no surprise she stuck to him at all times. And they’re favorite target: Me. I was probably the most out of shape guy there, aside from when we brought Musse in. So, Scott would sho me up and mock me, and Aki would do the same. That kinda thing get’s on a fella’s nerves. But what did I care? She was a kid, she didn’t know any better.

Then, I believe it was the summer of ’98. Our first game of the year and there she was again. Let the taunting commence. But it didn’t. She didn’t take a shot at me the whole night, despite being on different teams. She and I actually talked peaceably when we did talk. It was as if she’d become a completely different person over the span of a few months. Our group didn’t treat her as a burden anymore, but rather invited her out on a few ventures. Whatever it happened to be, whether it was capture the flag or another board game night, she was usually with us. I’d never seen her as a potential friend, expecting her to go live her own life, but all that was changing.

After Scott’s accident in the early days of ’99, our group became much more tightly knit, doing all that we could together. Jason and his family had moved to a new place, not too far from Regner park. And so lays the scene for one of the most memorable nights in my life. July 4th, 1999. I was bored, had nothing better to do, so I decided to see what was happening locally. I knew the fireworks were gonna be held at Regner that night, and I figured I might find a few people I knew there. Sure enough, there was Jason and Aki with their family and Adam’s family, all there on the shore. So, I sat with them for the show. From where we sat, the fireworks couldn’t have been launched 50 yards away. It was a nice pleasant show. And then, one shell exploded too close to the ground.
“That’s not supposed to happen.” I thought.
The sparks from the blast ignited many of the remaining shells, and everyone could only watch in horror as the finale blew up on the ground. As this happened, we pulled back to the water, about as far as we could go. It was just unreal. Then we heard Aki, crying and screaming. Apparently, one of the cinders hit her in the back. We aren’t sure to this day if it actually happened, she isn’t even sure. There was no burn mark and no sign of an ember. As her mom calmed her down, we collected our group and walked to Jason’s. When I got there, I was glad to see she’d calmed down. She joined us in a game of Risk that night, it came down to me and her, and not to boast, but I won. Throughout the game, somehow it became a joke about stabbing me. Aki runs upstairs and comes back down with her hands behind her back.
“What do you have?”
“What are you hiding?”
She then chased me around the basement with several butcher’s knives. I had to disarm her several times that night. It’s been a running gag (no pun intended) ever since. Things changed between us from here on out.

2000 was the big year for our clique. We graduated highschool, Jason had introduced me to the punk lifestyle, and we had a big roadtrip planned for the summer. More and more, Aki had become a part of the clique. As we looked at it, we noticed something about the family history. Jason’s older sister, Bean, was held under strict rules, she wound up rebelling and leaving. Jason was also held under these rules, he was already rebelling and about to leave. With Aki, it was just a matter of time. So, we decided to liberate her. Occasionally we’d talk her mom into letting her come with us, and other times, we’d sneak her out. It was convenient, because even with a full car, we could find somewhere to fit her. She is small after all. Often times, we’d fit her in the leg space for the passenger side seat. We’d take her to Webb’s, out on grocery runs, and just any other place that we’d frequent. She was very thankful to be getting out of the house for once.

One February night, in 2001, I got a call.
“This is Sam.”
“Oh hey, what’s going on?”
“Look um, I know you’re a responsible guy, and well…. Something happened to Aki while under my care.”
“What happened?”
“I…. I don’t know. I think there’s something wrong with her head.”
“Did she hit her head or something?”
“I dunno. Could you take a look at it please?”
“Well, I’m not exactly a doctor and I dunno if you should really be drawing attention to this place, but I’ll see what I can do.”
“Okay, thanks. We’ll be right over.”
So, I got my boots on and went outside. I paced at the top of the driveway, worrying, wondering what could have possibly happened. I was expecting Sammy to be carrying Aki out of the car, helping her to stand. Sam pulls up and I meet them half-way down the driveway. Aki is walking fine, she has a hoodie on with the hood up.
“Alright, what happened?” At this point I was worried, not that I wasn’t already, but I was losing my cool. Aki takes her hood off to reveal…….. blonde/orange hair. It was a joke, all at my expense. Her hair used to be a very dark brown. They’d bleached her hair and wanted to see how flustered they could make me. Mission accomplished girls. I joined them later as they dyed her hair to the now infamous Aki Blue. I went home, and I wished her luck with her mom, cuz I knew her mom wouldn’t like it.

In October of ’00, Aki joined us at the Haunted House, teaming up with her new friend Lara. They terrorized the elevator while I stalked the hallways. They were working the Legacy room once while I was walking through the E tunnel, banging on the wall to scare our guests.
“Hey! Who turned out the light?!”
“Uh oh!” and I flee the scene of the crime.

2001 I took on a job at Hardees with Tia and Aki. They were the ones who coerced me to apply there. It was during this time that she gained the name Aki, after people saw a resemblance between her and Dr. Aki Ross on the movie “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”. She went to the Warped Tour that year and suffered a concussion in the Less Than Jake pit. This is where she picked up another trait from the movie, furthering the use of her name Aki. She would faint every now and then. People, namely me, would rush to her and ask if she was alright. Her response always was and still is “I’m fine.” This became rather frustrating during work when she’d sporadically pass out. Still, though I was concerned, I find it humorous now.

She joined us again at the 2001 haunted house, often times working with me in the kitchen. Usually though, she hid in the hallways or above the stairwell. When her mom came in we had fun with her. Everyone in the house singled her out.

Up until this point, we’d shared moments like these, but we still didn’t know each other all that well. The following spring, I was out cruising the town. I was just leaving Blockbuster as Aki and Gage came in. I opted to stick around and if nothing else walk with them for a while. We wandered around the store, talked, eyed up a few movies but wound up leaving. We walked toward Aki’s house and Gage went his own way, so I decided to walk Aki home. It had been raining on and off so she welcomed me to stay so the rain could pass. We were gonna go out elsewhere, but she wasn’t feeling well. So, we wound up sitting at her place from about midnght to 4:30 in the morning, just talking. We learned a lot about each other that night, and since then, it’s been as though we’d known eachother for years. Well, it kinda has really, since I’ve known her since she was yay-tall. Dunno if that analogy really works with her, since she isn’t much yay-taller. Man, two short jokes already. I’m gonna die.

There are so many more stories, but I wager you haven’t the patience to read them all. So, I’ll just touch on them briefly.
-Many nights at the Haunted House, working the same room.
-Tuesday night coffee nights at Webb’s.
-Promising redemption against the man who raped her.
-Her calming me down when things were going to shit in my house.
-Her roadtrip to Oklahoma.
-Being there for her through the fireworks on the 4th of July this year.
-Her graduation party.

It’s all been quite odd. Back when I first met her, I’d never imagined we’d even be friends. I’d just kind of thought, an afterthought really, that she’d have her friends, I’d have mine, and we’d live our own seperate lives. In the past three years we’ve shared so many things that had you told me I’d be doing them with her back when she was the annoying little girl who loved to tease me, I’d say you were insane. Whew, that’s a mouthful. But it’s odd how the threads of fate intertwine. She’s gone from one of my good friend’s kid sister, to my most trusted friend. As the years went on we’d seen each other through many trials and tribulations, in fact we still do now. We’ve both lived our hard lives, and thankfully, we’ve been here for eachother.

It came as little surprise to me that she graduated from highschool a whole year early. She’d been telling me that that was the plan all along, get out as soon as posible. She hit up many places in town for a job and eventually landed one at a local restaurant as a waitress. It didn’t last and was soon in the search again. We don’t have the greatest job market in West Bend, so when you need one, they’re hard to find. We couldn’t find anything, and that’s when she approached me with her plan. She would move down to Milwaukee to get her life started. The thought bothered me at first. She was my last remaining tie in this city. Who would I have when she left? But that all gave way to how proud I was of her. Not many people can say that they graduated at 17 and willingly left their home and comfort to get their life started. I’m not the kind of guy to throw a party, but I figured she deserved a party in her honor if she was leaving, and I had the accomidations to do so.

The shopping list consisted of watermelon, Doritios, Milller Genuine Draft, Smirnoff Ice, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. We spent the majority of the night out by a roaring bonfire, chatting and drinking. It was a small gathering, but a gathering none the less. It was supposed to be her final night in town, so it was a nice sendoff. Just before she left, I insisted on playing a song for her. I could have sang it, but that would have been too sappy. The song:

“The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out”/”Screws Fall Out”
by Less Than Jake

You told me that your 20 years have gone by much to fast
And you’ve been hopin’ this year will be better than the last
You said you’ve been wagin’ a war against the loneliest of nights
With the strongest drinks and longest lines
Well it’s not that big a surprise
That you’re feelin’ more dead than alive
You’ve feelin’ more dead than alive

So I’ll let you know
If you need, somewhere to go
I’ll be listening when you call
And I’ll be there if you fall off
If you need someone to believe in you
I’ll let you know I will.

You said the whole in your head has gotten bigger than the hole that’s in your chest
And you’re stuck between the past and present tense.
You say you’ve been wagin’ a war against so many years of lies
With stronger drinks and longer lines
Well it’s not that big a surprise
That you’re feelin’ more dead than alive
You’re feelin’ more dead than alive

So I’ll let you know
If you need, somewhere to go
I’ll be listening when you call
And I’ll be there if you fall off
If you need someone to believe in you
I’ll let you know I will.
I’ll let you know I will.
I’ll let you know I will.

But sometimes…….
Ya gotta let it go!!!

So this pen is starting to become
A pipe bomb and these songs
Have turned to anthems again
To everything that’s changed and to everything that’s gone away
Here are my condolences tot he future I never met
It’s gone and never coming back, it’s not coming back
So don’t hold on to your past, you gotta let it go

‘Cause friends leave as time fades away
The people and the places along the way
Without a doubt
Screws fall in and screws they fall out

Tomorrow’s gone up in smoke
And I wonder when I’m alone
Where’d my convictions go
So to everyone that’s gone away
Or fades away or stays the same
Here are my apologies to the person that I used to be
Before I burned down every bridge and every inch
Of everything I used to know, I gotta let it go

Friends leave as time fades away
The people and the places along the way
So don’t hold on to your past
No, it’s never coming back, you gotta let it go

I just wanted to send her off with the message that I’d always be there no matter what, and she shouldn’t worry herself needlessly with the past she’s leaving behind. She said it meant the world to her.

Since that time, I’ve been out there to visit her a few times. She’s doing well, has a job at Claire’s, living at her dad’s, but still gets out every night whether it be for coffee or whatnot. The reason I’ve been down there lately, well, she’s breaking me out of this town. Within a few short week, I’ll be joining her in Milwaukee. That’s right, we’re gonna be roommates. We’re looking at a place later today, and hopefully we can seal the deal shortly thereafter.

Did I do this column to stoke her ego or win favor with her? No. I did it simply because she’s an amazing human being and has changed my life for the better. We all have friends such as these I hope. I just wanted you to see her through my eyes. If she were to die before I do, I’d no longer fear death. Be there a heaven, and she couldn’t get in on her merit alone, she’d sweet talk her way in, trust me. Then one by one, as her loved ones joined her, she’d sneak us all in.


Death of a Legend

RIP Johnny Cash