Archives for the month of: December, 2011

just finished reading “love goes to building on fire“, penned by a mr. will hermes, a music critique for the rolling stone and a contributor to NPR, entertainment weekly, etc.  i read hermes’ record reviews in the past and some were really good.  he is not one of the “fun” critiques who you read even if you don’t care for the music they’re reviewing– those select few are an endangered species:  good writers you just read because you want to read ’em.  rob sheffield used to be one.  now he is trying to be the malcolm gladwell of pop-culture.  not so much fun anymore.  or tony rettman and moe bishop of vice.  or like anthony lane reviewing films for the new yorker– even if i don’t care for the film he is reviewing, i still read anthony lane because he is anthony lane.  same with eileen jones of the exiled.

will hermes belongs to the other school of critiques– not really funny, lacking an original unmistakable voice and any original criticism; they instead rely on their encyclopedical knowledge and utilize it to make musical connections.    you read them only when you need to know about a certain band or an album.  you read them for information with no expectation of fun or enjoyment.  alas, they serve an important purpose– pure information and musical associations & history is sometimes precisely what you need.  and most music critiques fall (or file) into this second group.

mr. hermes, who interestingly is named after a famous scarf maker, is a prime example of this second (and predominant) group of critiques.  the depth of his music knowledge seems infinite.  he can probably make a 3-step association between the creaking of your kitchen floor and pre-bleach michael jackson.  a walking, talking google of modern music.

but, unfortunately, he is not fun to read.   as simple as that.  he is as fun as a public radio DJ.  very knowledgeable but scared of his own shadow; opinionated, but in a very inoffensive, politically correct manner.  he is where he should be– he belongs in post-1980 rolling stone and NPR.  who, incidentally, if was writing for this blog, would have consistently fallen under the “circle jerk” category.  that’s why NPR is fitting– it is the biggest circle jerk of all things considered on this planet…

buildings is a very noble undertaking– a play-by-play musical history of the new york scene in the ’70s– specifically between ’73 and ’78.  the book’s full name is “love goes to buildings on fire: five years in new york that changed music forever”.  it has tons of information, trivial facts and anecdotes but it still fails for three simple reasons, first objective, second slightly and third purely subjective:

1. because mr. hermes picked a narrative style that doesn’t fit him and one he simply cannot pull-off; and

2. because the music that came out of new york, with a few minor exceptions, was pure, unadulterated shit…  but he got the title right– that shitty music coming out of new york really changed music forever (for worse); and

3. because he has a huge crash on patti smith.

let’s start with the criticism on style first: mr. hermes tries to tell his story (and information) by personifying the events and anecdotes.  he attempts to do this by using present tense while describing anecdotes or background stories.  it is a good technique to draw the reader into the heart of the story.  a few random examples:

“Patti Smith walked to Electric Lady Studios from her apartment at 107 MacDougal Street on September 2.”

or

“Saturday night, March 15, Felt Forum, early show.  Al Green is falling apart onstage.”

see– he is trying to make you visualize the scene.  like i said, it is a good technique.  but it is a good technique in the correct hands.  mr. hermes doesn’t have the chops to pull it off.  he should have sticked to dry writing instead of throwing in random paragraphs reading like bad, bad fiction…  then i would have had no qualms with his style.

but, the way he is switching between his tenses, and with his cheap shots in new journalism, he completely turned me off, making me seasick.  mr. hermes ain’t no tom wolfe  and buildings ain’t the “the right stuff”– but that was precisely what mr. hermes aspired to write and failed miserably in his attempts.

if he sticked to his regular writing style, which is dry and informative, with its breadth of information, buildings would have been a great book for those who want to know more about ’70s new york music scene.  but he simply had to go third-rate tom wolfe wannabe on us and it literally funked up the book for me…

which brings me to my second (and subjective) criticism of the book– its content.  no matter how well mr. hermes could have written buildings, this criticism would have stood.

i’ll repeat myself: the music that came out of new york, with a few minor exceptions, was pure, unadulterated shit…  and that shitty music coming out of new york really changed music forever (for worse)…

the book consists of five chapters, one for each year it is reporting on.  and each chapter alternates constantly between six major musical styles: rock, jazz, early hip-hop, new york salsa, its evil offspring disco and avant garde music.   he worships each style and it is all flattery– there is no criticism here.

avant garde music– i don’t get it.  call me stupid, ignorant, whatever, but i don’t think there is anything to get.  unless you dissect it with someone who “knows” or you read a monographs on what you’re listening to.  it is finnegan’s wake without the genius.  at least, even though finnegan’s wake is next to impossible to read cover to cover, if you shuffle through it randomly, you’ll find sentences (and sometimes paragraphs) of sheer genius.  what i feel about avant garde music, on the other hand, is similar to what i feel about conceptual and performance art.

just like conceptual and performance art, if you find the right guide you’ll find moments in avant garde music to make you exclaim “ah!”, but that is about it.  it is just a scam like its “art” counterpart– it makes every pseudo-intellectual cream his pants because they’ve been told they should cream their pants.  it is “good” because it is weird and is hard to understand.  it is “genius” because it requires learning a backstory to make sense of.

i once asked a composer friend, who is also a renowned professor of music, what he made of avant garde music, which he taught to his students.  he simply said “i only listen to it because i’m expected to listen, know and write about it.  but i never listen to it because i want to listen to it”.  enough said…

nicholas payton recently wrote “jazz died in 1959”.  i fully concur.  what is left is “post-modern new orleans music” as he calls it. i love jazz.   and i respect the musicianship of them modern guys, from chick corea to herbie hancock, but i simply don’t like their music.  i find it overproduced and lacking soul.  preach me all you want on mahavishnu orchestra, weather report, yellowjackets, chuck mangione, whatever– it is all overproduced soulless musical calisthenics.

give me ellington, give me gardner, give me miles, monk and coltrane in the 50s, give me django, give me bix, give me gillespie, give me the bird, give me goodman, i’m in heaven…   give me anything modern, ie. after a love supreme, for five minutes, and i’ll confess to the kennedy assassination.

hermes canonizes all the ’70s jazz, with its overproduced fusion nightmare with jazz flutes.  he has a few nice anecdotes about miles and monk, two of my heroes, but that is about it.  that 70s fusion will not stand the test of time and was terrible, terrible music.  i don’t want to hear it, i don’t want to read about it.

early hip-hop– i was happy to read about it.    kool herc and his clan– those were some of the best parts of the book for me.  but then hermes ruins it all by coming out with his boy crush on jay-z and ruins it all up…  cool hip-hop died with eazy muthafa e…

don’t even get me started on the new york salsa.  i like brazilian music, i like spanish music, i like cuban music, i like west african music.  but i hate new york salsa with its shrill trebles and beat-box rhythms.  it is an abomination.  furthermore, it begat disco.  case closed, fire up the ole sparky, read new york salsa its death sentence and get it over with.

disco is the worst thing that happened to music.  started mostly in NYC, thanks to homegrown salsa, and ruined the entire 70s and the 80s, leading up to techno and other assorted crap.  before disco music was a social force.  in the heydays of disco and its resurrection in electronic dance music, the force diminished.  disco and electronic dance music begat yuppies.  disco and electronic music cut the brains of the youth in half…  and mr. hermes glorifies disco.  i’m not even sure if a more detailed statement against disco is necessary here.  res ipsa loquitur…

that brings us to what i know best– rock music…  70s rock, in new york city, was shit with a few minor exceptions.  good rock was coming out of elsewhere, not new york city.  granted, there is television with marquee moon, one of my favorite albums from the 70s.  there is also talking heads’ ’77.  two albums mr. hermes raves about, and rightfully so.  i occasionally play ’77 at my parties and many people who heard it for the first time think it is a new band with a new album.  it is that timeless.  ditto on marquee moon– verlaine was a genius…

hermes also raves about springsteen and born to run, again rightfully so.  and of course dylan’s divorce masterpiece blood on the tracks.  two albums i can’t live without.

but these are exceptions.  good rock was not coming out of new york city in the 70s.  it was coming out of UK, it was coming out of elsewhere in the US.  bowie, clash, sabbath, costello, gang of four, buzzcocks, zappa, purple, floyd, the list is endless, leading up to joy division and then taking a very different turn.

suicide was decent but punk was really coming out of merry ole england, not CBGB.  CBGB is where it landed.  X was the first great american punk band and they came out in 1980.

hermes has a boy crush on them, but spare me the ramones.  they were nothing but a glorified party band.  like cowboy mouth (ironically also the name of the sam shephard play he performed with patti smith) in the 90s. a precursor to the hairbands of the ’80s.   just entertainment.  just a few opportunist boys who saw room for themselves in the CBGB scene.  they won’t stand the test of time.  that’s why they’re a frat-party staple now.

lou reed– what about lou reed?  his post velvet underground work is shit at best.  a few good songs, rest is worthless.  and this is coming from a velvet underground fan…

television, talking heads, springsteen and maybe some suicide– these were pretty much the only keepers that came out of the NYC rock scene of the ’70s…

which brings us to patti smith– i really tried to like her.  as i am writing this, i am listening to horses one last time to find some redeeming words.  but the words won’t come…

patti smith was (and still is) an opportunistic scenester.  hermes has a big crush on her.  like most rock critiques have.  the male of the species has a crush because she was the quintessential female rock star– easy wet dream material for any horny rock loving boy of the 70s.  women critiques loved her because she was the one feminist voice of 70s rock.

but her music was (and still is) shit.  patti smith is nothing but a glorified cover artist.  there, i said it.

she tried to break into the scene as the female reincarnation of jim morrison. she even tells tales of crying over jim morrison’s grave.  granted, her poetry was as bad as morrison’s, but ole jim had the very musical the doors.  patti did not.  jim was a true rock star, patti was a scenester channeling a rock star.  if patti was able to find herself a the doors, she may have pulled something off.  and she tried with verlaine, among others.  but she failed.

even her first major hit was a cover of gloria, a song jim morrison made his own.  and her best song was “because the night”, actually written by springsteen…

hermes even drops a shameful jewel when he is writing about patti smith’s final set in CBGB, where most of the songs are actually covers,  “[she played] the Who’s “My Generation,” which has been part of her repetoire for so long, she’s really a co-owner of it”.  “she’s really a co-owner of it”– my ass.  hendrix is a co-owner of all along the watchtower, otis redding is a co-owner of satisfaction, van (not jim) morrison is a co-owner of gloria, and talking heads is a co-owner of take me to the river.  dylan, jagger/ richards, and reverend al green wouldn’t object.  but i would like to hear what pete townshend would say to patti smith co-owning my generation.  yeah, right…

patti smith is the ultimate opportunistic scenester– starting off with bad poetry and worse acting, she found her niche as a pseudo-feminist jim morrison– without the balls (and i am not saying this in a sexist way)…  her music had no balls.  it was just the right music for the right opportunistic time.

she was a party girl who saw an opportunity and took it.   like nico before her, but with stronger constitution and better con skills.  joan baez would probably be a better analogy though…  same shit, different decade…

she became a drooling icon of horny boys (and hornier male critiques) and a role model of feminist rocknrolla girls.  all part of the master plan for the production “patti smith”.  she is still milking it like the elder feminist rock star– her recent album trampin’ broke out her new persona– as the elder but more sensitive feminist rock star.  the con never ends.  and she just had to include gloria again in the deluxe CD set– just to play it safe…

the male critiques who creamed their pants in the 70s simply by staring at the record sleeve of horses for five minutes ate trampin’ up and the female critiques beatified her as the joan of arc…  but, if you take a step back, ignore all the rave reviews and actually listen to her oeuvre, it is just shit– some barely talented musician playing to the choir…

and this brings me to my conclusion and the best tidbit i got out of buildings:  apparently johnny rotten of the sex pistols said about patti smith and her performance “see the hippie shaking tambourines: ‘Horses, Horses’. Horseshit”.

“horses, horses, horseshit”– it sums up patti smith in three simple words– i can’t agree more…

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…the times published a report on the resurrection of public school prayers.  naturally the reports are coming from the deep south, the deadweight of america, still trying to cling to its long past glory days, it is still a serious threat with all the fundamentalist, especially evangelical sentiments spreading around the nation like an arizona bushfire.  seems the shame of religion in public schools will never go away.

as usual, the religious zealots are playing the victim once again, claiming persecution.  yeah, right.  they learned, long ago, if they cry incessantly, they’ll get what they want like a child…

the zealots know the best time to indoctrinate a person is in their most depressed and trying times.  what better time than high school where every kid is blue?

the religious come-ons, like the come-ons of prostitutes, never speak to the happy and the content.  they speak to the miserable:  no one turns to god due to happiness and contentment.  depression, misery, illness and other assorted woes make you hooked to that drug.

and that’s why junior and high-schools, with the blues, isolation, inferiority complexes, cliques, girl-boy troubles, parent issues, etc that come along with matriculation, are the prime recruitment grounds of religious nuts…  and that’s why they’re the main battleground of free speech in america– from the scopes trial and evolution to school prayers…

if we want our society to advance and be peaceful and content, we need to keep these zealots, these religion pimps out of schools.   we need to protect these young impressionable minds from dogma.  if we can’t, we’ll lose these minds and all they could have achieved if they were not fried out by religion..

despite their usual infantile tactics, gotta give congratulations to the zealots– they know how to use demagogy.  while intellectuals go on their logical academic tirades about the danger evangelicals (and other hardcore religious nuts) pose on our society and our future, zealots speak to the lowest common denominator.  and this is where the left fails famously–  they never learned to speak to the lowest common denominator.   they see themselves too good for it.  or they overestimate the people who they should communicate to.

either way, unless we learn how to fight demagogy by demagogy, we will never win and we’ll always be cast as the persecutors.

we should swallow our pride and learn to drop ripostes such as the jewels the times reported:

“I definitely think that we should try to get our relationship with Christ back into the schools, Jesus represents everything we want our students to live by.”; or

“I want these kids to know that eternal life is real, and I don’t care what happens to me, they’re going to hear it today.”; or

“Please pray for the dark forces out there who would seek to do harm in this situation”.

well, the dark forces are already unleashed– as the times reported shortly after school prayer in public schools, the GOP zealots are pushing religion like heroin in their ad campaigns…   again, shameless demagogy…

save our future– keep religion out of our schools.  and fight demagogy with demagogy…  maybe then the south shall finally rise again….

today our christian friends are celebrating the birth of their lord, the demi-god jesus.  a fictional and mythical figure who happens to share the birthdate of another mythical figure before him, mithras, who is no stranger to those of us who grew up with “conan the barbarian”… apparently because both jesus and mithras are capricorns, their mythologies and mythical arcs are extremely similar, as i explained in this blog about a year ago

the only jesus whose existence i can truly attest to is a mexican barback i know in brooklyn…  born in guadalajara (or was it colima?), and definitely not a capricorn, he is truly a wise man, like his fictional namesake…

he essentially embodies all the collective wisdom of mexican barbacks in one tiny and wiry body.  ask him about any of your woes, from the shiner you had two tequila shots ago, thanks to the misunderstanding (or was it miscommunication?) you had with the over-excited frat boys flooding brooklyn bars these days, to the hangover you’re sure you’ll have the next morning or your performance anxiety (thanks to the said tequila shots’ negative effect on the physical manifestation of your drunk libido) with the honey (who is sure to feel like tabasco the next afternoon when you wake up next to her snoring ass) you just met and told that you have ten finished manuscripts and are a misunderstood genius with daddy issues, he has the solution: “caldo de pollo, man.  it is good for you.  mucho cilantro, si?”…

the jesus i know is also known to deal in a little weed and colombian marching powder on the side, but i cannot personally attest to this rumor…  but, at least, he is also known to get you high and alter your mind like his mythical and fictional namesake before him…  since they’re not both capricorns, the reason of the similarity must be in their mutual name…

disclaimer for my loved ones: naturally i am reporting the wisdom i overheard jesus the mexican barback dispose to other patrons, not me…

getting back to the point, since it is the birthday of the mythical jesus (the new and improved version of mithras), i thought it is high time i explained his underlying myth to my readers.  there is already a “christianity for dummies” written thousands of years ago for the believers– it is called “the bible”…  i thought i should type away something for the rest of us…

“the bible”, as we should all know, is actually two separate books, written a couple of thousand years apart– the old testament, aka the hebrew bible, apparently mostly penned by mosey moses (though, according to revisionist religious scholarship, is written many centuries after mosey moses kicked the bucket), and its sequel, “the new testament” or “the new covenant”, written at least a thousand years later, based on the testimonies about the lives and times of jesus christ of nazareth (“JC” hereinafter, the mythical demi-deity whose birthday our christian friends are celebrating today), allegedly narrated by a select group of his apostles (from greek apóstolos, meaning “one who is sent away”, or in modern terms “groupies” or “fanboys”), who died a few hundred years before their narratives were penned down by unknown scribes…

collectively, these two books are known as the “christian bible”, whereas the first installment is also known as the “hebrew bible”, the users’ manual of judaism…

naturally, despite the fond belief of many american christians that jesus and his groupies spoke fluent english, the first installment was written in hebrew and the sequel in greek…  the english version is a loose (and very political) translation made in the time of a certain english monarch named king james I.  hence it is known as the “authorized king james version/ bible” (hereinafter “KJV”)…

king james, of course, to make sure his subjects did not get any stupid ideas, made sure the translation conformed to the teachings of the church of england with an absolute respect to the monarchy.  and most modern christians are stuck with his “authorized” version…

at this juncture, i think it is essential that we define what a christian is: throughout most of the world, christianity consists of three major sub-groups: catholics, protestants and orthodoxes with many other spin-off groups and cells…  throughout most of the the good ole US of A, catholics and orthodox folks are not considered “christians”– catholicism and the orthodox church are considered to be separate religions…   if you ask any good american christian, they’ll say only protestants are true christians…  it is a very american thing…

the main distinction between the protestants and the catholics come from mary, the biblical momma of JC, not to be confused with mary magdalene, the infamous escort (or “call-girl” for the lack of a more appropriate term) of galilee, or the original groupie, JC’s lady friend.  catholics and the orthodox see mary the momma as a demi-deity whereas the protestants wouldn’t have none of that feminist shit: mary was only the momma, nothing more, nothing less…

it is ironic to note that the mary worshippers, as known to many american protestants, happen to be the most macho and chauvinistic of all christian sub-groups, evident with their high concentration in italy, spain and most of central and south america.  whereas, the protestants, aka “mary deniers”, are a much, much less macho culture with highly respected evolved sensibilities, as is apparent in most of the protestant world, from the good ole US of A to the simply ole England– go figure…

anyways, the whole backstory of JC and his group is explained in the old testament, from our creation to our fall, and the life and times of JC in the new testament.  so let’s get back to the bible…

a caveat though– the bible is a filthy pornographic book.  it includes many perverse adult situations as well as assorted pedophilia and  bestiality.   therefore, taking a cue from king james’ translators, we will use gentler terms more appropriate for this blog while trying to shed light to this filthy book of perversion.  hence, we will use the below “approved” biblical glossary.

glossary:

knew: fucked

known: fucked

lay: fucked

laid: fucked

flesh: dick, or pussy, depending on the context

nakedness: dick

begat: procreated, or had offspring

just replace the biblical term with its modern equivalent and you’ll get the picture.  for instance, when you see “know”, just replace it with “fuck”– as in “men know livestock and wild animals like fervent bunnies”…

so, according to ole mosey moses, everything starts with genesis, the first book of the hebrew bible, which both the fundamental christians and jews take at face value (the same cannot be said for all chapters of the hebrew bible– christians like to pick and choose what they like from the rest of the book– a good case to point is the leviticus, with all that silly pork and shellfish stuff)…

genesis loosely goes like this:

1. roughly about 4,000 years ago, yahweh, the deity of judaism and christianity, creates the world and the universe we know in 6 days, and then rests on the 7th– which is the sabbath– depending on your allegiance, it may fall on friday, saturday or sunday, the good ole day of rest;

2. yahweh then gets lonely and creates the “man” from dust to dick around with and calls him “adam”;

3. designs adam as a completely loyal buddy with no freewill or anything, the perfect pet;

4. seeing adam, his loyal pet, is lonely, puts him to sleep, surgically removes one of his ribs while he is under, and creates a lady friend for him from this sparerib– the lady friend is named “eve”;

5. yahweh of course, requires complete loyalty from eve as well, so he reiterates his orders– “do not eat from the tree of knowledge, you may get some silly ideas”– hence the modern term “heaven forbid”;

6. the two pets, naked as jaybirds, know each other like fervent bunnies in the garden of eden and name their first litter cain and abel;

7. in the interim, a talking and walking snake enters the story and dupes eve to eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge, who, in return, has her husband adam eat the forbidden fruit as well;

8. yahweh is pissed off big time– his pets start getting ideas– so he banishes them from heaven, curses eve to bear children in pain, to desire her husband adam, and to be ruled by her husband- creating the central casting version of the obedient and submissive wife;

9. yahweh is not easy on the talking walking snake as well– he curses the snake to crawl on his belly from this point on and to eat dirt and to live as the enemy of humans– this is why snakes bite and poison us;

10. adam and eve continue knowing each other like fervent bunnies– they begat and begat like there is no tomorrow;

11. yahweh also takes on fashion design at this point, figuring out he should not banish his once-loyal pets naked– not impressed with the fig leaves eve fashioned for adam and her, yahweh creates a new fabulous clothing line for them;

12. cain becomes a farmer and abel a shepherd– but yahweh plays favorites with abel, liking his offspring more than his brother’s, which makes cain jealous, and he promptly kills abel and, yes, you guessed it, is cursed by yahweh– this time to wander around and be an unsuccessful farmer;

13. the first family, adam, eve and their offspring, all live around 900 years or so each, and begat many an offspring, knowing one and each other like fervent bunnies;

14. here, the story gets a little murky– adam and eve begat cain, abel and later seth and many other offspring, who in return begat tons of offspring– but who they copulate with is a little murky– the only logical answer is hardcore incest– the male offspring either had to know their mother (hence the original mofo’s) and their female siblings;

15. so we come from this incestuous first family, who knew each other fervently like bunnies many times over;

16. their numbers multiply and they become unruly– when their siblings and mothers are not enough, they know, known, knew, lay and laid livestock and other wild animals fervently like bunnies and engage in other perversions;

17. yahweh tries to establish order through many messengers, curses and fierce violence– killing and maiming tons, etc;

18. when yahweh figures out order is hopeless and that he fucked up the first batch, he decides to kill ’em all and tells his loyal servant noah to build an ark to save the righteous ones and enters into a eternally binding contract with noah & co, learning from his mistakes of the past, not having contracts with his creations before– this is the first covenant;

19. noah, with his sons shem, ham and jaspeth takes on the task with diligence– they build an ark of 137 meters length, a width of 23 meters and a height of 14 meters and they place one single window for clean air on the top of their vessel, roughly about 1 meter by 1 meter– the ark is much smaller than many russian oligarchs’ yachts;

20. then, on yahweh’s instructions, noah and his sons stuff in 7 pairs of all clean animals (including birds) and one pair of unclean animals into their tidy ark– naturally they don’t need to bother with fish, but i guess noah & sons had to cut a few corners given the size of the ark and that is probably why the dinosaurs and mammoths vanished;

21. then it rains for 40 days and 40 nights, flooding the world, killing everything and everyone, other than those on the ark (and the fish);

22. noah & family, as well as the animals they stuffed into their ark, cruise for at least 150 days, and they finally reach dry earth on mount ararat– that ark must have been really stuffy with hundreds of thousand animals and one tiny window for fresh air, but they somehow survive;

23. yahweh is pleased with his work and blesses noah & sons to be fertile and increase like bunnies– so, taking a cue from adam and eve before them, they start knowing one and other incestuously like fervent bunnies;

24. but then ham goes and fucks it all up– one day noah gets drunk on wine and passes out– at that time he is hundreds of years old– while he is passed out, his nakedness springs out off his clothes like a jack-in-the-box– religious scholars are still debating whether the nakedness was erect or flaccid, but that is besides the point– ham stares at his father’s nakedness and tells his brothers– “hey, dad’s nakedness is hanging out”– shem and jaspeth cover their dad’s dick up, not making eye contact with his flaccid (or erect) nakedness;

25. but ham, because he stared at his father’s nakedness, is cursed indirectly by noah–  noah prays to yahweh that ham’s son canaan is to become the lowest of slaves to japheth and shem, and jaspeth to become larger– i am at a loss with “larger” here, but am guessing jaspeth’s nakedness was not as big as his papa and his brothers’ nakednesses, so noah asked yahweh to make jaspeth’s nakedness larger;

26. yahweh accepts noah’s curse and makes canaan’s offspring the slaves of his uncles shem and jaspeth;

27. canaan moves to africa and his offspring become the africans– hence the religious justification for black slavery (of course whoever wrote the hebrew bible was not much traveled and knowledgeable– he simply ignored to explain the rainbow of other races like brown, yellow, red and french– knowledge and an inquisitive mind is never the strong suit of believers);

28. the noah family reproduces like fervent bunnies with each other, begat tons of offspring and the offspring becomes unruly once again– knowing their children, their mothers and fathers, other same-gender offspring, assorted livestock and wild animals and are punished multiple times by yahweh through unbelievable viciousness, violence and torture, completely destroying city after city, annihilating people after people– the bible is very explicit about the mischief humans engage in– a sample list is as follows:

a. man know women, including the wives of other men, their mothers, sisters, daughters, etc like fervent bunnies;

b. man know other man like fervent bunnies;

c. women know other women like fervent bunnies;

d. men know children, including their own daughters and sons, like fervent bunnies;

e. women know children, including their own daughters and sons, like fervent bunnies;

f. women know livestock and wild animals like fervent bunnies;

g. men know livestock and wild animals like fervent bunnies;

h. brothers and sisters know each other like fervent bunnies;

i. men and women begat and begat litters of illegitimate offspring; etc, etc…

29. once again realizing he fucked up, yahweh enters into another covenant with mosey moses and his people, declaring them his chosen people, and sends the 10 commandments, resulting in thousands of years of persecution of his chosen people;

30. rest of the old testament is an explanation of this covenant and how one should act to protect himself from the wrath of yahweh…

this pretty much concludes our synopsis of the old testament. and now we move on to the new testament, as reported by JC’s groupies and fanboys centuries after their death:

31. about a few millennia later, yahweh realizes he fucked up once again– seeing how his creations have resumed knowing their children, their mothers and fathers, other same-gender offspring, assorted livestock and wild animals.  so, he sends his only son JC to earth to restore order;

32. because it would be suspicious to send JC to earth as a grown man, yahweh knows mary the momma in her sleep, living her virginity intact, and JC is born on december 25, 0000 through immaculate conception;

33. JC lives only 33 years, a short lifespan compared to the old testament figures (i guess the story had to be made more believable in the comparatively modern times of the new testament scribes);

34. JC starts off with judaism as a rabbi, but is then baptized by a schizophrenic aptly named john the baptist and starts preaching his dad’s true teachings;

35. JC attracts lots of groupies and fanboys, including mary magdalene, the escort of galilee, and matthew, mark, john, judas iscariot, etc, and performs many a miracle like walking on water and healing the dead;

36. JC becomes sort of a rock star in galilee and the romans and hebrews don’t like it so they decide to kill him and end his shenanigans;

37. JC’s fanboy judas iscariot the redhead snitches on him to the romans– therefore the redheads get a bad rap for centuries to come and are persecuted everywhere throughout history;

38. before he is arrested by the romans, JC throws a dinner party and instructs his fanboys to eat bread as his flesh and drink wine as his blood;

39. the morning after the dinner party, presumably with a hangover that could have been easily cured by jesus the mexican barbacks caldo de pollo with mucho cilantro, JC is arrested, tortured and crucified;

40. suffering on his crucifix, JC rightfully asks his daddy yahweh “why he had forsaken him” and left him to die torturously; and, despite his miraculous powers such as healing the dead and walking on water, he simply cannot free himself from his predicament;

41. eventually he dies on the crucifix, is taken down by his groupies and placed in a cave and three days later his cadaver comes back to life, or is resurrected, and then he says he’ll come back 2,000 years later and vanishes off to the sunset, whistling besame mucho (or, according to dan brown, he vanishes off to the sunset with mary magdalene, the escort of galilee, whistling besame mucho, and relocate in southern france, presumably starting a family and a bakery, living happily ever after);

42. his groupies and fanboys spread all around the world, telling tall tales and testifying of JC’s exemplary life and miracles, recruiting more christians;

43. most of the said fanboys and groupies end up in violent deaths, and judas iscariot the redhead hangs himself in shame;

44. hundreds of years after the groupies are dead, a group of anonymous scribes record their testimonies, finishing the first draft of the new testament and polishing up JC’s story; and

45. according to this new testament, today, december 25, which also happens to be mithras’ birthday, is JC’s birthday, and his crucifixion is celebrated by a christian festival called easter, which happens to have similar traditions and falls on the same dates as the jewish passover…

this, boys and girls, is the story of our creation according to judaism and christianity, and the life and times of jesus of nazareth, the myth (not to be confused with jesus the mexican barback of brooklyn)…

islam, on the other hand, repeats most of this myth, including the JC story.  but argues that yahweh fucked up once more with JC and JC was not a true god, but only a messenger, and mohammed is the last messenger sent to clean up yahweh’s mess…

so, most of monotheist teachings agree on creation and the first 3,000 years.  of course, it never made sense to call christianity, may it be the protestant, catholic or orthodox churches, monotheist– especially the protestants, who see JC as god, or the lord.  mono, after all, means “singular”…  seems to me there are way too many swinging dicks up in the christian heaven to qualify it as monotheist.

i don’t know about you, but this creation story is slightly less acceptable to me then the theory of evolution that our religious friends dismiss as hogwash…  they find it easier to believe that man is created from dust, the sparerib and the talking/ walking snake theory that expediently created us 4,000 quick years ago than the scientific evolution theory, that took billions of years to happen…

but who am i to argue?  you simply can’t argue with a believer.  after all, “god moves in mysterious ways” is enough of an explanation for ’em no matter how implausible the story is…

let them believe that god created the entire infinite universe only for life on earth, not even a tiny spec of dust in the bigger scheme of things, and the universe and earth is only 4,000 years old.

let them also believe that they come from the incestuous fucking of adam, eve and their offspring…  though this one is a little hard to swallow for our religious friends as well– most would find it scandalous and shameful if you approach them with the literal reading of the genesis– instead they prefer to buy into revisionist religious doctrine to explain the incest– wherein yahweh created many other unrelated females for adam and his male offspring to fuck.   it is funny how they take some parts on face value and revise others as it suits them.  but, that there is belief for you….

thanks to the old testament, we also know how the dinosaurs became extinct or how the people separated into different races and colors.  of course whoever wrote the hebrew bible was not much traveled and knowledgeable– he focused only on white and black, explaining the black race and their justified slavery through ham committing the mortal sin of his staring at his dad’s flaccid (or erect– the jury is still out on that one) dick.  he simply ignored to explain the rainbow of other races like brown, yellow, red and french– knowledge and an inquisitive mind is never the strong suit of believers.

i always suspected that this “oops, we forgot about all the other races and people” part was one of the primary reasons why christians promptly destroyed any non-christian knowledge they can find after their conversion, including the burning of the library of alexandria.  by destroying historical human knowledge, they protected their version of history and creation…

and, of course, they believe that the talking/ walking snake, who is cursed to crawl and eat dirt, was the devil- mr. lucifer himself.  they believe he planted seeds of doubt (and inquisition) in the minds of adam and eve, and continue to do so, by tempting us to freethinking and ideas…  an inquisitive and free mind simply won’t stand with believers…

of course there are alternative theories on how lucifer, or the talking/ walking snake, operates.  my favorite, and the most logical explanation of religious doctrine, comes from the manicheans.  you see, the manicheans, and many other similar groups, believed that god created everything.  but they did not believe in a wrathful, capricious god who wanted to be worshipped and praised every second.  they also believed that the creator did not need to send its creations, ie. the humans, life’s users’ manuals and messengers to explain them how they should live their lives righteously.

they believe, instead, the devil, to corrupt god’s creations and diverge them from the true path, gave them religions..  they believed the religions are evil and distract people from godliness and righteousness.  they believe religions sow the seeds of hate in humans and we have thousands of history to back this theory up: would the inquisitions, the holocaust, 9/11, the crusades, and anti-semitism happened if there was no religion?  the answer is obvious.  ergo, religions must be the work of the devil.

many, naturally, were burned on the stake or persecuted because of this logical theory.  last major persecution because of this theory was salman rushdie’s because of “satanic verses”: a book explaining islam in manicheans terms…

manichaeism, if one believes in a creator, makes perfect sense: instead of a creator who constantly fucks up and has to go back to the drawing board each time, it establishes a very logical alternate theory with a cool and confident creator and an evil nemesis who knows the humans’ weaknesses all too well…  the god of monotheistic religions, after all, is extremely insecure, capricious and jealous…   yahweh of the bible simply does not fit in to the job description of an almighty creator…

that is if you believe in a creator of course.  if you don’t, then no need for justification…  if you’re an atheist or an agnostic, you are already at peace with yourself and a better and more moral person by definition…

there is, of course, a very good philosophical case to be made for being an agnostic.  after all, it is next to impossible to prove the existence of a negative– ie. a creator does not exist.  but, it is very easy to philosophically (and logically) explain why all religions are prime, unadulterated bullshit..  hence, being an agnostic is a logically more educated choice than being an atheist…

but, no matter how you slice and dice it, being an agnostic or an atheist makes you a better, more moral person– you’re not corrupted by the filth and perversions of the bible and you don’t find justification for your hate in its pages and the teachings of its messengers.  the only hateful people i know are hardcore believers.  and don’t give me the bullshit about hitler being an atheist– he simply wasn’t..  if you want to send the invoice for his actions, send it to roman catholics…

so, there we go boys and girls– here is the pisses.me christmas special, explaining the myth of creation and the life and times of JC…

this being christmas and all, we naturally focused on christianity.  besides, it is the only safe religion to poke fun at in our politically correct age.  any criticism of judaism, in our day and age, is labeled anti-semitism and you can only criticize islam when it comes to jihad– otherwise it is not PC, especially among the modern day “freethinkers” and “liberals”– it is so sad that the flags of freethinking and liberalism are carried by modern thought nazis in this day and age.   fortunately christianity is still safe to fuck with though– like rednecks…  everything else is off-limits subject to very narrow exceptions…

what did we learn today?  we learned about men’s creation from dust, women’s creation from the man’s sparerib, the talking/ walking snake and noah’s dick.  we also shed light on the extinction of dinosaurs.  now we should be clearer about the roots and doctrines of christianity and be armed with a decent synopsis of the bible.

of course there are good morals in the bible.  but those are natural morals– inherit in humanity, hardwired to our moral compasses.  like jefferson before us, with his famous bible, we don’t need to swallow pages and pages of bullshit to learn the morals.

and, if you find the bible to be a hard and intolerable read with revolting perversions, i suggest, as an alternative, “one hundred years of solitude” by marques– it is a better book of genesis, with jose arcadio buendia cast as adam, ursula as eve, and macondo as the “earth” where they are banished to.  there is also a flood.  trust me, it makes more sense than the bible’s version of genesis.

anyways, this concludes our christmas special for 2011.  if the world doesn’t end in december 2012 as mayans concluded, we will pick up where we left from next christmas.

hope you enjoyed it…

this will make sense mostly to NYC denizens, sorry…

just saw this ungodly abominations the other day.   genetic testing on subway cars.   old D-R subway cars interbred with A-C cars by the unethical hands of a mad MTA scientist.  DR chromosomes mixed up with AC results in this freak of rails.

subway genomes, kawasaki car DNA helixes, where will the buck stop?  we need a new geneva convention on human experiments custom designed for subway cars.  this needs to stop.

call up your rabid preachers, vicious republican representatives, religious groups, etc and petition the president to stop genetic experiments on subway cars.  your protests and self-righteous evangelical dogma worked for stopping stem-cell research, which would have had scientists play god and mess with _____’s (insert the name of the deity of your choice: yahweh, allah, zeus, keith richards, whatever) intelligent design only for the paltry ends of curing cancer, epilepsy, spinal injuries, blah blah– it should also work for genetic tests on subway.

go, pen up and write your petitions!

ah, the media is full of photos of north koreans mourning kim jong il, or, as that late rascal jesse helms used to call him, kim jong 2, mixing up his roman numerals with korean names, later ascending him to kim jong the third– ole jesse was not one to let knowledge and intelligence get in the way  of good demagogy.  oh, how i miss ole jesse but enough on him already– besides, hitchens, who i am really mourning, already told the kim jong the third story much better than i can….

i think i’ll miss kim jong il as well.  like i miss dubya.  when 0le kim died, my first comment on facebook was “the international relations and global politics lost its nabakovian humor, amisian slapstick and kubrickian political leadership… rest as the MC of hell mr. kim jong-il!” and i stand-by my original comment.  he was the 21st century version of chaplin’s immortal adenoid hynkel, in flesh.  team america did him justice, transposing him to ole hynkel with less chaplin grace, but decent humor…

let’s face it– we’ll always have tyrants.  it is a natural byproduct of being human.  we don’t have tyrants, we’re not human anymore. same for psychopaths, same for greedy motherfuckers who suck out and dispose of all our resources, etc.  i love lennon as much as anyone, nonetheless “imagine” was nothing but unfettered utopia and gets on my nerves each time i listen to it– “imagine all the people living life in peace”– my ass..  what he calls for is nothing but the end of being human– without the bad we can’t have good, sans hate, no love…  good ole yin and yang…  it is the human nature.  c’est la vie…

humor is what gets us through that whole process of life.  when we lose our humor, take everything too seriously, this earth becomes hell.  pure and simple…

that’s why we need to laugh at our tyrants.  and some make it too easy– like kim jong il, or like dubya and his sugardaddy cheney before him.  if all tyrants were like mugabe, zuma, milosevic or ________ (fill-in the blank with your favorite dictator without anything to poke fun at- north, south, east, west, past, present doesn’t matter), our collective sanity would be in jeopardy.  hence political parodies, hence saddam on SNL, hence ole kim in “team america”…  chaplin, of course, was the granddady of it all, like rabelais before him, with his political satires…

and that’s precisely why i’ll miss kim jong il…

now, back to the mourning part of this rant– the media prints the photos of north koreans mourning, like the one below.  of course then they say “it is all crocodile tears and the photos are nothing but propaganda”…

tell you what: i really believe they’re sincerely mourning.  they’re mourning because now they’ll have to housebreak a new tyrant, junior… kim jong-un (or, kim jong one, if ole jesse helms was alive, with his southern drawl, he would have called him, like his young ‘uns)  just when they got used to living with one devil, as much as you can get used to living with one, now they’ll have to start all over again.

i am mourning for them north koreans as well…   and nothing i can do for them.  but, at least for the collective sanity of the rest of us, hope junior proves to be as eccentric and nuts as his daddy before him…  and i sincerely hope we don’t get stuck with a reversed bush, sr and dubya situation…  hope it is dubya and dubya junior…

keep mourning north koreans and my sincerest wishes for more power to you… you’re starting over like you did 63 years ago, again with a puppy tyrant, on his way to becoming the supreme leader…

…a puppy tyrant hellbent on proving himself is always much worse than a lazy old fat tyrant…

finance-investment types and techies are going gaga with facebook’s brand spanking new NYC engineering operation and cornell’s new science school in roosevelt island…  not a day passes without the “silicone alley” is chanted all over the wires…

when the facebook center was announced, according to bloomberg news some facebook talking head said “New York has a strong history of innovation and is home to thousands of talented technical people, and we want them to help us solve the challenges of designing and building the next generation of Facebook” and, bloomberg himself said, according to the times “We want the next Facebook to start here the world’s No. 1 hub for information technology and social media”, noting the increase in tech investment and employment in NYC…

the reason ain’t “innovation”.  the reason is simple: NYC is cool, silicone valley (or silicone hills- whatever happened to austin?) ain’t…

and the driving force is the transformation of techies.  techies are finally conforming to the central casting’s description of hackers. it took about 20 years for the actual techies to catch-up with their hollywood images but they finally did.  and now they don’t want to live in ranch style adobes or hacienda style apartment buildings on the edge of the dessert with occasional pilgrimages to san francisco.  they want to live in lofts in the city.  they want vibrant nightlife, to use a cliche, not lame start-up parties where you’ll have to worry about driving afterwards.

the techies are getting hip, as in hipster, five years after gap caught up with hipsterism…

gone are the days of nerd geniuses of the valley and indian workhorses of coding centers.  the nerd geniuses simply cannot relate to social media and web 2.0 (let alone 3.0) and the indians are happy in jersey, virginia, kansas or academia, building their LANs, typing their codes away…

now is the time of the techie on spotify.  granted, they’re still in their earlier stages of evolution, still thinking the strokes are cool, but they’re getting there (if you don’t believe me check the spotify list of a programmer friend)…  some even discovered moby– the moby who even forgot himself.

they dress up like their williamsburg cousins, circa 2005 (ie. urban outfitters, ben sherman, thrift shops and other assorted cool stores of the decade past and the target’s and gap’s of today) and get drunk to obscure brooklyn rock bands in east village dives, or get googly eyed in the presence of their holly dj’s.  hell, some are even forming obscure rock bands or dj’ing themselves…

and they want to get laid.  not dream about getting laid, mind you, but actually aspire to get laid…  pre-marital sex is in the realm of possibilities for techies now…

you simply can’t retain this new techies in the valley.  they’re the techie 2.0s.  they need to be in NYC…  hence the shift…  RIP the valley..  trust me, it is a good thing– we need more techie 2.0s…

time to confess- i hate conceptual art.  performance art chokes me.  there.  it is the truth.

and i believe it is time we jailbreak art from the deep confines galleries, dealers and critics are keeping it.

art is no longer in the hands of artists– artists are a commodity manipulated by their brokers in chelsea, soho, basel, armory, wherever…  insider trading, stock manipulation, short-sells, fraudulent investment instruments and other assorted deceit is more rampant in the art market than any other stock market.  the art world needs its own rule 10b-5.

the dealers, gallery owners and the critics are the gordon gekko’s of the art world.  and the artists, especially contemporary artists are its bluestar airlines…

bear in mind, i am making the analogy between the artist and the bluestar airlines– not the actual pieces of art and bluestar.   art is not the commodity anymore– even that was somewhat noble.  artists are the commodity in 21st century art.

and it is a major industry.  when we talk about the “art market”, we are really talking about a high dollars and high stakes industry.

nowhere the deceit is more obvious than conceptual and performance art…

take this week’s times for instance– there is a puff piece, i am sure considered to be serious art criticism to be taken to the bank by most times readers, on the MOMA retrospective of sanja ivekovic.  a conceptual and performance artist.  samples of her work “sweet violence” makes me wanna puke in anger…

art is not art, or should not be art, when you need to read three paragraphs of very smal print to “get it”.  i sincerely believe this.

unfortunately conceptual and performance art comes with a verbal explanation thicker and more dense than most cellphone user’s manuals.  that’s the only way it makes sense.  that ain’t right…

and art doesn’t have to make sense.  it needs to move.  it may please you, it may piss you off.  but it moves you.  conceptual art will not move you without reading the user’s manual…

art doesn’t have to be a statement, but sometimes it is.  it can be for its sake or the greater good.  i don’t give a flying fuck either way.  but i shouldn’t need to read a treatise to “get it”…  if i can’t get it by seeing or experiencing it, it ain’t art…

“those who can’t do teach” goes the old cliche.  they teach and preach about the very thing they can’t do…  same with conceptual and performance artists: those who can’t do become conceptual and performance artists…

conceptual and performance artists are no different than professor and lecturers: they preach and tirade about what they simply can’t do.  narrate the thing they don’t have the tools, skills or creativity to express as art…

akin to a bad literature teacher, they ruin art for us…  i had my share of bad literature teachers (though i had a few who were amazing)…  couple of them managed to ruin poetry for me, by dissecting beautiful poems they really did not get according to the textbook dissection charts…  monotonously chanting essays about each and every word of the poem instead of letting each one of us feel its music, its movement…

that’s precisely what conceptual and performance artists are doing right now and thanks to the stockbrokers of the art world, its late night tv sellers, we eat it all up…

a hit is a hit and a piece of shit is a piece of shit.  no longer true.  if a piece of shit has a good power dealer behind it, it becomes the next big thing, selling for millions.  as if warhol wasn’t bad enough..  enough already.

yeah, hate me if you must, but my summons are addressed to the grave of warhol– pollock and rothko contributed but warhol was the one who pulled the trigger and should be tried for crimes against humanity posthumously…  he rolled downhill the snowball which became this tragic avalanche, transforming the dipshit artist wannabe with charisma to the commodity it is today– a sick cult of personality…

that’s why i only respect so few modern day artists and that is why conceptual and performance art chokes me.  that’s why i like outsider and street art.  simply because they’re outsiders, not in the machine yet.  that’s why i like banksy, even though the stockbrokers of the art market are trying to transform his ass to a commodity as well– and they’re about to succeed.

that’s why “exit through the giftshop” and “f is for fake” makes so much sense to me, summarizing what i just ranted about clearly and concisely, outing the artist as a commodity and the cults of personality…

time to say a big fuck you to all those conceptual and performance artists with their teary, soulful eyes, their exemplary and trying life stories, their fake political correctness, or, worse, if that is the trend that rocks their boat, their pseudo political un-correctness…  and their bullshit statements and tirades about the things they can’t express without subtitles and treatises…

they sense and know what is sellable and they package and offer it without any substance or any shame…  then an art stockbroker takes them under her wings and tells them what else is sellable…  or whether they should continue recycling the same bullshit…  with critics and monographs and A-4 sized descriptive labels tagged to their works, telling us what we should feel, sense or understand in the presence of this particular piece of shit…

time to jailbreak art from its confines.  time to take it out of basel, armory and the late, late nights of cocaine and piss-weak-vodka laced modern day studio 54s, and unleash it on humanity once again…

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