Nineteen Reasons (Part 2)

Nineteen Reasons Why… Enough is Enough! (Part II)

In case you missed it, gird yourself and read Part I first.

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Reason No. 11: Enough with complaining about school quality.

Man, with all the money out there for other stuff… No I do NOT mean “defense spending,” I mean money spent on making crappy movies (“$40 million spent on that?”), money spent on advertising next year’s garbage, money spent on nothing but BS. Well, instead of spending on useless crap put out by successful people who didn’t even bother with higher education, a decent education might be afforded. Then again, those with the money don’t send their kids to public schools — that includes Democrats and Republicans. So what’s the point in spending on public schools anyway? As far as what’s being taught: who cares, knowledge has no practical value, right? Just ask the wealthy drug dealer down the street, the cop from #15 above, or your friendly neighborhood rock star.

Reasons No. 10 and No. 9: Enough with anarchy already!

Who in the world gave the “OK” to not waiting your turn? Hey, it is NOT acceptable to ask a clerk a question while he/she is waiting on me. And what’s with the indignant look when I get on your case for YOUR violation of a social norm? Frikkin’ people.

Enough with line-breaking. Probably the most important rule in my day-to-day life that I follow is that I wait my place in line. “Line anarchy” brings my hate, already high, to an incredible boil. What on earth would have anyone think that cutting in line is acceptable behavior? Good grief.

Reason No. 8: Enough with the strollers

Hey, if you want to have kids and can take care of ’em, go for it! But fer gosh sakes, leave the friggin’ strollers at home when you’re shopping. Damn you, I need to get by and YOU are creating a genuine hazard by blocking the aisle with your damned stroller. And while we’re at it, what the hell is up with blocking the entire flight of stairs while you figure out how to get the stroller down ’em? That’s what the damned elevator is for, imbecile! I am NOT being mean, I am being HONEST and DECENT. It is a CRIME AGAINST CIVILITY to inflict your stroller on my life. Believe it or not, YOU made the choice and therefore YOU should be getting out of my way. You DO NOT have as much right to the sidewalk as do I since I am now forced to go around you; you and your brat are an obstacle, a hindrance, a menace. Now take the damn kid home, hire a babysitter and go shopping. Sheesh, ever heard of common sense? Obviously not.

Reason No. 7: Enough with shopping at “Bricks and Mortar” establishments.

Can someone tell me a good reason to purchase from anywhere other than online or at K-Mart (during a slow month)? I predict the first decade of the 21st century will spell the death of retailing as we know it. That is, retailing as invented by Mr. F.W. Woolworth at the turn of the last century. Stores (actual physical stores) cannot compete with the overwhelming convenience of Web sales. First of all, it’s the other shoppers. People really have gotten stupider. They don’t know how to walk the aisle, for one (see #8 above). Then the retarded clerks don’t put prices on things. Then the idiot people don’t have their payment method at the ready. And on top of that, there are these cretins who think nothing of asking the register clerks questions. Dude, the time to ask questions is while you are shopping, not after you’ve made your decision to purchase. Where do they learn this behavior? If the price isn’t posted, don’t buy it! And why is it these twinks get upset when the store clerk lacks the cognitive ability to make a decision? Dude, what kind of people are hired as store clerks? Rocket scientists? Don’t you know that you’ll only confuse them and make things worse? This extends to those pinheads who order food off the menu at restaurants. Dude, if it’s not on the menu, why should you expect something else? Then they get mad at the waiter… Ooh, boy, want to make the eating experience even worse: start questioning the waiter about how this or that is cooked… And then do the ultimate: change your order while he’s taking the next person’s. Hopefully, you’ll be banned for life from all restaurants. You know that stuff about how an “educated consumer is our best customer” — well it’s true. And if you want to know my secret: I apply Machiavelli to the consumer experience. I am not the worse for it, either. And building on No. 17 above, shopping online means less catalogs go out and that means less paper is used and less trees are killed.

Reason No. 6: Enough with television.

Ugh. My long-suffering wife threatened to take my Viking axe if I didn’t get cable TV hooked up. So even with the minimum selection ($19 a month) it’s still too much. Sure, she only watches Friends and NYPD Blue, but it’s not worth it. What makes for cutting-edge TV? Easy: anti-intellectualism, raunchy suggestion, “reality,” and aping the headlines. Bad acting helps, too. Man, the days of Petrocelli and Starsky And Hutch and Vegas are long gone. Too far gone, if you ask me. Then there’s the advertisements, a constant bombardment of broadcast excrement all over my sofa. And this time of year, the “holiday” season (“mom, I want a car for Kwanzaa!”), it’s the worst ever. I react violently to advertising since I see through the false image that’s being sold to me. Dude, get off my cloud, OK? And the talk shows, no one is intelligent, it’s just yelling, yelling and yelling, from all sides. Even the “documentaries” suck — well, the animal shows can be cool, if they didn’t have so damn many ads between segments. Forget it, books are the way to go for me, man. Graphics are better and they’re cheaper, too. And best of all, you can read ’em in the bathroom, try that in the TV room!

Reason No. 5: Enough with movies.

Other than LOTR, the only movie I saw at the theater this year was Solaris. I saw it for free and frankly I would’ve paid $15 a ticket to see it, ’twas that good. But, of course, whenever Hollywood really does something that good, it’s panned, misunderstood, hated and doesn’t make money. Come to think of it, if the movie really is that bad (Guy Ritchie’s Swept Away) the same thing happens. Though the Soderbergh Solaris will have its praises sung for years and years, and rightly so.

Wait, this is supposed to be “enough is enough…” OK, then, where the heck is the finished, full-blown John Carter on Mars movie series, already? For that matter, what’s the point in making new movies at all? It’s the same thing: sex, stupidity, unrealitiy, money. In any order. So Scorsese has this new Gangs of New York out. Big deal. I’ll get a couple of books on the subject and have a better time.

Oh, I did see a couple of good films on DVD this year. The Count of Monte Cristo was really good and the other one, oh, yeah, Nicole Kidman in The Others, nicely done gothic horror film; reminded me of a Basil Copper story. Can Hollywood survive on me renting DVDs, though? I don’t think so, so the crap mill continues. And I guess thanks to the crap mill, every now and then someone gambles a few bucks (in terms of Hollywood money, $1 million is “a few”) and pops out The Whole Wide World or Solaris or The Others. But it’s still not worth it since a lot of fine movies have been made over the years and my local video store has quite a selection. Wait, I saw Red Dragon, too. Sucked.

Reason No. 4: Enough is enough with new music.

Too many “bands” either cannot play their instruments well enough or they don’t know what they’re doing other than having the “look.” Well, I’ve seen that “look” for what’s closely approaching thirty years. And frankly real punk rock played loud is worth a bazillion of what the “look” is. The Ramones had both, and so did a lot of bands, but these days, when a mediocre band like The White Stripes — please! It has been done, better and for less money and for more fun many, many times over! — literally garners as much hype as The Beatles and perhaps as much money, both the injustice to The Ramones and the astounding stupidity of the entire pop music scene is too much. A few years ago I made a statement in a review of a Dickies record that every new band should cover one of their songs simply to get Leonard Graves Phillips out of his mother’s house. It hasn’t happened and that’s an outrage. Also, the competition is ridiculous. However much credence I give the class action suit against certain record companies for price-fixing of CDs, I maintain that the bands signed for staggering amounts of money (no matter how much they get ripped off in the end, either) have a duty to give money to the old school punks who made the music happen.

Add to that how utterly much nu-metal just bites the wax tadpole. Ugh, it’s unlistenable and since it’s “broke” for what, four years now, it’s all over the damned radio. Classic rock is dead, fine, but dude, I’d take it over the crap that’s flooded the airwaves. Oh, wait, the radio station I listen to plays stuff I like, lucky me…

And another thing, I’ve got enough music in my house already that I like. I don’t need any more. So I’m set for life, enough with new music. Disclaimer: I still get some stuff that I think I should review (namely the Jackass soundtrack). Though I honestly don’t see how I can be motivated enough to review almost anything unless it’s on a payola basis from now on.

Reason No. 3: Enough is Enough with reviewing music.

I’ve had enough. As Ian and Julio are aware, my reviews of new music (and old stuff re-packaged and re-released) have dwindled from sometimes fifty a month (circa 1997 or thereabouts) to what, ten this year? Well, here’s another:

Scorpions

Bad For Good: The Very Best of Scorpions

Hip-O

Fuck this. Hey, the Scorps are great, kind of tame, but great nevertheless. This comp sucks balls because they’ve left out the Virgin Killeralbum cover in the Scorpions’ album cover gallery. It’s an offensive album cover, yes, but leaving it out doesn’t change the fact that the Scorpions marketed a pedophiliac album to the public.

This album contains eighteen re-mastered (gosh!) hits, including “Big City Nights,” “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” and “No One Like You.”

Do yourself a favor and seek out The Scorpions’ full catalog at a garage sale or used record store rather than this compilation.

What a lousy review! Hey, the record deserves a lousy review for the reasons I’ve indicated, but I wasted a lot of time even thinking about it! Argh!

See, I’ve lost whatever passion I had for reviewing music. I used to hack out a lot of reviews, half the stuff I couldn’t stand but would write about anyway (something about “duty” to review what I’ve been sent, etc.). The rest of it I either really dug or thought I was supposed to dig. Well, I’m into two kinds of music these days: Epic Hollywood Metal and rap (ok, three, add stoner metal to that). The former I’ve reviewed my share of, and frankly, since even Manowar hasn’t broken the stranglehold nu-metal has on the US metal scene (to the scene’s utter ruin), I don’t really have much to be passionate about. It’s not like I’m going to see bands every weekend either. The latter, well, I listen to rap, I get into it (especially Eminem), but I do not feel compelled to write about it. I bet I could do a “service” were I to “explain” what it is about rap that I like, but I’d only do it for money, lots of money. ‘Coz it’s all about the Benjamins.

Reason No. 2: Enough is enough with seeing live music.

Go to a venue, get hassled by the front end — even if I’m on a guest list — get searched, then once you’re inside spend $20 or more on beer or soda and endure the next several hours. Once the show is over, get kicked out by the venue’s thugs. Repeat next week. I’ve had it. Maybe it’s the little clubs that simply do not have the good bands any more. And you know what? I do not want to see has-been frontmen trying to launch or sustain solo careers. I don’t want to endure hour after hour in a stinking, cramped club with waitresses bugging me to buy beer or the jerk next to me thinking it’s OK to pour beer on me or my long-suffering wife. And for what? A has-been who’s too old to rock and roll and too young to die? On that note, let me tell you this: if it’s too loud, you’re too old. It’s not too loud for me, but for a lot of my contemporaries, turning down the volume and the intensity and the violence is the direction they’ve gone — same with the artists. Disclaimer: I reserve the right to pay and see bands that I know rock. Right now, I’m looking forward to seeing Rob Halford on his next tour.

Reason No. 1: Enough with Music Journalism already!

What have you done for me lately? Well, not much because you’ve embraced nu-metal. So I don’t get invited to Christmas, er “Holiday” parties thrown by record companies. I haven’t been comped for a decent show in more than a year (the last one was Slayer, when I interviewed Kerry King) and I don’t care, you know that? It used to be that they’d beg me to see this or that band — and I’d go see ’em. And I’d write about ’em. And then, I’d see ’em again or whatever. Sure my output has diminished, but boy, I put out a lot for a while there. Oh, well, I finally sold a bunch of CDs and thus I’ve made some cash for my time…

Disclaimer, sort-of: Meeting and interviewing The Rezillos this year was the zenith of my career in music writing, ranking above hanging out with The Misfits, ranking above hanging with Pete Steele. And as such, it’s a good time to step back.

So, with this, I announce my official semi-retirement from music journalism. And that is enough.

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