Greetings from Stockholm
"Life without parole up state shackled and trapped Living in the hole, lookin' at the world through a crack"
Hidily ho quarantinos! Welcome to another episode of BSC Beyond Thunderdome. Since I last saw y’all, a few things have happened: I played a weird webcast show for riot fest’s Instagram that was fun, I think (if you watched, thanks so much!). Also, I’ve been feelin a little blue and stir crazy, and I therefore scrapped an entire issue of this here newsletter because I was so distracted writing it that I felt it was turning out kinda poorly, so I decided to start over. BUT, today I’m back and I’m trying Ringo...I’m trying real hard to write this even though this house is nothing but distractions.
The walls are really closing in up in this motherfucker, ya know? And if it wasn’t already enough of a funnyfarm in my house, now all these imbeciles are out in the world demanding to open up public spaces and shit like that’s gonna do anything but get people killed and render this whole quarantine process pointless. I mean, some lady is LITERALLY in righteous tears, gathering in public to protest her lack of access to a goddamned Baskin Robbins, but NOBODY is out there protesting the lack of access to testing and the kind of competent and fair governmental oversight that could lead to this pandemic actually ending. Real cool society we’ve got here. Also, the president said we should try putting bleach in our bodies, which, as my friend Matt pointed out yesterday, qualifies as a war crime if you do it to someone else. I know this is hardly the first time Trump has suggested that war crimes may be a good thing to try, but it’s disheartening anyway.
Today it’s raining and bleak in Chicago and I’m having one of those days where I just know I look like shit so I’m relentlessly ignoring the mirrors. None of this is putting me in a particularly bad mood, but it’s kind of a microcosm of the situation at large. The world is bleak and ugly and it’s easy make it about small annoyances that are easier to ignore.
Do you know, for example, why these mayors and governors want to open their states back up? It’s fucking dastardly shit, man. They want to do it because right now they’re on the hook to pay a dickton of unemployment to everyone who can’t work. Once the lockdown is no longer an official mandate, anyone not working is technically doing so on a voluntary basis, and therefore no longer eligible for unemployment. Pretty fucked up, right? But, it’s easier to look at the idiot boots-on-the-ground protesters and just ignore them, rather than take in the big, disgusting reality of the whole thing.
The other part of this is that the people who are ordering everyone back to work are, to the last, the power brokers and rich owners and so on. So “We need to open the economy back up because people need to get back to work” is an incomplete expression of the true directive. What these ghoulish dinguses are ACTUALLY saying is “We need to open the economy back up because these people need to get back to work for me to make more of my money for me.” Cool. Sounds reasonable to me. It’s easier to just not look in the mirror, if you get my drift.
So here are some things that are depressing or suck, in keeping with the times:
There’s no shame in being fat at all. In fact, I have several friends whose identities are so tied to being fat that they’re actively terrified of losing weight. That’s dope. I’m not talking about body positivity or the many splendored flower of human physicality or anything like that, man. I’m talking about how some days you just wake up, and for whatever reason, your face is all puffy and your pants are too tight and your shirt fits weird and you look at yourself and you go “Jesus fucking christ. What HAPPENED?”
Lots of times fat days come after a day of eating some real salty ass food, a bender of sorts or illness...but sometimes they just sneak up on you and you’re stuck like “Ah. Great. Fat day. Nice. I’m supposed to be going to see my handsome dentist today,” and it’s not fun. All you can really do is ignore it and lay off the pork rinds and get your hydration levels back to where they should be. These are also offset by skinny days, which are pretty cool, in that they make you feel like you’ve made some fitness progress you probably didn’t actually make. They’re a nice reward for nothing. But I’m not talkin skinny days, I’m talkin fat days here. As if they’re not bad enough, they’re often part and parcel with being sick, which blows enough as it is.
Speaking of that, I found out at the end of 2019 that I had been unwittingly battling pneumonia for months, and that shit made me just balloon. I was sleeping like 16 hours a day, I was barely eating and still I was just Stay-Puft marshmallow manning around like a motherfucker. At first I chalked it up to hangovers, and their subsequent fat days, but it was weird...really weird and happening so fast and for no good reason, and I didn’t know what was up or what to do.
One day I decided I had to start working out again, but I was so exhausted that I did literally ONE pushup and then passed out on the floor immediately and slept for 2 hours. My wife was like “what the fuck is wrong with you? You sleep all day, you look like shit, etc” and I said “uh...I dunno. Maybe I’m depressed?” and she said “do you feel depressed?” and I said “I guess I don’t know but I don’t THINK so. I think I’m just really really fucking tired all the time. I can’t explain the fatness though.” It just kinda went on like this, and, well, believe it or not, it ended up making me kinda depressed, tbh.
So this continued for weeks, and my band had to demo our songs for the new record (out this summer on Epitaph Records wherever music is sold or streamed!), and then immediately after that we had to play a series of hometown shows. Let me tell you what a GREAT feeling is: It’s knowing you look like a gross version of yourself, having no idea why, and having to get in front of a big roomful of people for three nights in a row and sweat. It’s the best. Nothing like random jackoffs you don’t know snarkily commenting on your appearance when you KNOW ALL ABOUT IT ALREADY, man. If you’ve never had the experience, highly recommended.
After fielding all sorts of questions and comments (the answers I offered were usually “yeah. I know. No. I don’t know what’s up. Yes. Yes I do look like shit. Thanks for reminding me. No, I can’t even eat hardly at all. It’s weird,”) the weekend of shows and being around people mercifully ended. That next day I slept til 530 PM, which I never ever ever do. At that point I realized something was terribly wrong and I went to an urgent care where they informed me that I was a couple of months into some seriously entrenched pneumonia.
Anyhoo, once I got on antibiotics shit turned around pretty quick. I still look like shit, but it’s not even close to how bad it was just a few months ago. I’m thankful to be on the other side of the hump and someday I’ll maybe even be beautiful for you all again. However, as the flowing-robes-and-avoiding-being-seen lifestyle already goes hand in hand with the quarantine lifestyle, I guess it’s all okay, ultimately. But this brings up my next thing that sucks…
People Who Think It’s Endearing To Insult You
I’m not sure if you all are familiar with this, but I am and it SUCKS. I’m no fancy behavioral psychiatrist, but in my experience this comes from two kinds of people: 1) people who are trying to fuck you and 2) people who think that because of what they think that they superficially know about your personality, that you’d somehow respond better to snarkiness than kindness.
Being insulted is just fucking rude. Anyone who insults you is an asshole by definition, and there’s really no way around this truth. Okay, so let’s start with the first category:
People who are trying to fuck you: There are a few variants on this, and they range from the girl who doesn’t want to seem like she’s coming on too strong so she kinda laughs at you and makes fun of your shirt or something to the Pick Up Artist style dipshit who ‘negs’ you in order to lower your self esteem to the point where you’d consider sleeping with some asshole wearing aviator goggles over a Jamiroquai hat. These are just different strains of insecurity manifested in dickish behavior, but in my life, these kinds of situations are fairly rare. What’s vastly more common is the other category:
“Hey asshole! Buy me a beer/Let me have your hat/fuck you/you’re fat/you’re ugly/you’re drunk/you’re not drunk enough/what’s up you stupid prick/well, if it isn’t this piece of shit/hey it’s that guy who thinks he’s funny/who can’t sing/who’s in that band I don’t give a shit about”….and on and on and on and on like this.
In WHAT fucking universe is insulting someone endearing? You think that being an asshole is gonna make them like you more? I understand the desire to skip the awkward part where you get to know someone and just jump right into the super familiar ball-busting-among-friends part, but the fact is, there’s a reason that the journey from “nice to meet you” to “hey fuckface” is so long, and if you’re the kinda person who doesn’t just inherently understand that, you’re a lame, abrasive, self-entitled dildo and there are no exceptions to this rule. I’m sorry. Yes. I mean you.
To use myself as an example, just because I rant on the internet and on records and some of you have listened to me bullshitting on some dumb podcast doesn’t mean that I know you back, and if I don’t know you, we aren’t involved in the kind of relationship where I have any interest in making the effort of converting your insults into affectionate ribbing in my mind. Just because I make self-deprecating comments doesn’t mean i wanna hear ‘em from you. Similarly just because my buddy bitches about his mom being an idiot, I’m not stupid enough to add my two cents to that conversation. Nobody wants to hear that shit, man. Nobody likes being insulted almost as much as no one likes my friend’s stupid ass idiot mom.
Also, and this is pretty crucial, if you’re the kind of person who thinks this kind of intro is a good idea for EITHER of the above two reasons, I don’t want to be your friend anyway, and I certainly don’t want to fuck you. In the words of a great man whose name escapes me, keep walkin’ pal.
Last thing I’ll say about this, and this is some obvious shit but I needed to have it spelled out overtly to me at some point (because I’m not good at thinking thoughts like this on my own), when someone insults you, and I mean a true insult, like where they belittle you for your appearance or your social status or your shoes or your family or friends or job or clothes or lifestyle or mental capacity….those are real insults. Calling someone a fuckup because they drunkenly crashed their car into the gas pumps at the Citgo at the end of the block isn’t insulting, it’s calling someone on their shit….but when someone truly insults you, it’s never actually about you. It’s always 100% about them. It’s about their own vanity, mortality, anxiety, shame, fear etc. Think about it. There is literally never a case when this isn’t true. It doesn’t make getting insulted less shitty, but it’s maybe a little good perspective to keep in mind. I know it helped me weather the storm when I felt sick and gross.
What else sucks?
When Motherfuckers Think that Something they Do is Interesting When it’s Not at All
I saw a clip from some reality show recently (I refuse to do any research about this, by the way, so I have no idea what it was called) and it was a bunch of classic hot blonde type women hanging out by a pool. Now, I could probably write a whole entry here about how much I hate when people, particularly women, are underestimated or presumed to be unintelligent due to their beauty. It’s a patently lame attitude to have, and one that has absolutely no correlative basis in any sort of reality. THAT BEING SAID, these particular women were some of the dumbest fuckin’ broads the world will ever hopefully produce.
The one asked the other if she had a favorite number and the other one was like “OH MY GOD! I HAVE THE BEST ANSWER FOR THIS!” Then she gets this look in her eye like she’s about to effortlessly snip the wires and defuse the bomb under the stadium, and says “eleven.”
The other women all freak the fuck out. It IS the best answer! Some of the reasons for it are that it’s made of two ones and everyone is a one if you think about it so two ones is like double the ones (I warned you), its name is poetic sounding, almost elvish (I warned you) and I can’t remember what else. But this woman was sitting there like she’d busted open the secret to cold fusion because her favorite number was eleven.
Now, I’m not suggesting that liking frivolous things is bad. Hell, almost everything I like is frivolous, but acting like you just enjoying something makes you some kinda taste guru is just dumb. You know who thinks they have the best taste? EVERYONE. That’s literally what taste is: your personal list of YOUR favorite shit. Oh, you love the most esoteric books and complex math rock noise bands and weird dark themed anime and therefore you’re superior to me? Well, turns out I think all that stuff sucks butts, so your taste is dogshit. I’m right too. Pissing contest over. I win. Get fucked.
The other day my kid slept in and was so proud of himself for it. “I mean, it’s ten thirty. Did you ever sleep til ten thirty when you were my age? I’m gonna call my friends and tell em all about this.” It’s KINDA cute and acceptable because he’s a kid, but there’s a large part of me that’s like “dude, it’s sleeping. Everyone does it. It’s fine to get a good night sleep, and even to enjoy it, but it’s not an achievement. I also get it that people do marvel at certain bodily functions: gigantic dumps, big loads, eating a lot...but yo, it’s SO RARE that any of that shit is interesting at all outside of the confines of literal pornography. I DEFINITELY don’t want to hear about any of this shit mostly ever. It’s being alive. That’s fine. It’s good. I actually enjoy all this stuff when I’m doing it, but it doesn’t make for much of a story.
When Motherfuckers Think Something Is Stupid Just Because It’s Not For Them
Here’s a little mental exercise: think about a video game or app where you have a little character and you “go shopping” for outfits and makeup and shoes and stuff and then when you’re done you can dress your character up and do their makeup. That’s pretty much the whole game (the game I’m basing this thought off of is, I believe, a game or app made by Kim Kardashian). Is that a cool game or is it a waste of time? I’m guessing most of you said it’s a waste of time. Why do you think so?
I’m guessing, again, that a few of the reasons are “pretending to shop is totally pointless,” “that’s some lame, frivolous materialist shit to be concerned with,” “It has literally no redeeming value whatsoever,” and “why the fuck would you pretend to shop when you could just actually GO SHOPPING.” That’s pretty much the gamut of reasons why this game is dumb, right? Did I miss anything?
Okay, you know who doesn’t think this game is dumb though? Little girls. Little girls LOVE this kinda shit. And you know who loves going shopping and buying stuff? TONS of people. So, how come this game is thought, widely, to be vapid and wack? The answer, sadly is either A) because you’re an asshole or B) because you’ve been thoroughly convinced that the assholes are right. Let’s consider each of these reasons separately:
Pretending to shop is totally pointless: Is it? Why? Is there not a very popular game where you line up a bunch of similarly colored gems or some shit? Nobody would argue that Candy Crush is important, but no one is out there passionately saying it’s TOTALLY POINTLESS either. And, it seems to me that if you wanna dress up a little person in an outfit and put makeup on ‘em, it’s at LEAST as mentally stimulating as putting four things that look alike together, right? It’s not any more pointless than literally any other video game. That’s kind of the thing about video games: they’re pointless. This one just happens to specifically appeal to little girls, which is unacceptable and even worse because:
that’s some lame, frivolous materialist shit to be concerned with: Again, is it? Why? I’ll save you the time here: because we don’t value things little girls like. If little girls like painting their faces and wearing dresses that look cute with specific shoes, they’re told that they’re pursuing something vapid and surface-surface level, however, I’d argue that picking pants, shoes and a shirt that go together and painting your face in a fun way is no more vapid than knocking a person over because they’ve got a ball in their hand. No one calls a little boy’s passion for hitting a ball with a stick frivolous or dangerously close to being sinful. I mean, after all, there’s a physical component to it! Nothing that makes these little tubs of shit get off their asses and into the outdoors and run can be all bad? This app, on the other hand:
This app has no redeeming value whatsoever: This is another way of saying “things that girls enjoy are valueless things. Again, it’s not like playing golf is fundamentally a better thing to do than buying things for yourself that make you feel like the best you that you can be. That shit actually IS important. Ever have to go somewhere in some wack borrowed clothes? Ever get a bad haircut? That shit will ruin your entire sense of being more than ANY bad golf game ever has, man. Just because you personally don’t think shopping is cool, or you DO think it’s cool but you’ve been shamed by assholes into “admitting” that it’s a shallow passtime, that doesn’t make it so. This brings us to the last one:
Why the fuck would you pretend to shop when you could just actually GO SHOPPING? I don’t even know that I need to explain this one, but let’s go. Why the fuck would you pretend to play football when you could PLAY FOOTBALL? Why the fuck would you watch someone else play a game online when you could just ACTUALLY play the game? Playing a sports video game is fun and no one questions why people don’t go actually play the sport itself instead. No one questions why people just watch other people play sports instead of playing the game themselves, and recently, the fact that people like to watch other people play videogames has gained a lot of momentum towards mainstream cultural acceptance.
Obviously, you see how this relates to our hypothetical app, but yo, if you keep in mind that the app is designed for little girls, there is a difference and the difference is that they actually CAN’T GO SHOPPING because they’re just kids, so in that regard this app is actually NOT pointless, NOT frivolous, FULL of redeeming value and more of a worthwhile experience than most other games.
You people just hate little girls. That’s all.
Okay, this was a depressing one. The next one is gonna be super duper. Love y’all!