Evil Forces in the World

Reflections on ''Evil Forces in the World,'' as well as occasional remarks concerning ''Good Forces in the World.''

Friday, August 23, 2002


Weezer To Open For Guns N' Roses in London

This event will single-handedly redefine the term "irony" for an entire generation. A caveat however: the "Guns N' Roses" of this double bill is not the hard rocking outfit of yore, of "Use Your Illusion I and II" fame. No. The current manifestation features only one original member - Axl Rose - and while indeed, Axl remains the obnoxious, overbearing heart of the band, I submit that today's GNR is "GNR" in name only. To wit: would Led Zeppelin be Led Zeppelin without Jimmy Page? I am already shielding my face from slaps for asking such a silly question. Led Zeppelin, in the words of the immortal Robert Plant, ceased to be "Led Zeppelin" after drummer John Bonham died quite ignominously by choking on his own vomit. Even when Bonham's son Jason, who also wails on the skins, recently played with Page and Plant, they did not recusitate the now holy name of "Led Zeppelin." So, is GNR today actually the "GNR" we've come to love? I leave this question to semantics experts and linguistics PhD's.

Slash update: Slash's band "Slash's Snakepit" will finally be releasing their much anticipated second album sometime this fall. You may remember their hit single from way back called "Shuffle It All" which rocked exceptionally hard. So, how good is Slash's band? In the insightful words of Ryan Adams: "If you don't like this band, you are an asshole."

Concession: while I find it somewhat loathsome that Axl Rose continues to parade around as some sort of makeshift version of "GNR," the idea of one of American rock's greatest bands, a group that set the standard for metal in the late 80s, sharing the bill with its literal simulacrum, a band that has become so ironic that it has come full circle to emerging as a sincere 80s metal band, is quite quite exciting.

The last time we saw something of this magnitude was 2 years ago at the MTV video awards (which was the bombshit by the way). First came Eminem, then came Dr. Dre ... then came the hammer dropping all over our feeble brains: Snoop Dogg rolling up on the stage out of nowhere, to exchange verses of "Nuthin' But a G' Thang" with Eminem and Dre. This was so excellent that my brain actually melted into a ball of puss three minutes before my TV did the same.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Compelling thought of the day:

On A Seven-Day Diary

Oh I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate and talked and went to sleep.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
from work and ate and slept.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate and watched a show and slept.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate steak and went to sleep.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate and fucked and went to sleep.
Then it was Saturday, Saturday, Saturday!
Love must be the reason for the week!
We went shopping! I saw clouds!
The children explained everything!
I could talk about the main thing!
What did I drink on Saturday night
that lost the first, best half of Sunday?
The last half wasn't worth this "word."
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
from work and ate and went to sleep,
refreshed but tired by the weekend.

-- Alan Dugan

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

"I definitely have some feelings about any outside group exerting this kind of influence in a race, and I've been receiving angry calls from black voters all day, saying they should rally against Jewish candidates," said Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Texas Democrat who is the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

But then,

Ron Lester, a Democratic pollster who conducted a survey of voters after the Hilliard-Davis primary in Alabama, said that within that district, black support for Israel had increased markedly since Sept. 11.

Naturally, there's a good deal of hysteria:

"To have non-African-Americans from around the country putting millions into a race to unseat one of our leaders for expressing her right of free speech is definitely a problem," Ms. Johnson said.

Leaders indeed. This may well be beneath comment. And yet if I've demonstrated anything in my posts thus far, it is that very few things are beneath comment, e.g., my toenails have grown long and unruly, which is evil. But now I've clipped them, artfully and with aplomb.

As for Ms Johnson: idiocy is evil. It leads to traffic accidents; also, it leads to eating lots of lead-based paint, which could ultimately lead to death.

I can't say I'm a great lover of Ann Coulter; in fact, I find her pronouncements shrill and I worry that she discredits other conservatives, which is a shame. That said, she does have her moments:

"Ann Coulter, who is on the cusp of 40, grew up in a big house in New Canaan, Conn., the daughter of a lawyer and a homemaker from Kentucky. She describes the whole family as right-wing and 'cheerfully argumentative.' One day in kindergarten, she said, young Ann confronted a teacher in the library who was wearing a black arm band and denouncing America’s involvement in Vietnam.

'I raised my little paw,' she said, 'and instead of reading Bambi to us or whatever that day, we just argued about this.' She remembers saying that the country had a 'commitment to defend these people, and America’s word should be worth something. Exactly as I’d heard it said

I feel very passionately about the war in Vietnam, and so this has a great deal of resonance for me.

Here's my question: Who exactly is this George Gurley? He's a bloody genius:

"I first started thinking I might be conservative after witnessing the communist radical Angela Davis give a speech at University of Kansas in the late 80’s. Hundreds of students cheered after she blamed the Bush administration for the crack epidemic.

This reminded me of that hippie girl my senior year who berated me at a party for saying I admired Margaret Thatcher. 'She’s a capitalist pig!' she screamed at me. I stammered. Then one of my best friends defended her, saying, 'George, sorry, you got no leg to stand on, man.' I had left the party ashamed, powerless.

I'm more familiar with this brand of deep analysis than I'd care to admit. Speaking of which, consider the following song: evil lyrics, but rollicking good qua pop song:

We will laugh the day that Thatcher dies,
Even though we know it's not right,
We will dance and sing all night.
I was blind in 1979, by '82 I had clues,
By 1986 I was mad as hell.

The teachers at school, they took us for fools,
They never taught us what to do,
But Christ we were strong, we knew all along,
We taught ourselves the right from wrong.

And the punk rock kids, and the techno kids,
No, it's not their fault.
And the hip hop boys and heavy metal girls,
No, it's not their fault.

It was love, but Tories don't know what that means,
She was Michelle Cox from the lower stream,
She wore high-heeled shoes while the rest wore flat soles.
And the playground taught her how to be cruel,
I talked politics and she called me a fool,
She wrapped her ankle chain round my left wing heart.

I know what I'll be doing the day that Thatcher dies: weeping inconsolably, or rather jutting out my chin in Il Duce fashion and punching my fist in the air, aiming directly for invisible Communists, Communards, communalists, and other backward elements.

As for Michelle Cox, haven't we all been smitten with such a young lady at one time or another?

According to this report from the always reliable E! Online, Soul Train has gone to war against a California teen, Rommel Zamora, for having the temerity to suggest that Ashanti wasn't the best choice for Lady of Soul of the Year in an online petition.

Zamora's cyber statement drew the attention of TV and radio stations, amassed more than 20,000 virtual signatures (through today)--and apparently prompted a bizarre diatribe from Soultrain.com that dissed the 15-year-old as a "grossly, uninformed moron."

So far so good. A bit much, but hardly evil. Oh, but it continues:

Then Soultrain.com got funky.

In a response Zamora says was sent to him on August 9 from the Soultrain.com's Webmaster email address, the entertainment site alternately suggested that Zamora's Internet campaign be called, "I'm a fucking loser, I'm not talented or successful, I don't know shit about the music industry and I need to get a motherfucking life!!"

A call to Don Cornelius Productions, the parent of Soul Train and Soultrain.com, was not returned.

"I think they're just mad," says the still even-tempered Zamora of Soultrain.com.

Harsh, to say the least. Still, not quite evil. (Incidentally, I love the line, "Then Soultrain.com got funky.")

In a message about the petition that currently can be found at Soultrain.com, the Website seems to concede it blew a gasket. "We are no longer angry over what has been a turmoil of insults," the unsigned statement reads.

But the "turmoil of insults" hasn't quite died down yet. Soultrain.com bemoans how "such a large group of individuals" could fall prey to "Black-on-Black disrespect and hatred...under the leadership of an individual whose foreign-sounding name (Rommel Zamora) may be an indication that he is not African-American."

"I mean, I'm not black," Zamora says, "but it doesn't matter. That's not the point."

To Soultrain.com, the point apparently is this: "We will continue to pursue our original dream and to follow our creative instincts" (As well as rant about how "during an age when suicide terrorists have been able to level skyscrapers," thousands have "nothing better to do with the precious time they all have left on Earth" than sign Zamora's petition.)


Surely one could say the same of record executives who sell pop records in lieu of, for example, going on search-and-destroy missions in the wastelands of central Asia.

I should add that I disagree with Zamora, who maintains that "Ashanti simply lacks singing ability and stage presence"; in fact, she lacks both in a highly complex manner. She is also exceptionally cute, which is neither here nor there. But I do think it counts for something.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

If big-league baseball players go on strike, maybe the owners should replace them with robots. What difference does it make if you see Sammy Sosa hit a home run or a robot hit a home run? Anyway, how do you now Sammy Sosa isn't already a robot?

This is an excellent question; of course, I am convinced that robotic athletes would be a powerful force for good, in large part because we could then use them in free-for-all gladiatorial combat, which would hone their robotic fighting abilities, thus paving away for the robot revolution that would overthrow human rule.

This is "Surf Girls of Maui": it is worth reading, I assure you.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Ba-baa, ba-baa, ba-baa
It's a sheep thing, Ka, me brah
Just because Bekaa
Valley, it's broken
Smokin', just like your Grooves Tour de force
Of course
Always chokin'
And that's why I drink my Robitussin
Cousin, and I'm cussin'
"Damnation, tarnation, my nation: impatient,
No administration; Tonton Macoute, not Haitian"
The sensation
Of burning flesh
My Christ-like animation, not Da-
vid Koresh, or Enya, Yanni and John Tesh
This rhyme session, it's not about aggression
The impression I leave
Leaves me aggrieved
You see, I didn't mean to


You see, I didn't mean to, Gidget
Don't fidget
Around in your mink coat, "think oats,"
Not barley: and rest in peace Bob Marley
Ziggy, Ky-Mani,
Nancy and Ronnie
Hanni, not you too
My Big League Chew
You know I'm through with nude,
Dude, a born-again prude