Ah, the internet. That fabulous land of free information, free expression, and convenient online bill paying. It’s a tool that has radically changed the lifestyle of anyone residing in an area with a minimal telephone line system. It makes things possible that existed only in the realm of science fiction just twenty (or even less) years ago. With a click of a button I can almost instantaneously send a picture of myself picking my nose to friends on the other side of the world in Taiwan. I can plan and pay for a trip around the world in a matter of a few hours, a task that used to take years of painstaking preparation. I can search the web for detailed instructions on how best to treat a puncture wound, or how to make a nail bomb. And I can express my opinion on an endless variety of subject matter, post it on a blog hosting site such as this, and have it available immediately for anyone with a computer or cell phone bored enough to read my musings.
I spend a fair amount of time on the internet, looking up practical information, doing business (band decision emails, press, etc.), and even goofing off some (I highly suggest you google the video “cobra cat”- freakin’ hilarious). As of late my vice has been twitter, a “micro-blogging” site I use primarily to communicate with fans of my band, lamb of god. We have always been a fairly hands-on band, and twitter, besides being a vicious time sucker that I am guilty of fucking around on way too much, is a really neat way for me to attempt to demystify the rock-star mystique thingy that I’ve never really been a fan of. Instant communication with people who dig my awful screeching around the world is pretty mind blowing to me still. People ask me questions, and if I deem them interesting, I reply. I post ridiculous pictures of me mowing my lawn. I write and post reviews of mass-market paperbacks at the grocery store based solely on their covers. Most of the time I just sit and laugh at my own inanities. Hey, if I can’t make myself laugh in these troubled times, who will?
All of the aforementioned things made possible by the internet are fine indeed (especially cobra cat), and I do enjoy using it at times. I’m certainly no luddite, as is evidenced by the fact that you’re reading this right now. But the internet does have a dark side (hopefully you read the previous two words in the Darth Vader voice), and yes, it does trouble me.
I grew up in an era before cyberspace existed, when the first computers were roughly the size of an average used car lot, and only guys in black suits with a lot of money and power had access to these rudimentary computation machines. Dudes with craniums bursting with ways to connect one’s and zero’s were just starting to string them together in a manner that would later allow me to instantaneously win a barroom bet with a drunken inbred over who wrote “I Shot the Sheriff”, Clapton or Marley (this really happened- by the way, thanks for the drinks Steve, you stupid motherfucker). Then came the advent of the personal computer, and the game changed.
Egg heads started figuring out ways to link all these machines together, (not so) suddenly the internet was born, and WHAMMO!- there was a virtual utopia where the free exchange of ideas on a global scale was possible. The early developers of the internet were pleased, and mankind entered a new age of enlightened cross-cultural exchange and understanding. People began to understand that ethnic, socio-economic, and religious boundaries were just that- boundaries to a greater human development. The Hatfields and the McCoys of the planet kissed and ma-
I’ll just stop the bullshit there. We all know that ain’t what happened. While great advances in science, medicine, communications, and even the arts were made possible by the light-speed exchange of data, the day to day grinding mechanics of life on this glorious mud ball didn’t really change that much for the better. Countries still send their youth to war to blow the living shit out of each other- the military-industrial complex just became more efficient at killing at a greater range. Some manufactured goods became available to folks who had no access before, but more jobs became automated, and the quality of previously hand-crafted items declined (just compare a house or piece of furniture made 100 years ago versus some pre-fab piece of shit in the suburbs. There’s no contest). And while there is greater “convenience”, most of it is only “convenient” in relation to an utterly consumer based, product and service dependent society, instead of an even MODERATELY self-reliant one. Imagine a nation wide Katrina situation, where the grid goes down everywhere. What good is Amazon.com when you can’t just one-click some fresh water to your crib? Your smart phone ain’t so smart now, is it? Now give me your shit before I shoot and eat you…
But I’m not writing this to spread my particular brand of apocalyptic doom and gloom (one of my favorite topics), nor to elaborately elucidate how the internet went tragically wrong. To gain a better understanding on the divergence of the early web developers’ intent and what actually exists now, I suggest reading “You Are Not A Gadget’ by Jaron Lanier, the man regarded as the father of virtual technology. Pretty hair raising and eye opening stuff written by one of the guys who actually helped create the cyber-monster (think Steve Jobs-type status amongst the computer elite of the world. The man is hyper-intelligent, and it shows in his writing).
In his book, Lanier is critical of the hive mind aspect of Web 2.0, its dehumanizing effect, and its part in the alarmingly rapid destruction of actual interpersonal communication via the widespread and commonplace use of anonymous and fragmentary web “comments”. This is the stuff that really interests me on a personal level, because I have seen it reflected within what was once considered a safe haven from the mob mentality, the moronic collective “brain” that has always tried its best to trample, degrade, and mercilessly humiliate anyone brave enough think for themselves, step out of line, and actually publicly express that thought in a creative manner. I speak of my beloved underground music scene, a place which I am starting to believe no longer exists as a true, relevant subculture at all (but that’s a different argument for another time). And there is no better place that illustrates the slow destruction of that once vital, artistically nurturing community of free-thinkers and outcasts than the comments section of the site known as Blabbermouth.
For those of you who don’t know, Blabbermouth.net is a metal/hard rock oriented “news” site. I believe that the term “news” should be used very, very loosely in conjunction with some of the content on this site. They regularly present things as “news” that I think are hardly note worthy, including the disjointed twitter ramblings of yours truely. But the validity of their content as newsworthy items is not what bothers me. It’s some of the smarmy little shits in their comments section who lurk around like one of those heavy-duty farts that just won’t dissipate.
These cowardly little turds hiding behind the veil of digital anonymity are indicative to me of a process of intellectual and ethical devolution occurring not only inside the underground music scene, but within the very human race itself. Mommy’s little monsters have a soap box where they can throw their tiny little digital tantrums and there is no one to reign in their childishly offensive outbursts. The sheer amount of brazen comments that would result in immediate hospitalization (or at least a good smack or two) if made on the street is staggering on Blabbermouth and other internet message boards and comment sections. I believe this is a result of the combination of two things: #1. an excessively indulgent, self-entitled, overly-permissive bullshit style of “parenting” and #2. the anonymous zero-accountability aspect of the internet itself. Allow me to explain.
About a week ago lamb of god digitally released “Ghost Walking”, a teaser track from our forthcoming album “Resolution” (It’s amazing! It’s the best thing since sliced bread! It’s WAAAY better than our 1997 demo tape! You should BUY IT! Pre-order NOW! This item is only available from this Ran-do-vision offer, but you MUST call NOW! Plug plug plug…). I got a ton of positive feed-back in my twitter feed, which really came as no surprise since I believe most of the folks who follow me there are actually fans of my band and enjoy our music. The track itself is a fairly typical lamb of god song with a couple of minor tweaks, and I feel it was a good middle of the road choice for the first tune the fans would hear. All was well in rock star land. My galactic-sized ego had been stroked, and the itunes sales from the first eight hours alone funded the purchase of my third gold-plated helicopter.
Being a man who values balance in all things, I decided to take myself down a notch or two myself by visiting the comments section of Blabbermouth. I knew full well what to expect there, and even posted on twitter that I was off to troll land for a little light weight amusement before I actually checked the site. Blabbermouth never, ever, EVER fails to astound me when it comes to the sheer volume of mindless hatred and relentless bickering over utterly pointless topics in its comments section. Merely one of several reasons why I rarely visit the site.
But any new lamb of god release warrants a quick stroll through the murky and childishly scrawled waters of the comments section by ol’ D. Randall. I can’t help it. For me its like fiddling with a loose tooth or picking a scab. I know I shouldn’t do it, but it only stings a little, and let’s face it: it’s irresistible. After a few satisfying doses of “these guys suck, etc. etc.”, a few valid criticisms, and a few positive comments, I then posted on ye olden twitter that the key board commandos had yet again done their job to make me feel some modicum of job security. If at least a few of the try-hard metal experts really hated the tune and bashed away with their usual insults, then I could go to bed extra-pleased knowing that all was well, and this album cycle was going to be a success. Some people I know in the industry chimed in about the severe lack of respect for others (that extends at times to family members and even dead people), and I agreed, suggesting knuckles sandwiches might be an appropriate serving option for some of these cretins. Makes sense to me. I said goodnight, went to play Skyrim (fuck yeeeeeaaaaah nerdery), and promptly forgot the whole thing.
Since the very beginning of burn the priest/lamb of god, I’ve enjoyed the occasional laugh over violently expressed hatred of my band’s “horrible” music, the never-ending predictions of complete failure, and especially the explanations of why (most often because of my presence in the band) we will never amount to the proverbial hill of beans and will, in fact, be forgotten soon. Sixteen years, a million or two records sold, and many successful tours around the globe later, we somehow seem to keep failing to implode. New countries keep on asking us to come play, and places we’ve played before invite us back to bigger venues. Our fan base seems to grow, and I’ve met a ton of amazing people. I have a good life. I quite enjoy myself. I keep laughing.
But the next day I got a ton of comments in my twitter feed along the lines of “Don’t worry about the haters man! I love the new song! Fuck all those shit talkers!” While these comments were certainly nice, and I appreciate the spirit in which they were made (thanks y’all!), they were entirely unnecessary. I’ve been doing this for so long that the opinions of an entire network of globally connected self-appointed critics honestly don’t bother me. If what some miserable fuck-witted troglodyte sitting behind a keyboard in his mother’s basement (gotta use the time-honored parent’s basement sterotype) thought about my music really got the old guts churning and cost me a second of sleep, I would have quit a long time ago (or, as some have so charmingly suggested, “blown my brains out”). Instead, IT’S FUCKING FUNNY TO ME. Why? Because A) Obviously these slug’s opinions have done absolutely NOTHING to halt my band from making music in anyway whatsoever, and B) I’m a rapidly aging grouchy old fart who is way past feeling the need for acceptance by almost anyone except my loved ones, and even then only on my “sentimental” days.
Oh yeah, and there IS that whole doing exactly what I want to do and getting paid pretty well for it thing.
So anyway, in typical blabbering Blabbermouth fashion, Blabbermouth apparently almost immediately ran a “news” item about me on how much I blabbered that I didn’t give a fuck what people blabbered about me in Blabbermouth “news” items or some such shit (confused yet?). I believe they reposted all my twitter comments from the night before. Remember what I said earlier about the term “news” being thrown around kinda loosely at that site. I haven’t read said “news” item, nor have I read the attendant comments. I don’t have to. I’m pretty sure I know what’s there. The trolls at Blabbermouth aren’t going to joining their local chapter of MENSA anytime soon. It’s not rocket science, and there’s not a lot of deep thinking occurring over there. From my limited experience, I have found them to be a rather dull, uncreative, and excruciatingly predictable lot of malcontents. I would bet every red American cent in my bank account that many of the comments go close to something along THESE lines:
1. “HA! It’s pathetic how that asshole rambles on about how much he doesn’t care about what people say about him on the internet. Obviously he DOES care, otherwise he wouldn’t make such a big deal out of it. You know he’s sitting there all pissed off to bloody fuck and trying to pretend he’s not…ON THE FUCKIN’ INTERNET! Can you fucking believe it? Psychology 101, man. So fucking obvious. Plus LOG sucks anyway.”
2. “What a fucking jerk-off. Who does he think he is anyway? Fucking diva-ass wanna-be rock star monkey got his feelings hurt. It’s about time. He’s lucky somebody cares enough to bash his shitty band’s music. Lamb of God are not even real metal, never have been, its for kids at the mall. Plus he’s the worst singer alive. Fuck him.”
3. “He needs to grow up and realize that the internet and places like this are the way things are now. The internet is a crucial tool in the development and growth of the music scene. This is a great place for us to COMMUNICATE, maaaan. We have every right to say whatever we want- ever heard of freedom of speech, asshole? Just because we’re anonymous doesn’t make our criticism any less valid. Plus LOG hasn’t put out a good record since “As the Palaces Burn”- everything since then has been a piece of shit.”
4. “This dude fucking sucks. He should just kill himself. His band tries to sound just like Pantera/Slayer/Testament/whoeverthefuckelseisaninfluenceoneveryfuckingmetalbandtoday, but they fail miserably. So bad generic wanna be metal. Hail TRUE METAL \m/ Plus no one cares about gay-ass metalcore shit anyway. Fuck lamb of douchebags!”
5. “How DARE he talk shit on the people who made his band! LOG wouldn’t exist at all if it wasn’t for the fans! And there are fans here. Fans who have every right to say whatever they want about the band, no matter how bad it is, since the band owes them basically everything they have. Plus that dude is rich anyway. Fuck him.”
6. “Fuckin’ Maiden, dude……. Fuckin’ Maiden.”
My ears hurt just imagining all the screeching little indignant shits. Guys- please, PLEASE…spare me the results of your sophomoric “thinking”- oh wait, I spared myself. I didn’t read your infantile knee-jerk comments. But lemme guess- I was pretty close to on point, right? Well, maybe not the Maiden comment, but it was too funny to resist. C’mon… You KNOW its funny.
Anyway, my point is this:
I have to stop real quick and eat some crow. These people are 100% right on target. I actually DO care about the comments they make, and the way they express their opinions so boldly. It DOES get me all twisted up inside. I DO lose sleep over this shit because they DO get under my skin.
Just not about anything even remotely concerning me or my band.
Nah, hate to say it, but I still don’t give a flying fuck. I know its probably too weird for anyone that spends their spare time behind a keyboard tearing complete strangers down instead of actually doing something with their lives to comprehend, but I’ve got it way too good to be pissed off over criticism of our music by, well, by almost anybody actually. I mean really- what the fuck do I have to complain about? Not much. For example:
In approximately two months I’ll be in Australia on the Soundwave tour. It will be February, which means it’s their summer and the weather will be as gorgeous as the women there. I’ll be playing in front of thousands of crazed Aussie fans everyday, eating like a king, and hanging out with friends and bands I know from all over the world. I’ll be chilling on the beach watching girls walk by in bikinis with bodies so incredible that it might actually damage my eyesight if I look too long. It’s like paradise down under. I couldn’t have a bad time in OZ if I tried. Does anyone actually believe that I’ll even remember writing this long-winded blog post in a few days, much less be worrying about Blabbermouth when I’m kickin’ it on the greatest touring festival bill I’ve ever seen? Get the fuck outta here. I’ll be rocking my balls off, petting kangaroos, and getting paid. But I digress…
Yes, I AM upset about the comments section of some of the metal “news” websites. But the blabbermouths and their ilk are just a microcosm of what I view as a disgusting and frankly terrifying larger situation. I’m talking about the lack of personal accountability in the internet age.
I am a firm believer in the right to free speech, no matter how idiotic, misguided, or hateful. I am a firm believer in people’s right as human beings to freely do and say as they wish, as long as their words and actions are not directly harmful to others. This is a righteous belief system that was instilled in me at a young age by my parents, both truly noble humans whom I caused unreal amounts of grief and worry over the years with my shenanigens (sorry Mom and Dad). But equally as important, they instilled in me a sense of personal accountability for both my words and actions. I was to be held responsible for what I did or did not do, what I said or did not say. At times I was, how shall we say it…….a difficult young man. I didn’t always make the wisest choices. But I was held responsible for them.
In layman’s terms: you can do the Cha-Cha with the Devil all you want, but you gotta pay for your dance card.
Unfortunately for me, over the years I have paid our friend Lucifer a fortune for many, many ill-planned waltzes. I would be a very rich man right now if I had half the loot I’ve forked over to that cocksucker. I did what I wanted, but I ALWAYS paid for it. And I didn’t really mind. That is known as personal accountability. Here’s a fairly infamous example of me paying the price for my actions, drawn from my rather colorful history as an illustration.
Several years ago, one miserable winter, lamb of god had been touring in the United Kingdom for approximately a million days. We were tired, sick of being away from home, it was cold and wet, we had been crammed together in one of those funny-smelling Euro-tour buses for far too long, and we had Christmas shopping to do. At this point in my life, I was under the impression that the best way to deal with a less than ideal situation was drink as much alcohol as possible until my movements resembled that of a tall, skinny, extremely uncoordinated human pinball. I wasn’t a very happy boy, so I proceeded to annihilate as many brain cells as possible all day, everyday. Fuck it- I also just loved to drink. Beer is awesome.
One fine evening we played in Glasgow, Scotland (love that whole country), and I proceeded to imbibe a fairly mind-blowing amount of Scotch and beer. I was in fine form, buying shots for my Scottish friends and band mate, a certain Mr. Mark Duane Morton. Mark wisely chose to retire earlier than me, and went to sleep in his bunk on the bus. I, of course, continued to drink more. Things were going swimmingly, and I was having a grand old time, resplendent in my kilt, spilled beer, and terrible attempt at a Scottish accent I had for some bizarre reason started to adopt that night. Everything was going great as I slid into an amber haze of idiocy and awful Sean Connory impressions, until I staggered up onto the bus and someone set me off. Let the slurred yelling begin.
Mr. Morton did not especially appreciate being awoken by a drunken Scottish sounding Randy, so he did the logical thing, came out of his bunk, and socked me a good one. Fuck, I don’t blame him. I HATE being woken up. This turned into a ludicrous brawl, which resulted in one completely wasted singer being knocked unconscious and finally shut the fuck up on a cold Glasgow sidewalk.
After a bit, I woke up, rubbed my head until the stars left my eyes, and then me and Mark did the logical post-fight thing and sat in the front of the bus drinking beer together while everybody else went to the back lounge or bed. Fuck it. Shit happens. Eventually we crawled into our bunks and went to sleep. I vaguely remember laying there and laughing to myself. “Well, that was an interesting way to end an evening…”
The next morning came with a horrible swiftness. I woke up feeling like someone had taken a ball peen hammer to my dome. I lay there with my eyes closed, thinking “What the FUCK did I get into last night?” Then I opened my eyes. Oops, I opened my eye. Singular. The other one was swollen shut. And I started to remember. Ouch.
I slowly, very painfully, got out of my bunk and walked down the hall to the bathroom to take a leak. After I was done pissing, I looked in the filthy bathroom mirror. My nose was sideways. Well fuck. I had a black eye, a broken nose, and a pounding headache. Not exactly a great way to start the day.
Yep, this pretty much sucked. But did I cry and whine about it? Was I mad at Mark for fucking me up pretty well the night before? Did I blame it on him? Nope. Because I knew I had DESERVED IT. I had been acting like an ASSHOLE. I WAS HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR MY ACTIONS, AS I SHOULD HAVE BEEN. I GOT MY ASS KICKED. So what did I do about it?
I looked in the mirror, took a deep breath, grabbed my nose, and snapped the motherfucker back in place. If you’ve never tried that, I wouldn’t recommend it as a way to wake up. Then I went in the fridge, grabbed two beers, put one on my eye and the other in my stomach. Mark came out shortly after looking pretty haggard himself and apologized to me. I apologized to him. Then we got on with the business of being friends and band mates. I love that dude like my own kin. But I know he had every right to smash me that night. I respect him for it. He held me accountable when I was unwilling to do it myself. God knows I needed it, so good for him.
That little adventure is not the only time I’ve had my ass handed to me, either literally or metaphorically, for shooting my mouth off when I should have kept it shut or doing something stupid (I’m a little hard headed). But every time (if I was in the wrong), I accepted the consequences without running, hiding, blaming someone else, or complaining. I said or did something fucked up, therefore I paid the price. And eventually, slowly, painfully, I learned better. I put on my big boy pants, manned up, and became a better person. It’s relatively simple.
I writing this because in this age of online “identity”, I see a growing cyber-toilet chock full of squeaking little turds, cynical little binary critics and shit spewing cunts (such as the ones on Blabbermouth) who are in NO WAY being held accountable for their words. And their words are real doozies at times.
Publilius Syrus, a 1st century BC Roman slave and writer of maxims is famously credited with saying “Speech is the mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so is he.” Good words, but sadly enough, I think they might need to be updated so the youth of today can relate. Maybe something like “Twitter is the mirror of the soul, as a motherfucker tweets, so is he.” I’m not even kidding.
Speech, and human interaction itself, seems to be rapidly morphing into a virtual experience. I talk to some of my younger friends about their dating experiences and I’m left scratching my knotty old noggin. It’s all “I sent her a facebook message” this and “she put up an update” that and “I unfriended her on facebook” the other. What the fuck? It sounds more like applying for a job to me, not chasing some tail. Goddamn people, how do y’all even find time to wine, dine, and maybe even fuck with all this facebooking going on?
I’m so glad that while I was a young man still in the dating game, if I was interested in a woman, I actually had to walk up and TALK to her. It taught me real-life communication skills. We were not facebook “friends” first, I didn’t flirt via SMS, email her a ton of times, then “sext message” her to get her in the mood before I finally either got laid or “unfriended”. I fucking talked to her in person, looked her IN THE EYE, spit some game, and LAID DOWN THE MACK.
Then I got slapped in the face.
But hey- at least it was my real, live, flesh and blood, ugly ass FACE that she told me to fuck off to. Soon the old saying will change to “Yeah, I told that motherfucker straight to his facebook” or after a particularly triumphant insult “Ooooooh, in yo facebook, bitch! IN YO FACEBOOK!” I know I’m being a little silly and extreme here, but social media has completely changed the way people, (especially younger people) interact and perceive other humans. It’s a VASTLY different world than it was before all this social networking hoopla not so long ago at all. If Syrus’s words still hold water a few thousand years later, and I believe they do, then the way things are going we will soon turn into a race of typing, texting, tweeting feces.
People have made some rather pointed criticisms of my band’s music, and of me personally over the years on the internet. That’s ok- I signed up for this. When you make any sort of art, release it for public consumption, and thereby become a public persona, then you should expect some people to loathe it. You should expect people to talk shit. If your ego is too fragile for that, then you should keep whatever it is to yourself. You sign up for abuse the moment you take the stage, ANY STAGE. Suck it up and keep rockin’. Or hang it up and go back to doing it in private. Every since Og first banged on a log with a stick, there was some asshole in the cave next door talking smack, saying Og sucked for even trying and HE could do it better. Deal with it.
So I have no problem with people disliking my music, my friends’ bands’ music, or even my own oh-so-charming self. What I have a problem with is the way some of these kids express that dislike (I’m going to assume they’re mostly kids for my own sanity. That way I can still harbor hope they will grow up into something other than a sphincter that types), and the fact that they can “say” these things with absolutely no fear of repercussions. I have a problem with the lack of restraint, human decency, and respect for others. I have a problem with the glaringly obvious pussification of these kids by third-rate parents who don’t want step on their precious little toes and teach them right from wrong. I have a problem with the LACK OF BALLS these entitled little fuckers have, and that their way of “speaking” is not only not punished, but becoming acceptable. I have a HUGE problem with the fact that one day I’ll be an old man with grandkids who will probably all go straight to prison because I’ll teach them not to put up with any bullshit in a world up to its neck in it.
“Well, what in the hell ARE these kids saying that pisses you off so much?’ you may be asking. One thing I’ve seen these twerps repeatedly do is take the chance to bash musicians who have recently DIED. I’ve even seen them talk shit on people for doing charity work. Who raised to have a shred of decency and self-respect would do that? No one I know. As I said, I normally avoid the site precisely because of crap like this, but in the interest of making my point, I did some quick research. I quickly found a few quotes concerning a few fairly recently deceased human beings, some of whom I knew, some I didn’t. I won’t say who they are directed toward out of respect for the dead, as well as to not throw anymore fuel on these jerks’ fires. Here we go with a sample, misspellings and all, of some of the class acts whose comments are allowed to remain up on Blabbermouth.net:
“Fuck yeah! No more shitty music, or crappy press releases.”
“enjoy hell you dumb drug addict”
“Deal with it people, he was not a massive loss to music”
“Now if we could get the rest of the band to go down in a Plane-We would all be set!”
“Ok first of all I am not sad but still R.I.P. But I consider this a blessing for metal.”
“Oh well. Guitarist are a dime a dozen. Im sure they another one.”
“Now if only the singer would die!”
Nice, huh? Not everyone in the comments section of Blabbermouth are assholes at all. Some of them take offense to the above quotes, and let it be known. Some seem like actual music fans with decent heads on their shoulders and a basic grasp of spelling, grammar, and syntax. But the site is renowned as being full of the other “fans”.
These are ‘fans” in our “underground music scene”. These are people at the shows you go to. They definitely have the right to say these things. They have the right to be fucking pricks. To talk their shit. Safely behind their computers. Without fear of recrimination. Without the people who run Blabbermouth.net deleting their cowardly bullshit, even though if you read Blabbermouth’s terms of service, it states: “You may not post, send, submit, publish, or transmit in connection with this Site any material that: threatens or abuses others, libels, defames, invades privacy, stalks, is obscene, pornographic, racist, abusive, harassing, threatening or offensive”
Maybe I’m just an old fashioned geezer who has lost touch with reality, but I find insulting dead strangers for no reason and wishing death upon their surviving friends and band mates obscene, abusive, AND offensive. Blabbermouth.net also puts up a bunch of other legal terms basically stating they are not responsible for any of the content on their page. This is the biggest site dedicated to “underground music” “news”. Who the fuck runs this shit? Why do they leave this crap up? Do they not have any morals either? What the fuck, Chuck?
It would almost be easier for me to write this crap off by saying “Well, the underground is now truly dead. It’s changed too much. The assholes have come and taken over, fuck this shit, I don’t want anything to do with these pricks” and just chalk it up as a once glorious subculture gone to shit and move on. But this kind of disregard for basic decency is EVERYWHERE. At this point I must say a name that incites pure, seething, hatred amongst the people of the planet, a young man more reviled than Adolph fuckin’ Hitler at the height of his blitzkrieg through Europe, a seemingly harmless tow-headed male widely spoken of as if he were the incarnation of Satan himself. I must invoke the dreaded name of…
Justin Bieber. Yup, the Biebs himself.
I don’t know Justin Bieber. I’ve never met him. I’ve never even heard one of his songs, but I suspect I probably wouldn’t enjoy it. However, I have nothing against him. He doesn’t seem to have any real impact on my day to day life. All I know is he’s some singer kid from Canada that got some girl pregnant (I think- pop culture is not my strong point). What could the wee Canuck possibly have done to stir up a hate filled shit-storm of such colossal proportions? Not really much, I suspect.
Yet if I type the word “kill” and then follow it with a “j” in my google search-bar thingy, “kill justin bieber” is the first thing that pops up. Really? KILL Justin Bieber? Why? I’m 99% certain that his music sucks, but what did he do deserving of death? Can ANYONE tell me WHY the Biebs has an online video game devoted to him in which you can MURDER him in various creative ways?
There is even a nice little blog here on Tumblr entitled (charmingly enough) “I Hate Justin Bieber”. I took a quick scroll through it. The young people there certainly don’t particularly care for Mr. Bieber. They are definitely not “Beliebers”. Take this post, by a cherubic faced young blond girl who looks to be about 14 years old: “99% of teenagers would cry if they saw Justin Bieber standing on top of a skyscraper about to jump. Repost this if you’re the 1% sitting there with popcorn and 3D glasses, screaming “Do a backflip!’”
What the fuck? Do her parents know she is talking about watching someone DIE for fucking entertainment? Do they care? As I said, she looks like a CHILD. Who is raising our kids to think that saying these things are acceptable? Maybe parents glued to a screen themselves. Society turns into digital shit as this little girl grows up thinking these kind of thought patterns and manner of expression is NORMAL. Jesus Christ.
Have you ever watched someone die a violent death?
I have. I watched a guy die on the street here in Richmond, VA after being shot in the femoral artery. People were screaming all around me as I watched my flannel shirt turn red as another man used it to try to tourniquet the wounded man’s leg. I stood there on the corner of Grace and Laurel streets and watched the light in this man’s eyes fade as he bled out in front of me. I watched the terrified man panic and gasp for his last breath. ” I don’t want to die!” were his last words as he died right in front of me.
There was no popcorn. No one had on 3D glasses. No one was screaming “Bleed faster!”
It was not amusing.
Another really old dude named Epictetus (a famous philosopher of the Stoic school) said “First learn the meaning of what you say, then speak.” I think the loud-mouthed little fuckers at Blabbermouth, “I Hate Justin Bieber”, and everywhere else in the cyber-toilet should put a sock in it and think about what they are saying REALLY MEANS. Maybe they should go to a prison for a nice little visit and talk to people who have killed someone in cold blood and ask for some advice. I bet they would keep their filthy suck holes shut after that little chat.
People have called me an egomaniac, a loudmouth, an insensitive braggart. All of that may be true, but the fact is I can be held accountable for my words and actions. I say what I want to, but I say it in public. I have a name, and it’s D. Randall Blythe. I use it to identify myself when I release a record, post something public on the internet, and climb on stage, just so you know who the fuck is behind this shit. I don’t hide behind an anonymous screen name, you can see pictures of my fucking face everywhere on the internet and in magazines so you know what the fuck I look like. I walk tall down the street in my hometown of Richmond, VA and streets all over the world, proud of who I am, the way I treat people, the things I say, and what I believe in.
If that sounds like blow-hard tough guy shit to you, then your perception of what being a responsible, accountable human being is fucked. I don’t claim to be a tough guy thug, because I’m not. But I do claim to be who the fuck I am. The shitheads I have bitched about in this long-ass blog make me wanna puke. They are all over the place, but can’t be found anywhere.
I’m sure at least one of the morons lurking over at Blabbermouth will read this, and get some childish glee over the fact that I even contemplated their pathetic existence, much less wrote this blog post (“Oooooh, we got him! We got him! He’s so pissed!”). They might even squeak about it in their insignificant little voices. And they will most assuredly be arrogant and dense enough to completely miss the subtext here, thinking all this is exclusively about them. Well, if any of those pissheads do bother reading this, they should know that they were merely the smelly impetus for writing something I’ve been contemplating for a long time anyway. So congratulations, and thanks for the kick in the ass to get this done. But if I was one of them, I would be weeping about what a waste of skin I was.
Plus, I had a lot of fun writing this. That’s all that I really care about in the end with this blog. It’s just plain fun for me.
So know this, pissheads- I’m still laughing.
Old men always seem to put things far more succinctly than us (relatively) young bucks, so I’ll leave y’all with this little tid-bit someone emailed me. Justin Halpern, the genius behind the twitter feed “Shit My Dad Says” and the hilarious book of the same name (I cried and couldn’t breath from laughing so hard when I read it), recently posted a blog on www.funnyordie.com entitled “Why Internet Commenters Will Eventually End The World”. Someone had insulted his writing on the internet, calling him a “talentless piece of shit”. Here’s what his Pops had to say about it:
“Doesn’t it bother you that people can go on the internet and call you a talentless piece of shit, and never have to say it to your face?,” he continued.
“I don’t know. Doesn’t really bother me. I got my break writing down things you say. I think just karmically speaking I deserve to hear that on occassion,” I said.
“I’m not talking about you. I’m speaking fucking globally. If you can’t handle some pissant writing something nasty about you, then I failed as a father. What I’m trying to say is, don’t it trouble you that there’s a whole generation of people growing up that just say whatever the fuck they want, without any consequences?”
“I don’t know, that’s just the internet,” I said.
“Don’t you get what that means, though?”
“Not really,” I replied.
“Jesus H. You’re a bright kid but you sure like to wear an asshole’s costume every once in a while. It means that the future leaders of your country, I say your ‘cause I’ll have long decomposed, are gonna be people that have absolutely no experience with actual confrontation. Thirty years from now the President of the most powerful country in the world is going to be some little shit who sat at his computer and hurled insults three feet away from his mommy’s tit like it was no big deal. I don’t condone fighting, but when a human being understands that his or her actions might result in a giant fist up his or her ass, he or she learns a thing or two about acting before they speak. All I’m saying is, I’m glad I’m going to be dead. Also, happy birthday. That’s why I called.”
Some old men are called wise old men for a reason.
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Here's a few things you should know about about me:
1. I'm 40 years old as of 2/21/2011.
2. I'm happily married to an awesome woman.
3. Sometimes I live Richmond, VA. Sometimes I live all
over the globe. I ALWAYS reside in Randonesia.
4. I really like: books, hunting & fishing, skateboarding,
punk fucking rock (the music & the way of life- true
til DEATH!), comic books, guns, knives
whips (basically any sort of killing weapon), good coffee, & non-alcoholic St. Pauili Girl or Becks
5. I am a sober alcoholic. I don't drink or drug anymore
because it was killing me. Everybody else, by all
means, PLEASE- have a drink on me.
6. I sing for a metal band called lamb of god.
7. I say exactly what I want, when I want to. If you don't
like it, don't read this blog. I don't care if I hurt your
feelings- I speak what only what I regard as the truth,
and nothing else.
8. I tend to disregard conventional grammar & spelling
at times, not because I am ignorant in such matters,
but because this a fucking blog, not my attempt to
win the Pulitzer. When I get paid to write, I let editors
fix the details. Here, I try not to worry about it much.
9. I do not tolerate racism, religious intolerance, homo-
phobia, dogmatic political posturing, sexism, class
restrictions, or just general idiocy/assholeness from
ANYONE, OF ANY SEX, CREED, OR COLOR, nor should
you. That being said, I am definitely not politically
correct, so if it's a joke- get over yourself.
10. I do not give a fuck.
11. I am actually a nice, warm-hearted, generous,
articulate Southern Male with impeccable manners. If
ya see me on the street, come say hello!